Kristen Bell turned around on the bench and threw the brunette a wry smile, “Just thinkin’ Neve. Sorry to get all jump scare on you.”
Neve smiled and leaned on a nearby locker, “No worries. It’s just that I smelled burning tires and thought there may be an emergency. But if you’re just thinking…well, everything’s fine.”
Kristen smirked, “Look at you, cracking jokes without any prompting. I’ll have you cutting a decent promo yet.”
Neve pushed away from the locker and strode to the bench across from the blonde. Sitting, she glanced at the diminutive grappler and responded, “Don’t count on it. I meant to ask, are you feeling OK? Word is you and Allison put each another through one hell of a sparring session yesterday.”
Kristen winced and lifted her white tank-top to the white tape looped around her midsection. That, and a few ugly bruises, showed the Scream Queen how intense her ‘sparring session’ had been. Seeing Neve understood, Kristen pulled her shirt back down and sighed, “Yep. Me and the blonde bulldozer went at it for nearly an hour. As you can see from the trauma ward chic I’m sporting, we went at it pretty fucking hard!” Kristen’s tone was cheery, but Neve sensed that something was really weighing on the normally lighthearted young woman.
Cocking her head to the side, Neve said softly, “Mind if I ask why?”
Kristen’s response was unusually succinct. “Have to toughen myself up.”
Neve was confused. Far as she knew, Kristen didn’t have any particularly grueling matches on her schedule, especially anything requiring this level of training. Finding her voice, the Scream Queen followed up, “What the hell for?”
Kristen’s unnerving directness continued. “This conversation.”
Neve’s confusion was rapidly nearing total. Trying to hide the incredulity in her voice, she tried reassurance, “I’m well beyond the hitting while talking phase of my life Kris. I think you’re safe.”
Kristen stood up then, looked toward the door then back at Neve, “Maybe, maybe not. I’m been waiting here in the dark because I’ve gotta tell you something you don’t want to hear.”
Craning her head up to meet the blonde’s gaze, Neve said simply, “Let me be the judge of that.”
Kristen nodded, took a deep breath, held it a moment, and slowly let it out. When she spoke her voice was low, but there was no masking her determination, “I want Natalie Portman. She hurt Rich and I’m going to make her pay.”
Realization flashed in Neve’s dark eyes, immediately followed by anger. Rising from her seat on the bench, she locked a hard glare on Kristen and answered, “NO. Portman’s mine! I made myself clear about that.”
The blonde’s voice rose a little, but not in anger; just to ensure Neve heard her, “Well I guess we’re both thick because I’m not ASKING you, I’m TELLING you. Natalie’s got a target on her chest - and I’M the one who’s gonna pull the trigger.”
Trying very hard to reign in the anger that boiled to the surface anytime talk of Fannin’s accident was brought up, Neve asked, “And what gives YOU the right to make a claim? That bitch helped Cuthbert almost ruin my knee!”
Kristen’s reply matched Neve’s simmering rage, “You think you’re the only one who suffered that night? How do you think the rest of us felt, standing in that room watching everything go down? Even when you were laid out in the center of the ring, at least you had A CHANCE to fight back. We didn’t even get that! It’s a terrible thing to watch friends suffer. Richard Fannin deserves justice and I’m going to make sure he gets it.”
Curling her hands into fists to keep from doing something she’d regret later, Neve looked up at the ceiling, let out a heavy sigh, then turned back to Kristen. Choosing her words carefully, she met the smaller girl’s gaze. “Aside from the obvious, why is this such a big deal for you? You really think I’d go easier on Natalie than I will on Elisha? Believe me; I’ve got plans for both of them. Megan too.
Kristen shook her head. “It’s not about you Neve, I know you can - and will - do terrible things to them. But when YOU’RE e doing them, YOU’LL be thinking about what they almost did to your knee, not what they did do to Rich’s hand. That’s why I’M here. Fannin gave me my big break and I owe him for that chance. Before Nym saw my tape I was languishing in some dump in California, jobbing to girls who couldn’t have a decent match to save their lives just because I was ‘too small’ to make it in the big time. But Nym saw me fight and convinced Rich to fly out to see me in action. I’m sure I lost whatever match he saw me wrestle that night, but after the show he asked if I’d be willing to take a tryout match the next night. I say ‘Against whom?’ and he points over my shoulder as Sarah Michelle Gellar steps out of the crowd. He wanted me to wrestle the fuckin’ SLAYER; the girl I damn near idolized when I started out. So the next night I go three falls with SMG in an empty arena. I’m not ashamed to say I lost all three, but I made her work for every fall and when it was over, she shook my hand. When I climbed out of the ring, I looked over at Fannin and asked, ‘So, you gonna make me a star?’”
Kristen paused here for a moment; she needed to catch her breath. Wiping her hand roughly across her face, she brought her face back to Neve’s and continued. “He looks at me and says… and I’ll never forget this…he says, ‘You’re already a star, you just need the right place to shine. He may be a big dork with a Grizzly Adams beard and a penchant for bad puns, but he’s my friend and I’m not going to just stand here and let the girls who mangled him go unpunished.”
Campbell looked thoughtful as she digested Kristen’s motives. Tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she replied, “I understand Kristen, trust me; I do. I owe Rich a hell of a lot too, least of which is the hurting I’m going to put on those three. Under normal circumstances, I’d ask for help in a heartbeat, but this anything but normal. They tried to shatter my knee and that makes it personal. This is a vendetta and I do vendettas alone. If it’s any consolation, Megan and Natalie are going to serve as excellent warnings to Elis …”
Kristen finally lost her temper and she did so very loudly. “DON’T YOU DARE DOWNPLAY HER PART IN ALL THIS! DON’T YOU DARE! MEGAN’S JUST THE MUSCLE, SHE’S AN IDIOT WITH NO WILL OF HER OWN; I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO TO HER! AND ELISHA MAY BE THE MASTERMIND, BUT I’M ALSO CONVINCED SHE’S A SOCIOPATH THAT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE'S DOING! BUT NATALIE PORTMAN IS A DAMN GOOD WRESTLER AND SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER! SHE COULD HAVE PREVENTED ALL OF THIS AND SHE DIDN’T!” She let out a ragged breath, then finished, “She didn’t stop it when she had the chance, so I’m going to make her suffer.”
Pretty face set in a cold, dispassionate glare; Neve stepped into Kristen and craned her head down to look the blonde dead in the eye. Finding her voice, she whispered, “And what if I still say no? I simply choose to remove you from the equation and go after her myself? What then?”
Kristen bit her bottom lip, thinking about her answer. Returning the Scream Queen’s icy stare, she said, “I’m sure you’ll tear her to pieces. But I GUARANTEE you’ll need at least a week of bed-rest before you even think about taking her on.”
A cold, dark voice in her head tried to chide Neve into striking the blonde, but she refrained - at least for now. In the same, low, threatening tone, Neve replied, “If you don’t take her out, your name goes right to the top of my list.”
Kristen’s smile was like a razor blade hidden among rose petals, “Don’t worry, Neve. Portman will be a non-issue by the time I get done with her.”
Neve sat back down, regarding Kristen with a curious look, “What’s your plan?”
Relaxing a little bit, Kristen sat down, cracked her knuckles and answered, “I’m going to track her down and challenge… well, goad is more like it… goad her into fighting me after hours somewhere on the tour, probably at the Yellow Sign. Just her, me and a ref to make sure I don’t do anything too criminal. When I get her in the ring, I’m going to submit her over and over again. As long as she keeps getting up, I won’t quit. But when I’ve used her up; when she either can’t - or won’t - get up anymore… when her will to fight is almost gone… that’s when I’m gonna hurt her.”
Neve didn’t like the sound of those last five words, but she had to know what her friend had in mind, “How?”
Kristen reached into a bag sitting to her right, pulled out a single object and handed it to the Scream Queen. “With this.” she said quietly.
Neve examined it, turned it over in her hands, felt its weight and understood that Natalie would be in for the worst night of her career if she fell to the blonde. Handing the item back to Kristen, Neve told her, “You do this and you’ll be a different person when it’s over. This will stop being a job and start controlling your life. You sure you’re ready for that?
Kristen nodded once and said, “Yes. I am.”
“Then Portman’s all yours. Make her sorry Kristen; make her real sorry.”
With one weight off her shoulders, Kristen gladly accepted this new burden, “I will Neve. I don’t plan on letting either of you down. And when I’m done with Nat, I’ll send you the leftovers to pass along to ‘Lishy.”
Having said her piece, Kristen got up without another word and left the locker room, leaving Neve with her thoughts. As she mulled over Kristen’s plan, Neve thought one thing was certain: neither Portman nor Cuthbert had any idea what was coming…and Neve liked that just fine!
The Yellow Sign Tavern, Arkham Massachusetts, February 11, 3am...
Peace is just two fingers now
Peace was just a phase
When someone put it on a shirt
You knew to count the days
Humming along to the music pouring out of her headphones, Kristen walked up to a seldom used side door of the Yellow Sign Tavern and pulled a single key from the pouch of her sweatshirt. Slipping the key into the lock, she creaked open the door, darted inside and then eased it shut. Taking a moment to let her eyes adjust to the gloom, the diminutive blonde set her sights on a slightly less stygian bit of darkness at the far end of the room and headed for it. After narrowly avoiding a few chairs and a table, Kristen reached the double doors that lead to the arena and pushed through them Remembering that the controls for the overhead lights were a few paces to her right, she headed in that direction and felt along the wall until her hand encountered the bank of sliding nobs. Picking two at random, she muttered, "Hope this works."
She gently pushed up and light bloomed overhead as two lights over the ring winked into existence. If this had been a regularly scheduled stop on the tour, all those lights would be blazing full power, but as it was, Kristen raised them just enough to illuminate the ring. Since there wasn't going to be any audience for the upcoming fight, the dimmed view was more than adequate. Pleased that things were going smoothly so far, Kristen strode towards the ring, easily hopping over the steel guardrail that separated the customers from the action. Fixing her attention on the corner of the ring right near the steel steps, Kristen dropped to her hands and knees and reached under the apron, fishing around for something she'd placed there last night. After a few seconds, her questing hand settled on what she was looking for and out came a small drawstring bag. Smiling, she stood up and muttered, "There you are."
Sliding under the bottom rope, the blonde sauntered over to the opposite side of the ring and placed the bag near the base of the turnbuckle. She wouldn't need it til much later but she wanted it close by when the time was right. Turning around so she could watch the double doors, Kristen peeled the sweatshirt over her head and kicked off her worn sweatpants, leaving her in the midnight blue bikini and matching boots she'd chosen for this evening. Satisfied, she stretched just to kill time. Luckily she didn't have to wait long; a few minutes later, the doors swing open again and a rather tired looking young man wearing jeans and the traditional striped referee's shirt wandered into the arena.
Stifling a yawn, he spotted Kristen in the ring and smiled, "You owe me big for this K-Bell."
She smiled and replied, "What's wrong Mark? Watching me kick Natalie's ass isn't payment enough?"
Mark was Mark Petrie, a fairly new but extremely competent ref in Fannin's employ. Kristen had asked him to maintain order in this match not only because he was rarely fooled by a lot of the tricks the wrestlers pulled, but also because he was a big fan of both her and Natalie. The last thing she wanted to hear from the brunette bitch was that Kristen had stacked the deck in her favor with a biased zebra. Petrie heard none of this, he just rolled into the ring and popped to his feet. Wandering over to the blonde he smiled and said, "Sure, I'm thrilled to ref a match between you two, I just wish it wasn't a secret. I'm sure Rich wouldn't approve."
Kristen rolled her eyes, "No he probably wouldn't. But this is how we agreed to settle things and I didn't wanna have to jump through the hoops of going through channels. Doing this ‘Lights Out Style’ is fine by me."
The ref didn't look entirely sure just yet and he let the blonde know it, "Easy for you to say. Rich won't fire either of you if he gets wind of this, but I'm just a referee; my ass will be in a sling if either one of you gets hurt."
In the brief silence following his last words, a new voice came floating out of the dark in the front of the arena, "Fannin won't fire you Mark. If he cuts anyone loose, it'll be me when he sees what I've did to his favorite blonde candy-striper." Kristen and Mark both turned to stare into the gloom just as Natalie emerged. Smiling, the taut brunette leapt over the barrier and slid into the ring. Ignoring Kristen, she smiled at Petrie and said, "Glad you're here. I hope you can keep me from hurting her TOO badly."
Kristen stayed silent. There was a lot she wanted to say to Natalie, but she was willing to let her fists do her talking for her.
When her barb brought no reaction from Kristen and a simple, "I'll do my best," from Mark, the brunette slipped out of her warm-ups, leaving her in steely gray bikini that clung tightly to every curve and angle of her 5’4” frame.
Ready to get the preamble behind him, Mark strode out to the center of the ring, glance back and forth between both combatants and said, "Nat, Kris, come out here please." When the feuding women joined him, the official began, "OK, here's how it's going to go down. You two have agreed to a special twist on the I Quit stipulation. Namely, when you're in too much pain, be it from a hold or just overall damage, you have the choice of submitting or quitting. If you submit, the match is stopped for a minute and there will be a one minute rest period for the both of you. A simple submission will not end the match and number of submissions garnered will mean nothing, it's just so you can lord the number over the other at some later point I'm guessing. The match will only END for good when one of you says I QUIT. A choke out will not constitute as quitting, but I reserve the right to stop the fight when I think either of you can't continue. And while I obviously can't threaten either of you with a DQ, I WILL enforce the count and I won't hesitate to tear you off one another if you ignore my warnings. Do you understand?” Never letting their eyes leave the other, Natalie and Kristen both nodded 'yes.' Speaking quietly, Petrie said, "OK, back to your corners until I give the signal."
After he finished his instructions and ensured both women would at least make an effort to follow them, the young official shooed both ladies back to their corners so they’d have the opportunity to approach the first clench as they saw fit. When blonde and brunette reached their respective corners, he waited a few beats, glanced back and forth, then barked, “Get started!”
Contrary to what he thought was going to happen, Kristen and Natalie did not charge out of their corners with dueling banshee cries. Instead the two rivals stayed frighteningly silent as they stared each other down. Natalie looked calm, serene even, but in truth, the lithe brunette was nearly quivering with excitement at the thought of getting her hands on Kristen. Since November, her conscience had been a small but tireless voice inside her, chiding and taunting her about her role in the plot that injured Richard Fannin. And while she had known the voice was right, she had grown to hate the smug insistence she heard in its admonitions. She’d come to hate it so much she wanted nothing more than to put a face to that voice and throttle it into silence. To have Kristen's visage emerge as the physical embodiment of that voice was just fine with her!
For her part, Kristen's usually constant stream of pre-fight chatter was conspicuous by its absence. And it wasn't just because there was no one in the audience to hear it, her reasoning was much more simple. There just wasn't anything to joke about tonight. Regardless of what Natalie had said in her bullshit apology at the Christmas Party, Kristen knew the brunette hadn't suffered NEARLY enough for what she, Elisha and Megan had done to Rich. That would change tonight though, yes it would. By the time she was done, Natalie would be the poster child for suffering. More than ready to act on all the terrible things she'd been putting Natalie through in her mind, Kristen stepped away from the turnbuckles and headed towards the center of the ring just as her brunette opposition was doing the same.
Without a word or a nod, the two world-class gamines slipped into wrestlers crouches and began circling. Each revolution brought them closer and closer together and when their fingertips were almost brushing, they lunged forward and went into a tight Collar and Elbow Lock-Up. Normally the first clench of the contest would bring a loud round of cheering from the crowd, but tonight the audience was Mark Petrie and he was too focused on the contest to cheer. Maintaining an eerie silence that was so unlike them, Natalie and Kristen shoved back and forth, tugging and worrying at the other's shoulder or elbow, even dropping to one knee or rising up on her toes if they thought it might secure a leverage advantage.
After more than fifteen seconds of this wordless contest, Natalie shoved as Kristen started to pull and the brunette found herself spun around 180 degrees before she even knew what was going on. Nat tried to regain her footing but the blonde's pressure was relentless and very quickly Natalie felt the thinly padded steel of the turnbuckles pressing into her back. When Kristen felt Natalie’s body hit the corner, she continued forward, pressing her hands up under the brunette's chin to force her head back at an awkward angle. It wasn't the showiest form of domination, but between girls who prized their grappling skills above all else, it was the equivalent of slapping your foe across the face and taunting, 'top that!'
A few feet away, Petrie saw the action move to the corner and he stepped in to enforce the break. Rather pleased to not have to yell over a capacity crowd for once, he said, "Break it Kris!" then started to count, "ONE... TWO... THREE... FOUR..."
When he reached 'FOUR' Kristen did as she was told, slowly pulling her hands away from Natalie's face as she stepped back for the clean break. Or at least, it was clean until Natalie tried to step away from the buckles. Moving with cobra-speed, Kristen slashed her right hand forward and positioned it directly under the brunette's left ear. Curling her fingers into a wicked Claw, Kristen raaaaaked her talons forward, marring Natalie's previously flawless complexion with a trail of four ugly red lines.
Ignoring Mark's irritated grumble, Kristen forced smoldering eye-contact with the other grappler and snarled, "That's just the FIRST mark I'm going to put on you tonight bitch."
Wincing as the fire racing down her face quickly died down, Natalie's face twisted in a snarl, but she remained silent. When Kristen was forced back at Petrie's insistence, the brunette leapt out of the corner and engaged the blonde in another tight lock-up. Taking her turn to ignore the ref's protest, Natalie whipped her foe around and slung her into the buckles she had so recently called home. Forcing as much contact as she could, Natalie savored every twitch and wriggle from her trapped rival as they went forehead-to-forehead, chest-to-chest and belly-to-belly. Taking special care to mash her hands in Kristen's squirming face, Natalie waited until Mark reached 'FOUR' on his count before stepping away. But like Kristen, she couldn't just leave the clench without adding her own special touch. As Kristen straightened up to glare at her, the brunette surged forward and absolutely DRILLED her across the mouth with a Forearm Smash that snapped the blonde's head back with a very satisfying THUD!
Allowing Petrie to get between her and the stunned blonde, Natalie waited for Kristen's eyes to clear before she taunted, "How'd ya like that Kristen? You figured out how to keep your mouth shut yet?"
Watching the smug brunette with hard, angry eyes, Kristen snarled back, "Nope. You figured out how to stop being a spineless, sniveling hench-bitch yet?"
The brunette hissed and made a lunge for Kristen, but Mark stayed between them, making sure there would be a clean break from the corner. When both grapplers were back in the middle of the ring, Petrie stepped away and added, "Watch those cheap shots ladies."
Hearing the admonition as only a dull buzz, Kristen raised her left arm over her head and curled her fingers toward Natalie, a silent but unmistakable invitation to a Test of Strength. Kristen watched Natalie’s dark eyes start to gleam and she knew the challenge had been accepted. And that's what made it such a shame that Kristen had no intention of actually carrying through with it! The moment Natalie's outstretched hand touched hers, Kristen dipped low, wrapped her hand around Natalie’s right ankle and YANKED it out from under her, sweeping Nat to the canvas with a Single-leg Takedown. Smiling at Natalie’s indignant squawk of protest, Kristen pounced on her downed foe, pinning her to the mat in a rough but effective mount. Grabbing Natalie's hair in her left hand, Kristen balled her right into a fist and started raining short, hard Punches down on the brunette's unprotected face.
Sneering in anger as she peppered Nat's forehead, Kristen growled, "You think I give a shit about how YOU feel about what you've done Natalie? How about Rich huh? How about how HE feels? Whatever misery you THINK you've put yourself through, trust me when I tell you it won't be ANYTHING like what I've got planned for you tonight!"
Grunting and groaning as Kristen continued to hammer her with punches, Natalie threw up both hands in front of her face to stop the worst of the onslaught but she knew the guard was only a stop-gap solution at best. Hating the frantic, wriggling feel of the canvas against her skin, the brunette scuttled her way across the mat with her blonde tormentor riding her all the way. After an indeterminate period of time, she felt the reassuring presence of the ropes against her head and she quickly wrapped both arms around the bottom cable. Impressed with the relative ease with which Natalie had escaped her predicament, Mark strode over to Kristen, dropped to one knee and said, "She's in the ropes Kris. ONE... TWO... THREE.... FOUR..."
Paying more attention to the young official's count than he gave her credit for, Kristen had every intention of breaking the mount before 'FIVE' was reached, she just needed to give Natalie a little feedback on that Forearm Smash back in the corner. Ceasing her pugilistic assault, the blonde grabbed Nat's head in both hands and jerked it off the mat. Going nose-to-nose with the downed brunette, she purred, "These won't save you for long."
The words were still coming out of her mouth when she SLAMMED Nat's head down, bouncing her rival's skull off the canvas like a basketball. More than a little pleased with the dazed 'whahoppen?' expression on Natalie's face, Kristen got to her feet and stalked away while Mark tended to the battered brunette.
Speaking softly but clearly, Petrie asked, "How you doin' Nat? You wanna cede a fall and take a break?"
Shaking her head, Natalie got to one knee and muttered, "I'm fine Mark..."
She was about to continue but Kristen interrupted by swooping in and grabbing a handful of her dark brown locks. Natalie let out a little yelp that was part pain, part surprise, but she managed to keep her wits about her. Without even thinking about it, she shot a hand up and grabbed the waistband of the blonde's dark blue trunks and JERKED her forward. Caught off guard by this tactic, Kristen lost her balance and fell with her throat over the middle rope. All thoughts of offense were immediately forgotten as she reeled back to the center of the ring, gagging and holding her injured windpipe in both hands.
Flashing a chillingly predatory smile, Natalie got to her feet and stalked over to where the blonde was doubled over and retching on the mat. Allowing herself the luxury of a double handful of Kristen's hair, Natalie pulled Kristen to her feet only to release her grip and take two steps back. Her plan became clear a moment later when she dropped into a deep crouch and then sprang up in a vertical leap that culminated in her pistoning both feet into the point of the blonde's jaw with an achingly beautiful Standing Dropkick.
There was a crisp little THWAP that echoed through the empty club as the strike connected and took Kristen off her feet, but Natalie hardly noticed. For the first time in four months that obnoxiously self-righteous voice in her head had fallen silent and she suddenly knew that hurting Kristen was the reason. Delighted to find such an easy solution to her problem, Natalie rolled to her knee and took the time to smooth out the frayed edges of her braid. Lips curling in a small smirk, the brunette got to her feet and sauntered over to Kristen. Dropping to one knee, Nat grabbed the blonde by the scruff of her neck and pulled her to her feet.
She led her prey over to the nearest corner and tossed her in without anything resembling ceremony. More than willing to start Kristen's dissection with a demonstration of the basics, Natalie pulled Kristen's arms out to her sides and draped them over the top rope, leaving her chest and belly open for attack. Drawing back her right hand, Nat held the position for a split second then snapped it forward, CRAACK smashing the blonde’s chest with a Open-handed Slap that echoed THWAP in the empty confines of the Yellow Sign. Licking her lips as Kristen hissed in pain, Natalie cooed, 'Woooo'.
In command of her wit despite the pain she was in, Kristen muttered, "That's only for Chops, not slaps. Don't you know anything?"
Rolling her eyes, Natalie sneered, "Forgive me." Then she proceeded to scorch the blonde's breasts with a lightning fast series of Knife Edge Chops that left Kristen sobbing and hunched over with her butt wedged in the turnbuckles. Shaking the tingle out of her chopping hand, Natalie wrapped a hand in Kristen's blonde locks and pulled her out of the corner. Easily fighting through her attempts to pull away, Natalie bent her over and trapped her in a Front Facelock. Slinging the blonde's near arm over her shoulders, Nat used her unoccupied arm to secure a snug hand-hold on Kristen's bottom. Bending her knees a bit, Natalie glanced over at Mark and asked, "Would you mind counting for me Mark? This wouldn't be nearly as fun otherwise." Not waiting for the official's response, the brunette hoisted Kristen off the mat and held her directly over her head. Holding the blonde helpless and inverted, Natalie said, "I don't hear any counting!"
Indulging the brunette in-spite of himself, Mark began to count, "ONE... TWO... THREE... FOUR... FIVE... SIX... SEVEN... EIGHT... NINE... TEN..."
When Petrie hit the magic number, Natalie fell back, sending Kristen crashing to the mat with a Delayed Vertical Suplex. Sitting up after the Suplex connected, Natalie dusted her hands off and said, "Now that you've been chopped and dropped, I think it's time to squeeze you a little bit. Let's see you run your mouth when you can't even draw a breath." Scooting into place behind her opponent's head, Natalie extended a leg to either side of Kristen’s head and pulled the blonde's head up slightly so that the back of her skull was resting against the brunette's tummy. Curling her right leg up so that the crook of her knee was cradling Kristen’s chin, Natalie shifted her left leg so the back of that knee was pressing down tightly across her right ankle. With the Figure Four Headscissors in place, all Natalie had to do was apply pressure and she wasted no time in doing exactly that. Watching enraptured as her thighs crushed Kristen’s head, Natalie planted her hands on the canvas and rocked up and down, adding extra pressure to the hold.
Letting Kristen’s face get several shades darker, Natalie rubbed her center lightly against Kristen’s neck and murmured, "Give up."
Growling angrily as Natalie’s thighs rubbed against her ears, Kristen shook her head and spat, "Go screw yourself!"
Shaking her head 'no' Natalie brought her right hand up and then whistling down, slapping the blonde’s face just because she could. "You wanna reconsider that?"
Growing steadily more enraged as her vision started to cloud, Kristen gurgled, "Sure. On second consideration, go fuck yourself!"
Natalie smirked and slapped Kristen's face a second time. "You're the one who's fucked bitch…EEERRRGGGH!"
The blonde cut her off by whipping her hands up and gouging her fingers into the brunette's thighs. Snarling as Kristen tried to mangle her, Natalie gave the Scissors a final constriction and then broke the hold. Quickly scrambling away from the gasping blonde, Natalie gave her scored gams a quick inspection before heading back over to Kristen. Looming over the battered blonde, Nat sank her hands into Kristen's hair and hauled her to her knees. Watching the dazed girl's face with a barely-contained malevolence, Natalie remained silent when she started driving Kneelifts into Kristen’s forehead and cheeks. Left, right, left, right, left right; Natalie hit a good baker’s dozen worth of these skull-rattling blows before she took a break and let Kristen slump forward against her.
Remembering the gallingly arrogant way the blonde had called her out at the Christmas Party, Natalie's pretty face contorted in a savage snarl as she pulled the blonde to her feet. Whirling around behind the other grappler, Natalie trapped Kristen in a gut-churning Waistlock and pulled the wounded beauty against her. Grinding her hips against Kristen's rump, Natalie placed her lips against Kristen's ear and purred, "This is the LAST time you'll ever challenge me Bell!"
Exhaling against the blonde's cheek, Natalie bent her knees, then bridged up and back, dropping Kristen on her head and shoulders with a German Suplex that was very little bridge and all impact. Releasing her grip on Kristen's paunch, Natalie got to her knees and snapped her gunmetal gray bottoms back into place. Planting a boot squarely in the middle of Kristen's chest, Natalie glared down into her victim's face and said, "All right candyass, now it's time to really get started."
When Kristen only groaned and tried to slap the offending boot away, Natalie made an irritated 'tsk-tsk' noise in the back of her throat and chided, "I don't think so little girl. You see, right now, I'm pounding you into this mat, which means I can rest my boots anywhere I want. Allow me to demonstrate!" Removing her foot from Kristen's modest décolletage, Natalie immediately found a far more satisfying place to perch; namely, the blonde's cheek. Snickering quietly as Kristen continued to whimper, Nat ground the sole of her boot back and forth, doing a remarkable impression of someone crushing out a cigarette. Pretty face going hard as Kristen kept trying to shove her foot away, Natalie growled, "Not a chance bitch. Trampled under my foot is right where you belong..."
She was about to continue when Petrie spoke up from behind. "If you're not going for a submission, get your boot off her face Natalie. You're better than that."
Nodding, Natalie agreed with the official. "You're right Mark, I am better than this." Turning her attention back to Kristen, Natalie paused in her grind long enough to ask, "What do you say tramp? You wanna give up a fall? Or maybe you just want to end this whole pathetic farce right now?"
Suddenly furious, Kristen wrapped her hands around the brunette's ankle and shoved her away, "Get the fuck offa me!"
Quickly catching her balance, Natalie muttered, "Seems like my new doormat still has a little fight left in her. Guess she needs to be stomped on some more."
She stepped around to Kristen's head and hoisted the blonde off the mat. Easily switching her grip from Kristen's roots to her wrist, Nat pointed her victim towards the ropes and sent her hurtling towards the cables. At least that was the intent. In practice, Kristen planted her feet and reversed the momentum of the throw, sending Natalie careening into the cables. Cursing Kristen's tenacity for a split second, Natalie kept a cool head and instantly settled on a new course of action. Knowing Kristen wouldn't be able to resist following her in, the lissome brunette left her feet in a tidy little hop that brought her to the middle of the top rope in one graceful motion. The ropes hadn’t even begun to wobble before Nat executed a second jump, soaring off the ropes in a high floaty back flip that was the trademark of a perfectly delivered Springboard Moonsault.
Gliding through the air, Natalie’s face broke into a beatific smile as she pictured the confused, frightened look that would surely be on Kristen's nasty pug face in the seconds before the move connected. But Natalie's confident grin vanished in an instant when she opened her eyes and saw the blonde leaving her feet. Powerless to change her course, Natalie could only brace for impact as Kristen leapt, stabbed out her boots and caught the brunette across the chest with a Dropkick at the apex of her Backflip. The moment Kristen's feet connected with her chest, all the grace went out of Natalie’s flight and she crashed to the mat in a heap, landing hard on her left shoulder. Groaning aloud, Natalie cradled her tweaked arm across her chest and rolled away in a vain attempt to buy some recovery time.
But Kristen was already on her feet and when she looked up, she saw Nat holding her arm. Zeroing in on the appendage like a shark that smells blood, the blonde flipped hair out of her eyes and asked, "What's the matter Natty? You hurt your scrawny little arm?"
When Natalie cursed her, Kristen stalked over to the downed brunette and helped her up with a hard-hearted yank on her braid. Face to face, Kristen stepped to Natalie's left and grabbed hold of Natalie’s arm, pulling it tight across the blonde’s chest. Kristen rose up on her toes and fell straight back, driving Natalie's face and chest into the mat while nearly separating her shoulder at the same time. Reinvigorated by the reedy little whine that whistled out of Nat's mouth when the Single Arm DDT connected, Kristen shoved the brunette over onto her back and popped to her feet. Grabbing hold of Natalie’s left wrist, Kristen tugged it away from her foe's grasp and stretched it out flat on the canvas.
Foregoing her natural inclination to taunt Natalie, Kristen let go of her arm and, before the brunette could draw back the injured limb, the blonde leapt into the air only to come crashing down with the point of her right knee landing deep in the meat of Natalie's bicep. Finally allowing herself a small swipe at the opposition, Kristen pinched the quivering muscle and said, "So good at dishing out the injuries, but not so good at taking them. I knew you were a goddam coward!"
Glaring murder at the blonde through a film of tears, Natalie sneered, "Don't EVER call me that!"
Going for the jugular this time, Kristen fired back, "Oh I'm sorry! Does the C word offend you? Well how about gutless or chickenshit, quitter, punk, sissy, wimp, milquetoast or maybe I should just stick to Natalie? They all mean the same thing don't they?"
She was expecting an answer from Natalie but instead it was Mark that spoke up. "Get on with it Kris. You're here to wrestle, not quip."
Glancing back at the ref, Kristen smiled and replied, "But I can do both so well. Still, I guess you're right." Turning her attention back to the stalled brunette, Kristen wrapped her hands around Natalie's braid and remarked, "You hear that Nat? He wants me to keep hurting you!"
Taking Natalie’s left wrist in both hands, Kristen tugged Nat to her feet and pointed her towards the ropes. Setting her feet, Kristen Whipped the brunette towards the cables but when Natalie's arm was fully extended, Kristen didn’t release her, instead she dropped to her knees and pulled down, jerking Natalie off her feet and slamming her already tenderized arm into the canvas.
From his place a few feet to their right, Petrie winced at the vicious whiplash on Natalie's arm and moved in to check on her. Positioning himself between the brunette and her tormentor, Mark touched Natalie on her good shoulder and asked, "How you doin' Nat? You need to concede this fall?"
Gritting her teeth, Natalie growled, "Get out of my way Mark. I'm not done yet."
Sighing, the young official stepped back just as Kristen grabbed her victim by the shoulder straps and pulled her to a sitting position. Placing her right hand across Natalie’s left shoulder and her left hand across her wrist, Kristen curled her long fingers into a five pointed spade which she sank deep into the taut flesh, torturing her nemesis with a simple but effective Shoulder Claw. Moaning and twitching in unmistakable hurt as Kristen tried to tear her arm off, Natalie reached towards the ropes only to realize that they were well beyond her reach. Enjoying Natalie's suffering more than was probably healthy; Kristen relaxed the pressure on the hold for a moment only to immediately clamp back down.
Panting with the exertion, Kristen found her voice and demanded, “Tell me how it FEELS!" She rose up on one knee and pressed down even harder, adding the bulk of her weight to the already agonizing pressure of the Claw. Natalie’s gasps of pain went up several decibels and she in turn scrabbled wildly at Kristen’s intruding hands, trying to find some way to make the blonde release her sadistic grip on the weakened joint.
Hating the desperation she heard in her own voice, Natalie gasped, "LEMME GO!"
Blowing a loose strand of hair out of her face, Kristen asked, "Do you give up?"
Sneering, Kristen growled, "Then fuck you." and bore down on the hold once more. When the brunette let out a breathy little sob, Kristen suddenly released the Claw and kicked Natalie over onto her side. Taking the time to catch her breath and flex the fingers of her clawing hand, the blonde glanced over at Mark and offered, "Not to worry buddy, you'll get to chalk up the first of what I'm sure will be MANY Natalie Portman submissions this evening. She just needs a little more softening up."
When Petrie only offered her a pained smile, Kristen stalked back over to the brunette and placed her heel directly on the ball of her injured shoulder. Slowly grinding her heel back and forth, Kristen said, "I'll only ask you this one more time. Do you want to concede a fall or do I have to get really nasty?"
Much to her surprise, Natalie laughed, "You're already really nasty Kristen. I don't know how you could possibly get worse."
Mildly rankled that the brunette was still trying to keep up with her verbally, Kristen nodded once and murmured, "All right, you asked for it." Grabbing hold of Natalie’s left wrist yet again, Kris pulled the brunette to her feet and quickly bent the tenderized limb into a potentially arm-breaking Hammerlock. Forcing her prey to walk up on her toes, Kristen marched her towards a corner on the far side of the ring. When there were less than six paces between them and the turnbuckles, Kristen suddenly bent Natalie over double and used her free hand to grab a handful of the brunette's tights. Rearing back, the blonde exploded forward and in a few loping steps tossed Natalie through the middle and top ropes, sending the helpless girl's brutalized left shoulder directly into the steel ring post.
There was a dull, hollow THUD followed by a loud shriek from Nat as the joint was dealt further damage by the unforgiving steel. Watching calmly as Natalie sagged against the buckles; Kristen strode forward, secured a two-handed grip on the brunette's bottoms and tugged her out of the corner to go sprawling onto the canvas. Jogging up beside her decimated adversary, Kristen dropped to one knee and looked over at Petrie. Smiling grimly she said, "Listen close Mark, this one probably won't be coherent when it comes."
Not waiting for the official to reply, Kristen muscled the crippled brunette onto her belly, then took hold of Nat's left arm before lying leisurely across the brunette’s sweat-slicked back. Locking her elbows, Kristen's eyes were sparkling as she promised, “I'm going to make this very simple for you Natalie. If you don't submit in the first ten seconds, I will break your elbow. Go ahead, see if I'm lying.” 'Lying' was still coming out of the blonde's mouth when she planted her feet on the mat and leaned back across the brunette’s body, cinching on the Fujiwara Arm Bar to draw a terribly pained shriek from Natalie’s quivering lips.
Cringing just as much from the sound of Natalie's screams as he was from looking at the heinous angle her arm was bent at, Mark rushed in and dropped to both knees. Getting as close to the brunette as the profession dictated, he spoke calmly and clearly to the trapped grappler. "What do you say Natalie? Give, quit or hold on?"
Choking back the sobs she felt gathering behind her teeth, the brunette opened her eyes and whispered, "Give..."
Petrie nodded and instantly tapped Kristen on the shoulder. "Let go Kris, she conceded the fall."
Perturbed that Natalie hadn't lasted the full length of the ten count she had going in her head, Kristen released Natalie's arm and slung it aside. Getting to her feet, she stalked back to her corner and treated herself to a small gulp from the water bottle she'd brought with her.
More concerned with Natalie's well-being at this point, Mark looped the girl's good arm over his shoulders and helped her to her feet. Leading her back to her corner, he let the brunette go as gently as he could. As Natalie took a draught from her own bottle of water, the off-duty zebra asked, "Do you want to continue?"
The dull glaze in Nat's dark eyes blew away like smoke in a cold breeze. Staring a hole through the young man, she replied, "I appreciate your concern Mark, but this isn't even CLOSE to over yet."
Sighing, Petrie nodded and clicked his watch. "The minute starts now." Making his way back to the center of the ring, he glanced at Kristen and said, "We resume in forty-five seconds." The blonde just nodded and kept up her staring contest with the brunette over his shoulder. When his watch beeped a short time later, Mark gestured to the two foes and said, "Keep it clean ladies."
Thrilled at having made the arrogant brunette surrender first, Kristen set her sights on Natalie's injured shoulder as they came out of their corners. When the two were close enough to touch, Kristen made a lunge for Natalie’s wrist only to have Natalie jab her good hand forward and poke her in the eyes. Suddenly blind, Kristen could only hear Mark say, "Keep away from her eyes Natalie!"
She could most definitely feel the small painful ball of the brunette's fist slam into her belly. Doubling over as the air 'whoooof' shot out of her lungs, Kristen was helpless to stop Natalie from taking her by the wrist and whipping her towards the corner. But the brief trip to the buckles was enough to clear her head and when Kristen saw an opportunity present itself, she took full advantage of it. Never missing a beat, the blonde left her feet and landed on the top buckle in a single feline leap. She was in the process of gathering her balance when Natalie charged in and swept her legs out from under her, sending Kristen crashing down butt-first onto the top buckle.
Standing comfortably behind her stunned adversary, Natalie rolled her shoulders and snarled, "Let's see how long it takes me to tie the score."
Sinking her hands into the blonde's mane, Natalie YANKED back and down, pulling Kristen into the unique and totally unenviable position most wrestling fans knew as the Tree of Woe. Perfectly aware that she didn't have a lot of time to work with here, Nat balled her right hand into a fist and blasted it forward, burying a machine-gun like series of jabs in the dead center of Kristen's trunks. Kristen started to sob instantly and it didn't take Petrie long to see why.
Holding back an exasperated groan, he shouted, "Watch her trunks Nat!"
Not stopping her assault on the blonde's crotch, Natalie answered, "I've got five seconds to work with Mark."
Not bothering to hold back the groan this time, Petrie mumbled, "I don't need this shit..." and started to count. ”ONE... TWO... THREE...."
When he reached 'THREE' Natalie spun on her heel, sprinted to the middle of the ring where, turning on a dime, the brunette charged back at the corner left her feet and drove a Flying Knee directly into the fork of Kristen's thighs just as Petrie hit 'FIVE' on his count. Shuddering at the boneless way Kristen dripped out of the buckles, Mark was about to step in and check on her when Natalie grabbed her victim by the hair and fixed the ref with a stony glance.
"She doesn't give up yet," she hissed.
With no room for debate, Petrie stepped away and let Natalie get back to work. Hauling the spaghetti legged blonde to her feet; the brunette dipped low and wrapped both arms around Kristen's hips. Locking her hands under Kristen's jiggling butt cheeks, Natalie hoisted her off the mat and sprinted forward. When she reached mid-ring, she dropped to one knee, slamming Kristen's decimated center down onto the bony joint of her raised knee. Grinning ear-to-ear as Kristen bounced off her knee, Natalie pounced on the smoldering blonde wreckage and spun around facing Kristen's feet. Bouncing on the expanse of unresisting blonde paunch, she leaned forward and hooked Kristen's left leg behind the knee and pulled it to her, securing the limb under her wounded arm.
Natalie curled her free hand into a Claw and purred, "Try and joke your way out of THIS, you meddling bitch!" Darting her hand forward, Nat drove her fingers deep into Kristen's briefs, torturing the blonde with a Crotch Claw straight from the Shannen Doherty School of Catfighting! Kristen started to scream and Mark knew she wasn't going to last long - plus he didn't want to listen to her suffering any longer than necessary.
Jogging around to Kristen's head, he dropped and after a few failed attempts got her attention, "Whaddaya say Kris; give, quit or hold on?"
Blinking back tears, the blonde warrior tried to rake her nails down Natalie's back, but Natalie just laughed and dug in her corkscrew grip a little tighter. Flopping back on the canvas, she whimpered, "Give..."
Relieved, Petrie tapped the brunette's shoulder and commanded, "Break it Nat; she gave up!"
Aggravated that Kristen hadn't ceded the whole fight then and there, Natalie gave her vile grip a final squeeze before relinquishing the claw. Getting to her feet, she took a long time to snap her bottoms back into place across her hips. Strutting back to her corner, the brunette glanced over her shoulder and taunted, "Pussy."
Ignoring Natalie's slight, Petrie slipped his arm around Kristen's waist and helped her off the mat. Guiding the hobbling blonde back to her corner, he pulled away and asked, "Do you want to throw in the towel Kris?"
Kristen looked up sharply and though the ref could see the trails her tears had left on her cheeks, Kristen wasn't crying anymore. Clearing her throat, Kristen muttered, "Hell no. It'll take a lot more that that bitch groping me to end this fight. Hit the clock Mark, I want to get started."
Clicking his watch, the official stepped back and said, "Minute starts now." As the seconds rushed by, it was becoming obvious to Petrie that Natalie had seized control of this fight. Though it was clear her shoulder was still bothering her, the stunning rapidity with which she had tied the score had boosted her confidence and badly shaken the blonde. When the stopwatch trilled in his hand, he was almost afraid to let Kristen leave her corner, there was no way she was a hundred percent just yet. But the call was theirs to make, not his; so he motioned the two enemies toward one another.
As she left her corner for the third battle in this long war, Natalie vowed that this round was going to mark the beginning of the end for Bell. Sure the blonde slut had gotten lucky in the first fall and tore her arm up pretty good, but Nat had blown through her like a buzzsaw through a teddy bear the next time around and this would be no different. She'd already wounded Kristen, now it was time to start torturing her. With that pleasant thought in mind, Natalie stopped in the center of the ring and placed her hands on her hips.
Glaring haughtily at the cautiously approaching blonde, Nat smirked and said, "What's keeping ya K-Bell? Still stoking that fire between your thighs?"
Growling low in the back of her throat, Kristen shot back, "Just trying to figure out what sort of ointment I'll need to keep your funk from spread-UNNNNGH!"
Natalie stepped forward and fetched her a stiff SLAP across the cheek, not just because it was fun, but because she knew it would make Kristen sloppy. Dark eyes dancing as Kristen rocked back on her heels, Natalie purred, "Looks like my funk's already spreading Kristen. Maybe I'll smother it out for you when the fight's over."
Seeing the world through a thin red haze, the blonde glared death at her brunette nemesis and hissed, "If you even TRY to sit on my face, I'll fuckin' KILL you."
Natalie opened her mouth to respond and that's when Kristen pounced. Her lunge should have bowled her prey right over but this was the sort of thing Natalie had expected and before the blonde's claws dug into her features, she spun behind the startled vixen and stepped in close. In one fluid lunge, Natalie wrapped her right arm around Kristen's throat and cinched tight. At the same time, her left arm shot under Kristen's flailing arm and pulled up hard. Milliseconds later, both hands were clasped tight and she pulled up with all her strength, yanking Kristen from side to side as she did, listening to her opponent’s gasping and retching. Natalie put the last nail in the coffin when she Grapevined Kristen's legs and pulled her down onto the mat, the vicious Chokehold still locked tight.
Eyes going wide as Natalie wrapped Kristen up in the Katahajame, Petrie couldn't help but let out an impressed whistle at just how fucking FAST Natalie had brought Kristen to ground. Suddenly remembering he was supposed to be officiating, he hopped forward and dropped to one knee. Leaning down into Kristen's reddening face, he asked, "You wanna give Kristen?"
Gurgling and choking, the blonde couldn't verbalize a response, but she could shake her head 'no' and that was enough to sate his curiosity for the moment. On Kristen's other side, the vicious brunette clamped down harder on the Stranglehold and added a waist-crushing Body Scissors for good measure. Since there were no pins in this match, Natalie rolled onto her back, forcing Kristen to look up into the dimmed lights of the Yellow Sign. Flashing a smile that was all teeth, Natalie relaxed her grip for just a moment before tensing every muscle in her limber frame.
Watching the muscles in the brunette's legs define themselves, Mark tried not to imagine the terrible pain Kristen must be in, but it wasn't easy. He was just about to ask her again when Nat interrupted with, "GIVE IT UP YOU OVERMATCHED CUNT!"
Shifting his gaze back to the blonde, he saw Kristen's eyes fill with tears as she nodded 'Yes.'
Leaning in close, Mark asked her, "Give or quit Kris, which is it?"
Humiliated at having to make the choice at all, she opened her mouth just long enough to mumble, "Give..."
More than satisfied, Petrie tapped the arm lodged under Kristen's throat and prodded, "Let her go Natalie. She gave."
Letting loose with a triumphant laugh, Natalie released the choke and kicked Kristen away. Popping to her feet, the brunette scrambled over to her gasping foe and dropped to her knees. Getting right in Kristen's crimped face, Natalie jeered, "THAT'S TWO IN A ROW KRISTEN! HOW MANY MORE TIMES WILL YOU LET ME CHOKE YOU OUT BEFORE YOU GET TIRED OF THIS?"
She had reached back her right hand and was getting ready to swat the trembling blonde across the cheek when Mark took hold of her wrist and said, "Back to your corner Nat. You both get a minute, win or lose."
Tugging her hand free of the official's grip, Natalie grinned at him and replied, "I don't need it Mark. But you might want to give the creampuff there a hand. She looks pretty banged up." Unable to deny the truth in the brunette's words, Petrie shooed a still-smirking Natalie back to her corner and then returned his attentions to the woozy blonde. Scraping Kristen off the mat, he didn't so much help her back to her corner as carry her. When Kristen did manage to get her feet under her (and stay upright, that was a very important part of his between round analysis) Mark handed her a water bottle and waited for her to take a sip. When she looked a little more steady, he asked, "Are you OK Kristen? Can you continue?"
Gulping down another slug of water, the blonde wiped sweat from her brow and answered, "Don't ask me that again Mark. I'm fine!"
Shaking his head at the petite girl's apparently unbreakable will, Petrie stepped back and exclaimed, "Match resumes in one minute." Another sixty seconds was bookended by the electronic beep of the ref's stop watch, and then the battle was back on.
When Mark signaled them in, Natalie fairly exploded out of her corner. A part of her was screaming to be more cautious, it couldn't, SHOULDN'T be this easy for her to finish the blonde, but a much larger part of her, the part that wanted her to keep hurting the owner of that smug, insinuating voice urged her on; there was still so much more she wanted to do to Kristen.
Over on her side of the ring, Kristen came out of her corner too, but her movement was more a drunken stagger than anything else. In fact, the shopworn blonde was only a quarter of the way across the squared circle when Natalie closed in on her.
Before Kris could even attempt a counter, Natalie brought her boot flashing up and buried her foot in the pit of Kristen’s belly. As Kristen let out a strangled 'unnngh' and doubled over, Natalie wasted little time in trying to orchestrate an equally decisive ending to this encounter. Wedging Kristen’s head between her thighs, Natalie grabbed the bottom of Kristen's dark blue bottom and jerked up viciously, adding insult to her already copious injury. Sawing the material back and forth, Natalie purred, "I don't think you've ever experienced my finisher before Krissy. That changes right now."
The words were scarcely out of her mouth when Kristen’s hands grabbed her behind the knees and, a half second later, jerked Natalie’s legs out from under her, dropping her flat on her back. Holding Nat’s ankles in both hands, Kristen looked down at her stunned foe and said softly, "And once again, Natalie Natalie is wrong. Nice to know some things remain constant."
She brought her right boot up and then smashing down heel first into Natalie’s womanhood. The brunette screamed in anguish and tried to wriggle away, but Kristen would have none of that. Tossing Natalie’s suddenly rubbery legs aside, Kristen stalked towards the brunette's head, blatantly ignoring Mark's admonition of, "Keep it above the belt Kris!"
Reaching her destination, Bell bent down, sank her claws into Natalie's braid and RIPPED in both directions, turning the neat length of dark locks into a tangled rat's nest. Hoisting the mewling brunette off the canvas, she took just enough time to ask, “Arm still hurt?” before giving Natalie a Big Boot in the gut. Stepping forward, she locked in a Standing Headscissors of her own before wrapping her arms around Natalie’s waist. Hauling her up until the small of Nat's back rested on the point of her shoulder, Kristen continued, "Next time you Claw me I'll break all your fingers."
She held Natalie in position for only a moment before driving her down and forward while sinking to one knee. The brunette’s decimated left shoulder slammed full force into Kristen’s bent knee and she shrieked in agony for a painful second before Kristen let her go oozing onto the mat at her feet. Despite the fact that Natalie was down and wriggling at her feet, the blonde's bristling rage refused to dwindle. She had NEVER been submitted twice in rapid succession and to have that dubious honor come at the hands of Natalie Portman was almost more than she could bear. But as luck would have it, she had been granted the opportunity to return the favor AND continue making the brunette suffer for her sins.
Quickly deciding on the most suitable form of punishment, Kristen dropped to her butt and extended her legs at a rough 45-degree angle around Natalie’s head. With her legs in the proper position, Kristen scooted forward and grabbed hold of the brunette's left wrist. Pulling the limp arm towards her, Kristen made sure she positioned the arm at such an angle that the uppermost part of Natalie’s arm was resting tightly under the brunette’s chin. Closing the vise of her thighs around Natalie’s neck, Kristen jutted her hips forward, making sure that her crotch was in her sweating face as she held Natalie’s wrist trapped.
Kristen growled, "Anything to say NOW bitch?"
When Natalie didn't answer, Kristen squeezed her thighs together with all her strength, instantly putting diabolical pressure on Natalie’s head, neck and arm with the Triangle Choke. From his vantage point a few feet away, Petrie saw Natalie start to squirm and knew the brunette would either be tapping out or passing out in very short order. When a girl with the ground skills of a Kristen had the Triangle cinched in that deep, there just wasn't any other option.
Moving in to continue his duties, the ref got as close to the action as he dared before asking, "You wanna give it up Natalie?"
Her face red and flushed from the strangle and the embarrassing position, Natalie shook her head 'no' as best she could and kept trying to wriggle free. Chuckling at Natalie's proud refusal, Kristen pulled back on the captive arm and thrust her hips forward, forcing the brunette to pull back and put even more pressure on her neck or face the embarrassment of having her face buried deep in her crotch. Wiggling her hips as Natalie tried to keep her nose clear Kristen glanced at the referee and said, "I think she LIKES it there."
Natalie snarled and grumbled, "Bite me!"
Kristen just beamed and replied, "That would actually be better advice for you honey. But if you do, I'll break your neck. Think about it."
Natalie snarled and started to reply but Kristen cut her off with a colossal squeeze of her thighs. Natalie’s face went from tomato to beet in about two seconds and the brunette could take no more. Reaching out with her free hand Natalie slapped the mat three times, indicating her submission.
Needing to get confirmation on the degree of Nat's surrender, Petrie asked, "Give or quit Natalie? I need to know."
Wheezing through her nose, the brunette's lips cracked open and she muttered, "Give..."
Feeling rather pleased with herself, Kristen rose up on her haunches and cooed, "Aww Natalie, everyone knows you're a blubbering quitter. But I guess you wanted to prove you're a giver too. How sweet. See you in a few minutes nosebag." Unlocking her ankles, the triumphant blonde rolled to one knee, pushed to her feet and wandered back to her corner.
Taking a second to note that he was once again in charge of a tied contest, Petrie helped Natalie to her feet and walked her to her corner. Making sure the panting brunette could register his voice, the official asked, "You want to go on Nat?"
Natalie’s eyes didn't clear entirely, but they regained much of their former intensity, "That bitch is MINE. She just doesn't know it yet."
Worried sick that these girls weren't going to quit until one of them was in the hospital (and how would he explain THAT to Rich? He didn't like to think about it.) Mark only nodded and stepped to the middle of the ring. Sparing Kristen a quick look, he said, "Minute starts now." One trip around the clock later and he called them back to the dueling ground that was the center of the ring.
Natalie didn't approach like a girl that had just been choked into surrender, instead she came roaring out of her corner and wrapped up Kristen around the waist, barreling the stunned gamine back into her corner. The THUD of blonde against steel hadn't even faded from the air when Natalie reared back and plowed forward, slamming her good right shoulder into her foe's paunch. Grinding the point of the bony joint into Kristen's taut abs, Nat repeated the stomach busting maneuver and sneered, "Thought I was done didn't you tramp? Ya should have known that you aren't strong enough to outlast me… EERRRGGH!" The last word disintegrated into a pained grunt as Kristen brought her hands up, clasped them into a single fist and then sent them hammering down on the brunette's weakened shoulder.
Breathing hard as Natalie dropped to her knees, Kristen wiped the sweat off her forehead and spat, "Haven't you figured it out Natalie? I'll fight until I can't move anymore. And you'll stop moving long before I do."
Kristen yanked the brunette to her feet and then pulled Natalie back towards the corner, positioning herself so that she was back first against the buckles while Natalie was facing her, the brunette’s head lolling weakly on the blonde’s bare shoulder. Deciding that the concentrated attack on Nat's shoulder was the best way to finish her nemesis off, Kristen hopped onto the top buckle and sat there holding Natalie in place. Pulling Natalie even closer, Kristen grabbed the brunette’s left arm and raised it, holding the limb across her own chest. Looking at Natalie’s pain-wracked face, Kristen was about to hurl an insult when she thought the better of it.
'Why bother with something witty when she'll be in too much pain to remember it later?' she thought as she sprang her trap. Pushing out of the corner, she twisted her frame around 180 degrees and then fell straight back while maintaining her grip on Natalie’s arm. The hapless brunette was taken for a ride, slammed face first into the mat - not to mention the fact that her injured arm was almost tore out of joint in the landing. The Single Arm Tornado DDT brought an audible gasp from Petrie and the young official would have stepped in to ask Natalie for her concession right then and there had Kristen not immediately shoved the brunette onto her back and Scissored both legs around Natalie’s devastated arm. In the blink of an eye, Kristen had crossed her ankles and grabbed hold of Nat's wrist. As Mark was stepping in, Kristen PULLED back, damn near hyper-extending Natalie’s elbow with the Cross Armbreaker.
Down on the mat, a vile jolt of pain ran up the full length of Natalie's arm and the trapped brunette couldn't help but gasp, "AWW GAWD!"
Bouncing her legs up and down across Natalie's chin and chest, Kristen grunted, "I hear gasping but I don't hear sobbing!"
Arching up on her toes, Nat tried to fight the pressure but she wasn't able to alleviate the pain. Turning her head to look at Mark, she groaned weakly, "Uhhhh…uhhhh. I give."
Relieved that she hadn't tried to fight the joint lock any longer than she did, Petrie tapped Kristen's right knee and ordered, "Break it Kris; SHE GAVE!"
She instantly released the hold and somersaulted to her feet. Cracking her knuckles, the blonde flashed the snarky smile that drove her fans nuts and said, "Once again, I take the lead as the ‘great’ Natalie Portman bawls at my feet. All is right with the world!"
Sighing heavily, the ref pointed her back to her corner and then turned back to Natalie. Wrapping an arm around the brunette's waist, Petrie helped Nat to her feet and brought her back to her corner. Gently massaging the brunette's twisted shoulder, he asked, "Do you want to continue Natty?"
Wincing, Natalie rolled her shoulder and hissed, "Just start the clock Mark, I'm not beaten yet." Holding his tongue, Petrie stepped back and started the clock.
After another of those one minute silences that seemed to pass far too quickly, Mark restarted the match and Kristen and Natalie trudged out of their corners. Their approach lacked the angry enthusiasm of the last few rounds, apparently both of them had learned a lesson about charging a supposedly incapacitated foe. But just as Petrie thought the match had entered its 'War of Attrition' stage, Natalie and Kristen drew within striking range and the forearms started flying. No time for taunts and barbs at this point, blonde and brunette were too worried about having enough energy to knock her rival's fillings loose, or better yet, dislocate her jaw.
After an especially stiff shot from Nat sent Kristen reeling into the ropes, Mark was sure the blonde was out on her feet but the surprises kept coming as Kristen bounded out of the cables and returned the favor, slamming a shot across Natalie's chin that dropped the lithe beauty to one knee. Quickly tugging Natalie to her feet, Kristen scooped her victim up and brought her to rest laying stomach first across her shoulder. Taking a breath, Kristen placed her hands under Natalie's arms and hoisted upward, so that Natalie was lifted up as high as she could go. A heartbeat or two later the blonde pushed her captive up and out of her grip, looking to complete the 'Absolutely Incredi-Bell' but Nat used Kris' own momentum to land out of danger a few feet behind the startled grappler.
As Kristen started to turn around, Natalie lunged forward and buried a dagger-like right in her liver. The blonde let out an agonized shriek and began to drop to her knees - only to be held up when Natalie grabbed a handful of hair. As she struggled to fight the pain, Kris realized that she was being bent over backward as Natallie wrapped an arm around her neck in the Inverted Facelock. There was nothing she could do about it. She was still trying to fight this feeling when Natalie sat out and DRILLED the back of her rival's head and shoulders into the canvas with a Reverse DDT.
Under most circumstances, Natalie would have gone for the cover or at least stopped to taunt her (especially when starfished in the center of the mat) but these weren't normal circumstances so she immediately resumed her grip on Kristen's sweat-soaked hair and hauled her to her feet. Moving far faster than she had any right to after taking so much punishment, Natalie trapped her victim in an inescapable Front Facelock. Making sure to use her healthy right arm to do the heavy lifting, Natalie grabbed a big handful of Kristen’s blue briefs and heaved the blonde up overhead. But when the time came to fall back for a Vertical Suplex, she deviated and instead dropped straight down; spiking Kristen’s head into the canvas from several feet up with a diabolical Brainbuster. Kristen’s head hit the mat with a damp THUD and she immediately rolled over onto her side, sobbing and protecting her battered head in both hands.
Silencing the queasy groan threatening to escape his throat (he had never liked Brainbusters) Mark was in the process of stepping in to check on the blonde when Natalie grabbed the waistband of Kristen’s trunks and forced her to her feet. Stepping in front of her, Natalie panted, "You got away from this once, but I bet you can't go two for two." Natalie grabbed a double handful of Kristen's sweaty hair and forced her into a Standing Headscissors.
Natalie glanced at Mark and drew one finger over her throat, signaling the end, then reached down and hooked both of Kristen's arms up over her bent form, clasping her own hands together above the small of Kristen’s back. She lifted Kris up, inverting the limp-kneed blonde with her arms still tied behind her back. Holding her up for a second, Natalie sat out and dropped Kristen face first into canvas, flattening her foe’s features with the sadistic Elevated Double Underhook Facebuster she called ‘The Star Destroyer.’ Letting Kristen’s limp body go, Natalie released her and rudely rolled her onto her back. In a traditional contest, the Star Destroyer usually guaranteed a three count, but in this contest the brunette had to take a different route to victory.
Scooting in close behind Kristen, Natalie pulled the senseless blonde to a sitting position and wrapped her legs around Kristen's waist. She cinched her right arm across Kristen's throat while her battered left cupped the top of her head. With nothing more than a simple squeeze, Natalie locked in the Rear Naked Choke and rolled onto her back, again using a Stranglehold to put Kristen down.
Fearing for the blonde's safety after such a concentrated attack on her head and neck, Petrie rushed in and dropped to his knees. Speaking loudly so that his voice would penetrate the haze in Kristen's head, he asked, "Can you hear me Kristen? Do you want to quit?"
Kristen shook her head 'no'. It wasn't the clearest sign he'd ever interpreted, but it was definitely a no, "Do you want to give?"
She nodded her head 'yes' and, sighing with relief, Mark slapped Natalie's choking arm, "Break Nat, you tied it up again."
Releasing the pressure on her dual holds, Natalie rolled onto her knees, forcing Kristen to take her place under the triumphant brunette. Pulling away from her victim with a slow, regal grace, Natalie glared contemptuously at the back of Kristen's head and sneered, "It's over for you Kristen. I've felt better girls than you quit before, and you've most definitely quit. All you need to do now is make it official." Then, knowing that Mark was a second away from admonishing her, Natalie got to her feet in silence and headed for the sanctuary of her corner.
When he was certain the brunette wasn't going to try anything else, Petrie lifted Kristen off the mat and helped her back to her side of the squared circle. Setting her against the buckles, he grabbed her water bottle and handed it to her. As she took a huge, guzzling sip, Mark asked, "Are you able to continue?"
Kristen stopped drinking, looked at him levelly and replied, "Of course, I'm the Zephyr Hills lady." Petrie arched his eyebrows. He wasn't sure if this was Kristen's injuries talking or if the blonde's notoriously odd sense of humor had survived the beating intact. Seeing the official's confusion, Kristen took a deep breath and said, "I'm fine Mark. But if you ever tell anyone Natalie succeeded in choking me out three times in one night, I'll have to kill you."
Relieved to have his friend back, the ref said, "Your secret dies with me." Jogging back to mid-ring, Mark called, "You know the drill." and clicked his watch. Sixty seconds later and the seventh round of this hellacious grudge match was under way.
Still savoring the memory of Kristen writhing helplessly in her grasp, Natalie shoved away from the buckles and made a beeline for her opponent. Not knowing or caring what condition Kristen was in, her dark eyes blazed as she closed the distance between them. When she was less than three feet away, Kristen lunged at her with claws extended but Natalie dipped under and whirled around behind her off-balance adversary. When Kristen turned to face her, Natalie drew back her right hand and tagged Kristen across the face with a scornfully disrespectful Bitch Slap. And as simple as the act was, few things in her professional life had given her as much pleasure.
Sneering in hate as the blonde staggered back, Natalie walked her down and continued to rain down slaps, all the while taunting, "C'mon Kristen! (SLAP!) I thought you were going to make me sorry? (SLAP!) Where's the tough bitch that got in my face at the Christmas Party? (SLAP!) Where's the mouthy slut those idiot fans love so much? (SLAP!) Where's the girl that called me a pitiful, gutless coward? (SLAP!) I wanted to fight that girl, not this pathetic, sobbing farce I'm currently bitch slapping!" (SLAP!) (SLAP!)
After the last slap connected, Kristen finally had enough and lunged for Natalie again - only to end up impaled on the angry brunette's unpadded knee. When Kristen doubled over, Natalie wrapped her up in a Front Facelock, rose up on her toes and dropped down, fusing Kristen's forehead to the mat with a ‘no frills necessary’ DDT. Sitting up on her haunches, Natalie rolled her shoulders and muttered, "No more giving, Bell. It's time for you to quit."
Kneeling at Kristen's head, she maneuvered her into a sitting position. Satisfied that Kristen couldn't fight back, Natalie looped her arms under Kristen's and locked her hands behind her victims neck, a classic Full Nelson. Continuing her punishment, she turned the blonde over onto her stomach and sat on her back to lock in a move that combined the best of the Full Nelson with the best of the Camel Clutch. Ignoring the sweat that was pouring down her face, Natalie leaned back into the body-bending hold and demanded, "QUIT!"
Suffering silently in the throes of Natalie’s torture, Kristen shook her head 'no’ as best she could and spat, "You're the one who runs from your problems Nat, not me."
Incensed at the contempt in the blonde's words, Natalie redoubled her efforts to break her nemesis in half. Waiting for Mark to voice his obligatory, 'Do you wanna give?' Natalie bore down on Kristen's neck and countered, "I'm sure you'd run from me if you could Kris. But I've got your motor-mouth ass tied in a knot and I can do with you as I please." She proved as much by insolently blowing into the blonde's ear.
Doing her best to ignore Natalie’s needling, Kristen couldn't deny she was speaking the truth. If she couldn't get out of the hold soon, she'd go down by a fall - and she'd be damned if Natalie was going to EVER get another win at her expense. As she surveyed her surroundings something she saw gave her a glimmer of hope, for when Natalie had locked in her sadistic pretzel hold, she hadn't realized how close to the ropes she was. If Kristen could just reach the ropes, the hold would be broken and she might be able to get back into the fight. Focusing her remaining strength, Kristen began pushing herself across the mat with her legs. The going was slow, but she was making progress - the ropes were just beyond her grasp.
At first, Natalie didn't notice the slow movement so intent was she on her hold, but it finally registered. Startled, she looked up and saw Kristen's groping fingers inches from the bottom rope. Cursing the blonde's tenacity, she hissed, "I don't fucking think so!" She gave a yank on Kristen's neck and torso, twisting her body to an unhealthy angle. Kristen couldn't stifle a scream as Natalie twisted her a little more, but the powerful yank turned out to be just what she needed as it brought her hand toward the middle rope. The blonde grabbed onto it, refusing to let go until Mark intervened.
"Let her go Nat, she's in the ropes!"
So angry she could barely see straight, Natalie maintained the hold til Petrie reached 'FOUR' on his count, then she releasd her grip on Kristen's neck. Taking hold of Kristen's shoulder straps, the furious brunette hauled Kristen to her feet and marched her over to the nearest set of buckles. Throwing her prize chest-first against the steel, Natalie leaned in close and taunted, "This might not be a submission hold. But I promise you'll be quitting after I hit it. Of course, you might not be able to quit, but I think Mark is compassionate enough to keep me from killing you."
Getting no response, she wrapped her arms around the blonde's waist and lifted her up, forcing her into a seated position on the top turnbuckle. If there had been any audience for this fight, Kris would have gotten a great view of them. As it was, all she could see was a few rows of empty chairs and darkness beyond that. Behind and below the woozy grappler, Natalie made sure Kristen wasn't going anywhere before slipping through the middle rope and onto the ring apron. With no interference from Kristen, Natalie climbed the turnbuckles from the other side, putting her face-to-face (or actually navel-to-face) with her seated quarry. Forcing Kristen's head between her thighs, Natalie bent over and wrapped Kristen's arms in a tight loop, pinning them across her back. Almost ready, she looked down at Mark (who was more than a little worried about what was going to happen next) and said, "It's a shame really. The first time I hit a top rope Star Destroyer and you're the only one here to see…UNNNGH!"
Natalie’s sentence was never finished because Kris managed to wrench her arms from the brunette's grip and slammed them into her belly. Jerking her head free of Natalie's Scissors, Kristen shifted her feet just enough to stand on the middle rope as opposed to sitting on the top buckle. Smiling into Natalie's stunned face, the breathless blonde took just enough time to say, "Sorry Natty, looks like this is just one more thing you don't have the skill or courage to follow through on." Then wrapping her up in a grinding Front Facelock, she used her free hand to grab Natalie’s grey briefs. Kristen gingerly climbed onto the top buckle and then lifted off, holding Natalie inverted above her head for a split second before gravity took control and brought them back to the canvas with a ring shaking THWAM!
Unable to hold back a "Holy Shit" of his own, Mark rushed in to make sure neither of the girls had suffered a serious injury in the Superplex but much to his amazement, Kristen popped to her feet before he could even get a word in.
Glacing quickly between Petrie, Natalie and the nearest post, Kristen took off towards the corner and called out, "Don't worry Mark, it won't be long now!"
Unable to decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing, the official resumed his silent watch as Kristen hopped up onto the corner and spun around to face her fallen foe. Without any prompting, Kristen leapt off the top, getting beautiful height and extension on a Frog Splash that brought the full weight of her solid frame smashing down perfectly across Natalie's chest and belly. Natalie folded up around her blonde tormentor and tried to roll onto her side, but Kristen's weight kept her pinned in place. After a few more seconds of rest, Kris pushed to her feet and spun around, heading for the corner next to the one she'd just come off of.
When the blonde leapt onto the top buckle again, Mark had to ask, "What are you doing Kristen?"
Not missing a beat, she answered, "Finishing it." The words were still coming out of her mouth when she soared into the void, executed a gravity defying half-turn at the apex of her momentum and came crashing down on Natalie's chest with the second Frog Splash in as many minutes. Natalie flopped and groaned again, but this time she couldn't even TRY to roll onto her side. Wincing and holding her ribs, Kristen got to her feet and limped towards a third corner.
Openly incredulous now, Petrie said, "You can't be serious."
Already in place on the top buckle, Kristen kept her eyes on Natalie as she replied, "Dead serious!"
Then she was airborne for the few seconds it took for physics to reign her in and bring her back down on Natalie's chest. More than a little concerned at the boneless twitch of the brunette's legs, Petrie intercepted Kristen on her way to the FOURTH turnbuckle and said, "I'll let you go up one more time for a sense of symmetry, but no more after that you hear me? Look at her Kris, she can't defend herself!"
Brushing past the zebra, Kristen climbed onto the fourth post and muttered, "Neither could Rich!" When Mark was clear of her flight path, the determined blonde soared into the air for an unprecedented FOURTH time, pulled off that same breathtaking twist of her body and came crashing down on Natalie’s sternum with the last Frog Splash of the evening.
Upon impact, Natalie gasped once and managed to mutter, "Give..." rewarding Kristen's efforts with the first stoppage not related to a stretch, choke or joint lock.
Pulling Kristen away from her victim, Mark said, "Go to your corner Kris." Then he made sure the blonde did as she was told before he dropped to his knees and helped Natalie up off the mat. Getting to his feet, he trundled the devastated brunette to her corner and set her in the buckles. Handing her the water bottle (he was rather distressed when she didn't take a drink) Mark said, "I'm calling the fight Natalie; you can't continue in this condition."
A spark of the brunette's old fire returned, "Don't you dare stop this thing Mark. I'm going to settle this tonight, one way or another."
Going against his better judgment, Petrie only nodded and clicked his watch. When the minute was up, he stepped aside and gestured the women out of their corners. The difference in their movements was a study in contrasts. While Kristen was moving like someone with a lot of bumps and bruises, she still retained much of her usual grace and quickness; Natalie on the other hand was moving like a broken robot but even that wasn't enough to keep the brunette from sinking into a crouch as her rival closed in.
Her face a pitiless mask, Kristen didn't hesitate for a second when she brought her boot up and buried it in Natalie's gut. As the little air Natalie had in her lungs was gushing out of her, Kristen hoisted her victim up and brought her to rest laying on her stomach across her shoulder. Taking a breath, Kristen placed her hands under Natalie's arms and hoisted upward, so that Natalie was lifted up as high as she could go. Forgoing the pause she insisted on when a crowd was present, Kristen finished the move by suddenly pressing the brunette up in the air, letting her float a few feet above her head for the second or two before gravity rushed in to claim her.
As Natalie dropped in freefall toward the mat, Kristen caught her head in her arm, tucking Natalie's chin against her shoulder as she simultaneously sat out; driving the point of the brunette’s jaw deep into her shoulder. Natalie’s head snapped back violently as the ‘Absolutely Incredi-Bell’ connected and left her spread-eagled and defenseless on the canvas.
Rolling to her knees, Kristen shoved Natalie onto her belly and straddled the brunette's upper back. Reaching down, she looped her arms around Natalie's and locked her hands, trapping Natalie’s limbs in an unbreakable loop. Catching her breath, Kristen said coldly, "Don't you dare pass out on me Natalie." Done talking, the blonde flipped forward and landed on her feet in a high bridge, cinching in the Bridging Double Armbar that was the ‘Bell Curve.’
Bouncing and jostling the hold, Kristen waited for Natalie to start writhing before she yelled, "QUIT NATALIE! QUIT OR I'LL BREAK BOTH YOUR ARMS!"
Sobbing loudly as the hold sent fire racing through her upper body, Natalie tried to twist free of Kristen's grip, but she was too tired and she couldn't get any purchase. Loathing the sound of her own voice, Nat whispered, "I give."
Truly beginning to regret his decision to let Nat go on, Mark breathed an exhausted sigh and tapped Kristen's tautly stretched belly. "Let her go Kristen. She gave up."
But Kristen didn't let go. Instead, she bridged up even further, drawing a tortured scream from Natalie's lips. As Petrie was starting to repeat his order, Kristen growled, "Fuck the clock, and fuck the rest period. I want this asshole DONE! SAY IT YOU BITCH! TELL ME YOU'RE SORRY! BETTER YET, TELL ME YOU QUIT!"
She bridged up once again and the last of Natalie's once iron will snapped. Crying uncontrollably, Natalie’s tears puddled under her face as she bawled, "I QUIT! I QUIT! I QUIT! I'M BEGGING YOU, PLEASE JUST STOP HURTING ME!!!"
When the brunette's voice trailed off into another bout of weeping, Kristen knew she had finally won and she released the Bell Curve. Getting her feet under her, she let Mark go to check on Natalie, but when the official tried to raise her off the mat, she laid a hand on his shoulder and said, "Leave her there. You can check to make sure nothing's broken, but I'm not done with her…not by a damn sight!"
Too worried about the brunette to fully comprehend Kristen's words, Petrie nodded and made a quick check of Natalie's shoulders. He had just confirmed that no serious damage had been done when he heard Kristen padding up behind up. Looking over his shoulder he glanced up at the blonde and saw her holding the small black drawstring bag.
Seeing the confusion on his face, Kristen said softly, "I told you I wasn't done Mark. Now get out of my way."
Scrambling to his feet, Petrie kept his body between blonde and brunette as he said, "What's in the bag Kristen?"
Kristen tried to brush past him but the ref grabbed her by the arm. She glared at him and said, "She's got this coming Mark."
As he tried to formulate a reply, Kristen tugged out of his grip and went to Natalie's head where she buried one hand in the brunette's hair and Hair-hauled her to her knees. Forcing Natalie to look up at her, Kristen stared down into her victim's face and said, "Mark was worried I was gonna try and break your arm Nat, but that's not what I have in mind. See, I'm not a fucking animal like you, Elisha and Meg, I won't end anyone's career on purpose, but I am going to make sure you're branded for the coward you are."
Breathing in great, tearing gasps, Natalie panted, "Do your worst, bitch."
Smiling just a bit, Kristen replied, "I'm just about to." Shifting her hand, she slipped it inside the bag and took hold of the contents. Shaking the container away, she was left holding a sleek, ominous looking pair of electric clippers.
When Kristen's plan became clear, Mark stepped in front of her and said, "Oh shit…NO Kristen! There's no way I'll keep my job if Natalie shows up on Monday looking like that."
From her place on the canvas, Natalie said, "What are you talking about Mark? Kristen and I acted on our own. There was never anyone else here."
Stunned, the ref looked down at the brunette and said, "Do you realize what you're saying?"
Lowering her head, Natalie mumbled, "Get out of here Mark. You don't want to see this."
Shaking his head, Petrie said, I'll wait in the parking lot, just to make sure you both leave."
He slipped through the ropes and headed into the dimness near the front of the small arena. When the door closed behind him, Kristen flipped on the clippers. As they buzzed in her hand, the blonde said, "Maybe you're a little stronger than I thought Natalie. But it won't get you out of this. All things considered, you got off lucky. I don't know what Neve has planned for ‘Lishy, but it's not going to be pleasant."
Still breathing hard, Natalie suddenly pushed to her feet and looked Kristen in the eye, "I want to make one thing perfectly clear. What you're about to do? That squares me with Fannin. But you and I? Don't think this is over Bell. You're ensuring it'll never be over."
Forcing the brunette back to her knees with a rough shove, Kristen replied, "Then maybe there's some hope for you yet."
No longer delaying the inevitable, Natalie said, "Get on with it."
Her face neutral, Kristen lowered the clippers and started running them through Natalie's dark mane. For the next few minutes there was nothing but a muted buzz and the feather quiet whisper of Natalie's shorn locks hitting the mat around her. When Kristen finally clicked them off, Natalie was almost completely bald, with only the faintest hint of stubble to indicate she'd ever had hair. Bending down, Kristen grabbed a double handful of the clumped hair and shoved it in the bag.
Getting back to her feet, she said, "There's a broom and a dustpan under the ring near your corner. I'd sweep this up if you don't want everyone to know where you got your new do."
Finally through with her work, Kristen walked to her corner and slipped on the sweats she'd worn over her gear. As she was slipping out onto the floor, Natalie said softly, "We're not even Kristen. Not by a long shot."
Already disappearing into the darkness that surrounded the ring, Kristen called back, "I won't be hard to find!"
A few seconds later she pushed through the swinging door and Natalie was alone with her thoughts. Rubbing her hands across her exposed scalp, the (former) brunette got to her feet and looked down at the hair puddled on the canvas. Letting her hands fall at her sides, she thought about what she had lost and what she had gained this evening. She had lost a head full of hair, but she'd regained her self-respect and perhaps more importantly, a new goal; a purpose if you will. She was going to beat Kristen Bell, hurt her in ways she couldn't even imagine. And then when the blonde lay beaten and broken at her feet, Natalie wondered if Kristen would be strong enough to stand and take the punishment Natalie had devised. She thought she would, but she HOPED she wouldn't ...