Behind These Scars.

By: Druscilla White

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 4th Mar 2022

Behind these scars…

A whirlwind.

That’s what the past two weeks have been for me. From the “Speed dating” match for Fight’s Venom 16, to the Denzel Porter Invitational, to Brandon Moore walking into my life. Everything had been a jumbled mess until the latter happened. I felt like the world was brighter, despite the hell that was warbling in the hearts of the masses.

Brandon tried to come off as this crazed, murderous man who would rather slit your throat than speak to you; but I saw the truth. I saw the soft, gooey core that he hid from the world. He couldn’t hide it from me. He had spent the week getting to know my family, from the cats to Mama and Henry to Priscilla and even the other Wolves. Diesel wasn’t one hundred percent on Brandon yet, but he’d come around. Diesel had always been protective of me when it came to relationships. A fact I both loved, and hated, about my brother.

Ever since we had fully returned to one another’s lives, I felt as if the bond we had as kids was stronger. We were always on one another’s asses about something. But, for a while, when I had lost the love in my life, Diesel had stepped back. He’d grown closer to his wife, and for that I was happy but it felt as if he’d left me behind. I never let that stop me, though. I kept moving forward. With DruBrew Industries, with the Wolves of Odinn MC, with Krew Towers and even with my wrestling career.

Yeah, I had stumbled lately. Lost my title and my confidence in one fell swoop, but Brandon was determined to see me fly higher than I had before.

When Fight emailed me the next show details, along with a note from Miss F… I saw this as my chance.

Lissie Hope had been a hell of a fight, and while I had not walked away the winner, I made her work for it. I made her see why I am the most feared competitor in Fight. I walked away with my head high. It came down to sheer grit. We both had the fire. We both had the want. So why had she won and I lost? Absolute luck.

No shame in my game. I threw her around like a ragdoll, I beat sense into her and took her to the edge.

Brandon and I stayed in Vegas for a few days after the event, mainly spending time together. The way Michelle walked out on him was vile, but then what did anyone expect of her? All Michelle could be seen as was an Ego on two legs with a half-assed, manipulative personality. I loathed her since the first time I had met her back in Fade2Black. She was just pure evil, and I highly doubted we could be civil to one another for longer than a few minutes.

Compared to her, I had class. I never assumed I was better than anyone else. I had my dark past, as did 60% of people on this planet.

But, enough about that bitch. I had more important things to deal with than her skeezy ass.

I was set to face Apathy again this week. Not a grudge match, per se, but a reawakening. Not for the Bareknuckle title, my Beast held that with pride. But for the Brooklyn belt. The powers that be believed I could hold that title better than Apathy, and quite frankly; they were right.

I could do this. I just needed to put one foot in front of the other. “Wolves don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep”, I needed to remember that. I had it tattooed along my forearm for a reason. For years it has been my motto. Something that kept me moving forward. And it was true. Why should a predator let the prey dictate their moves?

They can’t.

Predators control their own thoughts; Predators don’t bow down to the Prey.

Now, as I walked into my apartment, I was met with Reaper crying and clodhopping through the bedroom into the living room. I dropped my bag at the door with a heavy THUD and knelt down as the massive thunder cat bolted in my direction. He leapt and I caught him, staggering a bit with a laugh. I winced, slightly. But I stood strong. He bumped his head against mine, and I sighed softly. Home. It felt nice. It felt brighter. It felt lonely. Quiet. Priscilla had taken Hel to Minnesota to be with Robi and Shanna while Robi was in her coma. She took Hel to try and help heal her. Robi is the one who bought Hel, and bonded with her first. It broke my heart that my little house panther wasn’t with me, but if she was able to help Robi, that is where she needed to be.

My phone howled as I hauled Reaper’s big butt around the apartment. I reached for my phone and read the confirmation text from Mama. She was going to be late for our lunch date. Wonderful. I could grab a nap. The whole invitational had me exhausted and all I really wanted to do was rest. Finally, Reaper jumped out of my arms when the auto feeder dinged, I laughed a bit, as I walked into my bedroom. The curtains were closed, and they stayed that way, while I walked into the shower.

My phone howled again. This time, it was Brandon. Apparently Mama had him cornered at a pizzeria. Godsdamnit. Brandon had only been around my parents while I was there to supervise! Now, this Belarusian woman was trying to drive me insane!

The She-Wolf and the Villain.

The Pizzeria was busy, noisy, but smelled delicious. Mama sat across from Brandon, those eyes of dark, near black, glaring at him. Pete dropped two slices on the table, one supreme and the other with everything. Brandon nodded a thank you, Mama sat stone faced. She drew a tight breath; “Look, Brandon… Mama know you care Kachanie, but Mama protect, yes. Kachanie Mama life. Diesel Mama life. They Mama babies. Yes?” Her broken English was an endearing trait, but currently it was a little unsettling for Brandon. He really wasn’t expecting Mama’s level of hostility.

”Yes Ma’am, I know.” He was polite. He was honest. ”Mrs. James, I am in deep with Dru.” He swirled the soda in the paper cup idly. ”She is like coming up for air..” He smiled. “She’s the light that chases away the darkness.” Mama smiled and nodded her head.

”Yes. Kachanie pure light.” She mused, ”But Kachanie not impervious.” She leaned across the table, closer to Brandon, “Mama want to like Brandon.. Mama do… But Mama worry Kachanie.” She touched his hand, softly. ”Kachanie lose much. Yes.” She was solemn, she remembers every single loss Dru had faced. ”Kachanie lose Dane. Kachanie lose sisters. Brother. Kachanie lose husband. Kachanie lose part of self, yes?”

Now Brandon nodded, he knew everything Druscilla had lost in her life; he had lost damn near the same. They had spent nights discussing their losses, failures and shortcomings so not much was news to him.. Except for the husband part. ”Husband?”

Mama sighed and nodded. ”Yes, Husband Jax. Kachanie walk for safety… But he die. She no want him hurt but Gotti fix.” She looked down at her pizza, idly picking at the crust. ”Kachanie watch Dane die. Kachanie lose much, yes?” Brandon nodded, before he took a drink of the soda in front of him. ”Kachanie die, many time. Many, many time. Mama can’t lose Kachanie again…” The way she looked at him, her eyes a mixture of sadness, anger, remorse, and protectivity. ”Kachanie not need more to survive, Brandon. Will you be more she survive?”

”Mrs. James, I want nothing more than to be with Dru. I don’t want her hurt or anything. I would never harm her or let anything bad happen to her.” he raised his hand before she could rebut; “I remember the charity cruise.” He sighed. “I wasn’t there for that, I was trying, evidently failing at it, to save my own marriage.” He picked a pepperoni off the slice and popped it in his mouth. He chewed it a few times then swallowed before he spoke again. ”She was there for me when my wife wanted to leave me… Dru was always there. I just never saw her saw her. Until now.” He saw Mama smile softly and continued. ”I’ve not led a good life. I’ve hurt people. I’ve killed people. I’ve been hated. People have tried to kill me. But, when I finally looked up out of my own damned stupidity and saw the beauty that was in front of me, Mrs. James, everything that was static in my head, stopped. It all melted away…” He sighed, softly. Smiling. ”She was always there, cheering me up, forcing me to stand after I’d fallen, kicking my ass when I wanted to give up.” He grinned again. “She makes me a better person, Mrs. James. She makes me want to stand on her level, and be better.”

”Kachanie career important to her. You no stand in way, Kachanie meant to fly.” She looked up, serious as ever. ”She born wrestler, yes.” This woman pulled a small photo from her wallet, smiled as she looked down at it and slid it over to Brandon. It was a different photo from the one Dru held so dear, but it was a younger Mama with the young Druscilla. Mama decked in her own ring gear and placing a crown on Dru’s head. ”Mama hold dear.” She smiled. ”Kachanie so much like Mama…” She wiped a tear from her eye slowly. ”Kachanie champion. Mama know it.” Brandon nodded in agreement, but before he could speak, Mama continued. ”You no stand in way, you help Kachanie fly, yes? You no ask Kachanie stop.” She glared at him. “Kachanie no stop for anyone, yes? Not Mama, not Henry, not Club, not Brandon.”

Brandon wiped his mouth with a napkin and shook his head. “No Ma’am, I would never ask her to stop wrestling or doing whatever she loved to do. I know her career, her club and her family come first. I’m just happy to be in the mix at all.” He smiled, looking down at the photo. It was well worn, like the one in Dru’s own office. He handed the photo back to Mama and took another bite of his pizza, ”I want to see Dru reign as the champion I know she is. You know she’s fighting Apathy this week? I’ll be ringside for her, cheering for her and there to lift her up when she wins that title.” He smiled, looking at Mama. Her face was bright. Her eyes sparkling as she nodded.

Mama smiled, she patted his hand and lifted her slice of pizza. She spoke a Belarusian praise and began to eat her pizza. Brandon, rather confused, nodded and also started to eat his pizza. Pete, from behind the counter, laughed as he finally saw his friends eat their lunch. ”Mama approve.” She whispered, her hand covering her mouth as it was a bit full of pizza. ”Now, you meet Henry.” She laughed, knowing that while Henry was the scary one, the one that should be feared was her. Who do you think started Dru down the road she went to become the assassin she is now?

Brandon gulped a bit, his eyes widening slightly. Henry, as Dru had warned him, was an ex CIA agent… and she knew a few of the things he had done in his career… He wasn’t worried about Dru or Diesel, or now Mama, but Henry was a different thing. Henry was a father protecting his daughter. And Brandon was the man who’d stolen the heart of Henry’s daughter. This was not going to end well, was it? But then, Brandon had survived a lot of what would have killed a normal human being, so he could survive Henry… Right?

The Shoot

”We’ve done this dance before. Spat words at one another. Clawed at one another’s faces and shed one another’s blood. Nothing new to say except this; Two things will happen in that ring this week. Either you’ll walk out, retaining that title you do not deserve, or I will hold that belt high and you’ll crawl out of the ring like a wounded dog. Only the Fate’s know what will happen. Not us.” I smiled, softly. ”I’m not here to bark threats or beat my chest. You know what I’m capable of. Sure, you kicked my ass the last time we fought, I was cocky. I was unfocused. I let emotions rule me. I let you get the upper hand. That won’t happen again, Elizabeth. Now, I’m not just here to take the title from you, that’s just a bonus. I’m here to issue payback for the last time we fought. I wanted so badly to shred your throat at Blood Money II, but I settled for knowing someone would do it for me.” I shrugged a bit, walking through the lobby of Krew Towers. Diesel and Brandon Moore close behind me. I smirked. Extending my hand to Brandon, who took it and smiled, I arched a brow.

”You know, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life. “Loser.” “Whore.” “Murderer.” “Narcissistic.” “Manipulative.” But it boils down to this; NO ONE KNOWS ME! No one has stopped to get to know who I really am. They see how I look, they see the religion I practice, the work I do; and they judge. You see tattoos, and think I’ve either spent time in prison, or that I’ve thrown my life away. You see my MC and think we’re all thugs and hooligans, without knowing that we all actually have families and do charity drives or spend time at children’s hospitals. They see my Wicca has witchcraft; and assume I am married to the Devil himself. You all see how my life played out over the last year, and you fucking assume what really happened. That I left my child, then demanded I be back in her life. That I murder people for fun. That I DIED for my own fucking amusement. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU HAS COME TO KNOW THE TRUTH.” Brandon remained silent, hidden behind his mask of choice. Everyone in Krew Towers knew who he was and why he was here. No one challenged his presence. Not even Diesel, who was obviously still leery of him. I wasn’t, and Diesel knew better than to question me. The lobby was quiet as we walked to the elevator. The rest of the Wolves go about their daily routines, some heading to work at the auto shop, some coming home from late night runs or in a few cases, from visiting someone in the hospital.

”No one spent time at my hospital bed, praying I woke up. No one knocked on my door with casseroles, checking to see if I was ok. This whole fucking business just kept on keeping on, and I expect that, but the HUMAN side of the biz, no one, not a single person, took the time to ask “why”.” Once the doors opened and we stepped into the elevator, I pressed my palm against the scanner and the light for the penthouse lit up. As they closed, I grinned, exposing those well known fangs.

”Why would they? Look at what we do? None of us are friends, not really. No matter how hard we try… No matter how hard I try. But, I’m not here for friends, Apathy. I’m here to break bones. I’m here to rip flesh and shed blood. I’m here to take you to the limits of what your body can handle and PUSH them further. I’m here because the fans stomp and scream when we step into that ring. The charge of the crowd. The electricity between opponents. That is why I am here. Friends come and go. The only constant is the rage we all feel deep down that makes us do this week after week. Month after month.” I lit a joint and grinned again. Brandon removed his mask and smiled, that twisted twinkle in his eyes, he leaned down and kissed my cheek as I smiled, patting his face softly.

Years, it’s been so many years,
Resenting the years,
And my heredity…
Oh, I have hated and loved you…
I have hidden behind you,
But I finally see…

”We aren’t so different, Apathy. Both have shady pasts. Both could give a fuck less about really anything. But, where we do differ is where it counts. I fight for the people. I fight for the ones YOU step on. Every single time I step through those ropes, the memories of those who’ve fallen in your wake or those who’ve been shattered by the pace of time. Get it? You’re the destroyer; I’m the retribution. What you tear apart, I piece back together.” I took a drag from my joint and exhaled slowly, looking back to Brandon with a smile. This man had been through so much, and yet still he stood beside me. He was the reason I was standing here. ”I’ve watched you decimate the people around you, I’ve seen you step over the innocents to get your footing. You look at the world and think it’s supposed to bow down to you, but the truth hurts, kid. This world bows for no one. Especially not a greedy, wretched two-bit “icon”. If this marks me as the villain, so be it. I have no problems being a bad guy in anyone else’s story, because what matters is my own story. Not yours.”

”You’ve seen, I’m sure, what’s been going on between a few other members of Fight. And I’m sure you’ve made your assumptions but, I’m here to show you they’re wrong. There are always two sides to every story, Apathy. And we all know Michelle has a penchant for spinning the truth in her favor.” I snarled, when the doors opened I exited the elevator with Brandon beside me. We walked down the hallway to my apartment, Diesel texting his wife, I pulled my key from my pocket and grinned.

”All Angels must fall, and I fell hard. Broke my wings, lost my ability to fly. I thought I was done, that I couldn’t set foot in that ring again. But He showed me I could. The Beast of all the nightmares in the world chose to lift ME up, Apathy. He mended my wings. I healed his wounds. And all of those negative thoughts were silenced. I was born for this business. You just adopted this life. This is where I belong. Those four posts are my home. Those ropes are the anchors that hold me in this realm. Every person who faces me and I stand over, makes a single choice. Stop me before I shatter their spine, or be carried out on a stretcher. What choice will you make?” Opening my door, the thundering echoes of massive paws rang out. I braced for the attack, and barely stayed standing as Reaper launched himself into my arms. I chuckled as Brandon let me lean on him to gain my balance. Silly cat, always acting as if I were never home. But, I suppose given what he’d been through this last year, I couldn’t really blame him. His mom was gone, and he didn’t understand why.

You, I’ve mistaken for destiny,
But the truth is my legacy
Is not up to my genes…
True, though the imprint is
Deep in me,
It will always be up to me…
Up to me….

”When that bell rings out, and the fans go apeshit; decide. Are you willing to cripple your own body to win? Are you willing to end your own career with one false move? Because I am. I leave it all on the mat. Always have. I don’t know any other way!” I sneered, setting Reaper on his massive cat castle, and walking to my porch. I took another drag from my joint and leaned against the balcony. The chilly winds blustering past. “All I know how to do, Apathy, is fight. Claw. Bite. Survive. I’ve fought my whole life, have you?”

”I don’t mean struggling to feed yourself or your family, I mean legitimate fight for your survival. One wrong move means a bullet through the heart or a knife across the throat. Ever had that happen? Doubtful. Takes a special breed to survive that kind of treatment.” I scoffed a bit, looking out over New York. Snow covered buildings. Cloudy, gray skies. People below on the streets bundled up warm in their coats, mittens and scarves.

”I don’t give a shit about a title. Never have. When I was the Bareknuckle Champ it was because I earned it. I bled for it. Sarah bled trying feebly to defend it. Yeah, you took it from me. I made you work for it. Wins don’t teach you shit, about a person, Apathy. It’s the losses that do. What does that person do when they’ve lost a match, or something they cared about? If they stand back up, spit blood in the face of whoever knocked them down and flip the bird in defiance; THAT is a person you should fear.” I grinned, my fangs glittering in the low-light of the clouded skies. My breath was visible in the cold air, mixed with the smoke from the joint. I snuffed the spent blunt in my hand. I wasn’t about failures. I learned from them. Every time.

”Every loss I’ve had, I stood back up. Every time someone like you knocked me down, I stood back up. Every time life knocked the wind out of me, I stood back up, Apathy. I walked into Ascension not expecting the win, but expecting to show Sarah exactly who she fucked with. Remind her of every single mistake she’d made. Now, I walked into Countdown a Champion. But I walked in expecting to win. Showing you your every mistake in life wouldn’t work. You wouldn’t change who you were. You’re too much of a sadistic narcissist. But, what about showing you how to dole out pain and mercy? I don’t expect to win. All I plan on doing, at Venom Apathy, is teaching you exactly who I am. Not the blurred image the other wrestlers vomit up in the locker rooms or the suites. Every ounce of pain you feel this week, Apathy, is a fragment of the pure RAGE and VENGEANCE that roils in my dark heart.” I snarled, my eyes, dark, were stern but oddly caring. I wasn’t the demon they portrayed me to be, but then who was? Everyone in this business was a liar. It was part of the job. Some more than others.

Oh, I’m free at last….

”You play with people’s hearts, Apathy. We’ve all watched you do it to Eoin. Before the Cure was, well, cured, you did it with everyone there. Your whole stable fell apart because of your own narcissism and stupidity. The powers that be that chose to throw us in the ring together, again, seem to want you knocked down a peg or two.” I sneered again, letting a little gravel in my voice; a little growl. ”Something’s changing… I can feel it, Apathy… Can you?” A snarl escaped me as I turned to see Brandon watching me from inside the apartment, Reaper wrapped around his broad shoulders. ”There’s something coming, Apathy, and it’s dangerous, it’s a feral rage wrapped in the eternal fight of nature versus nurture.” I chuckled. “It’s Brutal, Apathy.” I licked my lower lip and smiled. ”We’ve all been recast in this world. Heroes have fallen. Villains are on the rise. Everything is topsy turvy, isn’t it?”

”You get to bear witness, personally, to the metamorphosis of who I am in the ring, Apathy. Aren’t you excited? As I rip your limbs from their sockets and bash in your pretty little face, you get to see me shed the coil of the pretty princess and become the hateful femme fatale I was meant to be.” I winked. ”The Enchantress that will make Fight bleed.”

”Congratulations, Elizabeth, you will be the first victim of the new era…” I took a soft breath, as Brandon stepped out onto the patio with me. ”See you in the ring, dollface.” I winked before Brandon wrapped his arms around me and kissed me; then it all went DARK.

I did this to myself…

It will always be up to me…
Up to me….

Oh, I’m free at last…. Or am I…?

”Thank you Doctor…” My voice was soft as I nodded a thank you to him, shaking his larger hand. My mind was in a haze. Slipping my coat over my cut, I pushed past the door and the only thing I could hear was my heartbeat in my ears. Not the noise of the hospital. Not the call of codes. The chatter of nurses. Nothing. Only my heartbeat. ”Can’t wait to see you perform, Miss White. Been a huge Fight fan!” his voice faded quickly as I faked a smile and left his office. I tucked all the paperwork into my cut, it would go in my safe once I was home. No one needed to know.

I’d handle it.

I hid so much of who I was, for so long, it became second nature. I wasn’t one to let people see me weak or helpless. I had always been one to handle myself privately. Especially when it comes to my health. I’ve had my affairs in order since before the charity cruise last year, and what needed to be added had been added. I was nothing if not a stickler for details. My lawyers hated that about me. My doctors, too…

What was the point in moping and letting others fawn over your sick bed? There was no point.

I had snuck away that morning, without my usual guard, I liked my privacy. This wasn’t something I wanted to share with the world. My boots clicked over the tile halls as I walked, not super fast but faster than normal as I headed towards the elevator. Pressing the button for down, I wrapped my coat around me, I wouldn’t break here. I couldn’t break here. Once the doors opened, and I saw the car was full, I declined politely. I’d take the stairs. What’s 9 flights?

It gave me time to think. To let it sink in. I scoffed to myself, “sink in” I’d basically known for a year, but refused to get it confirmed. My own stupidity. My own carelessness. Each flight down let it all marinate in my head, everything that had been discussed behind closed doors. Everything I’d done in my life that led me here. Figures, doesn’t it? I finally have my freedom, and I have to put certain things on the back burner. Now, certain advice I’d take and adhere to, but when it came to my career and businesses… Nope. I couldn’t stop now.

Words like:
Treatment Options.
Operable.

Those would scare a normal person, but this was me. I’d stared Death dead in the eyes, and I told that motherfucker to step down. But maybe this time…

Finally reaching the first floor, and exiting the stairwell, I walked past the welcome station and right out the front doors into the snow. SLOAN KETTERING emblazoned in large blue letters on the doors greeted me. Reminding me. ”Miss White you need to schedule your appointment…” I walked out before the nurse could finish. I’d do it, after this show. I’d get things rolling after I face Apathy again. The cold air took the wind from my lungs, it was a few moments before I could breathe again. Well, before air was returned to my lungs. I really hadn’t breathed since Doctor Wallace walked through that damned door.

How the fuck was I going to explain this to Mama? To Henry? Priscilla? Fuck, to Brandon and the Wolves?

Simple, honestly…

I wasn’t going to. They didn’t need to know.

Where the fuck was Robi… I needed her…

My phone howled. I wiped the tear from my eye and took a deep breath. ”Hello?”

”Hey Mom!” Priscilla’s voice was always so cheerful and happy. How could I have done this to her?

”Hey kid, how’s Minnesota?”

”Cold. Boring. But, I did get a bunch of stuff done!” she laughed. ”Cousin Shanna is amazing!”

I arched my brow. ”What stuff kid?” I started to walk down the street, away from the damned hospital, and away from the fucking sickening truth.

”Just some tattoos and piercings…” She tried to be innocent and cute, but she could hear the soft growl in my voice.

”Excuse me?” ”Mom… I’m 17!” ”In October!!!”

”Mom… She said you’d be fine with it!” Oh I heard the sniffle in her voice, I growled lowly as I’d have a chat with Shanna later, but for now, I had other things on my mind.

”It’s … It’s fine Pris. I promise. Just tell me she did them and not the apprentice?” ”Yup! They’re all Shanna’s work!”

I sighed a bit. ”Good.” Shanna was like her mother. Artful. Beautiful. Talented. The conversation continued as I walked towards the parking garage. ”I… I love ya kid.” I stifled a sob, instead cleared my throat and held it all in. After a few minutes of feigning happiness, we hung up and I leaned against my bike. A few sobs slipped out. My body shivering, not from the cold, I loved the cold, but the sheer shock.

I clenched my fists, then my jaw. Stiffening my whole body; regaining my composure. Who I was. It was very simple; NO ONE would know. NO ONE. This was my secret, and I’d take it with me to the grave…

If I was going to die, it was going to be on MY terms!

I was going to walk into this match this week and let everything slip away. Nothing could cloud my head. Not this. Not war. Nothing. Live or Die… I’d made my choice.

You, I’ve mistaken for destiny,
But the truth is my legacy
Is not up to my genes…
True, though the imprint is
Deep in me,
It will always be up to me…
Up to me….

Oh, I’m free at last….

Free at last….