Roller Coaster (Professionals zine)
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Gathered once more in the ramshackle drill hall Doyle seemed to be the only one present who was unsurprised at being expected to display their talent for fighting in ordinary clothes. He could just picture one of this lot faced with aggravation in the form of a stroppy villain with a flick-knife, demanding to be allowed time to go home and change into something more suitable for the encounter. As for that Brody idiot in his blazer and flannels, Doyle was acquainted with one rogue who’d have taken the greatest delight in slicing off the shiny buttons one by one whilst dancing just far enough out of reach of retribution.
There not being room for more than two bouts to be observed at one time it was almost midday before the group that included both Doyle and Bodie were in demand, and Doyle was not surprised when Crane called upon him first. Paired up with a bloke who made you believe that modern humans really had mated with Neanderthals Doyle evaded with ease every attempt that was made to take him in a rib-cracking hug, sliding away from the gigantic arms as though he’d been oiled and, after five fast-moving minutes, delivering a blow with his knee to the other man’s crotch that had him turning blue as he crowed, wheezed, and sought desperately to breathe.
Administering a disdainful shove that sent his victim crashing to the floor Doyle turned to Jack Crane, hands on his hips.
“Perhaps you’d better match me with someone who has more speed than a giant sloth,” he suggested.
Pausing only to be sure the other man was finally breathing, albeit with difficulty, Crane looked Doyle up and down before pursing his lips and nodding.
“Which one of you feels like taking this little fire-cracker on?”
Doyle was so busy glaring at Crane for this description it was only when the now blazerless Bodie was standing right in front of him that he realised who’d accepted the challenge.
He snorted. Bloody typical; all brawn and no brains just like the rest.
The pair of them circled each other warily for a few seconds but then, as they moved in closer Bodie murmured, “Oh, please be gentle with me. I might break,” disconcerting Doyle into a choked off giggle that was his undoing. Two seconds later he was flat on his back on the mat, staring up at a pair of blue eyes that grinned down at him.“Sorry,” Bodie said, all sincerity, “couldn’t resist it.”