Rated-F, Part IX: Pieces, Part II Feb 17, 2018 10:32:45 GMT -5
Post by Boardwalk Angels on Feb 17, 2018 10:32:45 GMT -5
“Sixty-seven percent. I’m a little shocked that the results weren’t wider apart in my impromptu poll, something most people think I posted on Twitter just to stir things up. Fact is, I’m a curious person as well as being super-competitive, and the results have me even more determined to come out of Rising Stars within. But I get it: Zoey does have more experience and she’s clearly the more level-headed of the two of us. It makes sense that she would come out on top… at least on paper. She has the experience edge in singles matches, too, starting out on her own in VoW and not formally tagging with me until we signed to LAW. I’ve been defying expectations my whole life, though. This won’t be the exception.”
* February 16th, 2018, morning *
* The Cornett Estate *
* Fort Wayne, Indiana *
* February 16th, 2018, morning *
* The Cornett Estate *
* Fort Wayne, Indiana *
It’s no surprise that Farrah is a whirlwind of activity this morning, especially considering it’s a Friday morning. Half the Friday mornings are just busy for the sake of preparing for the weekend’s activities, but the other half require that the Crimson Angel be in Asheville, then another city, to handle her production duties for HYBRID Wrestling as the person in charge of the C24 Network. This, naturally, is the latter. Brenden, Brenna and Sonia are all rushing about to, the latter helping the former two get dressed and get their school necessities together while Farrah bustles about the kitchen, putting breakfast dishes away at the same time that she puts together lunches for the little ones. James might have been helping except that he leaves for the office earlier on these Fridays. And on top of all this, a conversation goes on between the Jersey Hellcat and Esme, to whom she speaks via speakerphone propped up on the counter.
”...yes, ma’am. I’ve moved the advertising meeting to Monday well to accommodate the people coming in. They wanted to push things back but, as you instructed, I made it clear that we would look elsewhere if they could not arrive as agreed.”
Putting together three sectioned to-go dishes as they chatted, Farrah couldn’t help but smirk as she filled each one with steamed chicken, rice and vegetables (no PB&J and mushy bananas here!) for her children’s lunches.
”If I didn’t know better, I’d say my ruthlessness was rubbing off on you, Esme. What else do you have for me?”
”There was a call from Mr. Donavan yesterday after you’d left for the evening. He requested a meeting with Mr. Cornett about some possible ventures… action figures, a video game and more. He feels like the time is ripe to start spreading out with HYBRID in terms of merchandise and more but wants yours and James’s opinion before diving in.”
”I’d tell him to make the leap, but if he wants to speak to James as well I’m fine with that. I’m just their producer after all.”
No bitterness in her words, there. Quite the opposite, actually. Filling separate containers with what looks like cherry cobbler, Farrah puts these, bottled beverages and a last small dish of snacks in each bag for the wee ones. As she looks up, Sonia is still rushing about while the twins are putting their coats on. Poor thing; she didn’t have as much time on these mornings and always fretted by the time the twins were ready. Farrah knew the reason why she was so hectically bustling around. After all, she’d been like that once herself. So she didn’t chide Sonia when she came bursting in wondering where her makeup bag was.
”Please tell me you’ve seen it, mom! My favorite lipstick is in there!”
Farrah considers, beckoning the twins over and handing them their lunch bags.
”Did you check the rec room?”
As though a light had gone off in her head, Sonia darted off towards the steps, heading down as Farrah crouches down, making sure Brenna and Brenden are zipped up snug against the winter cold.
”I’ll make sure a message gets to both of them. Also, your departure time was moved back a little; the plane leaves at 11:15am, not noon. I tried to get a different flight-”
”Don’t worry, Esme. Forty-five minutes won’t throw anything off. Were there any other messages?”
Farrah’s personal assistant speaks with some relief now, glad that the slight change in schedule wouldn’t have any blowback.
”Let me see… one from Zoey, one from someone named Ruby… and it looks like one from Crystal. Zoey declined to leave a message…”
”I’ll see her soon anyway. What about from Ruby?”
”She requested that you visit again soon, something about converting you or the like? It’s possible that I misheard.”
Looking up, Farrah smiles and points out Sonia’s lunch and her coat before gesturing to the twins.
”Good girl. Go get them buckled in and start the van. I’ll be out in just a minute.”
While Sonia does as instructed, Farrah’s attention goes back to the conversation while she checks the suitcase and carry-on that she has packed nearby.
”No, you heard that right. Conversion. I swear, Ruby is a little TOO fanatical about this whole thing. But don’t worry yourself about that, Esme. I’ll handle her and her message. You mentioned Crystal as well?”
”Yes. She requested that the two of you talk soon. Something about big news and an apology?”
”She damn sure owes me one. Zoey tells me I owe HER one, too, but I’m not so sure about that. The big news, though… any idea what she meant?”
”No, ma’am. What should I tell her?”
Considering as she dons her own long coat over her business jacket, skirt and heels, Farrah slides the strap of the carry-on over her shoulder and picks up the suitcase, grabbing the phone as well.
”Tell her I’ll call her.”
Soft tapping emits from the phone before Farrah puts it over to normal mode, holding it to her ear.
”Understood. Is there anything else you require?”
”If something comes to mind I’ll let you know. I will text you when I touch down in Asheville, Esme. Thank you again.”
”Always happy to help, ma’am. But… what about the match? I figured you’d want to set up some time to prepare for that-”
”Against Zoey? I’m already working on that, hon. No need to worry.”
”You’re sure? There seems to be a lot of noise going on where that’s concerned.”
”I know. But I’m not going to do those vultures the courtesy of giving in to their imaginations and fantasies. Zoey knows what this is all about and so do I. It’ll be handled.”
Seeming to know enough through Farrah’s tone that there’s no sense in pushing things, Esme leaves the subject be.
”Then I’ll talk to you when you land, Mrs. Cornett.”
”Yes, speak to you then, Esme. Thanks again.”
Walking toward the door, Farrah takes one more look around the house, making one last check… then walks out into the cold winter morning and shuts the door behind her, bringing the scene to a close.
* February 17th, 2018, very early morning *
* Renaissance Inn *
* Asheville, NC *
When next we see Farrah, she has the portable camera set up on a tripod, already taking in her form as she stands before the window and looks out over downtown Asheville. She was coming to like the place; modest in terms of size and people but with certain traits that she appreciated a great deal. Being surrounded by mountains on all sides made her feel a little protected, silly as that sounded. The food and beer were amazing, too, as was the shopping. You always could find something new and different in the local shops. It made her wonder what it might be like to live down here when her working days were done. Pleasant thoughts like those, at this point in her life, helped her keep things in perspective.
And perspective was sorely needed. Farrah knew stress and strain quite well; they were close companions of hers for most of her life. Lately, however, they were starting to wear on her. The nightmares and visions, the attacks from they who were supposed to be friends and partners, being shut out from the lives of people she was once close to… Farrah was finding herself in a lonely, agitated state a lot of the time and burying herself in her work was only helping so much. Even when it came to Zoey things seemed off. And now? Facing down a battle with her best friend? Farrah wasn’t sure which way was up. She swirled the red win in her glass as she stared, addressing the camera with her back still turned to it.
”Some people thought it would eventually come down to this point from the moment we started teaming. They expected us to fail, then implode, and take that failure out on each other. Wrestling isn’t made for friendship like that, they said. It’s the wrestling business, not the wrestling friend-ness. And as two young ladies without a lot of experience and little to no background rolling into a high-level fed like LAW, we’d likely spend a lot of time on our backs before we reached any level of success. And how many matches did it take to shut them up?
Then, of course, came the rest of the naysayers. Some are still around, some have scuttled off to parts unknown like roaches running from the light. They called our win a fluke and claimed we got preferential treatment from on high, that perhaps our opponents weren’t as hard on us as they could have been, forgetting that we fought through FIVE women, not TWO, to become champions. But those belts would be gone in weeks, they said. We were immature, too full of ourselves. Not good enough to have a notable reign. Unfortunately those people are still talking, but I have a number for them:
Farrah takes a long drink of the wine, draining the glass in fact. Using a remote in her other hand, she makes the camera turn on its perch to follow her as she walks to the nearby counter and takes up the bottle, refilling her drink.
”We’ve broken records and beaten every two-woman team put in front of us. Rattle off the names, if you want. If you’ve seen them up in the lights and on the marquee across from us then we’ve beaten them. Even in Rose City we’ve managed this feat and soon we’ll be fighting for THEIR tag titles as well. Against two talented yet inexperienced teams, same as we used to be. But there’s no such thing as inexperience with us anymore, is there? Eliza and Izzy are sweet girls, tough as nails. But they’ll be beaten. Red Oktober? They’re mouths are bigger than their asses but talk is cheap and our actions speak volumes. They’ll fall even harder.
In only one part of our careers are there questions of greatness and the heights we could reach. And that’s in the singles ranks. I’ve openly wondered in the past if when we lose the tag titles will we be denied another opportunity as the former champions were. But I’ve also wondered how I might do working toward singles gold. And as I look at the LAW roster right now, I believe either Zoey or myself could shine on our own. For now, though, we’re devoted to the team and that isn’t going to change. Even with us at one another’s throats at Rising Stars.”
Considering her words after the fact, something she might have been quicker on without spirits in her, Farrah smiles a little and finally looks to the camera proper.
”Perhaps that’s too harsh a way to put it. Even in a match, Zoey, I couldn't muster anger toward you. A desire to put you on your perfect ass, yes, and maybe to slap you around a little to get you to fight me back… but not to get angry at you. Not to willfully hurt you. It isn’t even a matter of respect that keeps me from that, though. It’s love. I love you like you’re my own sister and nothing in this world could make me hurt you with anger in my heart. Even when I go off on you, rare as those times are, I immediately feel bad about it later. It’s because I know you so well, of course; there’s no malice in you. Not even when people deserve it so much. Deep down, I know you don’t hate Anya or Roxy despite the awful things they’ve said and done. You have every right to be, you know. But you’re not. You’re just not wired that way. You had that right with me at LAW #77 as well as before it for my going back and forth with Crystal. But it didn’t happen, did it?”
Another long drink is taken and Farrah traces her fingertip around the rim of the glass, staring into the half-full contents thoughtfully.
”I think that’s what’s going to cause you to lose to me at Rising Stars, though. I’m not saying you should get flip-out furious at me because that’s the last thing I want. But without at least the capacity to do so? I don’t think you can muster enough fire to keep me down before I wear you out and pin you for the one-two-three.”
Draining the rest of the wine, Farrah considers pouring another glass but instead puts the vessel down next to the bottle and walks away. As with before, she uses the small remote to adjust the camera to move with her. So long in the photography and videography fields have allowed her a certain sixth sense when it comes to cameras. No wonder, then, that she runs a network now, no?
”I’m not considering anything else as a possibility, Zoey. There’s too little pressure here for me to do otherwise. No titles on the line, just bragging rights. No scores to settle, just two top stars figuring out who the better wrestler is. No borders and no boundaries. I’m going to come at you full-force and not stop until my arm is raised in victory. That means I’ll have to buy dinner afterward, but them’s the breaks. There can only be one when people talk about who the greatest Angel is, and I will ensure that that is me.
To those who are expecting us to come out of this as a weaker team, though… pull the other leg. It has bells on it. Vincenzo always grinded it into us that you don’t know someone fully until you’ve faced them in the ring. And that’s the only thing Zoey and I haven’t done. The bragging rights I alluded to? That’s for us two and no one else. When the match is over, it’s back to business and being the best tag team in wrestling today. With the knowledge that we glean from going pillar to post with one another at Rising Stars, our effectiveness will only increase. That’s what people should be afraid of. Not that the team with splinter, but that they’ll become even more unstoppable as a result. But they won’t. Not until we’re standing over them as we have stood over so many others.”
Laughing slightly, Farrah walks to the sofa, again adjusting the camera, intending to take a seat and polish things off here. Except that her phone rings before she can settle in. A glance to the clock says it’s past three am at this point, making her wonder what could be so damn important.
She picks up the phone, answering somewhat harshly.
”This had BETTER be good…”
Listening, Farrah’s cold expression starts to shift a bit. Her lower lips finds its way between her teeth and her eyes widen. All of a sudden that sharp, warrior’s posture slouches a bit and she sinks onto the sofa.
”No… this has to be some kind of mistake. What… what was the room number? You… you’re sure? I-I…”
Staring now, numbly, through the window into the night over the Land of the Sky, Farrah’s tough stance and attitude withers to nothing.
”I… no. I’ll…”
She takes a breath and stands up.
”I’ll make the call on my way there. Yes… thank you…”
Standing there, almost statue-like in her stillness, Farrah feels a single tear roll down her cheek. Angrily wiping it away, she snatches her coat, keys and pocketbook, shoving her phone into the coat pocket. Giving one last look at the camera, she shuts it off and heads out the door in a rush.
Fade to black.