An Asa and Lindz joint.
I don’t normally ramble.
I usually know what to say and how I want to say it, and yet the words are spilling out like water rising and flooding over a river bank.
I don’t know why Boston popped into my head…it was so long ago and my friendship with Wade was in a terrible place. I thought it was irrevocably broken after he disappeared one hot August night following a string of arguments. Wade was gone for three years, and my attempts to find him proved useless. It took us until PRIME’s closure tour of 2012 to repair the bridge we both thought was long since burned.
Maybe it was the adrenaline come-down from the match with Craig. Or the unpredictability that Colossus is known for. Or those few strong sips of bourbon working their way through my system. Whatever it was that made those words pour from my mouth, I didn’t realize they were out in the open until they were actually out in the open.
And then, in an instant, there was no going back.
He set my world aflame.
Don’t gimme that look.
An’ I don’t wanna hear a god-damn thing about how it’s been “a long time comin’,” or “it’s ‘bout damn time.”
It took as long as it needed to.
Hell, I don’t even know why I’m tellin’ ya this. It ain’t yer fuckin’ business.
But then again, guess it’s my own damn fault I made the brilliant decision t’make a move at Colossus. In front of millions’ve god damn people.
Y’know, I thought I’d found my way after we closed the place back in ‘12. Thought I’d buried the right hatchets and re-built the bridges an’ all that happy horseshit. But truth is, I was just as lost those ten years since as I ever was.
Until she called.
If yer askin’ fer life advice or how t’make yer way through this world, yer better off lookin’ fer some other sonnuva bitch. But fer me, I’ve only known one damn thing fer absolute certain.
That it’s her.
It’s only been her.
December 18, 2022
Post-Colossus Night 2
The Standard Hotel, NYC
It’s sometime after 4AM when her eyes slowly open to an unobstructed view of the Hudson River. It takes Lindsay’s brain a moment to register what she’s seeing through the sheer curtains of her suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows, as the space next to her was occupied hours before when she drifted off to sleep in Wade Elliott’s arms. Now, with the ‘Bama Bruiser nowhere to be found, it’s as empty as it had been so many nights before.
Sleep and confusion is blinked away while she reaches over to turn on a bedside lamp. A soft glow fills the room, revealing snow flurries dancing in the air outside. The bedroom door is partially closed and muffled sounds like a heavy-duty wood chipper cutting through tree limbs come from the living room of the suite. It doesn’t take long for Lindsay to realize where Wade has gone off to, although the ‘why’ of it is unknown.
She slips out of bed and into a robe, then quietly slips through the door. Sure enough, on the oversized leather sofa across the room, is a comfortably snoring Wade Elliott, redressed in jeans with a blanket draped over his body. Without making a sound, Lindsay walks to the couch and crouches down next to him.
“Hey,” she whispers and places a hand on Wade’s arm, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Hey…Wade…”
He wakes abruptly with a snort and a full-body jerk.
“Why are you out here?”
With a few hard blinks, his sharp blues come into focus. Focusing on the mess of curls in front of his face. On her deep hazels. And as the fog in his brain lifts, it brings him back to the night before. To the kiss. To the steamy car ride from the arena to the hotel. To bypassing the Colossus afterparty and stumbling into the suite in a mess of limbs and hair and lips.
“Hey…” he replies with a tired grunt, lifting his head a touch and rubbing the exhaustion from his eyes between thumb and fore-finger.
“…sorry. Old habits I guess.”
A smile from the corner of her mouth as he sits up, turning his feet to the floor. He wipes a big paw over his grayed beard before taking her hand.
“Listen,” he says groggily. “I didn’t mean t’…”
“Drift out here?” Lindsay asks, still smiling, unable to help herself as she sits next to him. “Not the first time you’ve done that to me.”
He surrenders a grin, and flicks his eyes to the bedroom.
“Well, ‘least I didn’t get too far.”
He shifts toward her, keeping her hand in his.
“This is…sorta new territory for me.”
She purses her lips to hold back a laugh, but one manages to escape nonetheless. “I don’t know who you think you’re fooling,” she tilts her head toward the bedroom as well, “but I find that really hard to believe.”
“That…” he frowns at her teasing. “That ain’t what I meant.”
An inhale through his nose, eyes wandering back to the bedroom door.
“They always scared th’shit out’ve me.”
“Bedrooms?” she asks, lifting an eyebrow.
“Beds,” he clarified. “Somethin’ so…permanent about ‘em.”
He turns back to the Queen, giving her hand a squeeze.
“And there ain’t much that lasts all that long with me.”
“Maybe not before,” she replies, inching closer to him, “but I remember you telling me a year ago that you weren’t going anywhere.” Lindsay closes her eyes and leans her forehead against his. “I’m not going anywhere either, unless I’m going with you.”
He smiles, pushing a paw into her curls.
“It was either you, or it was no one,” he says quietly. “All these years. Ya know that, right?”
A nod, and a sigh. “We’ve missed a lot of time because it took me so long to realize it, and I took some detours along the way.” When she opens her eyes again, Wade’s steely blues are filled with warmth. “I think I’m on the right path now, and I don’t want to waste any more time.”
“Neither do I.”
She stands up from the couch, pulling him along with her. “Better start getting used to beds then, Drifter.”
With a smile of his own and a soft kiss, Wade lets himself be guided back through the bedroom door.
June 24, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas sunsets still hit different.
The colors in the sky each night have been more vibrant the past six months than they were during the first year of PRIME’s return. The air’s been sweeter, which hasn’t changed with the growing heat of another desert summer, or with the company touring again following its residency at the Grand. For Wade, there’s a clear absence of restlessness, far less urge to find a road he hasn’t yet traveled; to post up somewhere off the beaten path and stretch out in the cab of his truck with nowhere to be and in no rush to get there.
Those days are all but gone.
As he sips from a tumbler of whiskey and watches her cross the lawn back to the house – their house – Wade smiles and thinks, “I don’t think I’m gonna miss ‘em.”
Lindsay reenters the kitchen and is handed a glass of her own. “Well, I think they’re all settled out there,” she says. “I feel like we’re hosting a sleepaway camp in the backyard.”
“Those girls cuddlin’ that pony or is th’pony cuddlin’ them?” he chides, clinking her glass.
“Bit of column A, bit of column B,” she smirks, taking a well-earned sip. Out in the yard, the sounds of giggles fill the air as Angel Quinley, Bex Savage, and Ami talk amongst themselves while petting the newest addition to the Troy family, the Shetland pony named Butter Pecan.
“That daughter’ve yers,” Wade shakes his head. “Feels like I’m livin’ in a god-damn sitcom.”
Lindsay grins and wraps her arms around his neck. “Good thing every show needs a straight man. And as much as Ami likes to tease and annoy you, she really likes you.”
A surrendered smirk. “She’s a good kid. Too damn smart fer her own good, but someone must’ve raised her right.”
“Someone,” the Queen replies, rolling her eyes. “She might be smarter than me, but don’t tell her I said that.”
A light chuckle from the Southern Sparkplug.
“Hey, ah…” he starts, placing his hands on his Queen’s hips. “Am I doin’ this right?”
She lifts a quizzical eyebrow. “Doing what right?”
“Just…all this,” he replies, lifting his chin to gesture to their lovely home, to the yard outside. “Th’house. Th’kids. You.”
“Hasn’t been a doubt in my mind,” she says, running her fingers through his hair. “I know actually being in a relationship and now living together has been a transition for you, but you’ve always looked out for me even when we were being stubborn about things. I think we’re both finding our way in this. I never gave up on you back then, and I’m not going to now.”
A soft smile. Wade replies with fingers through her curls.
“She’s gonna pitch a fit when I take that pony back, ain’t she?”
“Pitch a fit? You’re gonna be public enemy number one,” Lindsay says.
“Every little girl wants a pony.”