Jamie wondered, for most of the day, where Lilly had gone. He had no idea why she was on his mind so much. Possibly because she was the only person that had tried to talk to him since Sam had died. Adam had smiled awkwardly and told him that there was nothing that he could have done about it, but the words didn't really help.

"I know, Adam. It doesn't make it easier, though," Jamie had said, his head on his desk again, much like the day before. He had filled in every form there was to be filled in during the day, paid every bill there was to be paid and he had looked for more to be done. Eventually he had ended up working in the cafe with Kelly, but after he burnt himself on someone's coffee for the fourth time, Kelly had told him to go and relax. He hadn't argued.

"I'm sorry, man. Listen, why don't I run this place for a few days and let you rest up. You look like you need it." Jamie was shaking his head before Adam had even finished speaking.

"No! I need to keep busy. I'll go nuts if I spend all day sitting around at home on my own."

"Never said you had to stay at home, Jay." Adam frowned as Jamie groaned into the desk.

"I can't be bothered. I don't want to go anywhere. I just need to stay busy."

"People don't cope well like that." Adam ignored Jamie swearing at him. "C'mon, man. You're my best mate, not just my boss. Listen to me." Jamie stuck up two fingers and told Adam where to go. He left without another word, realising he was never going to get through. He watched Jamie anxiously from the weights as he stood waiting for his next client. The man he was expecting was a Bloodbox champion. Markus. He was also known as "The Warrior of Fire". It was a stupid title, even in Adam's opinion, but the guy was supposed to be something special in the box. He just wondered how Jamie would take it.

Bored, and struggling to keep his head clear, Jamie closed his office door, shut the blinds and got changed into his training clothes. He had the same attire as Adam, and all the other trainers he employed - a white shirt with his name stitched into the left sleeve, replacing the need for a name badge and grey jogging trousers.

He stepped onto a running machine across from Adam and set the machine in motion, jogging on the moving belt with ease. Adam cringed as he noticed Jamie was facing him; he would see Markus for the whole of his run. He considered saying something, but Markus finally arrived, striding through the doors with a confidence that made even Adam feel irrationally violent. He hated training Markus. The man was arrogant and rude, and though he was paying to be trained, he seemed to be under the impression that he knew best.

"Alright, kiddie?" Markus grinned, clapping a hand down on Adam's shoulder in some sort of greeting. Adam nodded and glanced at Jamie once more, before turning to look at Markus.

"Yeah. Let's get started." Jamie said, waving Markus over to the changing room.

"I heard Jamie's brother got killed in the Bloodbox." Markus boomed, paying no attention to Adam's efforts to get him to get changed. He looked over at Jamie for a second and pretended that he didn't know who he was. He smiled pleasantly, and turned back to Adam.

"Yeah. He did. But we're here to train, not to gossip like a couple of old women over a coffee." Adam kept his tone even, but he had seen the look on Jamie's face.

"Poor Jamie. He's resting up at home, I take it?"

"No. He's still coming to work. C'mon, Markus. You're wasting your time and money just standing there. You're already late." he steered Markus towards the changing room and smiled, even opening the door for him. Markus grinned and walked inside. Adam quickly made his way back over to his friend.

"Jay!" he smiled, standing in front of Jamie, who looked at him questioningly.

"What?" he asked dubiously. Adam had had an idea. It showed in his eyes and the smile on his lips. He knew that expression all too well.

"You're needed in the boxing ring upstairs." Adam winked. Jamie understood and slowed the running machine down to walking speed.

"I'll be up in a little bit. Get him warmed up first." He said. He had never been much of a fan of boxing or the martial arts - they were almost as bad as the Bloodbox, but they didn't end in death.  His father had insisted that he train in kickboxing years ago, at the very least. They had a room for the martial arts training upstairs, walled off from the cafe. It was a busy room, a big attraction for those training for the Bloodbox. Adam wandered back to Markus and told him to warm up.

"C'mon. You know the drill by now, you shouldn't need me to tell you!" he yelled, spurring Markus into action. He went to a running machine and worked up to a quick pace easily. "I got something a little different for you today. I'll be working with another trainer for the next hour or so, practicing kickboxing. Okay?" Markus nodded, wondering which trainer Adam had picked out for him. When he had finished warming up, Adam sent him upstairs.

Jamie had taken the liberty of brushing up on his kickboxing while Markus warmed up. When he and Adam walked into the room, Jamie was at the back of the room, laying into a punch bag.

"right. We'll practice a few moves over here," Adam said, picking up the big padded mitts that they would use and threw a pair of gloves to Markus. "And then I'll be putting you in the ring with a trainer."

"Who's gonna be in the ring?" Markus asked with a savage grin.


The End

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