Ezra prepares for his big weekend in Boise with help from friends and Beau's family, and Eamonn takes a sudden interest in attending wrestling school.
Friday, March 8th
Friday night's KADA show was easily the highlight of the week! If Ezra were forced to miss it due to being stuck in the hospital when he was in a particularly bad way, Jakub Luczynski would tape it and bring it in the next day. Now that Ezra was avoiding his mother and the apartment, he was seeing a lot more of the friends he'd been neglecting since graduation. Remarkable how quickly they vanish! Mickey wasn't in a rush to go anywhere, though. He was a southern hick to the bone! From the south of Georgia, he and his brother received a lot of cheek about their accents. Mickey didn't help, choosing to style his light brown hair in an ugly rattail. Eamonn liked to say it was a "pull-start for an idiot." Mickey was waiting for his high-school sweetheart to graduate. He was two years Shannon's senior so he would be here for a while yet. Isaac was someone Ezra never expected to move out of his parents' home. He drank a lot of beer and smoked a lot of weed, his reputation as a smartass slacker costing him chances of a job anywhere in Litchfield. He was a nice enough fellow and Ezra enjoyed him a great deal, but there seemed to be little hope for him.
Most Fridays, Ezra, Mickey and Isaac would gather at Mickey's house down by the bottle shop after Isaac's big sister bought them a slab of lonely blond. Sometimes Beau would join them. He and Isaac were getting along much better than they did in high school - with nobody for Isaac to impress and nobody for Beau to fear, the two dropped whatever problems they had seemingly overnight and bonded over their love of marijuana, living in the slow lane and awful Adam Sandler movies. Mickey had always been kind to Beau, something Ezra was forever grateful for, but they had very little in common. With Ezra and Isaac to bridge the gap, the four got along well for the most part. KADA night was fast becoming a frequent deal. Seeing names like Kodeine, Jimmy Vause, Rachel Reid and Lansilva popping up week to week was always thrilling. I'm gonna meet some of them in a couple of weeks! O.M.G!!
"You remember when Diego Silva was cool?" Isaac remarked, his hands wrapped around the improvised bong made from an empty Mountain Dew bottle. "And not a whiny little bitch? Turning him gay was the worst decision ever."
"Errrghhhhh," Mickey drawled, sucking down his beer. "He's still a boss, I reckon. He should leave the talking to Lance Lovecraft, though. He does look weird when he's hamming it up."
"I don't get why we have to watch them get on the mic just to be assholes every week," Beau complained, Ezra snuggled up under his arm. "Who wants to see that? Ugh. They're so annoying. Someone needs to shut their damn mouths."
"That means they're doing their job right," Ezra explained, slurping his low-sugar juice. He had a single beer earlier, and that was enough for him. Being a little guy, it didn't take a lot for him to feel the effects. On top of that, he only had one kidney - the one his brother gave him. He wasn't irresponsible enough to waste it on binge drinking. "If you hate them, you only validate them. Hah!"
"That ain't how it's gotta be," Mickey slurred, pointing to Lance, who was making a show of imitating Oliver Vickery. As characters, Ezra couldn't stand Lansilva! They were obnoxious, annoying and bent every possible rule in the book!! But as wrestlers, he saw past that and appreciated them. Diego was one of the best in-ring technicians of this generation! And there had never been a mouthpiece quite like Lance Lovecraft. He was clever, funny and engaging. Maybe Lansilva were a pain in the ass, but they were fun to watch! "Jimmy Vause is a bad guy you wanna see! Lansilva makes you wanna change the dang channel. Hell, I remember Silva beat Jimmy Vause twice around a year ago and he still gotta remind us every other week."
"If you beat Jimmy Vause, would you ever shut up about it?" Beau snickered, and the boys shrugged in half-agreement. "My big man's gonna beat him."
"The hell he is!" Isaac finished packing his cone and looked up to the television again, getting ready to inhale. "Vause is a damn legend! The day someone beats him and Born This Way plays is the day they bury me six feet under."
Ezra grinned. "Eamonn will make me an awesome beat!! Don't you worry! When I become the Heavyweight Champi--"
"Heavyweight?" Mickey burst out laughing. "KADA needs to bring back the cruiserweight belt because the Heavyweight belt is bigger than you are!"
"Oi! Don't be a tool!" Ezra hopped up to his feet and playfully struck his signature wrestling pose - hands on his hips, a heroic look of determination in his eye as he gazed up to the ceiling. "I'll be the champion for four hundred days! For four thousand days! I will beat Kodeine out of the cage, slam Lansilva through a table and pin Jimmy Vause! Easy-Ezy!!"
"Speaking of, are you looking forward to your tryout?" Isaac asked, his eyes beginning to redden. The smell of marijuana was a pleasant one, Ezra thought, but he wished Isaac and his boyfriend would take it a little easier.
"Ahh, do you need me to tell you heck yes??" Ezra bounced around in a circle, drawing adoring laughs from the other boys. "I don't care who I'm up against! I'm gonna dazzle 'em!!"
"Don't people always lose their tryout matches?" Beau asked him, a smirk on his handsome face. Oh, you're lucky you're so cute, Beaubeau. I let you get away with far too much!
"Shut your pretty face!!" Ezra pointed at him, a grin spilling from him. "I'll dazzle 'em regardless! You'll see! You'll all see!!"
"Sit down, you're givin' me headspins!" Mickey grabbed him and as good as threw him back down on his boyfriend. "Shame you gotta go all the way to Boise, but. I'd like to watch you go at it with one of those guys. Maybe you could kick in Lovecraft's stupid face for me. If you meet Lansilva, tell them to fuck themselves for me!"
"Are you gonna manage the weekend there?" Isaac asked, and Ezra's spirits fell. "You said you was broke the other day."
"Yeah... I'll have to sleep in my car," Ezra replied sullenly. "But I'll get there and back! That's all that matters!"
"Sleeping in your car?" Beau asked. "I thought I was going. Maybe you can fit in that tiny little thing but I sure can't."
"You wanna come to Boise with me?" Ezra was surprised. While he and Beau had done a great job reconciling lately, they had not discussed the wrestling side of things. He assumed that Beau would continue to look for places in Minneapolis for them to share while he organised his future. "Really?"
"Duh!" Beau kissed him on the cheek. "I don't want to miss the biggest night of your life. Just promise me you won't hurt yourself!"1
"Eeep!!" Ezra squeaked and fell on Beau's lap, looking up with a big smile on his face. "I was worried you might pull a stunt like Mom did when she hid my keys."
"Wow, I can be a bitch I know, but I'd never do something like that!" Beau kissed him fondly on the forehead, and Ezra's smile continued to grow.
"Yeah, dog move," Isaac was having trouble blinking now, closing one eye and then the other over and over. He was gonna vomit soon. We should probably leave before he does!! "How are G-dizzle and the others?"
"Mom apparently won't stop talking about how I abandoned her," Ezra rolled his eyes, his heart pounding as he thought of his mother. Time did not soften his feelings towards her - rather, he had time to reflect on his relationship with her and he only stewed in resentment. "Celeste is taking it like a champ, but Eamonn worries me. I think he's lonely there. He and Celeste don't really talk to each other unless I'm there, plus he and Mom have it in for each other. He doesn't have friends and stuff."
"He has a face like a smacked ass all the time, that's why," Mickey remarked with a chuckle. "He's a neat kid, but damn if I ever did see him crack a smile. Why don't you bring him over one day?"
Ezra smirked and pointed first to Beau, who was on his seventh or eighth beer, then Isaac, whose lungs hadn't tasted fresh air in several years. Alcoholism ran in their family and the last thing he needed was Eamonn, pessimistic and cynical by nature, to get the idea in his head that booze can solve his problems.
"Right," Mickey laughed out loud. "Them atheists."
"Don't you start," Isaac warned them, a grin on his ratlike face and a cigarette between his lips. "You're both shit Christians. You're screwing a girl before you marry her and you're a queer."
"Hey! God's seen Beau's butt; he understands!" Ezra's on-the-nose reply made everyone laugh, including Beau, who always enjoyed a compliment.
"If God existed, he would have put Beau's ass on the flat bitches in our year," Isaac argued, laughing at his own joke. "What a waste."
"God exists, jackass, and that's why he gave Beau his milf mom's ass," Mickey quipped, shooting a wink to Ezra. "My pal Ez needed a break, so God gave it to him!"
"There's more to me than an ass," Beau complained, perhaps getting offended by the way his friends were talking about him. "As nice as that ass is."
"So where are you and Beau Thomas' ass staying in Idaho?" Isaac asked, never quite knowing when a joke stopped being funny. Mickey, the more sympathetic of the two, shot him a filthy look, and Isaac finally understood and dropped it.
"Yeah, I have no earthly idea," Ezra mumbled, finding Beau's hand and squeezing it. "I was gonna sleep in the car, but if Beau's coming, then I need a plan B!"
"Why don't y'all take the RV?" Mickey offered, slurping from his beverage and shrugging. "Dad and me, we won't miss it for the weekend. Just return it with gas in the tank and call us square."
"What?" Ezra's eyes shone, but Beau seemed less ecstatic. The little old RV Mickey and his father took on their fishing trips to Lake Superior wasn't in a much better state than Ezra's car, but still did its job. Most importantly, it drove and it had a bed. A double! Maybe it wasn't ideal for freaky long Beau, but Ezra's small size did come with perks! "Are you serious? George would let me drive it?"
"I don't see why not, you're so close to straight-edge that he barely respects you as a person," Mickey laughed, giving the thumbs up. On the television, Rachel Reid and Pearl were teaming up against two of the generic busty blondes that flooded into the KADA locker room last year. Ezra couldn't tell them apart. They all looked exactly the same to him. "I'll ask him for you tomorrow, yeah? He trusts you, so I don't reckon he'll say no."
Beau smiled down at Ezra's face, the boy still lying across his lap, and Ezra marvelled at how beautiful he was. Whatever God's plan was for Ezra, he was happy it included Beau Thomas. It wasn't always easy, but in Ezra's opinion, nothing worth having ever came easy! To him, satisfaction derived more from earning what he wanted than the thing itself.
"That'd be ace, Mick!!" Ezra beamed.
"Thanks, Mickey," Beau agreed, forcing a smile on his face and tenderly brushing his boyfriend's face with his fingers. Maybe he doesn't love wrestling or the RV, but he does love me. And I'll make sure he knows I love him back! A gajillionillion times!!
Wednesday, March 13th
"Hey, you, little fellow," one of the trucker women summoned him. Ezra didn't like being referred to as such, but he was at work, so he greeted her and the younger man accompanying her with a smile that would charm the devil himself instead of passive-aggressively tapping his name badge. It's Ezra!! You've been here before! You know this! I always introduce myself!!
"Hello hello," Ezra snatched up his notepad and took the pen stashed behind his ear and strode on up to her. "What can I help you with?"
"You're gay, right?" She asked so brazenly that she nearly threw him off balance. She was a hefty middle-aged girl. Tattoos all over, the sleeves cut off her red plaid shirt and faded jeans. The guy opposite her wasn't a bad looking man. Mid-twenties, maybe? Same dark hair, about 5'11, some muscle on him and a beer belly.
"Ahh... yes?" Ezra wasn't sure he liked where this was going.
"My son's gay!" The woman gestured to the man, who laughed and buried his face in his hand. "He thinks you're a bit of alright. Do you work out a lot?"
"I do, actually," Ezra decided he would take this awkward situation and turn it into a compliment. "At least once a day. Usually after work at the gym, but my schedule gets too hectic sometimes."
"Your schedule? Do you work another job?" She was interested in trying to set him up with her kid!
"I'm doing my best to become a wrestler," Ezra tucked his pen back behind his ear and slipped his notepad into his back pocket. "Takes a lot out of my day. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, you know! We come through every now and then. Joshy here just got out of a bad fling with one of his boys, so he's on the market for a new piece. Are you single?"
Josh, the son, looked like he was ready to die.
"I'm not," Ezra giggled, blushing. It wasn't as though Josh wasn't attractive in a way, but Beau was always going to be cuter, funnier and sweeter than any other man in the world! Maybe it was Ezra's love goggles, but no matter how pretty another boy was - Jack Lièvremont, for example - he would always choose his boyfriend a million times out of a million! A billion times out of a million!
"Shit," she slapped the table with a grin. "Well, if things go tits up for you and your guy, I'll give you a big tip if you let Joshy give you one too." She laughed obnoxiously loud, and Ezra wasn't enjoying this conversation anymore. Josh, to his credit, looked like he'd been sick of it before even began.
"I'll keep that in mind," Ezra wanted to finish up with them and get the hell out before he said something he might regret. "I gotta dash! You need anything else?"
"Nah, love," she shook her head and threw her fork down on her plate - a lake of excess maple syrup. "If you're not puttin' out, then we're off to Chicago."
"Have a safe journey!" Ezra wished them well and collected the bill - and a nice tip. Sweet! "See you next time you come through!"
As he retreated back to the kitchen, he noticed there was a note attached to one of the bills. Oh, lord!
'Excuse mom she's a handful lol but you are cute so text me some time if you like.'
Underneath was Josh's phone number. Oh, dear! Beau's gonna have a field day with this one. Maybe Tina isn't the worst mother-in-law I could be stuck with! Although he felt rude to do so after such a generous tip, he deliberately avoided looking at the two of them until they left the diner in case either of them got any ideas. Never a dull day in Litchfield!
"Hayden!" Ezra passed by the homeless man who enjoyed spending the cold months of Minnesota in the warmth of the diner. "You need a refill?"
"I'm out of coins," Hayden replied sadly. Gus didn't enjoy having him around, especially if he wasn't contributing to the business.
"Here you go!" Ezra fished part of his tip out of his pocket and slid it over the counter, and Hayden's eyes lit up. "This should keep you going for another hour or so! I'm about to clock off." Refills were half price and coffee at the diner wasn't expensive.
"God bless you, Ezra Luczynski," Hayden didn't smell very nice. He was scruffy, ungroomed and his coat had mustard stains all over it. People avoided him. Ezra pitied him. "Your daddy raised you right."
"Aw, you stay warm, you hear?" Ezra winked as he passed by, returning to the kitchen.
"You can't keep giving your money to that guy," Amy lectured him, cooking up some fries. She hated having nothing to do, so when she had time to spare she used it to keep the bain-marie full for the takeaway customers. This meant there was usually a food turnover and Ezra could take leftovers home to his family. He thought he'd give it to Hayden instead tonight.
"Actually I can!" Ezra replied, leaning against the counter. It had been a long day and he was tired, but he still had wrestling school to go to.
"I thought you were saving up for your trip to Idaho," her voice was frosty. "Why are you wasting it on that loser?"
"I'm buying him coffee!" Ezra defended himself. "I'm not giving him the keys to my car. It's cold as heck outside! Give the man a break."
"If he wants to be inside, he can get a job like everyone else!" Amy raised her voice so that Hayden would hear her, and Ezra narrowed his eyes at her. "What? Nothing in life is free. God only helps those who help themselves."
"Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God." Ezra countered, doodling a happy face on his notepad while work was scarce.
"Don't start with your commie shit," Amy rolled her eyes. "I'm not in the mood."
"It's literally from the same book you read!" Ezra pointed out, both amused and bemused. "Except my quote comes from the Bible and yours comes from the Quran."
"You're full of it, you know that?" Amy hated when he used actual citations to back up his point. "Aren't you finished with your shift yet? Go away and leave me in peace."
"Yessir!" Ezra would have loved to stay and point out all the reasons Amy was wrong about everything, but four o'clock was drawing nice and close, and he needed to wrap things up.
Today was a special day, after all! So once Ezra took the last orders and headed out the door five minutes past four, he wasted little time in returning to Beau's house. Since he and his mother blew up at each other, he had not stayed at home. Most of the time he slept in the spare bedroom at Beau's house. While Darrell was happy to have him over, Tina wasn't a fan of him. Ezra put money into the pot for his use of the gas, water and electricity and often brought groceries to bridge the gap, but nothing seemed to change her mind. Beau wanted him to stay as much as possible, though, and Tina had never been good at saying no to her only child. Ezra took nights off to sleep at Mickey's and sometimes Isaac's, giving his boyfriend and in-laws a break from him. He made sure to kiss and cuddle his boyfriend for a short time before he headed off to the apartments and hopped out of the car. He texted his brother.
Ezra: < Get in loser, we're going wrestling. >
It didn't take long for Eamonn to stride with determination from the front door of the building. So fast that Ezra suspected he'd been waiting in the stairway for a while now.
"Happy birthday, short stuff!" Ezra almost tackled Eamonn to the ground with his hug. Eamonn was the taller of the two, but Ezra weighed nearly twenty pounds of solid muscle more than his brother.
"Sixteen doesn't get any sweeter," Eamonn replied dryly, but as always, he did not break free from his brother's loving embrace.
"Aww, you haven't had a good day so far?" Ezra asked, pinching his brother's cheek and snickering as Eamonn did little to stop him but give a death glare.
"Every class sang Happy Birthday, and Darlene kissed my damn forehead," Eamonn lamented miserably, and Ezra laughed. The school's lunch lady always did that for the kids on their birthday, usually leaving a lipstick print.
"Did Mom change her mind about you coming with me tonight?" Ezra asked, and Eamonn shrugged.
"She said as long as you're paying, she doesn't care how you waste your money," Eamonn's reply was stiff. "She made a point of forgetting my birthday today."
"Well, that's what she likes to do," Ezra replied coolly, nodding with his head in the direction of the car. "Let's get cracking! I don't want to be late!"
Glennys didn't like it when the attention wasn't on her. She made a point of forgetting her childrens' birthdays. When they would remind her, she would ask them why they deserved gifts when she was the one who gave them the birthday in the first place. All the guilt and disappointments made Ezra hate his birthday. Eamonn was no different, and Celeste was quickly following suit. The boys hopped into the car, and Ezra reached into the backseat and brought out his little surprise. Eamonn's eyes popped with life for a pleasant change. Two slices of lemon drizzle cake wrapped up on a plate from the diner with a fork, and a bottle of his favourite iced coffee.
"Happy birthday mega-me!" Ezra dropped it on his brother's lap. "I actually bought this cake! It's not just leftovers! How special do you feel now?"
"Alright, you win! I feel kind of special," Eamonn couldn't seem to stifle his grin of gratitude. "Thanks, mini-me! This is a lot of sugar. I can't wait to give you diabetes next time you steal my blood."
"Hur hur hur," Ezra poked his tongue out and started the old bomb up again. "Don't eat and drink it all at once!"
"Why? Do you think I'll vomit?" Eamonn smirked, and Ezra shrugged.
"If you want to train to be a wrestler, you gotta be disciplined with what you eat," he explained as he accelerated down the road. "And yeah. If your guts are full of cake, you might puke. Heh!"
"Did you ever puke from wrestling school?" Eamonn asked, a look of bliss on his handsome face as he ate his favourite treat.
"Oh, yeah!" Ezra laughed. "I don't always know when to stop! I'm still not sure why you're so desperate to go tonight. You've never been into wrestling before."
"Well... not really," Eamonn replied honestly, taking another happy bite. "I don't know. I'd rather spend the night puking up cake with you than being at home."
"That's why you wanna join wrestling school?" Ezra was both flattered and saddened by his brother's revelation. He was so bored and lonely at home that he wanted to learn how to wrestle just to get away from his mother and spend time with his brother.
"If you don't want to pay for my lessons then don't," Eamonn replied defensively. "I'll just watch you."
"Hey. I wanna do this," Ezra smiled and put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "The first week's free, so if you decide you don't like it, then we can reconsider. If you want to keep at it, then I'm happy to pay for it! Harley says I can pay your tuition by the fortnight. It's my birthday gift to you! Plus, doesn't everyone wanna wrestle with their brother?"
"Until today, I absolutely did not," Eamonn smirked, and Ezra giggled. "Cake?"
"Nooo way," Ezra waved it off. "If I start, I won't stop!"
"Ooh!" Eamonn snatched his phone out of his pocket. "I forgot the Luzcynski car rules. My bad. I haven't got anything I made, but I do have a song you should use when you wrestle from now on."
"I dunno!" Ezra turned on to the highway. How many times had he made this trip to Minneapolis for wrestling school and then come back home? Too many. How many more times had he made this trip on the bus that connected the little town to the city? "Born This Way's Beau's favourite."
"Beau isn't wrestling," Eamonn shut him down. "Try this."
Ezra wasn't crazy about the song, but he did appreciate the lyrics, he decided, tapping the steering wheel as Eamonn gorged on his cake.
I'm indomitable, walking down the street like I'm forty feet tall! I have drawn from appropriate sources! I am louder than bombs! Nobody else is stronger than I am! Yesterday I moved a mountain! I bet I could be your hero! I am a mighty little man!
"I had my doubts!" Ezra was pumped after hearing that. I am a mighty little man!! "But you won me over! That will be a great song if I'm a babyface."
"Firstly, you will never be a heel in your whole life. You can only ever be a babyface," Eamonn tore that bandaid off without tact or sensitivity. "Secondly, this song is literally you. There's nobody stronger than you, and you're the mightiest little man in the world. Maybe you haven't moved a mountain yet, but you're definitely my hero."
Ezra wasn't sure what to say or how to reply to that. I will not cry!! Most of the journey was spent in silence following Eamonn's surprise baring of his soul, music from Eamonn's ever-changing playlist filling the car. He pulled his car up into the free parking two blocks away, and he and Eamonn stumbled out of the car.
"You do have a change of clothes, right?" Ezra asked Eamonn, who was wearing tracksuit pants with a zipped up hoodie and slip-on shoes. "I should have asked you an hour and a half ago, I know."
"I'm not an idiot, little big brother," Eamonn brought his bag with him. "I just didn't want to freeze my nuts off in the car."
Ezra made a face to mock him and locked the car behind him. He was wearing his workout shorts, dirty athletic shoes and a tank top under his jacket. Maybe it was a little brisk, still. March weather in Minnesota was fickle. The snow was starting to clear up, which was nice. Summer would be upon them before they knew it!
Eamonn changed in the locker room, and when he returned, he was in a batty old tee with some holes in it, shorts that were too big and old athletic shoes that looked a little small for him. Ezra didn't have much of a growth spurt since he was thirteen. He never outgrew things the way Eamonn did. The poor kid's limbs were too long for his body, and he looked a bit like a praying mantis. He was super skinny. That didn't matter. Pro wrestling school wasn't just for people who wanted to make it to the big leagues. It was a fun way to work out! It was full of exercises and drills that fostered trust and friendship between students, and it focused on the basic fundamentals of wrestling. Maybe Eamonn would never be a wrestler, but he could at least have fun here and actually exercise. If it weren't for the stairs in the apartment complex, Eamonn wouldn't exercise at all! He found convenient ways to dodge gym class and played hooky during school sporting events! No. It'll be good for him to get out of the house and to move his body a bit! Maybe make some friends!
There were three different classes available in this building. Today, he wanted to be with his brother, so he took the basic course. The advanced class was for fitter people and used basic wrestling techniques, and the master class was for the aspiring wrestlers who could work on routines and run techniques and drills until they mastered them. A couple from LEW, a few from MCW and a handful of civilians came five days a week as Ezra did. Moving to Minneapolis would make coming here a lot easier, he thought. But I'd have to drive to work in Litchfield anyway unless I discovered something here. It was a problem he hadn't yet found a solution to. He hoped KADA would sign him to some contract so he could get his ducks in a row. Even if they turned him away, at least he could focus on his living arrangements and finding work. He was trying to juggle too many balls at the minute, and he knew if he dropped one, the rest would fall to the ground as well.
"Alrighty!" Leanne, a part-time wrestler at MCW with twenty-five years of experience in the industry, took centre stage. She instructed the basics class, and Ezra graduated from it very quickly when he was fourteen. "We have a few newbies today!" The basics class had quite a turnover. A lot of people had fantasies of being a wrestler, but this class tended to weed out the weak when they realised how much hard work went into the profession. "Eamonn and Rosalie. Welcome, guys. I hope you're ready to work up a bigger sweat than ever before!"
Eamonn gave a weak wave and an insincere smile, and Ezra rolled his eyes. Not a people person. Someone he recognised strode along the gym in workout clothes. His heart began thumping hard in his chest. What's she doing here?? Eamonn's face changed when he saw her too. He wasn't a fan of hers.
"Today we've got a guest trainer," Leanne welcomed Sarah Lièvremont to the front of the class of twenty, and Sarah smirked when her eyes laid on Ezra. Hmph. "Her name is Sarah, and she's a wrestler from Canada!"
Really? When's the last time she wrestled, exactly? She's been valeting for her much more talented husband for years, Ezra thought. He knew the two of them were in a mixed gender tag-team match against Tornado and Peregrine in Quebec, but that was ages ago!
"Hey," most of the class greeted her with gusto, some of them with apathy, and the Luczynskis didn't greet her at all. She tried to mess up my performance! She tried to make her husband look better by making me screw up! She's a terrible person and I! Don't! Like! Her! Grr!!
"Hello guys and girls, I am indeed Sarah, and I'm the wife of Jack Lièvremont. Anyone know him?" She asked in a sweet voice, her purple hair tied into a ponytail behind her head. Typical. Using her husband's career to elevate her own. Of course, not everybody did know who she and Jack were. These guys were casuals, after all. "A couple of weeks ago he beat Ezra Luczynski, that guy right down there."
"That's true!" Ezra put on his biggest grin as she pointed and everyone turned to look. He had to set a good example for the class, and especially for his little brother. "Knocked yours truly out for the count with La Disparition!"
"Pfft--" Eamonn began, but Ezra looked at him intensely. Shut up!
"Yes he did," Sarah rubbed it in, pretending she was being playful. "Big man, my husband! He's going to be a huge star in KADA one day soon."
Okay, maybe the show was scripted. Maybe Jack was booked to win. That didn't mean it felt good to lose so frequently. The bigger guys beat Ezra quite often. The hypermasculine side of the sport favoured the men who were big, strong and heavy. Guys like Ezra weren't taken so seriously. Sarah was subtly pointing out that Jack would probably be booked to beat Ezra every time the two met in the ring because he was the right type and Ezra was an anomaly. Even though everything had a fixed outcome, it wasn't possible to get to the top without winning matches and getting over with the crowd. Jack would go on to win plenty just because of his height and muscular body. Ezra would likely be picked apart by the vultures, in comparison. It didn't feel nice. He'd seen how Sean Fox from KADA Wrestling had become a victim of unfavourable booking during the last year. I can't afford to think about that, Ezra thought.
"Don't be rude to her," Ezra begged Eamonn quietly when the woman's attention was off them. "I don't know if I'm going to have to work with her again."
"I'll behave," Eamonn promised. Right... Ezra thought, gritting his teeth.
He swallowed his dislike of Sarah. To her credit, she'd been around to quite a few different schools and promotions, so she knew what was doing. While Leanne organised most of the drills, exercises and activities, Sarah helped those who were struggling or not quite getting it right. She was very supportive of the girls in particular. She almost seemed kind. It was strange. So it's just me she hates, he thought. Blast! She's not just a bitch. It's personal.
"Well, well, you must be related," she commented as she made her way around the back to greet Ezra and Eamonn.
"What gave that away?" Eamonn asked snootily, and Ezra wanted to bury his face in his hands immediately. Diplomacy! It's not that hard, Eamonn!!
"Well, I was wondering why Ezra was taking such an easy class, then I saw him helping you out. It's sweet of him," Sarah's tone was so smug when she spoke of him. Ergh.
"He's a sweet guy. He's paying for me, he drove me, and he's helping me out. He even bought me cake," Eamonn's tone wasn't much different, and Sarah noticed that while the boy's words were friendly, he certainly wasn't.
"I just wanted to ask about your scar," Sarah pointed out when Eamonn's poorly fitting shirt rose up and exposed the boy's tummy. "I noticed at MCW that Ezra has one just like it."
"Hey Sarah, that's none of your business!" Ezra found himself quickly losing his temper. "I'd appreciate it if you could keep those questions to yourself if that's alright!"
"Calm down, Ez," Eamonn shushed him. "People ask each other about scars from private surgeries all the time in polite society. Right, Sarah?"
"No, you're right. I'm sorry," Sarah replied, aware that people were beginning to look at her.
"No worries! It's fine!" Eamonn smiled happily, but Ezra knew that expression. Oh dear. "How are the scars under your new tits getting along?"
Ezra literally spat the water out of his mouth in his shock and panic. Eamonn!! Oh forgive me Jesus, but I'm probably going to have to kill him!!
"Dude!" He choked, alarmed at the silence that followed.
"Is there a problem?" Leanne asked from the front of the class. Everyone had stopped when they heard Eamonn's remark, and eyes looked in their direction.
"No problem. I deserved that, honestly," Sarah's eyes were fixed on Eamonn's. She didn't seem to take offence and even propped her enhanced breasts up with her hands. "They're doing well, but you get what you pay for."
She winked, and she turned away, grinning at Ezra on her way past. He did not know if she genuinely found that funny or if Eamonn's actions were going to bite Ezra in the ass at some point. He still had to attend a show with the Lièvremonts - a tryout show. With that out of the way, Leanne resumed the class, this time some cardio with jumping jacks.
"I can't take you anywhere!" Ezra shook his head, embarrassed by Eamonn's words as he hopped into action. "You promised you'd behave!"
"I am behaving!" Eamonn replied cheekily, panting very quickly as the cardio wore him out. We have a very different idea of what the word behave means!
Once the class finished, and Eamonn had stuck it out the whole way - even though he needed to take it slowly and allow more breaks than the others, the younger boy went to change back into his streets and Ezra immediately approached Sarah.
"I'm so sorry about that," he spluttered, and Sarah looked at him, her shades covering her eyes. "He doesn't have a filter."
"Don't worry about it," Sarah smirked. "I've got a good story to take home to Jack tonight if nothing else. See you at Boise next week," she gave an irritatingly cheerful wave and turned her back, her ponytail almost flicking Ezra in the face as she left.
When the boys were in the car, ready to go home, Ezra was prepared to lecture his little brother on occasionally keeping his comments to himself. Eamonn hopped in the passenger seat with a stony face and chuckled.
"I'm serious, Ez. Those tits are made of wax," he shook his head, and Ezra's intention to be a responsible big brother exploded. He laughed. Long, loud and hard. "Not even kidding! Even Silicone Sarah's face sagged more than the melons did." Ezra hid his face in his arms against the steering wheel, no longer making a sound. Okay. Maybe Eamonn was funny.
"Did you have fun?" Ezra finally wiped the tears from his face, still occasionally giggling. "Aside from staring at her?"
"Her what? Her Community Chest?" Eamonn smirked, and Ezra started up all over again. "I did. Can I come again tomorrow?"
"Okay, but please, PLEASE behave yourself!!" Ezra nearly choked on his laughs. "Keep your blasted mouth shut! Until we're in the car. Then you can make as much fun of people as you like."
Once he'd finally stopped, he found the bravery to look at his brother. All it took was half a second of looking Eamonn in the eye for him to collapse into another fit of giggles.
Friday, March 22nd
"No! No no no!" Ezra caught Beau sneaking his bong into his suitcase. "You can do one weekend without the grass, thank you!"
"Why?" Beau asked him. "I smoke nearly every day and you don't have a problem."
"Well first, this isn't our vehicle!" Ezra lectured him, grabbing the bong and putting it back in Beau's closet. "Second, if we get pulled over and we've got your grass on us, that could probably be a problem! And third, the last thing I want to smell like when we get to the show tomorrow night is your grass!"
"Ooh, she's feisty today," Beau rolled his blue eyes, and Ezra glared at him. "Kidding! God, you're sensitive."
"Please, can we drop the attitude?" Ezra pleaded. "This is the biggest night of my life so far." When Beau seemed irritated by that, he fixed his statement. "This is the biggest night of my life that isn't defined by leukemia. Okay?"
"Okay," Beau nodded. "I still don't know why we can't just fly."
"Because one of us has rich parents and the other one has a minimum wage job and family to support," Ezra's continuing glare shut Beau down. "Don't feel like I'm forcing you to come. You don't support me wrestling anyway."
"I'm going so I can support you wrestling!" Beau folded his arms. Uh oh. "Maybe I don't like it, but you're still my boyfriend, okay? If you don't want me to go, just say so!"
"I do," Ezra grabbed Beau's arm and forcefully unfolded it. "But I don't want you being bored and unhappy and stuff. It's going to be a painfully long weekend, Beaubear. We're gonna be stuck in a little old RV for three days, and I love you more than Taylor Swift loves boys that aren't good for her. If we fight, we're fucked."
"If we can't even make it through three days with each other, then we're fucked either way," Beau pointed out, and Ezra looked guiltily to the floor. "We fight all the time and we get over it. If you're a jerk, I can just go the back of the pile of crap and have a cone. The fight's over."
"No weed!" Ezra put on his stern face. "Take as much booze as you like, but I'm not drinking, okay? One of us needs to drive."
"Are you making me get drunk so you can take advantage of me in Mickey's RV?" Beau finally smiled, and Ezra chuckled.
"Somehow when you get drunk, you're the one who takes advantage of me!" Ezra claimed, standing on his toes so he could kiss his tall boyfriend on the lips.
"You're easy-Ezzy, that's why," Beau picking him up and Ezra delighted in wrapping his legs around that skinny waist. "No weed. Okay. You win."
"Do you still plan to drive?" Ezra asked, unable to stop himself from smiling so merrily as the other boy maintained eye contact.
"I can't drive. I'm gay," Beau quipped and kissed his boyfriend again, holding him up. "Kidding! I've got the night shift, remember?"
It felt strange being nearly a foot smaller than his power bottom boyfriend. Shame he's not a top. Bigger shame I'm not a bottom! We'd make way more sense if we were the other way around. God did have a sense of humour, he supposed. Sure, you can have a boyfriend, but he's going to be a great, spoiled, insecure bottom. Yeah, well that's hilarious, big guy! Guess what? I still love him! Nice try!
All packed and ready to go! Ezra quadruple-checked everything. Licenses, identification, money, cards, clothes, wrestling gear, phone, chargers! Blankets and pillows! Beau's insulin! ...Condoms and lube! Hehe. Mickey wasn't silly. He decided he'd live if the boys decided to get intimate in the RV bed so long as they didn't leave any trace of their activity. Of course! Leaving a puddle of something on the mattress would be rude! Who would do that?
"I don't like you staying in this rustbucket," Tina repeatedly complained. "Why don't you stay in a hotel?"
"Mickey loaned us an RV," Ezra replied, playing with the zipper on his jacket. "Are you going to loan us your card?"
"Don't be cheeky," Tina brushed him off. "It's not expensive to stay in a safe place. I thought you worked full-time. What happened to your money?"
"He gives it to you every week," Beau surprised him by coming to his defence. "We'll be fine, Momma. I'll call you if something goes wrong."
"Oh... here," Tina grimaced and fished a fifty from her purse, giving it to her son and not his ne'er-do-well boyfriend. "Make sure you eat well. I don't want you boys to starve because you're so determined to live like hippies."
"Thanks!" Ezra beamed at her. Every little bit did count, after all. "I'll bring him home alive."
"Tsk. Drive safely! No alcohol and no drugs!" Tina lectured them both.
Ezra indulged her by nodding and pledging his honesty and integrity. Beau rolled his eyes and hopped into the passenger seat. She's not perfect, Ezra thought as he hauled himself up into the driver's seat, narrowly able to see over the wheel and push the pedals at the same time. She's better than mine, though. At least Eamonn has something to keep him active these days.
"Here!" Tina knocked on the window and passed another twenty through. "So I don't worry!"
"You're spoiling us," Ezra giggled, passing it over to Beau. "I promise I'll keep him well-fed and happy and I'll nag him to take all his meds every morning."
"Good luck, Ezra," Tina did the unthinkable and leaned forward, kissing him affectionately on the cheek. What??? "I'll see you boys Sunday night or Monday morning. Whenever you get here."
"Byeeee!" Ezra waved as he cautiously backed out of the driveway.
It wasn't a big vehicle, but it was much longer than his little car. He'd had to practice driving in it over the past few days so he wouldn't be so scared he'd crash it. Mickey and his father were far too trusting. I drive a lot! But I don't drive RVs a lot!!
"Is Eamonn gonna go to wrestling class?" Beau asked, slipping a Britney CD into the stereo. What kind of drive with Beau would it be without the gay icons, Ezra asked himself with a grin.
"Probably not," he cautiously adjusted his seat, pushing himself closer to the wheel. I feel a hundred years old driving like this!
"I knew he'd get sick of it," Beau remarked, making so much movement in his seat that Ezra nearly punched him to avoid getting distracted. "I should have made a bet! Easy money."
"Hah, you think you're such a smarty-pants, but he loves it, thank you very much," Ezra smirked, flipping his boyfriend off. "He's not ready to go by himself, but he's having fun and it's good for him. You could learn a lesson from Eamonn, you know! Sometimes I have to use a knife to pry you out of your blasted chair!"
"She is in a mood today," Beau teased him. "Are you going to be able to afford his tuition?"
"Maybe if I get a contract tomorrow night," Ezra bit his lip. "I don't have the heart to tell him I'll probably be too broke to make the payment by the end of next month. So I have to perform super duper well for both of us."
"It's okay to not be on television at eighteen years old, Ez," the taller boy put his nice moon shoes on the dashboard. "I think you should take this a lot slower. Get better at it before you're doing all this crazy stuff. You're still so new to all this, and you're trying to swim in the deep end when you're barely taking off your floaties! It feels like I'm doomed to love a guy with a death wish!"
"Oooh! Why don't you say things like 'Gosh I bet Ezra's going to nail it in Boise' instead of making it sound like I'm gonna break something?" The blond gave his boyfriend the side-eye. "C'mon, cutie! You're scared, and I know that. All I want is a bit of faith, okay? I love you too much to die! Haven't I proved that yet?"
"Faith isn't enough and you know it!" Beau was an atheist. It didn't cause problems between the two, but it did mean they had differences in perspective. "Why can't we just go to Minneapolis and be happy? And you can train until you're ready to go hardcore. You fell on your neck, Ez. I know I bring that up all the time, but it was only two months ago! You're always jumping off the ropes and the top turnbuckle and every time you do that, you're vulnerable, babe. Don't think I don't know about you falling off the ropes in MCW."
"Accidents happen!" Ezra argued, steering onto the highway. "I could crash this thing into a truck, or someone could shoot me in a robbery or heck, a blasted comet could squash us! Or I could relapse." He let that uncomfortable thought fill the air around them for a short while. "If you're so concerned about playing safe, then we're gonna have a lot of problems, Beaubear. I'm not interested in what could go wrong. Not anymore. I only want to think about what can go right. In the end, everyone has to die, don't they? Why not live the best life we can before then?"
"I hate how you bring up your cancer to win every argument," Beau sulked, and Ezra reached for his hand. It was so big.
"You say I win? Excellent," Ezra grinned, and Beau rolled his eyes before shifting back and closing them.
He might be intending to nap, or he's just chilling out. Either way, Beau only let go of his boyfriend's hand when Ezra needed to use both hands to drive, then he let Ezra entwine their fingers once more. The evening came quickly, and night after that. Tina had made some delightful sandwiches for their first night. Turkey, brie, homemade cranberry sauce and avocado - light on the brie for her little boy. Beau slipped them in the sandwich toaster, and they were so good that Ezra needed to pull over.
To Ezra's surprise and relief, the two did not have anything to argue about, it seemed. He'd been worried that Beau would get bored, tired and belligerent, but he was able to keep himself entertained and the conversation was pleasant. Ezra spoke about his father's Polish parents. It had been a long time since he'd seen them. Glennys liked to have her children to herself, so all four of Ezra's grandparents barely knew him. He intended to visit them in South Dakota again soon. Beau's father had parents from Europe as well - Belgium. Predictably, he saw a lot of his grandparents from both sides and his cousins too. They all loved and doted on their little gay cousin or nephew or grandson or whatever. Must be nice. Beau slumped off to the bed at around eight o'clock and began to sleep soundly. Nearly every time Ezra heard him snore, he smiled. Unfortunately, they were on a tight schedule because Ezra failed to secure the day off work, so he had to stay the course and not snuggle up to his boyfriend.
It was almost one in the morning as the boys crossed from North Dakota into Montana, and Ezra's eyes were getting heavy. It wouldn't do to crash this thing. Replacing it would be a nightmare. He pulled over into a parking lot by a gas station and public toilet, groaning as he pulled himself up and trudged down the van to the bed, giggling as he saw Beau's long frame forced to curl up. He's so big.
"Ez, you're gay," Beau mumbled to him when his boyfriend nudged him awake.
"Right you are," Ezra yawned, picking up Beau's arm and wrapping it around himself, slipping under the blanket. "It's your turn. You promised."
"You're still gay," Beau fondly pulled him close. "Fine. But not just yet."
"If we both go to sleep I won't make it to the show!" Ezra whined, and Beau planted some kisses on his boyfriend's ear and neck, making Ezra flush with arousal.
"I never said I'm going to sleep!" Beau's tone had wickedness in it. "I just want to help you pass out the best way I know how."
"I don't even!" Ezra let his boyfriend sneak his hand under his shirt and play with his firm body.
"Alright, then. I challenge you to stay awake for forty-five seconds after I'm finished," Beau slid away and then came back, now resting his body between Ezra's legs. "Trust me, babe. You need to sleep and I kinda need to touch you."
Ezra gave a slight giggle, cut off by a choking moan as Beau's mouth gently bit down on his nipple and slowly made its way down his body. After Beau brought him to orgasm and lovingly kissed him afterwards, Ezra didn't even get to count to eleven before sleep overtook him. In his dreams, he posed like a superhero, one foot on the stacked bodies of Diego Silva and Lance Lovecraft in the middle of the ring as the whole world chanted his name.
Thanks to everyone who reads my stuff ❤️ The old cast will make a more permanent return to the story in the next chapter.