The cheerful young voice of Chloe Sutler-Kael filled the Kael Estate foyer as she scrambled across the marble floor toward her older brother. Sutler was frozen as he stared at the young girl rush toward her, her arms held out toward him.
His brain was rushing to catch up with the information that was flooding his head. How had he forgotten about his little sister, how had he forgotten about Chloe in all of this. As his little sister runs forward he wanted to reach his arms out and grab her. He wanted to lift her up and spin her around and tell her how much he missed her, he wanted to do a lot of things but his hands?
They refused to leave the World Title, his knuckles turning white as they clamped down around the title. Little Lady Sutler didn’t seem to notice as she slammed into him, her arms wrapping around his waist in a deep hug.
“I missed you Sut!” Chloe cheerfully said.
He had forgotten the sound of her voice and the warmth of her hugs. Part of him wondered how Sektor could have given this up. How he could have found drugs more appealing then the affection of his own daughter. Of his own flesh and blood. Just like Shane had abandoned his own progeny.
“You got the belt!” his sister said, releasing the hug as she pointed toward the #97red strap over his shoulder. “Can I see it?”
The Son of Scions involuntarily recoiled, his arms instinctually pulling the title far away from the tiny hands of Chloe. She blinked up at him in confusion with a touch of hurt in her eyes, like a puppy that had been scolded. The look cut deeply into Sutler as he regained control of himself. His eyes softened as he took a knee and, with some effort, held the storied World Championship out toward his sister.
“Sorry, Chloe, I’ve been real busy and lots of people want to get their hands on this. Here, watch out, it’s heavy.” he warned her as she took the title carefully in both hands.
“It is!.. Pappa Max had this, right?” Chloe asked innocently as she stared down at the golden faceplate with a wide grin.
Sutler’s lips tightened as he fought the frown that threatened to stretch across his face.
“Yeah, yeah he held it for a while but now it’s mine. Or rather, it’s ours.” The Son of Scions said as he patted Chloe on the head, a smile returning to his face. He could feel her childlike wonder as she stared down at the title. She ran her fingers across the gold and jewels with a spellbound expression. Being in her presence seemed to push back on the feeling in his gut, that gnawing hunger.
“Should we head to the gym, Master Sutler?” the booming voice of MAXKAELJr cut through the warmth between the two, reminding the World Champion of his other duties.
With a sigh Sutler closed his eyes and nodded.
“Yeah, yeah, give me a moment, okay?!” Sutler snapped over his shoulder toward the hulking Japanese beast. Junior nodded as the Son of Scions turned back to Chloe.
“You have to go?” she asked as she handed the title back to Sutler. “But I just got here…”
The disappointment was palpable and Sutler could see the heartbreak in her eyes. He was.. Not fulfilling his duties as a dutiful older brother as he had promised.
“..it’s time to go..”
He heard the voice in his head as the color drained from his face. As he looked around it was clear no one else heard the voice. The warmth of his sister’s presence drained from him as that cold void gripped his heart. He shook his head and fought the feeling, both hands reaching out to touch Chloe’s shoulders.
“I have to go but I promise you can come with me to Refueled this week and after I finish my business with Teddy Palmer we can spend all next week catching up! How does that sound?”
She cheered and jumped into his arms once again as a broad smile stretched across his face.
“..the girl means nothing, leave her behind.. We’re all you need..”
Once again he heard the voice whisper into his ear. He hugged Chloe tighter as he hoped her light would scare away the darkness that hung over him. The Son of Scions felt a firm hand grip his shoulder and he knew it was Junior alerting him that they had to go. He broke the embrace with Chloe and stood up to look down at his sister.
“The Family will get you where you need to be Chloe, I’ve got to go now.” Sutler said though it pained him to imagine Chloe alone in the Kael Estate. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Sut!” she answered with a cheerful expression as one of the nameless Family Members approached to escort the girl away.
Sutler watched the two leave the foyer and turn down a hall he had never been down before, at least not to his recollection. Once they were out of sight he felt his hands crawling over the World Title once again. The warmth left the room and he felt that familiar cold hunger in his chest again.
“Are you alright, Master Sutler?” MAXKAELjr asked.
The World Champion took in a sharp breath before he turned to look up at Junior with a hardened expression.
“No, no I’m not. But beating the fuck out of Teddy Palmer this Saturday might go a long way to making me feel better.”
So Mina Starr-Kael is disrespectful to Lee and he has her run over and pokes her eye out.. So original. Or classic Lee Best. So predictable. You think that did anything? People are just blood and bone but me?
I’ve left that fad behind and grown into something far more pervasive..
Why break a Family Member?
Because lil’ole Sutler didn’t join the Best Alliance? Why should he? What’s the benefit? Lee decides to book easier matches? Please, this isn’t a Mike Best title run, Sutler is here to make a Legacy for himself.. Or break Max’s, they both work..
So Lee decides to book the World Champion in a match against the former LSD Champion, Teddy Palmer. Cute, very cute, especially since Teddy’s never been tested like this. What did he do last week, spend some time with Conor Fuse and find himself again? How codependent can he be? First it was Alex Redding and now he’s decided to rob the cradle with Conor Fuse?
Please, gag me some more why don’t you. I hope deep down inside Teddy knows Conor isn’t really rooting for him. He’s looking for Sutler to win so he can have the privilege of shutting up the boy and shutting down his ego. Who wouldn’t after all, he’s a petulant little shit of a human being, I should know, I helped make him that way.
All of you are so fixated on wanting to shut him up that you don’t give him his due respect. Everybody goes to the uncreative, easy target of claiming he’s using his old man’s name to get ahead, that he doesn’t deserve this or that and yet he still keeps getting wins. He still has worked his way up the food chain and now there is just one last meal waiting for him.
With his defeat Sutler will rise to the #1 Position on the rankings for High Octane Wrestling and all these idiots are still using the same, boring, lame promos. Sure, they mix things around but the core is always the same, always underestimating, always assuming that because he’s young he clearly gamed the system.
When the truth is.. He’s really that good.
Well… actually WE’RE really that good.. Heh-heh..
On Saturday Teddy Palmer will find that out for the second time.
Now just… Imagine That..
He felt the sweat dripping down his back as he pulled his chin above the metal bar he was hanging from. His muscles tensed and tightened as he held the position for a moment before he lowered himself back down. His arms and back were on fire but he couldn’t stop now.
Sutler knew now was not the time to relent.
“Very good, Master Sutler.” Junior growled as he paced back and forth behind the Son of Scions. “Five more.”
Just five more, Sutler told himself as he pulled his body back up, his chin touching the metal bar once again. While he had plenty of things he hated such as his Father, Teddy Palmer and FunCo Pops, at the moment he hated nothing in the world more than pull-ups.
“Four more. Teddy Palmer could do four more easily.” the Japanese behemoth goaded Sutler along.
His eyes narrowed as he lowered his body once again expelling his breath as he did so. Teddy Palmer could probably do a lot of things easier than Sutler, the World Champion thought aggressively. He began to compile a resentful list of things Teddy could do more easily.
Get his ass kicked.
Get knocked out of War Games.
Lose a title.
His lip twitched on the last one as he yanked himself up once again, beads of sweat rolling down his forehead and between his eyes. He tasted the salt on his lips and it reminded him of a warm sea somewhere far from Arkham, Massachusetts. He ground his teeth together as he pushed forward with each pull up as he drew closer and closer.
“A strong body and a strong mind make for a strong champion.” MAXKAELJr grumbled as he folded his massive arms across his chest. His cold, unfeeling eyes watching the Son of Scions complete his final reps. “Discipline is the path to victory.”
With one final pull up Sutler released the bar and fell to his feet. The fire that burned through his upper body didn’t die down but somehow it seemed to intensify as his arms fell limp at his side. His hungry eyes turned toward MAXKAELJr as he took a step forward.
“What kind of fortune cookie bullshit is that? Get out of my way, I need my title.”
Shaky arms lifted as he pushed his way past Junior to the bench where the High Octane World Championship lay in all of it’s gold and red glory. Despite the pain that shot through his upper body Sutler scooped the title up, slinging it over his arm.
“Your Father loved that title as well.” Junior commented.
“Yeah, well, he should have loved me more.” the young champion snapped back as he moved toward the showers and the locker room. “Now I love this title infinitely more than I ever loved him. Wait for me out here.”
MAXKAELJr watched the Son of Scions shuffled away with a frown. A light buzz from his pocket alerted him to a call as he pulled the phone out staring down at the number he was not expecting to see. After a moment’s hesitation he answered, lifting the phone to his ear.
The hot shower was a relief for Sutler, both because it was relaxing and because, as he had done for several nights now, it was a place he would cry. The water that ran down his face washed away the tears he had shed and the noise muffled the whimpers.
Being Champion was harder than he had anticipated, much harder. The stress of defending the title was one thing but he had not been prepared for the mental strain of being HOW’s World Champion. That gnawing darkness in him seemed to only grow more powerful each day he was Champion. An unhealthy attachment had already been formed with the World Title.
He had seen it happen with his Father.
He has seen it happen with Mike Best.
Even Lee was still obsessed with it. His grandfather was hell bent on getting it back into the Best Alliance. Or failing that, punishing whoever had the title until it ended up back in Lee’s iron grasp. Hell, Lee had recruited a quarter of the roster to complete his little Pokémon set and he still couldn’t get it done.
The #97red strap had even managed to push Chloe out of his mind, the only other person in this dirty, filthy world he cared about.
“..maybe I should let Teddy take it..” Sutler said to himself as he braced himself against the cool marble wall of the shower.
“..maybe you should just leave the girl behind..”
The Son of Scions straightened up as he spun in the shower, that whispering voice echoing around him. Steam surrounded him obscuring the entrance to the shower but he swore he saw a figure just beyond it staring back at him. He couldn’t make out the features, just a dark shape like a man standing there.
“Who the fuck are you!?” Sutler shouted.
The figure didn’t move but just seemed to stare through the swirling white steam. Sutler felt like he was being mocked or made a fool of when he suddenly realized that the HOW World Championship was out there. This mysterious figure was very, very close to the second most precious thing to him..
“..heh-heh.. You know who we are..”
Sutler shut the shower off and wiped the water from his eyes. The figure just stared through steam at the Son of Scions, an unnerving sensation to say the least.
“Did MAXKAELJr let you in here? The fuck kind of bodyguard is he..” the World Champion muttered as he snatched a nearby towel, wrapping it around his waist.
“..we’re always with you..”
Those were not the words Sutler wanted to hear. Summoning all the courage he could muster Sutler charged out of the shower. He lunged toward the shadowy figure, his fists clenched tightly as he prepared to swing. The figure beyond the steam seemed to do the same and the World Champion braced himself for contact!
..Moving through the steam the shadowy figure came into the light and Sutler saw the truth.
It was just himself in the mirror, his fists raised while he wore a face painted with fear and anger.
“..the fuck..” he muttered to himself, frightened by his own reflection while taking a shower. But if the shadowy figure had been nothing but an illusion.. Where did that voice come from?
Sutler took in another sharp breath as he heard the whisper fading away. His eyes turned to look down toward the direction he heard the voice from.
Glittering up at Sutler was the #97red Strap, the High Octane Wrestling World Championship in all of its glory. He felt his body drawn to it, his hands eagerly stretching out to grasp it. He felt that hunger pangs in his chest as he yearned to feel the metal and leather against his bare skin. He longed for it’s embrace that brought meaning and purpose into his life..
“Always.. Here..” Sutler repeated to himself as he knelt down in front of the belt in reverence, it’s spell consuming his mind. He sat on the floor of the locker room naked with the belt cradled in his lap as he gently rocked back and forth.
So you decided to disrespect me and the World Championship Title by dragging your feet and predictably you didn’t get shit in till Wednesday.
Yet you think you are the one to shut me up?
You didn’t bring anything new to the table, fuck, you basically stole your talking points from the last couple of fuckheads who tried to take me down. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now. Why?
Because like it or not I’m your WORLD CHAMPION. Sutler Reynolds-Kael, not Max Kael, not the Minister, not Shane Reynolds or Michael Lee Best.
Sutler. Reynolds. Kael. You know why I go by that name? It isn’t to ride the coattails of my fathers, no, you fucking moron, it’s to prove I’m better than them. You make a lot of shitty, bad points that Clay and Conor and the rest of the morons I’ve defeated make. Sure, you may think they are solid but the truth is..
I overcame the odds and became the YOUNGEST winner of the War Games match. I did it in my first year, in my first try. How did your attempt to become World Champion go?
Oh that’s right, you lost. Badly. Exactly what you’d expect from a self-professed Piece of Shit, the kind of scrub that makes a fine and dandy LSD Champion. Never a World Champion. You are so unworthy of it that knocking you off that #1 ranking is practically eminent domain.. But here’s the thing..
Despite it all this isn’t about you. It was at the start, I wanted to spare you a little more embarrassment and pain. Just like Clay and Conor and Zeb I offered you an olive branch and you SPAT in my mouth. So fuck you, now I’m going beat you stupid.. well, stupider.
Don’t think it’ll happen? Fuck bruh, I’ve done it already. You can’t say you’ve beaten me. And all that cheesy, pathetic bravado you throw up, that flimsy self-depreciation? I see through it, I see into the heart of a man who knows he’s not a World Champion. Another challenger stepping out of his depth and to ego driven to accept my mercy.
I am the culmination of the greatest Champions High Octane Wrestling has ever had, the Son of Scions. Trained by Michael Lee Best, born of Shane Reynolds, raised by Maximillain Wilhelm Kael and forged by the fire of Lee Best’s insane whims. I am a fucking GOD compared to you, Teddy Palmer. I am a CHAMPION and I will be shown the fucking proper respect from a grub like you.
I’m not just some kid, that’s your little buddy Conor Fuse playing fucking games.
I’m not some teenager throwing a fit, I’m the High Octane World Champion.
And when I defeat you, you’ll slide back down into Lee’s Special Division where you belong.
I’ve spent my entire life surviving, scraping by, earning my place in this company since I was 8 years old. High Octane Wrestling is in my blood whether I like it or not. I was born to be the World Champion, you were born a disappointment. You were born to be mediocre and you exemplify it every time you open your filthy hole.
Still, everybody is rooting for you Teddy, everybody is being so supportive. Must be nice.
Nobody supports me, Teddy. I support me and that’s why I’m a winner and you’re a fucking loser. I don’t NEED anyone else, I don’t NEED pats on the back to encourage me to win.
The HOW World Champion doesn’t rely on friends or family or anything else but themselves. Uncle Mike taught me that. Cecilworth Farthington taught me that. And though I hate to admit it, Max taught me that.
So when you fail and I’m still World Champion, I hope you have a good excuse for all those people you let down.. Save, of course, for Conor Fuse. When you look him in the eye I wonder if you’ll see disappointment?
Oh, I hope you get hit by a wall of knives and lose a limb. I can’t put my finger on it but I just like the idea of something getting chopped off you ending any hope of you succeeding.
Tell your mother, what’s up.