“Mind if I cut in?” he asked Benney. Immediately, Blaise’s bright green eyes flashed to Eden, his wire-rimmed spectacles refracting the bright sunlight. Shaking out shaggy bronze locks that were unkempt after a night of heavy drinking, he smirked in Eden’s direction.
“Eh, Voss. You really want to start the shit so early? I’d hate to knock the new lieutenant on his ass in front of his subordinates.” Blaise’s tone was mocking and playful. So very confident in his abilities. So very Blaise. “Lieutenant Voss! Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?”
There was that title again. This time painted with Blaise’s sneering, derisive tone. But he hadn’t come this far to allow a mere title to shake his confidence. He had earned the promotion.
“Not today, Harker.” It had been this way since they were children. The banter. The roughness. Always in competition, friendly and affectionate. Eden glanced at Benney. “You sure you don’t mind?”
Soft amber eyes were wide in admiration as Benney shook his head. “Of course not, Lieutenant.”
Eden smirked, bending to remove his boots. He watched as Blaise did the same. The art of sparring was one on which Eden prided himself. Though his body was thick with muscle and mass, he was quick and agile. All thanks to a childhood of tree-climbing and creek-jumping as a means of escape.
Blaise eyed him, looking him up and down as he stepped into the ring. A dirt and sand mixture coated the floor to provide a softer surface for falls, and it tickled Eden’s toes as he too stepped inside. Two layers of rope partitioned the ring from the rest of the area, meant to keep the opponents engaged in close combat.
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