Haven’t done a scene with Clyde and Mab in a while. They weren’t together that much in War of Nytefall: Lost, but the times they teamed were always fun to write. This one was a personal favorite because it was totally off the cuff.
Deep below the main floor of the Scrumptious Siren, Clyde sits naked in the darkness and tries to ignore his growing bloodlust. Every breath releases a tendril of crimson mist, which he swiftly inhales through his nose. The pounding of his heart gradually slows down as he creates illusions of soothing images around the room. He frowns when he notices that he repeats himself after the fourth vision and he gives up on the calming tactic. Flipping to his feet, Clyde whispers the words to light the enchanted torches and closes his eyes to avoid seeing the whips and chains on the walls. He takes a single step to his right and throws a punch with the intent to use only a fraction of his strength. The rattle of metal tells him that he is not holding back enough, so he continues trying to minimize his power with a variety of strikes. Minutes pass and he increases his speed in the hopes of building up a sweat, but the lack of an opponent makes it difficult for him to push his body to its limits. It is when he kicks backwards that he catches another heartbeat appearing and he stops the blow an inch from the intruder’s head.
“I was aiming for a safe place, but you move around too much,” Mab mentions as she taps on her partner’s calf with her claw. Walking over to a basket, she drops her jacket and boots inside and starts stretching. “You stormed out pretty quickly when the boys came back wanting a party. Figured it was more important for me to check in on you than have fun. At least put on some underwear. Not that I haven’t seen it before, but I’m here for a sparring session. The fighting kind, so don’t grin at me.”
“I wasn’t even looking at you,” Clyde says while he goes to his own basket. Putting on his pants, he turns around in time to lean back from a slash. “Give me a minute. Rules are no powers and we keep our strength to mortal levels. Both of us need to practice holding back in case we have to take the womb-born alive. If I feel like I’m losing control then I’m going to call the fight.”
“You’re not going to snap.”
“What makes you so certain?”
“Because it’s me.”
“That’s not very convincing.”
“Stop dodging! We agreed that the day you try to kill me is the day I take your head.”
“That promise feels like a lifetime ago.”
“Probably because we don’t spend much time together.”
Clyde ducks under Mab’s kick and delivers a punch to her stomach, which knocks her to the floor. The burglar rolls to draw her partner closer before bracing her hands and launching herself at him. Expecting a mule kick to his chest, the black-haired vampire is caught off-guard when the woman does a split and wraps her legs around his waist. Still facing away from him, Mab leans back to grab his head and flips over him to drive her knees into his back. Clyde stumbles forward and turns it into a short charge that ends with him slamming his partner into the wall. An elbow to the burglar’s side weakens her grip enough that he can pry her loose and hurl her across the room. She bounces off the wall and twists to ricochet off the ceiling, but her momentum is ended by a punch to the chest. Falling into a crouch, Mab waits for Clyde to get within reach before darting through his legs. A tight spin gives her enough force to kick the back of his knee, but he falls backwards to slam an elbow into her pelvis. The clumsy move leaves him open to getting wrapped up by the more flexible vampire, who holds on tight while they grapple and roll across the floor. Unable to move any of his limbs, Clyde stops with his face against the ground and uses a powerful flick of his tongue to push himself up to his feet.
“How is that using mortal strength?” Mab asks, refusing to let go.