Home > The Song of David (The Law of Moses)(12)

The Song of David (The Law of Moses)(12)
Author: Amy Harmon

She laughed again, and I liked the way she didn’t hold back. “You aren’t a Harry Potter fan. No way.” She poked me in the side.

“Not really. But I know the basics.”

“I love Harry Potter. And I love the sound of a train,” she sighed. “It’s one of my favorites.”

“You have favorite sounds?”

“Yes. Lots of them. You?”

“I guess I never thought about it,” I confessed.

“I collect them,” she said breezily.

“How do you collect sounds?”

“The same way you collect memories.” She tapped a finger to her temple.

I had no response to that, but she didn’t seem to need one.

“Speaking of collections, would you mind saying hello to my little brother? He is a huge sports fan. He would love to meet an actual fighter. He’s a little awkward, but he would be thrilled.”

“Sure.” I shrugged. I was curious to see the inside of the house, curious to see how she lived, curious about parents who let their blind daughter wander around the city and dance half-naked in a bar.

She fished a key from her coat pocket and felt her way to the lock. It didn’t take her long and she didn’t ask for help, so I was silent at her side.

The door groaned as she pushed it open into a foyer that was dark. The house smelled slightly of mildew and furniture polish, which was probably due to its age more than anything.

“Henry?” Amelie called, setting her stick aside and pulling off her coat, hanging it on an old-fashioned hat and coat-tree to the left of the door with only a hint of fumbling.

“Henry?” she called a little louder.

I heard a door open overhead, the sound of sports commentary spilling out and then cutting off again as the door was closed. Footsteps sounded above and a chandelier came to life, showering light from the top of the ornate staircase that the house had been built around.

A boy in his early teens appeared from around the corner, his hair an unruly mass of red curls. He’d either been asleep or combing his hair wasn’t a priority. He wore a black, Chicago Bulls Jersey with a pair of flannel pajama pants, and he folded his thin arms across his chest when his eyes met mine, shifting from one foot to the other, clearly uncomfortable with the unexpected company.

“Henry?” Amelie had obviously heard his approach and subsequent halt. “Henry, this is David . . . um David, I forgot to ask your last name.” She didn’t wait for me to supply it before she added enthusiastically, the way a mother does with a child. “He’s a real live fighter, Henry! I thought you might like to say hello.”

Henry stayed frozen at the top of the stairs. I waved.

“Hi Henry. I’m David Taggert. But you can call me Tag,” I offered. The boy seemed more nervous than impressed.

“Tag?” Amelie squeaked in alarm, turning toward me slightly. “Oh, my gosh. I didn’t realize . . . I mean, you’re Tag Taggert. You said your name was David! I just thought you were a bouncer at the bar who fought in his spare time! Like Lou! Oh, my gosh. You’re my boss!” Amelie put her hands up to her cheeks and I tried not to laugh as she breathed in and out, clearly a little embarrassed by her earlier informality.

“Boxing became a legal sport in 1901!” Henry blurted.

“He’s not a boxer, Henry,” Amelie recovered quickly. “He’s an MMA fighter, right Mr. Taggert?”

So now I was Mr. Taggert. I started to laugh. I couldn’t help myself.

“It’s kickboxing, wrestling, judo, grappling. It’s a little of everything,” I agreed, still chuckling.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” Henry said, and folded his arms even tighter.

“You like Mohammed Ali, huh?” I asked.

“The Greatest, The People’s Champion, The Louisville Lip,” Henry rattled out before turning and fleeing down the hall. A door banged closed, muting the radio, and leaving me and Amelie alone in the foyer once again.

“The next time he sees you, he’ll know everything about you, your record, and everything about mixed martial arts. Henry has a phenomenal brain, but he’s not great at small talk,” Amelie said softly. She bit at her lower lip like she wanted to say more and then stiffened her back as if deciding against it.

I guessed it went a little deeper than not being great at small talk, but I said nothing.

“I didn’t know who you were. I feel stupid now,” she offered timidly.


“I treated you the way I treat Lou.”

“What? Like a friend?”

“I flirted with you.”

“Well, that’s happened to me before. I think I can deal.”

Her nose wrinkled and her brows curled. “Are you smiling?”

“Yes. I am.”

“Okay. Well, that’s good. I will try to be more professional in the future.” With that she held her hand out in my general direction, obviously wanting to shake hands in a “professional” manner.

I clasped it briefly, fighting the urge to laugh again. She was funny, especially because she wasn’t trying to be.

“If you think Henry would like it, bring him by the gym. It’s two doors south of the bar, same side of the street. I have a whole team of fighters. Lou works out with us sometimes too. We spar and train from about ten to four most days. I can show him a few things, introduce him to the guys.”

“Really?” she squeaked, and she squeezed my hand tightly, bringing her other hand up to envelope it between her two smaller ones. “I’ll ask him. I actually think he might like that. He’s really shy, and he doesn’t like it when people touch him, but maybe he could just watch.”

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