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Dionysus Offline
Active in XWF

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Some of everyone

(cheered; very rarely plays dirty but isn't lame either; many likable qualities)

01-12-2024, 07:19 PM

The last few weeks have been stressful.

Trial all its own, if you will.

So it was nice, after the new year, to receive a call from Elli to meet for lunch and catch up.

Admittedly, between the vineyard being vandalized, meeting with my attorneys and traveling around for work, I had been putting off meeting with Elli for quite some time. So when I saw Elli walk through the doors to Brits, the pub we usually met at, I couldn't help but stare for a moment. Not out of attraction, but realizing that it really had been some time since we had last seen each other. Her hair had filled out more, the buzzed undercut likely hidden under a curtain of light brown hair. Perhaps a fresh look for the season?

She must have caught me awkwardly examining her, saying, "Has it been that long that you don't recognize me anymore?"

I laughed, shaking my head. "No, nothing like that," I cheaply lied.

I offered the seat next to mine and we placed our orders. We caught up with one another, talking about movies we had seen, books we had read, just the usual small talk. After the first round of drinks had come and gone, she asked, "So where have you been all this time?"

I sighed. "Its a bit of a long story-"

"I have time," she replied, smiling. "Its been too long; I want to know what my ginger giant friend has been doing lately."

"Well do you want the good story or the bad story?"

She responded with a quizzical look. "What did you do?"

"Nothing I did, really," I began to explain. "You remember the vineyard I've been trying to build?"

"Of course! Last time we talked you said everything was going great. Did something happen?"

"Well...there was an incident," I continued. "The work site was vandalized and the construction company we hired for the job wanted us to pay them directly to do the work rather than wait for the insurance to cover the payments. We're caught up in a suit/counter-suit situation now."

Elli shook her head. "Oh D...nothing can ever come easy to you, can it?"

"Apparently not, as I've learned for quite a while," I replied. "I'm just worried that they'll try to use my main line of work to make it look like I intimidated them. I'm just a big dude who-"

"Happens to also be a professional wrestler who could probably fold them like an omelet?"
Elli joked.

"Well who knows with South Shore Construction."

Elli blinked for a moment. "Waaait...did you say South Shore?"

"Yeah, that's who we hired to-"

"Oh god, I've heard of those assholes" Elli interrupted. "Those guys are just a bunch of thugs. I've had a few friends try and get work through them and it all ended bad for each one. No one was hurt, but they were intimidated into bad contracts, the job sites had a bunch of guys that didn't lift a finger to work, and when they complained, all the foreman did was shrug and say to 'take it up with their union guys.'"

"Seems like that would be an amicable solution,"
I said.

"It would be...if the union guys weren't under South Shore's thumb," Elli continued. "The guy who owns it, Scapelli? He makes big donations every year to keep it afloat, and basically decides who runs it and who doesn't."

Now there was an interesting thought. Why would Scapelli have an interest in controlling a construction workers union? Perhaps so he could continue to stiff whoever he wanted without repercussion from other contractors and get them to do whatever he wanted. I'll need to mention that to my attorneys later. "Sounds like he's not a good person to get in bed with."

"Well you sure walked into that one," Elli retorted.

"We bid on three different contractors and they had the most immediately available crew," I replied. "Believe me, if I had known now what kind of group South Shore was, I wouldn't have bothered even looking them up, let alone give them a bid."

"And because you didn't," she continued, "you're going to end up in a long legal battle with a guy who drops lawsuits like he does singles at the bar."

"If its all the same to you," I said, "I'd much rather talk about something else other than my current legal predicament."

Elli had been leaning forward to chastise me, but seeing how it was troubling me knowing more about the man I was to do battle with in court, she eased back. "I'm sorry, its just...that guy really pisses me off. I'd just love to see him get his, y'know? For what he put my friends through."

"Don't worry," I assured her, "I'll make sure he gets exactly what's coming to him."

Not long after I told Elli to drop the legal conversation, our food arrived. We spoke about little things between bites, but as we spoke, I noticed she was much more reserved than normal. Maybe she was just focused on her food, but I couldn't help but shake the feeling that she was trying to keep something from me...that, or try to figure out exactly what it is she wanted to say.

I decided to push the issue. "Well we talked about me a lot today, what about you? What have you been up to lately?"

She set her fork down, wiping her lips with a napkin. " know, not much., and..."

"Really?" I asked. "Still getting coffee with Elbrook?"

"Oh sure! You know I love my uncle; he's been waiting to hear from you."

"Riiight," I replied sheepishly. I had likely forgotten to tell him about my trip to Cambodia. I'll have to schedule an appointment soon to go over...well, everything. "So just coffee with Elbrook and...that's it?"

Elli shrugged. "Well, y'know, my life isn't as exciting as-"

"Elli," I said, holding my hand up to stop her. "I'm not sure if you're trying to be evasive about what you've been doing, but you know you can tell me anything, right?" She didn't have a response, other than looking down into her lap. "Is it bad?"

"Well no, but..." Elli really did not want to talk about it, it seemed like. "I just don't want you to be...disappointed."

Well that came out of nowhere. "I can't really be disappointed if I don't know what it is, now can I?"

"I know, you're right, its just-" She cut herself off, running a hand through her hair, then she sighed, looking back up at me. "The truth is...I kind of...started seeing someone."

I guess a lot really did change since I was busy. "Oh," I replied stupidly. It was more of the shock of the moment than anything else that led me to that response. Then I collected myself, saying, "I mean...that's great! Right?"

"Y-yeah..." She replied timidly. I could see her face turning a shade of pink.

I laughed. "Elli, its fine. Really!" I added in assurance. "So, who is the lucky person?"

Elli pulled out her phone, opening up photos. "Well...his name is Jacob. Works as a paralegal over at a firm in Saint Paul. I met him at the gym a few weeks ago and we just...hit it off, I guess," She explained, finding a photo. "Here's what he looks like; we were at one of his friends' holiday parties."

I took a closer look. There he was, about the same age as me, maybe a little older, with short hair and some shadow on his face. I couldn't tell what he looked like underneath the ugly Christmas sweater he wore, but I could see him and Elli laughing in the picture. "Looks like a nice guy to me," I said, handing the phone back to her. "So how have things been going with him?"

"Good...I think," Elli said, putting her phone away. "I don't know; around the holidays he went to go visit his family out in Colorado and hasn't been back yet. I tried calling him but he wanted to reach me when he 'felt ready.' I don't even know what that means."

"Could just be a longer stay than anticipated," I pointed out. "Maybe something happened and didn't know how to explain it to you, so he figured it would be better to wait until things calmed down."

"I mean sure, but what if he just stays out there and never comes back?"

She really was upset about this turn of events. "So when did you try reaching him?"

"Last week, but-"

"So give him a call and find out what's up," I replied. "If its that serious, its possible he probably forgot. Lord knows how many times I've forgotten to get back to people when I promised I would." I reached over a put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently in assurance. "If things have been good with this...Jake, right? If things have been good with Jake, I'm sure he'll get back to you. Besides," I added, pulling my hand away, "he'd be pretty silly to let someone like you get away, right?"

She chuckled and gave a weak smile back to me. "Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry, I'm just being silly about all this."

"Not at all! Everything feels new so you feel like you might have done something wrong. Its perfectly natural to feel that way."

"Well now you're sounding like uncle Elbrook," she teased.

"Do you often go to your uncle for dating advice?" I fired back.

She paused, saying, "Good point." We laughed about the moment for a few seconds. Then she said, "Thank you, D. I'm glad you were willing to listen to me."

"I'm glad you told me, in the end," I replied. "But if you don't mind me asking...why were you hesitant to tell me that you were dating someone? You said you thought I'd be disappointed, but...why?"

"W-well I thought it was, because..." She paused, trying to think about how to phrase what she would say next. "...That maybe you were me."

"I mean sure, I'm interested in you," I replied matter-of-factly.


"Sure!" I continued. "We get along well, we have similar tastes in movies and books, and we're already friends, right? Is there not a better recipe for courtship than that?"

She laughed. "I guess not. But...why didn't you ever ask me about dating?"

I sighed, looking deep into her eyes. "Look. I'd love to be in a relationship with you or someone like you. But with how my work goes, I'm gone for long stretches of time. I'm flying out to all different kinds of places, competing sometimes night after night. It can be stressful, this lifestyle. I wouldn't want to force that on anyone." I clasped my hands together on top of the table. This was the first time I ever felt like I needed to explain myself like this, and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. "This business...has a way of messing up relationships. Marriages. ...Families. I've seen it too many times; we're all highly ambitious people, after all. And sometimes it can take us to a place where...we cannot come back." I kept thinking about how my father had left us all those years ago, and how long it took to reconnect with him. "It isn't that I don't find you attractive; I really do. I'm just not in a position to offer anything stable, and I'm not willing to put anyone through this lifestyle if they don't want to."

Elli was silent throughout my explanation, nodding in understanding as I rambled on. She then reached a hand out and covered my own, squeezing gently. "Sure, I understand, D. But let me say my piece on this too, okay?" She sighed, then said, "I think you and I get along great too. Meeting Jake wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but...I dunno, I felt like I couldn't wait for you. So Jake is getting his chance now...or will, depending on if he calls me back," she said with a hint of venom. "But if things don't work out between me and Jake...I want to give us a try," she admitted, smiling brightly. "I know it could be a tough life, but I don't really have much keeping me here either. Besides, maybe I could be a competitor all my own some day," she added with a wink.

I smiled back. It was nice being honest with a good friend like Elli. "Well tell you what; we're in no rush to do anything. Lets see how things play out. Deal?"

"Deal," she replied. "Oh yeah! You said there was a good thing that happened recently too, right?"

"Oh right," I had nearly forgotten, "I was going to tell you about my trip to Cambodia."

"...I'm sorry, CAMBODIA? What the hell were you doing out there?"

"It had to do with a trial of strength...and a man I thought I would never see again..."

The ball has dropped, and a new year begins in XWF.

At this point, you'd expect to hear a lot of people say the tired old phrase, "New Year/New Me."

But why would I want to be a new me in the new year? Last year was my best year to date in this business. It isn't as though a change in diet, motivation, or attitude is going to slow me down. Competing on the global stage and leaving my mark as a known entity will only lead to further opportunities for me.

And these are opportunities I will not squander.

Meanwhile, here at home, the Xtreme Championship still sits comfortably across my waist. First Centurion, then Schism. The path to a briefcase is set before me. Even those who have tried in previous weeks between shows have been unsuccessful in shaking me from my goal; get the case, cash it in, become world champion. A goal that has eluded me for several years is now within reach.

Understand the position you have been placed, Razor.

You are entering into a ring that I have made my home for the better part of a year, proving to everyone that I am not just here as a flash-in-the-pan title hunter, claiming belts and moving on when the opportunities dry up. I have made this place my home, and it is here where I will continue to build my legacy. You stand in the way of that great construction.

I can give credit where credit is due; you exhibit the same tenacity and brashness I did when I first walked through these doors. And here I figured, why not watch your debut match on Anarchy? I was in need of a few days rest, given all my travel for the Trials, and thought it would be worth it to see if your bite is as bad as your bark.

And didn't get your chance, did you?

As quickly as the match began, your opponent's enemies decided to take matters into their own hands, resulting in you not being able to showcase what you can do. Which means, your big talk is simply words that have been spoken. Does that mean I'm going to take you lightly?

Absolutely fucking not.

No one in their right mind would assume their opponent cannot hang with them in their first real match in the company. So let me make some assurances for you: No one, not even The Many Faces, is going to come out to that ring and take you out while our match is ongoing. Anyone that tries is going to receive the business end of my shield, or whatever I happen to have on hand in the moment. Your only concern is going to be me and listening for the referee to call the match.

That is the kindness that I offer to you.

Now consider the price that comes with that kindness.

Since your full attention is going to be on me, you will accept that your victory or loss is dependent on our individual ability, not the actions of outliers looking to disrupt the moment. When you lose, I do not want to hear any excuses of outside collusion or needing to look over your shoulder. Your attention is solely on me through all of this, I must remind you. Therefore, the loss will be entirely your own.

You want a chance to prove yourself? To show XWF what you can do?

Do it in the ring with me.

You might think a match with a newcomer is beneath me, and that would be farther from the truth. I have always said that divisions, and moreover companies, thrive on having the best competition available. Thus, whenever I am matched up with an unknown entity such as yourself, I take the opportunity for what it is; a showcase of my own talent, but also a learning opportunity for the new guy coming in. If that results in me losing this title, then it was meant to be and I need to work harder.

But I am driven, Razor. Driven to once again reach the summit and hold the Universal Title in my hands. A feat I have not done since my first year as a wrestler. That's right, Razor; my first title was a world title, acquired before my rookie year was completed. It was not something I was ready for, and soon after an injury cost me the title. Since then I have worked hard to rehabilitate and build myself back to the place I know I belong.

And now that time is nearly upon us.

I don't believe in New Years resolutions. They are easy to forget about and quick to give up on. I'm not becoming a world champion for the sake of a resolution. I'm becoming a world champion because that is where I am meant to be. For too long I allowed myself to sit on the sidelines and let others take hold of the brass ring before I even tried to reach.


No one, not a soul, is getting in my way.

Let auld acquaintance be forgot.

[Image: Many-Faces.png]
1x XWF Xtreme Champion (November 2023)
2x XWF Television Champion (May/August 2023)
2x RP of the Month (March/October 2023)
2023 Rookie of the Year
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