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10:37pm. February 8, 2020.
“What are you gonna do when you get punched in the mouth?”
Magdalena had already seen what Deacon was going to do after Teddy Palmer kicked him in the mouth & put his shoulders to the mat – Deacon was going to rip his mask off, reach into his bag, pull out his phone, check it for messages before slipping it in his trunk’s waistband. He’d follow that by unlacing his boots to toss them into his bag, slip on his sandals & coat then toss the bag over his shoulder and head for his car. She didn’t need to ask what was going through his mind – the same that went through it after Refueled 13, 14, and ICONIC.
This job was over; everything else was beginning again.
He would handle it, and she would handle the rest; that’s what she’d signed up for.
Magdalena looked for Lee to get the financials taken care of, or at least to have an idea of what Deac & her could expect from the gate, but that’d proved a bigger challenge than anticipated. Finding… Teddy was easier – just follow the camera & baudy laughter. Standing in the intense lights, Teddy, along with his cohorts, shared some beer, wine, or something with a priest.
PRIEST: …yes, this workplace safe from evil spirits.
TEDDY: That’s it? No burning bushes? Lightning strikes? Nothing like that?
Lindsay stepped toward the light’s heat.
LT: That swill you drank might have turned to blood.
Magdalena paused as her face grew flush. The moment reminded her of the world Deacon had stepped into – one with a real-life monster named Max Kael eating human flesh as the monster lost more & more of his own humanity. She wanted to rush the camera, show them exactly what was wrong with this world.
Don’t be surprised, the words crossed her mind yet again. It hated me before it hated you.
She stopped cold; this world had been wrong long before she ever entered it or had even heard of High Octane Wrestling. She’d say her piece, but she’d do it with control.
“Got a word for me?” Brian Bare said, startling Magdalena.
You gotta be kidding me, she thought as his voice grated her even more than their last meeting. She took a deep, calming breath. Brian smirked. She took another, longer one, adding a short prayer for self control that to her mind sounded like the heaving exhale of a quarterback tossing the ball toward the endzone at the last moment.
“I just figured you might want to share a bit about your stud’s performance,” Bare said, then glanced to the camera’s hot area. “And not that one.”
“I would burn the whole house down to get rid of that stud,” Magdalena said. And burn it down to lose you too, she thought but let it lie. “Nothing on the record – we need some time to put it all together.”
“I bet you do,” Brian said with a chuckle. “Thought you were gonna come in here & knock the world down like a bunch of bowling pins, but this ain’t anywhere your Mute Freak’s been or faced before.”
Magdalena’s face flushed again. Bare had no idea what Deacon had faced, is facing.
“How about if–” she started then paused, taking another breath, “…you spend your time talking to winners instead of badgering losers.”
Bare’s smile grew. “You know how winners are – all thanking their sponsors, gods or whatever.”
“Then you also should know how losers are,” the words came out quickly. “Ready to lash out at the first idiot to ask a stupid question.”
“Not worried about it,” Bare said. “Freak’s off your leash and already ran home to lick his wounds.”
No thought came, just a swinging slap across Bare’s jaw. Her shaking arms clenched into a fist as the last words echoed – ran home to lick his wounds. She nearly bit through her lip ring with clenched teeth that she barred and then spat toward her most annoying irritation – “On second thought? You can put that on the record.”
She turned and headed to her car. “Douchebag.”
February 13th, 2020. 8:12 pm
“So, Black Mamba,” Magdalena said to Deacon who was using a table as a chair. He gestured for her to continue. “Lost to Teddy Palmer, but you already watched that match. What we need is an angle, a selling point for the match.”
Deacon shrugged. That wasn’t his job; it was Magdalena’s. She knew it, but she wanted Deacon to be aware of her plan. “His name is all I have to go with.”
Deacon’s eyebrows rose & he gestured again in the same manner.
“Black Mamba,” Magdalena said. “It was Kobe Bryant’s nickname in the NBA.” She paused, waiting expectantly. Deacon shrugged again.
“You can’t be serious?” she said. A quizzical expression crossed his face. He was serious. “Kobe died in a helicopter crash,” she said. Deacon nodded. “Him, several players, including his daughter.”
The nodding stopped. The Deacon froze, his eyes dropping from Magdalena’s. It lasted for a moment and then he shook his head ‘no’.
“No?” Magdalena asked. He looked up then shook his head again.
No? Another slow confirmation. “Then what am I supposed to say about the match?”
Deacon looked down, his gaze just beyond each step as he left the room and returned to his responsibilities. After all, he had two more days until the match.
February 15th, 2020. 7:35pm
“It’s about time you arrive,” Brian Bare said as Magdalena stepped out of the dressing room. “You’ve not done anything to push the Deacon’s match tonight.”
“You want a comment?” Magdalena said. “You tell the people what happens when you smack the Deacon in the mouth.”
Bare’s brows furrowed as he tilted his head.
“The same thing that you did, doll” Magdalena said then lightly tapped Bare on the cheek. “You get up and get back to work.” She stepped passed him, heading to gather the Deacon and make their way to Gorilla.