"Aedion I'm quite content sitting at home with my books thank you very much" Aelin sighed walking with her cousin up the small steps that lead up to the gym hall he shot her a look before stopping and putting a hand on her shoulder.
"We have just been reunited I'm not leaving you in that stuffy apartment" He said softly he had already dragged her shopping to get some gym clothes which she had protested until she seen the a small sports crop top and sweat pants that were just meant for her, she gave her cousin another pointed look and he chuckled.
"Plus if I remember you were a keen gymnast, I know something's have changed but it's just for today while I have MMA training so stop your moaning" He gave her an encouraging smile
"I haven't done gymnastics for years I mean I dabbled in it here and there over the years but nothing serious" she sighed as they walked through the double doors and into the gym itself. For a second Aelin felt the urge to turn and run but Aedion had his hand on her elbow steering her through the massive shared hall, to the right there was gymnastic equipment and to the left was what Aelin thought was a boxing ring along with several punch bags and smaller training rings set up around it, when she turned her head to survey the place she noticed all eyes were on her.
When Aelin finally regained her composure she noticed that Aedion was walking her up to a pretty young woman who was talking to an older somewhat stoned face women they stopped in front of them. The young women turned and smiled at both Aedion and Aelin, Aelin scratched out the mental note she had made of the young woman being pretty she was in fact stunning she had sharp cheek bones and pretty green eyes and her smile was so full of life and genuine.
"Hey I'm Lysandra head gymnast here, you must be Aelin, Aedion has told everyone here so much about you it's great we finally get to meet come on I'll introduce you to everyone" Lysandra practically squealed grabbing Aelin's hand and dragged her towards a small group of girls Aelin turned her head shooting Aedion giving her a glare that would have killed him if looks could kill. He smiled to himself and headed towards his friends.
Aedion noticed Dorian, Chaol, Rowan and Ren were all leaning on the ring watching the events unfold,
"Hey Aedion, your cousin's pretty hot" Ren the youngest of the group smiled staring across the gym to the group of girls going through their warm ups. Aedion was already upon Ren like a ton of bricks while the others just laughed before turning to start their morning training.
Aelin had met all the girls shared a little bit about herself had a laugh and was happy when attention was turned to warm up routines, she had been lucky that she was always active and had dabbled with gymnastic for years so she could keep up with the other girls. She was having a break and rolled up the sleeves of Aedion's over size hoodie and walked over to watch her cousin and the lads train.
"Impressive aren't they, this gym is currently ranked top of the country for MMA fighters" Manon Blackbeak smiled when Aedion came over a lazily put an arm over his cousins shoulders
"We work hard enough to be Manon and just to let you Aelin you stink" he smiled and teased Aelin she pushed him away and headed him face on
"I could take you" Aelin said hands on her hips.
"Aelin I wouldn't want you to get hurt" Aedion burst out laughing it was so loud Aelin thought the gym would crumble and it also caused everyone in the gym to turn their attention to them.
"What's up cousin frightened of a little bit of competition?" She smiled at her dumbstruck cousin when Manon piped up
"He isn't even ranked top here Rowan is"
Aelin looked to who Manon had nodded to see who she presumed was Rowan leaning on the ropes of the ring smiling slightly his pine green eyes were fixed on Aelin
"What about me think you could take me?" his rough deep gravelly voice rumbled in the pit of Aelin stomach sending what she thought was butterflies fluttering, he was challenging her she didn't take her eyes off of him
"I could take on anyone here" she smiled a predators smile he didn't take his eyes away from hers as he stood to the side and opened the ropes an invitation, a dare, a challenge. Aelin made for the ring when Aedion stepped in her way
"No way in hell are you going up there, I brought you here for gymnastics not to fight in the ring" hands on both her shoulders she tore her gaze away from Rowan and looked at her cousin still smiling a crowd had gathered around now
"Alright cousin how about this, I take you on if I win you let me fight with Rowan if I lose I'll back down" she said smoothly a challenge in her eyes.
"Fine, shoulders to the mat of 5 seconds Burllo can ref it" Aedion made his way up to the ring and stepped in.
"You really think you can take your cousin, he may not be top but he isn't far behind Rowan on points" Lysandra's whispered to Aelin so only she and the other gymnasts can hear. Aelin said nothing and she turned to find the pine green eyes staring at her she turned back to the girls and smiled
"Piece of cake" before she made for the ring.
Burllo explained the rules quickly and reminded them this was a sparring match everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch.
The fight started quickly, Aelin started her first assault she lunged at her cousin he caught her in his arms he was about to throw her to the floor when she managed to swing herself around his body and behind him she hit the floor on her side and kick Aedion in the backside sending him to his hands and knees she led on her back and rocked onto her hands before throwing herself to her feet, just after she had come upright Aedion was on his feet, considering her size she was strong and she was fast Aedion shouldn't have been surprised her being a gymnast and all but he gave her credit. The fight lasted for a few minutes Aedion had managed to block Aelin's first couple of assaults but when he went to block a punch coming from the right she brought up her left leg and kneed him in the wide opening he had left at his ribs, she knocked the wind right out of him before ducking down low and taking out his legs he landed on the floor with a thud still winded Aelin was already leaning on him pushing his shoulders down to the mat while Burllo started the count, Aedion struggled but Aelin had him completely pinned.
"5 Aelin is the winner" Burllo announced.
Aelin smiled at her cousin and jumped up and offered him her hand, he was still stunned as was the whole gym until the girls started cheering and chanting Aelin's name, she helped her cousin up
"Told you I could take you, no hard feelings?" She asked with a ton of sass in her voice.
"Of course not, I'm proud of you" he took his cousin in his arms and turned to Rowan
"You have some competition on your hands" he smiled before jumping out of the ring.
Aelin had lost herself in the fun she was having she wiped the sweat from her brow using the sleeve of Aedion's over sized hoodie before taking it off to reveal the crop top underneath as well as her brutally scared back, she threw the hoodie out of the ring before turning around to face everyone. She took in her cousin's face shock, disgust, and hatred shone in his eyes the same for Rowan's and everyone else there was a dead quiet in the gym, before anyone could take a breath to speak Aelin bolted she jumped out of the ring and out the doors forgetting about the hoodie, her shoes and her phone, she ran as fast as she could not stopping not knowing where she was going, she turned this way and that her bare feet throbbing with every slap of the pavement they took.