Kim & Ginny's 2006 July 4th Party by The Walkin' Dude
Gazing out onto Darkscore Lake, Richard Fannin watched the sun begin its slow descent over the western horizon for several seconds and then turned his attention back to the activity behind him. At various places around the promoter, his friends and staff were working diligently to make sure that everything on the huge raft, 'Ok, maybe it's more like a barge.' he thought, would be perfect when the rest of the guests arrived for the party. Checking his watch, he saw that it was less than an hour until the scheduled start time and an introspective little, "Hmmh" escaped his lips. From his place on the small stage that held the specially designed ring for tonight's matches, Fannin wandered over towards the edge and looked over towards the bar. Finding who he was searching for, Rich called out, "Hey Irish, Karen! How go the libations?"
Looking up from the taps, Irish raised a frosted glass full of some local lager and replied, "Everything's fine Rich. We've got more than enough beer to keep things flowing all night and well into tomorrow." The bartender looked over his shoulder at the brunette arranging the contents of a low table behind him. Poking her in the side he said, "Everything ok on the liquor front K?"
Karen MacDougal around and flashed them both a quick thumbs up. "Cabinet is perfectly stocked, I should be able to make everything from an Appletini to a Screaming Purple Jesus. Who's drinking those by the way?" She directed a chiding smile in Irish's direction.
"Don't look at me K, I'm single malt scotch all the way."
Convinced the drinks were in good hands, Fannin walked over to another part of the stage next to a large table equipped set back from the lake-side of the raft. Making sure not to trip over the array of wires and cables arranged on the floor, Fannin tapped on the top of one of the monitors. When the two guys sitting behind the table, Fannin asked, "How's the feed comin' in guys?"
Dru and Flash glanced away from the monitors and gave a quick nod, "Clear as crystal Rich,” Flash said. “Should make for a very nice transfer when we put everything on DVD."
Satisfied with this assessment, the promoter nodded and added, "What about the audio?"
Dru answered, "Also fine; though it would be even better if you got Flash to stop chewing into the earpiece, it sounds really gross."
Flash rolled his eyes, "Hey, you bring me pizza, you deal with the consequences." He followed up this assertion by making a disgustedly exaggerated chewing noise into the earpiece.
Dru feigned gagging and said to Rich, "Just don't bring him any more food and we'll be fine. When the show's done, we'll get the audio back to Hobbs End and do any necessary sweetening. You should have the commentary track down and finalized sometime tomorrow afternoon."
"Awesome. I'll keep out of your hair then. Catch ya later." Turning around on his heel, Fannin wandered over to the edge of the stage and hopped down. Strolling over to the far side of the ring apron, Fannin waited and watched for a few moments while a studious looking young man made some minor adjustments to a very small box-like device set between the steel ring-post and the middle turnbuckle. When it looked like he was just about finished, Rich cleared his throat and asked, "How's that new camera rig coming Smother?"
The engineer wiped his brow, turned around and grinned. "I just got the last angle hooked up. If this works out the way I think it will, and I have no reason to believe it won't; we'll be able to tape these matches from twelve different ringside angles and four more traditional roving cameras. With this set-up, people can watch each match from so many different views that they could see the same match half a dozen times and still see something different every time out."
The technology Smother was using for the new system was a bit over his head, but Fannin knew a good idea when he heard one. Fixing the engineer with a grin of his own, he replied, "Most excellent work my friend. Just so you know, there's a seat in the front row on the corner with your name on it. That way you can run tech support should anything get knocked loose and not to mention you'll have an up close and personal view of everything that goes down."
Twirling a screwdriver in his hand, Smother replied, "Much obliged Rich. But I don't mind telling ya, I don't think anything's gonna go wrong. These things were stress tested pretty rigorously. As long as the ring itself doesn't fall apart, they should hold up just fine."
Recalling some of the odd things he'd seen during the course of his run with the promotion, Fannin said, "Just knock on wood, Smother. I've seen stranger things than a collapsed ring."
Leaving Smother to put the final touches on the new system, Rich turned from the ring and wandered over to the small tents where the talents on the card would be changing for their fights this evening. Wandering through a small crowd of talents (the party had started a few hours ago for the girls on the roster. Rich figured it was the least he could do for them since most were here on one of their rare weekends off.) Locating his Head of Talent Relations, Rich said, "Hey Pseudo, can you spare a minute?"
Looking up from his clipboard, Pseudo Nym replied, "Yeah Rich, I'd just finished up here."
"I Won't keep you long. I just wanted to make sure all the girls on the card were healthy and ready to work."
Nym made a final check on his board and replied, "All six girls on the under-card have been here for a few hours and Doc. Straker has given them a clean bill of health. Assuming we don't suffer a lake monster attack in the next few hours, everything should go down fine."
Nodding, the promoter continued, "And what about our two special guests for the evening?"
Indicating a small crowd as his back, Pseudo answered, "Miz. Lopez has been here for a couple hours, I saw her talking with several girls on the roster. She hasn't gotten into the ring, but since she's not on the show tonight and this isn't a standard size anyway it's no big deal. Haven't determined if she's going to sign on the dotted line yet, but I'd say it's a pretty safe bet."
Rich looked thoughtful as he said, "She would be quite the coup for us. She's got a huge fan base and quite a lot of drawing power. Ok, what about or rookie sensation?"
"Camilla you mean? She's here too. Alexis and Allison have been showing her around all afternoon and they even got her into the ring for a quick sparring session. Not much more than running the ropes, but she took to it pretty quick. And I can tell you that she's really psyched up about the 'For Whom the Belle Tolls' promos we've been running for the last couple of weeks. But we haven't made a big deal of her being here and I've told Allison and Alexis to keep mum so it should still be a big surprise when she makes her official debut later on this summer."
Still nodding, Fannin said, "Wonderful, she's going to be a wonderful addition to the roster. And before I let you go, how about our two main event players?"
"Per your request, they're both chilling in the mansion until just before their fight goes down. And as far as I'm aware, the only contact they've had with one another comes from the two hour tape that Archer had made for each of them for research purposes."
"So our star import got in from across the pond just fine?"
Nym confirmed this, "Archer picked her up at the airport last night, she was a little jetlagged last night, but she was up and spoiling for a fight. I gotta tell you, this should be a great fight. She wants to RULE Erica in this match."
Fannin smiled knowingly. "Fantastic. The stare-down alone should be priceless... All right, I've taken up enough of your time, I'll let you get back to the fun stuff."
"Catch ya round Rich,” Pseudo replied.
Almost done with his trek now, Rich headed back towards the stage and found Archer sitting near the back of the carefully arranged seating area. Taking a seat next to the archivist, Fannin said, "Arch, you've got the last pieces of the puzzle pal, tell me everything's working fine."
Flipping his notepad closed, Archer answered, "The rest of the guests are within five minutes of the house, they should be here some time in the next half hour. The weather is supposed to hold throughout the evening, and the winds are gonna be mild enough to keep anyone from getting seasick on this little floating experiment of yours. And with regards to lighting, official sundown is in about two hours from now; assuming each of the matches on the under-card goes between thirty and forty minutes long, the Main Event should happen right as full night sets in."
"And what about the artificial lighting? Is everyone going to be able to see the action when the Main Event starts?"
The archivist tapped on the cover of the notepad and answered, "Pseudo and I came out here last night with Kat and Ashley. They were kind enough to do an extended sparring session after the sun went down. The lights and torches work on an automatic sensor, they should come up right when it gets dark. When they were done, Nym and I ran the tape over to the editing suite at the studio and checked it out. The fight looked just fine; it's got that low-lit, sort of flickery and dramatic without being too dark look that you were hoping to get."
Pushing out of his chair, Fannin replied, "Couldn't do this without you Archer. You're a lifesaver."
Flipping the pad back open, Arch started taking notes again and said, "Just make sure I get a front row seat and an interview with the winner of the Main Event."
"Done and done,” the promoter said as he walked away.
Finally satisfied that everything was going to work out, Rich walked over to the far end of the barge where the boat carrying the rest of the guests would soon be arriving. Staring at the shore, Fannin hummed a few bars of 'Redneck Yacht Club' and murmured, "Bring on the fireworks..."
While Fannin was fretting over last minute party details, George Stark was sitting in the Captains chair of a large pontoon boat, hoping he wouldn't have to wait too much longer for the rest of the guests to show. Beating a quick nonsense rhythm on the wheel of the boat, Stark sighed, "I don't mind separating two furious women, but I'm less than great at playing the Skipper. Hope they get here soon, there's a floating bar out there in the lake. And here I am not drinking anything. That's just wrong."
Silence reigned on the shore for a few more minutes and just when Stark was about to get up and make another wandering circuit of the pontoon boat when the stillness was broken by the sound of talking and tromping feet. Offering a quiet prayer to the slowly darkening sky, George headed towards the front of the boat and hopped onto the shore. Walking towards the approaching crowd, Stark did a quick scan of the guests, finding out just who had showed up.
Fannin's guest list read like a who's who of some of the brightest authors, analysts and pundits of the women's wrestling industry. In the front row, Simguy and Hawkeye were quietly discussing Michelle William's latest conquest in the bantam division. Next to them, Bigfan, Scott, Freddy Roberts and Mr. Chris were debating the merits of scissors versus smothers with no apparent resolution in sight.
In the second row, Jack Fac, TNT and Rappin continued the seemingly endless debate about Playmates versus Penthouse Pets while Boeing and Tommy B posited the possible outcomes of a Bellucci Nadine beach brawl.
In the penultimate row, Poochie, Dan, and Majin Gojira were weighing the pros and cons of casting the upcoming Wonder Woman film, another line of questioning that showed no signs of ending.
At the end of the pack was BBB4 and of course, Kim and Ginny. The whole group had an air of excitement about them and it could hardly be held against them; after all, they were about to get front row seats with some of the best women's wrestling and catfighting action on the continent and they were going to do it for free.
Letting them draw within shouting distance, George cleared his throat and called out, "Hey guys, come on over here and gather round, we've got places to go and fights to see."
Drawing his attention away from the conversation, Rappin looked towards Stark and replied, "Hey George! Long time no see pal!"
Smiling widely at the guests, George said, "It's good to see all of you again. And as much as I'm sure you LOVE my charming patter, I'd be willing to bet you're more interested in joining the festivities." There was a barely-there chuckle in his voice and it wasn't very long before Majin asked the question he had been expecting since they all first came into view.
"George I don't want to spoil your intro here, but unless Rich has got his party under a cloaking device, all I see is an empty lake. Not so bad for an Audubon Society I'll grant you, but not so great for catfighting."
"Yeah what's the deal buddy, we got all psyched up on the ride over here and now the whole beach looks deserted. Not even a tiki torch to light the way,” exclaimed Dan.
Trying not to give away the reveal, George reached into his pockets and said casually, "Don't worry guys, I didn't hang out with this tub all afternoon for no reason. If it's lights you want, it's lights you'll get." While the crowd buzzed with puzzled curiosity, Stark reached into his pocket and removed the small control Richard had given him earlier in the afternoon. Holding the device over her head, Stark said quietly, "And here we go."
He clicked the button and instantly all the lights on Fannin's floating playground were ablaze. A surprised gasp went up from the crowd but it was soon drowned up by a lot of appreciative clapping. After a few moments of this, the ovation died down and the questions started again.
Clapping George on the shoulder, Sim asked, "You've been waiting all day for that haven't you?"
"All week actually,” Stark answered with a laugh.
Still hanging at the back of the group, BBB4 cupped a hand to his mouth and shouted, "THERE BETTER BE A WHOLE LOT OF BOOZE OUT THERE IRISH!"
His voice echoed over the water and for a few moments there was nothing. Then the bartender's voice floated back, "I'VE GOT HALF A DOZEN SHIRLEY TEMPLES LINED UP JUST FOR YOU B!"
Shaking his head in mock anger, B said, "That's not gonna stand."
Checking his watch again, George saw they needed to get moving to stay on schedule so he exclaimed, "And on that humorous note, It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Fourth of July Party. If you'd all be so kind as to step aboard the boat, I will make every effort to get you to the festivities without flipping, sinking or otherwise capsizing the vessel."
Letting the guests file past him, George waited until the last of them was safely seated before joining them at the head of the ship. Gunning the boat's motor, George piloted them out into the murky water and headed towards the bright lights of the raft. A few minutes ride over calm seas brought them to their destination and after killing the engine, Stark tied the boat off and let the guests unload.
They'd set foot on the raft for less than ten seconds when their host walked up and greeted them. "Hey how's the evening treating you guys?" He turned to Kim and Ginny. "And gals of course. Ladies, it's always a pleasure."
Returning his smile Ginny asked, "Always were a sucker for a flashy entrance, weren't you Rich?"
"You know me too well. But by this point, you all also know that as flashy as the introduction is, it always pales in comparison to what comes after. So without any further adieu, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to tonight's playground, I like to call it the War Barge. I will be playing the part of cruise director and party host, let me know if there's anything at all I can do to make your voyage more pleasant. Food and drinks are already being served as I see B has made you aware. If you're interested, I suggest you get the comestibles now, because once the action starts I have a feeling you'll be rooted to your seat."
His voice trailed off for a few seconds and high overhead, one of the first fireworks of the evening exploded in a shower of red, green, purple and gold. Looking from the sky back to his guests, Richard Fannin stepped aside and said, "And that's just the beginning. There's plenty more fireworks to come, I can promise you that." There was another cheer from the new arrivals and then they swept past their host and into the heart of the War Barge. Letting the atmosphere flow over him, Richard Fannin glanced at the sky again and said, "Thank God for four day weekends."
And then he was rushing to join the rest of the crowd, after all, it just wouldn't be polite if he was late for his own party.
After giving everyone half an hour to get food and drink, Fannin got everyone situatated in front of the ring so that the night's opening contest could begin. Picking up a microphone, the promoter said simply, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like you welcome two young fighters. First, at 5'7”, Amber Tamblyn!" The guests broke into a round of enthusiastic applause as a young brunette in a bright red bikini climbed into the ring. Amber Tamblyn smiled and waved as she circled the ring.
"Hi, everybody! I'm Amber Tamblyn and I’m GLAD to be here!" The guests laughed and gave the young woman another burst of applause. Amber acknowledged this with a wave and then moved to one side of the ring.
"And next , please welcome, at 5'6” Elisabeth (Beth) Harnois!" The guests began to applaud, but then they caught sight of the figure who emerged from the fighters' tent: she was nearly completely enveloped in a black hooded cloak that ran down to nearly her ankles. Only her striking blue eyes were visible as she moved graceful to the ring and climbed in.
She walked to the center and with a single swift movement swept the cloak off her body and sent it sailing into the air. The guests found themselves looking a somewhat babyfaced natural blonde wearing a dark blue bikini with silver spangles that danced like stars in the fading light. Her mouth was curled in a triumphant smile-that may have also had to do with the way her cloak had descended around the head of her startled opponent.
"What the hell…?" Amber spluttered, pawing the cloak off and throwing it far from the ring.
"Sorry, I didn't see you," Elisabeth said with a "naughty-girl" grin that brought laughter and applause from the guests.
Amber then forced a smile, “Well, don't worry, you'll be seeing plenty of me before this is over!"
This brought her laughs and cheers. The blonde's smile tightened and she gave the brunette a nod of acknowledgement.
"Hello, I'm Elisabeth Harnois, but you can call me "Beth". Like my new 'friend' here, I, too am glad to be here. But you didn't come here to here us talk. What do you say we get this fight started?"
The guests chuckled some more and applauded enthusiastically. The referee took his place on the edge of the tiny ring. Beth and Amber took up their positions as the fight soon got under way...
The two opponents had surveyed the ring when they first arrived at the estate. From this they had both concluded this would be a close-in battle and they laid their battle plans according. They locked up at once and struggled to assert dominance. Amber had a slight height advantage, but Beth stood her ground in a test of strength. Beth did a clever shift of her weight that put Amber off balance for a moment, then the blonde slammed her down with a hip toss and held on to the brunette's right arm for a painfully twisting hammerlock.
Amber grunted at the pain, but she got her left arm out and around Harnois' left leg. She yanked and sent the blonde spilling onto her butt. Amber whirled around and dropped her left elbow straight into the blonde's breadbasket. Now it was Beth's turn to grunt in pain, but she forced her body upward trying to shove Amber off. Amber had no intention of going anywhere, she got her knees up and slid into a sitting position on top of the blonde.
Beth knew she was in trouble and began to buck and thrash with great determination, but then Amber seized her wrists and forced her arms down to the mat. Now Amber began to stretch herself out on top of the still squirming blonde, moving her legs so that she could force Beth's legs further and further apart. The grapevine quickly began to put great strain on the blonde's thigh muscles even as Amber forced her body hard against Beth's trapped one.
Amber added to the physical pressure by making sure Elisabeth had to keep looking up into her triumphant face. "See me now?" Amber snarled softly.
Beth smiled right back in that odd semi-smirk of a smile, “Kind of hard not to."
"Just lay there and I'll have you pinned in no time…UHHHHHHHH!!!!"
Amber had leaned down close to deliver these taunting words and she leaned right into a butt from Elisabeth's forehead. It smacked hard against the brunette's nose and she let out a cry of surprised pain. Reflexively, her hands tried to go up to her agonized nose, but she tried to catch herself. It was too late, she had weakened her grip on Beth's wrists and the blonde got her hands free. With a snarl, Beth grabbed Amber by the shoulders and pitched her to the left. Before Amber could fully grasp what was happening, she was now under Beth, who was looking down at her with a chilling smile.
"Now you're going to start suffering!" Beth informed her in a low, but menacing tone.
Beth now locked Amber's legs up in a grapevine of her own and she applied the pressure with a steady relentlessness. Beth made sure not to repeat Amber's mistake by getting to close to her trapped victim. However, Amber decided to put her faith in fighting the grapevine itself. She threw her own leg and thigh muscles against the blonde's in a test of endurance. Amber was counting on the damage she had already done to Beth's muscles, but as the minutes ticked by under indigo sky, she began to doubt herself. Still, she kept trying and then, she felt it-Beth's legs began to tremble with the strain and the blonde's face became agonized with effort.
Now Amber struck, heaving her body upward with all her remaining strength. She got her left arm loose and rammed upward against Beth's chin in a European uppercut. Beth's head snapped back and she toppled sideways off the brunette.
Amber then sprang up her feet and laid a double kneedrop that sprawled Beth on her face and blew the air out of her lungs. Amber then sat down atop the blonde and got her hands under her chin. She then hauled Beth's head back in a fiercely applied Camel Clutch. She wore the blonde down with this, then released her and rolled her over for a double knee drop right across her belly. The blonde's body jackknifed and went limp.
Amber wasted no more time. She threw her body weight across Beth's torso and hooked her left leg. The referee now appeared and slammed the ring surface.
"ONE...TWO...THREE!!!! THE WINNER OF THIS BOUT: AMBER TAMBLYN!!!" Fannin proclaimed.
Amber got to her feet and raised her arms in triumph. She walked around the ring in a victory lap and then stopped in front of Elisabeth who was being helped to her feet by the referee. "You see me NOW?" Amber asked.
Beth seemed to be shaking off the shock of her defeat. She flashed her now trademark smile and said, “And you'll be seeing me again!"
The guests gave them a strong round of applause. Both fighters waved to the crowd and exited the ring as the guests scanned their programs for the next event....
The opening bout between Amber and Beth had been over for about ten minutes and Richard Fannin was about to step up onto the miniature stage to announce the fighters in the second battle when the walkie-talkie / cell-phone gadget clipped to his belt started to warble. Realizing it had to be one of folks on the raft crew looking for him, Fannin stepped back into a relatively quiet place, brought the little device to his ear and said, "Hello?"
There was a moment of static and then the promoter heard George Stark reply, "Hey boss, it's me. We may have a situation over here, how would you like me to proceed?" "Well first off I'd like you to vague that up a little more for me. Where are you?"
Again there was another few seconds of silence and when George responded he sounded distracted. "Sorry Rich, I'm over near the front of the raft, near the pontoon boat. Sarah and Selma are here too, and while they haven't done anything yet, it's looking like they could go from nose-to-nose to Springer guests in about two seconds. How should I proceed?"
Frowning, Fannin asked, "Is Archer there with you?"
"Yeah, he and 'Scape are part of the crowd observing the proceedings."
Slightly less concerned now, Rich replied, "All right, first, I want you to tell Arch to get every word they say to one another written down and tell Scape to get as many pictures as he can. As for you, hang back for the moment. As long as they don't start fighting, just let them go at it. There's some history between those two that I've been dying to hear and this may be the best opportunity to do so."
"Got it. And if they do decide to use more than words?"
"Give them ten seconds and then pull em apart. That's one fight I'm not giving away for free. I'll be there in just a minute or so George, with luck I won't miss the fun."
"I don't think this is in any danger of ending quickly,” Stark answered before hanging up. Clipping the multi-purpose gadget back onto his belt, Fannin left the silence of shadows and headed swiftly in the direction that his friend had indicated. Less than a minute's travel brought him into view of a tight knot of six people, half of which were Stark, Archer and Nightscape. They formed half of a circle that was completed by Sim, Rappin and Majin Gojira.
In the center of this ring were the objects of their attention, none other than the Champion Sarah Michelle Gellar and the woman who claimed to be the unofficial number one contender to the Slayer's title, Selma Blair. The diminutive vixens were nose-to-nose, just as George said they would be and as Fannin got closer to the action, part of him noted that it had been a very long time since he'd seen two girls in sundresses verbally sparring with one another and an even longer time since he'd seen them come to blows. But if Gellar and Blair's facial expressions were any indication, that drought might be ending REAL soon.
Coming to a stop behind Stark and 'Scape, Richard asked, "What did I miss?"
George craned his head back to respond but before any words could get out of his mouth, Selma greeted, "Good, the boss-man's here. Stick around for a minute Rich, Sarah's got some things she wants to get off her chest and I'm not talking about those pathetic sacks of nothing she calls her tits."
Wincing at the brunette's casually cruel words, Fannin settled in to see how this exchange would play out. Her upper lip curling in a silent snarl, the pretty blonde champion glared contemptuously at her brunette foe and replied, "You're a deluded bitch Selma. Ever since you got here, all you've done is whine about what I've done to you, how I screwed you over years ago, but all it sounds like is petulant moaning from a no-talent mid-carder trying to move beyond her place."
Selma was silent for several seconds then and the folks gathered around the pair thought that if looks could kill, Sarah would be lying in a bloody heap at the brunette's feet. With less than an inch between her and her nemesis, Selma said quietly, "I didn't give any details because I thought you might actually have THE GUTS to come out and admit how you fucked me over back in California. I was hoping that maybe success had turned you into a legitimate threat and not the gutless wonder I always suspected you were. Looks like I was wrong. You wear red to the ring but your best color is still yellow."
Sarah's glare was equally chilling. "You never got it did you? It wasn't my fault you couldn't get over without me. If you want to be pissed at someone, stop bothering me and go check out a mirror."
Selma smiled, an expression full of loathing and pent up anger. "What you're conveniently leaving out of this is that it was YOU who couldn't get over without ME. I almost single-handedly made you the wrestler you are today, and you couldn't even be bothered to delay a stinking plane flight for a few hours. It was ONE NIGHT'S work and you walked out! YOU GOT FAMOUS OFF OF WHAT WE DID TOGETHER AND YOU LEFT ME TO ROT THE FIRST CHANCE YOU GOT!" Selma was beyond the yelling stage now, she was virtually screaming into the Slayer's face.
When the slender brunette fell silent, Sarah took a deep breath and said in a low voice, "It was my first call to come interview out here. I'd worked for months to get it and couldn't reschedule. If you were in my shoes, what would you have done?
Speaking in a more normal tone now, Selma answered, "I don't know. But I wouldn't have left things unfinished. That was a shitty, unprofessional thing to do and you KNOW IT." She fell silent again, watching the blonde tensely to see how she would respond.
Sighing almost silently, the Slayer brushed a strand of hair off her forehead and asked, "What do you want from me, an apology? To tell you I should have mentioned your name when I was interviewing? You know there weren't any real tapes of our matches made, how would I have proved any of it?"
Shaking her head 'no' Selma said, "I'm beyond wanting an apology from you Sarah, I might have gotten here a few years later than I should have, but I'm still here so an apology is really pointless isn't it? The only thing I WANT is for you to tell everyone within the sound of your voice just what you and I are talking about. I want them to know why I have every reason to hate your guts."
Closing her eyes, Sarah took a deep breath and let it out slowly. When she opened her eyes and began to speak, it was in a clear, unwavering voice, "Six years ago, I was just breaking into the business, working in any number of no name promotions all throughout California. One night I was working a show in a little town called Sunnydale and my scheduled opponent didn't show up. At the last minute, the guy in charge paired me up with a girl that showed up looking for work a few hours before. That girl was Selma Blair. Before that night, we'd never worked together, never even met, but it didn't matter. We TORE the house down that night.
“The match was supposed to be filler between the Main Events but nothing else on the card could even touch us. I won the match with a Hurricanrana at around the thirty-minute mark and it took nearly ten more minutes for the crowd to stop cheering. The promoter may have been small-time, but he wasn't dumb. As soon as Selma and I were backstage, he offered us each a thousand dollars to work four more shows over the course of the next month. We agreed of course, that was almost unheard of money back in those days.
“Over the next few weeks, we headlined all those shows; I'm not proud to say that Selma took the next two rounds, one with an STF and the other with a Mexican Surfboard. I did manage some redemption in the fourth match when I reversed a 'Rana into the Spiral Bomb and nearly drove her through the ring. It was when the fifth match rolled around that all the trouble started. The night before the show I got a call from Richard Fannin. He was trying to put together the card for his first show and he wanted me to be a part of it. And he didn't just want me for one card; he was offering a three-year contract, nearly a hundred thousand dollars. The catch was I had to fly out to Arkham the next morning. So I thought about it, but truth be told I didn't think about it too long. Back then my apartment was shit and I was living off Ramen Noodles most nights. One hundred grand was too much to pass up; so I wrote a check for two hundred fifty dollars, sent it to the promoter and caught the red eye out to Arkham. It was the only time in my career I've ever pulled a no-show and I felt like shit about it. But...and I don't care if you believe me or not…I honestly thought it was only a matter of time before Selma got signed up by Fannin as well. In fact, less than a week after I'd been signed I tried to call her but she'd moved out of her apartment and I didn't know where she'd gone. After that I only heard bits and pieces about where she was working. It wasn't until she showed up here a few months back and started talking her trash that I found out she was even still in the business."
Sarah paused to catch her breath and stared levelly at the brunette. "I suppose you've got a good reason to be pissed off at me and I won't run when you come looking for a title shot, but if you think for ONE SECOND that I'll just roll over, you are sorely mistaken. I've worked too hard for this to let it slip away. There's my confession Selma. Absolution will have to wait until I stack you up on your shoulders or make you tap out."
Selma smiled coldly and took a step back, "Thank you for that Sarah. It won't stop me from taking that belt, but I do appreciate your honesty. You and I have a series to finish Slayer, it's been a long time coming, but as soon as I put Jennifer and Erica in their places, I'll be coming for ya, and it'll be nice and legal. Til then, keep the gold close. I won't take it from anyone but you."
Shaking her head 'no' Sarah replied, "Then you won't ever be champion, Selma, because I won't let you beat me a third time."
Selma's grin got a little wider as she answered, "You ran from me six years ago Sarah, you won't do it again. I'm not just gonna beat you, I'm gonna find the quitter in Sarah Michelle Gellar. Very soon now, everyone's going to know what I've known for a very long time. You don't have what it takes to beat me." With that, she turned around and sauntered through a gap in the circle so she could rejoin the party.
Rich looked at Sarah and was about to say something to her when the Slayer stalked off in the other direction; she was obviously not interested in talking to anyone right now. "Ok, that was a nice diversion. But what say we get back to the scheduled portion of our program?"
On a murmured wave of assent, Fannin and the others headed back towards the ring and the promise of female combat of a more physical nature.
"Sheesh, first Natalie and now you. Who would've believed that a 'nobody' like me would have victories over two thirds of Destruction Inc? Isn't that what you called me before the match Elisha? A nobody?"
Rachel Skarsten's normally pleasant voice went cold as she clamped down on her Body Scissors and pulled back, wrenching her smaller captive's arms high over her head with a jury-rigged Arm Lock. The willowy 5’10” blonde held this position for several seconds and then relaxed the pressure, giving Elisha another respite. Softly brushing some stray hairs from her opponent's cheek, Rachel placed her head next to Elisha's ear. "It kills you doesn't it? I'm going to earn a spot on the full time roster at your expense. Me, someone these people have never even heard of before tonight is going to stretch your ass out and make you quit." She tightened the grip on her laced fingers and cranked back again, trying to tear the curvy blonde vixen's shoulders from their sockets.
Cursing silently, Elisha Cuthbert found her voice and panted, "You haven't earned shit yet Rachel. You got lucky when you beat Nat last year, but your skinny ass couldn't beat Meg and there's NO WAY IN HELL you're beating me."
Cuthbert ended her response by twisting and bucking in the taller blonde's grip, but all she succeeded in doing was getting her claws into Rachel's hair and Skarsten was strong enough to endure the pain that came from Elisha's badly angled tugs. More interested in her own holds than the one Elisha was attempting, Rachel ground her thighs against Cuthbert's thick hips and squeezed, bringing a low, whistling moan of pain from her opponent.
Never losing her composure, Rachel answered, "OK so I've only officially beaten one of you, but Nat was a good start. As for Megan Fox, I suppose I should challenge her too, but Katie gutted her in the middle of the ring last month and I don't really want to be accused of picking at scraps. That just leaves you 'Lisha. You're great, but you underestimated me and that's a mistake. You're not getting out of this unless you submittaaaarrrgghh!"
Rachel's prophecy was cut off in mid sentence as Elisha's hands stopped yanking at Rachel's hair and went after her eyes. Gritting her teeth as there was a final spasmodic surge on the dual holds; Elisha surged out of Rachel's grip and rolled to safety a few feet away. Flipping sweaty blonde curls from her eyes, Elisha located her opponent still rubbing at her face and muttering angrily to herself. Knowing this was the to put the mouthy upstart away, Elisha snarled, "Nobody beats me! Especially not a curtain jerker like you!"
Settling into a crouch, Cuthbert uttered feral scream as she launched herself at Rachel, and nearly drove her shoulder through Skarsten's bared midsection. Bowling the newcomer onto her back. Elisha rose to her knees and blasted a short, brutal series of open palmed slaps directly across the swell of Rachel's breasts. Savoring Skarsten's moans as she tried to protect her chest, Elisha changed the focus of her attack. Sidling up Rachel's left side, she grabbed a double handful of the other blonde's hair and yanked her onto her side. Rudely jamming the lithe girl's head between her thighs, Elisha locked her ankles and bore down, putting immense pressure on Rachel's skull with a Headscissors.
Feeling her breathing start to return to normal, Elisha used one hand to steady herself while she ran another through her battle tangled hair (for some reason she had yet to comprehend, adjusting her hair during a fight always seemed to get the audience on her side)
The cheers from the mob told her that this time was no exception and when there was a break in their adulation, Elisha taunted Rachel loud enough so the audience could listen in. "You thought you were gonna beat me? Lemme tell you something Skarsten, you're a nobody in this business and you're gonna stay a nobody. This is the one shot you had at greatness and in case having my thighs wrapped around your skull hasn't clued you in, you blew it. After I make your lanky, narrow ass beg for mercy, I'll toss you right off this raft and then you'll be nothing more than an answer to a trivia question that only suits like Fannin or Archer will be able to answer."
She paused for a moment and smiled, letting the crowd soak in her verbal dismemberment of the blonde. Rubbing her thighs slowly back and forth against Rachel's flushed cheeks, Elisha continued, "But I suppose since this is your one brush with greatness, there's no reason greatness couldn't leave her mark on you. You know, a token to remind you of what COULD have been."
Using her free hand, Elisha reached around to the back of Rachel's forest green bottoms and yanked up, baring her rival's posterior to the lake side of the raft. Giving Rachel something to remember her by, Elisha let go of Skarsten's bottoms only to flatten her hand out in a paddle shape and proceed to rain down stinging slaps on her victim's undefended buttocks.
After a near minute of this disrespectful spanking, Elisha shook her tingling hand and admired her handiwork. "Looks like I gave those lily white cheeks some color. Whadda ya say Rachel? Ready to give it up and slink back to anonymity?"
Glaring up at Elisha with hurt, angry eyes, Skarsten growled, "You're not the only one who can leave a mark on someone Slut-bert." Before Elisha had time to frown, Rachel opened her mouth and chomped down on Elisha's thigh, eliciting a shriek from the smaller beauty. Cuthbert battered at Rachel's head, trying to dislodge her ferocious grip. But the rookie was merciless and Elisha had to relinquish the Headscissors or let part of her leg go home in Rachel's gullet. Choosing to remain intact, the voluptuous blonde released her grip on Rachel's skull and scooted away.
Having trouble ascertaining the damage in the fading light, Elisha realized that Rachel hadn't broken the skin, but she'd come damned close. Incensed at being treated like a chew toy, Cuthbert looked up with hate in her eyes. "You're dead for that bitchhhunnngghh!"
This time it was Rachel who cut her off with a gut rupturing tackle. Elisha was driven hard into the damp canvas and she lay there panting while Rachel towered over her. Glaring down at the diminutive vixen, Rachel growled, "I won't be anonymous after tonight Elisha, you're going to guarantee that." Not waiting for her foe to respond, Rachel shifted her weight just enough so she could flip Cuthbert onto her belly. Straddling her victim's back, Skarsten reached down and grabbed hold of Elisha's wrists, one in each hand. With no wasted motion, she twisted Elisha's arms up behind her back, nearly shoving her captive's hands between her shoulder blades in an agonizing Double Hammerlock.
Taking a risk, Rachel took hold of both of Cuthbert's wrists in her right hand while she pushed at the blonde's elbows with her left. Wrenching Elisha's arms to the breaking point, Rachel bounced on her writhing victim's back for several second before demanding, "Give up!"
Temporarily brushing aside the razor-like pain in her shoulders, Elisha howled, "Fuck you Rachel!"
Not willing to take the smaller blonde's crap anymore, Skarsten stopped pushing on Elisha's elbows and grabbed a handful of her hair. Yanking Elisha's head back at a rough angle, Rachel held her in that position for a moment before slamming her face down against the canvas. Elisha's whole body shuddered and the audience groaned as Rachel added several more head bashing 'THUMPS' while she maintained the Double Hammerlock. After dribbling Elisha's skull off the canvas for the better part of a minute, Rachel pulled the blonde's limp head off the canvas and said, "If you don't give up right now, I won't stop until your arms AND your face have been broken. Do you understand?"
Refusing to nod (not only out of pride, it simply hurt too much) Elisha mumbled, "Submit."
Rachel knew she had won, but this was her time to make a statement. Pulling back on Elisha's hair while she pushed forward on her wrists, the victorious rookie commanded, "Louder."
Doing her best to choke back a sob, Elisha roared, "I QUIT!"
Smiling out at the stunned audience, Rachel said, "That's better!” She promptly released both holds, letting Elisha crumple underneath her. Looking down at the defenseless expanse of Cuthbert's back, Rachel murmured, "And just so you can't claim that this was a fluke..." She reached down and deftly untied Elisha's white top, pulling the garment free with a slick little rasping noise. Getting to her feet, Rachel held the top high over her head and placed one defiant foot on the back of Elisha's head. Looking around, she spotted Nightscape and his camera. "Hey 'Scape, get a picture wouldya?" As the photographer snapped a picture of her victory pose, Rachel said happily, "And I've even got a caption for you; ‘Dominant newcomer demolishes destruction Inc diva in front of delighted throng. Film at 11’."
After 'Scape had taken a few shots, Rachel broke her pose, slipped out of the ring and started working her way through the crowd. She'd made it less than ten steps when Pseudo touched her on the shoulder and asked, "Ms. Skarsten, can I have a moment of your time?"
Smiling knowingly, she answered, "Sure, what can I do for you on this fine evening?"
Returning her smile, Fannin's head of Talent Relations said, "It's more like what can I do for you. I've been authorized to offer you a contract on the spot, that is if you really were serious about being a full time member of the roster."
Rachel's grin went from ear to ear. "I was serious all right. What's the point of humiliating Elisha if it doesn't get me anything?"
Pseudo nodded. "All right, we can sign papers over at the bar, Irish is holding seats for us." Rachel continued to smile. "Lead on Pseudo, I could use a celebratory drink anyway."
With that they both disappeared into the crowd and shortly thereafter; Rachel Skarsten took another step out of the shadows and into the big time.
Rachel Skarsten had just put the finishing touches on Elisha Cuthbert when Pseudo turned his attention from the action in the ring to the elegantly dressed woman sitting across the table from him. Watching her as she watched Rachel celebrate her victory, the head of talent relations cleared his throat and asked, "Are you enjoying the party so far Ms. Lopez?"
Jennifer Lopez continued to watch the post fight theatrics for a moment and then looked over at him. Taking a sip from her drink, the Latina Superstar nodded and said, "It's been a very intriguing evening so far Mr. Nym, you can tell Rich that I'm thankful for the invitation."
Keeping his voice low, Nym replied, "I'll make sure to pass that along to him. If you don't mind me being so forward, have you given any more consideration to the contract he offered you?"
She smiled and said, "I have."
Tilting his head slightly to the side, Pseudo prodded, "And would you be interested making our little show your newest home?" He was anxious to hear her response and pass it along to Fannin. Both of them, not to mention everyone else in the front office that it would be a huge coup for them to sign someone like Jennifer 'J-Lo' Lopez to a fulltime deal. Pseudo and Fannin had been quietly working on the details of her contract for months and it was only just now that things appeared to be coming together. He was really hoping that she would agree to the deal; a fulltime contract was what they were hoping for but he'd settle for a part-time deal if that was all she would go for. Even if they could only get her for ten dates a year Nym knew that her name alone would bring a lot of new viewers and fans to the shows. And once those new fans got a look at the rest of the product, well, they'd be hard-pressed not to keep coming back for more.
Watching the agent's interior monologue with a patient smile, Jennifer replied, "Well, to be honest, the venues are much, much smaller than what I've normally worked the last five years. But I can't argue with the production values or the level of talent. Both of those are as good as any of the larger promotions I've worked with. And there's the money of course; Richard Fannin has gone out of his way to make this worth my while and I see no reason to disappoint him, or you, after all the work you've put into courting me."
Pseudo was nearly giddy with relief but he kept his voice under control as he asked, "So can I officially welcome you aboard then?"
"Welcome away,” she answered. "All I need to know is when to start and who's the first unlucky chica to get the full brunt of the J-Lo experience?" Her grin was almost predatory as she said that last part.
Drumming his fingers on the tabletop, Pseudo replied, "Rich probably won't have you start for several weeks yet, I KNOW he'll want to do a full on blitz to hype your first match in the promotion. And as for your first opponent, I have no idea, but once the word gets out that you're coming, I'd be willing to bet the line of potential challengers will stretch down the block. In fact, I can already think of at least half a dozen girls who... Oh, pardon me for a second, I just saw someone who will want to meet you."
He stared over Jennifer's shoulder into the crowd behind and called out, "HEY SMOTHER! OVER HERE!"
The engineer had been tinkering with a piece of rigging equipment as he walked by but upon hearing Nym's voice he veered off in the agent's direction. Raising his hand in greeting, Smother said, "Hi Pseudo, what going.... Holy crap..,” He trailed off suddenly as he saw who Nym was sharing a table with.
Smiling at Smother's reaction, Nym said, "Smother meet Jennifer; Jennifer meet Smother. Ms. Lopez is the newest member of our roster." He looked to Jennifer and continued, "Smother here is our head engineer. He designed the new sixteen-angle camera system I was telling you about. He may also be your biggest fan and he'll probably kill me for blindsiding him like this, but I figure his reaction would be an honest way to show you that your arrival in the promotion has been much anticipated."
Extending her hand to the shell-shocked looking young man, Jennifer said, "It's a pleasure to meet you. I have a feeling this new system of yours is going to be extremely beneficial for my matches. I do some of my best fighting in the corners."
Picking his jaw off the floor, Smother replied, "The pleasure's all mine. I can't wait to see you fight. A friend got me front row seats to the Garden three years ago when you faced Beyonce for the title. That's the greatest match I've ever had the privilege of seeing."
She nodded appreciatively. "And possibly the toughest win of my career."
Still suffering from a mild feeling of unreality, the engineer asked, "Is there anyone here that you're especially interested in facing?"
Jennifer thought about if briefly and then answered, "Well, Sarah's got the title right now, so obviously I'm interested in her. Katie Holmes has come a long way in the last few years; I think she could give me a good fight. And there's Neve Campbell. I've heard quite a bit about just how great a face-sitter she is. Obviously that's a claim I want to test out first hand."
Pseudo and Smother both looked to be on the verge of saying something when a low, sultry voice from behind them spoke up. "What about me honey? What does your fat cottage cheese ass think about fighting me?" All three of them turned around to face the owner of that voice. Standing confidently a few feet away, Rose McGowan leaned casually against an unoccupied table. Clad in a tight fitting maroon dress it was obvious that the smiling brunette had been the one to throw down Jennifer's punk card. Sauntering forward, Rose placed both hands on her hips and glared defiantly at the newcomer. Sniffing derisively she said, "I'd heard rumors that the dopes in the front office were moving heaven and earth to bring your washed up ass in. I just didn't think they'd be stupid enough to actually go through with it."
Glancing back and forth between Nym and Smother, Jennifer slowly got up out of her chair and casually chested into the shorter brunette. Taking the time to adjust the edges of her short, white, linen skirt, the Latina Booty Queen glared down her nose at McGowan and asked, "I guess the dopes in the front office were hoping to hire someone the fans would actually remember once the night was over. They wanted a star and not another scrawny wannabe. Speaking of which, what's your name honey? I'd hate for you to be anonymous when your nose gets buried in my ass."
Markedly unimpressed with the veteran's threats, Rose chested into Jennifer and said, "My name's Rose McGowan and I'm the girl who snuffed out Jennifer Lopez on her first night on the job."
"That almost sounds like you want a chance to kiss my ass honey. Is that what you're telling me?"
Arrogantly poking Jen in the chest with her index finger, McGowan purred, "That's exactly what I want Slow-pez. I hope you're wearing something under that raggedy dress of yours, otherwise you might end this evening doing a little late night skinny-dipping."
Keeping her eyes trained on the pale brunette, J-Lo whispered, "Don't worry Rosey, you'll get an up close and personal view of my thong when I park it on your nose." Still staring down Rose, her eyes flicked over to Pseudo as she asked, "Is there going to be any problem giving me five minutes to put this nobody in her place?"
Nym said, "Hold on a second." And took the walkie-talkie from his belt. He spoke a few words into it and then put the device away. Glancing back and forth between the silent brunettes, he said, "Richard says if you want it, you'll go on next. Can I assume neither of you is backing out?"
Her feline eyes glittering, Rose muttered, "Hell no. Get this lard ass in the ring." Apparently unfazed by McGowan's venom, Lopez added, "She's gonna wish she had backed out. But the only thing backing up is my ass, right into this stupid bitch's face."
Rose backed up and snarled, "Prove it lumpy." Then she whirled around on her heel and stalked her way towards the ring.
Already preparing herself for the battle that was coming, Jennifer turned to Smother and said, "Apparently you're not going to have to wait long to see how I look in your new system. I promise you won't be disappointed."
Smother tried to find something elegant and pithy to say but nothing came to him, so he just nodded appreciatively. Tilting her head towards Pseudo, she added, "This is just a tune-up. Make sure everyone on the roster knows that. What I do to Rose is just a SAMPLE of the havoc I'm going to cause when I show up this fall."
Pseudo nodded and replied. "I'll let it be known."
"See that you do,” Jennifer said. Then she too turned on her heel and headed towards the ring for her first official match in Richard Fannin's employ.
Watching her go, Nym nudged Smother on the shoulder and said, "Rich sure seems to have a problem staying on script doesn't he?"
Grinning, Smother answered, "Yeah, but would you have it any other way?"
"Nope,” Pseudo said. "C'mon, let's go grab a better seat."
"I always KNEW you were an over-hyped piece of shit,” Rose McGowan laughed scornfully as she gazed up into the deepening purple twilight of the July evening. Turning her attention back the impromptu match she'd arranged, the pale brunette squeezed her thighs tighter around her foe's thick waist and pulled her arms in closer drawing the other girl's struggling face deeper into Rose's cleavage. Smiling like the cat that ate the canary, Rose rubbed her tits back and forth across her opponent's face as she cooed, "Don't you agree J-Lo? If you do, just scream 'I'm an over-hyped piece of shit!' as loud as you can and I might just allow you to be conscious when I throw you and your unbelievably fat ass off this raft." Getting no immediate response, McGowan clenched her legs even tighter and bore down with her arms, trying to break the Latina beauty's nose against her sternum.
On Jennifer's end of things, the twilight had turned into full on midnight about two minutes ago and Lopez knew that if she couldn't escape Rose's dual holds in the next few moments that her unofficial and very much unplanned first fight for Richard Fannin was going to end very badly. Growling silently in the warm, slightly damp confines of her tormentor's rack, Jennifer thought, 'No way does it end like this. I'm gonna own this place by this time next year and I WILL NOT have my very first fight spoiled by a piece of trash like Rose McGowan.'
Putting her thoughts into action, Jenny stopped punching at Rose's ribs and instead placed them palms down on the canvas on either side of McGowan's head. Drawing in the deepest breath she could, Jennifer got her feet flat on the canvas too and started to push forward, slowly getting to a sort of half standing position that rolled Rose up onto her shoulders. If pinfalls had been legal, this would have been a rather impressive roll-up. But as this fight was only going to end with a submission, Lopez maintained her position over Rose for only a few moment before she moved her hands from the mat to Rose's shoulders, digging in on both sides as best she could.
Back on the mat, Rose was growing concerned with Lopez's progress but she had faith in her scissors and smother, so she held on tight and taunted, "What's wrong baby, can't get away? Just come on back down here and I'll make sure you never WANT to get away." Using the other brunette's words as a motivator, J-Lo only grunted in reply and suddenly lifted up with all her strength, resuming an almost normal standing position while a surprised and furious Rose still clung to her chest and neck.
Faintly hearing the sounds of the crowd's applause, Jennifer brushed it aside and focused on Rose and how she was going to punish her. Digging her claws in a little deeper to the brunette's shoulders, the newcomer (who wasn't really a newcomer at all really) straightened up a tiny bit more only to drop down and forward, smashing Rose flat against the thinly padded canvas in a sort of makeshift Spinebuster. There was a dull, slightly hollow sounding THUD (they were on a raft after all, couldn't forget about that) and both of Rose's grips immediately fell away from Jennifer's body.
Resting heavily on her knees, the Latina Diva took several deep breaths, ran both hands through her sweat tangled hair and quickly adjusted the rumpled edges of the white bikini she'd worn into battle. Seeing her tormentor splayed out in front of her gave Lopez knew energy and she wasted no time letting Rose know about it. Crawling over Rose's knees and onto her belly, J-Lo assumed a loose straddle over the other brunette's navel and arrogantly placed her hands on her hips.
Glaring down into McGowan's stunned face, Jennifer purred confidently, "You were talking about my ass, bitch? This ass right here?" She followed this question by rising up onto her knees and then dropping right back down onto Rose's belly, smashing the full weight of her medicine ball like rump deep into the pit of her rival's stomach. McGowan let out a breathy groan and tried to roll over onto her side, but Jen held the straddle tight and kept McGowan on her back. Lifting up for another Butt Smash, J-Lo put all her weight behind the landing and she was openly pleased when Rose nearly gagged from the force of her landing. Even though she knew Rose was in a bad way, Jennifer wasn't foolhardy enough to believe that the wily brunette was ready to finished off just yet. And even if she was, Jenny herself wasn't ready for the match to be over yet. Rose McGowan was going to be the first name on her list and she wanted to make sure that everyone in attendance knew what happened to the girls that ended up on Jennifer Lopez's list.
Rubbing her nearly mythic rump back and forth across Rose's abs in a rather saucy motion, Jennifer decided to change tactics and did so by leaning forward and laying down on her foe's pale, curvy form. Almost face to face with the other brunette, Jennifer easily pinned Rose's wrists high over her head and just as quickly snaked her ankles inside her rival's ankles and spread her legs at a near forty-five degree angle with a perfect Double Leg Grapevine. Keeping a few inches between her body and Rose's, Jennifer cranked back on the Grapevine, splitting McGowan's legs as wide as humanly possible. Looking down into Rose's face with a diva like smile, Jennifer asked, "Starting to wish you hadn't called me out you no talent punk?"
Furious at being pinned and stretched as she was, Rose twisted violently in Jennifer's clutches, but could not pull herself free. Glaring up into Lopez's smug countenance, the pale, sweating brunette replied, "Fuck you, bitch. You haven't got the body to beat me. I'll spank that nasty ass of yours raw before the night is through." She ceased her words and restarted her attempts to escape from Jennifer's humiliating hold.
Grinning wickedly, J-lo asked, "I haven't got the body to beat YOU? Rose, this BODY is about to turn you into a sticky, whining smear." She demonstrated thusly by lifting up as high as she could and then coming down, dropping the whole of her body weight onto Rose's defenseless torso. McGowan let out an unladylike 'UNGH!' after the first landing and hat only motivated Jennifer to repeat the tactic several more times, at rapidly increasing intervals. After nearly a dozen of these full body presses, Jennifer pulled up and smirked into the weary vixen's face.
Grinding her crotch against Rose's in a remarkably insolent gesture, Jennifer said, "Time to make you famous Rose. You can be the first girl here to accept my challenge. I don't think you'll win though." On those cryptic and slightly ominous words, Jennifer released her hold on Rose's wrists and legs only to scramble up to her foe's chest and whirl around, now sitting facing towards McGowan's feet and the quietly buzzing multitude that seemed to be holding their breath. Knowing she must look spectacular framed against the lake and the night sky, Jennifer smiled at the crowd and called out, "You should all count yourselves very lucky. It can't be very often that a Full Moon falls on the Fourth of July!" Eating the cheers and applause up with a spoon, Jennifer hiked up the edges of her bottoms by several inches, leaving a nearly non-existent thong to cover her flawless backside. Knowing the show was about to begin, Jen gave Rose a final cursory glance to make sure McGowan hadn't turned her face to the side. Finding the brunette's nose pointing towards the sky, Jennifer purred, "Thanks for calling me out Rose. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction."
Getting nothing more than a groan in response, Jennifer scooted forward and ever so slowly lowered her butt onto her victim's face. As soon as she felt Rose's nose wedge between her cheeks, Jennifer started to grind, rolling her hips in long, languid circles that pressed the full weight of her body down onto McGowan's defenseless face. With her oxygen suddenly cut off Rose began kicking her legs wildly and slapping her hands against J-Lo's smooth thighs, but it was far too little, far too late. Jennifer merely swatted her rival's hands away and continued her grind, steadily increasing her pace as she did a rhythmic, sensual lap dance on the formerly arrogant girl's features.
After nearly thirty seconds of this treatment, the infrequent, muffled screams against her butt finally faded away and Jennifer felt the unmistakable sensation of Rose's last conscious breath exhaled against her butt. A bit disappointed that Rose hadn't been able to last longer, she completed her show by grabbing hold of Rose's limp right wrist and holding it up off the canvas. Smirking at the redlining guests, she said, "I know this is unnecessary, but I don't want any technicalities tainting my first win here."
She released Rose's arm and it fell bonelessly to the mat. 'ONE!' a cooperative crowd called. Jen grabbed her victim's wrist and repeated the tactic, yielding the same result. 'TWO!' continued the crowd. Wanting to put a little flair into the final drop, J-Lo took possession of both of McGowan's wrists and held them up for nearly five seconds before letting them fall to the mat a final time. 'THREE!' the guests roared before a wave of cheers took hold. Listening to the unseen bell ring. Jennifer got up off her beaten foe and placed one foot against Rose's cheek, a simple but unmistakable show of domination. Scanning the crowd for any of Fannin's talents that she could find, Jennifer said loudly, "She's just the first. There's plenty more to come." Holding her victory pose for a few more seconds, the Latina Booty Queen was convinced she'd made her point, so she slipped through the ropes of the miniature ring and started threading her way through the congratulatory crowd, heading for bar where she'd left her dress in the care of that Smother fellow.
Accepting the greetings and salutations of her new fans with a glowing smile, Jennifer Lopez thought, "I think I'm gonna like it here!"
Sitting alone at a table not very far from the ring, Neve Campbell sipped from her drink and watched carefully as Jennifer Lopez started putting the finishing touches on Rose McGowan. Nodding appreciatively at the curvy diva's impressive power, the Scream Queen murmured, "Welcome aboard J-Lo. I think you've got a bright future ahead of you." Continuing to nurse her drink as Rose was pulled from the ring out, Neve was about to go off in search of some conversation when a svelte, lean young woman in a midnight blue miniskirt. Pulling out a chair on the opposite side of the brunette, Jessica Alba smiled at Campbell and said, "Hello Neve, do you mind if I join you?"
Neve smiled back and said, "Feel free, I was just about to go looking for someone to talk to anyway."
Alba only nodded and in the few seconds it took her to sit down and pull up to the table, Campbell noted what hordes of fans had been proclaiming since Alba had arrived on the scene a few years ago. Simply put, the Dark Angel was an impressive sight. And Neve was perfectly aware that Jessica was more than a pretty face. She was a superbly gifted athlete and in the ring she fought with an intensity that few could parallel. It also occurred to the Scream Queen that she and the Dark Angel had never faced off in a one on one match. It was something Neve decided she'd have to remedy in the next couple of months.
Finding her voice, Jessica tugged at the straps on her dress and said; "I was wondering if you could help me with a question. I'm looking into a fairly little known arena of female combat and after asking around for a while I was pointed in your direction."
Neve looked thoughtful for a moment and then answered, "Ask away. I'll try to help out if I can."
Jessica nodded. "What can you tell me about a ' La Guerre d'Amour '?"
Neve's brow crinkled thoughtfully and she answered Jessica's question with a question, "What do you want to know?"
Jessica's eyes lit up. "Anything and everything. History, rules, all of it."
Neve took a deep breath and said, "There's not all that much, but I'll tell you what I know. La Guerre d'Amour, or The War of Love as it's known in English was first invented by Andre Linoge, a publisher of pulp magazines way back in the halcyon days of the late sixties and early seventies. By all accounts, Linoge was a real jerk, but the guy had more than enough money to buy himself his share of friends and to indulge all of his vices. Of those vices, his two biggest were watching young women fight and the old post adolescent fantasy favorite, girl on girl action of the more romantic type."
"He liked to watch women make out with one another? " Jessica asked.
Neve nodded. "And stuff that went far beyond the mere making out stage. Anyway, the story goes that one night Linoge was putting a party together and couldn't decide whether he should have sex or violence as the feature attraction for his guests. Deciding not to shortchange either appetite, he decided there would be both. Thus La Guerre d'Amour was born."
"What were the rules?" Jess leaned forward over the table as she asked her question, the mellow light of the nearby torches glowing in her dark eyes.
"There really wasn't anything concrete about the contest. Basically it's an eclectic mix of classic mat wrestling, no rules cat fighting and erotic domination. The whole point of the War of Love was not to simply pin your opponent or force her to submit. The goal was utter mental, physical and ultimately sexual domination. To win the match, one merely had to force a verbal surrender, but that was only the beginning of things. The twisted little stipulation that Linoge put on the contest was that the loser would 'belong' to the winner until the first light of dawn so all the contests were held late in the evening, often starting around midnight or one.
“It wasn't uncommon for these types of fights to go for two or even three hours, but even if they went deep into the night, the winner always had a few extra hours to cement her dominance over the loser. As for what went on in those little post match sessions, it's mostly speculation and rumor but we're talking smothers and other tactics that would get us barred from most places were we to try and do them at one of Rich's shows. And nothing was off limits during these sessions. As long as the winner didn't scar her opponent or carve her face up, anything else she could think of was fair game. And that's about all I know."
Jess leaned back in her chair, satisfied for the moment. After staying silent for nearly a minute, she looked up at Neve and asked, "Are these types of matches still taking place today?"
Neve shrugged. "Probably. But I would guess there aren't nearly as many going on now than there were even fifteen years ago. There aren't many girls out there willing to take that kind of risk without a lot of financial incentive and the whole 'billionaire fight club promoter' type died out back in the early nineties."
Jessica looked satisfied with the answer, and asked another question. "If you had to name five girls on the active roster who had participated in this kind of fight, and been successful at it, who would you pick?"
Neve cocked her head and looked quizzically at the blonde. Choosing her words carefully, she said, "Why do you want to know? And why do I have the feeling you already know what I just told you?"
Jessica smiled knowingly, "Just indulge me; I mean, purely for research purposes."
Neve sighed and leaned back on the couch. Sorting through her memory, she said, "If I had to pick five, I'd say: Christina Ricci, Alyssa Milano, Katherine Heigl, Rose McGowan and Reese Witherspoon."
Now it was Jessica's turn to nod. Staring directly at Neve she replied, "I figured those names would be on your list. To be honest Neve, I've already talked to all five and asked them the same things I'm asking you, including that last question. All their lists were pretty much the same as yours but you left off one name that they all mentioned. Do you know who it was they all had at the top of their lists?"
Neve cocked an eyebrow and stared directly at the blonde. "Another question we both know the answer to."
Jessica's face was dead serious as she said, "They all mentioned YOU. Every one of them said you were the absolute best when it came to La Guerre d'Amour. They also said you stopped three years ago, walking away with a perfect record of nineteen wins and no losses. I had to buy Reese drinks all night long to get her talking, but she finally told me something very interesting about you. She said, 'When Neve wins; she doesn't just beat you, it feels like she owns you. And it doesn't end when the sun comes up in the morning. She breaks a girl down and won't ever...ever let you forget who it was that defeated you.'"
Jessica stopped for a moment and then continued, "All I want to know is one thing; why'd you quit?"
Neve's face was dark and far away as she answered. "I didn't like the person I was during those matches. I did things in them that I'm not proud of. I got into this business to prove I was the best wrestler in the world, but what goes on during the War of Love isn't wrestling. I don't know exactly what it is, but I know that I grew to hate it and wanted no part of it. And since I've answered your questions, it's time for you to answer mine. Why are you asking about this after all this time? What fascination does La Guerre d'Amour have for Jessica Alba?"
Jessica kept her eyes locked with Neve as she said, "Beating Christina Ricci two nights ago brought my record to nineteen wins and zero losses."
Neve's face remained inscrutable, but the picture was becoming crystal clear. "Congratulations,” she said in a nonchalant tone. "I'm sure you'll break the record."
Jessica's voice was low and calm when she replied. "It's not breaking the record that's important. It's who I beat to break it. That's you Neve. I'm challenging you to face me in La Guerre d'Amour."
Neve shook her head. "No. I told you I don't fight those matches anymore. I don't care about the record Jessica, it's yours if you want it, but you won't beat me to do it."
For the first time in their conversation Alba looked angry. "You can't refuse me on this Neve. You've got two options. The first is to face me in the War of Love. One night only, winner take all, no audience, no one knows who wins but you and I. The other option is to refuse, but know that if you do I will hound you every waking moment until you concede to face me. I will interfere in every match, I'll follow you home, I will use any means necessary to disrupt your life until you and I settle this."
Neve stood up and stepped forward, not backing down a bit as Jessica did the same. Going nose to nose with the tawny blonde, Neve whispered, "You would do well to remember that I don't respond to threats Jessica."
Her gaze never wavering, Jessica answered back, "This isn't a threat Neve. It's a promise. Just give me what I want and I'll go away. One fight is all I want."
Neve still wasn't ready to concede just yet. "Why is this so important to you?"
"I've beaten everyone I've ever faced in La Guerre d'Amour. I could have the record, but it doesn't mean anything if people know I never beat you. I want to know.... And I WANT YOU TO KNOW, that not only can I outfight you, but I can out-fuck you as well. I want you to hit me with everything you've got and I'm going to throw everything I have back at you. I'm going to use you up and when you're defenseless, I'll make you BEG for mercy. You'll smother under my ass and that's just the beginning. By the time comes up, you're going to know that no one crushes a girl like Jessica Alba. And you won't ever forget who beat you."
Neve's eyes got flat and cold as she replied, " Fine. You're on. But you don't know what you're asking. Everything you think you know about me doesn't apply in La Guerre d'Amour. If you lose this fight, you're going to suffer worse than anyone I've beaten in this promotion. Are you willing to risk that?"
"You know I am. When do you want to do this? I'd prefer not to wait long, I've never been one for prolonged suspense."
"Neither have I. I won't make you wait. See you soon Jessica Alba."
Jessica grinned slyly and cooed, "Just one more thing before I go..." Before Neve could say anything, Jessica stepped forward and pressed her lips to Neve's, surprising the brunette with an aggressive French kiss. Refusing to be undone by the ploy, Neve returned the kiss with equal force, not stopping to breath until the Dark Angel pulled away. Wiping her hand lightly across her lips, Jessica said, "Just something to put in the right frame of minduugggghhhhhnnn."
Her last word trailed off in a low moan; the cause of which was the three-fingered claw that Neve had slipped between Jessica's thighs during the impromptu embrace. Jessica bit her lip and jerked away from the brunette, yanking the Scream Queen's claw from her groin at the same time. Quickly adjusting the edge of her skirt, Jessica looked at Neve and smirked, "Looks like you're in the right frame of mind already. Just remember, all's fair in love and war, and I mean to do whatever it takes to win this fight."
Neve smiled and rubbed the fingers on her clawing hand together. Looking at the blonde she purred, "You're strong now Jessica, but you won't be so confidant when I'm done. You're gonna know what it's like to have all five senses overwhelmed with abject defeat. See you soon Angel."
Jessica's smile was cold and predatory as she fired her parting shot, " Don't be so sure Neve. You're going down. And I'll make sure you stay there all night. You're gonna bow to me Scream Queen." Then she turned on her heel and strolled away into the crowd, leaving Neve alone with her thoughts.
Looking toward the water and the dark beyond it, Neve whispered, "The only kneeling I'll do in this match is right before I sit on your face Jessica. You don't know what you're in for Angel. But you will. By the time the sun comes up...you will."
Biting her bottom lip in a weary, but satisfied grin, Agnes Bruckner kept her hands clasped and squeezed her forearms tight, crushing her opponent's head in against the warm flesh of her hip. Rising up on her toes, the tall blonde gave the Headlock another skull crushing constriction and asked; "Ready to give it up Adrienne?"
Her brow creased with hurt and frustration, Adrienne Palicki continued to push at Bruckner's elbows as she grunted back, "No way Agnes, I've waited as long as you had for this call-up, I'm not going to submit that easy."
She stopped talking and resumed her escape efforts, this time sending short, crisp slaps into Agnes' tan belly as Agnes kept up the pressure on her skull.
"I don't want you to give up either,” Adrienne said. “The more you fight, the more impressive my victory will look."
Taking a new route with her offense, Agnes sank to one knee, forcing Adrienne to follow along or risk tumbling unceremoniously to the canvas. Watching the top of Palicki's skull with tired amusement, Agnes said, "C'mon Adrienne; either break free or give up. If you don't start fighting soon, I'll just put you on mat and end it quick. Fannin's guests haven't seen a Breast Smother tonight and I can remedy that with no problem."
Picking up on the other blonde's none too subtle attempt at intimidation, Adrienne answered ominously, "If we take this fight to the mat, it'll be over before you know what happened. But since you're so eager for some drama..." Her voice trailed off as she reached her right hand behind Agnes' head and grabbed a huge handful of Bruckner's long dirty blonde mane.
Hearing Agnes wince, Adrienne jerked back on her foe's hair and growled, "Let me go!"
Pretty face twisted in a grimace of pain, Agnes growled right back, "Make me." Not waiting to see if Adrienne could or would comply with her request, Bruckner torqued her hips and tossed Palicki over her hip, dropping her onto the canvas with a dull, echoey, 'THUD.' Transitioning beautifully from a Standing Headlock to a more grounded variation, Agnes reset her hands and pulled Adrienne's head in even closer, mashing the other blonde's face against the swell of her left breast. Her whole body straining as she attempted to leech the fight from her foe, Agnes grinned thinly and panted, "An inch under six feet tall and undone by a Headlock. That's gonna bother you later isn't it?"
Resisting a baser urge to sink her teeth into Bruckner's nearly stifling mammary, Adrienne turned her face away and muttered, "Not as much as you might think."
In the split second before Agnes could reply, the five foot eleven rookie Amazon brought her legs up, nearly folding herself in half while still in Agnes' clutches.. Bruckner's brown eyes went wide with surprise as she understood what Palicki was attempting; Agnes tried to sit up and pull herself out of harms way but she was a moment too late and Adrienne's well toned thighs clapped down across her neck before she could get to a sitting position. Locking her ankles, Palicki forced Agnes to her back, spreading her out flat against the canvas.
Feeling the crushing grip on her head finally weaken, Adrienne tugged back as hard as she could and yanked her head free with a sweaty sounding 'POP.' Savoring the sudden reversal of fortune, Adrienne took several deep breaths and wiped sweat off her brow, never once letting the pressure on her Headscissors relax. Finding a position she liked, the tall blonde regarded her struggling captive warily as she tugged the rumpled edges of her pinkish white bikini bottoms. Smiling smugly into Agnes' reddening face, Adrienne flexed the muscles in her legs and watched Bruckner squirm.
Placing a hand on the mat and the other on the thigh across Agnes's throat, Adrienne said, "Looks like you're the one in trouble now short-stuff. Better come up with a way out of this pretty quick or the locals are bound to get bored and I'll be forced to finish you off." To add some weight to her proclamation, Palicki slapped Agnes' squirming belly, just above the line of her midnight blue bottoms.
Bristling at the smug sureness she heard in the other blonde's voice, Agnes didn't cease her struggles as she replied, "I'm only two inches shorter than you! Luckily not all of us are born with a freak pituitary gland!"
Rolling her eyes, Adrienne said, "Sticks and stones Aggie. Now are you gonna fight out of this or am I going to just squeeze you out right now?" She punctuated her question by clenching her thighs a bit tighter, forcing a deeper shade of crimson to break out on Agnes' face.
Doing her best to ignore the spot and sworls that were already streaming across her vision, Agnes stopped trying to pry herself free from Adrienne's python grip and instead went about bettering her position. Her lips pursed against the pain and pressure, Agnes started twisting to her left, going from her back to her side in a slow, steady turn that was actually easier than she had expected. Of course, she was still dealing with Adrienne's gams about her throat, but she was already through the hardest part and that thought brought her a bit of relief. Lying on her side with her face pointed away from her opponent, Bruckner curled her knees up under her and stiffly maneuvered around so that one knee was on either side of Adrienne's strangling limbs. With her the top of her head now pressed hard against the canvas and her vision rapidly fading, Agnes knew she had to act now if there was to be any hope of victory.
Refusing to think of what might happen if she failed, the blonde planted her hands on the mat and somersaulted forward, wrenching her head free of the torturous Headscissors as she did so. Landing heavily on Adrienne's belly, Agnes immediately leaned forward and spread out, pressing the other blonde against the mat with a full body pin.
Savoring the startled look in Palicki's eyes as she went nose-to-nose with her rival, Agnes purred, "The locals are gonna love this."
Wrapping her arms around Adrienne's skull, Bruckner pulled up hard, forcing Palicki's face into her cleavage. Smiling triumphantly as Adrienne yelped and grunted into her chest, Agnes entwined her legs around her foe's and stretched them wide, cinching on the Double Leg Grapevine.
Listening to the crowd cheer, Agnes tightened her grip on Adrienne's head and pulled her in even closer, ensuring that the other blonde was able to breath in nothing but the scent and sweat on her chest. Adding a little bounce of her torso to compound Palicki's misery, Agnes flashed a knowing grin as Adrienne stopped clawing at her shoulders and started slapping at her hips and back.
Addressing Adrienne for the first time in minutes Agnes commented, "You can keep slapping my ass or you can start slapping the mat. Only one guarantees that you'll be able to leave this ring under your own power."
Smothered and blind in the depths of Agnes' cleavage, Adrienne hated the idea of losing this match, but she hated the idea of having to be carried from the ring even more. After a final weary burst of struggling got her nowhere, the breathless blonde reached out with her left hand and slapped the mat three times to signal her submission. A louder cheer went up from the party guests and Agnes realized she had won the match. Not wanting to get started on the wrong foot, the victorious beauty released her holds and got to her feet. Before she acknowledged the cheers of the crowd, Bruckner reached down and offered her hand to Adrienne. Palicki regarded the gesture with suspicion for a moment and then allowed herself to be helped up.
Standing next to her foe, Agnes smiled tiredly and said, "Good fight Adrienne. I hope we can do it again some day."
Adrienne smiled back, but hers was a sadder expression, "Maybe we will, but it won't be in Fannin's promotion. Looks like I've got another year on the indy circuit to look forward to."
Agnes was about to respond when a voice from behind them called out, "I wouldn't be so sure of that."
The two blondes turned and saw Richard Fannin standing at the edge of the ring. Seeing he had their attention, the promoter continued, "You really think I'm gonna just let you walk out of here unemployed when the crowd is eating out of your hands? I may be eccentric, but I'm not stupid. As far as I'm concerned, you're both hired as of right now. That is - if you're still interested."
Agnes smiled widely. "I am SO in." She turned to Adrienne. "What about you Palicki? You wanna come back here so I can beat your sorry butt week in and week out?" she said with a smile; but it was clear she meant it.
Turning her gaze from Agnes to Fannin, she asked the promoter, "Can my first match be round two with bigmouth here? She put her boobs in my face and I'm not gonna let that stand."
Rich took a sip from his drink. "Gee, I don't know if my audience would really be interested in seeing two blonde Amazons settle a grudge. Of course you can have a rematch. Hell you two can go at it in a best of nine series if ya want. I know money when I see it and you two are going to make this company some serious cash."
Adrienne nodded, "Then I'm in too." She turned her attention back to Agnes, "Hear that tiny? I've got free reign to whoop you up one side of the ring and down the other. You might just be kissin' my sorry butt before too much time passes."
Adrienne was still smiling when she finished but it was obvious that both she and Agnes were intent on winning their new rivalry. Regarding the taller girl with bright, hard eyes, Agnes replied, "Bring it on Jolly Green."
Adrienne looked like she was ready to do just that, but before things could get out of hand, Fannin stepped in and said, "Save it for your promo time ladies, the lighting's better. Besides, I've got a Main Event to announce and there's no way this ring could possibly hold the four of you."
Pulling her gaze away from Agnes' face, Adrienne said, "I guess I'll see you at work on Monday. Catch ya round Agnes." With that, she slipped out of the ring and melted into the crowd.
Watching Adrienne leave, Adrienne told Fannin, "You won't regret this, Rich."
Holding the ropes open for her, Fannin replied, "I know I won't. Now go enjoy the rest of the festivities, you've earned it." After Agnes had left the ring, the promoter was handed a mic. After testing the device for a moment, Rich turned to face his guests and asked, "I hope you folks aren't too tired for another match. Because our Main Event's just around the corner and it's gonna light this place up."
Standing in front of his friends and guests, Richard Fannin brought a mic to his lips and said, "I don't even know why I bother trying to script these things out in the first place, the best stuff always seems to just pop up out of nowhere. Regardless, you may have noticed that the hour is growing late, and that means it's time for the night's Main Event. Now before I bring out the participants, I’d like to point out that due to the small size of the ring, our erstwhile official will be keeping watch from the apron to register falls, enforce breaks, etc. Of course, since he won't be able to see the action as well as he normally would, it may lead to more rule infractions than usual, although something tells me you all aren't going to complain about that." Pausing for a moment, the promoter continued, "And now, it's time to bring out the combatants. Introducing first, she stands at 5’8” tall, ladies and gentlemen allow me to present, Erica Durance!"
A spotlight shown on a small tent to Fannin's left and a moment later, Erica stepped out and made her presence felt. Even in the low lighting it was obvious that the brunette was a knockout; Striding confidently to the ring, Erica is a sight to behold, clad for her battle in a skintight sky blue bikini with yellow straps at the back and hips. She's forgone boots and pads for this outing, but again, no one was really complaining as it means there's more of her to look at. Reaching the edge of the ring, Erica pauses for only a second before leaping onto the apron in one graceful, catlike motion. Entering the ring, she gives the party guests a single confident pose before settling into her corner to await the arrival of her opposition.
Checking his notes a final time, Richard Fannin announced, "And her opponent, she stands at 5’6” and making her very first appearance in the United States tonight…ladies and gentlemen, BILLIE PIPER!"
The spotlight comes on again, but this time it's illuminating a tent to the promoter's right. After a moment of silence, Billie strides through the door and lets the guests get their first good look at her. Piper is blonde and curvy, with a smooth pale complexion and hair that hands to a little past her shoulders. And aside from having a mischievously pretty face, there wasn't much else to tell because the Briton was wearing a Faded Sex Pistols concert t-shirt that fit like a second skin but went down to mid thigh. Apparently this was all part of Piper's plan though because as soon as she'd entered the ring, she ascended the turnbuckles nearest the audience and peeled the garment over her head, revealing a revealing black bikini with a small Union Jack insignia across the right hip. Smiling impishly as the crowd voiced it's approval, Billie wadded the shirt up into a ball and tossed it out to the crowd where several folks tried to take possession of it (It was TNT who ended up walking away with the prize for those keeping score at home) Staying perched on the buckles a bit longer, Billie finally jumped down to the canvas, whirling in midair so she would land facing the brunette. Bouncing lightly on the soles of her feet, Britain's newest import smiled at her opponent and waited silently for the match to begin.
The hidden bell sitting next to Dru and Flash's table sounded three times to signal the beginning of the evening's final contest. In their respective corners, Billie and Erica waited for ringing to fade out over the water before making a move. Turning their gazes from the dimly lit faces of the spectators to one another, blonde and brunette remained still for another few seconds before making the short trip to the center of the ring.
Regarding the British beauty with a wary smile, Erica said quietly, "That was a pretty clever little ploy there to get them on your side. Trust me when I tell you it won't last long."
Smiling back at the brunette, Billie replied, "You're right, but it won't have to; as soon as they see how easily I out-wrestle you, they won't be cheering the bikini, they'll be cheering the girl wearing it."
Not liking the casual way Piper was dismissing her skills, Erica's smile turned to a cold glare. Bathed in the mellow glow of the torches, she stepped forward, bumping into Billie with a not-so-subtle move of her own. Holding her eyes trained on the Briton, Erica said, "I didn't come this far only to lose to some SLAG Rich flew across the pond. After I'm done, you'll go running back to London - or wherever the hell it is you came from - and stay there. This is my night Piper and I WON'T let you take it away from me." Her gaze never wavered from the blonde's; indeed her eyes seemed to dare Billie to contradict her.
Billie’s own eyes narrowed as she soaked in Erica's words. She tilted her head ever so slightly to the right and answered, "I've seen what you can do Erica Durance. I've seen your biggest wins...and your worst losses. This night will prove to be one of the latter. You're under the mistaken impression that I was flown in as a one-time thing. That I'm just here to make you look good and then fade into the shadows but that is not even close to the truth. I'm coming to the states, and I want everyone to know it. So you're just the warning shot I fire across the bow. The fact of the matter is YOU'RE here to make ME look good." Piper took a step back and assumed a slight crouch. Bringing her hands up, the black-clad beauty chided, "All these folks came to see a good scrap. Are you ready to give them one?"
Dropping into a crouch, Erica's eyes threw sparks as she muttered, "Bring it on Mary Poppins." As if the taunt had been a signal, Erica and Billie lunged forward simultaneously, coming together in the middle of the tiny ring with a slightly oily THWAP! The dueling vixens grasped at their foe's shoulders and neck, clinging tightly to one another in a basic Collar and Elbow Lock-up.
Hoping to regain the crowd's support as quickly as she could (Billie's little faux-striptease with the T-Shirt was still bugging her) Erica sank down a little lower and surged forward, bulling the blonde back into the ropes. Getting in close to her new rival, Durance shifted one of her hands to Billie's chin and pushed back hard, bending Piper's neck at an awkward angle. Grimacing a little as Billie got a hand under her chin and returned the favor; Erica tilted her head into the push and kept trying to force the Brit's head back. After another pair of tiny pushes, Erica pulled her hands away from Billie's face and took hold of her wrist. Stepping back fast, Erica pulled the captive limb taut and jerked down before twisting it in a wide, brisk circle, putting intense pressure on the blonde's shoulder and elbow with the Arm Wringer. Watching with pleasure as Billie's face twisted in pain, Erica added a new dimension to the simple maneuver by bending her opponent's wrist back, adding another painful twinge to the already twisted arm.
Lifting up on her toes, Erica waited for Billie to sink to one knee before asking, "You wanna give it up, Barbie; er, I mean Billie?"
Slapping at her throbbing shoulder more in frustration than anything else, Billie regarded Erica with incredulous eyes and replied, "To a bloody Arm Wringer? You really are an arrogant little tart aren't you?"
"Maybe, but that doesn't change the fact that I could break your arm anytime it pleases me." Erica illustrated this point by jerking down on Billie's arm again, drawing another small cry of pain from the English beauty.
Shaking her head to block out the pain, Billie glanced over at Erica and asked, "You sure of that?" Before Durance could answer, Billie dropped down, somersaulted forward and popped to her feet next to a startled Erica. Smiling coyly into her rival's face, Piper said glibly, "I trust they taught you technical wrestling here in the states?"
As Erica was getting ready to reply, Billie jerked her forward and dumped her onto the canvas with a Hip Toss. When the brunette hit the mat, Billie dropped down behind her and snuggled in close. Quickly lying on her side, Billie wrapped both arms around Erica's left arm while she snaked both legs around Erica's right arm. The moment her ankles were crossed, Piper rolled back, pulling Erica along with her to pin the struggling girl's shoulders to the mat in a Crucifix pin.
Observing the displaced referee from the corner of her eye, Billie whispered to her, "Shoulders pinned flat, arse wriggling in the air. They'll eat it up."
Just after that, the official slapped the edge of the apron signaling 'ONE.' For a split second, Erica's startled mind had refused to accept the idea that she was being pinned this early in the match, but when the ref counted the one, Durance knew she only had another second to reverse the situation or this fight would end before it had begun. Gathering her strength, Erica pulled forward and rolled off her back and onto her butt. Pleased that Billie was still clinging to her, Durance let out an effortful grunt and wrenched her right arm free of the blonde's legs. Wanting nothing more than to teach the smug Brit a little something about mat wrestling, Erica threaded her recently freed arm directly behind Piper's right knee and pulled it in close. At the same time she rolled hard to her left, stacking Billie up on her shoulders with a roughly applied Cradle.
Grinning down into Billie's surprised face, Erica purred, "Kick those pasty British legs all you want baby, you aren't going anywhere."
Her mind refusing to accept the possibility of suffering a defeat in this contest, Billie leaned into the pressure of Erica's pin and managed to roll through onto her belly just before the referee had slapped the mat for a 'TWO.' Now resting rather uncomfortably on Erica's squirming back, Billie yanked her leg free from Durance's grip and muscled the brunette over onto her back. Continuing their game of 'can you top this?' the blonde flopped down with all her weight across Erica's chest and again trapped Erica's left arm with her arms and Durance's right arm with her legs. Putting all her considerable strength into the cover, Billie stretched Erica out flat on the canvas and held her in place with the Crossbody Pin. Her smile returning as the ref slapped the apron once, Billie lifted up her midsection and brought it smashing down on Erica's chest to coincide with the 'TWO' from the zebra.
Fighting to catch her breath, Erica was close to panic as the two was counted off, but she kept her cool and planted her feet flat against the mat. As the zebra's hand came down for the third time, Erica bridged up and back with tremendous force, breaking the pin and rolling Piper off her chest in one sinuous motion. Tired of playing this game with the surprisingly wily Brit, Erica pounced on her recovering foe, knocking her flat on her back and keeping her there with a tight straddle around the midsection.
Looking to assert her technical superiority over Piper once and for all, Erica leaned back, hooked both of Billie's legs behind the knees and then leaned all the way forward, folding her opposition in half with a Matchbook Pin. Smiling widely as the crowd broke out in polite applause, Erica pressed her smooth stomach against Billie's hidden face as she asked, "How do you like having YOUR ass in the air Billie?"
Frustrated that the brunette had trapped her in such a compromising position with relative ease, Piper decided against voicing a reply and instead shoved forward hard with both captured legs. A half second before the official could count her down, Billie hauled Erica off her belly and sent the brunette all the way to the other side of the ring in a sprawling little roll. Instantly, Billie and Erica were on their feet, staring hard at one another from opposite sides of their shrunken battle ground.
Flicking the first beads of sweat off her chest, Erica took a deep breath and said, "Looks like you aren't just some punk with an accent."
Smiling slightly at the backhanded compliment, Billie ran both hands through her hair as she replied, "And you're more than the typical American wanker."
Erica smirked, "I should hope so, I'm Canadian."
Billie raised an eyebrow quizzically. "A girl from Canada wrestling a girl from England as the Main Event celebrating the American Independence Day?"
Erica shrugged, "God bless the USA!"
"Amen to that!” Billie said. "Now, shall we get back to it? Seems you're a little feistier than I'd first imagined. Should make for an interesting evening."
Erica took a half step forward and extended her left hand, "Shake my hand." It didn't sound like a request.
Regarding the brunette skeptically, Billie asked, "How do I know I can trust you?"
"You don't,” Erica replied curtly.
"Forewarned is forearmed eh? Well, fair enough."
Piper moved in to clasp Durance's hand but at the last minute she dipped low and wrapped both hands around Erica's right ankle. In a flash she'd swept the other girl off her feet and twisted her over onto her belly. Still holding Erica's ankle in both hands, Billie twisted and wrenched the joint hard, applying an early, but potentially match ending Ankle Lock.
Keeping Erica's trapped leg extended to its full length, Billie maintained the hold and said, "Don't take that as a sign of disrespect Erica, I just don't trust you enough to shake your hand yet.” She poured on more pressure to the hold and augmented Erica's torment by grabbing her bare toes and twisting them hard.
Slapping the mat in pain and frustration, Erica tried kicking her free leg back at the Brit but Billie easily dodged the clumsy blow. Realizing she wouldn't survive the match long on one leg, Durance choked off the moan threatening to escape her lungs and clawed her way to ropes. Shaking the bottom rope violently in both hands, Erica demanded, "LET GO OF MY FOOT YOU BITCH!"
Billie looked down at her fuming foe with something like hurt on her face. "Bitch? And I thought we were getting along SO well."
Listening carefully to the ref's count, she held onto Erica's ankle with one hand and used the other to tickle the sole of the brunette's foot. Piper let go at 'FOUR' just as she should but that still meant Erica had to stifle some unwanted laughs as she twisted and bucked on the mat. After releasing the hold, Billie took a moment to adjust the edges of her bottoms, making sure to do this in full view of the audience. (She might be new to the states, but Piper knew that fans on both sides of the world enjoyed certain 'universal' aspects to women's wrestling contest.) Finishing her cosmetic adjustments with a brief wiggle of her hips, Billie sauntered back over to a kneeling Erica and buried both hands in the brunette's mane.
Digging her claws against Durance's scalp, Billie asked, "A bitch am I? Then perhaps I'd better live up to your expectations." She fell silent then and hoisted Erica to her feet. Forcing the toned brunette back into the ropes, Billie stretched Erica's arms out to at her sides and threaded them over the top rope. Staying pressed in close against Erica's midsection, Billie took hold of the middle rope and twisted it up over the top cable, effectively holding Durance's arms in place. Letting go of the ropes, Billie ran her right hand across Erica's cheek and then sank her fingers into the brunette's hair. Giving Erica's head a sharp tug, Billie whispered, "Look at me."
Erica's eyes opened and she glared angrily at the blonde. "Let me go."
Letting her fingers walk from Erica's forehead to her chest, Billie purred, "Not until I've had my fun." She tapped her fingers against Durance's boobs for a few seconds and then planted her knee in Erica's belly, right above the line of her blue briefs.
Grimacing as the air rushed from her lungs, Erica spat, "Is that all you've got?"
Leaning down into Erica's angry face, Billie replied, "Nope!"
She proved it, slamming her knee forward over and over, the blonde's hard knee kneading the brunette's soft tummy in a frenzy of short, brutal motion. When Erica's belly started feeling doughy under her assault, Billie grabbed Erica behind the head with both hands and marched her to the middle of the ring.
Bending Durance over double, Billie trapped her rival in a Standing Headscissors and grinned out at the audience, "I've softened up her middle, now let's soften up that fat head!"Not waiting for the crowd to agree with her, Billie wrapped both arms around Erica's waist and tried to lift her off the mat but to her chagrin, Erica fought back, keeping her feet planted firmly on the canvas.
After trying a second time without success, Piper unclasped her hands and put them on her hips, "All right, if you're going to make this difficult…" Her hands went to Erica's back, specifically the thin yellow strap that held the brunette's top in place. Beginning to fiddle with the simple knot, Billie didn't have to wait long for Erica to reach her hands up behind her to try and stop the blonde from stripping her down. Unfortunately this was exactly what Billie had anticipated and the moment Erica's arms were within reach, Piper let go of Durance's top and trapped her arms in a nearly inescapable loop. Clasping her hands together, Billie chided, "Poor Erica. How do you ever win matches being so gullible?"
Piper bent her knees and lifted up fast, hauling Erica off her feet. The trapped brunette was held inverted in Billie's grip for a few seconds before she came crashing down spine-first into the mat courtesy of the blonde's Double Underhook Suplex. The moment Billie's back hit the canvas; she unlocked her hands, somersaulted backwards onto the brunette's chest and popped to her feet. Standing with one foot on either side of Erica's chest, Billie looked down into her victim's face and whispered, "Time to give you the bum's rush Erica."
She executed a high vertical leap and came crashing down with her butt landing hard against Erica's breasts. Riding out Erica's gasping struggles, Billie kept her perch on Erica's chest as the ref slapped the apron, 'ONE... TWO' Erica let out a loud growl and shoved Billie off of her, breaking the count. Rolling swiftly to one knee, Billie regained her footing and stalked up behind her winded adversary. Pulling Erica up with another dual handful of hair, Billie cinched up Erica with a tight Waist-Lock and pointed her out towards the guests.
"Over you go love,” Billie said coldly as she bridged up, attempting to drop Erica on the back of her head with a German Suplex.
But before Durance's feet got more than a few inches off the mat, the brunette shot her arms out and grabbed hold of the top rope. Holding on with one hand, Erica pulled her free arm back and drove her elbow into Billie's forehead. The British blonde uttered a stunned gasp and staggered back while clutching her bruised face. Before Billie went too far, Erica lashed out a Claw and hauled the blonde in close. Standing close against Piper's left side, Erica slung her right arm behind Billie's neck and threaded her right leg behind Billie's left. Snarling vindictively, Erica flung herself backward, snapping them both off their feet and ramming the back of Piper's head into the canvas with a Russian Leg Sweep.
Sitting up next to her stunned opposition, Erica looked from the ropes, to Billie to the audience and back again while commenting, "Huh, I guess this little ring does have its advantages, doesn't it Billie?"
Grasping the back of her battered head with both hands, the blonde groaned, "You're gonna pay for that."
Burying a hand in Piper's hair, Erica admonished, "Sorry, that's MY line. Now I'll just have to skip it and go straight into the 'I'm going to kick your ass' portion of the tirade."
Stifling a small laugh, Erica got to her feet and pulled Billie along for the ride. Pointing the woozy Brit towards the nearest corner (that's really an oxymoron, given the dimensions of the ring, every corner was pretty much the same distance away) Durance put her lips against Piper's ear and said, "You're about to find out that I don't need a lot of room to break you down."
Not giving Billie the opportunity to answer, Erica whipped her into the corner where the blonde whit with a dull, but supremely satisfying little THUMP!
While Billie was slouched in the corner, Erica backed into the opposite corner and noted that even on different ends of the ring, there was only about eight feet between them. Turning to the crowd for support, Erica yelled, "Time to repel this British Invasion!"
The guests started to cheer as Durance returned her attention to Piper and prepared to make her move. Dropping into a low runners crouch, Erica was still for a split second before exploding forward in a dead run that ate up the ground between them in the blink of an eye. Most of the folks in the audience were guessing that Erica would shift her weight or pull back at the last second to better protect herself in the collision, but the brunette did no such thing. She simply kept up a full head of steam and nearly ran through her rival, nearly smashing Billie into jelly between the corner post and her own strong body.
Standing chest to chest with the breathless blonde, Erica chested in a little closer and announced, "Hold on Billie, you've still got three more corners to enjoy."
After a final small shove of her chest, Erica stepped back and grabbed hold of Billie's left wrist in both hands. Aiming her towards the opposite corner, Erica whipped her foe across the ring for the second time in as many minutes. But this time Erica didn't give Billie any time to think about what was coming. The moment she'd slammed against the buckles, Durance loped after her and less than two seconds after she hit the turnbuckles, Piper was smashed hard across the chest compliments of a Clothesline.
Smiling vindictively as the Brit's lips puckered in a silent ‘o’ of agony, Erica chided, "That's two! We're halfway home Billie; it's all downhill from here!"
Ending her taunt with a condescending slap on the cheek, Erica again took possession of Billie's wrist and marched her out to the center of the ring. Angling her victim towards one of the two corners' she hadn't visited yet, Erica slung Billie into the thinly padded steel and followed her in for the trifecta, only this time she nearly caved in Piper's sternum with a leaping Knee Lift that left the pale blonde several shades paler than usual. Knocked back a few steps by the force of her own momentum, Erica was in the process of reaching out to Billie when the gutshot Brit took a half step out of the corner and dropped to her knees. Shaking her had 'no' Erica sauntered forward and buried both hands in Billie's sweat dampened locks.
Tilting Piper's head up so she could glare into her pain-addled face, Erica said sweetly, "Don't give up on me now Billie, you're almost done! Just one more stop to make and then I can put you out of your misery."
When Billie only responded with a nauseated moan, Erica pouted and said, "Darn! And here I was hoping for some more of that dry British wit. Oh well..."
She hoisted the un-protesting girl to her feet and lined her up with the only corner she hadn't visited yet this evening. Wanting to make the last leg of Piper's journey ‘special’ Erica put a little extra strength into her Irish Whip as she released the blonde from her grip. The brunette's special attention showed because unlike the past three impacts, when Billie hit the buckles for the fourth time, the violence of the collision sent her staggering back into the middle of the ring. Her face shining with an expression that could only be described as beatific malevolence, Erica dropped into a rough three point stance and charged forward three steps before leaving her feet and launching herself like a five foot eight missile into Billie's midsection. The Spear caught Piper just above the navel; nearly turning her inside out in the brief time she occupied the air and not the canvas.
Rising to her knees beside the starfished blonde, Erica took a deep breath to calm her nerves and muttered, "That all you got Margaret Thatcher?" Not caring if Billie answered or not, Erica draped herself over Piper's midsection and hooked the far leg. Leaning back into the pin, she glared over at the displaced ref and demanded, "COUNT!"
Shaking off his stupor, the official counted off, 'ONE... TWO...’ But Billie rolled a shoulder off the mat.
Doubly irked not just because Billie had withstood her crippling assault but that her resistance had drew some cheers from the mob; Erica brushed hair out of her face and snarled, "All right Piper, if you're too stupid to know when to quit, that's not my problem."
Rolling to her feet, Erica adjusted the edges of her bikini for a moment (the crowd's cheers amplified while she did this) and then pulled Billie up alongside her. Wanting nothing more than to get a convincing win over this smug newcomer, Erica wrapped both arms around Piper's sweat-tacky midsection and pulled her in close. Clasping her hands tight above the small of Billie's back, Erica pulled the blonde off her feet and snuggled her in even closer, supporting the majority of her foe's weight on her own hips. Resting her head on Billie's shoulder, Erica bore down tight on the Bear Hug drawing moist groans of protest from her English rival.
Ignoring the streams of sweat running down her brow, Erica glared into Billie's face and asked loud enough that everyone could hear, "So if I squeeze you hard enough, does a prize come out? Or will you just mutter something like 'Oh bloody hell' and start sobbing?"
Trying her damndest to ignore the leaden pain of Erica's arms crushing her ribs, Billie opened her eyes and glared angrily at the brunette. "The only prize you'll get from me," she began, "is the ability to leave this raft under your own power. And you might not even get that if I'm not feeling extremely generouUUUUNNGGHH! LEGGO YOU STUPID SLAG!"
Billie's voice had taken on a high, breathless quality no doubt due to the titanic squeeze Erica had given the captured blonde during the course of her response. Keeping up the pressure as much as she could, Durance got her face in even closer to the Brit's and snarled, "Give up and I'll consider it, bitch."
Piper shook her head 'no’ and spat back, "Fuck you!"
Really cranking down on the Bear Hug now, Erica proclaimed, "You've got nothing left Billie, I can feel you melting against me. Give it up RIGHT NOW before I break something important!”
She ended her missive by pouring on even more pressure, seemingly dead-set on grinding the blonde's body into nothing against her own unforgiving torso.
Ignoring the frightening black swirls and starbursts clouding her vision, Billie curled her hands into fists and whispered back, "I didn't come all this way to lose Erica."
Refusing to waste any more breath on talking, Piper brought her arms up and started smashing short, rude punches into the side of Erica's face. After nearly ten of these shots, Erica's grip loosened considerably, but before Piper could wrench free, Durance broke the hug on her own and clubbed the blonde across the back of the neck with a stiff forearm.
Breathing hard as Billie sank to her knees, Erica panted, "You aren't getting away from me that easy Billie, but if you wanted to visit the canvas, you should have just said so."
Ending her rebuke, Erica grabbed a handful of the Brit's hair and yanked her to her feet. Piper had been vertical for only a few seconds when Erica dipped her shoulder, jammed it into Billie's gut and straightened up draping her across her shoulders in a simple Fireman's Carry. Taking a few steps towards the audience side of the ring, Erica gazed out at the mob and shouted, "THIS IS MY NIGHT!"
With Billie still trapped on her shoulders, Durance rose up on her toes and dropped straight back, smashing the full length of Piper's back against the canvas with a Samoan Drop. Slowly getting to her feet, Erica put her back against the ropes and treated herself to a brief reprieve; she poured a lot of energy into the Bear Hug and she was beginning to feel the effects of her exertion. Taking in deep, lung-filling breaths of the warm night air, Erica must have stayed still for the better part of fifteen seconds before she trudged out of the corner towards the spot where her blonde foe lay sprawled on the mat. Grabbing hold of Billie's wrists, Erica half tugged, half dragged her victim into the proper position in the middle of the ring and then dropped her limp limbs without so much as a second glance. Walking towards a corner that would give the crowd the best view of what was coming, Erica ascended to the top rope and glared down at her intended landing site. Raising her arms overhead in an unconscious imitation of Jimmy Snuka, Durance let out a triumphant war cry and flung herself into the void only to come crashing down chest first across Billie's defenseless abdomen. If the boneless, spasmodic jerking of Billie's frame was any indication, the Splash had more than done it job and should have ended the fight right there. Surely, that's what Erica, the ref and the crowd believed as the all counted, 'ONE... TWO...THR…NO!"
Apparently Billie was the only one who didn't know the match was supposed to be over so she postponed the beginning of the post fight celebration at least for a little while by rolling a shoulder off the canvas at the last possible second.
Staring incredulously at the semi-coherent blonde, Erica muttered, "You really must WANT to leave this raft on a stretcher." Hoping to grant Piper's wish, Durance got to her feet and pulled Billie to hers. Holding the blonde under the armpits so she wouldn't collapse, Erica pressed her face to Billie's and snarled, "I guess you need to spend some more time with your nose in the corner."
Carrying out her chosen method of discipline, Erica shifted her grip from Billie's shoulder to her wrist and clamped down tight. Pointing her towards the most convenient corner, Erica hurled Billie into the steel and was mildly disappointed when Piper only hung in the buckles and didn't come staggering back out to meet her. Deciding that she'd take the fight to Billie if Billie wasn't going to bring the fight to her, Erica charged forward yet again, clearly intent on smashing every bone in the Brit's body if that's what proved necessary to secure the victory.
Unfortunately for Erica, her domination of the blonde for the last few minutes had made her the tiniest bit careless and it cost her dearly when Billie tucked her knees up against her chest and slammed them forward, smashing Durance across the chest with the soles of her feet as the brunette rushed in to finish her off. Immediately breathless, Erica let out a strangled cry and staggered back, crossing her arms over her chest as she retreated.
Watching her wounded foe attempt to retreat, Billie rubbed the sweat off her brow and said softly, "Where are you going Erica? The party's just getting lively."
Hopping up onto the second turnbuckle, Piper waited silently while Erica stumbled around in a drunken half circle a few feet away. The moment the brunette's back was to her, Billie leapt off the middle rope and dove towards her prey. As she passed by Erica's head, she lashed an arm out and wrapped her up in a loose Headlock. A second later, gravity took over again and both ladies were driven into the canvas; Billie landing rather comfortably on her butt while Erica's face first approach left much to be desired. Confident that the Bulldog had taken the fight from Erica for the moment, Billie slowly got to her feet and got her bearings back. Looking out at the appreciative audience, she pulled her hair back behind her ears and made a few tiny adjustments to the edges of her bikini.
Rewarding them with a bright grin, Billie called out, "Well after that unscheduled interruption it appears that things are back right where they belong... Now what say I go about teaching Erica here the error of her ways?" The crowd replied that they would like that just fine and Billie didn't want to disappoint them. Spinning around on her heel, she strode over to where the brunette was clutching at her flattened face and erratically smacking her legs against the canvas. Standing near Durance's ankles, Billie put her hands on her hips and commented, "You blocked me the first time I wanted to try this move, but I don't think it'll be an issue this time. It seems you're going to have more pressing concerns just trying to hold your nose together."
Pleased with her barb, Piper bent down and pulled Erica to her feet with a double handful of light blue briefs. Spooning tightly against Durance's back, Billie applied a Waist-Lock, clasping her hands together just above Erica's navel. Pulling the taller girl in as close as possible, Billie whispered, "You're not going to take this away from me Erica Durance. I've worked far too long to let my first opportunity at fame in the states get taken away by a wanker like you." Billie planted her feet and popped her hips, taking the brunette up and over with a German Suplex.
Erica hit hard on her head and shoulders, her legs thrown back over her head, toes touching the canvas. When Billie connected with the suplex she didn't hold the bridge, but she didn't let go of the Waist-Lock either. Taking a deep breath, she rolled to her feet and brought Durance back up with her. Shifting her grip on Erica's middle, Billie released one half of the Waist-Lock and used her free hand to grab the taller girl behind the knee of her right leg. Forcing her head between Erica's torso and right arm, Billie bent her knees in a deep crouch and then lifted up and backwards, taking Erica off her feet and hauling her into the perfect position for a Belly to Back Suplex.
But instead of falling backward to complete the throw, Billie stayed on her feet for a few seconds and then sat out, driving Erica forward as she did so. The stunned brunette didn't even have time to cry out as she was driven face and chest first into the mat with the Back Drop Facebuster Billie's fans would come to call 'Anarchy in the UK.' After the move connected, Billie grabbed hold of Erica's legs and rolled her onto her back, turning the ungainly landing into something like a Matchbook Pin. Leaning back as she folded Erica in half, Billie allowed herself to believe she might have won the match with the innovative move but Erica dashed those hopes when she kicked free just after 'TWO.'
Aggravated but not really surprised, Billie got off her brunette rival and grabbed her by the hair. Tugging Durance to her hands and knees, Billie led her over to the ropes and roughly threaded her head under the middle rope. Settling into a comfortable straddle with her best resting against the small of the brunette's back, Piper easily pulled Erica's arms back and threaded them across her thighs.
Billie glanced up at the crowd and explained, "I wanted Erica to have something to look at while she tapped out." Billie completed the hold by reaching over the middle rope and putting both hands under Erica's chin. Lacing the digits tight, Billie leaned back with all her strength applying a basic Camel Clutch with the added bonus of forcing the back of Erica's neck against the middle cable. Durance's reaction was sudden and violent! She tried to wrench and twist her way free of the hold, but with her arms held captive over Billie's thighs, there wasn't much else she could try. Bouncing heavily on Erica's back while simultaneously tugging at the brunette's chin, Billie pulled Erica's head back and forth for nearly ten seconds before she said, "You should really open your eyes, I'm sure all these people will be delighted to see the pain in your face when you're forced to surrender."
Through the terrible pain of the Clutch, Erica's mind suddenly seized on something and she howled, "REF I'M IN THE ROPES!" The official, who been mesmerized by the sight up until this point (and really, who could blame him?) regained control of his faculties and started the requisite 'FIVE' count.
Billie let him reach 'FOUR' before she released Erica's chin. Peeling away from the brunette, she muttered, "Baby." She appeared to be on the verge of attacking Erica again when she stopped with a smug, knowing look on her face.
Getting behind the still-kneeling Erica, Billie purred, "With all the stars and fireworks tonight, it would be a shame if everyone forgot to look at the moon."
Grabbing Erica's briefs, the Brit gave them a quick yank, baring Erica's butt to the lakeside of the raft. This didn't stop the crowd from cheering wildly though, and those roars only increased when Billie slapped out a brisk little beat on Erica's recently exposed rump. Beaten to her knees, hair hanging in her face and her bottoms down around her thighs, a smoldering black rage bloomed in Erica's heart and it blocked out everything else. Rising to her knees, the weary brunette reached behind her and pulled her wayward togs back into a more appropriate position. Flushing a dull red that had nothing to do with exhaustion, Erica pushed to her feet and whirled around to face Billie.
Finding the blonde lurking only a few feet behind her, Durance stared daggers at her foe as she spat, "You have no idea what you've just DUUUNNNGGHH!"
She never got to finish her sentence because Billie smashed a wickedly righteous left cross across the brunette's cheek. Erica's head snapped to the side and she dropped to one knee, rocked hard by the snap in Billie's punch.
Keeping her fists up in a boxing stance, Piper glared over fists and taunted, "If you want this to your night, maybe you should stop talking and START fighting!" Billie put the exclamation point on this statement by pounding Erica across the face with a trio of rapid-fire jabs, PIK, PAK, PEK! Durance saw stars and had to grab the ropes to keep from falling flat on her face. Watching the punch-drunk brunette struggle to her feet, Piper grabbed Durance's hair and marched her to the center of the ring where, letting go of Erica's hair, Billie took possession of Erica's right wrist and levered it up behind the brunette's back in a shoulder-wrenching Hammerlock.
Balling her left hand into a fist, Billie flexed her knuckles and murmured, "Here's one that reminds me of home."
Lowering her left arm, Billie twisted her torso away from Erica for a split second and then torqued back around, slamming the length of her forearm into Erica's chin with a European Uppercut. The power behind the strike coupled with Erica's inability to turn away from the impact rocked the tawny brunette up on her toes and then turned her legs to water, spilling her to the canvas in an ungainly sprawl. Shaking off the tingle in her hand, Billie kissed her forearm and sank to her knees. Looking for a domineering end to the match, Piper placed one knee on the side of Erica's face and held one arm high overhead so she could count off the 'ONE... TWO...' Erica rolled onto her side, breaking the count.
Shaking her head in frustration, Billie glared down into Erica's face and sneered, "So your hard head's got some fight left in it huh?"
Lifting Erica up by the straps of her top, Billie doubled the brunette over with a hard kick to the belly and trapped her in a Front Face-Lock with no real trouble. Using her free hand to grab a handful of Erica's briefs, Billie flexed her knees in anticipation of delivering the Implant DDT, but in the moment before she could drop Erica on her forehead, Durance brought her arms up around Billie's waist and locked her hands. As soon as her grip was locked, Erica plowed forward, driving them both towards the nearest corner at top speed. Just as Erica was getting up a head of steam, they reached their destination and Durance growled triumphantly as she felt Billie's back smash into the unforgiving steel post.
Ignoring Billie's startled cry, Erica tore her way free of the Face-Lock and straightened up to face the blonde. Chesting violently into Billie's slack form, Erica snarled, "Nice try bitch. But you aren't strong enough to take this from me." Pulling Billie out of the corner, Erica reached through Billie's legs with one arm and threw another arm around Piper's shoulder so she can hoist the blonde up onto her left shoulder. Holding Billie belly down across her shoulder, Erica wrapped one arm around Piper's waist and the other across the back of her neck. Turning in a slow circle so that Billie's feet were now pointing towards the corner, Erica turned glanced out towards the corner and roared, "I hope somebody reinforced this ring; otherwise I'm going to put this stupid BITCH through the canvas!"
The crowd screamed its approval, but Erica wasn't able to get any definitive answer as to the structural integrity of their battleground. Tired of keeping Billie in suspense, Erica sprinted forward several steps and then leapt up and forward, driving the full length of Billie's back into the mat with an Over-the-Shoulder Running Power Slam. Resting on her knees, Erica flicked her head back, flipping hair out of her eyes.
Snarling down into Billie's sweat-beaded face, Erica purred, "You wanna try to crack my jaw? Then I'll splatter your fucking nose across the mat.” Preparing to do just that, Durance placed the length of her forearm across Billie's nose and ground it back and forth putting as much weight behind her simple attack. Grinning evilly as Piper flailed and beat her feet against the mat, Erica kept up the face grind for a few more seconds and then pulled her arm away. Tilting her head to the side, Durance asked quietly, "Your face hurting slut? How about I give you a broken neck to go with it?"
Waiting through the ensuing silence for a few seconds, Erica sank her hands into Billie's hair and jerked her to her feet. Standing behind the ailing blonde, Erica bent the English beauty backward at an awkward angle and maneuvered Piper's chin into her armpit before cinching up Billie's head and left arm in an inescapable loop. Digging the ball of her clasped hands into Billie's spine, Durance rose up on her toes and pulled back hard, putting vicious pressure on Piper's back and neck with the Dragon Sleeper.
Rocking up and down on the hold, Erica grinned out at the crowd and called, "Time to reenact the Boston Tea Party! Only this time I'm dumping a useless tramp into the bottom of the lake!" Wanting Billie to suffer before she could tap out, Erica rose up on her toes and then dropped to one knee, smashing the small of Billie's back into her posted joint. Cinching her grip a little tighter, Erica kept the Dragon Sleeper in place as she straightened up and brought Billie back to a vertical base. Cocking an eyebrow in an insolent gesture, Erica asked the crowd, "One more time?" The mob agreed that would be for the best and they got louder when Erica dropped to her knee again, subjecting Piper's back to a vertebrae demolishing blow. Resting heavily on one knee, Erica jerked back on the blonde's chin and snarled, "Squirm you bitch! Give up before I send you back to England in a fucking body cast."
Shoving aside the numbing pain in her neck and back for a moment, Billie panted, "And how do you plan on doing that Erica? You going to talk me into submission? You couldn't break a sweat, let alone my neck."
Furious that the English vixen was continuing to defy her, Erica spat her response. "You're asking how I'm gonna break you? Lemme show your ignorant ass how I do things." She stood up fast, tearing a loud groan from Billie's lips as she did so. Cranking back on the Dragon Sleeper as hard as she could, Durance taunted, "Understand yet Billie? Feel that fame you want so badly starting to slip away? IT'S MINE! I'LL DIE BEFORE I LET YOU WIN THIS FIGHT!"
Refusing to let the brunette get the last word despite her precarious position, Billie snarled, "I hope you notified your next of kin Erica. Cuz I'm BURYING you tonight."
Shaking her head in disbelief, Durance purred, "You got guts, I'll give you that. But I'm gonna decorate the ring with 'em." On that rather gruesome promise, Erica unclasped her hands but did not pull Billie free of the Inverted Face-Lock; she merely used her newly freed hand to grab hold of Piper's bottoms. She held this position just long enough to catch her breath and then she pulled the curvy blonde up and off her feet, holding Billie extended and aloft directly over her head. Letting gravity do its thing, Erica fell back, completing the Inverted Vertical Suplex. Billie was driven into the mat, her defenseless chest and midsection absorbing the brunt of the impact. Finally deciding to release her grip on Billie's head, Erica muscled the Briton over onto her back and went for the pin. Placing all her weight across Piper's chest, Erica hooked the legs and counted along with the zebra as he counted off, "ONE... TWO... THRE…NO!" Billie shot an arm off the canvas at the last possible second.
Breathing hard, Erica stared down at Piper and whispered, "Resilient little tramp aren't ya?"
Erica pulled the blonde to her knees and left her kneeling in the center of the squared circle. Stalking over to the ropes, Erica lined up to the side of the penitent girl and sank into a deep crouch. Slapping her knee loudly, Durance announced, "I'm gonna take her head off now. Watch closely, it might be the last time you see her intact on this side of the ocean." Letting the crowd start to cheer, Erica charged forward and drove her right knee up into Billie's temple. The hapless blonde let out a low groan and crumpled onto her back, arms splayed limply over her head. Savoring the quickly fading feeling of Piper's skull against her knee, Erica again turned her attention to the crowd and drew her thumb across her throat. Grinning knowingly out at the guests, Erica said, "Get your camera's ready folks. I'm about to do something you ain't NEVER seen before."
Making good her promise, Erica stalked over to Billie and pulled her to her feet. Purring quietly into the Brit's face, Erica said softly, "Ask yourself one question Billie. Am I really gonna do it? When your career is flashing before your eyes and you can't think of anything else, the only thing you need to concern yourself with is, Am I really gonna do it?"
Erica grabbed Billie's throat with one hand, her grip the only thing keeping Billie from falling. Erica held her tight and pulled her close. Then using her free hand, Erica slammed it up into Piper's crotch, lifting her high overhead and holding the smaller woman in a textbook Military Press Slam. Holding Billie overhead, Erica walked around the ring, letting the audience drink in the other woman's helplessness. After several seconds of circling, Erica turned to face the audience side of the ring and walked forward until she was leaning against the ropes still holding the battered blonde high overhead. Erica looked at the floor several feet below, then up to the girl above her head.
Smiling malevolently as the audience started to buzz, Erica asked, "You guys like crowd surfing?" If the guests had been buzzing before, they were roaring now, several of them pleading with the brunette to rethink what she was apparently considering. Listening to the crowd beseech her, Erica continued, "Oh come on, you're telling me that this wouldn't be one of the greatest thing you've ever seen?" As the guests continued to plead, Erica said, "OK, I won't smear her all over the floor. Besides, I want her flat in the center of the ring when I finish her off."
Still standing at the edge of the ring, Erica pushed Billie up a final time and pulled her hands away, leaving Billie to fall almost eight feet straight down, landing stomach and chest first on the mat. Seeing Piper flop over onto her back, Erica went for the coup de grace. Placing her hands on her hips, Erica placed one foot on Billie's sweaty face and waited for the referee to make his three count. Raising her arms overhead, Erica nodded in time to the count. 'ONE... TWO... THRE…NO!' Billie slapped Erica's foot away and broke the count.
Shocked beyond rational thought for several seconds, Erica stared coldly at Billie and whispered, "This is where I take you past your limits." Bending down slowly, Erica buried a claw in Billie's hair and pulled the nearly unresponsive beauty to her feet. Holding Piper's hair in one hand, Erica used the other to draw her thumb across her throat in savagely obvious gesture. "THIS IS IT!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. Feeding off the crowd's response, Erica hoisted Billie to her feet and brought her up onto her shoulder, putting Piper in place for “The Test of En-Durance.” Erica was a heartbeat away from splitting the blonde's head open when Billie wriggled off her shoulder and dropped to her feet behind her!
Cursing loudly, Erica whirled around only to be greeted with a stiff kick to the belly. Feeling Erica's breath on her face, Billie wanted to taunt the brunette but she understood that she needed to put Durance on her back before she could return Erica's barbs. Wrapping her arms around Erica's waist, Billie bent her knees and lifted up fast hauling the brunette over her head with a Gut Wrench, but instead of falling back to complete the Suplex, she dropped to one knee and impaled Erica’s abs on her bent knee. Erica flopped bonelessly and rolled off Billie's knee, gingerly clutching at her ruptured belly.
Feeling a bit more confident after the Gutbuster, Billie sidled around behind her victim and pulled her to a sitting position. In place to lock her hold in, Billie stepped forward, planting her right foot in front of Erica's splayed legs. With her right arm she grabbed Erica's head and pulled it back, securing the brunette's chin in the crook of her elbow. In the same motion she looped her left arm around Erica's left arm, pulling back hard. Pulling back with both arms, the results were immediate and obvious. Erica thrashed as Billie's Stretch Plum put insidious pressure on her neck and already abused ribs.
Billie flipped hair from her eyes and addressed the brunette plainly "As long as you're down there Erica, you should ask yourself 'Will she do it? Will she really break my neck?' Think about what I'm doing to you right now the next time you want to make an example out of me."
Smacking her feet erratically against the canvas, Erica fought the hold and growled, "Screw you Piper. The only reason you're still walking is because these people didn't want to see me KILL you."
Jerking back on the vicious hold, Billie countered, "And you're only still BREATHING because it's no fun talking to a mute opponent."
The weary blonde grappler kept the Stretch Plum locked in for several more seconds, releasing it only when she felt rested enough to flatten Erica out with something a bit more impressive. Shoving Erica over onto her side, Billie got to her feet and saluted the crowd with a raised arm. Glancing dismissively at Erica, she returned her focus to the guests and said, "Erica's done a wonderful job using the ropes to her advantage tonight. I think it's time I show her just what I can do with a little momentum on my side."
Smiling as the crowd egged her on, Piper stalked over to Durance and helped her up with a huge claw full of hair. Quickly transitioning her grip to Erica's wrist, Billie pointed her towards the lakeside of the ring and whipped her into the ropes. Setting her feet carefully as Erica rushed back at her; Billie shot both hands out and jammed them into Durance's chest. In the next instant she straightened up out of her crouch and forced her arms out straight, lifting Erica several feet off the ground. In the same movement, Piper executed a smooth little half turn and sat out, driving Erica full force into the mat with a variation on the Sit-Out Powerbomb that old school wrestling fans would remember as the Sky-High. Regardless of what you called it, the innovative slam nearly drove Durance through the mat and it came as no surprise to anyone when Billie held her in place on the mat and demanded that the ref make a count.
Doing as he was told, the official counted, "ONE... TWO..." but Erica rolled limply onto her side, breaking the count.
Holding her head in her hands, Piper contemplating screaming her displeasure at the official and then thought better of. At this stage in the battle in would be wiser to simply conserve her energy; Erica had been a far more formidable opponent than she had expected. Shoving the brunette's legs away, Billie trudged to her feet and assumed a rough brawling stance. Content to wait for Erica, the blonde Brit waited in one corner as Durance rolled over onto her belly, got her knees under her and pushed to her feet.
For a few moments, it appeared as if Erica didn't know where Billie was, a problem Piper remedied by calling out, "Over here dear!" Erica whirled towards the sound of her voice, bringing her fists up as she did so. Smiling ever so slightly at the brunette, Billie cocked an eyebrow and asked, "Fancy yourself a brawler?"
Watching the Brit for any signs of a sneak attack, Durance replied, "When the time is right."
Stepping out of her corner, Billie cut the distance between them and replied, "Our time is almost up Erica. One of us needs to win this thing."
Nodding imperceptibly, Erica said, "Finally, something we agree on."
Her dark eyes flashing in the torchlight, Billie answered, "Show me what you've got."
Instead of responding with words, Erica plowed forward and started firing, banging hard, clubbing shots off Billie's body, shoulders, chest or face; anything she could get her knuckles on really. For her part, Piper absorbed these blows without complaint and replied with punches of her own, focusing her attack on Erica's already tenderized midsection with an occasional foray to the chin if the brunette left herself open.
The two rivals continued in this fashion for almost two minutes, ignoring the ropes and the corners as they stomped and staggered anywhere the fight took them. Near the two minute mark, Erica blasted a looping Haymaker at Billie's jaw; one that the blonde was able to avoid at the last moment. Seeing that Durance was exposed, Piper lunged in brought her forearm slashing up, once again catching Erica under the chin with that scintillating European Uppercut of hers. Erica wobbled up on her toes and went shambling back into the ropes. When she returned, Billie took a neat little step to her left, hopped forward and blasted her right leg at Durance's face, catching the brunette squarely across the chin with a Super Kick.
There was a resounding 'CLAP' as Piper's bare foot connected with her nemesis's face. But much to the amazement of the amassed guests, Erica did not go down; instead she went rocking and rolling back into the ropes, bounced off them and came staggering back for more. Visibly displeased at the fact that the brunette was still vertical, Billie met her foe with a kick to the gut that doubled her over. Stepping in close, Billie cupped Erica's chin in both hands and twisted quickly to her right, shifting both of their positions so that they were now standing back-to-back. Keeping a firm grip on Erica's chin (Erica's head was now bent awkwardly over her right shoulder) it appeared as if Piper was attempting a garden variety Reverse Neckbreaker but when the time came for her to sit out, she opted to only drop to one knee, yanking Erica off balance in the process and driving the back of the trapped vixen's skull down across the back of her knee.
Billie let out a triumphant cry, after all she had every right to expect that Erica was going to fall limply to the mat, but that roar of victory changed to a hiss of outrage when Erica almost immediately rolled to one knee and pushed to her feet. Shaking her head in abject disbelief, Billie stalked forward, planted her toes in Erica's Belly and trapped her in a Standing Headscissors. Turning the both of them so that the audience could get a better view, Billie wrapped her arms around Durance's waist and screamed, "NO ONE GETS UP FROM THIS!"
Unveiling what exactly the 'THIS' in question was, Piper lifted Durance off her feet and brought her into position for a Piledriver. Carefully maintaining her grip around Erica's middle, Billie unclasped her hands, leaving her right arm to hold the brunette inverted while her left arm snaked through Erica's thighs and ventured downward before rejoining the right hand to resume the Waist-Lock. The party guests buzzed appreciatively, it had been a while since they'd seen the Cradle Piledriver in action and they wanted to find out if it was still as devastating as they remembered. Billie jumped up and sat out a moment later, driving the crown of Erica's skill into the mat with a wicked 'THUD' and judging from the almost liquid way the brunette spilled onto her side, the move had not lost a single ounce of its potency. Knowing deep down that Erica had to be unconscious, Billie tossed herself across Durance's midsection and hooked the far leg. From his place on the outside, the ref began to count, "ONE... TWO... THR"
Erica rolled a shoulder off the canvas. It would be an understatement to say the crowd went wild. If the raft had had a roof, it would have blown off when Erica escaped defeat. The only person on the raft not cheering coincidentally was the one person Erica was sharing the ring with. Billie Piper was at the end of her patience; she'd almost emptied her arsenal into Durance and the willful slag just kept coming at her. Deciding that they'd reached all or nothing time, Billie got to her feet addressed the crowd for the last time in the fight.
Pointing at one of the lakeside turnbuckles Billie roared, "THIS ENDS NOW!"
The fever pitch of the mob went up by several decibels as Billie limped towards the corner and ascended to the top rope. She wasn't up there for very long, but it was just long enough for 'Scape to snap a picture that would become one of the most requested prints of his career. The shot showed Billie just beginning her leap off the turnbuckles; the light is such that she can only be seen in silhouette against the moon that was shining high and bright over the blackly glittering waters of the lake.
Indeed, 'Scape sold several thousand copies of this piece (Billie herself bought one and hung it over her fireplace) but as beautiful as that moment was, the events following it weren’t nearly so pleasant! Billie had attempted a Flying Crossbody - which can often lead to a victory at this stage in a battle - but it can also be disastrous against a foe who can summon the kind of strength Erica has! As Billie dove out of the night sky, Erica pushed aside all other thoughts and simply brought her arms up. A second later, Billie slammed into her but Durance didn't tumble over; she was rocked back a step or two but otherwise she held Billie across her chest, trapping the suddenly panicked blonde in a very dangerous position.
Not bothering to adjust her position for the crowd, Erica drew in a ragged breath and panted, "You're right, this does end now." Grimacing with the exertion of her effort, Erica tosses Billie up onto her left shoulder, holding her in place like a squirming, wriggling sack of potatoes. Moving as quickly as she dares, Erica wraps one arm around Piper's waist and the other across the back of her neck. Almost done now, Durance lifted up on her toes and sat out, driving the back of Billie's head and shoulders down into the canvas with her ‘Test of En-Durance.’ The brunette's finisher connected beautifully, leaving Billie blank-faced and spread-eagled on the mat.
Taking a second to get in a final barb, Erica cooed, "Enjoy the stars Billie, this is probably the only time in your career you'll enjoy looking at the lights."
Laughing to herself, Durance flopped across Piper's midsection and hooked both legs, leaning back into the cover, she nodded along with the ref, 'ONE... TWO...THR…NO!' Again, one of these incredible fighter had just gotten her shoulder off the canvas an instant before the 'THREE'.
This time it was Erica's turn to play the role of incredulous foe. Burning with anger she hadn't felt very often over the course of her career, Durance rolled to one knee and then pushed to her feet. Bending down, she buried her claws in the blonde's sweat soaked locks and hoisted her to her knees. Trapping her victim in a Standing Headscissors, Durance let her emotions get the better of her and she indulged in a little taunting of her own by securing a two fisted grip on Piper's black briefs and yanking them up in sadistic wedgie. Sawing the slick material back and forth for a moment, Erica dropped the distended garment and wrapped both hands around the blonde's waist. Lifting Piper off her feet, Erica kept her victim held in the stall position for less than a second she flung the British vixen down as hard as she could, damn near folding Billie in half with a Powerbomb that rattled the ring.
Glaring down at the supposedly helpless Piper, Erica couldn’t shake the nagging feeling this blonde wasn't finished yet, so instead of going for another cover and being incensed when the Brit kicked out, she'd hit her with a move from which getting up was impossible. Limping over to the semi-coherent blonde, Erica knelt, hauled Billie to her feet and pulled her in close so that her foe could hear what she had to say.
Resting her forehead on Piper's, Erica whispered, "I don't like you Billie Piper, I probably won't EVER like you, but you brought out the best in me tonight and for that I thank you."
As the last word came out of her mouth, Erica planted a light kiss on Billie's forehead and simultaneously drove a knee into the pit of her stomach. Letting the blonde double over unimpeded, Erica caught her in another Standing Headscissors. Looking out over the breathless audience, Erica shot both arms out to her sides in a slashing motion and called, "Here comes the biggest spectacle of the night.”
As the guests cheered, Erica wrapped her arms around Billie's waist and lifted her up high, bringing the small of Piper's back to rest on the point of Erica's shoulder. Just as she was about to begin the revolutions that would signal the true beginning of the ‘Durance Driver’, Erica gave the faces in the crowd a final sweep and froze. Her tired eyes narrowed in concentration, sure she couldn’t be seeing who she thought she was seeing? She blinked her eyes, hoping the vision would be gone when she opened them but the slim, pretty brunette was still there, sitting alone at a table at the edge of the seating area, watching the fight with an interested look on her face.
Erica's mind blasted back to the most humiliating day of her life, before the war with Jennifer, before the Darkness, before she was even a wrestler. She played the details of that humid, rainy afternoon out in her head over and over again; What the FUCK was SHE doing here at Fannin's party? Still not convinced, Erica shook her head violently, paced forward a few steps (with Billie still hung up on her shoulder I might add) and hissed, "Belle?"
The brunette looked directly into her eyes, smiled and silently mouthed, "Hello Erica."
Her fears confirmed, Durance was a moment away from screaming her fury at the interloper when the blonde in her grasp suddenly came to life and squirmed off her shoulder. Erica's mind finally came back to the present, her heart sinking as she realized she'd just let Billie Piper escape certain defeat. Refusing to let the Brit get away, Erica whirled around with claws extended, only to be met with a heartless boot to the gut that doubled her over and stole her air. Running a hand through her battle worn mane, Billie muttered, "I don't know what the hell you had planned, but if you were going to finish me off, you should have done it a lot quicker. Here, I'll demonstrate."
Billie stood in front of Erica and grabbed her foe's left wrist with her right hand. Acting quickly, Piper pinned Erica's arm up behind her back in a Hammerlock and held the limb in place while she reached around Durance's back with her left arm. Taking possession of the Erica's wrist with her left hand, Billie used her newly freed right arm to reach down and grab a hold of Erica's left leg, just behind the knee. Taking a deep breath, Piper bent her knees and hoisted Durance off the mat, lifting the brunette up high enough so that her crotch was resting against Billie's navel while her legs were loosely scissored around the blonde's hips.
Smiling to herself as a 'WHAT THE HELL'S SHE DOING' murmur ran through the crowd, Billie let go of Erica's knee and snaked her right arm across the back of Durance's neck before pulling her head down into a tight Front Face-Lock. With the hardest part behind her now, Billie rose up on her toes, executed a smooth half turn and sat out hard, landing easily on her butt with Erica still in her lap. The return to the canvas was not nearly so pleasant for Erica however as her Hammerlocked arm was nearly wrenched out of socket when her head was bent forward at a viciously sharp angle so the point of her chin disappearing into the top of her cleavage! The moment they landed, Piper released Erica and the brunette sprawled backward, stretched out on the mat between Billie's legs. Erica had the dubious honor of being the first woman in North America to fall victim to Billie's finisher, 'The U.K.O.'
Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this fight was over, Billie placed one hand on Erica's chest while she raised the other over her head and counted in time with the ref and guests, "ONE... TWO... THREE!"
A thunderous cheer went up from the guests as Billie popped to her feet and raised her hands in victory. Preparing to make things official, Richard Fannin got out of his seat, picked up a microphone and declared, "Ladies and Gentlemen, your winner of the match, BILLIE PIPER!"
The crowd cheered some more as the exhausted blonde climbed through the middle rope and down into the area between the ring and the front row. Walking over to his newest hire, Fannin clapped her on the back and said, "Wonderful outing Billie. I'd been waiting for quite some time to see the U.K.O. in person. I'm sorry it was Erica that had to be on the receiving end though. Do you have any idea why she froze up like that at the end?"
Still trying to catch her breath, Billie shook her head 'no' and answered, "No idea Richard, but I think she saw someone in the audience; but honestly I was too busy trying to get free to pay much attention."
Fannin still looked puzzled, but he let the matter drop for the time being. "Regardless, both of your performances were excellent and you are to be commended." He was about to continue when Dru and Flash wandered over from the booth to offer their own congratulations.
"Great stuff, Rich,” Flash said, "I think the audio transfer was just about perfect. And assuming none of those impacts shook any of Smother's cameras loose, we should be able to have this thing edited and in the can within forty-eight hours."
When Flash trailed off, Dru looked to Billie and added, "Holy shit, I can't believe I got to see your finisher from the front row. That was awesome!" The commentator rolled his eyes and said, "I'm Dru by the way. Flash and I do the commentary for Rich. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Billie shook his hand and replied, "Likewise. I hope you didn't say anything bad about me; it IS my first match here after all."
"The analysis is positively glowing,” said Flash. "Though we were both a bit mystified about Erica at the end. I've never seen her lose her focus like that."
Relieved that he wasn't the only one who thought so, Fannin asked, "Were you guys able to pick up what she muttered there at the end?"
Dru shook his head. "She was sort of off-mic when she said it, but it sounded like ‘hell’ or maybe ‘fell’, something like that.”
A ragged, angry voice from behind them spoke up, "I said BELLE." They all turned around and saw a tired but furious looking Erica Durance leaning against the ring apron. Ignoring everyone else, she stalked forward and glared murder at the promoter. "Was this is a set-up?" she snarled. "Did you want me headline this show just so you could put her in the audience and see how I'd react? How could you hire her and not tell me?"
The promoter looked very confused as he answered. "Erica, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. I wanted you in this match because I knew you and Billie would tear it up. As for new hires, I haven't signed anybody recently except for..." His voice trailed off for a moment as a glimmer of realization flashed over his face. "Wait, are you talking about Camilla?"
Before Erica could provide a response, yet another voice floated out of the gloom and answered, "Yes she is Mr. Fannin. Erica and I go way back." The group looked over their shoulders and there was Camilla Belle, another of Fannin's new hires outlined brightly against the moon and water. Smiling slightly at the small contingent, the slender, slightly exotic looking brunette said softly, "Hello Erica. I guess this means we won't be sharing a locker room?"
Durance smiled, an expression full of old anger and resentment. "No, we won't Cam." The words were still leaving her mouth when she shoved her way between Fannin and Flash and charged at Camilla like a runaway train. Before the other brunette even had a chance to move Erica tackled her around the middle and sent them both sprawling off the edge of the raft and into the water below with a loud 'SPLASH!'
Trying desperately to shake that 'WHAT THE FUCK?’ look off his face, Fannin hollered, "GEORGE, I GOT HAZARD PAY COMING FOR YA PAL!"
Having seen the whole incident go down from his place in the third row, Stark was already in motion when Rich called out for him. Hitting the water in remarkably agile dive for a big guy, Stark grabbed hold of the soaked, shrieking brunettes and started trying to pry them apart. A few moments later, as Stark and several of the guests were pulling Camilla and Erica back onto the raft, Fannin talking into his walkie-talkie tensely, "Arch; Nym, I need you guys posthaste."
He hadn't even had time to gut the gizmo back on his belt when Archer said, "Already here boss."
Fannin looked over his shoulder and saw Archer and Pseudo watching him expectantly. Tilting his head towards the bedraggled brunettes, Rich said, "You've got an extra credit assignment. I want to know what the hell that was all about. And if you can get me answer by the end of the week I'll let you book the cards when I'm on vacation next month."
"Deal!” Pseudo answered without hesitation. Turning to Archer he said, "C'mon note guy, looks like we've got some midnight oil to burn?"
Finishing another page worth of notes, the archivist glanced at him and said, "Is there any other kind?" Then they both melted back into the crowd and made their way towards the pair of pontoon boats that could take them back to shore.
Watching the last few minutes worth of events unfold in silence, Billie looked back and forth between Dru and Flash and said, "None of this seems odd to you?"
Flash laughed. "Nope; just a normal day around here. A normal day with fireworks and booze, but normal nonetheless."
Dru added, "Yeah, it's only when the talent STOPS whaling on each other we worry!"
Still rather shaken up over what had transpired, Fannin looked to the blonde and said, “Billie I'm going to leave you with these two. They'll be able to get you anything you might need."
The British Bombshell smiled and said, "This has been a hell of a welcome Richard Fannin. I can't wait to see what comes next."
"You're not the only one,” Rich said as he wandered off toward the bar hoping Irish hadn't run out of booze yet. He always enjoyed the fireworks more with a few beers in him.