Mile High Club

Mile High Club

Posted on December 27, 2023 at 6:48 pm by Drew Mitchell

Scene One- Stoney Pines Apartment/Condos- Barnhart, Missouri
Drew Mitchell sat idling in the visitor’s lot, the purr of his engine a low growl against the dusk. Stoney Pines apartments loomed before him, their resort-style swimming pool reflecting the last vestiges of an amber sunset. Located in Barnhart, Missouri- twenty minutes north of Bergman’s Barn and a half hour from downtown St. Louis, the water mimicked a shimmering wrestling mat, devoid of combat but inviting a different kind of contest. With determination etched into his youthful features, he unfolded the scrap of paper that held Dawn McGill’s address, his handwriting a map to his intended conquest. Tonight was about more than wrestling; it was about satisfying a different primal urge before leaving for Las Vegas the next morning and ICONIC the next night.

“Here we go,” Drew murmured to himself, tucking the crumpled paper into his pocket and stepping out into the night air. He raked a hand through his disheveled hair, a British swagger in his stride as he approached the entrance. The sleek glass doors stood like guardians, denying access with their key fob/card entry system.

“Bollocks,” he exhaled with a frown, assessing the situation.

Luck would smile on Drew as just then, a couple sauntered up the sidewalk, laughter spilling from them like bubbly champagne. Drew straightened, a scheme already brewing.  He turned to the couple. “Oi, mates! Fancy helping a bloke out? I’m here to surprise me girl, and wouldn’t you know it, I’ve left my fob at home.  Drew leaned on his accent and offered a charming smile.

“Sure thing, man,” the guy replied with a shrug, swiping his card. Victory. Drew slipped in behind them, a smooth talker even in a foreign land.

Once inside, he rode the elevator to the second floor, heart thrumming in his chest like the aftermath of a title bout. He found her door and knocked, anticipation coiling within him.

“Come in,” came Dawn’s demure voice.

He pushed the door open to a sight that could rival any arena. The apartment sprawled like a colosseum of luxury, boasting huge kitchen islands sturdy enough for body slams, vaulted ceilings high enough for aerial maneuvers, and stainless-steel appliances that gleamed like championship belts. The open-floor plan flowed seamlessly, luxury vinyl flooring underfoot leading to balconies with views that could leave one breathless mid-promo. Drew noted the oversized layout, beautiful grey cabinets, and granite countertops worthy of a main event.

And there she was—Dawn McGill, reclining seductively on the couch, long legs draped over the armrest in a display that demanded attention like a spotlight entrance. Her presence filled the room more imposingly than any top-rope giant.

She was expecting company…

“Drew?” she questioned, surprise lacing her tone. “What are you doing here?”

…but she wasn’t expecting him.

“Ah, well,” Drew began, his eyes lingering on her form before meeting her gaze.

“How did you get into the building?” Dawn asked.  “I didn’t give you a key.”

“Charm, Dawn, pure charm,” Drew quipped, his voice laced with the cocksure grin that often got him into trouble. “Caught a couple on their way in, spun them a tale about misplaced keys and desperate measures.” He watched her closely, hoping to spot a flicker of amusement or perhaps even admiration. He leaned against the door frame, the image of nonchalance despite the adrenaline coursing through him.

She propped herself up, the embodiment of allure and authority—a siren call he was all too willing to answer. But something in her expression suggested this wasn’t the tag team reunion he’d envisioned.

“And what exactly is the reason you are here?” she inquired.

“Um… surprise visit before I jet off to Vegas?” he continued, trying to read her reaction and trying to put on the charm.

Her eyebrows arched, and Drew suddenly realized he was walking a razor’s edge between a turnbuckle and a hard place.  His pulse matched the cadence of a crowd chant.  This was a match where the stakes were personal, and he’d stepped into the ring without a strategy.

Dawn’s lips parted as if to retort, then tightened into a line. Her gaze darted toward the door at the sound of a second knock, sharp and insistent.

“Oh shit,” she muttered under her breath, her eyes meeting Drew’s with an urgency that sent a jolt through him. “He’s here.”

“Who’s here?” Drew asked, a twinge of jealousy edging his question.

“Someone I was… expecting,” she whispered back, her tone heavy with unspoken implications.

“Balls,” he mumbled to himself.

“You need to hide.”

“Hide? I’m not gonna hide—”

“Drew,” she cut him off, her plea slicing through his defiance. She motioned towards a closet with a sweep of her hand. “You need to hide  until I can take Cletus back to the bedroom.”

“Cletus?”

“Cletus T. Johnson… one half of MVW’s Kentucky Redneck Mafia,” explained Dawn.  “He’ll kill you if he finds out you’re here.”

“Oi, I’m not gonna let some redneck-mmmpph.”  Dawn stuck her hand over Drew’s mouth just as Cletus knocked on the door for a third time.

“Shhhh.  I will take Cletus to my bedroom… and then you need to leave… quietly.

“But-”

“Drew!”

With a reluctant nod, Drew slipped behind the door of a walk-in closet, the scent of perfumed garments and leather mingling around him. He waited, his ears straining to catch the unfolding scene outside.

“Hey, sugar,” came a deep, gravelly voice from the entrance, followed by the unmistakable sounds of a heated kiss, lips smacking with fervor. The affectionate greeting grated against Drew’s nerves like sandpaper on raw skin.

“Let’s take this to the bedroom,” Dawn murmured, her voice now a sultry hum that Drew recognized all too well. Footsteps retreated in the direction he assumed was her boudoir, accompanied by low chuckles and the rustle of clothing.

Once the coast was clear, Drew emerged from his temporary confinement, a mix of relief and irritation churning inside him. He couldn’t help but feel like the heel in a match gone awry, his plans for a passionate rendezvous turned into a farce.

“Bollocks.”

Slipping out the front door, he descended the stairs two at a time, his footsteps echoing hollowly in the opulent hallway. His escape was silent and swift, a stark contrast to the bold entrance he had envisioned.

Back in the sanctuary of his car, Drew turned the key in the ignition, the engine’s purr a cold comfort. He sat there for a moment, staring at his reflection in the rearview mirror, the disappointment etched across his features harsher than any submission hold.

“Sunny was right.  I should’ve known better,” he muttered to himself, shaking his head at his own folly. As he pulled away from Stoney Pines, the streetlights blurred past him like a series of failed spots, his mind replaying the night’s events over and over.

Scene Two- Southwest Airlines Flight 2087- somewhere over Kansas
Southwest Airlines Flight 2087 ascended into the cobalt sky, its silver wings slicing through the early morning sun that blazed above a quilt of clouds after the flight departed St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport on the way towards Las Vegas.  Inside the cabin, Sunny O’Callahan leaned her head against the cool window, watching the world shrink away below.

“Cracking view, innit?” Drew Mitchell said, his British lilt cutting through the hum of the engines. He was sprawled in the aisle seat, his eyes darting toward each female stewardess that glided by, a roguish grin flashing to invite a second glance.

Sunny turned from the window, fixing him with a skeptical eye as she tucked a rebellious curl behind her ear. “Sure, if you’re into clouds and blue sky,” she said with amusement threading her voice. “So, what time did you get to bed last night, Drew?”

“Actually, I was home pretty early.”

Sunny feigned shock and horror. “What? No wild adventures or sleepovers?”

“Sort of.” Drew’s smile faltered. “Went over to Dawn’s place, didn’t I? Only to find she’d already got herself a date.”

“Again?” Sunny shook her head, though her eyes betrayed a hint of empathy. The plane banked gently, sunlight spilling across her face, turning her frizzy halo of hair to spun gold.

“Didn’t see it coming,” Drew admitted, tracing a finger along the stitching of his jeans. His gaze followed a stewardess, but the usual spark in his eyes had dimmed. “Thought we had something, y’know?”

“Ah, Drew,” Sunny sighed, tapping her finger against the side of her flask. “Dawn’s just doing what you do—having fun, not getting tied down. You’re not looking for a keeper, are you?”

“Guess not,” he mumbled, his broad shoulders slumping slightly.

“Exactly. You’re like a bird, flying wherever you fancy,” Sunny said, a wry smile curving her lips. “And right now, you’re Dawn McGill’s bird. When she wants you to sing, you’ll come fluttering back.”

“Her bird, huh?” A chuckle bubbled up from Drew’s chest, and the twinkle returned to his eye. “I like that. Sort of flattering, in a way.”

Sunny rolled her eyes, but there was warmth there too. “Only you would take that as a compliment,” she teased, watching him puff up with misplaced pride.

“Oi, at least someone appreciates my song,” Drew quipped, raising an eyebrow suggestively at another stewardess who passed by, offering a wink that was returned with an indulgent smile.

“Keep chirping, Casanova,” Sunny murmured, taking another sip from her flask as she settled back into her seat. “Just remember why we’re flying out to Vegas.”

“Right, right,” Drew nodded, though his attention was clearly still divided. “Wrestling first—birds later.”

“Good boy,” Sunny said, though her tone suggested she wasn’t quite convinced. She knew all too well the challenge of keeping Drew’s focus where it needed to be. But for now, as the plane soared over the heartland, she allowed herself a small hope that perhaps this time, he might just surprise them all.

The plane sliced through a patchwork of amber and green fields below, an artist’s canvas blurred at the edges by the speed of their flight. The sun, now fully above the horizon, cast a golden glow across the cabin, imbuing everything with a soft warmth. It was in this quiet moment that Sunny turned to Drew, her eyes sharpening with purpose.

“Alright, let’s get down to business,” she said in a low, serious tone. “You’re facing off against some heavy hitters at ICONIC: John Sektor, Jace Parker Davidson, Brian Hollywood, Darin Zion, Jackson Cooley, Charles de Lacy, Steve Solex, Xander Azula, Scottywood, and Zack Kostoff.”

Drew’s gaze lingered momentarily on a passing stewardess before snapping back to Sunny, his eyes narrowing as he soaked in the gravity of her words. “I know their reputations,” he admitted, trying to sound more confident than he felt. “But no one expects the rookie to come out on top, do they?”

“No, not they don’t.  But expectations be damned,” Sunny retorted, her accent threading through her words like steel. “No one expected R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry to beat Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens in January and no one expects you to win the gauntlet tonight.  Besides, you’re not there to win, Drew. Not this time. You’re in this to survive and to stay in there as long as you can.  I want you to show ’em what you’re made of because very minute you stay in that ring is another notch on your belt.”

“Survive…” Drew mused, repeating the word as if tasting it for the first time, letting it roll around in his mind. He leaned back, gazing out the window at the shrinking world below, contemplating the enormity of the task ahead. His chest swelled with a mix of dread and excitement; the butterflies in his stomach did somersaults.

“Exactly,” Sunny pressed on. “Show some grit. You’re going to get knocked down, but you’ve got to keep getting up.”

Her intensity was infectious, and Drew found himself nodding along, a fire kindling within him. “Alright, I’ll give ’em hell,” he vowed, clenching his fists as if ready to step into the ring at that very moment.

“That’s the spirit.” A smile flickered on Sunny’s lips as she patted his knee.

But her satisfaction was short-lived.

“Can I get you anything?” a new voice chimed in, sultry and sweet. Stacey, the stewardess with hair like spun caramel and eyes that sparkled with mischief, stood beside their row, tray in hand.

“Besides joining the Mile High Club?” Drew quipped, a roguish grin spreading across his face. He leaned back into his seat, giving Stacey his most charming look.

Sunny sighed heavily, pressing her fingers to her temples.

“Sorry, not on the menu today,” Stacey replied with a laugh, though she didn’t seem entirely put off by his audacity.  She reached into a pocket and pulled out her business card.  “But I can offer you my number since I’ll be staying in Vegas tonight.”

“Oi.”  Drew took the card and turned it upside down.  She’d written her cell phone number on the blank side.

“Rumor has it you’re some kind of big-time wrestler.”

“Yes I am,” confirmed Drew.  “In fact, I’m wrestling tonight.”

Stacey continued.  “Some big wrestling show?”

Drew nodded, still examining the handwriting on the card.

She winked at him.  “Well, maybe after your match, we can meet up. I don’t have to fly out until Monday.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Drew agreed, his spirits visibly lifted.

“Call me,” she said as she continued down the aisle and Drew watched her sashay away with a triumphant gleam in his eye.

“Drew!” Sunny snapped, pulling him back to reality.

“What?”

“Really?  What happened to wrestling first, remember?  You have a big match tonight!”

“Of course,” Drew responded, stowing the precious card with the stewardess’s phone number safely in his pocket. “Wrestling first and I’ll be ready to go.” But even as he said it, Sunny could see the distant look in his eye hadn’t quite vanished.

“Yeah, right,” Sunny mumbled.  She shook her head, resigned, knowing full well that for Drew, the battle between the allure of the ring and the temptation of fleeting pleasures would rage on long after they touched down in Las Vegas.

Scene Three- Allegiant Stadium Locker Room- Las Vegas, Nevada
The air was full of anticipation.  Drew Mitchell sat alone on the bench inside the dimly lit locker room, fists clenched, eyes fixed onto the floor where the light cast his shadow.  His heart pounded like drumbeats, each heartbeat thumping and presaging the gravity of the task at hand- echoing the gravity of the upcoming gauntlet match.

Drew’s head jerked towards the front of the locker room as a soft knock on the door interrupted his thoughts.  The door opened slightly and the head of Sunny O’Callahan appeared, framed by the doorway.  The halo of frizzy blonde hair covering her head glowed in the stark lighting inside the locker room.

“Drew?”

“Come on in, Sunny.”

Sunny sauntered into the locker room, hips swaying in her faded denim jeans, a bottle of Southern Comfort in her hand swinging back and forth like a pendulum.

“Hey there, champ,” she crooned, her voice a mix of Californian drawl with a hint of Irish lilt. “You look like you’re carryin’ the world on those broad shoulders.”

Drew offered back an unconvincing half-smile.  “Just thinkin’ is all,” he replied, the British accent lending an exotic flavor to his words.

“Nervous?”

“Ya.”

Sunny moved closer and leaned up against the cool metal of the locker by Drew.  She took a sip from her bottle of Southern Comfort.  “Drew, I’ve seen you fight. You’ve got fire in ya.  Tonight is just one more dance under the bright lights. Believe me, you’re ready.”

Drew exhaled a slow breath causing the creases of worry signposted on his forehead to smooth out.

“I appreciate your confidence in me,” Drew said, even though his nerves were jangling like loose change.  “Thanks, Sunny,” he added, his bravado slipping for a moment to reveal the grateful young man beneath. “You know…for everything. For paying for the plane ticket to bring mum over from back home.”

“My pleasure,” Sunny said.

“Means the world, that does.”

Sunny took another sip, her eyes softening. “That’s what we’re here for, innit? To lift each other up. And your mum’s gonna be so proud, watching her boy wrestling on one of the biggest HOW shows of the year.”

He nodded, his throat tight with emotion. “And thanks… for believing in a bloke like me.” His gaze met hers, sincerity shining in his eyes.

“Always,” she affirmed, pushing off from the locker to stand before him. “Now come on, they’re waitin’ for the next big thing. That could be you, Drew.”

With a final mod, Drew rose to his feet.  “Thank you.”

Drew towered over the petite Sunny.  She put her arms around him and gave him a long hug.

“You’re welcome, Drew.”

There was a newfound steadiness in his stance, a sense of purpose that hadn’t been there moments before.

“Are you ready?” she asked.

Drew nodded.  He was ready to step into the ring, to face whatever challenges awaited him, with the faith of his mentor fueling his courage.

“Good.” She walked towards the doorway… stopped… and turned around with a mischievous grin. “Oh…”

He glanced up, a single eyebrow arching in curiosity.

“The stewardess our flight this morning?”

Both eyebrows arch in curiosity now.

“She’s here tonight, with a flock of her crew.” Her grin widened as she watched his expression change, a spark igniting in his eyes.

“Is she now?” Drew couldn’t help but let out a half-chuckle, shaking his head. The knot in his stomach loosened just a fraction, a cocktail of anticipation and adrenaline bubbling beneath the surface.

“Yup.” Sunny pushed away from the doorframe, sauntering over with a sway that was all confidence. “So, what d’you say?” She flicked back that curl that always seemed to escape, her frizzy blonde mane framing her face like a halo. “You goin’ to give them a show?”

“Yeah.” He stood, muscles coiling with newfound energy. There was a gleam in his eye, the same one that appeared whenever he caught sight of an attractive woman or a challenge he couldn’t resist.  “Yeah, I am.”

“Remember,” Sunny pointed a finger at him, her voice firm yet playful, “just kick ass out there. Everything else will sort itself out.”

“Thank you,” he said, giving her a nod filled with genuine gratitude. It wasn’t often he dropped the act and allowed someone to glimpse the real Drew Mitchell kept hidden behind the cocky exterior.

“I really mean that.”

“You’re welcome,” Sunny replied. “Now go on. Your destiny isn’t going to wait around all night.”

As he strode towards the door, the clamor of the crowd beyond reached a crescendo, their roars and cheers seeping through the walls, calling to him like a siren song, a squared circle where legends were made and dreams could either be seized or shattered. Tonight, under the spotlight’s unforgiving glare, Drew Mitchell would claim his place among the pantheon of wrestling greats… or at the least, he’d go down swinging.