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Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Everyone! 🙂 May your turkey (or vegetarian alternative of choice) be tender and your pies (or dieters’ substitution thereof) be picture perfect. May your feasting be free of bloat and your conversation far from politics.

Onto the WIPpets!

This week, I bring you six paragraphs. 11 + 27 + 13 = 51, 5 + 1 = 6. 🙂 When last we left Arvid, she had just turned around to find the steam room (picture something Romanesque – I’ll fix descriptions later so it makes more sense) she thought was empty, um… wasn’t.

Staring at her in various stages of disbelief, surprise, embarrassment, delight, or smugness, no less than a dozen men sat around the room, most of them more than half naked. Arvid dropped her eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she stammered as she began shoving the bench she used to block the door back to its proper place.

A skinny arm draped her shoulder, the fingers dangling inappropriately close to her breast. “Oh, it’s no problem.” Arvid stared pointedly at the fingers. Rather than removing themselves, they wiggled a little further down. “No problem at all.”

Arvid recognized the voice as belonging g to a certain bold teenager. What was it Oya told her to do… That’s right! Pressure points. She applied goodly force to a spot on the hand. The man yelped and tried to pull away. Arvid kept pressing until she felt sure her point was unmistakably clear. When she let go, the arm retreated hastily. The other men in the room laughed and made ridiculed the teenager. A pang of guilt for humiliating someone struck Arvid in the gut. She grit her teeth and went back to pushing the bench. She shouldn’t feel sorry for such a man.

Someone put a foot on the bench. A very, very large foot. Arvid crinkled her brow and gave the bench another shove. It didn’t budge. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She tilted her head back slowly, following the foot up to the leg. To her relief, the owner of the foot wore a towel around his thick, muscle carved waist. Arvid’s eyes widened involuntarily when she got to the arms. The biceps were larger than her thighs and looked about as hard as rocks. Veins crisscrossed the overworked limbs, like snakes worming their way under the dark bronze skin. Dark brown scars, some still painfully fresh, covered most of the body. When she got to the face, Arvid stepped away from the bench.

Jedrek smiled smugly. “So, you decided to take up my challenge after all. I thought you might.” Using his foot, he shoved the bench firmly against the door. “Can’t say I expected you to pick this particular setting for it.” He rolled his shoulders and flicked his towel off. “Can’t say I blame you, though.”

Arvid kept her eyes on Jedrek’s face, refusing to look where he wanted her to. The other men formed a semicircle around them. Arvid considered the situation while Jedrek crouched into a ready stance. There was no way she could match him without a weapon. Even if he hadn’t been strong enough to lift a cow, his arm reach was almost as long as her legs. By the time she got close enough to cause any significant damage, she’d be too vulnerable herself. She couldn’t count on making it through the circle of men blocking her way to the small square that served as ventilation quickly enough for that to be a viable option, either. There was only one thing to do.

That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll present the big fight. Just a heads-up, it’s going to be about 900 words. I’d like to present the whole sequence in one chunk, rather than risk losing impact by separating the fight sequence from the immediate aftermath.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K. L. Shwengel. For novel excerpts from more authors, click on the appropriately labeled, smiley, little, blue fellow in the right-hand menu. To join, post an excerpt of your current WIP or a new WIP that somehow corresponds to the date. Then add your blog to the link-up so the rest of us will know where to find you.

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