“Hi, Mr. Edward,” Matthew said from his perch at the security monitors. “Looking for Ricky or Johnny?”
“I am,” I said. “I would like to work on some self-defense moves.”
“Well, they’re adding some additional security cameras and doing a perimeter sweep. I can help you,” Matthew offered.
“Okay,” I said. “Meet me downstairs in fifteen?”
“Sure,” he smiled. I jogged downstairs to our gym in the basement of our home. I swiped a bottle of water and did some stretches as I waited for Matthew. He came down a few minutes later in a pair of workout shorts and tight t-shirt. Before we began ‘sparring,’ he wanted to see how much I knew. We spent an hour going over the basics that Ricky and Johnny taught me. “You’re actually really good, Mr. Edward.”
“Thank you. I had two great teachers,” I answered honestly.
“You could be better, though,” Matthew said. “You have a very textbook way of fighting. When you are up against an opponent, they might not use standard attack patterns. Well, let me rephrase. They won’t. You need to be able to improvise. I know I’m the newest member of your team but do you trust me?”
“I do,” I said, arching a brow.
“Then, defend yourself,” he snarled. He came at me and I twisted out of his way. My arms went up to block my face and I glared at him. Matthew grabbed my left arm and twisted it behind my back. I stomped on his instep and backed away. Our sparring was intense and I managed to improvise out of some pretty sticky situations. After a half hour of working with Matthew, his snarl dropped and he held out his hand. “You’re fast, Mr. Edward. And strong. Emmett will be hard pressed to beat you in a fist fight.” We shook and went to get our water.
I slumped onto a workout bench. “He’s huge, Matthew. Like you and Ricky combined,” I sighed.
“But, does he have your knowledge of self defense?” Matthew asked.
“Doubtful. He’s easily five times as strong as me,” I mumbled.
“Then use your speed to your advantage,” Matthew suggested. “Most men wouldn’t have been able to dodge my first attack. You managed to twist away. Trust your instincts, Mr. Edward.”
“Will my instincts be enough to save my wife and child?” I asked.
“With our help, they will be, Mr. Edward,” Matthew said quietly. “Now, I’m going to shower and ice down my shoulder. You got me good when you flipped me.”
“Sorry,” I said, grimacing.
“Don’t be. I’m proud of you, Mr. Edward,” Matthew smiled. “Want to do this again?”
“Definitely. I learned a lot from you, Matthew. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Mr. Edward. And for what it’s worth, you and Miss Bella don’t deserve this. You are both the nicest people that I know. The most loving, too. I pray every night that Emmett is caught and that there is some sort of resolution for you. I can’t even imagine…I’m sorry,” Matthew said as he got up, squeezing my shoulder. “I’ll talk to you later, Mr. Edward. Don’t forget to stretch.”