“Against a member of the Best Alliance?!” Shawn scream asks into the corded, off-white house phone. We still have a house phone; Shawn doesn’t like cell phones and refuses to have one.
“Why on God’s green Earth would Lee best book a match like that? It makes no sense!?” He shouts again, this time pulling the phone away from his face and screaming into it like some sort of mega phone. I can only imagine the person on the other end looking at their phone in disbelief, whomever they may be.
“This is fuckin’ bullshit, man! We deserve better treatment than this. Steve Solex deserves better treatment than this!”
He’s pissed and I’m nervous. I know that if I win, I retain and continue my reign as HOTv Champion. I know that if I lose…well, first of all I lose the HOTv Championship, but I also know that the title stays within the Best Alliance. I’m trying to see the silver lining in this dark cloud. Shawn, on the other hand could give two shits about a silver lining…he only cares about gold right now.
“God dammit!” He shouts into the phone once more before bang-hangs it up against the base that’s mounted against the wall. He storms away from the phone with his face covered by both his hands. He wipes his face and stares up at the ceiling.
The phone falls off the wall and shatters into a million pieces on the flowered linoleum floor beneath it. I peer around Shawn and look at the phone, and then back at him. He doesn’t look back; he clearly doesn’t give a fuck.
“We’re against Jace Parker Davidson this week, and I have no fuckin’ clue why,” he says, his neck still leaned back and his eyes still pointed toward the ceiling. I start to say that maybe Lee has a plan, but he immediately cuts me off.
“What did you do to that bald headed fuck?! Huh?! What did you say to him to make this shit happen? What the fuck did you?!”
He shouts me down as he storms up to me and gets right into my face. He bangs his finger against my forehead in rhythm with the cadence of his speech. A shiver runs up my spine. Shawn’s never been this pissed off before…this is a whole new level of mad.
“This is all your fault, you number-one dad fuckbag!” A droplet of spit flies from his mouth and lands on my lip. I dare not touch it…I don’t want to move.
I’m fuckin’ scared.
He places his hand over his mouth and turns his back to me.
“You may have fucked up, but we can still beat him. He’s an arrogant little prick, that Jace. That Maroon 5 lookin’ fuck is all caught up with some broad, as per his usual schtick, and I’m one-hundred-percent sure that we can beat him. You just have to be focused and get on my level. Can you do that?”
I tell him that I am focused and I am ready.
“Then let’s get this motherfucker rockin’ and rollin’,” he says.
I don’t know what that means, and I really don’t care right this second. All I care about is that drop of spit sitting on the edge of my bottom lip. He marches out of the kitchen and into the living room, when suddenly…
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
A loud knock on the door stops him dead in his tracks. Only one person ever shows up at our crib.
It’s her. It’s Constance.
Shawn points at the door, and looks back at me. He motions toward the door repeatedly with his finger extended. He tightens his lips and rolls his eyes.
“You get rid of that, bitch. We don’t have time for this right now. We don’t have time to be distracted.”
But she’s not here for me. The last time she was here she was a bit flirty, but that’s only cause she’s a wanna-be star-fucker and she saw me win the HOTv Championship. I tell Shawn to get rid of her. I tell him that she’s his problem, not mine. Instead of complying, he looks me dead in the eye and shouts “Now!”
He rushes out of the living room and jogs up the stairs. The stairs are silent…they usually creak and crack louder than shit. That’s odd.
I sigh and walk over to the front door and take a deep breath before reaching for the doorknob. I try and twist the knob, but it’s held in place from the other side.
“Very funny!” I shout.
The doorknob suddenly turns freely, and the door is pushed open.
She rushes me, and jumps into my arms. She wraps her legs around me and props herself up before planting a big kiss right on my lips. I can feel the red lipstick transfer from her lips to mine…but the taste of it, that starts a fire in my belly.
I don’t kiss her back. I don’t even close my eyes.
She notices my reluctance, and cocks her head backward.
“What’s your fuckin’ problem?” She says as if we’ve done this before.
“What are you doing here?” I ask. She looks at me sideways, but dead in the eyes.
I’m not even holding her up, my arms are limp at my sides.
“Are you fuckin’ joking right now?”
That Southern fire in her accent nearly cripples me with lust, but I stand strong. Shawn thinks that JPD’s got girl problems. I’ve got 99 problems and she’s every single fuckin’ one of them.
“He’s not here. He just stepped out. You might come back another time,” I say, trying to get rid of her as quick as possible.
“What?” She asks, her eyes as wide as can be.
I look away from her, and force her to her feet.
“Who?” She asks, her voice getting higher and her eyes wider.
“You know who. Look, I don’t have time for this. I’ve got work to do,” I say, never looking back at her.
I point at the door, trying to make her get the hint.
“Who are you talking about? What’s going on?” She asks both question back to back, no pause in between. Her tone is about as confused as can be, but I don’t get why.
“Look, Constance. I just don’t have time for your flip floppy bullshit right now…like I said, I’ve got work to do.”
She looks at me finger still pointing at the door.
“Are you fuckin’ crazy? After last night, you’re showing me the door?”
I don’t know what she’s talking about. Last night? Last night I was asleep by 8:30 and Shawn went to the bar for a few beers.
“Look, I know that you’ve got a fight this weekend and I know it’s important. I heard your drunk ass on the radio talkin’ about it,” she says. “But you’re not getting rid of me that easy.”
“Really?” I ask before grabbing ahold of her wrist. I walk her back to the door as she struggles with me. I toss her out onto the porch and slam the door right into her face. Her blood curdling screams would wake the neighbors, if we had any.
“You fuckin’ asshole! You crazy fuckin’ prick! You’re not worth all of this bullshit!” She shouts at the top of her lungs while banging her little balled hammer fists on the blue-paint-chipped door.
I never had to deal with this kind of thing when I was married…when I had my son. But that life is gone now. Now, I live with Shawn.
This is my life now.
I put my ear up to the door.
She lets loose with one more bang on the door that bounces my head back a couple of inches, but immediately I press my ear back up against it. I listen to her shuffle down the front steps, in her whore-red high heels.
“That bitch is nuts bro!”
I jump out of my skin and three feet into the air, spinning one-hundred-eight degrees. I immediately find myself in a fighting position with my right hand in a fist and cocked behind my head.
It’s Shawn, and he scared the fuckin’ shit out of me. I call him an asshole and put a shoulder in his bare chest, right where the shoulder and chest meet.
I fucked up.
He slowly lowers his head and stares at the finger I have pressed into his skin, and then he looks back up at me.
“What the fuck are you doing?” He asks, his tone calm but pissed off.
I apologize, but my eyes. I lower my finger and hang my arm down at my side.
He slowly looks back up at me.
“Look man. Leave those chick problems to Jace. We don’t need that kind of drama in our life,” he says, raising his eyebrows and looking me dead in the eyes, his eyes as wide as can be.
We don’t need that kind of drama, he’s right.
“You don’t need her. She’s all bad for us,” he says, in his changing, convincing way,
But I want her.
I can’t tell him that though, so I lower my head and keep my thoughts to myself. I know that this match against JPD is going to be a fuckin’ banger, and I’m ready for that. I’m ready for anything but her.
I’m never ready for her. But Shawn seems to have all the answers. He knows how to handle a woman like that.
I ask him what she meant about last night, and quickly he changes the subject.
“Look man, we need a way to distract Jace. We need a way to keep his mind off the match and occupied with that one broad…whatever her fuckin’ name was. That pretty eyed asshole needs to be taught that when you’re a champion in the Best Alliance, the members of said alliance are there to protect you and yours, not challenge us to a match.”
I tell him that I don’t believe that Jace me.
He says, “Us. And I don’t give a fuck if he did or didn’t, we need to treat this situation as if he did. Long gone are the days of Steve Solex and Shawn Kutter taking the shuttle to the arena. We’re limousine ridin’ badasses now; we can’t go back to that life of slum.”
I look around, up and down calling attention to our current situation.
“Hardy fuckin har, douchebag,” he says. “You need to get your ass in gear.”
Another knock on the door, but this time Shawn walks over to it.
“Go upstairs and grab the bag I packed for you,” he says.
I comply and head that way. He watches me walk up the steps and makes sure I’m out of view before he opens the door.
“You old sonofabitch!” He giddily shouts as he swings the door open.
I peek around the corner of the wall, trying to stay out of view.
I know that fuckin’ guy.
I start to walk back into the room. Shawn sees me coming and gives me a nasty look.
“Look, man. Go to the car, I’ll be out in a few minutes,” he says, patting the man on the back.
Shawn shuts the door behind the man and looks at me with his hands on his hips, giving me that disappointed look that only a parent can give.
“I told you to get your bag. Logan’s got a car for us, and you’re fuckin’ this up!”
Fuck. It’s Logan Tyler.