Sometimes, You Gotta Go Back to the Beginning... May 27, 2021 23:11:44 GMT -5 jasonryan, Vhodka Marie, and 2 more like this
Post by FXR Dane Preston on May 27, 2021 23:11:44 GMT -5
San Carlos, CA | May 25th, 5AM
The plane touched down at San Carlos Airport, I slept off a bender. The pilot woke me as he was heading to a hotel to get some shuteye himself. It took a good few minutes for me to realize that I was back in California.
GOING (GOING) BACK (BACK) TO CALI (CALI)
The decision to come back home was made half way through a bottle of Uncle Nearest. But I have no idea what the fuck I’m expecting to find here. All the same, when you’re in a rut, sometimes you gotta go back to the beginning to find your way out.
Next thing I know I’ve got one of Damon’s cars being dropped off to me at the airport. I made sure it was one of his favorites too. He calls her Soulless; a matte black 1969 widebody Dodge Charger, next to the Hoonicorn he bought from Ken Block, this is his baby. And I built her.
It’s a damned shame that a machine like her is wasted on Damon, he’ll never drive her or the Hoonicorn the way they were built to be driven. That’s cool, I’ll give her what she needs. Awesome thing about owning part of an airport; drag racing down the airstrip.
This car was built for Gymkana style stunt racing, the throttle response was instantaneous. I punched it and cranked the wheel and before I knew it I was already doing 90 miles an hour and hadn’t shifted the Powerglide into 2nd gear yet.
A few minutes later I’m weaving in and out of traffic on 101 North, heading towards San Francisco. I had no idea what I was doing or where I would end up, I just drove and let the car decide where to take me. About twenty minutes later, I found myself driving up Highway 1, along the coast, heading towards Ocean Beach.
Fuck. It dawned on me where I was going.
The last people on Earth I wanted to see.
The house hadn’t changed since the last time I was there, before I went to prison. A three story Brownstone looking just like it did the day it was built. I hesitantly walked up the steps. With a deep breath, I rang the doorbell, no answer. I waited a minute and rang the doorbell one more time.
Again, no answer.
I don’t know what I expected, the door to fly open and I’d be met with smiles and open arms? After standing there for a few minutes and feeling like an idiot, I turned and walked down the steps and almost bowled her over.
“Oh, shit. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
It took a second for it to register with both of us.
There she was, Jordan Preston.
Sister in law.
“It’s been a long time.”
We hug, awkwardly.
“It has been a very long time. Is, uh, is Dylan home?”
“Out of town, I’m afraid. Aren’t you supposed to be in Jersey?”
Startled by the question I tilt my head and eye her for a moment.
She nods with a coy smile. “Twitter.”
All these years thinking she hated my guts, and she follows me on social media. Who’d have thought.
“You look like you need to talk to someone...”
“Am I that transparent?”
“No, there are just some things you don’t forget about a person. Your brooding face is unforgettable. Let me go inside and get cleaned up, give me about fifteen.”
She heads inside and I park my ass on the second to last step. I look down the street to my right and I see the Pacific Ocean within spitting distance. Great view, shit weather, but it’s a great neighborhood. I hated this place the second my brother bought it. I lived here while I was working at a local garage and training for MMA.
I have memories, good and bad, of this place. Same goes for me and Jordan. Things didn’t end well between us. I was about to do a dime in San Quentin, she had her whole life ahead of her. So I broke it off. Sometime later she winds up with my brother. We haven’t spoken since I broke it off with her.
I’m lost in my own thoughts when I see the bottom of a beer bottle slowly enter my peripheral as Jordan takes a seat next to me, a bottle in her other hand. She knows how to prime for conversations just like this.
“So, you wanna talk about it?”
“That’s a loaded question. There are a few ITS that come to mind.”
“Then let’s start at the beginning.”
Without thinking I just blurted it out, “How in the blue Hell did you and Dylan wind up together?”
Her eyes got wide and she took a deep chug of her beer. “No kid gloves, straight to the punch it is.”
I immediately regretted asking, “Sorry. That just kinda fell out of my head. After we broke up, I never heard from you again. Then out of the blue, I come home to find Dylan holding one of my twins and asking me for my blessing for the two of you to marry.”
“Don’t apologize, Dane. It’s a fair question. To be quite honest, he was supportive to me after the accident, throughout your whole trial, and he looked out for me after you told me to go live my life. You were out of jail a couple years before we became a thing. We toyed with the idea of being together, but neither of us felt comfortable while you were still in prison.”
“Well, I appreciate the consideration.”
We sat in awkward silence for a moment.
“Trouble in Preston Paradise, I see. What do you plan on doing about it?”
I turned my head and just leered at her for a moment as she took another sip of beer, her coy smile cracking.
She nods. “I have watched it since around ‘09, I think?”
“Wow. All these years I thought you hated me...”
“I never once hated you, Dane. I hated that you didn’t listen to me. I hated that you took that race. I hated that you ended up in prison. And yes, I really hated that you broke things off. But I never hated you.”
More awkward silence.
“Allison is perfect for you, and you are perfect for her. You two have built a wonderful life together, Luke and Leyla are absolutely adorable. Don’t give up on that. You were given a second chance at life and you have it all. The shop, the training, the ring career, a beautiful family. Everything you ever wanted. It’s yours. Do not give that up. I can’t tell what’s real or fake in your line of work half the time. Dylan tells me about some people you have real blood feuds with, and I know there is a history with Focus and the Montuoris and the Wolfpack and Riggs that you pretty much inherited.”
She really does pay attention. This is just weird.
“She fucking kissed him, Jo. More than once.”
Without another word, she slugs me in the arm. Instantly I regret ever teaching her how to throw a punch, because it fucking hurt.
“Are you daft, Preston? That woman is so head over heels in love with you...the whole polygamy thing, that would never have happened with us. I don’t play well with others. But it’s clear that Allison loves you, Bella and those beautiful babes of yours. Whatever she did was in the moment and I’m sure she has a damned good reason for doing it...”
“Well, it had damn well better be all she did with him.”
“Deep breaths, Preston. These blackouts you’ve been having, tell me about them.”
Oh fuck. Jordan is a neurologist at Stanford. I’d totally forgotten. She was in med school before the accident.
“Several months ago, I was injured and just getting medical clearance to return to action. Well, I stumbled across Paul Montuori and Brandon Moore and I popped off and got popped for it. I took some pretty heavy hits that wound up bouncing my head off the concrete. I have headaches that come and go, moments of fogginess, and then there’s this whole deal where I lose control and wind up inflicting some heavy damage on people. My buddy Shane hasn’t spoken to me since I broke his nose in the ring. I think I may have damaged one of my project cars when I slammed the Old Man onto the roof.”
“Ouch. Yeah, extreme aggression and blackouts are no bueno. Okay, I have some contacts in New York. Top in their field, CTE and Neuroscience experts. If you’re okay with it, I’ll put them in touch with you.”
“Yeah, yeah. Totally. Absolutely! Allison would be super appreciative too.”
“Provided you fight for her. And you had better fight for her. For your family. You will regret it later if you don’t.”
The next hour or so we just talked about life; my desire to take a page out of Brandon Moore’s book and butcher the Montuoris, family life with Allison and the twins, how I wound up in a polyamorous relationship, why I haven’t reached my full potential in the wrestling industry. The usual shit.
My brother called to check in and she put him on speaker, and at least another hour went by with the three of us catching up. When I went to jail, I don’t think I ever expected my relationship with my brother to recover. He was a Detective with a promising future ahead of him, I was the burnout baby brother who had just been locked up for involuntary vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and a litany of other lesser charges.
Dylan saw me in prison only once, to let me know he had to distance himself from me, for his own protection. When he came to see me a couple years back, he apologized for not being more supportive, for putting his career before his family. Jordan’s doing no doubt, making him feel like shit for leaving me hanging.
Now the Special Agent in Charge of West Coast FBI offices. He’s called me in for some precision driving work numerous times since, usually when they need someone to extract a perp or CI and be able to outdrive anyone chasing us. I see it as redeeming myself and rebuilding a relationship with my brother.
Jordan was a bit drunk and getting sloppier by the minute, I said my goodbyes and took my leave. The drive from San Francisco to Woodside was quick and easy. When I pulled into the driveway, I saw that I had a text from Jenna. She said Damon knows I’ve got the Charger but that she’s glad I do. Serves him right for saying the shit he said that started our fight. I told her that I would take care of it as if it was my own.
I came here looking for answers, direction, a purpose. I wasn’t disappointed. I went into the garage, bypassing my chopper and Mustang. I had some gun lockers installed before the twins were born. It was there that I grabbed my real tactical equipment, some surveillance equipment, and some tranquilizer darts and a couple of guns -- just in case shit gets real.
I AIN’T A KILLER, BUT DON’T PUSH ME
REVENGE IS LIKE THE SWEETEST JOY
NEXT TO GETTING PUSSY
I packed up what I needed and tossed it all in the Charger’s trunk. I took another look at the house, our home, not something paid for by Damon, not even something that Allison used her Daddy’s money on. We agreed that our home would be purchased with the fruits of our labor. Money made from wrestling and from the shop. I can’t wait until home feels like home again.
I jumped in the Charger and raced back to San Carlos Airport in under 10 minutes. The plane was fueled up, I handed my bags to the pilot and then contacted Damon’s assistant to have the Charger picked up and advised them it was in need of a full fluid service and a detail inside and out. I have pride in what I have built. Less than an hour later we’re in the air, Hollywood bound.