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> Culture Shock, Jack POV
Culture Shock
Posted: August 09, 2019 11:07 pm


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Joined: July 19, 2019




Did you know that Jericho was the city in which Jesus visited where he healed blind beggars inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices? Afterwards it was known as the city of Palms and started the story of Jesus’ journey. Jericho had turned into Jack’s ‘Jesus’. As much as he tried to play it cool and not overwhelm the girl, He was already enamoured with her. This was pretty evident to Emmie Ward, his tag partner. Especially when their morning practice had been halted immediately when she her name popped up on his phone. Travel arrangments. He wanted to make sure that he was there for when her flight got in and that he was hte one to make sure she got to her hotel safely. He was already acting to part of a protective boyfriend. Emmie wanted to warn him not to be too clingy, and after getting to know him a lot better over the last few months, she came to realize that maybe his break up with Calia wasn’t as one sided as he made it out to be. Yes, he doted on her and gave her everything her heart desired, however, he demanded a certain type of attention. He wanted to be the center of attention and she was worried that this behaviour would ultimately push her away as well, and that wasn’t something she wanted.

She fully admitted that Jack was an arrogant arsehole. She admitted that he could be quite self centered and often selfish but he was every bit the athlete he promised he would be. He was good at what he did and when he got in that ring, he dominated and that was exactly what she needed. The Ying to her Yang. That was why she knew they were the best tag team in SCW presently, even if they were the only ones that believed it.

The only way that everyone else was going to see it was if they were able to get past Amy & Vinnie. And just as much as Jack was determined to right his wrongs, so was she. She wanted to beat the pair and known for sure that the only reason they were victoirous the last time they squared off was only because Jack was so caught up in his miserable exsistence that he wasn’t giving one hundred precent of himssefl. It was hard for Emmie to say which was worse but considering that she couldn’t have everything, she opted for a happy Jack who actually pulled his weight in their team and if that meant that they had to stop what they were doing so that Jack could talk to the woman, then so be it.


Jack on the other hand was smiling as he chatted to the girl. A girl that had been in school with him, a year or two behind him, but there none the less. He had never noticed her back then because his whole world had been wrestling and then after that, Calia had become his everything. He knew that he attached to things deeply. That he cared deeply about things and it made him more vulnerable when those things became compromised but he would rather love hard than not love at all. He wasn’t the type of guy to be in the middle. Besides that, he was sure htat Jericho was becomeing just as enamoured as he seemed to be. She had spent most of the few days of his and Em’s vacation with them or with him. She visited their rented beach house daily. They ahd gotten dinner, gone for walks. He still hadn’t gotten the courage to kiss her though. He was scared that he was going to get hurt again. He couldn’t let himself be hurt like Calia hurt him, but there was something different here. Jericho wasn’t broken. She wasn’t miserable. She didn’t blame everyone else for her issues. She was well adjusted. Maybe that was the difference? Maybe it was Calia’s baggage that made her a pain in his ass? But despite everything, he didn’t really wish harm to Calia. He hoped that she found some absolution to her Daddy issues.

He hung up the phone and turned to look at the waiting Emmie. She raised one eyebrow and he scowled.

“What? Let’s get back to work. WE can’t lose this match. Was big enough of an emabareseement losing to Vinnie the crazy mariachi and the porn star the first time.”

Emmie sighs deeply. “That’s not really nice...”

He laughs. “And most of the roster calling me names is nice? I know I can’t convince you to see things the way I do, but you can’t think that the ring ropes are made of licorice and everyone is going to see campfire songs. You got lucky that earned the respect of Mark and Valentina and they took you up on getting a drink and now you have a shopping buddy. You won’t get that offer from Vinnie and Amy. You won’t get that from Sierra & Lachlan Kane. You difently won’t get that from the guys in London Underground, as much as you idolize and tweet those guys.”

Emmie crosses her arms over her chest. “Daniel was very nice to me...”

“Because it was on twitter. YOu realy think that guy would give you the time of day in real life. Look I have heard rumours from some of my Dad’s people that a few of them might be into some heavy shit but it’s all rumours, nothing substainatied. Just, don’t assume everyone is going to be your friend Em. It’s stupid. It’s going to get your ass pinned to the matt.”

He was right of couse, but Emmie didn’t want to admit that he was right. It only added to his already huge ego. Instead she shakes her head and slips into the practice ring.

“Well?” She throws her arms up and Jack smirks, knowing that even though she didn’t admit it out loud, she had concented to defeat on that particular topic.

“So how is Jeri?”

Jack stops advancing as soon as her name is heard and Emmie is able to slip by him and roll him up, nearly trapping him. He flips out of it and pushes his partner away.

“You talk to me about distractions Jack? I know you like her and I know that she’s going to be at the show on Sunday but don’t let your feelings for her cost us this match. I would hate to think that a girl came between us and a win, again...”

It was Jack’s turn to stay silent. This was how it usually went. They would always end in some kind of stalemate. Neither could get the upper hand on the other because they were so polar opposite to each other. They cancelled each other out. But in the same respect, it made them perfectly balanced as partners. It was also what was going to make it hard for anyone, not just Amy & Vinnie, to beat them. Emmie was not going to give up the opportunity to become tag champion. And Jack wanted nothing more than to shut up everyone that said he was blowing smoke. It was the motivation to be the best, and nothing was going to stop that.

***
As usual, Jack Asher’s promo isn’t anything spectacular. Just a plain non-descript background, the main focus always being him, in the center looking directly at the camera unflinching and not intimated in the least. To say that Jack was unmoving was an understatement.

“I am not one of those guys that says he respects his opponents for what they did in their past. But I will be the first to reem you out for the obvious blunders. Vinnie is in fact, a walking blunder. The last few weeks have been devestating for him. Lots of loses. Seeing is plant get destroyed so many times. Yes, cool, he got his shot at the heavyweight title at SummerEXXtreme and then aligned himself with Amy Santino so that he could greedily get his hands on another? In a team that is a free bird one? So now he’s living off the win that Joshua Acquin magically managed to get. I have to tell you. What is so special about this man? Is it that he’s aged? Is it that his belly is starting to resemble that of of his future wife. I mean it’s pretty funny that a woman that is supposed to be promoting health looks like the poster child for Type 2 diabetes and a warning to others for what to avoid to be a walking heart attack waiting to happen? A pretty face doesn’t do anything if the one hundred pounds she carries makes it so she could keel over at any opportunity. The best part is that her nephew whom she claims to adore doesn’t do anything to help her lose weight and begin a healthy life. “

He shakes his head sadly

“He talks about Valora West in all his promos, have you noticed? Like somehow she matters in this. She doesn’t. No more than my recent friendship with Jericho does. No more than my failed relationship with Calia does. This has nothing to do with his fiance, this has to do with his attempt at distraction. He tries to come off as this humble family man who is somehow the best this company has to offer while making off-handed comments about his opponents' lifestyle. If he had done the research he claimed to do, then he’d have remembered that I was almost a champion in SCW. I didn’t have to stab my supposed best friend in the back to do it either...”

He offers a smirk.

“But other than that? We have to talk about Vinnie the loon. Who talks to an inanimate catcus. I don’t care what kind of power he tries to pretend he has, no one can make a cactus talk. And he definitely can’t tell him what to do, so it’s hysterical to see him claim that the cactus makes him do things. Am I the only one that sees the crazy here? Because from what I’ve seen most people talk about how he’s pretty good in a ring and how he got his shot at the heavyweight title but no one has ever said to him, ‘dude, you need professional help’. Your own fiance should see the signs for a being a schizophrenic. Only in wrestling is is acceptable to let an insane person run amok unchecked. Crazy.”

He rolls his eyes in disgust.

“See that’s the difference between me and Vinnie the Mariachi... who by the way just says he’s a mariachi. Have we actually ever seen proof of this? Is it because he’s Mexican and that is the only requirement for being one? Because I have actually been to Mexico several times I have seen some phenomenal Mariachi’s. He’s not one of them. Just because you say you are something, doesn’t make it true. You can put antlers on a cat and call it a deer but is it a deer? No. The fact that Vinnie has gotten this far is amazing. Not in a good way. More like I feel like the bosses in the back are only keeping him around so that the people will have someone to laugh at. A clown. Not Senor Vinnie the Marichi who somehow ended up in a group called Metal and Punk Connection but a man that is in need of some medication and an extended stay in a mental ward. It is the distraction of what he is that has been why he has been so successful. He deluded Ty West into believing they were friends and then boom... uses that against him to win. He deludes everyone into thinking he is just some good fun-loving guy but he’s an evil lunatic. I’m not going to be tricked by his smoke and mirrors. And neither should any of you.”

He now turns to address his opponent directly.

“Vinnie, The last few weeks you have let emotions dictate how you are in a ring. And that is going to get your ass pinned to the matt. Again. And it will again once you get on that ship. I mean, having a title shot and getting married on live tv? That’s a lot of pressure. I think maybe you should leave the tag division to some people who are better able to handle it, yes? And carrying Amy Santino. I mean at least it’s not Jessie but not much better. Amy has been struggling to make waves for a long time in SCW and has now sunk low enough to be in a team with a but bunch of folks below her abilities and you know what they say? When you hang out with a certain type of person for long enough you start to emulate them. Amy needs to hang out with people who actually win matches, not crazy idiots that think they deserve shots they never earned. I mean you, Vinnie, you are actually that. You do have Some wins... you won that one that was important right? I doubt that is going to carry over to that boat. Austin is going to go home the champion again. Sorry. But before that, you’ll be walking away from this tournament a loser as well. You were fire when you came into SCW but now, now you are just a joke. A punch line.”

“Call me what you will Vinnie, I can already see it. Call me a hothead, arrogant. A man that doesn’t know his place... Yadda yadda. You think you are the first to say those things? And have I just listened to those people or have I actually stepped up my game? Did I not risk my own disfigurement to win a roulette title shot? I bet you couldn’t do that. Instead, you’d rather backstab those you care about for a title. At least I admit that I would do those things instead of crying about losing my best friend on twitter and then crying when that guy isn’t happy you have brainwashed his aunt into loving you and agreeing to be married to you. You aren’t anything special, Vinnie. You lost your opportunity to be great. You shit the bed, hardcore. There is a small opportunity to make it in any entertainment industry. If you don’t get on that train when it’s boarding then you’re going to be forever standing on the border watching the sun set on your time. You aren’t alone though. There are a lot of so-called ‘superstars’ in SCW who are in the twilight years. It’s just too bad that you spent your day talking to a fucking plant...”

He smiles wickedly and then laughs haughtily.

“Say what you will about my being an asshole, I admit I’m one. I don’t try to pretend to be something I;m not. I won championships when I was in traditional wrestling, I can most certainly do it here in this crazy messed up world. This whole loving future husband and nice guy friend is sickening to watch. Ty sees through your bullshit now, the rest of the roster sees through it, I mean Alex Jones destroyed you last week. He didn’t see anything worthy of being intimidated. To me, that says a lot. Not that I respect that trashcan fire, but he’s done a helluva lot more than you.”

“So before you start letting your ego get to you, think about how far more superior I am. How I have actually decided to work at this. To be the best partner, while you get thrown into a group with a woman that you barely talk to. That you barely know. Your win in our last match was a fluke. You can only beat me when I am at my worse, trying to beat me at my best is going to be just another ax to the tree you are hiding on. “

He swings an imaginary ax, making a whistling sound.

“TIMBER!”

He takes a step back, pretending to look at a fallen tree before he looks back at the camera. An eerie almost evil look crosses his eyes. He smiles wickedly again, winks and then turns away from the camera as it fades out.


***

It was mostly quiet on the way to take Jericho to the hotel he had gotten for her. She seemed more bashful than usual, but Jack wasn’t going to push her to talk. The last thing he wanted was to make her uncomfortable. He liked her. He liked who she was, how she talked. How animated she got when she spoke about her passions, her loves. He wanted to know more. He had missed her since they had left Malibu. He knew he had to slow down though. Too many times he had seen people rush into these things and it winds up ending very ugly. Like with Calia. He was almost ready to forgive her for everything. Forgive only to forget her. To move on and never look back. He wished her well but not too well.

He was an asshole and surprisingly, Jericho seemed to like him regardless of that. IT had been the topic of one of their first conversations. One of the deep ones that had lead well into the night, even after Emmie had wandered off to collapse in her bed completely drunk. Her argument had been, only real people can admit their faults and own them. Her second point had been, you shouldn't change who you are just to please other people. IT had been refreshing after having to pretend to be someone he wasn’t just to make Calia happy. HOw he had pretended to be okay with the way she seemed to love that fucking dog more than him. That had been the first crack, but looking back and now looking forward, he was actually happy that it had happened before they had actually taken the next steps. A pre-arranged engagement and marriage. One where he was going to have to constantly have to make up for the fact that her father was a moron. A moron was not him even if for a few years he had stupidly believed her when she said she loved him.

“Hey... you seem so far away...” Jericho nudges him with an elbow from the passenger seat. He had been on autopilot. Still following every traffic law and street light perfectly despite being lost in his own thoughts.
“I was just thinking... about...”

“Calia?” she asks and her voice almost sounds disappointed.

He shake his head. “No. About that first night on the beach. When we talked until the sun came up and you crashed hard on that beach towel with me.” He laughs and she blushes.

“First time I’ve ever slept with a guy on a first date...” she teases.

He pulls into the parking garage of the hotel and then looks at her. “Was that a first date?”

He bites her bottom lip. “Uh-huh...” she blushes again and Jack feels his heart start beating a little faster.

“So at what number of dates do we call this more?”

She’s silent as if thinking about it when she says, “twenty. When we get to date twenty we can talk about if this is going to be more. HOws that?”

“IF...” he says, almost disappointed.

As he pulls into a free spot she pulls his chin so that he’s looking at her. “NO. When. I don’t give up on people Jonathan King. I’m not about to give up on you either. You got some quirks but I see past all this facade you put up. You're not as much of an asshole as you claim to be. Assholes don’t treat women like equals. Assholes don’t put up with a woman loving a dog more than him. Which is still pretty lame if you ask me because you’re a catch.”

She then giggles and slips out of the car.

He’s quick to get out to meet her at the boot of the car. “I am huh? Then why wait until date twenty?”

She grabs her overnight back quickly and starts beelining it to the nearest elevator entrance, trying to avoid his question. He’s faster than her though and he’s able to catch her by the wrist and pull her back toward his chest. There is a moment. And it might seem cheesy but it’s like there is absolutely nothing else around them. Jericho drops her bag and the two are locked, all laughter, blushing and shyness was gone.

“So? Why am I such a catch?” he’s breathing heavy and it comes out a little more breathy than he intended. Not that the sprint had really made him work hard, it was just the effect she had on him.

“I’ll tell you on Date ten.” there’s a smile but her words are serious.

“Well this would be date five, do I get anything for that?”

“Uh-huh...” she nods her head.
She gets up on her tiptoes and quickly presses her lips to his. IT’s brief and she lands back on the heels of her feet before he can really react. The blush has returned to her cheeks but she doesn’t leave the embrace of his arms, their bodies impossibly close and tempting.

Jack is speechless, for even just an innocent kiss it had sent electric shocks throughout his body.

“If you win on Sunday, Maybe I’ll let you kiss me back.” she winks and steps back. She then grabs his hand and leads him to the elevator.

Jack knew one thing at that moment. He needed to win. Not just for Emmie, not just for the titles but so that he could have the chance to feel Jericho’s lips on his again. That was a bigger prize than any title he could ever hope to win.
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