Barfights and Bloodstains

“Does it help?” 

Sabbat hissed, tightening his grip on the arms of the chair as Archer pressed the damp cloth carefully against the worst of the grazes decorating his ribcage. “Does what fuckin’ help, Archer?”

“This.” The vampire made an irritated gesture with his free hand, taking in the bowl of bloody water, the pile of bandages, and pretty much Sabbat’s entire everything. “Bar brawls? It’s not as though you need the practice.”

“That ain’t the point.”

“Of course it’s not.” He sighed. “I don’t suppose you’d consider switching to boxing.”


“I assume that’s a no.”

The assassin sneered. “The hells d’you think? Next thing you’ll be wantin’ me t’take up fuckin’ fencin’.”

“As amusing as that mental image is, I’ve very little interest in getting stabbed. Again.”

To his credit, Sabbat actually looked somewhat embarrassed at the reminder. “I was seventeen, Archer. An’ it was your bloody idea, anyhow.”

Which was true. And, if he was entirely honest, attempting a fencing lesson on the deck of a ship in full sail hadn’t been the best of plans even before he’d realised his student was a habitual knife-fighter who’d never held a sword before in his life. 

“Fair. Though-”


“Bare-knuckle fights aren’t exactly gentlemanly. And you’ve the skills for it, if you chose to put the time in.”

Sabbat rolled his eyes, yanking the cloth from Archer’s hands and wiping away a trickle of blood from the gash across his forehead. “First off, y’know what happens to fighters who get hit in the head once too often? Fuck that. Second, I ain’t got the time t’waste on it. An’ third…”


He grinned, teeth red-stained. “If I’m fightin’ in a bar brawl, I don’t have t’care what happens to anyone who gets in my fuckin’ way.”

Copyright © 2020 by Finn McLellan.  All rights reserved.

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