Title: The Road Back: Dirty Laundry.
Featuring: Sam Horry
Date: Almost 2 Years ago.
Location: New York

Nearly 2 years ago...

 

“There he is!  There he is!  My man, Sam!  What’s good baby?!”  A husky, baritone voice called out.  He approached one third of the Defiance Trios Champions.

Sam had a quizzical look on his face.  “And you are…”

“Duke Washington!”  He introduced himself, grabbing Sam’s hand to shake it.  “When you got some free time, my man?!  We need to talk about your future!”

“Not interested, Duke.”  Sam shook his head and kept walking by.

“But you ain’t even heard me out, yet.”  Duke stood with his arms outstretched.  “I mean, how you gon’ prove to the world, you really are the best fighter on the planet?”

Sam abruptly stopped walking.

“Lemme try this again.”  Duke caught up to him, and extended his hand.  “My name is Duke Washington, lead promoter for the top 3 Mixed Martial Arts governing bodies, the World Martial Arts Council, the World Fighting Organization, and International Fighting Association.  Have your agent do a thorough check on me, and if it’s legit, the three of us can chop it up.”

Sam shook his hand, after which Duke hands Sam a business card.

“I’ll be in touch.”  Duke grinned.

 

[_+_]

 

The dishelved bed, and different articles of clothing sprawled over the room told the story.  If you needed a clearer picture, just listen to soft moans echoing throughout the bedroom.  The dimensions of their relationship change from minute to minute, but the components remain the same:

Sam and Jeanie.

Business partners, lovers, friends, confidants, opponents, husband and wife, divorcer and divorcee; they’ve pretty much covered everything two people could ever mean to each other, and thensome.  Their current arrangement—physical or otherwise—calls for no labels to be put on either of them.  A benefit, because whatever hats their relationship needs to them to wear, they do so readily.

So when Jeanie’s eyes cast skywards and she takes that long gasp—or when Sam’s eyes roll into the back of his head, it’s time to change hats.

“Ok, that was good.  Way to go, partner.”  Jeanie high fived Sam as she laid next to him.  “I’ma grab me a Powerade, want one?”

“Yeah, red.”  Sam exhaled.  

Jeanie swiveled from the bed and into the kitchen.   “You know, Sam; I’ve seen you stand toe-to-toe against Victor Mandrake, and Mushighiara…hell you’ve even main evented Summer Games…”

“Since when do you start rubbin’ my ego after we—“

“…So why is it so hard for you to put dishes in a dishwasher?”  She bypassed the comment.  “And your garbage is full.  Why do you still live like you’re in college?  You weren’t even there long.”

“That sounds like one o’ them existench…er…um…existential questions, baby-girl.”  Sam said from the bed.  “I’ma need to recharge at least like an hour before I can answer that one, but I’m glad your nagging is still in tact, though.  You my nagga’, babe.”

Jeanie came back and beamed a Powerade at a laughing Sam hitting him flush on the forehead.

“You missed my hand, Jeanie.”

The ever dutiful, mega agent walked back into the room, drinking down a blue Powerade.  She swiveled into the bathroom, turning on the shower.   “I did follow up on that Duke Washington guy you told me about.  He’s legit.  He books fights for all three of the main MMA governing bodies.  Think like how boxing has the WBA, WBC and IBF, well at least the real important ones.”

“Word.”  Sam opened up his Powerade.

“You’re really thinking about fighting MMA?  I thought what drew you to pro wrestling was how close it was to Vale Tudo.  It’s why I said ‘yes’ when Ty called me to bring you back.”   Jeanie stepped into the shower.  

“Still though, can’t hurt to have options right?”  Sam reasoned.

“You don’t find it weird that your approach to your career is the same as your approach to your love life?”  Jeanie turned the water off, and reached for a towel.

“Well seein’ as how I’m successful at both, I’d say that’s not a bad thing.”  Sam smiled.

Jeanie came back into the bedroom and went to the drawer.  “You call this—me and you—successful?”  She put on a green tanktop.  “I mean, I own half your life Samuelito; half of everything you have or ever will have, papi.”

“That’s ‘cause I let you win, baby-girl.”  Sam took a gulp from his Powerade.

“Whatever helps you sleep….”  Jeanie looked in the bottom drawer.  “…You didn’t do my laundry?!  Come on, Sam!  Really?!”

“That’s my fault, baby-girl.”  Sam apologized.  “I’ll do it today.”

“So that’s my laundry, and the dishes, and the garbage.”  After she slid on a form fitting pair of jeans, Jeanie crawled atop Sam.  “This thing with Duke….if you’re leaving Defiance to fight MMA, I’m with you.  But you gotta start thinking long term now, Sam.  I mean really think this through, we’re not in college anymore, ‘kay?”

She kissed him, while Sam grabbed himself a handful.  As Jeanie made her way from the bedroom and into the living room, she couldn’t help but notice him snickering to himself.

“What’s so funny?”  She asked, putting on her shades.

“You’re walk of shaming outta my place, going commando, with your shades on, baby-girl….just like college.”

 

She flipped him off, shaking her head as she headed into the living room.  “Ty and Ry will be here this afternoon; you guys have a promo scheduled for the Trios title match.   Do my laundry!”

 

She closed the door.

 

One week later.


 

Brooklyn, NY.

 

Sam and Jeanie pulled in the parking space allotted to them in their Black, custom 2014 Range Rover SE.   Jeanie was wearing a pair of gray slacks, and pink button down shirt opened at the neck.  She cradled her tablet close to her as she opened the passenger door for Sam, who gingerly stepped out of the car.  The now former co-holder of the Trios Championships was still smarting from a hard fought match that left Sam, for lack of a better word, sore.

As in all over.

There was still more than a city block to get to Duke’s office.  Sam, dressed in a black button-down shirt opened at the neck, and black stonewash jeans, groaned as he pulled his shades from his black blazer.   

“Eww, I can hear your bones grinding together, Sam.”   Jeanie stopped to reach in her purse.  “You sure you don’t want to reschedule?  You just look like you’re in all kinds of pain.”

“I guarantee you it feels worse, baby-girl.  Don’t act like you’re not enjoying this.”  Sam smiled as he hobbled.

“I enjoy it, when I’m the one inflicting damage.”  Jeanie strummed her fingers on her tablet before looking at Sam.  “Nobody hurts you but me, papi.”

“That’s true on so many different levels.”  

A 4 minute walk might as well had been a 5o mile walk as far as Sam was concerned.  When they reached the nicely detailed office building in the heart of Brooklyn’s business district, Sam managed to smile his way through the pain shooting through his body.

“We have an appointment for Duke Washington.”  Jeanie spoke to the secretary.

“Yes.  Mr. Washington is just finishing—“

“Sam, Elizabeth (Jeanie’s first name) come on in!”  Bellowed Duke from his office.  Duke’s prior appointment stepped out of his office.  This prior appointment, all 6’4 247 pounds of him, shoulder bumped, Sam who gritted his teeth in pain.

“Augusto Vargas, bitch!”  He introduced himself.

“How you doin’ today, Mr. Bitch?”  Sam outstretched his hand.  

“Please Duke, feed me this bum!  Let me show him how real fighters, fight!”  Vargas stared down Sam.

“With their shoulders?”  Sam looked quizzically at Vargas, then shook his head.  

“Ooooooh, the shoulder bump of disrespect, but never give away for free what you can sell.”  Duke chimed in with a smile.

“You shouldn’t tug on Superman’s cape, Vargas.”  Sam said.

“You shouldn’t tug on these nuts!”  Vargas replied walking away.

“Yeah, well you’re uh…um….psh, I got nothin’.”  Sam’s head hung in defeat, as Jeanie rolled her eyes.

“S’alright, plenty of time for that later,”  Duke welcomed them into his office, and shut his door.  “Please have a seat.”

 

“Before we get started you should know that Sam is still under contract to Defiance, and my client has no intention of breaching said contract, by entering into any monetary negotiations, or by making any unauthorized appearances or commitments without the expressed written consent of both Defiance and myself his power of attorney.”  Jeanie says with rapid fire delivery.  “This is a meeting, Mr. Washington; not a sales pitch.”

“Wow.”  Duke sat back in his chair.  “I like her.  She always like this?”

“Uh-huh.”  Sam nodded.

“Well, Sam….Elisabeth, I do from time to time follow wrestling.  I never really got the whole concept of it, I admit.”  Duke began.  “I do like the spectacle it provides, and I like the sense of showmanship.  You—you’re a bit of a character though, Sam.  It’s that….character I’d like to bring into the MMA fold.  Liven the sport a bit, you feel me?”

“All appearances to the contrary, my client is not an actor, Mr. Washington, but an athlete.  For you to do business with Sam and for Sam to do business with you will require that we be treated as such.”   Jeanie crossed her legs.  “That was not a stutter, we need to be treated as such.  Professional Fighter, Mr. Washington—Sam’s the fighter, I’m the professional.”

“I assure you, Elisabeth the both of you will be treated as professionals.”  Duke folded his hands, turning to look at Sam.  “Like I said I do watch from time to time, and you always stood out to me.  Always thought you were more than you were portrayed.  You’re an athlete and seem to be a competent martial artist.  Why should you be on some team, when you should be at the head of the pack; on top!  I can do that for you, Sam…”

“Meeting, Mr. Washington; not sales pitch.”  Jeanie reprimanded.

“…when your contract is up.”  His eyes never left Sam’s.   “You want a shot at the top?  You wanna be the marquee?  When you contract is up, Sammy, you and Elisabeth come find me.   I’ll turn you into the baddest man on the planet.”

Jeanie looked over at Sam who already had his mind set.  When she nodded towards him, they stood up.  

“It’s been a pleasure Mr. Washington.  Should me or my client decide to pursue a professional relationship further, we will be in touch.”  She smiled and shook Duke’s hand.

“Thanks, Duke.”  Sam shook his hand.

“When you’re ready to take yourself seriously, take yourself to the next level and be what I know you can be, I’m here.”  Duke added an extra squeeze to his grip.

After Sam and Jeanie left, Duke sat down and picked up his phone.

“He bit; hook, line and sinker.”  Duke smiled wide.   “That Elisabeth is smart, so we’ll have to play everything straight and by the book.  But you will be a happy man Antonio Vargas.   I’m gonna feed him to you.”

 

[_+_]

 

“He’s setting you up, Sam.  You know that, right?”  Jeanie said as they were going through the Lincoln Tunnel.  “You’re a bigger name, and on a bigger platform than any of them or their champions.   Your first fight is going to draw huge numbers, but he’s setting you up to fail.”

“I know a hustler when I see one, babe.”  Sam pulled the visor down.  “Not exactly like they know who they’re dealing with either.”

“So you’re gonna leave Defiance, then? “  Jeanie pulled onto Route 3 in Secaucus.  “Okay, I’ll draft the paperwork.  You’re gonna tell Ty, Ry and Eric.”

“You got my back right, baby-girl?”  Sam reclined further back in his chair.

“Siempre, papito.”   Jeanie rubbed his hand.  “Mira, I’m spending the night tonight.  You did my laundry, right?”

“You’re spending the night, tonight?”  Sam looked up.

“Yeah.  Your bones are grinding together and it sounds disgusting, I’m gonna set them right.  Or would you rather Ryan do it?  Remember what happened the last time?”

“He Saran-wrapped me to the bed and shot my perfect online season on Madden to hell.  Then he left ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ on repeat.”  Sam growled.  “I still owe him for that.”

“Did.  You.   Do.   My.  Laundry?”   She asks again, with a furrow of her eyebrows.

“Yes, dear.  I’m ready for you.”  Sam put his hand on her thigh.

“Hah!  You’re funny.”   Jeanie pulled onto Route 17.  “You have never been ready for me, Sam.”



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