“Say you’re sorry,” Craig said to the jerk as he held him in a rear-naked choke.
He was tightening his arms around the guy’s head and neck. He had no problem knocking him out if he had to. This guy had not only made a few inappropriate comments to his girlfriend, Ashley, but he had also messed up her hair. No one was ever going to put their hands on Craig’s girlfriend and get away with it. Ashley was looking straight at them. They stood on the side of the building. Craig followed the guy out when he saw him leaving. Ashley looked a little bit afraid of her boyfriend’s anger and aggression but Craig could tell that she appreciated it. The jerk tapped out on Craig’s arm. Craig loosened up just enough to give him a little breathing room. The jerk made some grumbly noise indicating that he wanted Craig to loosen up a bit more.
“You have enough room to talk,” Craig said to him, loving the control that he had. “Let’s hear your apology or I’m going to tighten up on you so hard that you’re not going to wake up until the morning. If you feel like you can’t talk, do your best.”
“I’m…” the jerk started to say. His word sounded like he was some sort of monster or like he was a robot. Craig had really messed up his throat. He even briefly felt bad about what he did until he remembered what the guy had done and he quickly got over it.
“Sorry,” the jerk completed his words. His voice sounded so scratchy. It might even sound like that for a few days. Craig had really done a number on him.
“Get out of here and if I ever see you even look at my girlfriend again, you’re done,” Craig said.
He pushed the jerk forward and he fell on his knees, using his hands to keep himself from completely falling on his face. The jerk looked up at Ashley then he looked up at Craig. The jerk had tears in his eyes and his face was so red. He got up and Craig saw once again how much taller his guy who was about five inches taller than him looked. He took off running. Craig watched him to make sure he didn’t try anything but he could quickly tell this dude wasn’t coming back. Craig wasn’t always this tough. He was 27-years-old and five years of Jiu-Jitsu training had paid off. He looked at Ashley and gave her a sweet look, hoping that she just saw compassion and didn’t see how proud of himself he was. She looked blown away.
“You OK?” he said. His pretty girlfriend relaxed.
“I’m fine,” she said confidently. “Knowing I got my tough boyfriend can stick up with me through anything. “Are you OK?”
“Oh, I’m fine,” Craig said now talking cocky but in a way she liked. “He was no problem at all.”
They smiled, embraced, and he led her towards the car. He held her hand through the dark parking lot feeling as confident as ever, like if anyone were to mess with them he’d be able to take care of them. They guy he had just dealt with was a lot bigger than he was and had looked like the kind of guy who spent all of his time at the gym with the hopes that he’d be able to beat up anyone he wanted so he didn’t think there’d be many people around that could cause him a problem.
Then he took a deep breath and as he smelled that perfume that smelled so nice but reminded him what a weak little wimp he was. Any thoughts he had of being a tough guy were suddenly gone. He turned his head to follow the scent and he saw Nicole leaning up against a car. She wore a tank-top and a short pair of shorts showing off her fit little body and she had on flip flops that showed her little size 6 girly feet. She had a smug smile on her face and Craig felt like he was going to start trembling.
“Craig Myers,” Nicole said as she stood up and walked towards him like she was going to start trouble. Ashley looked like she didn’t know exactly what was going on but she clearly didn’t like whatever this good looking woman had up her sleeve and didn’t look happy about what was brewing.
“This your new ugly girlfriend?” Nicole said and she looked at Ashley like she didn’t have any respect for her. “You like her chunky hips! Hey, are they ticklish?”
Craig watched Nicole pinch the fat on Ashley’s side and he knew it was only a matter of time before he was going to have to step in and try and save his girlfriend. Unlike with the guy back at the bar, this time he was afraid.
“Don’t touch me!” Ashley yelled.
She was going to try and handle this one on her own. She had at least forty pounds on Nicole which was the obvious reason that she thought that, but Craig knew that wasn’t going to end well for her. Still, he didn’t have the courage to say anything and it all unfolded too fast for him anyway. As Ashley awkwardly tried to grab Nicole, Nicole grabbed her shoulders, swept her legs right out from under her, and he watched his heavy girlfriend take a hard fall to the ground. Ashley looked up at Nicole like she was thinking about retaliating but when she saw Nicole looking down at her like that was what she wanted, she quickly changed her mind. She looked up at Craig instead, looking a bit disgusted that he hadn’t even said anything yet, then she looked back at Nicole.
“You know my boyfriend here won’t hold back on you for doing that to me!” Ashley said. “And he knows martial arts.”
“Oh really?” Nicole said, looking amused as she turned back to face Craig. “You learned martial arts, did you? Why don’t you show me all of the martial arts you learned?”
She put her fists up with a smile on her cute face, no fear of the bigger guy. She kicked off her flip flops. He was a few feet away from her and could smell her perfume strongly from where he was. He remembered how it felt when he had first training in karate in a different class. Her on top of him, bullying him and hurting him because she could, and him just breathing in her perfume the entire time.
He looked down at Ashley who was waiting for him to teach her not to mess with his girlfriend. He raised his fists – he had to. She smiled like she welcomed it. He was just a beginner the last time he had fought her. He was tougher now and maybe he’d be able to take her.
He went at her, planning to overpower her, take her down, and tie her up in a rear-naked choke the same way he had done to the much bigger guy. As he went at her he watched her raise her leg with her incredible flexibility. He watched the bottom of her foot come at him. It connected with his face and as small as it was, she had a lot of power behind her kick and it dropped him to the ground immediately.
He was on his knees, holding his face, and just trying not to start crying in front of his girl. It was hard, as Nicole who was his same age but had been training in karate since she was five was one of the most dangerous people he had ever met.
Before he could even think about getting up he felt Nicole’s small, strong body jump on his back. He could smell her perfume stronger than ever now. He had been in this position plenty of times six years earlier when he was sick of being the wimpy guy and had first signed up for a karate class. But Nicole had made sure to make it anything but a learning experience for him.
At the first class she eagerly wanted to be his partner when the sensei asked them to partner up. Craig had had no objections to partnering with the hot girl. But he quickly learned what her motives were. As they did drills she used her years of experience against the rookie Craig to beat him and hurt him. She would make no attempt to help Craig learn as she would demonstrate her abilities on him, hitting him hard and putting him in holds that the novice had no defense against. It was a large class so she was able to get away with it without the sensei seeing. Everyone else was too busy with their own training to notice either. So Craig would just have to put up with the bullying and pain she put him through for however long they had to partner for. She always wore the same perfume every class and as she controlled his back now in the parking lot, smelling that smell and being caught in that hold brought him back to the same helpless way he felt when he first started training.
Every week when Craig had to go to class he would dread it, knowing that he wasn’t going to get a lesson in anything except how much it sucked getting beaten up by Nicole. The beatings took a physical toll on him as well as a mental one. He’d walk out of there in a lot of pain from everywhere she punched, kicked, and choked him. He’d cry the entire drive home and it would take him a couple of days to recover and then each day leading up to the next class he’d feel more and more anxiety about it.
He had told himself that he wouldn’t quit. He signed up for karate to toughen up and prepare him for real life situations where he may have to fight and he knew it wasn’t going to be comfortable training for that. But every week he’d show up and Nicole would be there with that smile on her face that he was starting to think looked evil, as she prepared to partner up with him and put him through hell. She was a favorite of the sensei’s and he was none the wiser, just thinking that Nicole was trying to help him and not paying enough attention to see what she was actually doing to him. She wore the same perfume every class which he had no choice but to breathe in as she beat on him.
After six classes he couldn’t take it anymore and he stopped showing up. He had paid for a couple of more in advance but didn’t even bother trying to get a refund, too ashamed of what Nicole had done to him to discuss it. After dusting himself, a couple of weeks later he took up Jiu-Jitsu instead. He loved the class and ended up excelling in it.
Now he was on his knees, trapped with the tougher Nicole on top of him. He tried everything he had learned in Jiu-Jitsu to get out of this. He tried to roll her over his head but she planted her feet on the ground to balance herself. He tried getting his fingers between her arm and his throat but she was too strong and not letting it happen. Everything he tried to do she had an answer for. No matter how hard he trained, she would always be better. As he breathed in her sweet smelling perfume he remembered that.
She held him in the chokehold with her left arm and then punched her in the face with her right hand. She delivered more punches to his nose that he wasn’t able to defend against and the tears ultimately started coming down his face. No matter how hard he fought it made no difference as she was stronger and more skilled than he was. He was going to have to give in to her. He managed to pull her arm from his throat just enough so he could get some words out.
“Please stop,” he said, his voice now scratchy like the guy he had just beaten up’s was. He thought about how he was now probably going to be talking scratchy for a few days. “I give up.” She tightened the chokehold on him more, pulling him up a bit as she did, and he thought she was going to knock him out. She pulled his ear right up by her face.
“You want me to stop, Craig?” she said and he could smell that strong perfume on her neck. “You know what you’re going to do if you want me to stop? You’re going to kiss my feet. And if you don’t do that I’m going to really hurt you – far worse than I ever did in class. Sensei’s not here to protect you. It’s just you and me. Sounds like you’ve been training hard for a while. A lot of good it did you. You still can’t beat up a girl. Now get down.”
She threw him down on his back hard. He looked up at the cute girl looking down at him with a look like she was ready to punish him if he didn’t do exactly what she said. All of the confidence he had built up through his years of Jiu-Jitsu was now gone. He was afraid and he had to endure this in front of his girlfriend.
Nicole put the bottom of her bare foot right on his face. This wasn’t the first time she had done this to him. He had drowned out the memory of it but it had happened before. His last karate class had put him over the edge when she had pinned him down and stuck her feet in his face during a drill which she managed to do without Sensei seeing. That had been what put him over the edge to leave even though he was too humiliated to admit it. Her feet had smelled fresh like her body wash and smelling that same exact smell as she held her foot down on his face again brought it all back.
“Kiss it,” she said demandingly.
He hadn’t had to do this the last time. He kissed her foot and while he couldn’t see Ashley’s face with his face being smothered, he could imagine all too well what she must look like as she watched her boyfriend get degraded right in front of her. Nicole switched feet and made him kiss the other one before pulling it away. He looked back up at her standing proudly with her hands on her hips.
“Looks like you’ll never be able to beat me up,” Nicole said. “Better hope you don’t run into me again or I’ll beat you up again.”
Nicole walked over, put her flip flops back on, and walked away. Craig sat up and looked at Ashley. They looked at each other awkwardly, both speechless. Craig wondered if she would break up with him right then or if she’d wait a little bit, but he knew it was only a matter of time.