- Part 2 © April 2005 All Rights Reserved
By The Hit Man
As suspected, when Luke showed up the next day to hear the committee's choice, he wasn't surprised to hear Gene's name called. After all, Gene was older, had more experience, and even had some college behind him. But what the committee didn't know was that Luke had taken care of his competition the day before. They deliberated for several moments, none of them sure exactly why Gene hadn't shown up. They reached the decision that a call would be placed and that Gene would have 24 hours to show up. If he didn't, then the job would be Luke's. Luke figured he could live with that. After all, he knew Gene wouldn't show up, not today, not in 24 hours, not ever. He left the building, confidence written all over his face.
Having the remainder of the day for himself, Luke headed down the steps toward the beach. As he reached the bottom rung and turned the corner, he was caught unaware by three boys standing under the lifeguard tower.
"You Luke," the one standing in front asked? Luke nodded. Suddenly a fist caught him hard and low, in the area just below the belly button. It was a solid blow and being totally unprepared, it knocked out a good portion of his air. But if anything, Luke was far from being a panty waste. Though the blow caught him off guard and winded him, he was far from out of the fight.
"Take him out, Joshua," the boy in the red shorts encouraged the one in the black shorts who had just punched Luke. Although Joshua was pulling back for a second punch, he certainly didn't need any of the others telling him what to do.
"Shut up, Perry," Joshua said to the boy in the red shorts. "I'll take care of this." Joshua's second punch was on its way. Luke blocked it with his left arm and delivered his own right upper cut to Joshua's jaw, knocking him back against the building.
"Shit," the third boy, the one with the beard shouted out. "He's whipping your ass, Joshua."
"Fuck off, Carter" Joshua shouted back, as he felt his jaw with his hand. There was no doubt that it hurt. Joshua looked back at his target, Luke, who had his fists raised, ready to rumble.
"Bring it on, Joshua," Luke said. Joshua brought his own fists up. The two moved around in the sand, feeling each other out. Joshua jabbed. Luke tweaked his head back and the blow stirred nothing but air. Another jab and a miss and another followed by a right cross which Luke effectively blocked. Luke could see that his opponent was getting perturbed and knew he would make a mistake any moment. When he did, Luke would be ready. The two danced around a little bit more, Joshua doing nothing but stirring the air with his fists. Finally he dropped his fists in frustration and Luke made his move. He hit Joshua with at least six hard left jabs before the other boy even knew what was happening. Following those up with a right - left combination, Joshua was wobbly on his feet. Luke was getting ready to finish him off when he heard the noise of someone moving off the steps.
"You're mine now, you little shit," Perry said as he moved forward. The sound of his voice told Luke his precise location as he approached from behind. His right leg shot out backwards, his foot turned to the side, catching Perry right in the breadbasket, knocking him flat on his ass. Carter, still on the steps, couldn't resist laughing. Perry looked straight at him and said, "Asshole."
There was dissension amongst the troops, Luke thought to himself, considering it a good thing. However, Joshua had now had sufficient time to get his wits back about him and as Luke turned his attention back toward his original opponent, Joshua hit him hard, ramming into Luke's gut with his shoulder, driving Luke back until they tripped over Perry. The three were now a jumble in the sand, fists and legs flying in every direction. At that moment, Carter decided he didn't want to be left out of the action. Moving down off the steps, he reached in and grabbed Luke by the hair. Locking his grip, he heaved back, pulling Luke from the melee. Luke's hands flew to his own head, trying to release some of the pressure from his scalp. That was the opening Perry needed. He jumped up and came down on Luke's abs with both knees. The effect of the blow was instantly obvious as Luke curled up from the blow which had sunk deep into his musculature. Perry stood up and jumped again but his moved was countered by Luke's feet which flew up, catching Perry just under the chin with such force that Perry went down on his back, his eyes practically rolling up into his head.
"You god damn piece of shit," Joshua yelled at Luke as he dove on him, trying to catch him in a school boy type pin. Only Carter still held Luke's hair and Luke's hands were still trying to support his own weight to keep his hair from being ripped out. Adding Joshua's weight ripped Luke's hair out of Carter's grip and Luke's torso fell prone to the sand. Joshua's fist caught Luke first from the right followed by a left, rocking his head in the direction the blow sent it. He was getting ready to punch again when Luke's legs came up from behind and caught Joshua by the shoulders. Luke dragged Joshua back, locking his neck in a scissor hold. He was tightening his grip, stretching his legs out straight when Carter caught him by the hair again, yanking him up off the sand. An arm closed around Luke's throat in a tight choke hold. Luke didn't cough but neither could he breathe so he knew his blood flow was also cut off. This fellow knew how to put on a choke.
"Let him go," Carter said into Luke's ear from behind. Luke's legs tightened more. He was willing to see who would be out first, himself or Joshua. It was all a part of the thrill, Luke's adrenaline pumping through his veins. He started seeing black spots around the periphery of his sight and knew he wouldn't last much longer but he was going to squeeze until he couldn't squeeze any more. Luke didn't know who passed out first but he was willing to put a bet on the fact that it wasn't himself. That was his last thought before he blacked out.
When Luke came to, he was on his feet but slumped forward. He tried to move forward but something held him back by the arms. Glancing up either way, he found Carter on one side, Perry on the other. Joshua stood directly in front of him.
"That was a pretty impressive show you put on back there," Joshua said. "Now we have a little show for you from Gene." With that, Joshua kneed Luke just above the groin. Luke grunted and tightened his abs. "Let's see just how much gut you got, boy."
Joshua began to punch Luke in the gut. His blows were slow though methodical and Luke could tell he was still recuperating from the thrashing just delivered him. Luke could tell in advance where a blow was going to land, in turn concentrating on that muscle group rather than on his entire midsection at one time. This way he was able to forestall the effect Joshua was having on his stomach muscles. He knew he couldn't hold out forever but he would be able to hold his own until he had a chance to fight back.
"With the way you're hitting him, we'll be here all day," Carter said, the sarcasm thick in his put down of Joshua.
"You think you can do any better, have at it," Joshua replied, his voice just on the verge of anger, the possibility he might turn on one of his own.
"I think I will," Carter said confidently. "Here take this arm." Another mistake as Joshua didn't quite have the arm before Carter let go. As Joshua stepped across, Luke let lose with a blow to his jaw, knocking him down. This time Joshua spit blood from his split lip, the liquid quickly mixing into the sand.
"God damn you," Joshua spit a mixture of blood and fluid right into Luke's face. He then proceeded to bring up his knee hard right into Luke's groin. While Luke did his best to block the blow, he wasn't 100 percent successful and the resulting shards of pain that wracked his body were harsh. He sucked in air to get himself back under control. But Carter was determined not to let him do so for he had seen weakness in that moment.
From the first blow, it was obvious Carter knew what he was doing. His blows were varied in position and he didn't telegraph where he was going to punch. There was strength and purpose behind each blow, Carter throwing his body weight in behind each punch instead of just using his arms the way Joshua had. For the first time since running into these three yahoos, Luke actually thought he might be in trouble. Many of Carter's blows were combinations, each fist hitting the same spot as the one immediately previous. Starting low on Luke's musculature, he first worked his way upward to just even with Luke's sternum. Then he started back down. Once he reached the area between Luke's belly button and groin again, he began to deliver a series of blows to that region, turning the flesh a bright red until it nearly looked like a fire inside of Luke's belly.
Carter took a step back and Luke thought he was done. How wrong he was for now Carter began delivering a new series of blows using his knees and feet. Slowly but surely Carter punched and kicked until Luke began to sink, no longer able to keep his knees upright underneath himself. Each blow was now sinking deep into Luke's gut. He was barely able to breathe between blows which helped to account for his weakened condition. His head hung low, practically resting on his chest as Carter continued to decimate his stomach muscles. Finally, and Luke had no idea how long it had been going on, Carter stopped. One thing Luke could say about Carter was he hadn't shown any weakness or mercy in his torturous attack. Carter grabbed him by the hair, jerking his head up. The roots were still sensitive from the earlier attack and Luke sucked in sharply.
"Tomorrow when they ask if Gene has shown up for the life guard job, he'll be there. Not you. Understood?" Luke starred at Carter for a moment, each understanding the level of appreciation one had for the other's abilities.
"Understand," Joshua asked from the side? He grabbed Luke's jaw, slamming his head back against the concrete wall with a thud. Despite the screaming of his hair roots, Luke turned his gaze toward Joshua.
"Go fuck yourself." Luke never saw the fist coming as it was Perry who threw it. The haymaker snapped Luke's head back against the concrete even harder this time and consciousness left Luke for the second time.
"I think he got the message," Joshua said as they let Luke collapse into the sand.
"Guess we'll see tomorrow," Carter replied as the three walked