IN THE DESERT
ROB and JUSTIN
I kicked in the four wheel drive as my jeep headed down the rough, dirt road leading to a deserted stretch of beach. Not far away, warm, caramel rays of sunlight smothered the waves of the Pacific ocean as they lapped the shore. I glanced down at my "map"-a rough sketch hastily scribbled on a piece of paper that took me miles from any town and to this beach, enclosed by jagged cliffs. After confirming that I was indeed in the right place, I glanced once more at the note at the bottom. "Saturday, 4:00," it read. "Meet me here. Justin."
I hated Justin. And the feeling was mutual. He had caused the break-up with my last boyfriend (I won't go into the details) and was constantly interfering with my subsequent attempts at relationships. Many times we'd almost come to blows but friends always kept us apart. Wednesday was the final straw. I found out he was spreading rumors that I had several STDs and when I confronted him about it, he only laughed. I challenged him then and there but got no reply. The next day, I found the map taped to my mailbox.
I was a little nervous about this. I knew for a fact that Justin was a second dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I had no martial arts skills but I could brawl with the best of them. I'd even taken on a few martial artists and come out on top. At the very least, I knew I wouldn't embarrass myself. And I was pretty determined to put this punk in his place once and for all.
I drove onto the beach and saw, in the distance, a parked SUV. Not too far, closer to the water, was a tall figure, practicing kata. As I approached, I could see that Justin was only wearing his white gi pants. His torso, while lean, was well cut with a slightly defined six pac, nice pecs, Few things are worse than hating someone's guts but finding them physically attractive.
I pulled up next to the SUV and got out. He didn't even acknowledge my arrival. His eyes were focused at an invisible point on the horizon as he went through the elegantly violent motions of the kata. I peeled off my shirt and tossed it aside with my sandals.
He finally stopped and turned to face me with a smirk. "Hey, Rob didn't think you'd show."
"Fuck you," I spat, "I've had it with your lies."
I wasn't here to talk so I charged him, fists raised. Justin spun, crouched, and delivered a powerful side kick right into my stomach. I've never seen anyone move so fast and I don't know if I've ever been hit with that much force. The air shot from my lungs and I fell back several feet on to my ass.
He took a couple steps toward me but gave me time to get up. He chuckled. "Look, we both know this isn't a fair fight. How does this sound? For every three hits you get, I'll only hit you once. Would that work fo-"
I slammed a one-two combination into his midsection. I might as well have been working a speed bag. His abs were harder than algebra and not about to give any time soon. He laughed so I drove my fist hard into his forehead. His head shot back and I could see he was dazed but only for a second. In that time, he had a smile back on his face.
"That's three," he announced. He faked me out with a right cross and with my attention diverted, he brought a crescent kick up and across my face. This was a lot less powerful than that first kick. Was he playing with me?
I landed an uppercut to his chin and two quick left jabs, one to his chest and one to his cheek (he made no effort to block). Then he grabbed my shoulders and in one tremendous move, yanked my body closer to him while launching his right knee into my stomach. I tasted bile as he released his grip and I sunk to my knees.
I knew I was no match for his Tae Kwon Do and if I had any shot at winning, I couldn't give him a chance to use his skills. From my kneeling position, I jumped up and tackled him at the waist, sending us both to the sandy ground. I hated myself for it but as I clutched his perfectly muscular torso, I got hard. But I couldn't let that distract me.
I laid my left arm across his chest and used my right fist to start pounding away at his gut. The blows came fast and furious but the bastard was hardly fazed. In a deft maneuver, his knee shot up and caught me in the eye. With hardly any effort, he seized my chest between his mammoth thighs and squeezed. Just when I thought all the air had gone from within, he issued a brutal series of punches right into my solar plexus. My lungs arrested, wanting to draw a breath but the vicious assault on my stomach gave no quarter. I felt dizzy; if he kept this up, I would pass out from lack of air.
The battery ended when he thrust his leg into the air and brought his heel down into my face. I saw stars but knew the blow could have been far worse; he could have broken every bone in my face if he wanted to.
Stunned, I hardly realized that he was now straddling me, kneeling on my biceps. He slapped my face. "Listen up, Robbo, I've had a lot of fun tossing you around today. Maybe we can do this again sometime. Hey, maybe we'll get to the meat of what's really going on here."
I glared up and he slapped me again. "What the hell do you mean, asshole?" I asked.
He reached behind and drove another fist into my unprepared stomach. I gagged.
He grinned. "You know what this is about. You know what it's always been about. You and me. We got more than a little rivalry going on here ."
His hand made its way slowly from my stomach to my crotch. He caressed my hard-on like he was petting his dog. "Next time, Rob, the gloves really come off. Next time, this is mine."
He up and gave my stomach a parting stomp with his smooth-soled size 10 foot before getting in to his SUV and driving off. I crawled back to my jeep, threw on my shoes and shirt, and sat on the beach. Was he suggesting we had some sort of mutual attraction? After everything he's done to me? It was only natural to be biologically attracted to that body but to him? No way.
I got into the jeep's cab and started driving home. Yep. There would be a next time. But it wouldn't end quite the way Justin planned. He had a few surprises coming .