|[DANE]| “BURN WITH ME!” |[FXR]|

By: Dane Preston

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 23rd Jan 2022

One second I was fighting for my life against Dickie Watson inside the cage.

And then I wasn’t.

A blinding flash followed by what I can only describe as eternal darkness.

Pain, everywhere.  Something crushed me, pinned me down.

More pain.

“Wake up!  You can’t go out like this!”

Who was that!?!

I remember the screams.

Allie.  Bella.  Jenna.  Lauren?

No.  Not Lauren.  She stopped caring a long time ago.

EMTs strapping me to a gurney.

A quick flight to the hospital.

I knew it was a hospital because of the smell.

Damon was right, they smell…off.

“Fuck Damon!  Always sticking his big ass nose in your personal shit!”

There’s that angry ass voice again…

I look around and still nothing but darkness.

I can hear the beeps and blips from all the monitoring equipment.

Sobs from Bella and Allie

Visits from Jenna and Damon, Bam and Ani, Voo, Dru and Brando. 

Basically anyone else who gave a shit, but no Lauren.

Hell, I think I even heard Vhodka let one loose next to my head.

“Haha, yeah she did!  I love that chick!”

Goofier than a cross-eyed pet squirrel, that one.

I can hear voices I recognize, others I don’t.

But I can’t make out anything that’s being said.

What’s wrong with me?

Why am I still in the hospital?

“You’re in a fucking coma, so snap the fuck out of it, ya pussy!”

Godsdammit, who in the hell is that?!?

Wait…

I’m in a fucking COMA!?!

This can’t be right.

Gotta wake up.

I have so much shit to do.

Cannabis Cup.

Blood Money 2 before that.

FUCK.

Am I even going to be FIGHT! ready for Blood Money 2?

I still have my surprise for Allie waiting in the wings.

Not to mention unfinished business with FIGHT!

“Well you ain’t doing shit, laid up in the hospital…”

How long has it been?

I have no way of telling how long I’ve been like this.

Allison and Bella rarely leave my side, they take turns coming and going.

That much I can tell.

I just need to…

“WAKE THE FUCK UP!”

THE COMPLICATION

My eyes snap open and the dimly lit room assaults my eyes.  I blink several times so I can see somewhat clearly.  There is another bed in the room, where Allison and Bella are fast asleep, spooning each other.  Bella was the big spoon this time.  My body feels so sluggish, I can barely lift my head up to take in the rest of my surroundings.

“Hey…” I cleared my throat and tried again. “Heeey!”

Allison started from her sleep, frantically looking around before her eyes finally met mine.  Her mouth agape, it took a second or three for her to make the connection that I’d woken up.  Without missing a beat, almost falling out of the bed in the process, she rushed over and straddled me, before kissing me like she hadn’t seen me in months.  Had it been months?

“Easy, owwww, easy Princess.  I’m still sore as shit.” She pushed herself away for a moment. “Suck it up Buttercup, I was scared you’d never wake up…” Within seconds her excitement turned to emotional relief as tears began to flow like Niagara Falls.  My arms feeling like they’re in a pool of molasses, I reached out and grabbed her so I could pull her close to me.  Her breath came and went in stuttered torrents.  The sensation of her warm breath on my skin is a welcome comfort after not feeling anything but pain and nothingness.  Her tears were soaking through my hospital gown.

I hadn’t realized it, but Bella had woken up as well.  She came over and began rubbing Allie’s back to comfort her, I smiled up at her and she leaned down to kiss my forehead. “Welcome back, Babe.  We missed you.”  I took Bella’s hand in mine, caressing Allison’s hair with my free hand, her sobbing had almost stopped, her breathing less erratic.  I still don’t know how the hell I could be so lucky as to have the two of them, I hate the feeling that I almost lost them – well, they almost lost me, but same thing, right?

It suddenly dawned on me, I never heard Lauren’s voice while I was in the coma.  And since I woke up, I haven’t so much as heard a peep from her.  That’s not like her.  “Has anyone heard from Lauren?  I heard several voices come in and visit while I was asleep, but I didn’t hear her voice even once.”  Allison looked up at Bella, judging by the look on Bella’s face, I wasn’t going to be happy with the answer.  “It’s complicated.  She’s been dating Thaddeus Duke from XWF and traveling the world with him.  She checked in on social media once.” A low growl came from my wife, still laying on my chest.  She and Lauren had grown close since the incident on the island.  Lauren not coming to see me stung her just as much as it stung me. “She no longer has use for us…”

“More like she had no further use for you, so she moved the fuck on.”

The days to come were not easy by any stretch of the imagination.  I wasn’t laid up so long that my muscles had atrophied, but I was stiff and sore from my injuries and being horizontal as long as I had been.  Damon was in his natural element again; that of a drill sergeant, lifting me out of the hospital bed and forcing me to do bodyweight squats, Hindu pushups, dips and a bunch of painful calisthenics that he swears will have me right as rain in no time.

The docs are keeping me for observation for the next couple of weeks.  With my history of concussions and PTSD related to head trauma, they want to be sure that I’m not going to keel over and die or flip out and kill someone.  Covering their asses really, but all the same I’m grateful for the care I’m receiving.  All the stress tests, the mental prodding from the good doctor Irina Firstein and Damon’s training has me wiped out.  I don’t think I had lunch or dinner and knocked the fuck out.

I woke up in the middle of the night, well after 2am, to relieve myself.  I gave myself a once over in the mirror, brother Brando had come in and trimmed my beard and hair while I was comatose.  It had a couple weeks to grow back in, but still looked damn presentable. Note to self; thank that dude when I see him again. After washing my hands and splashing water on my face, I was rudely attacked.

“Soft ass bitch.  Where’s this cutthroat motherfucker that survived 5 years in San Quentin, but couldn’t survive one little death match with Dickie f’n Watson?  That dude’s like a buck fifty soaking wet, and you got mopped up by his ass.  Fuckin disgraceful if ya ask me.”

“Alright, what the fuck!?!” I began to look around for speakers, another person in the room with me, anything to indicate the source of that voice.  The very same angry voice I’d heard while I was in a comatose state.  I couldn’t find anything.

“Of course you can’t, ya jackass.”

“This is bullshit…I need some air.” I rushed out of the bathroom and grabbed my hoodie and a thick winter coat that Damon had brought for me so I could get outside.  Rushing down the stairs, I crashed into a wall, bounced off and kept skipping down those damned stairs. “Fuck that hurt!” Crashing through an emergency exit door, I am calf deep in the snow, barefoot, and I just started walking.

“The fuck you think you’re goin?  You got a hot date or cold feet?  Which is it?”

I spin around, looking once more in vain as I try and try again to find the source of this voice and I’m left wanting. “What do you want?  Who the fuck are you?  Why are you doing this to me?!?”  All I hear is evil laughter as I frantically spin on my heels.

“Marco…Polo?  Man you look like a fuckin idiot right now…”

Suddenly a gently placed hand on my shoulder brings me back to reality.  I turn around to find VooDoo with a bag full of goodies in her other hand.  What the hell is she doing out and about at almost 3am??  Fuck.  She just closed up the Rabbit and headed straight to the hospital.  And I’m out here raving mad like a fucking lunatic.

“Dane.  You doin’ okay hun?” This woman is family.  A straight shooter.  There was no condescension or judgment in her tone.  Just genuine concern.

“I dunno Red.  I really don’t.  I’m hearing voices…” And…

“Are you fucking kidding me right now?  You’re not hearing voices you dumb sunuvabitch!”

“Leave me the fuck alone, would ya!?!” Candice recoiled and took a step back.  I can’t blame her.  The last time I suffered a concussion, I would slip in and out of control.  Wound up breaking Shane’s nose in the ring when we were training.  Not that I could really hurt this woman, she’s one of the toughest there is.  But all the same, she was smart to get some distance between us.  “I’m sorry Red.  That wasn’t meant for you…”  I pointed to my head, “it’s just one voice and he’s really fucking loud…”

“You’re GODSDAMNED RIGHT I am!”

“Okay, let’s get you back to the hospital.  Allison needs to know about this.” I nodded in compliance and we began to walk back to the hospital.  I made sure to keep a safe distance from VooDoo, to put her mind at ease.  Aw hell, who am I kidding?  It’s putting my mind at ease too.

“Mother want another?!”

I did my damnedest to ignore the voice inside my head.  But it had other plans entirely.

“I’ve always wondered if the carpet matches the drapes?! We should find out.  Not like Roger is meeting her needs.”

“Okay, now you’re just being an asshole!” With a sideways glance cast my way, Voo watches as I gently wave her off.  The rest of the walk back was awkwardly silent, thankfully I hadn’t gotten far enough from the hospital, so it was a short walk.  Once we were back in my room, we were met by a distraught Allison and Bella.  Both were angry at me for leaving.

“You can’t just up and leave like that, babe.  That’s not cool,” Allison said before slugging me in the arm.  “I hope that hurts too!”  After setting the bag down, VooDoo took Allison by the shoulders and steered her over to a chair.  “Allie, sweetheart, Dane’s going through some shit right now.”  Glancing between the two of us, Allie looks back to VooDoo, “define SHIT, Aunt Voo.”  With a deep breath and a soft look in my direction, “Well, it’s a bit complicated…”

“I’m hearing voices, Allie.  Well, one voice.  A very loud, persistent and hostile motherfucker at that.”  In my head I can hear that deviously maniacal cackle.  It takes all I can muster to drown him out right now.  Allison looked at me, unfazed by the revelation.  She turned and looked me dead in the eyes.  Narrowing her eyes…  “Let me guess, FXR is back.  But this time he’s more sentient this time?”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  FXR was gone.  He was no longer in my head.  There is no way that this voice has anything to do with FXR.  “No.  No way.  That can’t be right.”

“SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!”

“Oh noooooo.”  A cold feeling of dread and realization washed over me.  It was like the chills you get when you have the flu, but worse.  Allison came over and took my face in her hands, turning my head so we were looking each other in the eyes.  “Talk to me, babe.  Talk to us.  What’s going on inside your head right now?”  I brushed Allison aside and slunk down into a nearby chair, leaned my head back and covered my face with both hands.  “It’s him.  It’s FXR.  And he’s made himself right at home inside my head.  He’s not going anywhere…”

BLOOD MONEY
Part Deux

My release from the hospital was met with some fanfare.  Word had gotten out that I was being released and there were Occhi drones and FIGHT crew in the area, as well as a few hundred local fans.  It felt good to see and hear some folks rooting for me after what felt like the darkest period in my life.  I’ve been injured before, but this, this was very different.  There was a limo awaiting me, when I got in I found Allie, Bella and VooDoo already sitting inside.

“So, what have Damon and Phoenix Squad found out about the explosions at FIGHT! Tower?” I asked as I situated myself between Allie and Bella.  

No one said a word, but moments later the door on the driver’s side opened up and a pair of massive frames topped with bald heads ducked into the limo, flanking VooDoo as they sat down.  One was my father in law Damon Riggs and the other is the owner of Bishop Security Firm, ‘The Phoenix’ Ryan Bishop.  A man I have run many unsanctioned black ops missions with, a man who Allison calls an uncle and I call a good friend.

“How ya feelin’ kid?” Bishop asks.  He had positioned himself on Voo’s left, Damon on her right, a tactical measure as Bishop is a southpaw and Damon is right handed.  If I snapped – which I was known to do when experiencing FXR episodes in the past – they would be ready to unload their dominant handed fists with ease.  “Well enough to tell you that I have control of FXR.  There will be no involuntary slips in and out.  I have to let him out, so to speak.” Bishop cocks an eyebrow and both he and Damon look at VooDoo.  “I told you this time is different.  He actually has conversations with FXR.  But he’s still…himself.”  I could see them both relax and settle themselves into their seats more comfortably.

Opening the mini-fridge, Damon pulls out a ginger beer, no doubt to settle his stomach.  I know he’s been trying all kinds of experimental treatments to combat his cancer.  The man is not done with the business until he is good and ready to be done.  It’s only a matter of time before he finds something that sticks.  “Sorry kid, we had to be sure.”

“I know Old Man, I know.  I really can’t tell you much more about what this is.  I have conversations with him inside my head the same way we’re talking right now.  He is part of me, but at the same time independent of me.  The only thing I know for sure is that I have to grant control to him.  And that I can take it back whenever I want to.”  I fixed my gaze on Damon, my stomach was churning right now. “Tell me you’ve got more ginger beer in that fridge.” With a smirk Damon opens the fridge and tosses a bottle to me before offering some to the others, everyone else politely declines.  Not my usual cup of tea, but it usually helps ease the stomach, and it doesn’t taste half bad.

The limo driver had been instructed to drive us to the Compound in Jersey, which will take about an hour or so.  “Do we have any leads on the explosions at FIGHT! Tower?  Was it an attack?  Demolition for renovations on the Tower start ahead of schedule?”  Damon and Voo both shake their heads.  “Both Damon and I have spoken to Miss F and Xavier.  Investigations are ongoing on the company side.”  Allison psshed at Miss F and Xavier’s names being mentioned. I turned to Bishop, “Sorry, I got bupkis for ya kid.  If this is a freelance operator, they’ve covered their asses well.”

“This is BULLSHIT!  Someone somewhere has to have answers!

I closed my eyes and shook my head a bit.  “Are you okay babe?” Allie asked as both she and Bella each took hold of one of my hands.  “Yeah.  I’m good.  FXR isn’t though.  He’s pissed off that we’re still sitting here with nothing to go on.  When he gets loud, it actually hurts my head.”  I could see the looks of concern plastered on everyone’s faces.  “I’m fine.  I promise.  This is just new for me.  For all of us.  We’ll make do and adjust accordingly.  Vel Mori.”  Damon smirked in a proud papa kind of way.  Latin was something he had Allison and I studying along with Sun Tzu, Bruce Lee and numerous other philosophers and enlightened minds while training with him.  A requisite curriculum; ‘Strengthen your mind and your body to get the most out of life’ was something he said often.

“I’m just concerned about whether or not you’re ready to jump back into competing so soon after your injury and coming out of a coma.”  It’s just like Damon to worry about those he cares about.  Normally it’s a misplaced concern, but right now he’s actually got a point.  “If I’m being honest, I was ready to call it quits.  How do I come back from a beating like that, Damon?  I let so many of our friends and peers down.  People actually believed in me enough to lend Blood Money to me.  They saw me as their best shot at unseating NSQ and wresting control from them.  And I failed them all.”

“Kid, I didn’t win every single match I ever had.  And certainly not against Champions the caliber of Dickie Watson.  He’s hungry.  He’s got an ax to grind.  You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Your chance to stand at the top of the Tower will come before you know it.” Always with the pep talks.  The one thing that Brandon Moore actually hated about training under Damon, and I tend to agree with him, is how he always has to be the coach, the trainer, but never a peer.  “I appreciate that Damon, I do.  But right now I don’t need placation.  I need information.  I want to know who the fuck almost killed me.  And I won’t be able to rest peacefully until I get the answers I’m after…”

“Especially if I have anything to say about it…”

The rest of the drive was filled with small talk about trivial things, personal chatter, the usual.  I had just laid my head back and enjoyed being with my girls again, not being laid up in a hospital bed anymore.  Damon was lost in his phone.  Voo asked to trade places with me so she could sit with the girls, but I knew there was more to it.  “I want to give something to you Dane.  It ain’t much, and to be honest you’d be doing this old dog an honor by taking it off my hands.”  I gave him a confused look.

“You’re coming back from Hell.  You were put through physical agony and torture.  If ever there was a time for you to be reborn anew, now is the time.  I’d be honored if you would accept the moniker of The Phoenix for me.  Lord knows I don’t need it anymore, and it seems to me you are the living embodiment of the name.” The Phoenix Ryan Bishop is bequeathing his callsign to me.  Not just his nom de grapple, but the name his battle buddies knew him by.  Some of whom have departed this plane of existence.  This is not something to take lightly.

“Whaddaya think kid?”  I reached my hand out and we clasped each other’s forearms.  “It would be an honor to use your name.  Are you sure I am worthy of it though?” A gruff chuckle from a grizzled, battle hardened old scrapper, “Kid, you have saved my life and the lives of countless of our friends more times than I can count.  You get beat down and you just keep getting back up.  The word quit does not apply to you.  If anyone is more worthy of it than you, tell them to take it from your cold, dead carcass.”  You can’t argue with that logic.

“The Phoenix Dane Preston has a nice ring to it babe,” I look over to see Allison smiling.  Then I looked back to Bishop, with a head nod in Allie’s direction “did she put you up to this?” Bishop smirked and shook his head, “she orchestrated the when and where.  But I made this decision when you woke up from your coma.  The war you endured, the cage and building crashing on top of you, it just felt right.” I sat there quietly for a moment, “I’ll do my damnedest to make you proud and to bring more honor to the name.”

“We.  We will bring more honor to the name.  And I will hurt a lot of people in the process.”

“Seems like FXR is on board too, frighteningly so actually.” Everyone’s ears perked up at the mention of FXR.  This is going to be really weird for a while, I just know it. “What’d he say?” Allison asks.  Before answering I look around and see everyone staring at me.  “Guys, you’re making me really fucking uncomfortable.  I feel like a freakshow on display right now.” 

Voo chimed in, “Dane.  Honey.  This is new territory for you and Bella only.  Damon, Allison, Bishop and I, we’ve already been through this.  Rayne R. Rivid dropped a nuke on all of us.  I know you weren’t around much to experience it, but surely you’ve heard us talk about it over the years?”  I felt like an ass.  I was training with Damon back then.  I saw the emotional toll the Rivid event had on all of them.  I nodded as she continued. “We trusted him and he hurt us.  Bad.  He betrayed that trust by abducting me, Jenna while she pregnant with DJ, and your very own Winston.  We’re just keeping an eye on you, nothing more.”

“So you’re going to have to forgive us if we’re uneasy about this, kid.  We have a bit of experience here. Just roll with us, let’s make sure you’re in control and we’re good to go.”  Leave it to Damon and his damned silver tongue to ease the tension.  I feel like I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  “You’re right, I guess.  Just don’t look at me like I’m a fuckin’ freak, okay?” I looked out the window in time to see we were exiting the freeway and heading to the family Compound.  Perfect timing if you ask me.

The next couple hours were a blur, we had a cleaning service come in and refresh the bedding and laundry, Allison, Bella and Voo ordered groceries for the week.  We were only here until it was time to head down to the beach house in Miami for Blood Money 2.  But we all agreed that coming here would be best for everyone before heading down south.  I decided to take a walk, I had no particular destination in mind, but wound up standing outside Church.  “Of course.  Home away from home.”

We’d upgraded the communal buildings on the property and outfitted them with biometric locks, so we wouldn’t need badges or hard keys anymore.  I placed my thumb on the scanner, a pair of beeps and an electric lock disengaging later and I was granted access to one of the most important places in my life.  The hallowed halls of iron, where all of us put countless hours into our bodies so as to prepare us for the rigors of the ring.

“Place ain’t changed much since we were rolling on the mats with Brando, and sweet talking Allie’s fine ass.”

“Those are my memories, have a little respect.”

“Our memories asshole.  I’m a part of you, always have been.”

“Fine. Whatever.”

“Don’t be a salty little bitch with me.  I’m not one that almost got us killed.   Though, I should be thanking you.  Because now I can actually speak my mind and you’ll fucking listen.”

“Wait, back up.  What do you mean I almost got us killed?”

“Isn’t it obvious?  You were so caught up in the professional rivals game, that you lost your edge.  You were more bark than bite.  Basically, you kept me locked up.  Had I been in control, we’d have a Championship and we wouldn’t have been cooped up inside your fuckin head for weeks.”

“You’re reckless.  The last time you were in control, I broke Shane’s nose.  He still won’t talk to me unless he absolutely has to.  Thanks a lot.”

“Dude was pussyfooting around, not taking the training seriously.  Just peppered him a little bit.  I’m not even sorry about it.”

“Of course not.  You do all the damage, bear no responsibility and leave the mess for me to clean up.  You’re like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.  Ugly, moody and an all around Asshole.”

“Yeah, basically.  Beats being the soft ass Pretty Boy Prince.”

“Fuck you.  At least the Prince gets the girl.  The beast just fades away into nothingness.”

“Too bad that ain’t gonna happen this time.  I’ve always wanted to go to Disneyworld, and if highjacking you and being the Beast means getting to hang out with your Beauties count me in!” 

“That shit is NOT gonna fly with me.  Let’s get some ground rules laid out right here and now…”

“Nah, fuck that.  You’re gonna shut up and listen.  I have as much say here as you do.  You wanna handle the day to day shit, family shit and all that?  Fine.  But when it comes to training and climbing in the ring, I get the wheel.  And, if I wanna take over during sexy time, you damn well better share…”

“What?!?  No, fuck that.  You’re nothing more than a parasite…”

“A parasite?  I think you forget who it is that was dishing out beatings to Morbid Wolf, Johnny Stylez and left Paul Montuori gasping for air.  All me baby.  Surviving all those years in prison?  Me again.  I am the monster and you are the man.  Together we make Dane Preston whole.  Without me, there is no you.  Savvy?”

“No, you’re a symptom of a much deeper issue.  Something’s wrong with me and I intend on finding out what…”

“Oh, would you please shut the fuck up already?!?  You can make your little phone calls all you fucking want to.  Run to Jordan, run to Dr. Firstein.  I don’t give a fuck.  My job is to keep us alive and to win fights.  You want to be rid of me?  Look at what happened the last time you didn’t let me do my fucking job.  YOU ALMOST DIED.  You know what, why don’t you take a nap and let me handle this shit for a while.”

I didn’t know what to say or do at this point so I conceded to FXR and told him he was in control for a while.  Next thing I know he’s racking the bar for weighted squats and I about shit myself.  My back was crushed only weeks ago, the coma was the least that could have happened.  I could have been paralyzed.  And this lunatic wants to start with heavy weighted squats?!?  Thankfully he decided to do some body weight squats first.  I’m glad to know he’s smart enough to warm up first.

FINALLY SOMEONE LET ME OUTTA MY CAGE!  I’ve always wanted to say that.  Godsdamn it feels good to be outta your head.  Now, the first thing we should be doing is hunting your wife and Bellz down, because I’ve missed what it feels like to be with the two of them.  But that’s gonna have to wait though. Truth be told, it’s time to start putting that work in if we stand any chance of coming out of Blood Money unscathed.  I know all too well what it feels like to be outnumbered, to have more enemies than allies. This ain’t just another day in the GenPop yard at Quentin, though.  See, this is altogether different, it ain’t like last time.  You got cats coming from all over the world, other promotions and shit.  They’re all hunting for the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow.  I mean, we’ve seen some of these new cats already.  Peter Vaughn and Johnny Frenz for starters.  A coupla no good chumps chasing what’s rightfully mine.  But, see, what nobody knows is that we’re different this time around too.  This time we ain’t hyperfixated on some fuckin Meatbol trying to steal our dame.  Nah, this time we have our eyes on the prize right and proper like.”

“There are just too damned many names to address, so, we’ll put it to you plain and simple; anyone and everyone is eligible to catch these hands.  But we’ve got enough time to focus on a few of you unlucky saps.  Let’s start with this fuckin clown running around here like a knock off comic book villain, trying to ride our coattails to relevance…”

“Don’t make us laugh, kid.  We’re no stranger to being the bait and target for fresh meat when they first walk in the door.  Just ask the current Empire Champion what happened when he stepped foot in the ring with us the first time.  Now, I know it’s a faux pa here for us to clap back at you right now, just know you said some shit that did not sit well with us.  You hurt our wife’s feelings, which means you have to contend with more than just this handsome piece of meat you see before your very eyes.  Hmmph, maybe I should bring a crowbar along, just for added protection.”

“Then we have the False Queen, she-bitch, aunt in law that’s been lusting for our man meat since the moment she laid eyes on us.  It makes no difference to us, man or woman, friend or foe, closest family or most bitter of rivals.  Come one, come all.  But especially you Dickie F’n Watson, we’ve got ourselves a bit of a tie here.  Granted, you left us laying in the middle of that cage, in one of the biggest matches of the season, hell maybe the year but most certainly the biggest match of our career.  We’ve still got a victory against you.  And nothing would mean more to us than for us to walk away from Blood Money with the win.  While we ain’t got a clue if that puts us back into contendership for the Empire strap, it’ll damn sure be a hefty sum of Blood Money to add to our vault.”

“Of course we’ve got our friendly neighborhood Meatbol, JMont.  We went to war, you and us, and we put the whole godsdamned world on fuckin notice that we were here and there wasn’t anyone who would stop us from making our names in this great wide world of wrasslin’.  Win or lose, you’re going to know who the fuck we are.  Now, specifically Joe, we want to say thank you for giving a shit enough to come and check on us.  You’ve proven that you really are capable of turning over a new leaf and for that we appreciate you.  But make no bones about it, you’re catching these hands the same as everybody else.”

“We’d be lying if we said we had no intention of squaring off with the sexy and sultry Sahara.  But she couldn’t jump off her new man’s dick long enough to come and see us in the hospital.  After everything we’ve been through together, she’d cast us away like yesterday’s refuse.  No further use for us.  It really does hurt Dane’s heart.  Really and truly.  But it won’t stop us from grabbing those gorgeous mounds of yours and Boobplexing your sexy ass clear across Cinderella’s Castle!  You hurt my boy, now we’re gonna hurt you!”

“The attention Fight! has garnered this last year is amazing, we must admit.  Fight! attracted such names as Chronic Chris Page, Centurion, Sam Hamilton, Peter Vaughn, Nick Night, Serena Riot and PWE Champion Damian Ayla to come and play with us.  It’d be a slap in the face to all of them for us not to extend a nice, warm welcome to Fight! before we literally slap them in each of their faces and break our feet off in their asses.  For what it’s worth, some of you we actually like.  Page, you seem a decent enough bloke, but we’re warning you here and now, keep shit professional with VooDoo or you will find yourself #1 on our Hit Parade.  Serena Riot, Centurion and Peter Vaughn, we follow your exploits on the Twittermachine for the most part, but we like what we see.  Please know that what happens in Blood Money, stays in Blood Money.  It’s every man, woman and child for theyselves.  Nick Night, we haven’t got a clue who you are, but we like your name and look forward to making your acquaintance.  Just don’t hold it against us after we do what we’re supposed to do…”

“Besides Watson, there’s a handful of folks we’re especially looking forward to crossing paths with.  The first is James Raven.  Jimmy, we hope you didn’t forget about us or the promise that we made to make your life a living Hell.  Because come Blood Money, if we cross paths with you, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.  Do keep in mind, turnabout is fair play.  Next on our wish list is good old Blood Moneybags Shawn Warstein hisself.  Don’t think for one second that we’ve forgotten about you Sunday punching us at the Christmas party.  We’ve been waiting for the right time and place to give your receipts to you.  So, please do us the courtesy of seeking us out before we’re forced to seek you out.  It’ll make things much much easier for everyone involved.”

“Druscilla White, my sinister sister from another mister.  We’ve joked about it time and again, what would happen should we ever lock horns with you.  Well here’s our chance little lady.  We hope you don’t mind being treated as equally as any of the other females kicking ass and taking names in this event.  Because just like Miss Michelle and Sahara, you too are eligible to catch these hands.  Best of luck lady, I know someone’s gonna need it.  One more thing, we heard about Robi’s accident.  We’d like to extend our well wishes to all of your friends and family and wish Robi a speedy recovery.”

“Then that brings me to PWE’s Champion; Damian Ayla.  You are someone we are very excited to engage in this contest.  We understand that you’re set to be facing Vhodka Black, a woman very near and dear to our hearts.  A woman who we are no stranger to throwing down with.  A woman, who by all accounts could very well take that Championship from you.  A word of advice, if you find yourself on all fours in the middle of the ring, scurry the fuck out of there as quick as you can or she’ll ride you around the ring like a bucking bronco for the entire world to see.  It won’t be your proudest moment, that much we can promise you.  But between us, we’d very much like to see what you bring to the table.  It’s our understanding that we were on a list of potential cross brand talents to venture over to PWE.  We’re just curious to see if we’re up to par with someone of your caliber before we make the decision to commit.  So do us a solid, wouldja, don’t be a stranger and come say hello…”

AND BURN WITH ME!

Ducking under and situating the bar on my shoulders, I drove the weight off the rack and took a couple steps back.  With a deep breath, I dropped my ass as low as I could, pausing for half a second before exploding back up…  Sadly, that did not happen and I fell backwards, the back of my head hitting the bar…  Sitting down on the floor for a moment,  Fixer relinquished control back to me.

“Don’t you say a fucking word…”

“That was graceful of you.  Are you done with your little pity party now?” I rubbed at the back of my head, wincing a bit as I grazed the knot forming above the base of my skull.  I didn’t hear the door open, but I heard the approaching footsteps and turned to see Allison making her way over to me.  Without so much as a word she just wrapped her arms around me. “What’s wrong baby?”

“I’m just worried about you.  I was watching…and listening on CCTV.  Fix is very different from you.  He seems very…”

“Sexy.  She means sexy.”

“Hostile is the word I think you’re looking for.”

“Eccentric.  But definitely hostile.  Also, kinda charming in his own way.  You can tell he is just as protective of me as you are…”

“Don’t forget love, you’re in Blood Money too, it’d be a shame for you to get tangled up with FXR.  He might hurt you…”

“Oh please, a little sweet talk and he’ll be putty in my hands, just like you, Phoenix….”  With a playful little shove she starts to walk away.

“I hate to see her leave but I love to watch…”

“Not another fucking word!”

Allison glanced back over her shoulder, “Does Fix have something he’d like to say to me?” I glared at her.  “We’re not having this conversation, and for fuck sake, don’t call him FIX.  It’s weird.” In typical Princess fashion, she folded her arms across her chest and raised her eyebrows.  “Well, we’re not getting any younger here.”

I grumble and rub at the ache in the back of my head, “he says he loves to watch you as you go…”  Allie’s cheeks flushed, and then that devious Riggs grin crossed the span of her face before she turned and walked away with an exaggerated supermodel strut as she left.

“See, she likes me already…”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Save that hostility for Blood Money.  We’re gonna need it, Phoenix!”