The Next Chapter.

By: Druscilla White

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 3rd Dec 2021

🐺🐺Parental Discretion is Advised.🐺🐺
🐺🐺Caution!🐺🐺
The following scenes will make use of foul language, rape, gore, sex, drugs, rock and roll, and adult themes.
If any of this disturbs you or causes you to feel scared, awkward, sad or triggered;
🐺🐺Do Not Continue Further.🐺🐺
The writer reserves the right to utilize the aforementioned techniques to further a storyline.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
💋You Have Been Warned.💋

Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

I knew coming home would be hard; almost impossible. But, I had to. Henry couldn’t be expected to step into the ring in my place. He hadn’t trained for this. He wasn’t schooled in wrestling. Sure, he was a fighter, he could probably give me a run for my money when it came to defensive tactics, but, I was the one who trained with Red. I was the one who practiced daily. I was the one who had the fire in her heart from the age of 15. This was my fight.

This was my title.

I AM the Bareknuckle Champion.

Win or lose, Henry had always been there for me, since he walked back into my life. So, I needed to be here for him now.

Take the beating that was meant for me.
Defend the title I had won.

”Who’s going to shoot first, kid? Me…. Or….” He paused for effect, but really, He looked at Mama. She was sad, but she was also very proud. Mama and Henry had been through a lot this past year, but they had each other. They embraced one another tightly and right as Henry was going to say something, they heard something that derailed his train of thought… Looking up, they heard the door creak open. Mama wiped the tears from Henry’s eyes and they tried to focus on who just walked in.

Mama and Henry gasped loudly…

”You….!”
”You….!”

I had disturbed Henry and Mama as he was doing his shoot; surprised them more like. Hell, I surprised myself lately. With a lot of things. Especially what I had planned next… Breathe…

I nodded, dropping the heavy bag my ring gear was in with a hefty THUD. It echoed. Oops. Henry ran over to me, wrapping me in a tight, almost smothering hug. I choked a bit and tapped his shoulder to free myself; but Mama. She sat on the edge of the ring, staring at me. ”Mama… I…” I began, unsure of how to continue. Or if I even should continue speaking.

She raised a hand to stop me from speaking. Instantly, the little girl in me shrunk in shame. It was amazing how that woman was one of the few who could make me feel like a child again. Widow and Cela were the other two. Funny, wasn’t it? All family members.

She rose from her seated position and walked over to where Henry and I were standing. He backed up. Oh fuck… I was in serious trouble… Before I could turn back from looking at him, I was knocked flat on my ass. The amount of swearing in Belarusian that was flowing from her mouth was astounding, and honestly; I deserved every damned word. And then some…

”Do you know… What Mama went through???” She punched the ground. Hard. ”Mama lost Kachanie…” Her voice wavered, she choked back a sob as I tried to hug her, but she shoved me away. I recoiled. I knew this would happen, but that didn’t do much to shield my poor, broken heart. I stayed on the ground, as Mama railed at me, crying, cursing. Somewhere in the whole scene, she had grabbed my knife from my boot. She was spinning it in her hand. Now, I was worried…

”Kachanie… Mama lose you. Mama watch die.” She flicked the blade, tossing it into the air and catching it by the hilt. ”Mama want die, too.” She touched the blade to her neck. I balked, shoving myself upwards. My shoulder blazed up, hurting a bit still. The flesh had healed but some pain still remained. I hissed softly. She glared. She grabbed my hand and brought it to her chest, over her heart. ”Part Mama die when Kachanie die.” Henry hugged Mama and I closed my eyes. Godsdamnit I had hurt her so badly… It cracked my already broken heart so dangerously deep.

I knew the consequences of my actions, but even with how swift it had gone into play and how quickly things happened; I don’t think the exact magnitude had completely registered.

”I’m sorry…” I whispered.

”Pip, she didn’t move from your apartment for weeks.” He kept Mama in his embrace, and watched me with those sad, hazel eyes. “Widow did what she could, but once things fell into place, she was gone. Hell, Pip, have you even contacted everyone? Hm? Robi? Widow? Does anyone else know you’re … back?… You’ll have to deal with that bill when it comes due…” Fuck… Widow… Well, this just took a turn for the worst… That little woman was going to kill me… I already knew Robi would, but Widow being pregnant made her even more vicious and deadly than she was normally. I swallowed hard.

Mama sighed, reaching out for me. When I hugged her, she wrapped me up and held me tight. ”Kachanie no do that again. No scare Mama.” I nodded, weeping softly, in their arms. I still felt that rage brewing in me; but these two human beings helped soothe it. Maybe if I had grown up with them… These things wouldn’t have…

Maybe… Breathe… What about Diesel…?

What about Cela…?

Fuck….

Breathe…

 

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I grabbed Austin’s head, slamming it directly into the top of my knee; his forehead opening up. I smirked. But Austin seemed changed. Different. I shrugged it off. He was always coming up with some new overly dramatic tactic to achieve what he wanted. I smelled blood. I smiled, sickeningly. We hit one another hard, blow for blow, the rage seething under my skin. Henry stepped in, pushing me back to get a few more licks in on the kid. I huffed a little, but ultimately, once Henry slammed Austin to the mat, the both of us started to pummel him.
Security busted into My pit. I snarled. But then, I smelled nacho cheese, over-processed sugar and crazy with a dash of Aqua Velva aftershave. Vhodka and Vincent were here. Vincent barked orders to his men, some new faces here for me to torture, and they began to yank us all apart. Henry was announced the winner, and I smiled. The old man had done good. He was beaten. He was winded. But by the Gods, he had done what he came in this pit to do; beat Austin’s ass.
Austin was fuming! Almost like a rabid dog; though his recent behaviors would have stood the explanation. He needed the damn chill pills. The security guards yanked us further apart, as we both struggled and fought to continue beating on one another. ”Dead or not. This doesn’t happen again.” Vincent was pissed. But, I expected it. However, wasn’t he happy to see me? I mean, now he didn’t need to hide in the bathroom weeping as he thought of me. ”By the way… I’m SO glad you’re back!” Vhodka squealed to me under her breath; so as not to alert Vincent. I smiled at her, nodded softly and struggled against the security boys again. I had shown Austin I was fucking serious.

 

A Merry Little Christmas.

After the match, I hauled my duffel of gear up to my room. I had a short turnaround tonight, I had to shower, relax, sleep then hop a flight for the Project: Honor show. After I closed the door behind me, I slung my bag over to the couch but wasn’t expecting the resulting “OOF”. I reached in my cut for my gun; base response. I flipped the light on as I pulled it from its holster, thumb pulling the hammer back.

”Jesus Fucking Christ…” The voice from beneath my duffel bag grumbled. As the small hands protruded from a black blanket on the couch I aimed down the sight. ”You had better get yourself right with whatever Gods you pray to…” I snarled, finger on the trigger. But then, it happened. A red head popped up as the small woman pushed the large bag off of her.

It was Priscilla!

My blood ran cold; my heart stopped. I quickly eased the hammer back and stuffed my weapon back in my cut. ”Christ Mom… What the fuck?” Her voice was so small, so different than I had last heard. But wait, what.. She was calling me mom?! HOW?! I had done so much to prevent her from ever finding out… Had Cela told her? Diesel? I stammered for a moment, before I walked over to the couch. ”Um Hi. Don’t swear. How did you…?”

She glared at me. Fucking hell that glare. It was literally like looking in the mirror. But seeing Dane’s eyes. I sighed, sitting down next to her legs on the overstuffed couch. She lifted them to move them into my lap. How the fuck, after all that she had dealt with could she already be this comfortable with me? I admired her face, completely ignoring the fact my apartment was destroyed; an absolute mess. Reaper and Hel trotted from the master bedroom, chirruping and purring at me. Meowing and crying for me. I bent down to pick up Hel as Reaper leapt onto Priscilla’s legs and pawed at my face. I petted them both as I watched her. She was still very much tired, and I knew she needed to be asleep, but I had so many questions. I’m sure she did too.

”Eat yet?” I asked, grabbing my cell from my bag. Priscilla shook her head, rubbing her eyes sleepily. ”I’ll order something. Any cravings?” She shrugged a bit, petting Reaper who flopped onto her with a heavy THUMP. I smiled. ”Chinese?” She nodded, tickling the big cat’s toe beans. I called Wong’s and had them double my usual order. As I set my phone down, I watched as Priscilla grabbed my cigarette tin and lit one. I growled.

”Um, ‘scuse me?” I snagged it from her. ”You’re what… 16?” She rolled her eyes. ”Ugh. Fuck. You’re going to pull the “mom” shit now? Isn’t it a little late for that?” Oh I growled. I wanted to smack her, but given we both had just been through some traumatic shit, I didn’t. I took a drag off the cigarette and moved to the chair opposite her.

”Look, we need to establish ground rules, right? That’s the parenting thing.” She rolled her eyes again and I stiffened. ”Ok. First rule. NO eye rolling.” She grumbled. I took another toke of the cigarette. ”No Smoking. No Drinking. No boys. No Sex. No bitching. No swearing. Curfew is 10.” She balked, but I sat up a bit. Look her in the eyes. ”If you’re going to live in my home, Cill, we have to have some rules.”

Then she sat up, nose to nose with me. She took the cigarette from my hand and placed it between her lips. I growled; she didn’t flinch. “Look. Mom. I’m 17. I’ve had sex. Been fucked around. You know the most of it. I’ve been in the same life you were. Now I’m here. So let’s get this nailed right the fuck down.” I snarled, harder, I could feel my rage rising. Already, this child was testing me. And I. Didn’t. Study!

Breathe…

”I’ll abide by some of your rules, but face it Mom. It’s too little too late.” I sighed. She was right. I hadn’t been a part of her life for years, and when I had been, I assumed the title of “Aunt Dru”. She did not need to know the truth. Well, she didn’t need to know the Whole truth…

What I didn’t know yet was, thanks to Mama and Henry, and Cela… She already knew far more than I had intended telling her.

We talked for quite some time, well after the food had arrived, after Diesel and Cela had joined us; and after both of them waylaid me with their anger and happiness. I deserved it. The moon had started to wane in the sky as Priscilla grew curious again. ”Are you really a wrestler?”

I nodded my head. I had fresh bruises and cuts from my latest match against Austin Ramsay, and Priscilla was enthralled. I showed her some of the news clippings about my career, from Fade2Black, to Outlaw Pro, to Fight and smiled as she kept asking questions. This was all the fame I could want; I don’t think anything could top the high of my own child reveling in what I did for work.

”You won a title!?” She found the article from Ascension, and I smiled. ”Yeah.” I laughed. ”I did.”

”Fucking Hell, you murdered her!” Kid… You have no idea, I smirked. Her eyes, those deep browns, widened and looked up to me. I shrugged. “Comes with the territory, Cill. She knew what could happen when she stepped into that arena with me.” ”And that’s where you were tonight?” I nodded, sipping a DruBrew, uncapping a second bottle, the non-alcoholic “Sarsaparilla” line we were releasing later in December. I handed it to her. ”Yes. Henry accepted the challenge Austin Ramsay had issued… I had to come back.” I sighed, taking another sip.

”I couldn’t let him do this.” My voice was soft, almost a whisper as I looked through the glass doors to my apartment. ”This wasn’t his to defend…” She leaned her head against my side, not saying a word but just enjoying the moment. She sipped her drink and laughed. ”It’s root beer!” I arched my brow and grinned. ”Well, you’re a kid, what did you expect?” She shook her head a bit. ”The great Dru “Prophet” White… caring about kids. Who knew?”

”The Prophet died, Priscilla… The Drakon has risen.” She looked up at me, somewhat understanding what I meant. She nodded and we went back to discussing our pasts, though we were balls deep in our present currently; with one of us concerned about our futures. That person was me.

Diesel had crashed in a chair in the corner of my living room, Cela had crashed on the couch but Priscilla and I had stepped out onto the balcony of Fight Tower. The view was beautiful. Not quite what Krew Towers was, but beautiful. She had chosen some 80’s rock to play softly over the speaker system as we continued our conversation. Baring our scars to each other, the ones that hurt her the most, were the ones that almost killed me. I had been shot many times before, some near-fatal, some not. But the two where my heart should be, you could see the fear in her eyes. When she touched them, a part of me crumbled. As she traced the wings across my chest, she found old stab wounds. I saw sorrow in her eyes, those soulful brown eyes. So much like Dane’s. Mama had told Priscilla the story of her father. How he and I had met. How our affections grew, and how he literally saved my life by losing his own. She found his initials in ink over where my heart really was. And her own. Secretly woven into the feathers across my chest. My secret treasures.

”Mom…” I looked down to her, she was so much shorter than I remembered. Every single scar on her body was my fault, and seeing them crushed me. She had a few scars on her face, a constant reminder of the consequences we both faced. I touched her cheek as she continued. ”Would it be presumptuous of me if I took “White” as my last name?” Oh, my little girl. I smiled softly, for a moment, the rage inside me simmered down, almost cooling. I hugged her softly. ”Oh honey…. I would love it, but “White” isn’t my name…”

As the sun began to peak over the horizon, Priscilla and I wandered from my balcony to the master bedroom. She had been through so much these past weeks, and I felt terrible that I had been the cause of all of her trauma. As I tucked her into my bed, kissing her forehead before I crept silently out of my room, I heard the soft “…. I love you, Mom…” and my breath caught in my chest…

Breathe…

 

All I want for Christmas is You…

 

As I returned from the dead, I knew I’d be met with a mixture of emotions. Love. Hate. Sadness. Happiness. Rage. But, knowing it would happen was different than having it happen. And that’s just what occurred to me when I met Mario for lunch… We shared pleasantries at first, the awkward silence between us pushing us further apart. Neither of us wanted to, but we needed to clear the air. I had no hunger in my belly, though I ordered food. Next, I called the waiter over to take a drink order. I needed a drink if I was going to survive this.

”Where did you go?” Mario’s voice was skeptical. Why wouldn’t it be? He had only heard half of the story.

”Ireland. Poland. Russia. Belarus.”

”Why? Valkyrie killed the guy.” He crossed his leg over the other, leaned forward slightly, as if he were chewing on the answers I gave him.

”Not the one who did this, the one who facilitated it.” I lit a cigarette, took a deep puff. My hands were steady. But the rest of my body shivered, not from the cold, but from being back. My nerves hadn’t been the same since the cruise. I was on edge far more now, than I ever had been before.

When you get that guy? And what then?”

”I’ll hunt down every single person he ever cared about…” I knew that it was dark. I knew it was harsh, but Mario deserved my honesty. He deserved so much more, more than I was capable of giving him. All I did was hurt this man. This loving, caring soul in front of me, I made jaded. I snuffed the light in his eyes.

”Boo, what happened? You.. you were shot. I carried your casket…” He watched me. His soulful eyes just shredded my heart. My chin quivered, I didn’t want to cry again. I reached out to his hand, he pulled away.

Shot one.

I recoiled slightly, the waiter brought our drinks and smiled. ”Baby.. this happened so fast… I couldn’t… I had no choice.” Okay. I half lied. I had a choice. I always had a choice. But, of all the choices, the one I chose had the least fallout. Ironically. I pushed my food away, a beautiful Reuben sandwich with thick cut chips and a pickle. It smelled absolutely delicious, but my stomach was already full of a knife; twisting deeper and deeper.

Mario wiped his eyes. Yes. We had been crying softly. ”Dru, I spoke at your funeral. I cried with Henry.” He shook his head, rightly miffed with me. I closed my eyes, tears streaming down my face. I had given up on keeping my makeup looking nice.

It was running down my cheeks. Staining the white Fight tank I had chosen to wear. Yet another mistake I made today. The first was choosing this place, The Empire Room, as a lunch date. Now, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to come back, and I loved this place.

”Can you forgive me?” I asked, half knowing the answer that would stab me in the heart. Mario stared at me, there was something different in his eyes this time. He licked his lower lip, clinking the ice in his glass as he gently swirled the drink. I sucked in a breath as he said it; ”You know Dru, I’m not sure….”

Breathe…

”I need some time. I’ve spent nights at the Rabbit with Joe and with Dane. I’ll be honest with you, I liked it. I enjoyed it.” He sipped the bourbon.

Shot two. I gasped softly, watching the man I loved, in front of me, literally tell me he enjoyed the bad life; the life with strippers instead of love. I wanted to run. I wanted to curl up and cry. I wanted… I cleared my throat, lifting my glass to my lips. This was my fault. This whole thing was my fault, I caused this. I pushed a good man into the arms of women paid to show their bodies. Anyone who knew me, knew I had nothing against strippers; they were supporting themselves and their families. But, Mario had always been such a good man, he’d never dipped into that life.

Until me.

It was my fault.

He dropped a couple bills on the table, kissed the top of my head and just like that… he walked out of my life. ”I love you…” I whispered as he left. Some of my heart, part of what was left of it, died right then. I stayed at the table. Malachi had chosen a table further back, watching me intently. I was sure he wanted to comfort me, but I was glad he wasn’t. I just sat there, nursing my whiskey, and letting my sorrow slip from my eyes.

Sure. Two bullets to the chest hurt, but in this moment, I think knowing I caused someone to alter their path in life… That fucking hurt. I’d mourn for a few days, but I also had work to concern myself with. Fight had me defending my title against Austin, again, at Silent Fight, Season’s Beatings. But, I also had a debut.. To confront Valkyrie, take an ass whupping and continue planning my revenge.

I didn’t even see him coming. Admittedly, I had other things on my mind, and I hadn’t been expecting anyone else. I won’t say I was losing my edge, but losing Mario definitely dampened my senses, as a soft knock on the table startled me and snapped me back to reality. And there he was, Dane Preston, in all his glory. ”You look like someone died.” Okay then, rip the band-aid off, straight to the point. Smartass. I growled a bit, low, under my breath.

”I saw Mario on his way out. Shook his head and waved me off. Guessing things didn’t go all that well? … You look like you could use a friend right now.” I took another sip of my whiskey and gestured to the open seat. Oddly enough, he was right. I did need a friend right now, and it seemed like he might have been my only one. Thus far, he didn’t want to kill me.

Not saying that couldn’t change…

”That obvious?” I quipped. He smiled softly and nodded. ”Well, they always say it’s best not to drink alone,” I called the waiter over and asked for another glass and told him to bring us the whole bottle. We might be here a while. I noted Malachi had resumed eating his lunch, but still, he watched me.

As soon as the glass was on the table, I poured him a drink. ”I know you’ve been through hell and back. How?” I raised my hand, cutting him off.

I stared at my drink and thought about how to answer his question. ”Everyone keeps asking me that. How could I do that? How did I do that?” I looked at him and let him ponder what I said as I took another sip.

”So what brings you here?”

”Grabbing lunch for me and the girls. This place has killer Reubens, and their french dips are even better.” I cocked an eyebrow at him. ”Listen, I can play your game. I disappeared for weeks, checked in periodically and had to lie saying I was on a bender. I was really on a black ops mission, evac driving is one of my other special skills.” There’s that smirk, smug ass. I’d slug him, under different conditions. ”Let’s ignore the how. What about the why?”

Wow, someone finally asked me why. It’s been all what the fuck or how. ”You know, the only other person to ask me why, will be Robi, I can fucking promise that. No one else has bothered to hit on why. They all focus on other shit.” I hadn’t seen her yet, but I knew her. I hadn’t known how to reach out to her, or where to find her just yet. I figured I’d do it at the next Project: Honor show. I didn’t know if I should tell him or not. On the one hand, no one else had asked me why, so maybe that was enough reason to share, but on the other hand, if he knew why I did it, he might think less of me. Granted; did I honestly care what anyone thought about me? Not really. Not anymore. My choice had more consequences that people realized. More consequences that affected me, almost fatally.

And those consequences hurt. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. They tore me apart. I lost so much more than anyone knew. In doing what I did, I lost pieces of myself. Nothing could ever fix that. Not money. Not family. Not love. Not even the fame that came with being a Champion. I loved the belt, I loved the work, but in case people hadn’t noticed, I wasn’t exactly all there anymore. Call me “unhinged”. Call me “crazed”. None of them were completely incorrect. I wasn’t “Hear voices in my head” or “I have ten thousand personalities” crazy, but I was in a bloodlust that nothing had yet to satiate.

”I did what I did to force someone out to the open.” I sighed. “Look, almost no one outside my family and my club knows this, you’d be the first outside of that… I have a daughter. Okay, she is the why.” I kept my gaze focused on my drink, swirling the brown liquid with the ice cubes. ”In doing what I did, it exposed the person who led my club to my daughter, allowing them to get her to safety. She’d been..” I swallowed hard, clearly hurting for her. ”She’d been hurt, like I had been, by the same people.” I chewed on my cheek for a moment, the pain simmering on the surface of my mood. ”I hadn’t expected that person to be someone I cared for… but, that seems to be my lot lately. I trusted someone enough to let my guard completely down, and Roscoe used that to stab me in the heart. Almost literally” I shrugged. ”Faking my death, vanishing into the ocean, it allowed me to do things I needed to do… And still need to do… Like dealing with Roscoe…” As we continued to talk, sharing more about one another than we had ever done before, time seemed irrelevant.

 

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.

 

Kevin Hunter stood there. Prey to my predator. His jaw dropped as his eyes widened. He fell to his knees. That’s when I moved. I flashed my fangs quickly as I wrapped my hands around his neck and bit down. Hard. His flesh ripped like peach skin as I tore my head back. He gurgled and spat blood and clutched the gaping hole in his throat. I spat the flesh to the ground as I stepped into the light; in front of Robi.

As Hunter fell, I felt him claw weakly at the leather of my boot. I did not move my eyes from Robi’s. Her look of confusion quickly shifted to astonishment and anger; Damn, we don’t get to see Valkyrie surprised that often…” Alara Adams reported, as the match continued.

I stood there. In front of Robi, who, without words, wrapped her arms around me. I hugged her tightly, as she spun me around. But, with zero warning, she put me down and stepped back. The resounding CRACK as she decked me, was a rather sickening sound echoing throughout the forest. I stumbled back, holding my jaw. ”WHAT THE FUCK, DRU?? I thought you were dead!!!”

I smiled, flashing my fangs again, and wiped the corner of my mouth of the blood. ”You know you can’t keep a good Wolf down.”

”Well, you may not be in this little match… But, come with me, I got some people to introduce you to.” She grabbed my hand, but stopped. The moonlight had slowly revealed a small coin…

”What’s that?”

Robi picked up the coin and grinned. She saw the letter “P” etched into it. ”A ticket to bigger and better things. Let’s go!’

 

Don’t Shoot Me Santa!

 

But then, then came Robi. I knew she was pissed. I knew she was livid. And I also knew, I was going to reap exactly what I had sown. I owed her that. I mean, she watched me die. Then she saw me rip some guy’s throat out. Who wouldn’t want some vengeance? I certainly would; Hell, look at me. I was hunting the person who sold me out and I was burning through anyone who knew him. We were in private, our home away from home. And we had been arguing for several hours already, Robi grilling me about what happened. How did I do that? Why did I do that? And I had explained it to her a few times, but she couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t believe she didn’t see the truth behind the lies. The truth behind my lies…

”Look, I saw millions of ways this could have ended and this was the only one that ended with BOTH OF US COMING HOME!” I was angry. I was sad. I was wounded. I was everything I needed to be in this moment, and Robi could see that. She knew I hurt. She knew I was angry. She knew I was ashamed. But, she was livid!

”I WASN’T PLANNING ON COMING HOME DRU!” She snarled at me; ”With you gone…”

I sighed, heavily, watching her. I knew what she was thinking. I could see her mind in motion.
”I knew you’d walk into the lion’s den. Alone. Unprepared. I couldn’t let that happen. You have… so much more to live for.” She growled; I snarled back. “Seriously? What about your gi-“ As I began to say something else; she struck. The fire-hot searing pain shot through my face with the speed of light! I fell back!

This bitch… Yeah, I deserved it, but did she really need to go for the face? Seriously? I tasted blood in my mouth, I licked my lip and pounced. We snarled at one another, punching and headbutting each other. We both held rage inside us. We both kept it penned in. But now? Now it seemed, we both let loose. Bruises had already begun to form on both of our bodies; blood had begun to spill.

Diesel and Memphis stood behind, watching as we tore into one another. Both knew we’d shoot them if they stepped in. Both watching their prospective presidents beat the living fuck out of one another.

”Looks like it’ll be a clear sky tonight…” Memphis piped up, lighting a cigarette, nudging Diesel as he moved to sit down on his bike. Diesel followed suit, watching me as I fought against Robi. Diesel had seen me go after thugs four times my size; but fighting Robi was a level of anger he had never seen me reach. The both of us were lost in a haze of rage and sorrow.

He was scared. For me. For Robi. For who we were as a team.

”They do realize they have matches this week, right?” Diesel leaned over to Memphis and smirked.

”You want to tell them…? Cuz I ain’t.” While Memphis had recently had his heart handed to him on a platter by Robi, he knew better than to get in between us. I taught him well.

I knew Robi deserved this time to beat my ass, I knew that, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. As we fought harder, we could hear bones colliding together. Flesh opened up. We could feel one another’s pain rising. She held my arm behind my back, I snarled, lashing out the best way I could. I threw my head back into hers, I could feel her nose crunch a bit. Her hiss was welcomed as she yanked my arm higher behind me; I yelped. I felt my shoulder go numb. I whipped around, ignoring the pain and launched myself at her, grabbing her by the throat. I snarled. She bit my hand, hard enough to open the skin just above my thumb wide open. I roared out, and as she moved to headbutt me, I countered with an elbow to her jaw. This went on for hours. And hours. Maybe days? Honestly, we lost track of time. Who wouldn’t? We were both in a blind rage, trying our damndest to quell that feeling within one another. Put the dybbuk back in the box, so to speak. Did either of us succeed? Fuck no. Evidently, when we walked into the ring for Fallout, we were going to show exactly how far we’ll go to win… Now, this was something the members of Fight already knew about me. I was vicious. I was all for blood-letting in my arena when I stepped foot in there to defend what was mine. But now, it seemed, Austin needed that lesson for a second time. Even as I duked it out with Robi, I wanted to hurt someone else. I wanted to break someone. And given which show came first…. Austin was dead in my sights.

 

Last Christmas.
*** Trigger Warning!! ***
*** Following Scene Contains MATURE themes! ***

 

I snarled, the flicker of the fire behind us the only light in the entire room. The drip… drip… drip… an eerie reminder of what I was capable of, echoed. On the table to my left lay my toys. Knives. Pliers. Hammers. Of all sizes. Files. Needles, different gauges. A few pairs of scissors. All of which had been covered in blood, and flesh. The camera caught it all. ”You’ve really leapt over the edge, Austin, and this time you’ve landed yourself in a heap of trouble. This time, no one will be there to save you. This time, Vincent won’t have security step in. This time, this time I will make sure I break every bone in your fucking face; sending you back to the fucking factory that shat you out.” The camera sat on its tripod, in the far corner of the room. Illuminated only by the fire and the moon.

”There’s a rage, Austin, a rage inside that I won’t tamp down anymore. I don’t give a rat fuck about much or really anyone… What do I care about? I will fight to the fucking death to defend! I will fucking stomp you into a trash bin come Silent Fight! If I have to wear a Godsdamned tutu while doing it, while The-fucking-Sugar-Plum Fairies are prancing the fuck around. Your ass will wake up in the hospital! Shredded!” The soft weeping of a man could be heard amidst the dripping sounds and the crackles of the fire. I leaned against the table. Smiling. Covered in blood. Soaked in blood. Drenched. None of which was my own. I lit a cigarette. The moonlight pouring through the window seemed to cast, on this scene, a pallid hue that brought fear to anyone’s heart. Well, except mine. What people didn’t realize was, since being shot and assumed dead, I changed. Not for the better. I was different. Hate-filled. Rage consumed. I wasn’t sure I even had love still in my heart.

”Broken!” ”Bleeding!”

”But, you’ll want to thank me afterwards, though, Austin. Because the doc will be showing you photos of men. Of faces you can choose from! Because I will fucking annihilate your face!” I fought with everyone I cared about. My Mama. Henry. Diesel. Cela. Robi. Zion. Even Priscilla and Malachi. Hell, the latter two had tried to stop me from coming here tonight. From doing this. But, I needed to do this. And everyone needed to see….

Snow covered the ground outside, reflecting the moonbeams in a rather beautiful sight. Where were we? It wasn’t New York… Or Louisiana… But, all I could see was red. All I cared about was the pain. The pain my loved ones suffered. The pain my daughter suffered. The pain my beloved Mario had suffered, that seemed to send him reeling into a downward spiral. But also, the pain I had endured.

I died.

I died and I had returned as this!

I watched my family pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. I watched them fucking eulogize me, Godsdamnit! The memory of their words shot through my soul like… well, isn’t it obvious by now? I was Shot Through The Heart, and You’re To Blame… Roscoe… But, I didn’t have Roscoe. From what intel I gathered, Robi did. I loved her for it and I hated her for it. I wanted to inflict the pain he subjected me to. I wanted to peel back his flesh, layer by layer, and slowly dissect his body. I wanted to emancipate the part that meant the most to him from his body, cook it in a stew and force him to cannibalize himself.

”Just an aside bruh, posting on twitter about a prediction not getting under your skin is in fact proving that it did get under your skin. Little piece of advice… Don’t concern yourself with the matters of others; don’t let them dictate how YOU feel. When you do that, you let the other person win. Seth was just speaking his mind. Doing what Denzel does. You know, like you do, when you’re four bottles deep in one of the backrooms of the Rabbit.” I had to settle for everyone else. Everyone that motherfucker ever knew; and what better time to cut a shoot than this? What better time to show everyone in Fight, everyone in Project: Honor, everyone everywhere what the fuck I was capable of. Was I being cruel? Yes. Was I being needlessly vicious with Austin? Yes.

Did I care? Fuck. No. Now, Zion begged me not to. To leave Roscoe’s loved ones alone. She begged me to turn the other cheek. I pulled rank. My oldest friends. One betrayed me and now I was betraying the other. I was too far gone, to care, honestly. Absolutely consumed with revenge. Vengeance. Eye for an Eye.

”You call me fraud?” I arched my brow. ”This from the actor turned wrestler turned stripper.”

”My Dad is disrespectful?” I grabbed a knife from my arsenal, grinning. ”You do realize he comes from a harder generation than you could imagine?”

”Have you changed your medication lately? You may want to, cuz, you’re dreaming. I mean really, you like to talk all big and bad, but honey, didn’t I just show you on Venom #14 that you can’t beat me? “Oh but Dru, that was an unfair fight…” Really? You’re saying an old man and a girl-returned-from-the-dead was an unfair fight?” I snarled. Glaring at the camera as I moved to walk around the man, tied to a chair, dragging the blade across his bare shoulders softly.

”Put on your big girl panties, pal.” ”The level of “unfair” is about to ramp up.”

”You scream “Fraud” but, who is the one who’s lying to himself? You scream “Disrespect” when you yourself are the King of Disrespect. You claim to have it all worked out, to have everything lining up for you, like some fucking planetary alignment. What do you want now, Austin? Hm? A red fucking carpet leading into MY pit?” The knife, so lovingly held in my hand, slid down the man’s back, as he reeled forward crying out in pain… I looked dead at Austin, through that lens. The camera had become a version of him, why not? There were like 50 different Austin’s in his head anyway…

”Good.” “Fucking.” ”Luck.”

”This is my show. When we enter that pit, you are prey, Austin. I will hunt you, I will torment you, I will wound you before I leap for the kill. Did you hear, Austy? Project: Honor’s The Purge II? I ripped a man’s throat out, with my fucking teeth.. Want to see me do it again?” I grinned.

”I’ll show you firsthand…” I flashed my fangs, grinning coldly as I sat there. I didn’t care what anyone thought anymore. I wasn’t about to bow down and let some fucking bitch take what I had worked so hard to achieve. ”Or do you want to watch as I dissect this guy?”

”In all seriousness, Austin, what the fuck is wrong with you? You scream you’re the best. You fuss and tantrum to get your way, and when someone tells you No, you become this indignant child; holding their breath until that person caves… Well, babe… I. Don’t. Cave. Ever.”

If I lost Zion… It would hurt, but I couldn’t really stop her from leaving. She was part of the MC, but if she chose to go nomad or transfer charters.. My hands were tied. So, I focused on this moment. I looked away from the camera, back to the man and smirked.

”Wakey wakey…” I smacked the man’s face, he hissed in pain and gasped. I had removed most of the layer of skin across his jawline already. I placed him on an IV drip when we started this dance. ”Awww, c’mon now. We have so much more fun ahead!” I cackled, taunting him more. ”I haven’t begun to inflict pain…” I crooned, delighting in the absolute sickening nature of this encounter.

”You see, Austin… You see what you have to look forward to? Hell, when I shatter your face, I could fix it for you. For free… None of those pesky medical bills…” I moved the camera to better see my victim’s face. The bloody mess it was. I had pulled some of his teeth. I had skinned him in some places. I had pulled fingernails with those pliers. I had even removed a few fingers! I had electrocuted him. I had given him adrenalin to ensure he stayed awake for most of this.

”Wh… Why are you doing this??” He cried out, blood dripping from his face. As he lifted his head, I smiled. He was hideous! But, in a way, I loved it. How I felt on the inside was mirrored in front of me in his face. The dysmorphia I had always suffered from, was given an external outlet in this man.

This was Roscoe’s fault. This was Gotti’s fault. This was the White’s faults. Those people put me through abject horror my whole life. And I was supposed to let it go, hit therapy and poof I was healed? What did people want me to do? Throw myself into my club? My businesses? My relationships? My wrestling career? Hadn’t I already done that? I put all of them above my own needs. I always did. I probably always would, now. Because the one time I put myself first.. The ONE time.. I took two to the chest in front of those I cared the most for.

”Why?! WHY?!” I cackled. ”Since when do I need a reason to butcher someone? I’m just a trained bitch, isn’t that what Roscoe said?” I sneered. I had sliced a good gash into the dude’s back, almost deep enough to expose the spine, as he screamed, I purred. ”Austin… Austin.. Austin… Do you want to make Toddy make your medical decisions? Or make her a widow? I can help you with either of those choices…” I licked my lower lip, some fresh blood had sprayed me as I worked.

As I perused my cache of toys… I let my mind wander… What good came out of dying? Clarity? Sense of Self? No. Why? My death, whether it was real or faked, set Robi down a path of self-destruction. It made Diesel catatonic for days. It made Cela hold everything up. It made Mama wish for her own death. It made Henry decide to go against Austin Ramsay, to seek his own repentance, when he had my forgiveness far before the gun went off. It made Rori complicit in helping me. It made Magda hide a package. It made Zion crack; knowing her twin would soon be erased from this planet. It made Mario dance into the darkside. I ruined lives. I hurt people, I had never meant to hurt.

So I was seething. I was furious. I was pure rage. I hated everything; I looked in the mirror, I saw disappointment. I looked at the two bullet scars on my chest, where the Diva’s wings were torn and scarred.

Still, I looked over the tools of my trade and smiled; I found what I had been searching for, a hunting knife. As common as they come. Nothing special. “Come on Austin, want to play?” I smiled as the man gasped and whined, pleading with me not to kill him. Begging me to let him go. ”Come Silent Fight, Austin…” I placed the knife to the man’s throat, hard. He whimpered. ”I’ll fucking end your shot at any title…” But before I could slit his throat; the door crashed open.

”Mom… Don’t!”

It.
All.
Went.
Black.

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree.
——– Fight! Christmas Party ——-

 

”Yes. I’ve spoken with the police… No. I wasn’t arrested or formally charged.” I grinned. ”They assume it was an SFX artist who created the pieces… Remind me to send Lyric a gift.” I sat across from Miss F. We both just watched one another. Intently. She was grilling me about my precious shoot. ”Dru, did you or did you not murder that man?”

I shrugged. ”What’s the difference? The cops have no evidence. Whether I say I did or didn’t has no weight.” She growled. I arched my brow. ”I will only ask once more-” I cut her off, snarling. ”Look, the cops cleared me. The Feebs cleared me. They searched my apartment here and at Krew Towers. YOU searched my places! No blood. No gore. No fingerprints. Nada. So just assume it was special effects. Whose to say it wasn’t?” I grinned. ”Come on. The Wolves have the greatest SFX artist in the Pack.”

Miss F was not amused nor was she impressed. That video was just another example of how I had changed. How dark I had become. How blood-thirsty. The company had to understand what I had been through… What I had survived! Who the fuck cared if I was ready to revel in the blood of my victims? Wear the skinned, tanned hide of those who would oppose me?

She slammed my ID card on her desk and glared at me; ”Druscilla, should you detract from your professional career with your extracurricular activities, there is a conversation that needs to be had.” I rolled my eyes, grabbing my ID from her. As if everyone in this promotion were angels. Vincent had killed. Vhodka had killed. Supposedly Asher had killed. Apathy. Eoin. Dane. Supposedly everyone here had murdered someone at some point; but did any of them have the balls to video tape it and use it to show their opponent exactly what they’re up against?

No. But I did. I have enough clout on this side of the world, I’d never catch heat. I just proved that. I had spent the better part of the morning at the NYPD, with Detective Morningside. Fools.

”Look, I’ll make sure your precious Fight isn’t implicated in anything unsavory. But if we’re going down this road, you might check some of the others on your roster, there Miss Faust. Some of them have criminal charges. Some of them are the “psycho” type.” As I grabbed my bag and stood up, I snarled at her one final time. She knew I called her “Faust” to annoy the fuck out of her. I did see her as the Devil. Especially since I signed my contract with Fight. It pissed her off, and it showed on her face. I loved it! ”Now, I’ve been civil. I have been calm; but accuse me of shit with zero proof again, and you won’t like the results.” I turned on a boot heel and kicked the door to her office open. Priscilla followed suit as we walked to the elevator.

She looked concerned, and wanted badly to ask me what happened, but I said nothing. As the elevator doors shut, I pressed my floor and scanned my ID card, growling. I had to be here for this stupid ass party, and I was dragging Priscilla with me. I bought her a dress for the party, and we were going to my room to get ready. Now, old Dru would have decked the entire apartment, Krew Towers, the Wolves Clubhouse and herself in Goth Christmas. But anymore… I didn’t care. It was all stupid to me. Holidays. A bullshit corporate scheme to emancipate people from their hard earned paychecks. Touting the more they spend on the gift, the more they love that person. Old Dru would have done up the whole town. Gifts for everyone. Dinner parties. Social mixers. Charity rides. Blood drives. But now? I said fuck it. I was in a haze lately, a rage-filled haze of blood and gore. Had my daughter witnessed me killing a man? No. Had I killed him? Yes. Did I dispose of his corpse? Yes. I still had every contact across the US I needed. Priscilla donned her dress, a fire-red sequined gown with gossamer silk. It matched her hair. The stilettos she borrowed from my closet, and the clutch she was using was one Jennie had crocheted for me. We pulled her hair up, curled the flyaways and she did her makeup. Soft greens and reds. A little glitter, because… Why not?

”Mom… Do I HAVE to do it?” She whined as I curled a little of my hair. I finished touching up my makeup and looked at her. ”Yes. Yes you do.” She grumbled. My attire? My usual. Skin tight black jeans, my knee-high stiletto boots and a Wolves of Óðinn FIGHT! NYC tank top. I wove a little silver tinsel into my hair and grabbed my smokes and cellphone.

As she tucked her phone into the clutch, that’s when she saw it. A small gift from me to her. A set of keys. She gasped and looked at me. ”It’s in the Krew Tower’s lot.” She stammered. I smiled. ”Look, if you’re wanting to patch in, you need a bike. And… This is something you’ve loved since you were a kid.”

”YOURS?!” She squeaked, I rubbed my ear from the sheer pitch and nodded. ”Yes. Lenore is yours now.” I would never have given up that bike before. Ever. I had told Robi for YEARS I was going to be crushed and buried with that bike. But now? Now, that haze kept me caring about pretty much nothing. Save a few things.

My kid. My title. My revenge. Something was very, VERY wrong…

She grabbed me and hugged me tightly, almost crying. I stopped her there. ”No. No tears. You’ll fuck your makeup.” I dabbed my tank at the corners of her eyes, ignoring the light green smudges on the hem of my shirt. ”Now, let’s go to this damn thing before I say fuck it.”

We left my room, entering the elevator together, in silence. I lit a cigarette, completely ignoring the “NO SMOKING” sign behind me. Priscilla side-eyed me, I smirked. ”What?” I asked, innocently, puffing on my cigarette. As we descended six or seven floors, to the party, I sighed a bit. Priscilla was bitching about going, but I secretly know she wanted to see if Sabin was here with Tara or Jennie.

Part of me was happy she wanted to hang out, but the other part was debating on sending her back to my apartment. The doors opened and I saw many familiar faces, Tara, Jennie, Vincent, Vhodka, Eoin, Toddy and Austin. Each one made me cringe inside. In my death, I had recoiled to that “Don’t touch me” version of who I was. I was divided in half. One half, I wanted so badly to run to my friends and hug them. The other half wanted to cut them all and run. The struggle was real. Fuckssake, I had died. I had seen the end of the tunnel. Watched as my loved ones said their goodbyes and began to move on with their lives; whereas I had become stuck in a circle of revenge so vicious, I may not make it out alive. Literally alive. This circle of hate could actually kill me.

I was suddenly jolted back to the real world as Tara touched my arm. ”Can you watch Eddie for me?” I nodded, ”Of course.” As my friend walked back to her group. The small child looked up at me, almost adorably as Priscilla knelt down to his level. I was reeling. I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to run. I wanted to feel blood on my skin. I wanted to watch the pain in someone’s face as they begged me to end their lives; but, I was stuck here.

Priscilla picked up Eddie, and started to walk around the party, I assumed heading to the buffet table. I knew he was taken care of, Priscilla seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders when it came to children. However, I did not. Children worried me. Scared me, almost. I couldn’t handle the whole “They depend on you for everything” thing. I could barely take care of myself, some days, let alone a mewling infant. My head was in a dark, dark place…. I felt my hands begin to shake. I felt my body begin to reject where I currently was. I needed to get out. I needed to run. I saw her parting the crowd. Walking towards me. In all her “Blonde Bimbo”ness. Lauren was coming to hug me. I gagged. I couldn’t be here. That was when my phone rang.

”Get the fuck over here. NOW!” The voice barked at me. I knew that voice. I knew what it meant. I shot a text to Priscilla and Diesel, alerting them that I had to go, and I spun on a boot heel. I shot out the door like, well, a bullet from a fucking Glock .9.

Fucking A.J. This never meant good things. Someone was going to die tonight. ”Fuckmuppet…”