She hadn’t meant to rant, honest. Well... that was what she kept telling herself. She looked at Jay and Isabella’s shocked faces. Yeah, she hadn’t meant to rant like that.
Jay nodded simply, like he couldn’t think of anything to say.
Beth strode past him down to the gym that she’d only seen on a tour of the place. Elijah was there with a few other Brothers. Liam, Caleb and Caelan were working out and laughing at something one of them had said. She was slightly surprised that Zeke wasn’t clinging to Caelan’s side—or perhaps it was the other way around that it occurred.
Although, she wasn’t looking forward to getting her arse kicked in front of an audience.
“Hey, Beth,” Liam grinned from the weights machine he was currently horizontal on.
Elijah turned and smiled broadly. “You ready?” he asked.
She nodded. “Yeah, I am. Where do you want me?”
He beckoned her over and she went, her shoulders set back as she waited to be beaten at hand-to-hand; the Brotherhood were the highly capable elite of the vampire race. They were trained in a manner of fighting forms, how to kill, how to protect. A Brother versus an eighteen year old human female, she knew she didn’t have a chance. But she’d be damned if she didn’t give it her best shot.
Elijah stood her so she was opposite him across a dark blue mat.
“Your speciality?” he asked. A questioning eyebrow rose as he spoke.
“Judo,” she told him. She’d done a few different martial arts: aikido, karate, tae kwon do, but judo had always been her best.
Caleb laughed as he relaxed, his legs cycling on a stationary bike. “This is going to be interesting,” he commented.
Liam looked somewhat worried from the weights machine but said nothing. Caelan just continued running on the treadmill as if nothing had been said. Then she noticed the headphones in his ears and the sweat pouring off him; he’d clearly been running on that machine for a while, and didn’t that worry her. He may be a vampire, but she knew he was going to pass out if he kept going.
“Why ‘interesting’?” she asked Caleb.
“I trained in Japan for a couple of decades,” Elijah informed her, his face calm.
Shit, she thought. This was definitely going to get interesting, for the others at least. She knew she was going to end up black and blue by the end of it.
“Oh,” was all she said.
“But you needn’t worry. I won’t pull my trump card on you.”
“And what’s that?” she asked dryly.
He grinned widely, his fangs showing. “Vampirism.”
Then he darted at her swiftly, but with a speed that a well-trained human could achieve. She was prepared. She lifted her hand up to knock aside his grab for her. She jumped back, sliding out of the way of another attempt to get a hold on her.
Elijah stepped back and began to circle her. She copied the movement. He slowly crept minutely closer, until he was able to swipe at one of her legs. All the air in her lungs was expelled the instant her back hit the floor.
Breathing heavily in an attempt to get oxygen into her brain, she looked at Elijah.
“Not bad. You’re a little rusty, but that will soon go. You’re defensive, not offensive, but that can be easily fixed,” he commented.
He put out a hand to help her up, which she took. He pulled her up and supported her while she caught her breath.
“Again?” she suggested once she had.
Liam’s worried look disappeared at Beth’s one word. An almost proud smile replaced it.
“She’s not giving up, my Brother,” Caleb grinned.
Eli studied her for a few short moments. “Again,” he agreed.