The Road to MTG-Part Three

The Road to MTG-Part Three

Posted on March 27, 2024 at 7:26 pm by Drew Mitchell

Sweat dripped off of Drew Mitchell’s brow onto the canvas with a rhythmic thud as he executed another perfect dropkick, his body hitting the target with precision and force.  Every movement was deliberate and calculated as he landed on the canvas and just as quickly rolled back up to his feet.

“Again!” Sunny O’Callahan’s voice cut through the thick air of the gym like a whip. She leaned against the ropes with her frizzy blonde hair, loose spaghetti strap top, and her faded denim jeans adding to her tough and no-nonsense persona. She watched Drew with a critical eye, but there was an undeniable gleam of satisfaction dancing in her eyes. At six feet one inch tall, Drew wasn’t a powerhouse but he was a sight to behold, a fighter in peak physical condition.  It wasn’t just his physicality that made him stand out to her. It was his eyes – steely and focused, reflecting a fierce determination that burned deep within him.

After a rough start, it became clear to Sunn that her man had a dream, and every punch, every kick, every grueling day of training brought him one step closer to achieving it. Sunny couldn’t be prouder of how far he had come. The raw, rowdy talent she had seen in him when he first walked into the gym was now beginning to blossom into a formidable wrestler.

Drew squared his shoulders and nodded at Sunny before flashing her a brief, roguish grin. The hint of a British accent in his voice was almost lost amidst his panting breaths as he reset his stance, ready to repeat the maneuver.

As Drew launched himself into another dropkick, she murmured to herself in a mix of California drawl and Irish brogue, “That’s it, lad. Keep going.”

Drew lay on the mat, his body wracked with exhaustion and pain, but a glimmer of triumph shone in his eyes. The final drill had been brutal, pushing him to his physical and mental limits, but he had pushed back with all his heart and determination. As he caught his breath, a sense of accomplishment washed over him, knowing that he had given everything he had and come out stronger.

“You’ve done good, real good,” Sunny nodded approvingly. “Your heart’s in the ring, and it shows.” She paused for a moment, her gaze meeting Drew’s. “You have what it takes.”

Drew felt a surge of emotion… validation, encouragement, and motivation all rolled into one neat little package.

“Listen up,” Sunny said firmly, drawing Drew’s attention back to her. “Because I’m only gonna say this once.”

He focused intently on her words.

“You’ve got grit,” she continued, her eyes blazing with intensity. “You’ve got fire. And you’ve got a dream.  God help anyone who stands between you and that title this Saturday night.”

Drew felt a fire ignite within him at her words, a fierce determination to prove her right and fulfill his own dreams. He nodded in agreement, feeling the weight of her expectations and his own aspirations collide.

“All right.  Let’s go take this show on the road,” Sunny declared theatrically, a smirk playing at the corners of her lips. She gestured grandly towards the exit, a sense of excitement and adventure evident in her posture.  “Up early tomorrow and on to New York City.”

Twenty minutes later…
The steam unfurled like a ghostly veil from the open door of the men’s locker room, giving off a warm, humid air that contrasted sharply with the coolness of the arena. Drew Mitchell emerged, his hair still damp and glistening in the dim light, droplets tracing paths down his chiseled physique. The daily grind had honed him to a fine edge, and his muscles ached with the sweet pain of progress.

As he toweled off his neck, Drew relished the feeling of the cool air kissing his skin, a welcome reprieve from the heat that still clung to him like a second skin. He let out a low chuckle, muttering “Blimey” under his breath as he shook off the last bits of water.

The arena was quiet, a stark contrast to the usual chaotic energy that filled it during training. Drew sat alone in the locker room, his muscles still sore from his rigorous workout. As he gazed around the empty space, his mind drifted to thoughts of his upcoming debut and all the emotions it brought with it. Excitement, fear, determination.

But suddenly, a shadow at the doorway caught his attention. He sat up straighter, instinctively on guard as he recognized the familiar figure leaning against the frame.

“Hi Drew.”

“Victoria?” Drew blinked in surprise as he recognized her familiar figure. Victoria McGill stood before him with her arms crossed. Her presence was like a sudden storm cloud over an otherwise clear sky.

Drew couldn’t help but feel a pang of curiosity mixed with caution at her unexpected appearance.

“Long time, no see,” he said cautiously.

“Yeah, I know.”  Her gaze met his, and there was something different in her usually confident eyes—a turbulence he wasn’t accustomed to seeing. Tall and statuesque, Victoria normally carried herself as if she owned every room she graced. But now, her shoulders were slumped ever so slightly and defeat seemed etched into her usually impassive face.

“What’s up?” he asked.

Victoria slumped, her body aching with exhaustion and defeat. The weight of her loss hung heavy on her shoulders, dragging her down into the depths of despair. As she let out a heavy sigh, it felt as if all the air had been sucked out of the room.

Drew stood across from her, his arms crossed in silent support. He could see the turmoil raging inside Victoria, and he knew there were no words that could ease her pain. She was a true champion, used to basking in the glory of victory, but now she stood before him as a broken warrior.

“I guess you heard I lost the title,” she confessed, her words laced with defeat and shame.

“Sunny mentioned it.”

“Oh.”  The sound of her voice shattered the heavy atmosphere. It was strained and unfamiliar, like a bird trying to sing with a broken wing.  This was a woman who thrived in the spotlight, who reveled in victory with every fiber of her being. But now, she seemed like a shadow of her former self. It was as if someone had drained all the color and life out of her, leaving behind only a hollow shell.

“Rough go of it, huh?” Drew ventured, his voice gentle yet tinged with concern. He could see the frustration crease on her brow and the vulnerability that she so carefully kept hidden from the world now laid bare before him.

“Rough doesn’t fucking cover it,” she replied sharply, a fiery glint igniting in her eyes. “Jill Berg gave me a dressing-down after I lost the title. I don’t lose very often and when I do, I certainly don’t need a fucking lecture about it… in front of the entire arena.”

Drew nodded understandingly, knowing how hard it must have been for Victoria to swallow her pride and listen to Berg’s reprimands.

“I… I just need a friend to talk to.”

He stood up and walked towards her.

“Sounds like you could use a pint and a decent chat,” Drew suggested, trying to offer some comfort in the only way he knew how. He mirrored her posture, crossing his arms as they both stood in silence, two warriors stripped of their armor and revealing the raw humanity beneath.

Victoria’s lips twitched, a ghost of a smile threatening to break through her despondence. It was clear she was at a crossroads, her pride wounded, yet here she was… standing tall in the face of adversity. It was a side of Victoria McGill that only a few had the privilege to witness. Drew understood in that moment the complexities of the woman before him.

“Maybe,” she finally conceded, though her tone implied she knew no amount of drink would wash away the sting of defeat or the sting of Berg’s reprimands. But in that small moment between them, Drew knew that maybe, just maybe, Victoria would find the strength to rise again from the ashes of defeat.

Drew leaned against the cold, concrete wall of the dressing room, his arms crossed over his chest. His eyes were fixed on Victoria, her head in her hands. The sounds of weights clanging and grunts filled the air, but Drew’s focus remained solely on Tori.

“You’re not just another wrestler, Tori,” he said earnestly, his British accent softening the edges of his concern. “I know you.  You grind day in and day out. You’re a bloody boss in that ring.”

Victoria looked up at Drew, her eyes reflecting the harsh fluorescent lights of the gym. Despite her impressive stature and reputation as a champion wrestler, she seemed smaller somehow, stripped of her usual aura of confidence and strength.

“I feel like I’ve let everyone down,” she admitted, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Rubbish,” Drew interjected firmly, pushing away from the wall and walking over to sit next to Victoria on the bench. He placed one hand on her shoulder in a comforting gesture. “You’ve not let anyone down. We all get gutted when we lose the plot and things go all tits up. It’s how we get back up that counts.”

She nodded slowly, a vulnerable smile flickering across her face. “Thanks, Drew. I… I needed that.”

“Anytime, luv,” he responded with a wink and a smirk playing on his lips. “Now, what do you say we go find that pint? Fancy going for a few bevies tonight?  Maybe plot your grand comeback while we’re at it?”

“Let’s,” Victoria agreed, her spirit visibly lifted by the exchange.

They exited together, unaware of a pair of watchful eyes followed their footsteps as they headed toward Victoria’s car.

Meanwhile, sitting in her car in the parking lot, Brinsley Decker’s perfectly put-together facade took a hit when Drew and Victoria emerged from the gym. She had made the impulsive decision to pay Drew a surprise visit that afternoon before her usual golf practice at X-Golf.

*sigh*

Unfortunately, it was Brinsley who received the unexpected big surprise.

As she watched Drew and Victoria drive away, Brinsley struggled to contain the rush of emotions bubbling inside her. Was it jealousy or insecurity that gnawed at her insides? Or both? Her fingers gripped the steering wheel tightly as she tried to steady her racing heartbeat.

With a determined inhale, she started the car again, her mind made up. She would not be the one left lingering in uncertainty. Today, the golf course awaited, where control and precision ruled- unlike the unpredictable realm of human emotions.

An Hour Later…
The low hum of the bar buzzed around them, a symphony of revelry and raucous laughter that made the dimly lit corner booth they occupied feel like an island in a stormy sea. Drew’s broad frame was hunched over the table, his eyes sparkling with mischief as he recounted the pandemonium from the last event, where chairs flew almost as high as tempers.

“An’ there I was,” Drew said, his British accent flavoring the tale, “main event.  Chaos 58.  dodgin’ a superkick by a hair’s breadth… dodgin’ a Claymore kick…  Tell me, Tori, do you reckon they fancy me as some sorta matador now?”

Victoria, lean and regal, tossed her styled blonde hair back and laughed heartily, her tall frame relaxing against the booth’s worn leather. “With your luck, Drew, I’d say you’re more of a target than a toreador. But you’ve got to admit, it does add a bit of spice to the night, doesn’t it?”

“Aye.”

Their eyes met, playful sparks igniting between them, as they shared a moment of mutual admiration for the unpredictable world they thrived in. The light banter continued, with Drew’s roguish charm perfectly complementing Victoria’s fiery spirit.

But as the clinking glasses played background to their repartee, Victoria leaned forward, elbows on the table, her gaze narrowing with serious intent. “So, Drew, tell me about March to Glory?  A five-way LSD title match.”

“It’s not going to be a walkover,” Drew pointed out. “But I’m chuffed to be in the same ring as Jace Parker Davidson. He might be a little bit dodgy but he’s been riding high as the LSD Champion.”

Drew’s expression sobered as he took a slow sip from his glass. Setting it down, he ran a hand through his tousled hair and thought a little more about it before he continued. “Aye, Jace is tough, no doubt ’bout that. The bloke’s got a grip on the LSD title like a vice and a mean streak wider than the Thames.”

“Then there’s Evan Ward,” Victoria prodded, her voice a silky challenge.

“Ah, Ward,” Drew muttered, his lips quirked in a half-smile. “Bloody ‘ell, mate, he’s slippery, that one. Like trying to catch a greased pig at a fair. Ward also uses dodgy wrestling techniques from the old UK days. Real sadistic, ya know? Latchin’ on tight to them joints and twistin’ ’em like there’s no tomorrow. And watch out for them stomps, gougin’, and bitin’. That sick bastard gets off on breakin’ hands and hearin’ the crack of bones.  Proper messed up, if ya ask me. But,” he paused, his confidence unshaken, “I’m faster than he is, and I’ve got Sunny drilling me on holds that could catch even a shadow off guard.”

“What about Scott Stevens?” she pressed on, her interest evident in her piercing gaze.

“Stevens has power, but ‘e lacks finesse,” Drew responded with a dismissive wave of his hand. “All muscle and no smarts, if you ask me. A few clever moves and ‘e’ll be seein’ stars before ‘e knows what hit him.”

“Last but not least, Hugo Scorpio,” Victoria said, the corners of her mouth twitching up in anticipation of his assessment.

“Hugo’s the wildcard,” Drew conceded, leaning in closer, his voice a conspiratorial whisper. “He caught me off guard at X-Pro. Bloomin’ unpredictable and viscous, loves to play mind games he does. But I’ve dealt with his type before back home in the UK. Keep your wits about you and he’ll crumble like a cheap suit, mate.”

“Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out,” Victoria said, raising an eyebrow as she sat back in the booth, her long legs crossing beneath the table. “I guess you’re keeping that incorrigible eye of yours on the prize, not wandering elsewhere?” Her words held a teasing edge, a playful reminder of his well-known weakness.

“Oi, Tori,” Drew shot back with a grin, “my eyes are on the prize alright. But who’s to say I can’t enjoy the view along the way?”

The boisterous laughter of the bar patrons filled the air, a chaotic symphony of clinking glasses, raucous conversations, and bursts of music from the DJ. As they bantered back and forth about their latest competition, Victoria tilted her head to the side with a playful smirk on her lips. Her mischievous gaze met Drew’s, sending a clear signal that she had something up her sleeve. “Excuse me for just a moment, Drew,” she purred, her voice laced with both playfulness and intrigue.

Gracefully pushing herself out of the booth, Victoria’s long legs unfolded like those of a predatory cat as she stood. With purposeful strides, she made her way through the crowded bar towards the restroom, turning heads and eliciting murmurs as she passed by.

Drew couldn’t help but watch her go, his attention momentarily drifting from the lingering scent of her perfume to the cold glass in front of him. He rolled it between his palms absentmindedly, the pulsing beat of the music serving as a stark contrast to the uneasy tension building inside him.

Minutes ticked by slowly, each one stretching longer than it had any right to be. Drew couldn’t shake off the magnetic pull he felt towards Victoria, even in her absence. He glanced over at where she had disappeared, yearning for her return.

And then suddenly, Victoria reappeared. A subtle shift in her appearance was undeniable – a touch more eyeliner perhaps, lips painted a shade bolder, cheeks dusted with a rosy hue. It enhanced her natural beauty and cast a spellbinding effect on those around her. It wasn’t ostentatious or showy; it was calculated and alluring, much like a wrestler donning their persona before stepping into the spotlight.

She approached the table with renewed vigor, sliding back into the booth with a fluid motion that suggested both comfort and intent. Her gaze locked onto Drew, full of depth and layered with a silent invitation to explore the unknown. Curiosity gleamed in her eyes… a desire not solely rooted in physical attraction but entwined with the mental chess game they had been playing.

“Miss me?” She teased, the arch of her brow inviting him into their private world once again.

Drew cleared his throat, the heat rising to his cheeks betraying his cool exterior. “Thought you’d legged it,” he replied with a chuckle, his British lilt adding charm to the jest.

Victoria’s silhouette leaned in, the dim lighting of the bar casting shadows that danced across her features. She was close enough now that Drew could catch the distinct scent of her perfume… a mix of wildflowers and something more primal, reminiscent of the rush of a match about to begin.

“Did you have any other plans tonight?”

“No… not really?”

“Do you want to come back to my place?” Her voice was a husky whisper, barely audible above the ambient noise of the bar, yet it cut through the cacophony with the precision of a submission hold. The words lingered between them, heavy with implication.

Drew’s heart slammed against his ribs like a wrestler hitting the turnbuckle hard. His mind flashed to the bright lights of New York City- Madison Square Garden filled with screaming fans. This was his moment to climb the ranks, to prove his mettle under the tutelage of Sunny O’Callahan… to show he wasn’t just another rookie with a pretty face and a British accent.

But here was Victoria- a champion in her own right, temptress, a woman who knew how to play the game as well as any seasoned pro. Her invitation promised a different kind of match, one without rules or referees, where passions could pin rational thought for the three-count.

“Blimey, Tori,” Drew murmured, his voice betraying a hint of his inner turmoil. “That’s a hell of an offer.”

His hand, callused from training, reached for his pint, but he didn’t lift it to his lips. Instead, he traced the rim of the glass, buying time, and wrestling with his conscience. The clink of ice against glass echoed the internal clash—the craving for immediate pleasure against the hunger for long-term glory.

“Got a lot on me plate, though,” he continued, eyes locked onto hers, searching for understanding, “with New York and all.”

The unspoken words hung in the air, fierce as a chokehold, testing his resolve. Drew Mitchell, raw and untamed, had always followed his instincts, but this was different. This was his career, his future, on the line. Could he afford the distraction? Could he risk the fall-out?

He shifted, feeling the weight of her gaze, the heat of her proximity. It was a high-stakes bout, and Drew knew that every choice, like every move in the ring, mattered. He needed to stay focused, keep his eyes on the prize, not just on the prizefighter before him.

Tori’s expression didn’t waver; she was a professional, after all. But beneath the veneer of confidence, there was a challenge- a silent question of what kind of wrestler, what kind of man, Drew wanted to be.

New York City awaited, along with the chance to seize his dreams or to be pinned by regret. The clock was ticking down, and Drew knew it was decision time.

Drew exhaled, the sound heavy with conflict. The bar’s low hum retreated into the background as he met Victoria’s expectant eyes. His hand gripped the glass, not with the raw power he used to grapple opponents in the ring, but with a gentleness that matched his next words.

“Victoria,” he began, his British accent coloring the air between them, “you know you’ve got me in a right proper headlock with this.” He offered a lopsided smile, an attempt to soften the blow of his imminent refusal. “But I’ve got to be on top form for New York. It’s not just another gig; it’s the big league.”

Her gaze held steady, unflinching like a seasoned wrestler waiting for her opponent’s next move. Drew could see the flicker of disappointment dance across her features, yet she maintained her poise.

“Got to rest up, get the game plan sorted,” he continued. “You understand, yeah?”

Victoria nodded, a subtle dip of her chin that spoke volumes. She leaned back, allowing the space to grow between them as if acknowledging the end of their match. The corner booth felt suddenly spacious, the air charged with the tension of what would remain unsaid.

“Of course,” she replied, her voice still holding a trace of its earlier allure. “I understand.”

They lingered over the remains of their drinks. Drew signaled the bartender and paid the bill, laying down the cash like he was laying down his final card in a high-stakes bout.

“Cheers for understanding, mate,” he chimed, rising from the booth. “And keep your chin up. I reckon you’ll bounce back and reclaim that title.”

“Thanks, Drew,” Victoria answered, her tone genuine.

Drew started for the exit.

“Hey, Drew!”

He stopped and turned around.

“Give ’em hell in New York.”

With a nod, Drew turned away, feeling the pull of their connection like the tug of the ropes around the ring. He strode through the crowd, each step carrying him further from temptation and closer to his destiny.

Outside, the night air brushed against his skin, a reminder of the world beyond the ring, beyond the enticement of what might have been. Drew Mitchell walked alone, his mind already shifting to the challenges ahead, while behind him, Victoria McGill remained, a solitary figure in the dimly lit bar, her eyes tracing his departure until he disappeared into the burgeoning darkness.

*sigh*

An Hour Later…
Drew dragged his feet up the creaky stairs, each step feeling like a weight on his already heavy shoulders. His head hung low as he trudged back towards his apartment, the dimly lit hallway reflecting the somber mood that clouded his mind.

But before he could reach the safety and solitude of his own space, a familiar voice rang out.

“Where have you been?”

Sunny O’Callahan’s sharp tone cut through the air, causing Drew to flinch involuntarily. She was always able to detect when something was off with him, no matter how hard he tried to hide it.

He reluctantly lifted his gaze to meet her piercing stare, her arms crossed tightly over her chest in a stance of disapproval.

“Well? Where have you been?” she demanded again, not leaving any room for excuses or lies.

Drew hesitated, knowing there was no point in trying to deceive Sunny. “Victoria rocked up and I…I popped down the pub with her after the workout and knocked back a few pints,” he finally admitted, bracing himself for her judgment. He could feel her disappointment radiating off of her in waves.

Sunny’s expression hardened at first but then softened. “And then what happened?”

A pang of guilt shot through Drew as he remembered Tori’s pleading look earlier that evening at the bar. “She…she asked me to pop back round to ‘er flat,” he confessed.

“And what did you do?” Sunny pressed further, her gaze steady and unwavering.

Drew felt a lump form in his throat as he recalled the internal struggle he had faced. “‘I gave ‘er the old brush-off,” he whispered. Then I sauntered back to the flat.”

“That’s an hour’s walk,” Sunny pointed out, her voice softening once again as she placed a hand on Drew’s arm. “Why didn’t you call me?”

Drew simply shrugged, not wanting to delve into the details or his wavering emotions any further. He just wanted to retreat into his apartment and forget about the world for a while.

But Sunny’s grip tightened on his arm, stopping him in his tracks. “Hey,” she said with a reassuring smile. “You’ve worked hard for this moment.”

“Aye.”

“You’re going to do great at March to Glory, Drew.  You’re ready for this.”

Drew nodded wearily and reached for the doorknob, ready to finally seek solace in the comforts of home before their early flight to New York City tomorrow.

“Get some rest tonight,” she said firmly, her eyes filled with genuine concern. “We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.”