Bandit’s fatal mistake was to think he had won. With his arms in the air, he turned toward the crowd to receive its applause, cued the confetti canons with a nod, and grew a smile that showed his diamond-encrusted teeth from molar to molar. Absorbed by his ego, Bandit did not notice the roar from the spectators was for Phyerce, who was getting up from the floor behind him. Her once beautiful face was bloodied by a deep cut of the eyebrow, and her right hand was clutching the elbow of her broken left arm.
Phyerce gathered her last strength and pivoted to the right around her back, straightened her knee in the air, and hit Bandit full force between the shoulder blades with the spur on the heel of her shoe, the only aid the Iron Maids were allowed in the weekly battle royal against the Master Dons.
There is no satisfaction in winning this bet, Phyerce thought, as the spur released from Bandit’s backside. He fell forward with wide-open eyes and blood trickling out the side of his mouth.
The cheer rose like a sonic blast from the arena, and the masses started chanting her name. Phyerce! Phyerce! Phyerce! But Phyerce turned away from the hollering throng and walked off the stage, along the empty prison cells, and out the back gate.
Later, when they removed Bandit’s body, they found a scrap of paper that must have fallen out of his pocket. It said Love Always, Phyerce XO.