October 18, 2019, 03:50:31 AM

Author Topic: "Castle on the Hill"  (Read 317 times)

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Offline Cyrus Riddle

"Castle on the Hill"
« on: March 04, 2018, 03:19:32 PM »
A night wind rustled the trees, creating dancing silhouettes out of them with eerie limbs pointing in various directions. The chill had set into the air, demanding anyone who ventured out to dress their warmest. It was that fickle New York air that Cyrus Riddle braved for years, and continued to do so. After all, he had just travelled from Calgary to Houston, and back to New York, and with a near fourteen year career under his belt, the time shifts and weather adjustments had become second nature.

At this very moment, he found himself participating in a previously lost concept he once treasured above all else to escape reality and the pressures faced on a regular basis… tranquility. Leather jacket, red “Impaler” t-shirt underneath, and blue jeans leading to black boots, he sat in the passenger side of the car occasionally glancing out into the night and trees surrounding the property.

It was one of few rare moments where he found himself not reflecting, not over analyzing or thinking, but simply sitting and admiring. The XTV Championship sat in his lap, center plate looking up at him with brilliance as passing clouds allowed moonlight to shine and enhance the etching of the letters.

Over two and a half years of inconsistency and struggle, failing to find his footing from the Boardwalk transition, had finally been broken upon his return and subsequent success. New life yielded tangible reward, and now, he could, even if for only a fleeting moment, rest in his first singles championship achievement in 4CW.

“This is what you should have done long ago.”

A deep inhale and exhale preceded the low chuckle as his hand scooped underneath the plate and he held the title to his face, leaning his bandaged head against it while the lids of his eyes blanket their green iris’. Barbed wire, blood, and the metallic taste were not strangers to him, and even he had to admit the adrenaline wearing off introduced a throbbing pain that had persisted for the better part of the day, with only ibuprofen to curb. But, at least he felt alive again.

Then, with that feeling of being watched, he turned his head slightly left, watching two faces staring back at him from the foyer window, undoubtedly checking to make sure he was okay. And with that, he exited the car slowly, XTV Championship in hand. The wind blew against his face, magnifying the sensations of his battle wounds. The two beautiful faces had disappeared, but he smirked and trekked on slowly to the front door, entering the comfort of home after a gruelling week.

A cherry oak table sat in the center of the foyer where he placed his newly acquired gold next to a Women's World Championship before allowing his jacket to slide down his arms from behind, carrying it in the firm grasp of his hand as he entered the kitchen.

To many, coffee was used as a means of morning functionality, but Cyrus also preferred a nightly cuppa, with the aroma and medium taste bringing a certain comfort and seal to his days. So, as he placed his jacket on the counter, with his shirt to follow, revealing a plethora of tattoos and scars, he now displayed fresh bandages. The majority of these wounds decorated his back, a few on the sides, and one on his front of his own doing. However, they were not as deep, therefore requiring superglue rather than stitches, although his back did have a few of its own. Barbed wire was unforgiving, but at Retrograde, he became even more so.

“Izzy run off to play?”

The absence of their two year daughter was always quickly detected, as the young girl commanded a room much like her mother and father, even at such a young age. Cyrus walked over, kissing Elena on the back of the head as she stood, waiting for the pot to finish brewing.

”Wouldn’t surprise me if she is sitting in her room -- having both our titles.”

Elena let out a soft laughter before taking out two cups, putting everything in its place. Yet she wouldn’t move too far from him, for different reasons. In front of her inner eye she still saw sequels of the match. It was brutal. It was messy. But it was worth it. Like every other time she would swallow down her worries when facing him, giving him this flashy smile.

”Do you have any idea how proud I am of you? I don’t care if that is sounding like mushy talk -- but you owned that shit.”

He smiles, a smile that's uncharacteristic of him in any other company that isn't Elena's. A sense of pride filled him, and also a sense of fulfillment from the actions that were taken in the match. She understood his mentality and the actions that accompany, regardless of when and where they occur. That's what had brought them back together and closer than ever over the last weeks… complete honesty and understanding… a trust.

“I did what I needed to do. It felt amazing, and thank you for being there for me. The pride you have, I keep that close, just as I'm proud of you for all you do, and all you are.”

His arms wrap around her with embrace, standing firmly in their spot, not needing or wanting to move.

“This family has gotten stronger, and I want to keep it that way, both professionally and privately. Even if I have to spill buckets of blood, I will. It's been a long time coming for me, for us. Sometimes the road travelled longest presents us the best destination. It's just a matter of enduring the drive.”

Even worn, fatigue beginning to set in on him in the lateness of the night, he could manage some wise words to share. In an usual manner she reached out, rubbing his cheek. It had been a while since she allowed anyone in her personal space. Emotionally.

”I told you about a year ago that we are a team. And that goes way further than having a wonderful child together. The truth is, we will both fight for this family. It means a lot more than either of us would have thought in the beginning. There are things you can plan and then there is this.”

She looked up with that well known smile, nibbling on her bottom lip.

”A little something I might have to add about tonight -- your win came with personal satisfaction. A healthy ego is what drives us to be the best. An overdose makes you look like a joke. Point proven.”

A thought he had a few times, yet had never quite heard it made so poignant.

“That's true. That was my problem before. Name, reputation, I felt they took precedence over all else, and I let my work suffer for it. I forgot who I was at the root, where I came from, what was important. When the pretenders shut me out or sauntered off to escape the hell I was bringing them, you stayed through thick and thin. Without that, with you being the example, I would have given in to my vices. Now, I feel stronger than ever.”

”We had our ups and downs during the past three years. Decisions were made that weren’t really clever -- but still necessary. I have never seen you for what others tried to make you. Sure there were points where I wasn’t certain if I can keep holding on, but I am stubborn as fuck.”

Another laughter. They were gently interrupted by the pot giving away its usual noise. A silent frown appeared on her face when she turned around, working on their coffee. For a long moment she remained silent, feeling his presence in every cell of her body.

”Some of the things you pulled left a bitter taste in my mouth, but you know that. And with that being said, I think I have done quite the same to you. But one thing can never be said about you and me Cy, we don’t give up on each other. You been with me on my way back into a career they said I couldn’t have. And in the end it made us both grow.”

“It has, and in that forgiveness, we found a renewed trust in one another. Picking up when the other is down, being parents, making sure the careers are seeing a forward movement. And beyond the multiple misinformed, incompetent people we have come across, we always had understanding.”

He now took to leaning forward against the counter, feeling the twinge of his wounds as his muscles move.

“You never have tried to change who I am, nor did you judge. You just wanted me to be a better man, better father, better companion, and once I realized how empty the other life was, I worked on that. I crawled back from an abyss that was sure to take me… to better our lives, especially Izzy’s. I've gone from being what I felt was a poor excuse of a father, to being what I feel is the best one. And all of that change, all of the transition, was a long learning process.”

”And I only had to leave you twice for that.”

She made her voice sound playful but he knew better than that. Elena was never a good liar, especially when she talked to him. All their time together she hated to talk about her own feelings. She was a master of reading others -- holding them together, but failed when it came to herself.

”All of the things you said are true. To a degree. We wanted everything but neither of us was ready for that. You grew out of old habits and I stopped running. But you are wrong about one thing. I never thought you were unworthy of being Isabella’s papa. She loved you from the first moment and she will still love you when the world turns to dust. That is what kids do. So no matter the wrongs we did to each other, we didn’t do them to her. You remember when we sat in that park a year ago? You telling me how you wished I could hate you for what you done? I did too. And I failed.”

His focus seemingly became lost on nothing. He simply looked on in thought, distinctly remembering the conversation she spoke of. There were countless times he had wished she would have forbade him to hurt her anymore than he had done already, yet she stubbornly stayed for more, whether or not it was of his own knowing or not.

“Guess that makes two of us then, because I failed as well. No matter how many times I stayed on the topic if you fleeing from me, I could never be mad because I would have done the same in your position. What it really comes down to, is that two wrongs cannot make a right, but two people who have repeatedly failed, yet never given up, can still find a way to succeed… not individually, but unified. I believe this week was proof of that.”

”Don't get too high. I can still beat you.”

She laughed right in his face her whole body shaking.

”But all jokes aside, we got serious things to discuss. Way bigger than the fact that Izzy will keep you locked in the fort.”

Elena pointed over to the table where plenty of papers were spread out. Grabbing both their cups. His brow raises to her before sitting down at the table, mumbling about being the clear victor.

“Alright, so what is all of this?

”The property papers. They have been sent while we traveled.”

She sat right across him, her facial expression serious. A small wrinkle on her forehead. He knew that look. She didn't hesitate to sign them, shoving them towards him.

”I can adult.”

He didn't hesitate either, signing them as they stopped in front of him.

“As can I. So, this makes it official, yeah? Send back, process, and it's ours.”

El put her hand on his briefly.

”Yes, Mister Riddle. We just bought a house. Together.”

With a few quick moves she put it into one of those huge envelopes, closing it properly. The seriousness left her face, replaced by a huge smile.

”I will have a talk with Finn about it. But you get the honour to tell Isabella.”

Smirking back, a quick nod of understanding led him to take the envelope into his hand.

“This… is monumental. One thing I've grown tired of, is the introduction phases. So many intricate conversations and meaningless encounters to acquaint with people. None of them were you, and none ever will be. We've wasted too much time, and now, we can make the most what we have, plus build more.”

”I know how you feel. We got an eternity in front of us. I don't think we will never bump heads -- especially with moving together. But, and that is what matters, we are taking a step we never considered. I am tired of hiding the truth. Tired of switching between places. We both want a home.”

This time she grabbed his hand for real. Her paleness painting a perfect contrast. And with this tattooed hand moving to hold hers, he pressed his lips to her soft skin before holding her hand to his head.

“No more running, no more hiding, no more foolishness on my part, and no more broken homes. I love you, I always have. We are a deadly duo for anyone who tests us, you've always treated me as a King… and now, it's time you take your rightful place as my Queen, just as it always should have been.”

She pulled him all across the table to place a huge kiss on his lips. When she let go, she grinned.

”Where is my crown?”

“Hanging with mine, at the doorway of our new place, with the first page of the rest of our lives.”

And with that ink to paper finalization, the epiphanies of both Elena and Cyrus had reached a form. Necessary, overdue steps toward a singular life now would become reality. She knew his good and bad, embracing both equally. They weathered one another's storms, felt the euphoric highs, and tragic lows... all to finally see the same vision, unified, unbreakable.