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002 - Stress Management (HTML version) :iconrichellew:RichelleW 1 2
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Just a friendly warning.  Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting new HTML versions of all my old stories.  For those who've already read them, know that none of the stories have changed in any way.  I'm doing this simply because I've discovered that using PDFs here on DA is a horrible thing to do.  It's kinda clumsy and hard to work with, and, worse yet, I've discovered that the PDFs don't even appear in the Firefox browser.  People using that browser see nothing but an empty screen and a download button.  To quote my father, it looks like crapola.  Over time, I've learned DA's half-assed HTML approach, and, while it's a pain to work with, it definitely produces a more readable story.  So I'm going to slowly add HTML versions of each.  My hope was to be able to post these new versions without annoying everyone, but, unfortunately, there's no way to post these without sending notifications to everyone who watches me.

Sorry. :( (Sad)

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Author's note: OK, so this one's not new.  It was originally contained in one of my press releases.  I simply wanted to repost it, as it will go along with all of the other behind the scenes stories I plan on posting here.  So, if it seems familiar, you can stop reading because this is exactly the same text you read last time.  However, if you haven't seen it, enjoy.  And, shame on you for not reading my earlier press release. :P

First, let's set the scene: After losing to Abi Titmuss at the Final Conflict event (her six loss in eight fights and her third in a row), Stephanie McMahon basically announced her retirement from the UMMA at the post fight press conference.  She immediately packed her things and left the arena.  I thought she was lost to us, but Danneel Harris chased after her, and the two had it out.  The next day, both were back at the practice facility, as if nothing had happened.  I asked no questions, figuring the story would come out over time.  Besides... I thought the whole thing was resolved.  And boy... was I ever wrong.




Stress Management


April 4, 2014

It was near the end of the day, and I was in my office looking over some pretty depressing paperwork. A few hours earlier, I had finished meeting indvidually with some of RSI's newest athletes. As I've said in the past, our athletes start out on a per diem contract. This allows the chance for a "feeling out period" to make sure we have a good fit before committing to anything long term. Personally, I've been very satisfied with the performance of all of our fighters, and I was prepared to offer long-term contracts to everyone I met with. My satisfaction wasn't the only requirement though, and not everything played out as I had hoped.

The first problem I ran into was with Leanna Decker. As everyone knows, RSI is a mostly no-nonsense stable. And, as we've learned, Leanna likes a little nonsense. She likes to push the boundaries a little bit, and many of her quotes have been... provocative. I put up with it because I like her attitude... and because her hair color is to die for. To be honest, I thought she would give us a little more personality as an organization. But, I've been hearing some grumblings from the light heavyweight group about Leanna's lack of intensity. Most of that grumbling has been coming from Leanna's training partner, Krystal Forscutt. Before joining RSI, Krystal had been having a pretty miserable career. She's got it turned around now, and she's not interested in anything that might put her recent success at risk. She is always intense in her training, and she has no tolerance for screwing around. The truth is, I blew this one. Krystal's intensity and Leanna's aloofness are not a good mix. This is a fact that's become apparent to Leanna, and so she has asked for her release. She recently asked for and received permission to join one of the KFL entries in the UMMA team competition. It seems that's given her a little taste of life outside RSI, and she wants to explore opportunities elsewhere. I'm sorry things worked out this way, but I wish Leanna well in her MMA future.

I was unhappy with what happened with Leanna, but it didn't totally shock me. The next defection, however, came out of nowhere and felt like a punch in the gut. Holly Bricken was someone that I personally scouted and recruited. Along with Marzia Prince, I thought she gave us a solid future in the heavyweight class. But, then came Dianna Dahlgren, who's mix of playful spirit and intense commitment made her almost impossible to ignore. I thought that signing only made us better. But, it seems that between Dianna joining the mix and Marzia recently making the most of her shot in the team competition, Holly found herself wondering if there was still a place for her here. I told her in no uncertain terms that there was, but nothing I said seemed to make a difference. Holly wanted the opportunity to test the free agent waters, and I wish her well.

At that point, I was more than a little upset. I pride myself on the chemistry and family atmosphere that exists at RSI, and it was now clear that I had badly misjudged the situation in a couple of cases. But, when I heard the small knock at my door and looked up to see Jamie Lynn Spears looking timidly in at me, I knew my day was about to get a whole lot worse. As one of four children, I have a decent understanding of how sibling relationships work. Being the oldest, I have always felt the need to watch over my younger siblings. That feeling continues to this day, even though we're all grown up. I have never personally known what it's like to live under someone else's wing like that, but my brothers have often let me know that it's not always pleasant. Therefore, I knew when we signed Jamie that things might get a little touchy. As I watched Brit bask in the glow of her Open Fight Night success and her Hit the Beach championship, I also saw Jamie wilt into the shadows. So, when she told me she wanted her release from RSI, I knew exactly where the request was coming from. I was adamant that there was absolutely a place for her here, outside of being Britney's little sister. But she was just as adamant that she needed to do this. As I said, I will never know what it's like to be the younger sibling. But, I've seen my brothers do some pretty stupid things just to prove they are their own person. I think Jamie is making a mistake, but I get it. I wish her the best, and I want her to know that there will always be a place for her with RSI.

And so, by the time Danni entered my office, I was in a pretty deep funk. I told her about what happened, expecting her to join me in my miserable mood. What I didn't realize was that Danni already had her own miserable mood going, and she was about to unload it on me. It seems that after Danni caught up to Steph that night, she flat out accused her of giving up just because the going got a little tough. I was spared the fine details, but I got the impression that the conversation was not entirely civilized. I also got the feeling that the altercation was not entirely conversational. The upshot, though, was that her recent run of tough luck in the cage was not the only thing bothering McMahon. It seems that, as many of RSI's athletes have risen rapidly through the ranks, perhaps someone got left behind. Though Danneel likes to play the part of the tough, no bullshit fixer for RSI, I have seen her soft underside many times. The RSI family is as important to her as it is to me. One of our own was hurting, and Danni was feeling it. And, of course, why would she want to hurt alone when she could take me with her?

"Sounds like more expert management work to me," she sniped.

She said it so casually, I almost didn't realize the weight of her words. I had begun to turn my attention elsewhere when it hit me.

"Wait... what?"

"Never mind," she said, her attitude clearly on display.

"No. I mind," I said, my own shitty mood taking over. "What the fuck was that you just said?"

"I said you fucked up. That's what I said," came her reply.

By this point, the volume level in the office had increased significantly. Not wanting this to turn into a public event, I went around the desk and closed the door. When I turned back, Danni was blocking my way.

"What do you know about Stephanie?" she asked, referencing her real problem for the first time.

"What do you mean? She's a fine fighter. A past champion, who I'm confident can get back..."

Danni waved me off. "I mean what do you know about HER?" she asked again.

I was in a pretty bad mood before this started, and Danni's grating attitude wasn't helping. "I don't know!" I yelled back at her. "She was a wrestler over in that World Wrestling thing, right?"

"Yeah," she said, "that's all anyone ever sees when they look at her."

"Is there more?" I asked.

Danni just shook her head in disgust, and then tried to push past me. I grabbed her arm as she went by, hoping to get her to explain herself. And from that point on, things spiraled out of control pretty quickly.

Without a word, Danni spun and planted a hand in my chest, throwing me backward onto my desk... papers, pens and assorted office junk scattering everywhere. I righted myself and turned to face her. The look on her face was a mixture of seething anger over the situation and outright shock at what she'd just done. A sane person would have taken advantage of that shock to try and calm things down. After all, this was Danneel Harris, former DEF champion, reigning Lingerie Invitational champion and winner of more than 50 professional fights. Of course, I don't know if you've noticed, but the hair on my head is as red as it comes. So, at that particular moment, I did not give the slightest fuck who she was.

I hurled myself off the desk and charged at Danni, using my shoulder to lift her off the floor and drive her into the door. The wooden frame splintered, but did not give as it struggled to hold back our combined weight. Danni was stunned at my move, and I wasted no time taking advantage. I caught hold of her wrist and twisted it up behind her back, hoping to immobilize her and put an end to things before it really got nasty. Thinking back on it, I have no idea why I expected this would work. Danni still had both feet under her, and she simply leaned into me and drove me back into one of the bookcases that line my office. The brutal impact caused me to lose my grip, and Danni slipped her hand free. She stepped away to gain space, and I regained my balance. As I turned to face her, my fists came up automatically into a boxer's stance. As I looked across, I was not shocked to find Danni had done the same. Clearly, both of us were too far over the edge to realize the stupidity of what we were doing. Either that, or maybe we just needed this. Either way, it was a long way from over.

As we closed on each other, I shot my left out, jabbing at Danni's face. She caught it easily on her guard, and responded with a short left hook to my exposed side. I slipped left to avoid the blow, but only just barely. Unfortunately, my office is a hell of a lot smaller than a boxing ring, and I realized too late that I had trapped myself in the corner. Danni flashed her jab, and I caught it easily. But, there was no room to maneuver as her follow-up hook ripped into my side. I fought through the pain, lashing out with a right-hook aimed at her head. She caught my fist cleanly enough, but I followed through, smashing my elbow into the side of her face. She staggered back and I saw my chance. I chased after her, hoping the end was near. But, this is Danni Harris we're talking about. She got her legs under her and snapped a crisp jab into the center of my face. I felt a pop and there was no mistaking that warm feeling on my face for anything other than what it was... blood pouring out of my freshly broken nose. My momentum carried me into Danni and we both careened into the door once again. I tried to gather myself but Danni was faster, and this time it was your's truly who found herself with her left arm bent awkwardly behind her back. Danni, however, was much more thorough than I had been. Using my arm for leverage, she kept me pressed against the door and off balance. Careful to steer clear of my free hand, she positioned herself just off my left shoulder. I struggled for a moment, but quickly realized there was no legal way for me to get free. Of course, this wasn't a cage, and there was no ref.

I braced my foot against the damaged door frame and snapped my head left, driving the top of my skull into Danni's face. There was a satisfying crunch that told me we were now even in the nose department. She stumbled away and I knew this was probably going to be my last hope of coming out on top. I lashed out with my right foot, catching her behind the left knee. The joint folded instantly and Danni collapsed to her knees. I stayed on her, coming up from behind and looking to lock in a choke hold. Any other fighter, I would have had it. But, oh that Danni...

Almost automatically, her left arm came up. The result was that I was able to lock on the hold, but Danni's arm ended up between my arm and her neck. So, while she wasn't able to get free, I wasn't able to get any pressure on her throat. Stalemate. Danni struggled to get back to her feet, literally dragging me along. But, there was no way I was going to let that happen. Before she knew it, I had my legs wrapped around her torso with my feet hooked between her legs to keep her from making use of them. I squeezed as hard as I could, but I just couldn't get enough into it with my feet hooked like that. If I let her legs go, though... I had a pretty good idea that she was going to regain her feet and start slamming me all around the room. Stalemate, part deux.

This is the point where the ref would step in and stand us both up. With that option unavailable, it quickly became apparent we were stuck. Danni struggled mightily to get free, but I fought back just as hard. After a few moments, I felt Danni go slack in my arms. I loosened my grip, but did not let go.

"Are we done?" I asked quietly.

"Yeah," was the simple response.

I released her, but neither of us moved. Slowly, we both became aware of the situation. A fight that seemed to have taken hours had actually lasted barely more than a minute, so the cavalry was only just arriving. I could hear the footsteps as someone flew full tilt toward the office. And, then... BOOM. A body hit the door, but it refused to open. Now that Danni wasn't trying to kill me, I got a look at the damaged entryway. Apparently, we hit it a lot harder than I'd realized. The locking mechanism and catch plate were a bent, mangled mess. Nobody was going to be going through that door for a while.

"What the fuck?" came the stunned voice from the other side as whoever it was rattled the knob. "Hey! Are you guys OK in there?" Britney.

"Yeah, we're fine," I called back.

"The fuck you are. This door looks like somebody hit it with a boulder."

I looked at Danni and we both shrugged. Sounds about right.

"What the fuck is going on in there?" Elisha, now.

"Everything's fine," I responded. "Just find somebody to fix the door."

There was a moment of stunned silence and I could picture both of them standing on the other side of the door, contemplating demanding the real truth behind the situation.

"Guys..." I called out.

"Alright! Alright! We'll find someone!" Britney shot back, annoyed that I had been reading her mind.

"But, we're gonna want the whole story when you guys get outta there," Elisha chimed in.

Great.

With little else going on, I looked over at Danni. She was a mess, her face and shirt covered in blood from her shattered nose. I looked down at myself. Not much better... my shirt stained crimson from my own blood, and my arm covered in blood that I could only guess was Danni's. I stood up and made my way behind my desk. The word "behind" is kind of relative in this case, as the desk was no longer oriented the way I'd originally placed it. Most of what had been on it was now scattered throughout the room, along with books and files that had cascaded down from the bookshelves. The place looked good. My laptop clung desperately to life as it teetered precariously on the edge of the desk. I shoved it to safety as I waded through the debris. Retrieving a roll of paper towels from my desk drawer, I tore off a wad and tossed the roll to Danni. We looked like quite the pair, each of us with a ball of paper towels pressed to our face as we stood amongst the detritus of my office.

Finally, Danni swept the debris off of one of my guest chairs and sat down heavily. I came around and did the same with the other, clearing away books and papers. I reached down and picked up what was left of my Mickey Mouse mug, a souvenir from my last trip to Disney World. I stared at it for a moment as if I had no idea what it was. Then, I callously flipped it over my shoulder, the already broken ceramic shattering into unrecognizable pieces.

Oh, well. Just have to go back and get another one.

"So," I said as I plopped down beside RSI's team leader. "Feel better?"

"I do," she replied, her voice nasally and muffled as a result of the broken nose and the aforementioned towel wad. "That was quite a stress release."

I laughed and nodded. "That it was."

After another moment, Danni gave voice to a matter I had no doubt she was going to bring up. "So, uh... you handled yourself pretty well there, mi querida."

Oh, good... endearments en español.

"I held my own, I guess," I replied coyly.

She opened her mouth to ask for more details, but I was saved by a knock at the door.

"I called Jimmy and he said he's on his way," Britney said. "He was out on a job, though. He said it'll be about an hour before he even gets here."

I groaned. "OK," I replied. "Not much much else we can do."

Britney was quiet for a moment, and I knew what was coming next.

"So, you guys want to explain..."

"NO!" Danni and I replied in unison.

Obviously, Britney wanted to hear the whole story, and I was certain we'd eventually have to tell her. But, neither of us really felt like doing it through the door.

"OK," Britney called back. "But, I'm going to keep aggravating you until you tell me. Just so you know."

Yeah... we know.

Once Britney was gone, I jumped in before Danni could continue on the previous topic.

"So," I said, gesturing toward the destroyed door, "looks like we'll be here for a while. Tell me about Steph."

She laughed. "Maybe we shouldn't. I'm pretty sure that's how this got started in the first place."

I smiled back at her and waited.

Danni blew out a sigh, and said, "What do you really know about her?"

"Almost nothing," I said. "I think we've established that."

"Do you realize that she's not just some former wrestler? She's an executive over there."

I shrugged. "What does that mean? Her father is the head of the whole thing, right?"

Danni shook her head. "You're doing it again. She's not just Daddy's Little Wrestler Girl. She's so much more."

Apparently, after Steph and Danni had their little, uh... discussion, Danni made it her mission to get a clearer picture of who Steph is. And, during the hour that followed, she shared it all with me. Chief Brand Officer of the WWE. Head of the WWE's NXT development program. Regular at WWE charity events, including a recent joint event with the Sandy Hook Community Foundation, where she helped build a new memorial playground. Clearly, there was much more to Stephanie McMahon than I had realized.

"So, now you see why she might have felt like quitting," Danni said finally. "We grew this whole organization, and we left one of our greatest assets completely out of the picture. Hell, we didn't even know how great an asset she was. We blew it."

I sat sullenly, not knowing how to respond.

"We didn't even make her the leader of one of the teams," Danni lamented.

"Hey!" I said. "Britney and Elisha were your idea!"

"I said 'we,'" she shot back.

I touched my hand to the bridge of my sore, swollen nose. Funny. That's not what she said just before she punched me in the face.

As we sat in silence, I looked around at the state of my office. How was I ever going to find anything again? Not that it mattered. Most of it was just junk. In fact, the only important thing in there right now was those... holy shit. I looked over at the corner of my desk, where I had left the release paperwork for Leanna, Holly and Jamie Lynn. By some miracle, they were still there, seemingly the only thing left undisturbed. I turned toward Danni.

"You said Steph is head of the WWE's developmental program, right?"

"Yeah. Why?" she replied.

I smiled. "Because I just realized we could use a little developing of our own."

I shared my plan with Danni, who seemed quite pleased with the idea.

Before long, Britney knocked again. "Jimmy just called. He said he'll be here in about 10 minutes, or so. You guys need anything? Something to eat, maybe?"

I stared at the door. "How are you going to give us something to eat, dummy? The door's stuck."

"I could pass it through the window... dummy."

God damn. The window.

"No, we're good," I called back to Britney as I locked eyes with Danni. Clearly, she had the same idea I had. The window to my office was just big enough for us to squeeze through, and my office was on the ground floor. Escape was now possible. And we wouldn't even have to face Britney and Elisha. Not until tomorrow, anyway. Without a word, I grabbed my keys and we headed for sweet freedom.

"I think we both need some medical attention," she said as she slipped out into the bushes.

I waggled my cell phone at her. "I'll call Trish from the road and have her meet us somewhere."

"She's gonna go ballistic when she finds out what happened," she replied.

"Pffft! Wait until Britney and Elisha find out."

As we made our way to my car, Danni got back to the subject of my combative skills.

"Richelle," she said, grabbing my arm firmly to keep me from evading her again. "Where did you learn to fight like that?"

I shrugged. "I grew up in a house with three brothers. A girl has to learn to defend herself."

The lie sounded plausible to me, but Danni wasn't buying it. "Richelle," she said again.

I sighed and relented... at least, a little. "What? You think I just woke up one day and thought, 'Hey! I think I'd like to be the head of a women's MMA fighting organization?' You don't think maybe I knew a little something before I did this?"

"You were a fighter?" she asked.

"Of a sort," I replied without explanation.

"In the UMMA?"

"There was no UMMA when I was fighting."

Danni stopped and considered this puzzle. "Well, where then?"

I shook my arm loose from her grip. "Sorry, Harris. Twenty questions is over for today. Now, let's get out of here before somebody catches us."

As I went to start the car, I realized Danni was just sitting in the passenger seat, staring at me.

"You know I'm gonna find out, right?"

God, I hope not.

The next day, I called Stephanie into my office as soon as she arrived. Though she eyed my heavily taped nose and blackened eyes with bewilderment, I give her credit for knowing enough not to say anything. I gestured her into a chair - which was now easily accessible after a morning of throwing everything in boxes that would likely end up curbside - and got right to the point.

"Stephanie, I want to offer you a management position here at RSI."

Here eyes narrowed and her expression hardened. "Danni made you do this, didn't she? I don't want some pity promotion."

I waved her off. "I spoke to Danni, yes. But, the fact is," I said as I tossed a folder containing the release forms into her lap, "we need someone to handle recruitment and development here at RSI. And, I understand you have experience."

Her expression brightened at the thought, but she still eyed me suspiciously. "Is this for real?"

I gestured toward the folder. "We just lost three members of the RSI family. In each case, the problem is that I failed to realize I was blowing it. I need someone who's better at this than I am, and I think that someone is you."

She considered the offer for a moment, still not sure if I was simply trying to appease her.

"OK, I'll do it," she said finally. "But only on one condition." Stephanie McMahon, business woman. "I want full control over the decision making process."

I shook my head. "Sorry, no deal. I didn't start this organization so I could sit around and watch everybody else run the show. It's my company, and I'll decide who I want to be a part of it."

She got up to leave, but I motioned her to sit back down.

"The best I can offer is that you can operate on your own. You decide who to recruit and how to go about it. When the time comes, you make the proposal to me. I'll decide yes or no. And, I'm not promoting you to this position so I can tell you no all the time."

She sat back and thought some more, then nodded her agreement. And, just like that, Stephanie McMahon became the head of RSI's new Fighter Development Program. With nothing else to say, she thanked me and headed for the door.

"Steph," I said quietly. "That park you built the other day. What was the kid's name?"

"Ana," she said without a moment's hesitation. "Ana Grace."

Danni was right, as usual. Stephanie was far, far more than I gave her credit for.

"I'm sorry, Steph," I said, my voice barely more than a whisper. "I'm sorry I didn't take the time to get to know you better."

She paused a moment, then turned to face me. "Don't worry about it," she said with a smile and a wink. "I'll find a way to make you pay."

Awesome.



Character Reference


Name: Richelle Winterfeld
Nickname(s):
Background: Owner of the RSI stable, former underground fighter


Name: Danneel Harris
Nickname(s): Danni
Background: RSI stable leader, former DEF welterweight champion


Name: Stephanie McMahon
Nickname(s): Steph
Background: SCQ super heavyweight contender


Name: Britney Spears
Nickname(s): Brit, Queen B
Background: Team leader of Britney's Brutal Beauties, DEF middleweight contender, training partner and close friend of Elisha Cuthbert


Name: Elisha Cuthbert
Nickname(s): Leesh
Background: Team leader of Leesh's Lethal Ladies, DEF middleweight contender, training partner and close friend of Britney Spears
002 - Stress Management (HTML version)
NOTE: This is simply an HTML version of this story.  The story has not changed in any way.  I'm doing this simply because I've discovered that using PDFs here on DA is horrible way to post a story, so I'm going to slowly add HTML versions of everything.  My hope was to be able to post these new versions without annoying everyone, but, unfortunately, there's no way to post these without sending notifications to everyone who watches me.  :(


This is the second story in my collection of "behind the scenes" stories related to the UMMA Fantasy Female Celebrity MMA organization.

What happens when a relatively new MMA owner and her in-cage leader face their first crisis together?  Simple... total and complete chaos.  How will they handle the problem?  And, maybe more importantly, what will they learn about each other in the process?

This represents my first attempt at writing a fight scene (and for those looking for just that part, it's about half way down).  Let me know what you think. :)

**********************

To learn more about the UMMA, visit the website:
ummafff.x10.mx

To interact with the UMMA managers and see behind the scenes content from the other stables, visit the UMMA Managers Forum:
umma.createaforum.com

Comment and feedback are not only welcome... they're encouraged. :) (Smile)
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Author's note: Britney Spears and Elisha Cuthbert have become two of the most well-known faces in the RSI stable.  They are known for their skills in the cage, and they are known for the tight, unbreakable bond they have formed outside of it.  They are also known for constantly aggravating the shit out of me, but that's a separate topic.  Before "Britney and Elisha" became a singular object, there was Britney and there was Elisha.  Both were talented but struggling fighters, looking to break through to the next level.  Britney had tons of raw talent, but she hadn't been able to tap into it fully.  Elisha, on the other hand, was not as gifted, but she was blessed with an unstoppable spirit.  Now, I'll give myself credit for bringing them together in the hopes that they would push other to succeed.  But, I can't claim I knew then how well it would work out.  And, the truth is I almost blew the whole thing.

Not long after RSI got off the ground, Britney and Elisha found themselves face to face inside the UMMA octagon.  The result was a gut-wrenching scene... Elisha writhing in pain as she clutched at her shattered ankle... Britney curled against the mesh on the other side of the cage, looking physically ill.  It was a scene I swore I would never allow to happen again.  But, as we've learned, I don't really make the rules around here, do I?

Anyway... the following is the untold story of what happened after that difficult evening.  Believe me... it was a learning experience in more ways than I can count.





The Cuthbert Exception


April 29, 2013

A few weeks after the incident, I phoned Elisha at home and asked her to come to my office.  The next morning, I heard a rhythmic thudding sound outside my office door.  In clomped Elisha, sporting an unwieldy looking walking boot and a pair of crutches.  However, I was surprised to see she was also dressed in full training gear.

As I sat with my mouth hanging open, Elisha said simply, "I'm ready."

Another couple of beats passed as I tried to comprehend the situation.  "Ready for WHAT?" I finally managed.

"I'm ready to get back to training."

Clearly, I was still missing something.  "Training?  You can't train.  You can't even walk."

Setting her damaged foot firmly on the floor, she tossed away her crutches with a clatter.  "I can walk fine.  And, I'm ready to get back to work."

I sighed heavily.  "Look, Elisha... this is going to be hard enough..."

"NO!  You can't let me go just because I got hurt!"

"It's not that.  It's just..."

"Let me FINISH!"

My temper flared, but I checked it.  This was going to get out of control if we just started screaming.  So, I sat back and let her have her say.

"I need this.  I have worked too long and too hard to get to this point.  This..." she spread her hands in an encompassing gesture.  "It's working.  I was just floundering around when you found me.  Now, I have a team... a strategy.  I feel comfortable.  It's WORKING."

"Elisha, you won one fight..."

"The first of many.  You just have to give me the chance."

I stared at the floor while I considered my response.  When we brought Elisha on, it was her scrappiness and heart that lured us in.  She didn't have the physical tools most of the girls have, but she never let that stop her.  And, now, here she was.  Staring me down with those icy blue eyes, refusing to accept what had already been decided.  I felt bad, but I just couldn't shake the memory of her lying in the middle of the cage, clutching her ankle as a clearly shaken Britney looked on.  No.  This had to be done.

"Elisha, I'm sorry.  I really am..."

"Are you listening to me?  I..."

"Dammit, Elisha!" I yelled, slapping my open palm down on the desk.  "I DID listen to you!  Now, YOU need to listen."

She stared past me out the window, her arms folded angrily across her chest.  I'm about to fire her, and she's hitting me with the "go fuck yourself" look.  Scrappy.

"I'm not letting you go because you got injured.  I'm letting you go because you can't get injured like that again.  I..."

"Injuries happen all the time!"

"NOT like that, they don't!  It's bad enough I had to watch you two face each other.  But, to have an injury happen... it was just too much.  Now, you're out of action, and Britney..."

"...will have to learn to deal with it," said a voice from out in the hall.

I threw my hands up in frustration as Britney rounded the corner.  I immediately suspected some sort of conspiracy, but the look on Elisha's face told me she was as surprised as I was.  So, then what the hell WAS this?

"Looks like everybody has to have a say on this, eh?  Fine.  What's on your mind, Britney?"

"I just think she deserves better than this, that's all."

"I don't disagree with that, but what do you want me to do?  That injury basically took both of you out at once.  You and I both know it bothered you, so let's not pretend otherwise, OK?"

"You can't let her go because I couldn't take it."

Rising out of my chair, now.  "I'm not letting her go because you got upset.  But, we can't have this sort of thing."

"You mean YOU can't have it."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means you can't let her go because YOU can't take it, either."

As she was talking, Britney had slowly advanced into the room.  She now stood shoulder to shoulder with Elisha, both of them staring me down.  Britney KNEW she'd hit home, and Elisha seemed to pick up on it pretty fast, too.

I tried a half-hearted defense.  "It's not good for the organization to have this..."

Britney came at me, again.  "Save it.  Plenty of organizations have more than one fighter in the same division.  You and I both know what happened hurt you, and we both know it hurt me.  So, the solution is that Elisha gets a broken ankle AND she gets fired?"

I let out a deep sigh as I collapsed back into my chair.  "Dammit," I muttered as I shook my head resignedly.  Both of them knew they had me.  Still, I wasn't ready to yield.  I went back at Britney.

"You've been walking around here looking like your dog died for the past few weeks.  You're in the same division, and you're right behind each other in the rankings.  If I keep both of you, you're going to have to fight each other again."

"That's my problem."

"The hell it is.  You work for me..."

"It's still my problem.  Like I said, there are other stables where this happens.  If I can't deal with it, then you cut ME.  Not her."

Not much I could do after that.  I threw another "Dammit" in there, just for show.  Then, I gave in.

"Fine.  She can stay.  On one condition."

"Anything!" said the eager and suddenly girlish Elisha.

"Not you," I replied as I pointed toward Britney.  "Her."

Elisha looked hopefully at Britney, who kept her gaze focused on me.  She knew what was coming, and I knew it was going to kill her.  But, screw it.  She had nailed me to the floor.  It was her turn.

"Explain yourself."

"Explain what?"

"This," I said as I spread my arms in their direction.  "I've watched the two of you beat the living hell out of each other day in and day out.  I have had serious thoughts about splitting the two of you up, you go at it so hard.  Now, you're in here pushing my buttons to make sure she stays on.  Why?"

"Maybe I just like kicking her ass."  The queen of evasion.

I shook my head.  "Don't bullshit me, Britney."

Britney suddenly found something very interesting on the floor in front of my desk, and there must have been a fire outside my office, because Elisha was riveted to the window.

"Britney," I said again.

The pop songstress gently kicked at an invisible pebble and blew out a sigh.  "I kinda li hrm," she mumbled.

"I'm sorry.  WHAT was that?"

"I SAID I KINDA LIKE HER, OK?" she shouted back at me.

The room went quiet as we all considered that one.  My gaze slid back and forth between the blonde fighters.  Britney was still watching her shoelaces, and Elisha was still looking for rare birds, or whatever she was doing.  But, a small, almost imperceptible smile had found it's way onto her face.  Hmmm.

"So, let me get this straight," I said with a bemused grin.  "The reason you put everything you have into trying to literally crush her is because you LIKE her?"

Britney turned toward Elisha and said simply, "Yeah."

Moving was more of a challenge for the booted Elisha, but she managed to turn and face her... nemesis?  Friend?  Oh, who the fuck knows?

"I never been pushed like this before," continued the pop star.  "I've also never fought anyone like you.  You're so..."  She struggled for a word.

"Tenacious?" I offered, knowing full well what Elisha's most valuable skill was.

"Oh, God... you're a pain in the ass!  It's like trying to fight one of those boppy toys!  No matter what I do, you come back for more."

"Wait..." Elisha's smile crinkled into something far less pleasant.  "So now I'm a punching bag?"

Brit laughed.  "You WERE, in the beginning.  But, now..."  She paused, unwilling to follow through on the compliment.

"Now, what?" Elisha teased, the smile back and bigger than ever.

Britney shrugged.  "You've learned a lot.  Like I said, you push me.  Sometimes, it's like fighting my mirror image.  Only with more heart."

Elisha's eyes misted over.  "Why do you think I want to stay so bad?  Training with you has made me ten times the fighter I was before.  I can't lose this.  I can't..."

"Can't what?" said the singer, with a mischievous, two-can-play-at-this-game grin.

"I can't lose you," replied the actress as she locked eyes with her training partner.

Next thing I knew, two women who I'm pretty sure had come to RSI as natural enemies were hugging in the middle of my office.  All part of the plan, right?

"Do I still need to be here?" I asked with feigned annoyance.

"Nope," Britney said.

"We're good," chirped Elisha.

"Well, go be good somewhere else," I shot back.  "This is my office."

They both laughed as they broke the embrace.  Britney helped reclaim Elisha's crutches and they turned toward the door.

"Guys?" I called after them.

They both looked back at me expectantly.

"Thanks," I said with a warm smile.

They smiled back, and then continued out of the office.

"Don't think this means I'm gonna start going easy on you,"  I heard Elisha say.

"You're easy anyway, little girl."

"Don't call me that, bitch!"

"Make me stop, then."

Yeah... this is gonna be great.

"Well, that went well," said a smiling Danneel Harris as she rounded the corner and leaned against my office door frame.

"Ahh, geez... what the fuck are YOU doing here?" I groaned.

She laughed.  "I saw Britney heading this way, and I didn't want to miss out on the fun."

"Oh yeah... it was a blast.  They worked me over pretty good."

She shrugged as she eased her way into one of my guest chairs.  "They knew things about themselves you didn't.  Besides... you were overreacting."

I shrugged right back at her.  "Everyone's a critic."  I gestured with my chin toward the door.  "So...what do you think?"

She turned and looked thoughtfully at the exit Britney and Elisha had just passed through.  "I think we'll see Red," she said hopefully.  "I think we'll see."

Yeah.  I guess we... wait... who's Red?

I was about to comment on that one when another thought suddenly hit me.

"Hey Danni?" I said as I narrowed my eyes at RSI's team leader.  "How did Britney know I was meeting Elisha today?"

She turned to face me with her best "who me" look.  "I haven't the slightest clue."

She was so full of it, I couldn't help but laugh out loud.  I also couldn't help but wonder where RSI would be without Danneel Harris.




Character Reference


Name: Richelle Winterfeld
Nickname(s):
Background: Owner of the RSI stable, former underground fighter


Name: Danneel Harris
Nickname(s): Danni
Background: RSI stable leader, reigning DEF welterweight champion


Name: Britney Spears
Nickname(s): Brit, Queen B
Background: Team leader of Britney's Brutal Beauties, DEF middleweight contender, training partner and close friend of Elisha Cuthbert


Name: Elisha Cuthbert
Nickname(s): Leesh
Background: Team leader of Leesh's Lethal Ladies, DEF middleweight contender, training partner and close friend of Britney Spears
001 - The Cuthbert Exception (HTML version)
NOTE: This is simply an HTML version of this story.  The story has not changed in any way.  I'm doing this simply because I've discovered that using PDFs here on DA is horrible way to post a story, so I'm going to slowly add HTML versions of everything.  My hope was to be able to post these new versions without annoying everyone, but, unfortunately, there's no way to post these without sending notifications to everyone who watches me.  :(

This is the first story in my collection of "behind the scenes" stories related to the UMMA Fantasy Female Celebrity MMA organization.  It's about the time I wasn't able to stomach an injury suffered by one of my fighters.  It wasn't the injury that bothered me, so much as the fact that it came at the hands of one of her stablemates.

Anyway... I try to put my foot down and make sure such a thing never happens again.  Unsurprisingly, nothing goes the way I wanted it to... and maybe that's not such a bad thing.

To learn more about the UMMA, visit the website:
ummafff.x10.mx

To interact with the UMMA managers and see behind the scenes content from the other stables, visit the UMMA Managers Forum:
umma.createaforum.com

Comment and feedback are not only welcome... they're encouraged. :)
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:icononek1995:
onek1995 Featured By Owner 4 hours ago
No time for tomfoolery!  Thanks for the faves!
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:iconlvgraphics:
LVgraphics Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the recent faves!
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:iconrichellew:
RichelleW Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
You're very welcome! I've been a big fan of yours for a long time. The whole roster is amazing, but, for some reason, it's Carrie I like best. She's got the look of a real scrapper! :D
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Fightinglisa Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Thank you for the fave. :) :hug:
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:icononek1995:
onek1995 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2017
Thanks for the faves!
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prague25c Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cheers for the faves!
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2017  Professional

 


www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHNczN…


:squee: :squee: :headbang: :squee: :squee:


Thank you for the fine Camelidae

 

 

:llama: :llama: :llama: :llama: :llama:

 


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:icononek1995:
onek1995 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2017
So here I am again.  Thanks for the faves!
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:icononek1995:
onek1995 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2017
again with the fave? Thanks
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:iconrichellew:
RichelleW Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
You keep posting them and I'll keep faving them! :D
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