Chapter 1 – Getting the Girl
Spearhead Wrestling erupted into roars and cheers. Lights of purple, grays, greens, and blue with music cued. Announcer Chad Murphy stood in the ring welcoming the crowd to another live show in Manhattan, New York. It wasn’t completely sold out, but enough to get at least a couple hundred dollars. Zemi DeMarx, a tall tanned man with blue eyes and blond hair, paced backstage, in the comfort of his dressing room. Nicknamed “Rookie” by Zaba Tigre didn’t bother him anymore. He became driven to prove the promoter wrong. He was by far a Rookie. He paid his dues. He spent the cash at BodySlam Pro Wrestling with head trainer Arnold Kleffer. If he thought Zemi was ready, and gave him a spot on Spearhead Wrestling, the main wrestling promotion of New York, then that’s all the justification Zemi needed. He sculpted his body to style. Strong, lean muscle, and agile. However, Zemi was alone, barely nervous about competing in the main event against Zaba Tigre. Lost in his thoughts about the one prize that commanded his heart. His star prize resided two rooms down currently changing with the women. Lexi Lovehart graduated with him. She measured up to his chest, with a small frame and curvy muscles. She usually wore her brown hair as pigtails. Zemi wondered what hairstyle New York would witness tonight. Zemi took a seat and breathed. Closing his eyes he inhaled, held the breath, and then expelled it.
“Come in,” he answered.
The doorknob twisted and she pushed the door forward. She leaned against the frame and smiled.
“Hey, you,” she sweetly said.
Zemi’s breath became caught for two seconds. Wasn’t expecting Lexi to show. “The crowd is rowdy tonight,” Zemi mentioned.
“Yeah,” Lexi agreed. “I’m facing Junie Sala.”
“Oh really? She’s from Star Valley Pro,” Zemi said.
“Yeah. We finished talking despite her bad english. However, how do you feel about turning heel tonight?”
Zemi raised an eyebrow. Turning heel? It’s been six months since graduating the school in combination with wrestling here. He was enjoying his run as babyface despite the crowd chanting “Rookie” and “Greenie.” That kind of collected reaction meant Zemi did something right. The crowd will always voice their opinion. Now silence…then reconsider another profession. Zemi and Lexi get paid for the reactions. But to turn heel? Zemi had yet to think about such a turn.
“You’re thinking too hard about the offer,” Lexi said, breaking his thoughts. “It should be simple. Just do The Boulder heel turn. You can tell the fans what you think. Afterall, ever since you started they gave you shit.”
“Wait. I don’t think that’s smart. Doing a Boulder heel turn? He’s no longer with the promotion,” Zemi scoffed it off. “Plus, the fans are reacting to something they hate about me.”
“Being a Rookie.”
Silence drifted between them. Zemi stood, walking to the doorway. He crossed his arms.
“You want something more than this?”
“It’s frustrating when Zaba doesn’t trust your ability to tell a story. I can work Junie. I can work anyone. But it’s frustrating to know you’re losing.” Lexi’s eyes gazed downwards. Zemi’s features soften.
“It’ll get better,” Zemi reassured. “Everyone starts from the bottom up.”
“Think about that heel turn,” Lexi said and walked back to the locker room.
Zemi wanted to stop her, hold her close, and kiss her then. But he knew better. Now wasn’t the time to show such feelings—even if unrequited or not. It shouldn’t feel pity; shouldn’t feel vulnerable.
The night wind down, the crowd almost drained. Zemi DeMarx waited behind the curtain for the cue. Evening Chaos by Animalistic blared through the speakers. A rock ballard. He powered his entrance by whipping the curtains behind him and warrior shouting. He knelt and tipped his body to the side, pulling his arms close to his head. His muscles flexed. After about a minute he stood and walked to the apron, hopping and posing to the crowd and hard camera. Making sure to wink at the ladies.
Upon entering the ring—wiping his feet first—announcer Chad Murphy finally introduced him. “Ladies and gentlemen! This match is scheduled for one fall. Introducing the challenger first: From New York and weighting in at one hundred and ninety pounds, Zemi “Rookie” DeMarx.” A New York native like Zemi always got the booed. It felt like fun more than pure hate.
A tiger roared from the speakers before a common spanish instrumental song played. A tall tanned man with a combination of fat and muscle strolled from the curtains. His face hidden behind a luchador mask. A thin cape flapped behind him. Zaba Tigre made it up the stairs and through the ring ropes.
“And his opponent: From Mexico City weighting in at two hundred and forty pounds, Zaba Tigre,” announcer Chad Murphy said and exited the ring.
The official, Kerry Luis, explained the rules to both Zemi and Zaba in the middle of the ring. After both nodded in agreement they seperated and Kerry gave the signal to ring the bell.
Zaba had his hands ready to grapple. Such an old guy. Zemi kept his smirk and pushed off the turnbuckles. Blood rushed throughout his body allowing arrogance rising. Zemi dove in, locking hands with Zaba and forcing him to bend backwards. Zaba grunted in surprise.
“How you like that old man,” Zemi yelled out. Babyface. Remember.
Zaba relocked his entwined fingers and pushed forward. Zemi fought it; struggled; gritted his teeth. Zaba quickly unlocked his hold and slapped Zemi’s bare chest. The sound echoed in the Manhattan Center. Zemi clutched his chest, rolled to his side and gasped for air. Zaba ran to the ropes and used the momentum for a flying leg drop. Zaba quickly covered Zemi. As the official dropped down, slapping the ring mat with a count of one…
Not like this, Zemi thought.
Two…Zemi raised his shoulder from the mat. Official Kerry threw up two fingers. The match wouldn’t end that quickly. Zemi DeMarx wasn’t a jobber.
Zaba picked him up by the hair. Zemi broke Zaba’s grip, throwing wild punches. Zaba retreated back. Zemi grabbed Zaba’s wrist and whirled him into the side turnbuckle. Zemi ran with a clothesline. Zaba became dazed. Zemi slapped Zaba’s chest. Tit for tat. Zemi then taunted at the crowd.
“Rookie,” the crowd chanted.
Zaba leaped from the corner turnbuckle and tackled Zemi. Zaba wrapped his legs around Zemi, depleting his oxygen. Zemi gritted his teeth and mentally cursed himself.
Never give anyone your back.
Zemi shook his head, the dazed gone, and drove his elbow into the knee of Zaba. Zaba cried out in pain, but reached out with an open-palm slap to Zemi’s face. Zaba applied more pressure with his leg scissor hold. Zemi slapped the mat. Such a simple hold. Zemi looked like a fool. Zemi then wiggled his way out, slamming his sharp elbow on Zaba’s knee again. Zaba loosened his grip and Zemi grabbed the ankle. He turned Zaba onto his belly, stepped over, and hooked his Zaba’s leg for a single leg boston crab. Zaba screamed as if his life depended on it. Overseller.
“Tigre, you give up?” Official Kerry asked.
Zaba shook his head. He then crawled to the bottom rope, hooking it with such desperation. Official Kerry told Zemi to break the hold. Zemi released the hold before the five count happened. This asshole wasn’t worth it. Zemi proceed to kick him. The official pushed Zemi back, wanting the fight to be equal. Zaba stood with help of the ring ropes. He hobbled on one foot.
Zemi rushed him with knee and slap strikes. Caught him off guard. Cool points. The crowd was less enthuse. Zemi dragged him to the middle of the ring and performed Dead to Rights, a reverse DDT. This should end it all.
Let’s take it home, Zemi thought. Zemi fell to his knees about to cover the promotion owner. Official Kerry dropped into position too, checking the shoulders before counting.
A sharp scream with muffled struggling paused everything.
“This is not how it ends,” J.Tigre said. J.Tigre held a woman; she struggled to break free. “You will not pin my father. You will not disgrace this promotion with your Rookie statue. You should be cleaning my toilets and rotting in the back. If you decided to take the victory,” J.Tigre paused.
Little shit, Zemi thought.
“Lexi Lovehart will feel my wrath,” J.Tigre said. He dropped the microphone and pushed a taped up Lexi Lovehart into the light. She had hurt her arm from her match against Junie Sala. Wasn’t major but it needed healing. Zemi saw that Lexi was tied with rope.
Snake, Zemi gritted his teeth.
“Don’t worry about me!” Lexi yelled.
Zemi couldn’t decide. He knew Lexi’s strength. She could get out of this. Besides, J.Tigre is still training. How much could he hurt her?
Zaba had regained motion and slithered just underneath Zemi to hook the inner leg. Lexi shouted too late. Zemi rolled onto his back; Zaba above him, using all his weight to keep those shoulders pinned. Zemi struggled within the small package roll-up. Official Kerry called for bell after reaching a three count. Zaba sprung from the pin and lightly celebrated against the ropes. His music hit. Zemi rolled to the side, head down, and gritting his teeth at the failure. He peeked from under his messy hair, eyes narrowed and burning with hate.
Zemi leaped at Zaba and punched with a closed fist. J.Tigre gasped and froze. Lexi twisted her body, pulling J.Tigre towards her. She kicked him. Knocking him out. She speed walked towards the bell keeper.
“Help me,” she said. The staff helped her wiggle free from the rope. She held her injured arm. Then she took a chair and grabbed Zemi’s attention. Zemi wasted no time slapping Zaba’s body with a steel chair. The sound echoed crunchly in the arena.
“You like that!” Zemi shouted. Zemi hit a couple more hits. He turned to Lexi, “Grab me some more chairs.” Lexi slid out the ring, threw the drape on the ring apron and threw a couple of chairs in the ring. Zemi set them up, then lifted Zaba to his shoulders. He tossed him onto the chairs. Zaba contoured and yelled from the pain. Zemi smirked. Happily smirked. He raised his hand in victory. Lexi entered the ring and stood by Zemi’s side. She hugged him. Her warm hand on his sweaty chest. She smiled too. Happily smiled. Freedom smile. Zemi looked down, gazed at her for a moment. His raised hand came down, cupping Lexi’s cheek. She looked into his eyes briefly. Zemi placed his foot on Zaba’s chest. Subconsciously, Lexi did too. A quick smirk and chuckle lead to Zemi leaning in a kissing the love he wanted. Lexi didn’t disappoint. She kissed him back. Zemi’s heart skipped a beat.
And Zemi DeMarx got the girl.
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