“Dorian! Dorian!” the reporters yell as they follow behind ‘The Demon of Sobriety’. Hawkhurst is walking away, hiding underneath a hooded sweatshirt as he continues through the underbelly of the arena. The cameras in front of him catch the scowl on his face poking through his hair hanging in front of his face. “Dorian, why? Why did you join the Forsaken?” Dorian stops in his tracks, whipping around to face the media.
“In case you didn’t notice, I just got done cracking skulls in a casino and a pirate ship. I’m aching. I’m tired. I don’t need to explain myself to you. I have said from day one that I was going to do what I felt I needed to do.
Dorian turns to walk away, pulling his hood down farther over his face. He begins storming away, but the crowd just won’t leave him alone. Dorian gets to the locker room door and begins shaking the handle. Much to his chagrin, the door is locked. Reluctantly, Dorian turns back to the media behind him.
“I guess you all get what you want. Get your phones or tape recorders or whatever the hell you use out, because I am not going to repeat my damned self.”
Dorian stands, impatiently waiting for the first question. An older man with salt and pepper hair throws out the first question.
“Dave Schmeltzer, Pro Wrestling Watcher.”
“Man, I don’t need to know your name. Just ask the damned question.”
“What made you join the Forsaken? Is it the old ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ mentality?”
“Wow, you’re a special kind of special. Aren’t you, boy?” Dorian looks disapprovingly at the reporter. “Explain to me at what point I couldn’t beat the Forsaken? I defeated The Shadow, who was a great Impact Champion in his own right, to win the Impact Championship. I beat Ataxia the first time I faced him to retain that very title. Both men are cornerstones of this company. To be able to compete against them, and to be able to say I have victories over both of them, is an honor. I joined them because I respect them. I joined them because they recognize talent. Mia Rayne showed at Paradise that she just might be the baddest bitch in this company, and I mean that as a compliment. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with that? The question isn’t ‘Why DID I join them?’. The question should be why I didn’t do it sooner.”
There seems to be a small murmur amongst the reporters.
“Dorian, your victory over the Revenant and Xander Haze ended with you brutalizing the Revenant.”
“Don’t even ask. The short answer is if I didn’t do it to him first, he, or Xander Haze for that matter, would have to it to me. That’s how this business works and you should know that.”
“Brian Heywar…” Dorian stares the reporter down. “Sorry. Um…” It seems that Hawkhurst’s glaring is causing some nervousness in the reporter. “I guess what we want to know is, why the change in attitude?”
“Now THAT’S actually a good question. I like you, son.” For the first time, Dorian cracks a slight smile. “In case y’all missed it, I fell off the wagon. I ended up in the Hoosegow on a drunk and disorderly. I tried and tried and tried to do my damnedest to change my ways. But I am human. I wasn’t strong enough. I decided that I wanted to stop being so damned nice. Nice guys don’t win in the long run. You know who does win?”
Dorian looks around, excitedly waiting for an answer that never comes.
“All right, I guess I’m going to have to educate a bitch. You know who wins? Assholes, they win. Look at the world for a moment. Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, was an asshole. If you didn’t hold up your end of the deal, he held you accountable. Tiger Woods was at his best when he was going out, partying, cheating on his wife. Did it make him a good person? Hell no. What it made him was a winner. Look at the last election, man. Both candidates were major assholes. When all is said and done, it’s the asshole that ends up getting ahead.”
“So, while I was sitting and doing my time, it came to me. I needed to stop being nice. I needed to stop being respectful. I needed to start running people over and not looking back. I needed to stop apologizing for my mistakes. I needed to stop being weak. Now, I’m not going to go full Xander Haze on people, but I am not going to sit back and take their shit anymore. It’s just that damned simple.”
Dorian turns around and bangs on the door. A few seconds later, the latch lowers and the door opens a crack. Hawkhurst grabs the handle and darts in, slamming the door behind him and locking it behind him.
”I’m sorry, daddy. I was in the bathroom.”
”It’s okay, baby girl.” Dorian removes his hoodie and throws them into the nearest open locker. ”DId anyone bother you while you were waiting?”
”Miss Mia stopped by, but I wouldn’t say she bothered me.”
”What did you think of her?”
”She’s nice. I like her.” Chloe pauses. ”Daddy, does this mean me and Mr. Taxi can be friends now?”
”As long as you don’t teach any bad things.”
Dorian pats her on the head.
”Listen, baby girl. Daddy’s gotta go clean up. Do me a favor and go grab the iPad and finish up your homework. We’ve got a red eye home and you have school tomorrow.”
”Okay, daddy.” Chloe goes bouncing off and stops for just a moment. ”Love you, daddy.’
”Love you, too.”
Chloe disappears around the corner and Dorian reaches into his bag and pulls out his cell phone. He opens something on it and drops his phone into his bag. ”What in the hell are they smoking?” Dorian muses out loud.
Dorian turns around, looking at the cameraman.
”What the hell you still doing here, boy?’
”I’m filming for some bonus features for the Paradise DVD.”
”Well, it’s your lucky day. I’ve got some things I need to get off my chest and you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Set yourself right over there and just get me in front of the lockers. I ain’t got time for any of those fancy and clever scenery deals.”
”Don’t call me ‘sir’. I work for a living.”
”Yes, si… Yes.”
”Thanks, man. We ready to do this?”
The cameraman nods and gives Dorian the signal.
”Ryan… Caledonia… Omega… Styles… Duce… You are all cattle. You are nothing more than pieces of meat being used by a company that cares about nothing but itself. The Forsaken… we are a different breed. We have something that none of you have got, and that, is loyalty. Like animals, we have been backed into a corner and like animals, that is when we are most dangerous.”
“I am being forced into this match because J. Rish needed a body to fill the spot as the Smokin’ Aces partner. I guess they picked my name out of a hat, because there is absolutely no reason why I should be here, instead of in another match supporting my Forsaken brethren. Instead, I find myself here with the Smokin’ Aces..”
“The last time I saw the two of you, Shadow, Tax and I smoked your aces, and that was before we were all on the same page. I don’t know what reality either of you are living in if you think for a second that I am coming onto this match to play nice. As far as I am concerned, you are no better than the bird shit that covered the deck back on that pirate ship.”
Dorian shakes his head.
”Smokin’ Aces, we are two different kinds of people here. If we were to step onto a plane, I would be the pilot. The two of you would be the passengers. You are imitators. I am an innovator. I am a leader. You are followers. You are lost sheep. I am your shepherd, a gift given to you by J.Rish himself. Now, I don’t want to lead you. However, my desire to win outweighs my dislike of the two of you. So, as I said before, you are in luck.”
“For I have turned over a new leaf. Unlike the usual use of that cliché, I have turned to the underside. I have turned to the dirt covered, trodden upon side of the leaf. I’m tired of trying to be the nice guy. I am tired of letting people do what they want and try to walk all over me. NO MORE!”
Dorian rubs his hands together as a devious smile crosses his face.
”Remember how just a few seconds ago, I was talking about there being two kinds of people in this world? Well, here we are again. In this world, there are givers and there are takers. I’m a taker. You are givers. Then again, they say that we all give at one time or another, and I do. I give just a little.” Dorian holds his hand up, holding his thumb and pointer fingers out, showing just a little space between them. "But, now it seems, nobody wants what I have to give because I’m not kissing ass and trying to give replica belts to kids anymore.”
“When I walked back into the arena, everyone’s attitude towards me changed. When I walked in the arena, the security guards who would normally greet me just stared as I walked on past. Those reporters that followed me back here cowered because I wasn’t sucking their dicks with a smile on my face. So, all of a sudden, they don’t want what the Demon is serving.”
“If there is one thing that I am going to teach my little girl, it is the meaning of what life is all about. You see, I have dreams. We all have dreams. Yours probably started high in the clouds. That’s where they all start, isn’t it? The problem is, they all start going down the drain. You see, Aces, it’s all starts when the Shadow and Mia Rayne become the number one contenders to your Tag Team Championships. That’s a spoiler alert. It’s going to happen. When it does happen, what becomes of me? It’s like finding a thousand dollars next to a rattlesnake. Do you grab the money without a problem, or do you get bitten? After the Forsaken line up to take their shot, do you trust me, or do I become the enemy?"
Dorian slaps himself across the face a couple of times with both hands, working himself up.
”Because you need to realize, that this match isn’t about Amber Ryan, Caledonia and Omega. This match, for me, is about us. It is about how we function as a team.”
“Now, I am a gardener, because I have planted the seeds of doubt amongst. If that backfires on me, I can accept that, because you reap what you sow. If the two of you leave me lying, I can accept that. But, know this, gentlemen. As was the courtesy the Forsaken once extended to me, I now extend to you. I ain’t the kind of person to throw you to the wolves, my friends. I will honor my place in this team. Just remember, a true friend stabs you in the chest.”
Dorian folds his hands in front of his face, looking up towards the heavens with a mock innocence before lowering his head and laughing.
”Now, I look over at my opponents, our opponents, and I see we have Omega. Omega, you had that whole Academy thing going on, and that’s cool. But, despite being their leader, you most certainly are not to leader of your team. You’re a footnote, an afterthought. People look at Amber Ryan and the think ‘She has it. She’s going to be a star in this business.’ but people like that are wrong. People like that need to realize that she IS a star in this business. When I walked through these doors, I knew two people, Ataxia and Amber Ryan. You can paint me as an idiot, but when I joined this company, I wasn’t a student of this game. I just knew I liked beating people up and getting paid for it.”
“Then, you look at Caledonia. CWF World Champion, or so I’m told. She just beat MJ Flair. I think that right there speaks for itself. So I’m looking at the text I got telling me what I was doing this week and Evo and I’m like ‘Ryan, Caledonia, and Whomega? I’m not dismissing what you can do in the ring. I’m just pointing out to you that the public perception is that you are an afterthought when you stand side by side with Amber and Caledonia.”
Dorian puts his hands out, looking from one to the other and back again.
”Amber and Caledonia. Caledonia and Amber. Where do I begin? All things considered, you are both two of the greatest wrestlers in this company. For now, I think I have to worry about Amber. Caledonia, sweetie, don’t you worry your pretty head. I’ll get to you in just a minute.”
“I recognize your talent, Amber. I recognize that sitting here and tell you what I am going to do to you isn’t going to do anything to intimidate you. In fact, I don’t think pissing you off is going to help my cause at all. However, my dear, I want to remind you not to mistake my kindness for weakness. I want to remind you why it is that I do what I do. I like dropping people on their heads because I get off on it. I like it when pretty women like you slap me across the face. I like you when you punish me. Hell, some places charge you twenty bucks for that kind of action.”
“So, here’s what I am going to do for you. I am giving you a pass. This is a onetime offer. I’m going to treat you as an equal. I want to get in the ring with you. I want to see what the hype is all about. I want to know all about you, Amber. I want to know what you feel like, smell like…” Dorian takes a moment to add a little extra creepiness to the moment. ”What you taste like. But, in all of this, you are still only desert. Delectable and satisfying, but not really all that filling.”
Dorian licks his lips, making a show of it for the camera.
”Caledonia, you ain’t nothing special to me, man. You ain’t nothin’ special. You are nothing more than a piece of flesh. We I step into that ring at Evolution, I am going to look at that woman across the ring from em and I say ‘Well, now. That’s my dinner. That’s my meal. That’s my meal ticket. But what I’ve been living on just don’t fill me up, Caledonia. So, I gotta have a little bit more. I gotta have the best of both worlds, you see. I’m talking about your title. Being the Impact Champion was nice, but it not enough. That World Title, everybody in the world would like to have that, but few men can take it. Now this match obviously isn’t for your title. What this match is for, at least for me, is showing that I can take it. I am going to show you that. I have a way to do it.”
“What would you do, Caledonia, if you were driving down the highway and you saw an 18 wheeler cross the double line, heading straight for you? What would you do, man? Most people would try to get out of its way. Some people, though… some people won’t. Some people would rather meet the power and think ‘maybe I can live through it.’ Well, Caledonia, are you going to get out of the way of “The Forsaken Demon” or are you going to meet that power? Are you going to find out how big your heart is when I run you over and you barely have the strength to hold yourself up?”
“What I want to do in this match is plant a little fear in you, Caledonia. Like I said, you reap what you sow. You plant grass, you get grass. You plant rice, you get rice. You plant fear, and you get fear and it grows. I want to take the English Rose and take away her thorns. I want to make sure that every time Caledonia sees my face, she remembers what I did, and can do to her. I want that fear to spread like kudzu. When a person looks at you, and they have that fear in their heart, where does that put them but the palm of your hand. At that point, you have already created doubt. When someone stands in the shadows of fear, they wonder if they can continue against someone like myself. I know this first hand.”
“When you walk in the shadows, you see things. You see your doubts. You see your fears. You see you demons. Caledonia, you have what I want. This match isn’t about the Smokin’ Aces or Amber Ryan or Omega. This match is about me, and you, and this is my audition. This is my chance, my time. I don’t have a briefcase, like Amber Ryan. So now, I make my own case.”
Dorian points at the cameraman.
”We’re done. Get the hell out of him.”
The cameraman cuts the feed and the screen goes black.