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Submission Specialist(Still a Bad Boy #2)

By:Ada Scott

Submission Specialist

Still a Bad Boy #2

Chapter 1


The roar of the crowd in the arena above rose and fell with action I only caught in brief glimpses as I ducked into each of the dressing rooms. Every time a door opened, the air was hot and thick with linseed and testosterone as people buzzed around either preparing or treating fighters.

I was walking a fine line, trying to be the best employee that No Holds Barred Fighting Championship had, and trying to be invisible all at the same time. At any given moment I expected to get a tap on the shoulder and be told that, with “great” regret, they had to let me go.

Everything I did, I did it fast. Hopefully, if people saw me rushing around and keeping busy, they wouldn’t stop to think that an unqualified nineteen year old girl didn’t really have any business being anywhere near the elite athletes of the most prestigious mixed martial arts organization in the world. They wouldn’t stop to think that they could get somebody more qualified to work for less, or even nothing at all.

If Uncle Malcolm were still around, I wouldn’t have to be so scared. A lump came to my throat at the thought of him as I dodged around all the people scurrying around on their own missions down here.

He was my foot in the door with NHBFC, and I used to just follow him around and do what he said. After he disappeared, I think everybody was surprised that I turned up for work by myself, and too polite to tell me to leave.

That awkward politeness was probably wearing thin by now as the months rolled by. It was anybody’s guess as to whether it would run out before everybody just settled into the status quo, and I could breathe a little easier.

It wasn’t that I didn’t miss him, because I did. I remembered that first day, it felt like I was tearing my soul apart just getting out of bed so I could come in and do all these low-level tasks.

Uncle Malcolm was the only one who knew exactly what he had done for me, what this job meant to me. It was so much more than a paycheck. It was part of my ticket out of my own little hell. It was my one chance to be a part of the only world that had ever given me some small measure of happiness.

He knew that living under my father’s roof was breaking me, especially after Mom died. Dad had always brought the fire and brimstone to the dinner table, but it was worse after she wasn’t around.

Now this job was the only thing paying the rent at Uncle Malcolm’s apartment, and funding my studies to become a sports therapist, and I was barely getting by. If I put a single foot wrong, then the golden opportunity he gave me, the brief candle of hope that had appeared in my life, would be snuffed out.

That’s why I worked through my time of grieving, why I still worked. The police didn’t ever find a single thing. There was no closure for me, or anybody that knew him.

The crowd screamed and the entire building rumbled like an earthquake as forty thousand people jumped to their feet. Something big must have been happening in the cage, the ten-sided ring the fighters competed in.

On a night like tonight, the fans were getting their money’s worth. The support staff down here had been stretched to their limits, treating all manner of injuries and exhaustion. That was fine by me, the less energy people had to spare to think about me the better.

It was easy to lose track of time, but I guessed that the fight card must have been into the main events by now, the big names. Even when Uncle Malcolm was here, we never worked with the fighters who were so good they were basically celebrities.

NHBFC held them up on the pedestal they earned by bringing in the most paying customers, and the Tier-1 fighters were assigned their own separate dressing room areas, and tended by a different team altogether. I knocked on another door and somebody opened it from the inside.

“Here’s the extra towels,” I said to Gordon.

My team leader looked at me with frustration. Thankfully it was clearly directed at the middleweight fighter who was bouncing around, every bit as excited as the crowd on the other side of the thick concrete above us, as he watched the replay on the screen instead of staying still to get the stitches put into his head.

“Oooooohhhhh!” he yelled. “Anaconda choke! Sick! Grady didn’t see that coming, day-um!”

“Stop moving around so much!”

“Sorry, man, did you see that, though?” asked the young fighter.

“Yeah, yeah. Thanks, Skylar.”

I gave a weak smile and looked at the screen, where Austin “The Killer” Aquila was getting to his feet in the middle of the cage. There wasn’t a mark on him, but his opponent was still on the ground.

Aquila was a crowd favorite, who had made some truly talented fighters look like circus clowns over the past couple of years. He would have had a title shot by now, if not for those few surprise losses along the way.