“I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you”
| Before |
“This is kinda disappointing, really.”
An angry looking Autumn muttered, standing at the back of the room, more or less a giant gymnasium where a ring was set up and the action was already hopping. The crowd around her was cheering and thoroughly getting into the action that was in front of them. It was a house show somewhere in Chicago, showcasing local indy talent looking to show off for the crowd and any other potential people who might be there. Sitting next to her was her partner and love interest, Phoenix Winterborn.
“What did you expect though hun?”
“To be sitting in the front at least. I mean damn, give me a break.”
He reached out and ruffled her hair, grinning as she turned her firey glare upon him. He was dressed in his gear, obviously waiting for his spot in the show to come up. Hence the reason she had traveled all the way here to see this. The two had busy schedules as it was and found whatever little time they had to spend with one another. Lately that time was getting less and less.
“At least you’ll get to see the show. I got you in here…”
“I paid my way in dude, let’s be honest here. You didn’t drag me in the back door, I paid for a ticket to this thing a long time ago.”
“Touche. The Raven is on fire today.”
She shrugged, sighing softly.
“Like always. So what’s this I hear about you tagging with someone new hmm?”
She could hear him sputter and glance at her with wide eyes as she stared back at him, one dark eyebrow quirked, simply standing there waiting for an answer with her arms crossed across her chest.
“It’s not what you think, okay? She’s a cool chick, and the whole idea came about on a random. It’s working pretty good so far. The Birds of Prey haven’t been a thing in a long while...not since UWL went belly up and you know that for a fact.”
Autumn sighed. He was right. The old days of the black and green, UWL, her first home. Where she got her start, and met the brat with an attitude standing next to her. Those days were long long gone, and things were very different. She shifted a little on her feet, staying quiet for a few moments more as she watched what was going on, having turned her attention away from him a long while ago.
“I know. I just...worry that things are drifting apart between us. Our schedules are so different and it just seems all...I dunno. This is the first time I’ve seen you in forever. We’ll spend a few days, then it’s poof gone just like that. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast...the business. Maybe I’m just frustrated.”
An arm wraps around her shoulders, hugging her close. Lips kissed the top of her head then.
“I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m frustrated too, and I wish it could be different but like you said, this is the business and things are gonna keep us apart. We still have other ways to keep in touch, and we’ll find the time to physically see one another. It’s gonna be frustrating, but we’ll find a way around it. We always do, right?”
She sunk into the cologne filled warmth that he was, and smiled a little. As dorky as he was, he managed to find a way to make the situation better in some way.
“Yeah, I suppose your right. Isn’t it about time for you to go then?”
“Yep. Keep your eyes peeled on the action okay A-Ray?”
Autumn turned to swat at him, and he grinned and ran away waving at her. Guess it was time to pay attention.
“You’ve got a match against Ariel Shadows. Good luck, hopefully you can turn things around this time.”
Autumn Shook her head slightly, leaning up against the outside wall of some pub in Germany, a bottle of beer held loosely in one hand as she held her phone with the other. This had to have been the umpteenth time she had read that text message today from the boss man. She was still in the zero catagory in this tournament, and she had failed to even vanquish Silas for Christ sakes.
"Duce was right. I should have been deep in this tournament. The way in was easy.. Ish. I can't give any excuse that would validate my situation even more. Just ugg.. I wish I could be there. I want to be there."
She took a swig of her beer, still recording her video for CWF.
"Everyone's watching these tournaments with expectant gazes wondering who's gonna advance, who's gonna do what and all that nonsense. People want to know who will rise to the top and be the one to surpass all expectations. Ya can't slack, and I'm one to talk. I haven't won at all in this. Maybe in a way though I'm trying to talk myself through the crap that's rattling through my head."
She glances to the sky, watching the stars for a moment, another sip taken.
"Cause I can't let the doubt and the whispers get to me. The way people used to try and bring me down,infecting me with the lies and the poison of trying to chase me out of a business that I sleep, eat, and breathe every day. I won't give in and I can't give in. I cant give up. It's not in me to do so."
People who were enjoying the night life as much as the bat scene passed her by, laughing and quickly talking. Autumn followed them with her eyes, picking up where she left off.
"I respect PJ for what she did. She proved herself to go on, and if I can get past Ariel tonight, hopefully her and I can meet once again and turn the dial up even more. I gotta focus on Ariel. She's a siren of a whole different calibur with a rough past, but lazer focused when need be. With a loss in her records, she presses on and comes face to face with me, the Beautiful Psychopath."
Autumn chuckled, taking a drink, motioning with it.
"Not a Champion anymore, but just as deadly and still just as hungry to advance despite where I'm at. I have to be, I have to be willing to do anything and everything to get out of this. Ariel's probably in the same spot. She wants me out of this just as bad as I do. All comes down to who wants it more, and the heart to do whatever it t takes in this tournament.
Nothing personal Ariel, really. I know you have your own reasons, family related, to get a point in this. You want me out just as bad as I want you out because that means I can finally move up and out of this. If I've gotta use your pale ass as a stepping stone then dammit I'll do it.
Like I said chica, nothing personal, I just intend to make you another victim tonight.
Catch you on the flip side lady."