"Don’t go easy on her, Champ."
Bolin runs his tongue over his split lip, silently wrapping his knuckles in preparation for the next fight. Then the words process. “Her?” he repeats, looking up at Shin.
Shin smirks, blowing a ring of smoke at him from a half-spent cigarette. “Yeah, you heard right.”
Bolin flexes his knuckles experimentally, frowning. “I don’t know if I can fight a girl, Shin,” he murmurs uncertainly.
"She’s no ordinary girl, Bo," replies Shin. "She cleaned Zolt’s clock last week."
"Don’t let her catch you off-guard, kid." Shin slaps him on the shoulder and saunters out of the room.
Bolin stares after him until his silhouette is lost in shadow. He pops the mouth guard in, feeling his lip split even more. It’s his third fight of the night. He’s tired, and knows it. If this girl he’s going up against next is as good as Shin says, he’ll be knocked out in no time. Bolin throws a few practice punches into thin air, and lets his arms fall to his side.
He’s in the ring moments later, trying to ignore the cries of zealous, raucous betters in the crowd. Sure enough, his challenger is a girl—a woman. She raises her boxing glove at him from across the ring when she sees him, in greeting. Then, she returns to talking to a black-haired woman on the other side of the ropes. She’s grinning through her mouth guard, strands of sweaty brown hair plastered to her forehead.
He hates to admit it, but she’s pretty gorgeous.
Bolin breathes deeply, trying to focus. He thinks of Mako, of Pabu, of the money he desperately needs.
He shouldn’t be hitting girls.
"Hey!" He looks up, and it’s her.She knocks him playfully in the shoulder. There’s enough power in the punch that he can tell she’s not someone to take lightly. "Name’s Korra. You’re Bolin, right?"
Remember, she took out Zolt.
"Yeah, just Bo is fine," he utters tersely.
"Do me a solid and give me one-hundred, would you?" she says. Her voice is a bit deeper than he thought it would be, smoky almost.
Bolin feels himself falling just a little harder. “Sure thing, Korra.”
"Alright, last one standing, Bo," she laughs and retreats back to her side of the ring.
Bolin waits for the bell to ring, then he aims.