That Feeling/The Ring

By: Ricky Rodriguez

Date: 6th Aug 2021

The night of the Margarita Mix first round. Ricky Rodriguez had met up with his partner Sebastian Grey so they could coordinate a few things for their match against Father Thyme and Billy Young. Which, of course, left Big Ass Bobby and Alessa Holloway to their own devices. Shouldn’t be anything wrong with that.

The parking garage of that arena was where the two of them were. Bobby leaned the bulk of his massive frame against the black pickup truck behind him. His arms crossed at his chest, which was covered by a white t-shirt. Turning his head, Bobby’s attention focused on Alessa as she stood back, an arm’s length in front of him. Her thoughts were anywhere but here and that could be seen quite clearly by the back and forth pacing she was doing in front of him.

Bobby: Not as easy as you thought it was going to be, was it?

As soon as those words rolled off of Bobby’s tongue, Alessa snapped her head to the side, glaring at Bobby through narrowed eyes. Alessa was dressed simply, a pair of form fitting denim jeans and a solid black t-shirt.

Alessa: I never thought it was going to be easy, Bobby. He’s becoming more and more..receptive though. It’s only a matter of ti..

Bobby: He doesn’t even know what you’re planning, does he Alessa?

Listening to what Bobby said after he cut her off, she scoffed, turning her back to the much larger man. However, before she could come up with something to say, Bobby continued to talk in that low tone of voice.

Bobby: This was your plan, remember that. I’m happy where I’m at. I don’t see the world like you see it. I don’t feel it like you feel it. Whatever grudge you hold against how things are? It’s your own, don’t forget that Alessa.

A low sigh escaped the lips of Alessa as she turned her body back around to look at Bobby. Determination flashed across her face as she took a single step towards him, closing part of the distance between the two of them. Bobby uncrossed his arms, letting them drop to his sides. He tilted his head to look down at her as she brought a single hand up to press against his chest.

Alessa: Bobby, our parents..the parents of all of the families didn’t know how good they had it. They didn’t know the world around us was going to deteriorate as much as it has. It’s time for us to pick up where they left off. It’s time to go back to the life they lived. Away from all of this. Free from the constant squabbles. Lawed by our own.

Bobby: Have you ever thought about the reasons why they chose to leave that life? To leave that whole way of life behind? All the sacrifices? Those are human lives, each one of them, Alessa. All to protect that freedom you want so badly.

But before he could continue on, it was Alessa’s turn to interrupt him.

Alessa: You say it like it was past tense. You know what happened to Tyler. You know exactly what Ricky’s dad did to him.

Bobby: He knew too much.

Alessa: He was a sacrifice to protect a way of life. Nothing different than what’s needed to return to that life. To keep that life. To keep all of us safe from the horrors of this world. We can be away from all of this. We can be safe from this world, Bobby. Don’t you want that? Don’t you think Ricky would want that? Not just Ricky but Maria and Josh too. They don’t know of the paradise like we do, Bobby.

And just like that, her hand snaked up to rest against his bearded face. She looked up into the eyes of Bobby before raising up on her tiptoes just enough to let her brush her lips against his. As she did that, Bobby brought one of his arms around her to jerk her up against him. He lowered his head and roughly embraced her. It was brief as Alessa bit onto his lower lip, pulling back against it before letting go.

Alessa: I knew you’d see things my way.

That seductive tone dripped from every word she spoke. Another sharp bite at Bobby’s lower lip led to him bringing his other arm around her as well. Ducking down, she slipped free from his grip before wagging a single finger at him.

Alessa: Don’t forget. When I get what I want then you’ll get what you want. You already know how worth it it will be. All we have to do is make Ricky realize that that’s what he wants too. And that shouldn’t be hard at all. Afterall, you’re his best friend, his..protector. And me, I’m the childhood friend who caught him when he was down. The ultimate love of his life. He’ll believe whatever we want him to believe. Then, he just has to accept his father’s, now vacant, place as head of his family.

Bobby: That was really bad how you did him and her both though, you know that, right?

Alessa: Whatever do you mean? Hunting accidents happen all..the..time.

At that point, all Bobby could do was shake his head slowly. Despite the sense of disappointment, he still couldn’t help but to laugh at the thought of it all.

Alessa: Just remember what’s at the end of this road. We’ll be free. We’ll live a life worth living. Isn’t that something worth sacrificing for anything? Isn’t that something you would do anything for? These people, they’ve made their choice, this is the world they want to live in. I’m making my choice and I know you’ll make your choice. Will it be the right one?

Bobby: It will.

Alessa: Good, now we can get back to wearing him down. We’re right there, Bobby. Everything is right there at our fingertips. We just need that last..little..push.
____________________________________

The scene picks up in the middle of a signing event. It had been a fun time for everyone involved sure but none more than for Ricky Rodriguez. That ear to ear grin dominated his features. These types of events began to become more and more frequent as of late and Ricky enjoyed them more and more as they went on. No matter how insignificant or how important the discussion he had with the fans, it all meant so much to him.

Whether they were excited to see him or they wanted to tell him how shitty they thought he was, he still wore that seemingly unshakable grin. To top it all off, it was a pretty nice day too, as emphasized by the khaki shorts and sleeveless black shirt Ricky wore. As the day rolled on, it grew closer and closer to the end of the event. While some were worn out, exhausted even, Ricky still sat on a boatload of energy.

That is, until he got up from the chair he sat on. Stepping up onto that chair, Ricky took the next step to stand up on that white folding table. A mixture of cheers and boos resonated from those fans in attendance. A look of skepticism flashed across his features before starting to wave his arms up and down. Almost on cue, those people got even more loud with their reactions.

Ricky Rodriguez: Let’s hear it! Who’s ready for Venom?!

Despite their feelings for Ricky himself, there was a resounding roar of approval from that crowd. Still standing on the top of that table, Ricky nodded his head in total agreement. A hint of deviousness snuck into that grin as he posed his next question.

Ricky Rodriguez: More importantly, who’s ready to see me kick the hell out of Shawn Warstein’s ole girl?

Now that reaction wasn’t as positive. Quite the opposite actually as the boos rained down over him. In an effort to further this, he threw his arms out, almost basking in their reaction.

Ricky Rodriguez: Look at y’all, panties all up in a twist cause of that. And I mean, I’m not wrong about that, yeah? That’s exactly what she is. That’s exactly what I see her as. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my research on her. Did some digging and all that. But despite that, that’s the problem with being shacked up with someone with a much bigger name than yours. Their spotlight is a hell of a lot brighter than yours. And that’s what people eventually start to see you as and you know damn well I’m right, Kase.

The boos weren’t quite as loud as they were the first time. There were even a few murmurs about how what he said made sense. Ricky gave a shrug of his shoulders before bringing his arms up and lacing his fingers at the back of his head.

Ricky Rodriguez: But don’t let it get you too down, Kase. See, when that bell rings and I look across at you? The only thing I’m going to see is Kasey Winterborn. You’ll have every bit of my focus. You will be the most important person in my world. Oh, you wanna know why? Cause you stand between me and that win I so greatly want, Kase. And that’s that win.

His grin grew as Ricky began to walk back and forth across that table. He kept his attention forward at those people in front of him.

Ricky Rodriguez: We all know how important those are, don’t we? See, I love to win. I know it doesn’t really happen for a lot of you but it does with me. It’s a feeling I can’t get enough of. And? I’m coming off of two pretty damn big wins. Not only did I handily beat Valkyrie, making her look like a damn fool in the process, but I went into OCW with Sebastian Grey, and in the MAIN EVENT, we kicked Billy Young’s and Father Thyme’s asses. I’m feeling on top of the world and I’ll be goddamned if you’re going to take that away from me.

The grin had slowly faded away as he spoke. Those words became less and less lighthearted and took a much more serious tone to them.

Ricky Rodriguez: It’s simple, Kase. We’re going to go into this match and I’m going to run circles around you. You’re going to get yours but when it comes down to it? I’m going to push through. I’m going to give you more than you can handle and I’m going to put you down. I’m taking this win and continue taking every step needed to show just how good I am. And you? You get to go back to being Shawn Warstein’s ole girl.

As that last word left the lips of Ricky, he reached down to grab the bottom of the shirt he wore. Pulling it up and over his head, he tossed it into that crowd of people. In the process, he felt the ring on that silver chain hit against his chest. Stopping entirely, he reached up to let his fingers run against it briefly. Jumping off of that table, he landed upon his feet before throwing his arms out again. And with that, the picture slowly faded out, focusing upon the half assed grin Ricky displayed.
____________________________________

This ring..what does it stand for? Why does it make me feel like it does? I needed to know. I stood out on that balcony, not even really looking at anything, just staring off into the distance so I could try and work through my thoughts. It wasn’t long until I felt those arms wrap around me. Even though I couldn’t see who it was, I knew. The touch. The smell. The lovingness of that hug. It was Alessa. It’s like she knew I was in my head and wanted to help.

She didn’t even ask what was wrong, she just started explaining. Everything, all of it. The ring represented my family but not in the traditional sense. Before I was born, my parents..they were a part of this group. A few families, they ‘foresaw’ just how bad things were going to be so they banded together and started their own..community. They abided by their own laws, their own way.

They had their own vision of God. It kept them safe. It kept their livestock healthy and their harvests plentiful. It was peace in this world to prepare for peace in the next. But peace has a cost, I guess. They had to ‘make a sacrifice’ in the name of their God. She didn’t give much clarity on what exactly meant but even that was overshadowed by one fact. It wasn’t a group. It wasn’t a community. It was a cult. My parents were in a cult.

But that was all she said. She gave me a light kiss against my cheek and told me she was going to bed and walked back inside. I just stood there, hundreds of more questions than I had before. My hand moved to grab at the ring and squeeze it tightly. Now that I knew exactly what that ring was and what it meant, those ominous feelings I had towards it only grew.

Everything began to feel overwhelming. Sure, all of it was before I was even born but learning something like that? It totally changes how you see everything. I guess it’s like they say: Some things are best left unknown.