She can feel her heart beating at the back of her throat; beads of sweat slowly forming on her brow as she sits there allowing the last few drops of urine to drip into the toilet. She is scared to move, worried that somehow the little white piece of plastic that she just placed on the counter a few seconds ago would get switched in some cruel prank God is playing on her. This is no prank though, and the only one she can hold responsible in this situation is herself.
This was not supposed to happen.
No, that was not supposed to happen.
None of this was supposed to happen.
She was here to do a job, to get close to Tony Gamble and find a connection to Frank Monteverdi. Instead, she found herself acquiring feelings for a man most of the world saw as a prick, because she saw a side of him no one else would ever see. The son of a bitch actually had a heart, and everyday that she spent with him – she felt him opening up and sharing it with her.
That night at Fleming’s, when he told her about his mom, all she wanted to do was hold him tight – let him know he wasn’t alone. Then he kissed her, and something about the way he ran his hand down her back as he pulled her closer, made her forget why she was really there. She got lost in the moment, lost in his embrace, and it didn’t matter that a hundred eyes were watching them. All she could think of were his eyes, filled with tears as he talked about the one woman in his life that he ever cared about.
They took a slice of the Olive Oil Cake and a slice of the Carrot Cake up to their room in the Omni Hotel, but didn’t eat it until much later.
Now, here she is, sitting on the toilet as two little blue lines start to appear on a five dollar test that will determine how much the rest of her life is going to change.
“I hate Rhode Island,” she mutters under her breath. “Hands down, that has to be the worst city in Maine.”
She didn’t really hate it, but considering they were in Providence for Revolution 202 because Tony had an appearance to make, Victoria Henderson – or Violet Rayne as she was known at the time to members and fans of PRIME – would never be able to forget the only state smaller than most cities in Texas.
Because that was when she crossed the line.
The Olive Oil Cake was awesome though, she would probably go back for that at least.
She folds a couple of squares of toilet paper on her hand, taking a few moments to wipe properly before standing up and pulling up the last pair of thongs she is ever going to look cute in. She grabs the confirmation of what a lack of a menstrual cycle for the last two months was already hinting at, and held back the tears that were forming in the corners of her eyes.
She is happy, right?
This is a good thing, isn’t it?
Her grip tightens as she glares at her own reflection, staring into the eyes of someone she did not recognize.
“You think you can zip me up?” Tony calls to her from the other room, stirring her from the hundreds of thoughts taking laps inside her mind.
She kept the test in her hand, opening the door of the hotel room and finding Tony standing there in a lavender sequined belly dancer outfit, the veil around his neck instead of covering half of his face.
“What the hell are you wearing,” she asks, the ridiculousness of the situation causing a smile to crease her lips. “I thought you got this for me.”
“Nope, you’re going as Sue Storm, so I’m going to need you to get undressed,” he replies with a coy grin “To make sure no one can see you, of course.”
“Am I supposed to do that before or after I zip you up?”
“That depends on how much time we have before Lisa’s Halloween party starts.”
“We have some time, but…” She reaches over his shoulder. “You mind holding this while I zip you up?”
“Sure,” he reaches up and takes the pregnancy test from her hand without paying much attention to what it was. “So I guess this means a quickie is off the table.”
“I’m hoping you’ll just be happy talking for a little bit.”
“Yeah, I’d rather be talking to you than…” His voice trails off as he realizes what he’s holding in his hand. Tony turns to face her, his eyes wide and his lips curled into a crooked smile as he stumbles on his words. “Wait, is this … Are you … Am I … Are we … Did you pee on this?”
Victoria just nods, allowing the tears she tried desperately to hold back to streak down her cheeks, because the answer to every question he just asked was going to have the same answer.
= = = = =
“I thought so,” Frank Pastore runs his hand through his hair, pulling it taut before wrapping a rubber band around the strands in his grip to keep it in a ponytail. “Redheads are always the freaky ones.”
“Oh yeah they are,” Domingo has the Dragon Gate Tag League cup resting on his shoulder, as the group makes their way down the hallway. “What I want to know, is why was Adam the one who looked nervous when she asked about the butt stuff?”
“Maybe Ginny’s not the only freak in that relationship,” Tony has his phone in his hand as they walk out of the PPG Paints arena, shaking his head as he times out the screen and puts it back into his pocket. “Either way, he’s got a shot at the Gamble Championship at thirty four.”
“You think he’s going to go into this match thinking he’s already beat you, so it shouldn’t be a problem to do it again?”
“I don’t know, Frank,” Tony rubs his hand across the face of the title fastened around his waist as they make their way through the parking lot. “I know I would, but I’m not the one who won that match.”
“Maybe you can do something to throw him off his game,” Domingo chimes in, pulling the keys to the rental out of his pocket as they approach one of the few cars still left in the lot. “Maybe piss him off so much he doesn’t think straight.”
“Maybe we can start a rumor that Scandal’s recent comments about Ginny are true, and she was part of a threesome with Lindsay and Wade to get Adam this title shot.”
“Hey, wait,” Cruz gets in front of his associates, a huge smile on his face as he points to the left. “Isn’t that Adam’s rental over there with the windows all fogged up?”
“Pretty sure it is,” Frank nods as Tony pulls his phone back out of his pocket. “Freaks couldn’t even wait to get back to their hotel.”
The sound of a camera shutter is heard, and Tony is all smiles as he admires the photo on his phone screen. “Can you imagine the damage Savannah can do with a photo like this?”
“You would do that?”
= = = = =
“If it made you happy, I would,” Victoria had her hand on her daughter’s shoulder, a comforting smile on her face as she looked into her eyes lovingly.
“I’ve never been to Chicago,” Olivia Henderson had a grin on her face so large it would rival her father’s. “I’ll start googling places to go, because I want to try a real Chicago dog. Ooh ooh, and pizza – we have to get some real Chicago pizza.”
“I’m starting to think you’re more excited about the food you’re planning to eat,” Victoria said playfully.
“Do you think he’ll want to go with us?” Olivia looked at her mother seriously all of a sudden.
The joy that once danced in her crystalline blue eyes started to fade, as the realization slowly set in that as much as she wanted to meet her father – she was not sure if this was something he wanted as well. It had to though, because the only reason that she even knew about him was because he was looking for her.
No, that was not true. He thought Violet was his daughter, and went looking for her. He had hardly taken a second glance at her that evening at dinner, his attention was on her friend. He was amused by her attitude and her sarcasm, probably because that was something he thought the two of them shared. She had noticed while watching videos of his matches and the stuff that happened backstage where he was talking, that he reminded her quite a bit of how Violet acted when they would talk about the girls at school – or her stepfather.
Olivia was nothing like that.
“I think once he meets you,” the words from her mother rescued her from the rabbit hole she was about to jump into head first. “He’s never going to want to leave your side.”
“So then we should wait until after his match,” Olivia’s smile returned, but it wasn’t as bright as it had been a few moments ago.
“What makes you think he’s going to have a match?”
“He’s a champion, mom,” Olvia replied, as she tossed a pink and white unicorn squishmallow in her mother’s direction. “Plus he’s like the bestest wrestler ever.”
“Make sure you tell him that,” Victoria said as she took a moment to stare at the stuffed animal she had just caught. “I’m sure he’ll be the first one to agree with you.”
“I know people think that he’s this big jerk, but I think he’s just misunderstood,” Olivia sat down on the edge of her bed, grabbing a beat up old sock monkey out of the collection of various plush toys that were bunched up on one side of her bed. “Did you know that he always wears a shirt honoring a friend of his that got injured?”
“Baby, I don’t think that’s why he wears it,” Victoria tried her best not to laugh, since she knew the real reason.
“You just think that because of how mean he acts on the shows,” Olivia replied as she held the sock monkey by the arms and made it dance on her lap. “I think he really means it, but he just doesn’t want anyone to know that he means it.”
“Is that what you think?”
“I do,” Olivia looked up at her mom, the smile on her face slowly getting the joy back in it. “And when I meet him I’m going to tell him that he doesn’t have to be angry anymore.”
“Nope,” she tossed the monkey back in the pile. “Because he has me, and I’m going to make him happy.”
Victoria felt that one hard, but she held back the emotion as best as she could.
“We’re going to be a family.”
= = = = =
“We’ve always been a family, Frank.”
“Yeah, well we came back and found out you told Morty to take a hike,” Frank shrugs his shoulders as he speaks. “Can’t say it felt like we was a big happy family, Tony.”
“That was out of my control, Frank,” Tony is sitting behind his desk, his hands clasped together as he rests his elbows on the mahogany top. “Don’t worry though, I got in touch with this guy I know and it won’t take long to find a replacement.”
“Someone’s replacing Morty,” Dom speaks up, but he is looking down and shaking his head. “You can’t replace Morty, boss. That guy was a down ass dude, and funny as shit.”
“He’s right,” Frank adds in his two cents.“ Morty was one of a kind.”
“Yeah, well, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Tony lifts his elbows off the table and wipes his hands together a few times. “Tell him to start going with you guys to Japan, or I don’t know, get the guy’s number so you can chat like a bunch of teenage girls at a slumber party.”
“That was oddly specific,” Dom raises an eyebrow, questioningly.
“No shit,” Frank agrees.
“Saw it on a tik tok or something,” Tony shrugs his shoulders. “Look, all I’m saying is that you can still talk to the guy if you want…he just can’t be in PRIME no more.”
“Still messed up if you ask me,” Frank replies.
“Well,” Tony slams his hand on the desk. “I didn’t ask you, did I Frank? Quit busting my balls about it already.”
“We won’t say anymore about it, boss,” Dom then mouths the words ‘chill out’ to Frank, as he shakes his head. “So, who’s this guy taking Morty’s place…we know him?”
“I don’t think so,” Tony’s nostrils are still flaring. “I think he’s German or Swiss…one of those Russian countries.”
“Neither of those nationalities are in Russia,” Frank corrects him.
“What are you, a damn map,” Tony asks Frank. “You know what, get the hell out of here.”
“If that’s what you want.”
= = = = =
You know what I want?
I want to retain the Gamble championship and be done with having to face you again for at least a year, Adam.
When I got the text about having to face you this week, I was a little pissed off. Not because I consider you some sort of threat, Adam, but because Lindsay Troy has this weird obsession with making my life a living hell. You don’t deserve a shot at this title, but you were one of my last two losses and she thinks it is funny to make you face me again because she is hoping that you’re going to repeat history and beat me.
Well, she’s going to be a little disappointed, because it didn’t work when she tossed Abe at me, and it is not going to work again.
I actually got my shit together after we faced each other, and I know now what I need to do to keep my win streak going.
So come into this fight thinking you’re hot shit because you’re on a roll, and because you beat me the last time. But know this, I am not the same guy you faced in February. I was down on my luck and pissed off after losing to Youngblood.
That was my past, and this title…
It’s my future.
So go back and have Ginny sleep with whoever you need to so you can challenge for the Five Star, because this title is staying here with me.
Because I am the Gamble Championship.