Chapter 13:

#TheFirstRival - 2

Midnight King

“That guy,” Honey points to Ben, who looks like an Easter Island head come to life, “can’t hit girls?”

Vulture kid walks in circles around himself like he’s beginning to go insane, his hands are bunched up in his sorry excuse of a hairdo.

“A girl’s never challenged him before, babes don’t usually join The Midnight Fights.”

The gods of underground fight clubs must be really testing her patience today. If the divine pieces of trash wanted to make up for it, they’d have to bring Charlotte here on a sacrificial altar.

Honey’s nose does its usual foreboding scrunch, the infamous look of her dissatisfaction.

The boy turns to Ben, neck still tucked awkwardly between his bony shoulders, “Why didn’t you spit this out sooner! You can’t get outta this fight now!”

Ben’s so massive that he has to lean down to whisper something else into the other teen’s ear, which only seems to ruffle his figurative feathers even more.

“Of course you hafta! She beat up Mikey and the boys a few days ago! Kicked his balls so hard we had to carry him back to school!”

The Boulder makes a face and it's the only expression other than the stone-like grimace that Honey had seen. The message is clear.

He won’t fight a girl.

The crowd collectively boos Ben’s resolve, their faces contorting into looks of disappointment and some are starting to ask for their bets back. With a single icy glare, Ben the Boulder shuts them up.

Her bones were aching to fight, every muscle starting from her neck all the way to her calves burned with the desire to move. The worthless spectators had been throwing insults at her this whole time, tossing gasoline on an open fire.

Anticipating watching her get snuffed out by some wannabe champion.

Her knuckles crack when she tightens her fist.

“I didn’t come here to waste my night in a disease ridden warehouse with even more disgusting freaks trying to pass as high schoolers for you to suddenly call yourself a ‘gentleman' because you don’t hit girls.”

Honey had taken a step every time her voice cut cleanly through an overstressed syllable until she’s brazenly within Ben’s personal space. The one place where he can’t ignore her.

She jabs a finger at The King’s Throne behind her.

“I’m here for that chair, not to pat you on the back for your garbage sense of etiquette.”

Ben says nothing. He still doesn’t raise a fist or move a single muscle.

A chortle that sounds like a hog choking on its own excrement bursts from the crowd behind Ben.

“You? Becoming King?” The swine sucks in a wet breath, “Ha! Should we change the title to your royal highness, queen of the bimbos?”

More laughs join in and Honey can’t believe she isn’t at a pig farm preparing to slaughter some fresh cuts of bacon.

That’s it. That is the final straw.

She’s tired of all this waiting. If you want something done, you should just do it yourself.

In a single movement, Honey takes either side of Ben’s unbuttoned shirt, swiveling her body so that her back faces him, and sweeps a foot under his legs. She pulls forward.


And he may be a heavy bastard, but the muscles in her legs pop and swell when she hoists him up and over her shoulder onto the grimy floor.

The sound his giant body makes is thunderous, rippling out over the crowd and causing a surge of commotion from their audience. Silencing their snorting laughs as quick as they came.

Ben lies there, momentarily stunned.

Honey’s so close to this behemoth that they’re sharing a breath and it makes her nauseous.

“Think about it this way, you’re helping a girl by fighting a girl.”

He’s about to say something but clamps his mouth shut. Ben looks at her like he’s having some sort of untimely epiphany that Honey doesn’t have a shred of patience for. This fight has already lost her interest.

Honey, fists locked onto his collar and already standing over him, has a good angle on his unprotected head. A kick would compliment his temples quite nicely.

But her foot never gets there.

Ben came to a conclusion.

Grabbing hold of her ankle as it comes hurtling towards his face, he yanks her leg like she’s a ragdoll and takes her off her feet.

Honey knows how to fall properly, she’d been taught ever since she started skating, and yet the ground hits harder than she expects.

Her face almost smashing right into the disgusting concrete.

Good, she got through to this rock shaped oaf.


The fight could actually begin.

Ben’s grip on her ankle feels like an iron shackle welded directly to the skin on her leg. He drags her on the floor, forcing her to keep her distance by pulling or pushing her trapped foot.

Her hair drags through the dirt and ashes, reminding her that yes, she would indeed need a sterilizing shower after this whole ordeal.

If he’s trying to keep her away, she’ll just have to bring herself to him. Honey gets closer.

She bends her knee and pulls herself towards Ben. He hasn’t fully gotten up yet, still crouched on the floor, halfway on one knee, attempting to keep her grounded by continuing to hold onto her ankle.

This is street fighting, Honey reminds herself, not the rule based martial arts she was used to, but adapting is no problem.

Dragging herself along the floor closer to Ben, she pivots on her side and swings her free leg out behind her to catch momentum. Then she drives it right into the crook of his neck where his throat meets his shoulders.

This one gets through to him.

He lets go of her ankle.

Honey’s quick to get back on her feet, making sure there’s now a distance between the two of them.

Ben stands up to his full height, towering over her again.

How nice it would be to be that tall. You’d definitely have no problem standing out in a mediocre crowd. She envies that height.


Honey keeps a close eye on the fist that’s clenched tightly at his right side, his feet looking ready to lunge and return the knee she’d thrown earlier.

But she’s watching the wrong fist.

The hook from the left catches her off guard, Ben closes the distance in less than two steps and she barely has the time to move her forearm and block its destructive path.

It’s a crushing blow.

The impact sends electricity down her arm and up through her shoulder, her bones seem to rattle at their joints and make her teeth chatter. Though she blocked, the force behind it throws her to the side and she stumbles.

It feels like...well, a boulder.

Misha shouts something from behind her, but she doesn't hear it.

She submits to the feeling of her blood rushing through her veins and the shock of adrenaline coursing down her arms.

Before another punch finds her, this time it is from the right, she jerks back violently. Barely dodging the knuckles that brush by her nose.

If she had her skates, she might’ve been able to keep her distance better and avoid the throbbing pain from her wrist to her elbow.

Her skin prickles with energy.

With reckless abandon, Honey charges at him again, just like she did in the beginning and he steels himself for another kick, but she doesn’t give him one.

The spin she does would only look natural with skates.

Twirling around the boy until she’s behind him, a graceful feint that puts her in an even better position. At his unprotected back. The twist of her body delivers one elbow into the nape of his neck.

His spine arches.

Now he stumbles.

But not for nearly long enough. When Honey tries to fit in another hit, Ben’s already turned around and has a hand on her arm. Right around her brutal elbow.

Honey tries her other arm, but he catches that too.

Alright then.

So now it is a test of strength.

He’s pushing against her with the force of a freight train, his body falling forward to increase the pressure, and Honey strains to get her footing. Sliding back all the way until she’s against the outline of the ring.

Ben thinks he has her, driven into a difficult corner in which she has no escape other than outside that pathetic painted barrier.

Honey knows what she’s doing.

Once her feet are firmly planted, she takes a step forward. And another. And another. Until Ben is the one being pushed back.

It’s not quite enough to corner him, he eventually holds his position once they reach the center of the circle again, but he’s straining. His large hands slip off Honey’s limbs. His fingers do everything they can to catch her persistent elbows before they find his face.

She meets him in the eyes, wearing a glare that can only be defined as deadly.

It’s almost terrifying.

Ben stares back, like a deer caught in headlights. Both hands and feet occupied, he does the only thing he can do.

He headbutts her. The sound of their foreheads crashing together is enough to make everyone feel the rattle of their brains in their own skulls.

Honey’s offense eases.

Ben takes the opening, forcing her back and giving himself breathing room from her relentless onslaught. His grip on her arms loosens.

This is now her chance to take.

Her arm breaks free and her fist catches him directly in the jaw.

It hurts, she doesn’t usually throw punches and she knows this will ruin her knuckles, but she smiles when Ben finally lets go of her.

He sways backward, trying to get away from her, but Honey’s thorough when it comes to knockouts.

She takes hold of his shirt again, forcing him back onto the warehouse floor, the ground almost shaking from the weight of Ben’s fall.

It only takes two hits.

Two clean coordinated hits to the soft area under his ribs and the bridge of his nose. Her bloody fist ends the fight.

Ben’s stopped moving. Completely unconscious.

Honey takes a deep breath.

She’s won.

The victory of her soon-to-be glamorous Midnight Fight career, one step closer to becoming King.

She gets to her feet and her eyes first look at Elias and Misha.

Both boys break into wide smiles.

Then, as if someone had pressed the universal unmute button, the entire warehouse becomes a symphony of shouts and cheers for Honey. The fastest climb to the top from being a stranger to The Midnight Fights to something new, something exciting.

They may have lost their money, but they were paid in satisfaction.

And the first girl to become the high Pawn Rank 6.

Misha runs to her first, clearing across the circle to pat her on the back with an overwhelming, and slightly painful, slap between her shoulder blades. He looks about ready to hug her, probably more so because he didn’t lose his errand money and gained a lot more.

Elias is not afraid to embrace Honey, even if she’s covered in bits of cigarette and whatever else ended up on the floor of an underground fight club. She hadn’t been hugged like this before, with an almost feverish bliss.

Honey doesn’t know what to feel.


Her mother did this when Honey came home from school with that burn on her forehead, when Honey said she didn’t want to go to school anymore, when she cried in the safety of her parents’ embrace.

Elias’ arms are warm and although she’s not a fan of anyone touching her, she doesn’t feel impulsed to push him away.

Honey just stands there, a bit awkwardly, unaware of what to do with her hands except keep them by her sides.

Misha seems to think this is funny.

Maybe it was the fact that she released all her anger into the brawl, or that her lust for a fight had been quenched, but not a spark ignites in her stomach when Misha laughs at her stiffness.

“Stop it Eli, you’re scaring her,”

Elias lets go of her like she’s a hot ceramic plate fresh out of the microwave. Though he seems apologetic, he too is laughing as if it were the end of the world.

Whatever giggling fit they’ve been plagued with, it must be contagious.

Honey, for the second time that night, can’t help but smile.

They reap their abundant earnings from the boxboy, who’s still unphased by all the commotion and Misha’s eyes nearly pop out of his head when he receives handfuls of crushed bills.

He looks about ready to cry.

“Here Honey, you can have a share too,” Elias hands her some of the disorganized stash and she takes them wordlessly.

There are people infiltrating the ring and congratulating her, telling her praises, and basically worshipping her as if she were a god on a pedestal.

“Don’t forget to take the pawn!” A spectator to her right shakes her shoulder. She shrugs him off.

Vulture kid looks defeated, he’s helping Ben come around while dejectedly giving Honey Ben’s phone. She snatches it away, sparing the half unconscious boy no sympathy.

With a simple tap of her phone, the pawn appears on her screen along with the fated number 6.

Honey’s plans were finally working, she was actually getting somewhere this time and when she defeated all the stupid elites, she’d finally get that desired throne.

And then the moment she’d been waiting forever since the school semester started and all of Godforsaken’s students ignored her obvious potential for popularity, people would be dying to get her socials, to become her friend, to serve her like they would a true King.


This is how Honey’s year was supposed to go. The rightful center of attention, not like these ridiculous wastes of space that shout and celebrate like they’re the ones who’ve won.


The feeling swells in her chest.

And eats her whole.

“What’s the blondie’s name?” A chorus of people question. Chanting to get the answer from her like their puny little lives depended on it.

Which it probably did. How could they survive this long without a girl like Honey? Who else would fulfill such a significant role in their daily social media feed?

There was no one else, no one, better than Honey.

It was time for these pathetic teenagers to finally appreciate hunnie.bunnie143 and she’d have her breakthrough.

Honey opens her mouth to speak, but someone else answers first.

“Honey Bun,”

They say when you’re struck by lightning, there’s a chance you could go into cardiac arrest. Your brain will cease functioning, you won’t be able to think or breathe or feel, you’re paralyzed, you’re burned, your eardrums are ruptured.

There’s a ringing in Honey’s ears.

There’s a fire searing Honey’s skin.

There’s a numbness in Honey’s nerves.

She stops breathing.

She stops thinking.

Her heart takes a painstakingly long time to beat again.

Honey has been struck by lightning.

When she speaks, her voice is reduced to a raw scratching sound of flesh scraping together deep in the back of her closing throat.

“Charlotte Belle”