So, he punched me. Yeah, it hurt. But the thrill
was so much bigger than the pain, real and pulsing and strong.
Being a good friend, I hit back, harder and faster. Until we were
scuffling on the rough payment, interchanging grins with blows. I'm
not sure if I fell over or if I tackled him on purpose, but I ended up
on top of him, too exhausted to fight any more that night.
He grinned at me, his teeth red with blood from his torn lip.
His mouth and chin were smeared with gore like a bad makeup accident.
He flipped me off him, sat up and handed me a beer. "Good fight."
My knuckles were bleeding as well, probably from the same blows that
split his lip, so I tasted the taint of blood with my swig of beer. I licked
my knuckles clean, watching the blood well up again along the points of
And he watched me.
And I watched him.
And he leaned over and licked my hand, leaving a smear of mixed blood
halfway up my arm, drawing himself nearer, slinging a companionable arm
around my shoulders. "Let's go home."