The sound of taut popping joints, as knuckles crack in leather gloves. The air heavy with pre-dawn dew, the moment where the night hs passed the witching hour into the gloaming grey light, cold as the chills that ricochet down the spines of normal men.
This is the time of day when what happens is what you keep from your spouse. If you wanted to get haunted, or you are haunted, or you are the kind of man who exists in the fringes of things outside of a professional capacity. This would be your time.
“Azrael thinks it’s a smart move to interject himself into the business of others.”
No shirt, bare chest with the night, the hell light of a bar shining against his sunglasses, the furnace ember glowing just off of his mouth. His tangle of black blonde hair strewn messily about his shoulder. Even in Whealdon’s general iciness, there is a visible hint of being quite rather pissed off.
“Into Golden Paradigm business.”
“Into _my_ Business.”
Whealdon takes a drag on his cigarette, not a long soothing drag, but a short, intense drag, smoke billows from his nostrils, dragonlike.
“Well good news Azrael, you have my attention, my full and undivided attention. Yourself and Lucas Greene are going to get a taste of what getting into the business of your betters is all about.
There will be no underdog rising story. You have spent your entire career as a sham, and now you want to play Hero?”
Another Drag. Grumpier still.
“I am going to snuff out your attempts at Heroics. Maybe, when you and that other blithering idiot were standing in the back after your latest evening in light fixture counting. You might have missed who I was dissecting in the ring.
I don’t think I need to tell you…”
Pause. Short terse drag, knuckle cracking. More visible annoyance.
“Actually, I’m fairly certain I do. Let me spell it out for you, You are not Andy Murray, you are not Andy Murray’s left boot, his left bootlace, or even the gum stuck to the bottom of that boot. You are an insect. You are a buzzing fly that seemingly didn’t get the message the first time I swatted you away.”
Snuffing the cigarette out, Whealdon procures another one from his jacket pocket and lights it up, the movements all short, no languor, no disinterest.
“Just knocking you out last time was a mercy, Azrael. Maybe you were too dense at the time to see it, maybe you’re just too stupid to get it now. But I am not in the CWF to coddle losers like you and Lucas Greene, The disinterest I showed in Duce Jones, or his addled father should’ve been further clues.
You couldn’t see the pieces moving, because you don’t matter enough to even be part of the puzzle. You couldn’t see the Golden Paradigm preparing to make its move. You can’t see how we, not The Forsaken, not Ouroboros made the actual moves to power. Look up and down this roster, Azrael, every single one of these clowns were not ready for us.
And even then, you didn’t count. You didn’t matter.”
The knuckles crack again.
“Now though, you have my full attention. You have my full interest. Whatever it is you thought the outcome of this was going to be. It’s not going to be a glorious ride on the shoulders of your lessers into the golden promise land, heroes on the side of righteousness, Andy Murray raising the belt at Wrestlefest in glory.
There are no heroes. You and Lucas Green have failed yourselves. You could have stuck to the garbage that is on your level, the Smokin’ Aces, the Forsaken, Jimmy Allen and whatever another vanilla retread he ends up attaching himself to. Autumn Raven and the Hot Topic calendar...
No, you two idiots had to stick your necks right over the guillotine. Hand in hand you two are marching very quickly to the end of whatever it is you thought your career was going to be. At what point did this seem like it was going to end well for you Azrael? Was it when I was tearing Andy Murray’s leg off? Or was it when I knocked you senseless? Did Lucas Greene put you up to this?
Lucas is going to get his just dessert at Evolution.
I am going to mangle you. There isn’t going to be a quick knee to the head, and a three count. Maybe that’s the other thing you missed out on. Whether I win or lose in the official books is irrelevant to me. Eric Dane brought me here to make sure that no one gets to the End Boss unscathed.
So at Evolution, no matter how many times you tap, no matter how much you beg, no matter how many officials come out. No one and I mean no one is going to save you. No matter how much self psycho-analysis, no matter how much time you spend in church.”
More knuckle cracking. More venomous puffing of the cigarette. More leather cracking.
“And because I may have knocked what little sense out of you last time, consider this. There are no holes to pick. I have made a career out breaking men better than you.
This time. No Mercy.”