There is a firm and authoritative knocking at the door, drawing James Milenko away from his current business, dealing with the bureaucratic side of the CWF from his hotel room. Who would have guessed running an innovative global wrestling promotion would be such hard work?
Secretly Milenko is pleased by the respite. His joy is very short-lived however as he opens the door to discove none other than Jaiden Rishel waiting on the other side.
“What do you want?”
“Milenko. We need to talk.”
It is clear from his expression Jaiden will not take no for answer. Tentatively James motions or the Prodigal Son to enter and conducting a quick check to see no one else was with him.
One can never be too cautious when dealing with a Rishel…
Miles away from Milenko’s hotel room in Alberta, Canada, Jaiden Rishel stands before the door of a luxury condo in Hollywood, California and knocks. Though it may be a different city, the knock is the same. Firm and expectant, the knock of a man who is used to being in control, who is used to getting their way. It is the knock of a Rishel.
Danny Tremaine, talent manager and agent to Hollywood action star and CWF talent Colton Mace, answers the door. Danny makes no effort to hide the expression of disapproval upon seeing Jaiden at the door.
“What do you want?”
There is a flash of anger and annoyance on Jaiden’s face, but he didn’t come here to start an argument with Danny, but to protect his investment in Mace. He chooses to ignore the slight.
“Where is he?”
Jaiden pushes his way past Danny.
“Cole isn’t seeing anyone right now.”
“Where. Is. He.”
“I don’t know why Mace ever got into business with you. You don’t even care about him.” The agent and manager half-heartedly hand-waves in the general direction of Mace’s bedroom, falling in step behind Jaiden.
“I warn you now.” Danny adds as they reach the bedroom door. “It ain’t pretty.”
Jaiden rolls his eyes and burst into the bedroom.
“What the fuck?!”
Naked atop the bed is Colton Mace, seated with his legs crossed and surrounded by empty food packets and drink cans. He is deeply engrossed on the television set which is playing the 1980’s action hit The Delta Force.
“Fucking Chuck Norris.” Mace exclaims, shoveling down a handful of doritos corn chips.
“What is that smell?” Jaiden asks.
“I told you it wasn’t pretty.”
“What happened?!” Jaiden doesn’t even bother to try and hide his disgust as he continues to watch in abject horror as Mace continues to watch and curse the screen in his semi-fugue state.
“After he was again denied the title shot he came home and just broke down. It’s kind of a thing he does when he doesn’t get his way.”
“God. What a man-baby.”
The Prodigal Rishel isn’t aware just how much of an understatement that is, but Danny keeps such thoughts silent and in his head.
“What are you even doing here Jaiden?”
With a tug on Rish’s sleeve, Danny is able to pry Jaiden’s focus off of the despondent Hollywood star. It takes a moment for Jaiden to collect himself and regather his thoughts.
“I was coming to grab Mace for Evolution. There’s been some changes to the card I thought he’d appreciate.”
“Well…He’s all yours.” With that Danny takes his leave.
Though he has years of practice in dealing with Mace and his moods, the manager was keen to see how the Rishel heir handles the situation. Especially since this whole thing was practically his idea.
“Tell me how you go.” Danny calls from down the hall.
Jaiden once again gazes into the room.
Only one way to handle it. He marches into the bedroom and switches off the tv, standing directly in Mace’s field of view.
“Alright Mace, listen up.”
The so-called A-List Athlete doesn’t seem to notice Jaiden.
“Ugh I hate this commercial.”
Colton starts mindlessly pressing buttons on the remote.
“And it’s on every channel too…”
“Snap out of it you fucking Diva! I didn’t agree to this arrangement just to have you pull a Britney on me simply because you actually have to do some work to get the title. So, get off your arse, for Christ’s sake get dressed and come with me to Alberta. I had to make some risky promises to get you out of your match. You better not fuck this up for me.”
“…The following feature is rated M. It contains some Coarse Language.”
“Maybe it’s not too late to work alongside Jarvis…” He says absently.
There is a definite reaction to that as Mace snaps out of his trance like state and for the first-time notices Jaiden Rishel standing before him, at the foot of the bed.
“We now return to your regularly schedule programme…. Did you just say the J word? No one is allowed to mention that name inside this house. Got that? I’ Colton Mace. I’m kind of a big deal! I’m ten times the talent he is ever going to be, and if I was actually given the opportunities I deserve I’d be a Champion one hundred times the likes of Jarvi frigging King. I beat him, and I would’ve beat MJ too, but everyone’s got it in for Colton Mace. They are so jealous they will deny him and the Colton Cinematic Universe at every possible turn. Well so be it! I’ll simply deny them the privilege of seeing me perform until I get my god damned title shot!”
Subconsciously Mace climbs to his feet during the tirade, standing in all his glory atop the bed, giving Jaiden an unfortunately full view of the Hollywood Hot Shot.
“It’s gonna be har-difficult to win any title when your not wearing any clothes. There’s laws about that…”
Mace comes to his senses and realizes the situation he is currently in.
“Clean yourself up and meet me out in the lounge room.” Jaiden leaves, shaking his head in disbelief, cursing under his breath as he goes.
“Don’t know what he’s complaining about…Most would be desperate for the behind the scenes Colton Mace special…” Mace mumbles under his breath in a feeble attempt to save his wounded pride.
Washed and mercifully clothes Colton Mace meets up with Jaiden and Danny in the living room, congregating around the coffee table. Jaiden finds the multitude of Mace centric photos, each depicting a different action pose, more than a little disconcerting. The sooner he can conclude his business the better.
“Jaiden mentioned he was able change your match at Evolution.”
“Oh, thank god! Jaiden you’re a genius, you got me my title shot! See Danny, that is what proper hard work looks like.”
Jaiden coughs, quickly interjecting himself into the conversation, preempting another stunning Mace monologue.
“Actually, it’s not a title shot…Milenko wouldn’t budge on that one.”
“Then what are you doing here?!”
“Trying to salvage the mess you’ve made for yourself you ungrateful Diva! Now shut up and listen!”
Used to following direction, Mace takes a seat and remains silent.
“It’s going to take a bit to build you back into the title picture. Surprise, surprise, Milenko has his own agenda. But instead of you facing some random nobody in a singles contest, you’re contending for that Northern Crown tag tournament.”
“Mace doesn’t share the spotlight with anyone!’ Mace quickly snaps, receiving a cold-iron stare from Jaiden.
“Well this time you will. Otherwise you’re done.”
With an exaggerated roll of his eyes and deep, draw out sigh, Mace concedes.
“Alright fine. Who is going to be riding my coattails?”
“I made sure it was someone who is well versed in tagging with you. An old friend of yours in fact.”
“Wh-“ Realisation hits Mace like a big rig truck. “Oh god. Not Mark. Anyone but Mark.”
“Few people are willing to work with you Mace. Even Tommy Wiseau looks down on you. It’s any wonder Mark is still open to the idea.” Danny comments.
“Apparently your ‘difficult’ to work with.” Jaiden adds, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“No buts Mace!”
“Besides…” Danny once again making his presence known, both Jaiden and Mace turning to regard the undervalued and underappreciated agent. “Have you looked at the accounts recently?”
“No!” The tone of Mace’s responses implies insult at being expected to conduct such a menial task. “That’s your job. What am I even paying you for?”
“Thing is…you’re not really paying me at all…With you not working lately and the receipts for damages AND complaints and lawsuits…You’re kinda broke.”
“Broke. You’ve got nothing left. So, your gonna have to agree to this gig if you want to afford living.”
It just keeps getting worse and worse. Jaiden can’t help feeling, and not for the first time, how much of a sinking ship Colton Mace truly is. There will come a time where the Prodigal Son will have to abandon ship if he doesn’t want to sink along with it.
“Ugh. I hate playing this Role. Alright fine. It’s Mark and I…. AGAIN…Who am I wasting my time against then since it’s not a singles match.”
“The Danger Boiz.”
“HA! Why didn’t you say so! The Danger Boiz…the only thing I’m in Danger of is dying of boredom against them. Talk about a Z-Grade Movie. Those guys faded from relevance ages ago and have never been able to come out of that slump since. In fact, you may as well tell Mark not to bother coming next week, I’ll take them both on myself. I hope the competition later in the tournament has actually got some decent credits to their name. Otherwise Jaiden, we may have some more words. I’m a competitor of a high caliber, performing at the highest degree, and should be treated as such.”
“I shall see you and Mark in .” Satisfied Mace is in the right place, at least for now, Jaiden makes his exit, pausing at the door way for one final message. “Oh, and Mace…don’t screw this one up. I’m fast running out of patience.”
With that Jaiden Rishel is gone.
“I know, I know…Your travel bag.”
“And don’t forget Mr Flufflebottom this time! I can’t afford to be kept up all night, tossing and turning in those uncomfortable hotel beds, without my favourite Teddy!”
Danny remembers the last time they were travelling, and he had forgotten the plush teddy bear. It had not been a pretty sight, but at least they were on their feet again and actually working. Even if the manager found the entire notion of working at Jaiden’s beck and call beyond distasteful. Such is the nature of show-biz, sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil, agree to a lesser project, in order to guarantee a blockbuster down the line. Where Mace is concerned, things often have a way of bouncing back. It’s just a matter of biding their time…No easy feat when dealing with the impatient and demanding Colton Mace…