[fXr] SHOTS FIRED [FYA]
By: Dane Preston
Date: 10th Sep 2021
The Night Allison and Sahara Returned from the Island
Allison sat on the couch in the living room of the Island Suite and apartment that she once shared with Joe Montuori, who was the other ? of the Islands Champion, that she was currently sharing with me since I won the Toxic Tag tournament for me and Joe. Freebird rules going forward, for each title defense, FIGHT would pick which pair of us would defend them.
Allison knew one of the reasons I decided to stay in the Island suite was to irk JMont after being forced from it because Allison was tired of his bullshit lies about them still sleeping together. It worked for a little while, until Joe “fell in love” with Mia, and proved he never truly cared about her. Not that she ever thought he did. It felt strange living in the same apartment again, but sleeping in separate bedrooms; the “choices” we made got us into this situation. The good thing was, at least we could still talk to one another.
Hearing my footsteps approaching, Allison turned to look towards the door as she heard the familiar beep of my keycard being swiped. Seconds later the door swings open, and I walk in with a bouquet of sunflowers and daffodils. Not expecting to see Allison waiting for me, I smiled and walked over to give her the flowers.
Dane: “I half expected you to be asleep already, but Iím glad that youíre notÖ“
ARP: ”I told you I wanted to talk. I meant it.” She smiled as she smelled the flowers. I know my wife and she wasnít a roses kind of girl, not by a long shot. In Chinese culture, sunflowers were for good luck and lasting happiness and daffodils rebirth and new beginnings. Her bottom lip quivered just a little and she fought the lump in her throat down. “Thank you, Dane. Theyíre beautiful.“
Dane: “I am so glad you got home safely. I was worried sick the moment I discovered that you were missing.“ I shrugged off my leather vest and set it on the arm of the couch, then I took a seat a cushion away from Allison. The wounds were fresh. There were awkward moments where we still felt uneasy in each otherís presence. ”Iím so sorry Princess, I never meant for any of this to happenÖ”
ARP: “Me neither, hun. This is all my fault. I just…“ Her eyes welled up some and she took a deep breath. ”When I was on the island and the house was struck by lightning and Lauren and I were scared to death, huddled in the darkÖ. I kept thinking.. I am going to die and I was never going to see you or the kids again.” She finally burst out in tears.
Awkwardness be damned, I moved over to sit down next to her and put my arms around her, slowly. Without any hesitation, Allison took refuge in my warm embrace and bawled her eyes out. We sat there in silence, save for Allisonís sobbing, for what felt like hours. I broke the silence and stated an observation that just came to mind.
Dane: “You know, despite everything that has happened, it looks like you and Sahara have grown pretty close the last week or twoÖ“
ARP: “A near death experience and relying on each other for survival can change almost anyone’s heart.” She looked like she wanted to ask me something and I was prepared to answer. “Did you fuck Sahara back in EWA while I was pregnant with the twins?“
Dane: “Nope, only the one time after the Maury show fiasco.”
ARP: “You have to believe me when I tell you, this is not what I thought would happen. You have to believe me when I tell you that I donít know what happened with that stupid fucking test, but that test was bullshit. You have to believe that I donít love Joe and that I havenít been sleeping with him this whole time.“ It all came out in a single breath, her voice cracking more with each sentence. ”You have to know that Iíve never loved another man since I fell in love with you.”
Dane: “I never stopped loving you. I trusted you to do the right thing, even throughout all the bullshit rumors. Sadly we both got pushed into doing something we wouldnít normally have done.“ I got quiet for a moment and put my head in my hands. “Please know that I love you and I want to be able to move past all of thisÖ“
ARP: “But you have feelings for Sahara tooÖ”
Dane: “Yes and no. I donít know. All I know is that my feelings are scattered all over the place.“ He took a moment to collect his thoughts before he continued. “I knew in my heart that what I was doing was so wrong, but it felt right at the same time.“
ARP: Hearing his words stung, Allison; it was one thing with Ani and Bella, but it was something else with Sahara; because she hadnít been there, too. She swallowed the lump in her throat. “She wonít willingly admit to it, but after our conversations, I suspect she has feelings for you too.“
Dane: “Well I canít do anything about that. I just want us to be able to heal and move past all of this. We canít do that being co-Champions with Joe. And I donít know how we can even begin to deal with Sahara without emotionally destroying her and making an enemy out of her.”
ARP: His words stung again, while she had no feelings for Joe Montuori, he had feelings for Sahara. ”I think the first thing we need to worry about is us, before you worry about Sahara and her feelings.” She paused for a moment. ”So, DaneÖ how do we heal? How do we move past all of this?“
Dane: “We remember that we have a wonderful life, a beautiful family, and that a little speed bump doesnít take that away from us. I said it since the moment Joe stirred this shit up, I was going to fight to keep my family together. As long as youíre willing to fight at my sideÖ”
ARP: “I want my family back.“
Dane: “You never lost your family. You and I, we strayed, but weíre course correcting now. Iím here if youíll still have me.”
ARP: “Iím so sorry, Dane. I never meant for any of this to happen.“
Again she burst out in tears and Dane pulled her over into his arms and held her so tightly to him. The whole time he whispered those soothing little words that a person does to comfort someone. Then came a knock at the door, Allison abruptly sits up and clears the tears from her eyes.
Dane: “Who the hell could that be at this hourÖ“
I walked over the door and looked out the peephole, then turned my attention back to Allison as I opened the door. Without a word Sahara walked in and cracked me across the face with the hardest open hand slap any woman has ever caught me with. Blinking my eyes a bit, I try to shake off the stars.
Sahara: “Thatís for double teaming me at Toxic Tag with that barrel of Montuori spunk. Mind if I stay here for the night, my apartment is too quietÖ“ Though it was more of a statement than a question as before either Allison or I could respond, she pointed down the hallway. ”Bedrooms?” Allison nodded and Sahara peeked into both rooms, before settling on my room, closing the door and locking it behind her. I rubbed my cheek where Sahara had slapped me.
Dane: “Well, looks like Iím sleeping on the couch tonight.“
“This week is a special case, Iíll be squaring off with Ricky Rodriguez. Despite outward appearances, and despite what Joe Montuori Might spoon feed the rest of you, I am a man dedicated to family. Specifically my family. And as much as Damon Riggs might get on my last godsdamned nerve, heís still my father-in-law. Not to mention the fact that heís pushing 60 years of age, and heís suffering from cancer.“
”What I wanna know is in what fucking world is it OK for Ricky Rodriguez to try to intimidate the Old Man? And how is it that Iím the fucking bad guy in this situation, when all I did was give Ricky a fair warning not to approach Riggs. You see young buck, Iíve been in your shoes. Iíve had my problems with Damon Riggs and it all stemmed from how he would constantly stick his fucking nose into my marriage to his daughter over the years.”
“Iíve put that man through a maple dining room table, which cost me a cool 35 grand to replace. I put my fist through his face on a number of occasions. Just know that everything that you wanted to do in that moment where you bit your tongue and you held back, I have already done to him. Years ago. Before he was diagnosed with cancer and while he was still active in the ring. And it didnít solve a godsdamned thing.“
”Now, I know in your head you were getting your feelings out, you were letting the Old Man know whatís what, you were letting him know that youíre not gonna tolerate that kinda shit. But you were still peacocking and flexing in an attempt to show off for Sahara. I donít give a fuck what you do what you say, but when you make a move on anyone in my family you automatically bump yourself to the top of my fucking hit list. I gave you ample opportunity to walk away, yet you still chose to ignore my warning. What happens to you this week at Venom falls solely upon your shoulders. Not mine.”
“Now, letís switch gears and address a couple of gorgeous elephants in the room. Iím no stranger to Anicka Swan, sheís used her feminine wiles on me on more than one occasion. As a matter of fact there was a period of time where we thought she was going to be with us for good. Sadly that was not the case, but we are very close and on very, very good terms.† You got fucked and chucked, but she’s still on the approved list to share our bedroom with us.† Let that sink in.“
”And then thereís Sahara, I donít even know where to begin. If Iím being completely honest with you I donít trust you anymore than I trust JMont, I donít claim ownership of Sahara, I donít control what she does, who she associates with or who she fucks. Thatís her business. Having said that she and I were very intimate with one another, weíre also friends and allies. If for one moment I suspect that the romance between the two of you jeopardizes our friendship or our alliance I will put you the fuck down. Thatís no idle threat, thatís a bona fide guarantee. And if you doubt me for even a fraction of a second, I welcome you to test that assumption at your earliest convenience. In other words fuck around find out, then get bent and get broken.”
“Despite what JMont has told the world, my wife is still my wife, next to my children she is the most important person in my world. Your boy Joe came into my life, and fucked with my world. So, if you think that Iím gonna let you do the same thing, youíre out of your godsdamned mind. What Iím saying is that Sahara is part of my world. And that means that Iíll protect her just like I protect anybody else that I give a shit about. Which is how you and I wound up in the spot in the fucking first place. Because I choose to protect those I love, those I care about.“
”And you Ricky, all youíre doing is posturing, I mean it. Youíve been showing off for Sahara, and trying to paint this picture where Iím a control freak, or that Damon likes to throw his money around and abuse people, which could not be further from the truth. So letís clear up what really happened, once and for all. Damon wanted Allison and Sahara to work through their issues. He made arrangements to secret them away for a little island paradise R&R. The problem is he didnít share that information with anybody else, including me, husband to his daughter. So I woke up the next day frantic from the news.”
“But unlike you, I actually have ties to both the women that went missing, those ties are more meaningful than sleeping with one of them. While I respect the fact that you were willing to help find them, the extent of your concern for their well being ended then and there. Once it became public knowledge that Damon had secreted them off to that island paradise and that there was a tropical storm heading right for them, Damon exhausted every fucking effort to get to that island and get the girls out of harmís way.“
”So you can sit there and talk all the bullshit you want to try to validate your rage, but what it all boils down to is that you wanted to have a dick measuring contest with the Old Man. Itís like I said before, what I do to you this week at Venom, You brought upon yourself. It doesnít matter how you twist it, how you phrase it, those are the cold hard facts and if I have to kick them down your throat to make you swallow them, well Hell, Iíd be more than happy to.”
Two Days Before Venom
When Mia looked through the peephole, there was a clear look of shock on her face as she peered out at the blonde she knew as Sahara. Theyíd met at the Velvet Rabbit on a few occasions, but Sahara was usually standoffish, not to mention their neverending war of words on Twitter. Her brow furrowed in confusion, “Can I help you?“
Sahara smirked, “Yeah um, is Joe around?“
Mia shook her head, “No, heís still at the tower thing, didnít you check there first?“
Of course, Sahara already knew where Joe was as sheíd overheard heíd be meeting with Allison for some reason that afternoon.
“Dammit! We were supposed to discuss something about Venom–“ Sahara let out an exasperated sigh. “Do you, uh, know if heís gonna be cominí around soon?“
Mia nodded, “Actually, yeah. Heís supposed to stop by in a little while.“
”Damnit!” Sahara looked at her watch before looking around, ”Ya mind if I wait inside with ya?!”
Mia looked confused, ”I uh, thought you two hated each other?”
Sahara laughed, ”Mia, honey, you know itís not real, right?”
Still confused, Mia asks ”You two hating each other?”
Sahara shook her head, ”All of it, Mia. It’s just a way to sell tickets. Thatís literally our job. If the fans donít believe we hate each other, thereís no intrigue, and without intrigue, thereís no heat. I know thatís a lotta insider wrestling terminology, but no, we donít really hate each other, itís just a show!”
Mia shook her head and laughed as she unlatched the door, ”Ya know, I kinda thought that, with how you two seem to fight all the time on Twitter, yet youíre always at the Velvet Rabbit together along with everyone else?”
Sahara shrugged, ”Like I said, itís just a show.”
“Thatís kind of a relief, I thought you guys were taking some of this too far.”
As Mia led Sahara through the foyer, she gave a brief tour of her rather nicely furnished apartment. High ceilings, a lot of windows. Bitch had it all, probably courtesy of Joe and that stripper money. Sahara nodded in admiration at the exquisite decor in the various rooms, including the massive television screen hanging on the wall that had to cost a pretty penny. Joe came across as such a shallow scumbag, she never realized the guy might actually have some taste, though she probably shouldíve, considering the money that moron throws around.
Looking around, Sahara nodded, “You got a really nice place here, Mia.“
”Thanks! Um, Joe was gonna grab us some food on the way here, you want me to text him to pick something up for you?”
“Heavens no! I already ate. Besides, thisíll only take a few minutes–“
As they entered the living room, Sahara looked around, noting the arrangement of the furniture before locking her pale blue eyes on Mia.
“So this wrestling thing, itís all just a show? Like itís fake or someth–“ Just as Mia turned to ask the question, she staggered back from a blinding shot to the throat and nearly tripped over the glass coffee table situated in the center of the living space. Mia gasped for air as the smiling blonde casually approachedÖ
”No, the show was getting you to open the fucking door and let me in, you stupid hooker. I assure you the wrestling part of it is–” Sahara viciously kicks Mia in the midsection, ”–quite real!”
“Ya see, my dear, your new boyfriend made the cardinal sin of involving you. Ya never involve outsiders! Everyone knows that! And on repeated occasions heís told me how you were gonna Ďkick my assí, so Iím kinda wondering when this ass kickiní is gonna begin?“ Sahara reached down and grabbed Mia by the back of the head, twisting a fist in her hair. Yanking her head back so Mia could see her smiling face, Sahara smashes her fist into the left side of her face. Again. And again! Sahara finally releases her grasp as the former stripper falls back against the sofa dazed and confused. Sahara casually looks around the rather exquisite apartment as she shakes out her right hand.
“Youíre just a regular Julia Roberts, huh? Liviní that stripper slash hooker fantasy where the rich guy falls helplessly in love with ya?“ Sahara snorts a laugh. “I hated that stupid fucking movie.“
Sahara crouches down next to Mia, who defensively blocks her face. Her labored breathing came out with a wheeze.
“Damn, Iím sorry. Thatís gonna bruise up like a bitch. So tell me, Mia, is this when yer gonna start kickiní my ass, or — I dunno — are we waitiní for a Hulk up or something?!” Sahara couldnít help but laugh.
“Here, lemme help ya with that–“ Grabbing fistfulls of Miaís hair, Sahara forces her back to her feet and in one motion, bends her backwards over a knee. Nearly face to face, Sahara lets the moment linger before she whispers into Miaís ear, ”Tell your pig boyfriend that Dane sends his regards.”
With a snarl, Sahara twists and sends Mia crashing face first into the glass coffee table with a devastating Sister Abigail. As their bodies collide with the fragile structure, pressure cracks simultaneously form across the entire length of the table and explode outward, sending shards of glass flying in every direction. Having taken the brunt of it, Mia lies almost motionless in the frame of what remains of the coffee table as Sahara rolls to the side into a sitting position and nonchalantly shakes glass from her clothing.
”Did that feel fake?” Sahara laughs, knowing full well there was no answer forthcoming. The blonde smirks as she finally gets back to her feet and dusts herself off. She grabs Mia and twists her over, but leaves her lying inside the frame of the coffee table face up. Spatters of blood nearly covered Miaís face and every other inch of exposed skin from the tiny shards of glass that flew every which way as she lay there helpless. Her chest was slowly rising and falling with each labored breath.
”Now thatís what they call a crimson mask!” Saharaís lip curled into an evil little asymmetrical smile. ”I know! More insider terminology!”
Crouching over her fallen prey, she carefully brushes Miaís hair away from her face and uses her index finger to scrawl the letters FYA through the blood covering her forehead. Slowly backing away, Sahara holds her hands out like football goal posts, framing her handy work. Looking at her watch, Sahara takes her time leaving Miaís apartment, heading back to FIGHT Tower.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER
It was movie night, well, itís always movie night with me and Allison, one thing we always had in common was how much we enjoyed watching movies. Times like this, after our infidelities, made it feel like we were finally on the road to recovery. Life post JMont, getting back to normal. While we had a long road ahead of us and things were by no means perfect, forward momentum was progress.
There we were, sitting on the couch together enjoying some drinks and throwing popcorn at each other when Sahara came back to the suite. Sheíd been staying with us ever since the girls got back from the Island, I think Allisonís presence comforted her. Which is so fucking weird to think about, considering I cheated on Allison with her. I was beginning to think that Sahara had grown on Allison, and I wasnít about to complain about it.
Dane: “Hey Panda, weíre watching a movie if you want to join usÖ”
Sahara: “I hate when you call me that, you know that right?” She stopped a moment, glancing at the screen, “Whatcha watchiní?”
ARP: “Pretty Woman, one of my favorites growing up as a kidÖ“
Sahara giggles for some odd reason, “Thatís too fuckiní funny. I hate that movie.“ Without another word, she turns and walks away, locking herself in my old room. Allison and I looked at each other, puzzled looks on our faces. Finally we both shrugged and went back to our movie.
When the movie was over, I got up and started to clean up the popcorn mess while Allison took the dishes into the kitchen. As we were cleaning up, Sahara came into the living room and plopped down on the couch. ”Did I miss movie time? I was hoping for something bloody next, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Army of Darkness.”
Dane: “We werenít in the mood for horror or gore tonight, maybe next timeÖ“
ARP: “Where were you today, I feel like I havenít seen you all dayÖ”
Sahara: “Aww, keeping tabs on me already?“
ARP: “No, Iím making conversation.”
Sahara: “Oh.“ She says sheepishly. ”I was just taking care of that thing Dane wanted me to do.”
Dane: “What do you mean? What did I want you to doÖ“
Before Sahara had a chance to respond, there was a pounding on the door. Confused, I get up and go look out the peephole on the door to find FIGHT Security in full force standing outside the door. Without thinking about it, I opened the doorÖ
JMont: “You PIECE OF SHIT! Mia had nothiní to do with this!“
Before I knew it, Joe had jumped over and through the security team and hit me, I staggered backwards with Joe on top of me. Within seconds security pulled Joe off of me and lifted me to my feet, escorting us both out of the Islands Suite. Allison looked over at SaharaÖ
ARP: “Oh my God, Lauren. What did you do?”
Sahara: “Oh, thatís easy. I started a war.“