SOMEONE’S GOING TO DIE FOR THIS
Unlike her partner, Justine Calvin is not sneaking around the corridors of the Baltimore Arena, though she probably wishes she did. The expression she wears is one of thinly veiled rage, as if the slightest poke or prod is going to set her fury free in a torrent of white-hot murder. Wonder why.
Oh, hey. There’s the reason! Why, it’s Savannah Scandal, and she’s flanked by a few of the Enemigos. In reality, security could deploy the entire family of masked peacekeepers and it wouldn’t be enough to keep Calvin from punching a hole through Scandal if she decided that was the best course of action, especially not after some of the things that have appeared in her column over the last year. And punching is very much on the table.
Let’s be real, there’s no way a judge would call this anything other than a justifiable homicide.
Also Biff of the Jimmy Bonafide Dancers is there, doing his level best to stave off the pain brought on by what is most likely terminal arthritis. Not that arthritis can actually kill him, it’s just osteo after all, but there are days where he damn sure thinks it’s doing him in. Don’t ask about it; he’ll mumble at you for hours. He’s carrying a bougie coffee cup large enough to drown a small child and what might as well be a vat of designer water, because “show up and carry shit” is his lot in life. How did he get that role? Because he’s a legitimate fan of Ms. Scandal.
Yeah, I know.
Look, the man works for a dance troupe dedicated to Jimmy fucking Bonafide, for Christ’s sake. No one’s even really sure how or if he gets paid. Let’s not start acting like the man is a bastion of big thoughts and good decisions, alright?
But this isn’t about Biff, and we join Justine’s waking nightmare already in progress.
Savannah Scandal: …I saw them together earlier tonight, and I almost caught fire. There were so many sparks.
“And also because whatever you’re wearing is chemically closer to a flammable catalyst than perfume,” is what Justine thinks but does not say, because she’s still holding out hope that if she doesn’t engage then maybe Savannah will get bored and toddle off.
Savannah Scandal: Does it bother you that your fiance keeps finding time to wander off with Hayes? My readers have some very… inventive ideas about what they get up to… and get off to.
Justine’s face begins to turn a shade of red that’s not normally found in nature.
Savannah Scandal: Who do you think is pinning the other when they have their special time together? There’s a lot of padding to deal with between those two.
Justine picks up speed to try and break away, but the gathered mass keeps pace. All except Biff. You know exactly why.
Biff Bonafide: (uncomfortable arthritis noises)
Savannah Scandal: Anyway, how many times per day do you fantasize about Hayes Hanlon? Does it change depending on your mood? How hard does it make show nights knowing that all that separates you is a few feet of hallway and a few millimeters of spandex?
Justine’s eye starts twitching, but she still says nothing. It’s a battle of wills that she is determined to win.
Savannah Scandal: Okay, maybe Home Run Hayes isn’t your thing. That’s a shame, I hear he’s got a hell of a swing with that bat of his. Maybe Jonathan-Christopher Hall is more your speed? I don’t know if he’s into berries, but there are definitely some pineapples in that house of his. What’s it like dealing with his chocolate kink?
Justine just scoffs, and makes a show of rolling her wrists and flexing her fingers. It’s supposed to be a sign that she might be getting ready to throw hands.
Savannah Scandal: I don’t know why you’re being such a prude about this. I was told that I would have access to everyone backstage. Lindsay Troy herself agreed to it.
Scandal pauses and waves Biff over so she can get a sip out of whatever’s in that giant coffee cup. Justine casts a glance back over her shoulder, and while she doesn’t break into a full sprint – that would be just as big a concession as answering any of these questions – she does use the opportunity to pick up the pace.
The sound of heels on tile means she’s not fast enough, nor far enough away.
Savannah Scandal: Alright, so swingers night with the Halls isn’t your jam either.
Justine rounds the corner. Just a few yards away is the door to her locker room. Salvation.
But the questions just won’t stop.
Savannah Scandal: How often do you hear from Abe Lipschitz? I hear he has a thing for… women of a certain age.
Oh, you motherf…
Savannah Scandal: I’ve been wondering something… That was a lovely flower that Ivan Stanislav gave you a few months ago. I couldn’t stop thinking about how strong that stem must be. It’s got my readers wondering whether you two ever scurried off to play “Calvin Missile Crisis” in between matches.
Justine pivots. Her hands, already ball into fists, are now completely drained of any color. She takes a single step towards the gathered mass, but a wall of Enemigos forms in between here and Savannah. One of them raises a hand.
Enemigo XVI: (silent telepathic warning)
The two women lock eyes. Savannah bats her eyelashes innocently. Justine focuses very hard and tries to make the woman’s head explode using only her brain to do it. Naturally, it fails.
With her attempt to X-Men the hell out of Savannah Scandal a no-go, Justine turns on her heel and storms towards the door that will separate her from this menace.
Just a few feet now.
Savannah Scandal: So, a wrestler wedding, huh? I’m sure that will end well. Don’t they always?
A few more steps and this will all be over. What could possibly go wrong?
Savannah Scandal: I don’t suppose there are any wrestler babies coming?
Savannah Scandal: Do you have a father in mind? Maybe someone we’ve talked about?
Savannah Scandal: Because considering who your partner is…
Her voice is cut off because there is suddenly a very angry woman a few inches from her face, because when you move as fast as Justine just did she might as well be teleporting. It happens so quickly that the Enemigos, who are trained to deal with this sort of thing, aren’t able to react in time.
Justine Calvin: Shut. The fuck. Up. Right now. Right this goddamn second. I’ve listened to everything you’ve said, and I have been very, very patient with it all. If you need proof of that? You’re still standing. But now we’ve hit my limit, and if you press me any farther then I’m going to find a stack of bricks from storage and introduce to you every single one of them. You understand? I don’t know how yet, but I’m creative. We’ll figure it out. And when I figure out who it was that let you in here tonight… I’m going to have “words” with that person, too.
With that she storms the last few feet to her locker room door, slips inside, and slams it shut. There’s barely enough time to get a glimpse of Jared Sykes peeking out the doorway before his head is almost taken off.
Savannah Scandal: Oh, boo. You’re no fun.
She’s quick to compose herself. After all, there’s an image to maintain.
Savannah Scandal: Let’s go, Biffy. I’m sure we can find someone more interesting.
Good luck to that poor fucker, whoever they may be.
Now we return to the ringside area.