Toronto, Ontario

He did take her up on the invite to Toronto. She knows he isn't a fan of Canada at all. And honestly, who really is? The best thing Canada has going for it is the hot Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother, and even she has dual citizenship. But they're here. He had teased her a few times about going to Kansas or Ohio, where the real Torontos of the world are located. She let out a few laughs while grinding her teeth, wishing he'd take things a little more seriously.

It was cloudy Wednesday afternoon and a comfortable sixty something degrees. He preferred the warmer weather, while she enjoyed room temperature or below, but she should thank him for her exceptional tan with all the time they've spent in Bermuda. They were out walking and so far they had avoided much of the public and any confrontation from fans or wrestling media that may or may not take kindly to their relationship, which to him was the best thing about this summer. He just hadn't told her that yet.

"I'm in the mood for coffee." He told her while they were holding hands like an awkward high school couple. "What about you?"

"Is the only reason you're hanging out with me here is to avoid that prick from the DA office in Boston?"

He turned his head toward her, her eyes were wide and she was concerned. "I asked you about coffee."

"I know, but... I'm just hoping that maybe you're here for me, and not a billion other reasons." She looked down for a moment, desperate for his approval and affection but afraid what kind of can of worms that may or may not open. She wanted to take the risk, but she had her reservations.

"I am here for you. We've spent all kinds of time in Bermuda. It's about time I get to know the city where you're from. Most relationships are give and take; one gives and the other takes. I want this to be split down the middle. I don't want to argue about the trivial things. I want to enjoy your company no matter what street or acre of land I'm on."

She gave him a million dollar smile and moved closer to him. It was one of many things she liked about him, being straightforward and knowledgeable. There was no need for games, no need to constantly try to one-up the other. For these moments, these two lovers by day and blood-thirsty warriors by night could be themselves and that's what they enjoyed most. Matthew constantly reminded her that her freakish height didn't bother him and he had much preferred taller women than the shorter variety.

"Coffee sounds good, by the way." She pointed across the street at a local cafe that she had been to before. It was low-key and at the moment it seemed like it was closed, an indication of how not busy it was. They liked that. The two crossed the street still holding hands and rubbing shoulders together.

Ah, the honeymoon phase. Their plan initially was to extend this phase as long as possible, and worry about going public and officially becoming an item dealing with all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with that on a much later date. But lately Matthew was questioning the plan, more so than Teresa.

"We'll take two regulars, cream and sugar please." He had asked the barista politely, who was eying the two up with a "Where have I seen you before?" kind of look. She shrugged her shoulders however. "Okay sir." That was her response. He hated being called sir, because it made him feel like 33 when he's been trying to act years younger than that to keep up with the young bucks of the community. Like the one attached to his left arm at the moment.

"I spy... a gray hair!" She giggled after like a young girl. They played the I Spy game often. Something corny they do. Every couple has a corny game they play.

"Hey, don't joke around about that. Getting old is the number one killer of wrestling careers, kid." She laughed, toying with the back of his hair a little bit. Matthew paid the barista for the two coffees and they found a table in the corner away from the windows.

"I just want to say thanks again for coming to the funeral over the weekend. It really meant a lot to me that you were willing to do that." He smiled, reaching out for her hand as she sipped on her hot coffee. "It really wasn't a big deal. Joe was certainly surprised to see me, wasn't he?" She put down her coffee to let it cool a bit more.

"Yeah, he was, but he knows you...I mean we don't want this getting out to the public."

She tilted her head to the side a bit, looking right in his eyes as he looked away for a moment.

"What are you thinking?"

A slight moment of awkwardness after she popped that question. It happened, as much as they tried to avoid it.

"About how I need to relax." He displayed a playful smirk. "You, relax?" She fired back. "I don't think that's possible, especially with that cup of caffeine in your hand."

"Well, the caffeine helps since you kept me up waaaay past my bed time." He responded. She shrugged her shoulders and with a smile, went back to sipping her coffee.





Toronto, much later that day


Matthew "Virus" Engel: "I remember that one time Marxx shocked the world and defeated Jethro Hayes for the World Championship in 2009. I was front row for that match and I saw Marxx put on the match of his life, more focused than ever, and he did something no one thought he had the power to do. Fast forward a little bit to October and once again Marxx shocked the world by defeating me in the finals of an Intercontinental Championship tournament. Proving he was a talented individual and not a flash in the plan, Marxx set his sights on being a great champion and he accomplished that goal."

(It's dark outside. I'm outside in front of an apartment building trying to get a breath of fresh air. I left someone inside, getting away for a moment to collect my thoughts. I've got something to say.)

Matthew "Virus" Engel: "This is almost two years ago now. A lot has happened since then. We've seen his career fluctuate up and down; we've seen him capture the Grizzly Beer Championship from Hunter Sullivan only to lose it three weeks later to Ash Nukem. Two guys who kept going toe to toe with Rob Robinson and coming up short nearly every time. Marxx knows a lot about that, don't you?

Because you were given a tremendous opportunity to win some AoWF gold, the same gold that has been around the waist of legends, and you fucked that up so bad that Robbie didn't even need to cork his bat to knock you out of the fucking park. You're the only guy in the history of the PWA to win its top prize as your first championship and then stumble down the ladder hitting the IC and GB along the way before falling flat on your dirty French Canadian face where you were curtain-jerking Rampage against that wannabe Irishman O'Kelly.

You're so terrible in and out of that ring that you've been playing slave to Mark McNasty who, in case you didn't know, has no relevance in the PWA anymore after I took his only record and blew it up with a case of C4. This is all for the sake of the Intercontinental Title which you stole and sold on eBay. Yes, it all sounds so fucking terrible, doesn't it? It's like a bad dream that you are forced to wake up from and when you think it's all safe, you fall back asleep and right back into the same fucking nightmare.

It's so bad that Riona Langly has come out of her comatose retirement just to show you motherfuckers how to wrestle again.

This is a woman who jumped ship from PWA to Victory back in February and got beaten up so badly that she left her career in shambles just so she could finally get some rest and recover from all of the terrible violence she's brought upon herself for the last three years. And even as bad as that sounds, she felt it necessary to sign a contract with Robinson and the PWA, take back a belt that she's done a better job keeping than you, Matt Stone, and McNasty combined, and make the second tier of PWA wrestling interesting once more.

That's what it's come to. That's what you've brought upon yourself, and don't you dare point a finger at anyone except you. You could have left well enough alone. You could have let Stone have his fun, because that kid deserves a little respect and a little bit of fun around here despite his enormous stink of failure that follows him at nearly every turn whenever the World Title is mentioned in his presence. Your career has gone from being impressive and promising to boring and downright channel-surfing ridiculous. You're a smaller draw than Joshua Danielson, who would have turned up this week against me and put up a much better fight.

At least that guy has gotten his hands dirty in the name of something he believed in. At least he broke the mold of himself and tried to progress, tried to change something - anything - just so he could climb a rung or two. You've been falling for years now and you still have not found whatever it's going to take to turn your sad and pathetic career around.

And if you dare step in front of the camera and tell the world that your life, your career, and everything you've failed at for the last several months is all going to turn around when you defeat me inside a ring that I've been so damn good in for so damn long? I'm going to end your fucking life. No one is going to believe anything you say; no one is going to have any confidence in your ability to win this Sunday because while your last two 'impressive' outings were against a poor man's Irishman and wrestling's version of the cookie monster, you haven't been able to put on a match or even throw a punch that will be anywhere close to keeping up with a guy like me. I'm lightyears ahead of where I was the first and only time you put my shoulders to that mat for three seconds.

I've been tearing this federation a new one with all the winning I've been doing and records I've been setting and despite minor setbacks recently, I'm just as focused for this match Sunday night as I was at Sizzler, at High Stakes, Who's The Man?! and even last week when I disposed of Vic Wagner in that tag match, which had no other way of ending, rather easily who talked like he was the second coming of Christ but ended up being just another blood stain on the bottom of my awesome fucking boot.

You honestly don't stand a chance against me, Marxx, because I'm working on closing out one of the best years I've ever had in this business with an AoWF World Title opportunity looming in the background and I will certainly not let a man like you who's 'impressiveness' is on par with the likes of Dangerous Dan and coked-out Showtime put a dent, a scratch, a tainted breath on everything that I've been building towards. I will not let that happen. We can go back to my loss against Danny Monroe and chalk that up to whatever it was. It was a night where he brought his best and I kept with him on every single move except the end, because I was only running at fifty percent with my mind half on his arm bar and half on my dead brother who was laid up in the hospital at the time.

And bam, he locked it on and I never got out of it. An off night happens to all of us, and that's all that was. The best have off nights, unless you're Lisa Seldon who ninety percent of the time is fighting competitors on a bi-weekly basis that made Johnny Maverick look like the king of the fucking world. Sure, if I did that, I wouldn't ever lose a match either. But I didn't go the Lisa route and try to dominate from top to bottom some backwater company that had Maverick and Venar battling over a worthless championship that only has any merit now because the AoWF World Champion holds it.

I stayed here in Pioneer Wrestling, kept fighting the best this second place promotion had to offer, and kept getting wins week in and week out. I went to Victory and Rebel and got more wins, a few losses, and kept kicking ass, being awesome, and making people bleed. I was voted number two in the AoWF Community after I lost my AoWF Tag Championship that I held for nearly nine years.

So when I have an off night and a guy like Monroe comes along and beats me? I'm not surprised. I'm not worried. The PWA has always been a successful company filled with talent both full of potential or blossoming to the fucking brim, despite a few sour and bad apples that linger at the bottom of the barrel. And I will face Monroe another time and beat his ass fucking silly in the middle of a roaring crowd in whatever city. That's the beauty about someone like me, one of the best in this business, because I can take a loss here and there and come back with a fucking vengeance and crack skulls open like Achilles on fucking speed.

You have proved to be the exact opposite of that, Marxx. You have proved to be disappointing, depressing, and ultimately you have shown your French Canadian roots one too many times. You don't have what it takes to bounce back from career-threatening losses and keep yourself going and winning, climbing your way back to the top and knocking whatever poor soul that happens to be in your way off the top of the mountain as he or she screams your name in infamy on the way down.

You've never had that."

(I let out a sigh.)

Matthew "Virus" Engel: "So I'm more than happy to let you go on your homo-merry way to fighting the World Title-less Kid, the washed-up ex PWA Radio sidekick, and Riona Langly for a title that has been below my standards of excellence since the moment you bested me in a tournament finals that I fought two hall of famers and Johnny Maverick to get to while you had two pieces of shit whom I can't even remember and Chamelion.

But I'm going to send you there in terrible amounts of pain and you will be doubting yourself along the entire way, because I'm hoping that me beating you so badly and so aggressively will light some kind of fire and enthusiasm under your ass that you manage to come out of your impending title match content with who you are so we don't have another month or so of title stealing to look forward to.

It's seriously getting old. It got old when my younger brother did it back in June. It's like Jesus Christ and his apostles old right now, dude.

So take this learning experience that's about to be beaten into you for several minutes and face those other competitors with something other than boredom, silence, and thievery. Make something of yourself, once again, because if anyone needs a restart to their career it's you.

I don't mind being the paddles that electroshock your career back into relevance and success. It just won't be the way that you want it to be, because you won't come close to beating me Sunday night as I've done a good job explaining to you and to everyone why that is. But I'm hoping that beating your stupid face in and crushing your ribs with the most exciting and awesome aerial move that even Jamie Flynn can't match will bring you out of whatever this is.

It's time, Marxx. It's time to stop settling for mediocrity and theft and if you can't do that, then you'll understand why going up against me who's entirely focused and entirely bent on destroying you in that ring so he doesn't have to walk around with his girlfriend all pissed and not relaxed because some douchebag got the best of him is working one million percent against you.

And it's going to take one million percent of your effort to get past me.

Good luck, cunt."

(fade.)