A blonde head of hair whipped round to the direction of the voice. Before her eyes could focus on the figure, she was knocked to the canvas with a thud from a dropkick. Groaning, she rolled to her side, scowling up at the Brit who wore a proud grin as she mock-bowed. "Really, Paige?"
"Not my fault you got distracted, love."
"Ava!" The voice was heard again and the two women in the ring turned to find Bill DeMott, waiting impatiently. "Office!"
"Someone's in troubleeee!" Paige said in a sing-song voice as she leant back on the ropes with a big grin.
With a huff, Ava rose to her feet and swatted the woman in the stomach before sliding out the ring. Wiping the sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand, the woman passed Bill on her way into the small office. Before her sat Joy Evans, Head of Talent Relations and ruiner of Ava Wilson's life. Her name was a piece of irony; there wasn't a single shred of joy in the woman. The door shut behind her, enclosing her into the confined space with the woman who wasn't showing any signs of joy.
"Ava, nice to see you again."
The blonde took a seat in front of the desk, ignoring the bored tone of the woman. "You too, Joy."
"Now, myself and Mark Carrano are here today to speak to all the men and women about their place in the company." Joy looked down at her notes on the sheet of paper.
Why couldn't I have met with Mark instead? Ava frowned and squirmed in her seat.
"You have been with the company…"
"Two years now."
"Ah yes, signed with FCW at the start of 2011, was it?"
She squirmed in her seat again. "Yep."
Joy looked up to the woman sat before her, taking in her short stature and her shoulders slumping. Dark eyes narrowed in on Ava's features. Her green eyes and creamy skin that looked to have recently caught the sun, dark blonde locks slung into a messy ponytail and a light sheen of sweat covering her body from being in the ring that afternoon. Joy raised an eyebrow at her before asking, "How is training going for you?"
"Uhh… it's good? Matches on NXT are always great with the girls. Myself and Paige are just getting into an amazing feud together."
Joy nodded and forced a quick smile. "Right. I'm also here to discuss your image."
"Yes. I understand Regal and DeMott are usually heavily involved with this aspect, but as you've been with developmental a while, Corporate felt it was appropriate for me to step in, to see if there was anything that could be done to improve your image to make you appeal to TV more." Ava's mind was whirring, slowly repeating some of the words Jane had just said… improve your image… appeal to TV more… Am I not appealing enough already? "So after some thinking, we've come up with some ideas for you. Some things for you to think about, discuss with the trainers and consider so you can stand out a bit more. A new hair colour? New ring gear? A breast enlargement? New music? Maybe lose a bit of weight? Possibly a character change?" Joy listed off the items one by one, as if they meant nothing, while Ava tried not to feel insulted. "More promo work is being considered for you too. Bill, will also pop in soon to discuss a heel turn for you at NXT. How do some of those sound to you?"
Shock washed over her features like a cold, hard slap in the face. Which is probably what it was meant to be. Ever since Ava had been signed, Joy Evans hadn't liked her at all. The twenty-seven year old independent wrestler wasn't exactly what the other Divas looked like: dirty blonde hair, short, wider hips but still slim, no big fake breasts, no model cheekbones. She was a woman who knew how to get down and dirty in the ring with the guys and the girls, a wrestler - not a model. And here she was, Satan herself, wanting to make her into the complete opposite: a model. Her mind reeled at her insulting her promo work; she could talk as well as some of the guys here, if not better. Ava had worked hard in the independents to succeed and become one of the most popular female wrestlers, all for her to sit before this she-devil and be told she wasn't good enough for the main roster. It was hard not to feel angry.
"Think about it and I'll be back in a couple of weeks to check back in. Bill will work on you with promos and the such." She waved her hand in disregard, as if she didn't really need to bother with wrestling. Ava scoffed and crossed her arms under her chest, as Joy slipped her a sheet with the suggestions listed."Consider them, please, and then maybe you'll have a shot—" Taking the sheet without looking at it, she folded it up and put in her pocket - it would going into the trash at the first opportunity.
"Sorry, got caught up with the guys." Ava heard Bill's voice and smiled to herself. The older man had been tough on her since the day she walked through the door, but she knew he secretly liked her. She knew he would stand up for her. "Right, down to business." He took a seat beside her, crossing his ankle over his knee, looking over at the blonde. He shared a quick glance with Joy, one that made Ava feel uneasy. "After a few debates and talks with Hunter, Billy Gunn, and Regal... We've come to our decision about the NXT Women's Championship. It'll come down to you versus Paige, in the final stage of the brackets." Ava smiled brightly over at him, relaxing in the chair. Her and Paige had been hoping they would be the final women in the tournament, they had worked hard on improving their matches over the past few weeks, knowing management were watching the women closely. "But the final decision is to put the belt on Paige. I'm sorry, Ava."
Her mouth slowly parted, the words sinking in. She wasn't getting the belt.
"Oh. Okay." She lowered her head, nodding.
Bill rested his hand upon hers and gave it a squeeze, giving her a sincere and warm smile. "But I've got some great plans for you after Paige wins the title. We're going to turn you heel, go after Paige in various attacks, ultimately turning her face. We'll shoot some awesome promos that I know you'll knock out the park. We'll make a great feud out of it. I promise."
"Yeah." Ava appreciated that Bill was really trying to make the best out of this bad situation for her, but it didn't dull the pain she felt that management had chosen her friend over her for the championship she had been working so hard to get. Numbly, she left the office after being asked to send Paige in after her. Calling the younger woman over, she jogged into the office with a quick smile.
All the hard work she had put in to impress management, all the time she had put in at developmental and out of hours training sessions, late night work outs pushing her body to the limit… She felt the energy drain from her body as she considered if it was all worth it, for her to just get knocked back and out of the title picture for the younger woman. Ava knew deep down this meant she wouldn't get the NXT Women's Championship. Hunter was high on Paige and her momentum. Ava should know; she trained with Paige so much when the woman arrived one year after she had. She helped polish off the woman, helped her with promos and her ring presence. But what was it all for? For her to get the title instead of Ava.
Voices melted away behind her as she dropped to the padded floor and began her half hearted stretches. Her mind swirling with conflicting thoughts… Remembering her early days of training with Shimmer and Ring of Honor, how all the struggles in her life had led her to the WWE, a place where she finally felt she belonged. A home. But now that home was trying to change her, modify her body, and alter her personality in her promos. The blonde felt frustrated, to say the least.
A hand on her shoulder pulled her out of her thoughts, her head snapping up to find long time friend and confidant, Claudio. The man had since moved up to the roster, bypassing NXT completely and now wrestled as Cesaro. A pinch of jealousy would always nip at her when she thought of how fast some of the people here moved through developmental. The road wasn't so smooth for Ava. "What's up, hübsches Mädchen?"
A scoff left her lips as he dropped to a squat beside her. "Not so pretty today, Claud. I haven't earned that name it seems." The man made a face at her. "Bitchmaster general says I need to change my image in order to have a shot at the main roster. Says I don't stand out." Ava made a gruff sound in the back of her throat. "And get this… they're putting the title on Paige!" She hissed quietly, her body turning green with envy. "It's not fair, Claud, I helped her! I've been here longer, I've tried so hard to impress them! All for nothing. All for them to make her the first NXT women's champion and dress me up as a damn model." Ava gritted her teeth and felt her shoulders slump.
After a few deep breaths, she turned to look at Claudio; he gave her a sad smile. "You feel better after that?"
"Kinda." The blonde shrugged. "I sound like a jealous, raging bitch."
"Yeah, you do."
"Hey!" She slugged him in the arm, causing the wrestler to drop down to a sitting. "I'm happy for Paige, honestly, I am, she's a great friend… but I'm frustrated. Everyone's going somewhere or moving up… and I'm just stuck."
"You might move up soon, who knows what the future holds for you."
"It may hold a boob job and platinum hair if Joy gets her way."
Silence took over between them, when she looked over at Claudio, his brow was fuddled. "Erm…" He risked glances down at her sports bra clad breasts.
"Don't look at them!"
"You said it!"
"Only because she wants me to get one! Stop! Stop looking!"
"I can't help it, I'm a man!"
"But it's gross, you're like my brother!" Claudio raised his hands in defence. The pair sat in silence before Ava slowly looked up at her friend. "Did… do you think I need a boob job?" Her voice was quiet and inquiring.
"You said you didn't want me to look."
"I don't but I value your honest opinion."
Claudio laughed and shook his head. "I think there's a reason why I call you hübsch, because you're pretty just the way you are. Always have been, you don't need to change yourself… you've also always been a bit short."
"I'm never asking your opinion again."
He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and gave her a tight squeeze. "You'll make it to the roster one day, I know it. They would be stupid to let you go."
"Hey, Claudio!" The gruff voice broke the pair apart and they both looked up to the owner of the voice. Blue eyes narrowed on Ava, she frowned back at the man. The man stood tense, eyeing up the blonde with scrutiny. "DeMott wants us for a talk with the guys."
Claudio nodded but before the man walked away, an idea sparked and a smirk touched his lips. He always enjoyed teasing the woman and if she wanted an honest opinion, there was no better man to give it to her. "Jon, hold up!"
The man turned around and raised his eyebrows at them in question. "Yeah?"
"Do you think Ava here needs bigger breasts?"
The blonde in question, turned to Claudio sharply, horrified and embarrassed. Her cheeks burned red and she was stunned to silence, as her mouth dropped open. If looks could kill, Claudio would be a rotting corpse by now.
"Ehhh…" She turned at that sound, seeing the blonde man shrug as he looked directly at her chest, unabashed, with his tongue poking out. "I'd say you're alright, there's a handful there, I guess."
Ava wanted the ground to swallow her whole. More importantly, she didn't know if that was a compliment or not… 'alright'? Was that it? Her mind begged to ask more questions but the sane part of her thought better of it.
"So you're the next chick to get bigger tits, huh?" Jon chuckled, looking right into her brown eyes. She heard Claudio snicker beside her. "That must be like the golden ticket to get on main roster or something." His laughter grew as he turned on his heel and went in the direction of a gathering crowd.
The minute the man stepped out of ear shot, Ava turned to the laughing man beside her and shoved him to the side. "I can't believe you asked him! You idiot!"
"What's the problem? You wanted an honest opinion and he's the guy to give it to you." Claudio couldn't wipe the grin from his face.
"Because I don't even know him! We've barely said two words to each other and that's when he hit on me in a club last year and he was wasted beyond belief."
"Sounds like Ambrose to me." The man snickered once more. Ava shoved him harder.
"Now he's going to blab to everyone that I'm getting a boob job just so I can get to the main roster!" Groaning loudly, she pulled herself to her feet. "You asshole." Claudio's laughter rang in her ears as she charged over to the punching bags, muttering curses under her breath.
A/N: Hi there :) Yes, a new story that I'm bursting with ideas for. I hope you're as excited as I am! The synopsis and title for this story are a song by Chris Isaak (and many more people have covered) it's called 'Wicked Game' and the lyrics fit this story perfectly and hint at what's to come. Hope you liked it! Please let me know what you thought with a little review and I'll try my best to update soon as!
Hübsches Mädchen – Pretty Girl
Hübsch – Pretty