Illustrated by Foxenawolf
|No. 24 – Texas Lone Stars|
|Species||River Otter ( Mustelidae )|
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||189 lb (86 kg)|
|School||Chicago Bay Private School|
|FBA draft||2013 / Undrafted|
|Pro playing career||2013–present|
|2013-||Texas Lone Stars|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2020 Salary||$6.5 million|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Marcus Knight was born to Martin and Jessica Knight, they loved their son with every inch of their being. And for Five years they were happy. One day however, while Martin and Jessica were on their way to pick up Marcus from Kindergarten they were killed when a drowsy Truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit their car at full speed, they never knew what hit them. All this happened the day after Marcus' Fifth birthday.
Marcus was then sent to live with his only living relative. His Grandmother, Elmyra Dodd. She was a kind old lady and she loved her grandson as much as her Daughter and Son-in-law did. Despite the attention she gave him he missed his Mom and Dad. This happiness too, did not last. Six years later Elymra suffered a sudden Heat attack and died. Marcus was terrified that he would be blamed and remembering what His grandma had told him about her bad experience with Orphanages He ran away, but not before taking a Book about camping he got for his seventh birthday. The Book taught him how to survive, and is what kept him Alive on the street for a month.
Shortly after that first month on the street, Marcus found himself in an unknown part of town. He had been living off of raiding trash cans and unobservant Food vendors who just did not notice the 11 year old Otter taking food from their stall. Marcus had found a secure place to "live" in an ally way where very few furs went, Marcus could never figure out why but he didn't care, he could light a fire and cook his pilfered food in peace. One day however he was woken by the sudden sound of voices as a group of rough looking furs made their way down his ally, as it turns out the reason no fur went down there was because it was part of the territory of a notorious drug gang. They discovered Marcus in his little hovel made out a small plastic Skip he had found near a restaurant. Some of them thought to drive him off their turf while the majority of the group decided that he would be useful to their business and so Marcus was taken into the gang and a year later the decided to make it official and put him through the initiation, part of which involved cutting his left shoulder four times.
Two years passed, Marcus was now fulfilling his role within the gang as the Runner. It was his job to ferry the produce to the dealers, then to take the gangs share of the money back to the Gangs den. it was during this time that Marcus discovered that the gang had a Radio. Marcus had never been so happy, finally a form of entertainment to chase away the utter boredom of the days when he wasn't doing his duty. The first time he turned it on he didn't care what he listened too even a gardening show. One night he was sifting through channels and then suddenly he came to one that had a lot of cheering and excited talking so he tuned in properly and found he was listening to a FBA Game. He was instantly enthralled. Then the Commentators began mentioning a certain player who had just made a impressive Basket, Shane Rufus. The mention of the fact that Shane was an Ex-con awoke a spark within the Otter...If this Shane Rufus could turn his life around, then so could He. Marcus quickly became a Shane Rufus Fan...he even went so far as to get his paws on a basket ball and started frequenting an old playground that had a basketball hoop. Marcus was the first to admit he didn't know much about how to play the sport but that didn't stop him from playing, he especially enjoyed Shooting.
Another two years passed and Marcus was feeling more and more like he did not want to be part of this drug gang. Truth be told he never did but now with The FBA radio broadcasts he knew that one day he would leave this horrible furs and make a new life, That day came sooner then Marcus had ever dreamed. It all began as his days usually did, he'd wake up in his not entirely comfy Cot and he'd grab something to eat and his basketball and he'd head out to his hoop and start playing. By now Marcus had a mean Shot on him and making a basket came as naturally to him as swimming, the Now sixteen year old Otter was lining up another shot when a voice called out "Now That's an impressive Basket Kid!" Marcus was so surprised his ball went wide and even missed the backboard, he turned and saw a Badger standing at least two meters away from the Key...how had Marcus not seen him coming? Now Marcus had no Idea who this guy was and one part of his mind told him to ever so gently make his way out of the yard...but something inside told him he could trust this guy. So instead he asked the Badger who he was and what he was doing on Marcus' turf. The Badger introduced himself as Coach Abaddon Muldoon but everybody called him Coach. He Explained that due to some road works he had gotten lost on his way to the Private school where he worked coaching basketball, He mentioned that he had seen Marcus and he had been instantly impressed.
Coach Muldoon also pointed out that, while Marcus had a great Shot on him, Coach could tell he had no real knowledge of how to actually play the game. But Coach had always been good at judging character and he knew a fur with great Potential when he saw one, and this young Otter Marcus definitely had potential, in spades. He once again mentioned that he coached basketball in the local private school and he had a good strong team. Abaddon offered Marcus a place on the team and also offered to teach him the rules and regulations of the Game. At first Marcus was over joyed, Finally a chance to get out of this gang...a chance for a better life. But the he became saddened. He had no money, He'd never be able to afford to enroll into a private school. Resigned he gave Coach Muldoon Directions and sullenly went back to sit against his Hoop. But Coach Muldoon wasn't about to give up, he'd seen how happy Marcus had been when he asked him to join the team and even though he had only known the otter for a few minutes, Abaddon couldn't bear to see Marcus so upset. Then an idea came to Abaddon, to hell with the enrollment. He was gonna take Marcus to practice with the team anyway. And so, for two Months Marcus attended practice with the School team and learned the rules of how to actually play, and while the team were somewhat unsure of Marcus initially they soon warmed to him and soon the whole team looked forward to seeing him and he them. Coach and Marcus had also formed a fast friendship, Marcus told Coach everything that had happened in his life and Coach felt more and more protective of his Young Otter friend.
Now one might ask how Marcus got away with disappearing from the gangs turf everyday to go practice with the Team. Well he didn't. One day after returning from practice He soon found himself surrounded by the whole gang, and non of them seemed very happy at him. The leader approached him and demanded to know why Marcus had been neglecting his duty to the gang and he also demanded that Marcus told him where he kept going everyday for hours on end. Marcus refused and for that he was beaten until he was unable to stand and he was left on the cold ground a sobbing mess. Hours later he manged to get up and make his way to his cot to find his basketball had been punctured and his Howlers posters torn and the radio smashed. A week later while Marcus was resting after his runs he heard a loud bang, shouts and sirens. A gang member ran up to him and shoved a revolver into his hands ans shouted 'IT'S THE DEA!!!' and then promptly dragged Marcus to the area of the den he had been told to defend with Marcus...or as the leader called him, "That basketball loving pussy". Marcus could hear Gunfire as he was dragged to the area he was supposed to help defend..the money locker. The gunfire kept getting louder and closer...and the more it did Marcus more and more disconnected with what was happening. Everything was going so well...for once in his life he had real friends in the school team...he had had people who cared about him like Coach...his life was finally starting to turn into something he could be proud of, Now all of it was gone...Everything was ruined. It was then Marcus heard a loud bang and the gang member a wolf, who had dragged him to this part of the den, was shouting at him to get his head together, as the wolf turned to fire again the back of his head was blown out and Marcus was splattered with blood, instinctively he raised his gun but he was so shaken up...he couldn't fire let alone keep the gun steady. Finally as the DEA team trained their guns at him it all became to much for the poor Otter and he just turned off....Marcus had gone Catatonic. The DEA team realizing this lead him out of the Den and into one of their vans...he was the only Prisoner they had taken.
For the Next few hours the DEA tried to bring Marcus out of his Catatonic state with little success. The poor Otter would only mumble "i'm sorry coach" when ever they talked to him. It was only by luck that one agent had a son who went to the same Private school and had heard of "The Coach" So in order to make sure the DEA sent a agent to Coach's house. As soon as Coach opened the door the Agent said to him "I'm sorry to bother you at this hour sir but do you know this Otter?" the Agent held up a photo that had been taken of Marcus and as soon as Coach saw it he asked to be taken to him. Once Coach arrived he was taken in the room they use to watch interviews with prisoners. Coach was shocked to see his young Otter friend one so detached and his clothes splattered with dried blood. "He's been that way since we found him in the raid" The Agent said to the Badger. Coach still couldn't believe that this shell of an otter was his Energetic Basketball loving friend. "What's going to happen to him?" Coach asked while filling out a form giving the DEA Marcus' name. "He was involved with a notorious Drug gang, so he's likely looking at a prison sentence" "but He's never done anything wrong!" Coach stated "He delivered hard narcotics to the dealers!" Both were starting to raise their voices now. "I know what his Job was, and if you bothered to pay attention to things you would have realized that it was against his will!" Coach walked up to the Mirror/window and places his hand on it as he looked at the broken Otter in the other room. "He lost everything, His family, his home. He was eleven years old and he lived on the streets. The gang found him and forced him to join. We were working to make his life better...I love that Boy...like a son." Coach turned to the Agent and saw he was getting through, "Can't you do anything for a victim?"
Soon after Marcus heard the Door to the interrogation room open and the Agent in charge walked in followed by Coach. Marcus' eyes widened and then he looked away before they saw his tears. the Agent looked at Coach and Whispered "Are you sure about this?" To which the Badger whispered back "He's Never lied to me" He sat opposite Marcus and said gently "Marcus? Agent Withers and I have come to decision regarding you." Marcus didn't look at Coach but it was obvious he was terrified. "But....I.....we....I thought we were friends?" Marcus whispered. Coach felt sorry for Marcus but this had to be done."Marcus, look at me" the Otter only shook his head "I can't" Coach reached across the table and placed his hands on Marcus' head firmly enough to keep a grip but gently enough to not hurt and made the otter look him in the eye "I will ask you three questions and you WILL answer them" Marcus nodded treas were brimming his eyes now which made it worse for Coach. "Marcus. Did you ever hurt anyfur?" Marcus blinked away the tears but they quickly returned with more building "No" he answered. Coach kept his Grip "Did you ever Take any Drugs?" Marcus' tears were flowing now and he was fighting back sobs "No...Never" And now it was time for the final question "Marcus. Did you ever want to Stop what the Gang were doing?" Now Marcus was on the edge as he looked Coach in the eyes and Said "YES!" then the tears truly started flowing as Marcus broke down and cried his eyes out. Coach let go of Marcus' head and hugged him tight. It took a few minutes but Coach managed to calm the weeping Otter down. Agent Withers sat down in the chair Coach had recently occupied and said "Marcus...We have a proposition for you. Let's not mince words you are in trouble but it has come to our attention that you were a unwilling participant. So....If you tell us everything you know about how the gang operated and their contacts and we will wipe the slate clean and...give you a full Scholarship at Coaches Private School." Marcus looked at Withers....he couldn't believe it, he truly couldn't "R..really?" Withers smiled and nodded "and not only that but You will also be handed over to a legal Guardian...but who? he said rubbing his chin in mock thought. Coach knew that was his Que "I'll do it" Marcus turned and looked at Coach and once again he teared up but this time it was with joy.
Over the next Few hours Marcus told Agent Withers everything he knew about the gangs dealings and he knew a lot. The information he supplied helped the DEA Bring down the gangs contacts and "business partners" and Marcus was given all that was promised. A clean slate, A roof to sleep under with his Guardian and a full Scholarship which Coach made certain it was for the Basketball team.
Four Years later Marcus Graduated with top mark in all classes and as the Schools Basketball teams Starting Shooting Guard. And aside from a few Part time male model shoots, he now waits for the FBA draft to begin to finally realize his dreams of playing for a professional FBA League team.
After failing to be selected in the 2013 FBA Draft, the Texas Lone Stars bought out the contract of Reggie Coale (Dalmatian, G) in order to make room for Marcus. The otter was signed out of restricted free agency to a league minimum contract.
Marcus is now happily married. His Wife Mercedes Rosa Knight is a widely renowned Krav Maga instructor. She is now also carrying twins which are due to be born in April 2015.
Marcus and Mercedes are now the proud parents of beautiful and healthy Fraternal twins Martin and Alexa.
| Marcus' perfect Valentine|
Written by Thwaitesy
| Marcus was in his room in his Home looking himself over in the large Mirror. The River Otter was dressed in a sharp Tuxedo that had been tailored made for him. It really paid to have a ridiculous amount of money that no one ,save himself, could touch. Soon the Limo he had hired to ferry him and Mercedes to their destination would arrive, and then Marcus would show the female Otter the time of her life. Of course he was nervous, after all he had never done anything like this before, But he was certain that it was going to just as planned.
As he finished his Bow tie the phone began to ring. So he made his way downstairs to the Living room and picked up the receiver. "Hello, Marcus Knight here" he said with a smile on his face as he put the phone to his ear. After a few second of Marcus listening to what the person on the other end was saying the smile slowly left "Uh Huh..........uh huh.........and the engine is How bad?..............uh huh............oil everywhere you say...........uh huh..........Wow that is bad......So can I get a replacement for tonight?..............Uh huh......all booked.....right...........OK thanks Goodbye." Hanging up the phone Marcus picked up a cushion from his couch and pressed it to his face and Hollered out every curse he could think of in a volume that would have been heard outside if not for the cushion. After his little screaming session he calmed down and said to himself "Well at least they gave me a refund" Although this did now present a problem, how was Marcus going to take Mercedes out on a Valentines date when he didn't have a limo? he couldn't use Jessica, because showing up to your girlfriends hotel on a motorcycle to take her on a date to the poshest restaurant in the city just wasn't how it's done, especially when wearing a Tuxedo that cost $1000. It finally dawned on him, A Taxi! Those guys are always running it was just a matter of finding one. and thus a frantic search through the phone book began.
Meanwhile, Mercedes was in her hotel room going through every nice outfit she had brought with her to Texas, trying to find the perfect one for her date with Marcus all the while muttering to herself that none of them were right for the occasion. Only problem was she hadn't brought that many with her. She didn't expect Marcus to ask her out on a valentines date, she was more then happy that he did, but she was still unprepared for it. Many of her outfits were scattered on the carpeted floor of her hotel room, the best one she had was the one she wore to the Games and that was hardly the kind of thing one would wear for the fancy night out Marcus had planned... "Come on girl think, think, think!" she said to herself as she slightly hit her forehead with her hand. The it struck her, their was a shopping center only fifteen minutes away from her hotel. Perfect! She could go their find a perfect outfit for her date and be back in time to totally Wow him when he arrived to pick her up. It was a flawless plan. So she made her way to the Lobby and asked for them to call her a taxi. it arrived and she got in and headed to the Shopping center. She soon found out her plan for a quick fix to her wardrobe problem would not be so quick to take effect. When she arrived at the clothing store all the changing rooms were full. "Of course they're full" She couldn't help but observe the group of males from different species outside the changing rooms, no doubt waiting for the respective partners to reveal the latest outfit they were considering thinking about getting. One guy ,a ferret, was practically falling asleep when his wife , Mercedes assumed, came out. Oh Mercedes certainly felt sorry for him.
Of course as soon as Mercedes left in her Taxi left for the Shops to get a nice outfit for her date. Marcus pulled up in his own Taxi ready to pick her up for said date. He went up to her room and politely knocked on her door. "Mercedes, I'm here to treat you to your night with Knight." he said with a smile. after a few minutes of standing there he knocked again. and then stood with his back to the wall next to her door stuck in thought. "I suppose she could still be in the shower...that could be how she didn't here me... Must be one hell of a shower she's got in that room." he noticed that her door was still slightly ajar. In her haste she hadn't closed it properly so Marcus' Curiosity was piqued and he opened the door the look in. He could hear no shower, but what he saw made him worry. Her room was a mess. Mercedes' clothes were all strewn about the room and draws were left open. Marcus could only come to one Conclusion... Mercedes and been Kidnapped and her room ransacked.
Meanwhile Mercedes had finally gotten her own changing room. The outfit she had picked out was nice red number with shoulder straps that crossed over the chest. "Oh Marcus is gonna loves this" she said to herself as she admired herself in the mirror. and to be honest it wasn't all that expensive what with the Valentines sale going on, it was a total steal. Satisfied, she changed back into what she was wearing and took her new dress to the counter. Once again she saw the Ferret couple. The Husband still desperately apologizing to his wife for falling asleep which made Mercedes giggle a little. While she watched the wife finally accept the apologies with a playful giggle and a swat on the arm, it got her thinking about herself and Marcus. Could she really see herself settling down with Marcus? A professional Basketball player, constantly being hounded by reporters and Paparazzi? Not to mention the screaming fan girls wanting to have his babies. They would always be moving from city to city whenever he was traded, wouldn't they? Her train of thought was interrupted by a baby crying. she looked and saw an adorable little Raccoon boy. Must have been about two years old. Seems he'd been playing with ,what Mercedes could only assume was, his favorite toy when he tripped and hurt his knee. No sooner had the crying begun the father was their picking up the poor thing and calming him down. Mercedes smiled as she imagined Marcus in the fathers place and the Raccoon boy was replaced by an young Otter boy the same age. Would Marcus make a good father after not having one for practically his whole life? Once again she was interrupted as the cashier called out Next!. Mercedes was so lost in thought she didn't even realize the cue had moved so much for it to be here turn. She paid for the Dress and the shoes to match in cash. and took her newly bought items outside and hailed another taxi to take her back to her hotel so she could get changed and wait for Marcus to arrive.
She was greeted by a very, VERY strange sight. the Hotel had been blocked off by the police when she got out of the Taxi ,after paying of course, she asked a onlooker what was going on. "Some Otter chick got kidnapped from her Hotel room, Her boyfriend was gonna take her on a date and found her gone and her room a total mess then he ,like ,called the cops." Mercedes at that point went pale as she remembered that she did actually forget to lock her door. even thought she already knew what the answer was going to be she had to ask "Who's the guy who called the cops?" the onlooker looked at her like it was a crime she didn't know already. "Only Marcus freakin' Knight!" Mercedes let out a fake gasp as Marcus' name was brought up. this guy must be a fan of his she thought to herself as she could see Marcus number and Surname on the guys shirt. "The rookie for the lone Stars?" she said as she pretended to not know him. the Fan nodded and folded his arms "Guys been crying his eyes out since. He's right over there. I tell you what, whoever did this is gonna regret it if I get my hands on 'em!" Mercedes was glad the her boyfriend had such a dedicated fan, but now it was time to set things straight.
Marcus wasn't hard to find. He was sat to one side of the whole affair with his head in his hands, his Tuxedo jacked open and his bow tie undone and just simply hanging around his neck as he quietly lamented his lost love. Mercedes walked up to him and sat beside him. Marcus must have really been out of it if he didn't even notice it was her "Please not now, I know you want an autograph or something but can you not see that I'm not exactly in the mood right now?" Mercedes couldn't couldn't feel worse for the situation she had put him in all by not locking her Hotel room door. But she was going to help him out of it "It's a shame really." She said with a pout "I was really looking forward to showing you my new dress when we went for our date" she kept her eyes on Marcus after that. The first thing that happened was Marcus' ear closest to her twitched, then he quickly looked up and then just as quickly turned his head to look at her wide eyed with confusion "M..Mercedes?" she giggled at that and with a smile simply said to her confused beau. "That's my name hun. Don't wear it out or I'll make you buy me a new one." Marcus grabbed her and held on as tight as he could, which considering the muscles he'd gained from his workouts at the Arena, was pretty damn tight. "I was so scared that'd lost you!" Mercedes had to pry his arms off her "I'm fine. I just went to get a dress for the date tonight. But I am so sorry That I put you through all this. I didn't mean to I..." Marcus cut her off putting a finger to her muzzle. "Must be one hell of a dress. I can't wait to see it, however" he said as he glanced at the gathering of onlookers. "I think we need to clear this lot out before the press arrive" and so the two of them went to the police in charge and Mercedes explained everything that happened. and in short order the two of them were left to their own devices.
Some minutes later Marcus was waiting out side the Hotel with a taxi he Tuxedo was all done up and his bow tie was once again tied to perfection when he heard a dainty cough be hind him. He looked up to see Mercedes in her new red Dress ,with matching shoes of course, as she made her way down the small stairs in front of the hotel "So how do I look?" she asked as she got close enough for Marcus to put his arms around her "You look absolutely, 100% Beautiful" the two shared a soft yet tender kiss. Ass they kissed Mercedes knew without a shadow of a doubt, that despite all that had happened to him, despite all his career would throw at them, He was who sh was meant for, he would never leave her, never stop loving her. And ,when the time came, he would make a great father. as their Kiss lasted a few more seconds the Taxi driver looking at them in the wing mirror just rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath "Otters"
| The Proposal|
Written by Thwaitesy
| It had been almost three hours since Marcus had had dinner with Mariam Walstein and Travis Buckner...and man oh man was it one he was never going to forget. Travis had spilled the beans to both Marcus and Mariam about how he had been using them, pretty much from day one to be better then every one in the FBA. Marcus was, to be sure, more then shocked to learn about this. But he saw how much Travis was regretting it, and true to his positive nature the Otter made it perfectly clear that he had forgiven the Koala.
Now Marcus was wearing a smart dinner suit as he had arranged another date with Mercedes, but this time she was meeting him at the restaurant. The 6'5 Otter fumbled with something in his pocket nervously as though he was making sure it was still there. It was more like he was using it to make sure he went through with his plan rather then backing out like so many parts of his mind were screaming at him to. Of course he wasn't alone...Mariam and Travis had offered to go along with him to help spur him on for what he was about to do...not that they were in obvious sight of course, the two of them were already in the restaurant in disguise. Marcus was on the verge of sweating through his shirt and he had to once again reapply the deodorant that he had brought with him...he was certain that by the time his Girlfriend arrived he'd be surrounded by a visible cloud of the fresh smelling spray.
Finally Mercedes arrived and she was once again wearing that Red dress she got on Valentines day. She truly was a vision to behold, even more so in that dress. As she got out of the Taxi she saw him and he saw her face light up with that Smile of hers that just made his heart melt. "Hi babe" she said as waved and then made her way over to him. As she got closer Marcus put on a brave face and took his hand out of his pocket. She arrived in front of him and he said in as posh an accent as he could muster "Would the divine Lady like to accompany this humble Otter into this fine establishment?" Mercedes couldn't help but giggle at him as he did that and as he offered her his arm to cling to as they entered. As they approached the Head Waiter, a Finch, he looked up and smiled. "Good evening Sir and Madam, welcome to Romeo's" he said with a obviously fake french accent. "Do you have a reservation?" Marcus smiled and gave a quick nod. "Yes we do it's under the name Knight" the head waiter look through his book and found the name. "Ah yes right here. If you would care to follow me I'll lead you to your table." The head waiter then rang a little bell signaling for someone to take his place, while he attended the Otter couple. They arrived at the table and Marcus, being the gentleman he is pulled out Mercedes chair for her and pushed it in once she sat down, he then took his seat across from her. The head Waiter still smiling said "Now if you just wait a moment I shall return with your menus." As he left Marcus was taking in the view of the restaurant, it certainly lived up to his reputation as the most romantic restaurant in Austin. He looked this way and that and then he spotted a Koala sitting in a corner with a overly elaborate Texan cowboy outfit. The one thing that gave Travis away was the fake mustache. Marcus recognized it as the one Kinny had given the Koala so long ago. Then in just as odd disguise was Mariam done up as a businessman...businessMAN. Marcus had to resist to urge to totally face palm at their disguises as Mercedes was saying something.
"I'm sorry hun, what were you saying?" Marcus said as he didn't quite catch what Mercedes had been saying. Mercedes sighed and repeated herself with a little chuckle. "I was just saying how amazing this place is. How did you find it?" She asked once again. Marcus smiled as he held up his Ophone, the same one he won at the Walstein family reunion he had been invited too. The same reunion where he first met Mercedes. "I just looked for romantic Restaurants and this place was at the very top of the list" he said as he showed her the list displayed on his phone. "Of course I didn't pick it because it's at the top. I read the reviews of all top ten and this was the Best." As he put his phone back in his inside pocket the head waiter returned with the menus'. "Now just take a look and think about what you would like to order. Once you're ready, simply request a waiter and they shall take care of your order." he said and then left once again to see to another couple.
As Marcus looked over the Menu he silently thanked as many divine beings he could think of that he had a particular liking for Italian food. His eyes searching the starters Menu until he came to something he like the sound of. "I think I'm gonna have the Fried Ravioli for starters. What about you Hun?" he said as he started looking for a Main course. Mercedes had already found what she wanted too. "Oh I think I'll have the Parmesan fish fingers. Those sound great". After a little while Marcus and Mercedes had both picked out what they what they both were going to order. So Marcus held his arm up in the Air and soon enough a waiter came over to see to them "So" the waiter said as she got her notepad "What do you two plan in having tonight?" Marcus looked to Mercedes and she gave him a nod to order their meals for them. "Well for starters I will have an order of Fried Ravioli and my girlfriend will have the Parmesan fish fingers." the waiter dutifully wrote down everything Marcus said. This went on till Marcus had recited everything they wanted to eat from starter to desert. Then the waiter asked "And what would you like to drink tonight?" Marcus had already chosen that too. "I think we'll have the Barolo Serradenari please" The waiter put her pencil away and gave a smile. and said "OK we'll get those out to you as soon as we they're ready"
The starters soon arrived and Marcus and Mercedes dug in. Between mouthfuls of the starters the two Otters spoke about what they had been doing during the day, with Marcus telling her about what Travis had told Mariam and himself. It took some doing to convince 6'2 Neotropical River Otter not to go and give a certain Koala a big serving of Knuckle sandwich. She was still smoldering when she said she needed to excuse herself for a minute. After she did Travis came over and sat in the chair opposite his friend "So what exactly did she say just then?" the fake mustache Travis wore wiggled as he spoke in an old school comedic way and Marcus couldn't help but laugh. "Well" he said while fidgeting with a bread stick "I'll put it this way, I steer clear of her for a little while if I were you" He could see the grey fur on Travis go even paler which was odd to look at really. "Was she really that mad?" "You Kidding? She wanted to beat the living snot out of you. But don't worry I think I managed to calm her down. She's a very protective lady." Marcus said with a smile. Travis could really see how much Marcus was in love with the Mercedes and decided to do his part. "So, you're still gonna do it right? You're not planning on backing down are you?" "What are you talking about?" Marcus scoffed. "I saw you outside before she got here. You were more nervous then you were back at the fucking draft!" Marcus couldn't argue with his friend. He really was nervous "Well can you blame me? This is a big step I'm trying to take. How can I not be nervous" Travis nodded. He knew for a fact he'd be nervous if he'd be in the same spot. "Well don't forget that's why Mariam and I are here, We've got your back" As Travis was sat there Mercedes exited the bathroom and saw some strange guy sitting across from her boyfriend. 'what the hell?' she thought as she made her way over to the table. Marcus saw her coming with mixed shock and concern "She's coming! You'd better go man" Travis turned and saw Mercedes walking their way. She looked more confused then angry thankfully. Travis knew that the female Otter was a Martial arts instructor and he did not want to get on her bad side. As she got closer Travis put on a overly southern accent as he got up "Well Sheeoot If'n yall change your mahnd you know who ta call" as he passed Mercedes and gave her an "Evenin Ma'am" and he made his way back to where he sat earlier. Mercedes took her seat again and look at Marcus with total confusion. "Who the heck was that weirdo?" Marcus then realized that Travis had left him to think up a cover story for the reason the strange cowboy was talking to him 'thanks Travis' he thought to himself. "Oh that was just some designer...uh he said He thought I would look great in a...uh... pair of his underwear." 'what the fuck did I just say!?!' Mercedes thought about it for a few seconds "Well you do have that kind of Underwear model look to you. But he should know you've retired from that line of work." "That's what I said to him just before you got back" He finished his starter as did Mercedes "So...you're not still angry at Travis are you?" Mercedes kinda slumped in her chair at the question "Well I'm not happy...But If you can forgive him, then so can I." Marcus smiled and took one of her hands in his "That's my girl".
The waiter arrived soon after with the Main courses and the wine they had ordered. Mercedes had Broiled Salmon Pesto, while Marcus had Basil and Prosciutto-wrapped Halibut. This meal was eaten uninterrupted the two Otters laughing together as they discussed their daily lives and shared funny stories. The Piano was playing now and it just added to the perfect romantic atmosphere Marcus wanted. Of course it wasn't long before Marcus himself had to relieve himself and he left the table and headed to the rest room. Marcus found himself an empty urinal and took his position when another customer entered and took the urinal right next to him Marcus suddenly realized that this was actually Mariam "WHAT THE Mmpphh" he didn't finish his out burst as she clamped his muzzle shut with her hands. "Shhhhh" she said as she let go of the Otters mouth. It only took a few seconds for Marcus to let himself relax despite the fact that his female friend and teammate was right next to him in the mens restroom. "What the hell are you doing in here?! I'm trying to take care of some business right now!" "I know and I'm really sorry. Normally I wouldn't do this, you know that, but I couldn't get you alone out there. I just want to know. when are you gonna do it? The main course is almost over You're kinda running out of time" Marcus let out a small sigh. He knew that they were here to help spur him on just in case, but this was going too far. "Look, I've got it all planned out." He said with a great amount of conviction "After we've had desert I'll do it. Don't panic...now would you please...GET OUT!!!" Mariam was out the door faster then she knew she could run. Of course all the restaurant patrons saw is a businessman follow a pro basketball player into the men's room and then run out in a hurry. Looking at the confused patrons which included Mercedes, who was kinda giving the man Mariam was disguised as an evil eye. Putting on as masculine voice as she could Mariam said "Sorry about that all...just a BIG misunderstanding." Mercedes kept her eyes on the strange Buffalo businessman until Marcus returned. They finished their Maine Course and the dessert arrived soon after.
This time Mercedes and Marcus had ordered the same thing. A nice big serving of Creamy Chocolate Gelato. Which to two of them shared. At one point Marcus got some of the chocolate ice cream on his nose. Mercedes giggled and lightly kissed it off for him. After the Gelato was all finished and Mercedes and Marcus were both done cleaning off their spoons. Mercedes sighed. "What's wrong love?" Marcus asked. His concern plain to see. She looked at him and sighed again "Oh Marcus nothing's wrong." She said. "This was probably the best night of my life...but now it's coming to an end" Marcus smiled at his love and said in a confident tone "My dear this night has only just started" He got up and walked around to her side of the table and Offered her his hand she took it and he helped her up. Then oddly he led her straight to the middle of the restaurant. Then he took both her hands in his. "Mercedes, I've been in love with you since the moment we first met back at your family's reunion. Now not one moment passes by when I'm not thinking about you. And I want more then anything to spend the rest of my life with you." At that he got down on one knee and pulled a box out of his pocket and holding it up with one hand he opened it with the other, relieving a beautiful engagement bracelet. ((Otter's are unable to wear rings due to their webbing so they used bracelets instead of rings.)) It was silver and engraved with beautiful patterns and it had the expected indentation for the final piece that would be added at the wedding ceremony. "Mercedes Rosa Walstein...will you marry me?" Mercedes was speechless as he continued to kneel in front of her. With the eyes of everyone in the restaurant on the Otter couple. Finally Mercedes found her voice "Oh...Marcus I....Yes...YES!" She practically shouted. Marcus smiled and with joyful tears in his eyes slipped the bracelet onto her wrist then stood up to be face to face with her. Mercedes soon enough had her arms around him with and was now passionately kissing her new fiancé while Marcus himself was returning the kiss with the same passion to his new fiancée. The entire restaurant applauded the two Otters. The Kiss Lasted a few more seconds before they both parted still smiling. Meanwhile Mairam and Travis had ditched their disguises and joined in congratulating the Otters. Mercedes saw the other two Lone Stars and it finally dawned on her why the Businessman and the Texan Cowboy had looked so familiar and she couldn't help but laugh along with the rest of them. Marcus and Mercedes had only just begun the long journey they would take to become Husband and Wife, but both knew without a shadow of a doubt, It was one they would never regret.
| The Bachelor Party|
Written by Thwaitesy
| They had been driving for a while now. Travis was driving while Marcus was in the back seat looking out the window wandering where they are actually going. "I feel like you're gonna pull over and snuff me. Where are we going?" he asked for the second time today. The first time had been when he was told to get into the car. Travis in spite of his usually serious attetude only smiled and said "You'll see when we get there." Travis then proceded to just chuckle a little.
After several more minutes they finally arrived at their destination. The two Lone Stars got out of the car and Marcus finally got a good look at where they were. Travis had brought him to the Extreme paintball ranch. Marcus looked at his best friend/best man/ team mate Travis, who was ginning ear to ear and spreading his arms he said "Welcome to your Bachelor Party Marcus." The next thing the Koala knew he had two muscled Otter arms wrapped around him. "This is so awesome!" Marcus cried out in his usual chipper tone "I've always wanted to go paint balling." The two then went to pay their way in. When they arrived the German Shepard in the Entrance smiled at seeing Travis enter "Ah there you are Mister Buckner. Just in time" he said as he pulled up Travis' apparent booking on his computer. "It also seems like the rest of your party has arrived before you" Marcus looked at his best friend and best man with a bit of confusion "The rest? how many people did you invite here?" Marcus and Travis were led through to the outside area and Marcus gasped as he saw pretty much the whole Lone Star Team and one of the draftees, Jerome Swimmer Even the Lone Stars' GM; Hector Louis was standing with the rest of the group. In fact the only Lone Stars who weren't there were Mariam and Joanne, the only female members of the Team. But Marcus could understand that, after all this was a bachelor party. Guys only.
The group was first given a safety lesson on how to properly use the markers provided and how to reload them and properly, attach a new gas canister and so on. After which they were split up into three equal teams. Marcus, Travis, Jerome, Shermen and Buck were one team. Then Dewitt, Jack, Jakub, Joey and Lukas were the second team. And the third team was Phill, Stripes, Hector, Lance and Nick. after they were fully decked out in armor and were given their markers and plenty of refills the three teams were taken to their individual starting points.
The start signal sounded and it wasn't long before the teams encountered each other and opened fire. Marcus and his team moved to take cover behind a barrier but Sherman didn't make it and was hit, Travis dragged the porcupine into cover and Sherman made a show of 'dying' in a teammates arms, he was out of the match. Buck in a fit of 'Revenge' broke cover and started firing wildly into the direction of the other team it's possible he hit someone but it wasn't long before the other team returned fire. Buck got hit several times and he went down spectacularly. Marcus was sure that if this were a War movie Bucks' death would have been in slow motion.
On the other side of the 'fire fight' Dewitt's team had taken a loss from Bucks attack. Jakub had taken a direct hit on his chest and had already moved to safety as 'dead'. Dewitt told his remaining team to fan out and to try and flank what was left of Marcus' team. However in doing so they made themselves easy targets for Phill and his team. Before Dewitt knew what was happening Jack and Joey were down. He and Lukas returned fire but Lukas was taken down by a well aimed shot from Marcus. Dewitt, with little options left to him, grabbed Jakubs marker and was now firing wildly at both teams shouting "QAPLA'!" at the top of his lungs. It was Hector firing on full Auto that took the Markhor down.
Phil and his team didn't have much time to celebrate the victory before Marcus shouted "FIRE" and the Otter, Koala and the Dolphin opend fire on the remaining team. Phil and Nick went down in the initial volley before they started to fall back. Marcus, Travis and Jerome began to follow, not wanting to give their targets time to regroup. Hector went down with combined fire from Travis and Marcus while Jerome was taken out by Lance as the Dolphin shot Stripes in the chest. Finally before Marcus could react Lance had taken aim at him and just as the crocodile squeezed the trigger Travis leaped in front of Marcus taking the paintball for his friend. Marcus and Lance were the only two left and they were facing each other like an old west duel. Marcus and Lance dropped their markers and their hands went to the emergency single shot pistols they had been given. Seconds past, all the 'dead' players were watching, waiting to see who would make the first move...then Lance shouted "DRAW" simultaneously Marcus and Lance drew their pistols and fired. As the two stood there they both started to laugh. As it turned out they actually shot each other they were both 'dead'.
Their were five more matches during the day, and each one lasted a little bit longer then the last as each and everyone of them began to learn the tactics employed by each team. By the end of he final match Marcus' team had only won two out of six, but that didn't matter to him. He had had a great time with his friends and teammates. as he and the other were washing out any paint that had gotten into their fur Marcus turned to Travis "This was a great time Travis. I don't really know how to thank you buddy." The Koala, sill working some paint out of his hand fur, smiled and said "Oh it's not over yet. I've got a private party planned for you and the Salt lick...provided I can get this paint out. I'd hate to go in looking like I killed half the items on the menu" Marcus couldn't help but laugh at that and despite the mental drama he had been dealing with lately Travis started to laugh too. A good long hard Laugh.
After the drive back into the city they each took a bit of time to change into clothes more fitting for a party. Travis already had his picked out and ready in the boot of his car while Marcus had to be taken to his place to change. What he decided to wear was the same suit he wore to the draft expect this time he didn't wear the Tie he had that night and he had left some of the opt most buttons undone. They arrived at the Salt Lick at the same time everyone else did and they headed in and were greeted by the staff and then directed to the booked room for the Private party. the gather around a huge table in the middle of the room and took their seats. Travis sat to Marcus' right. Before long food and drink arrived and the party got going. Laughing sharing stories and generally having a good time.Travis stood up and asked for everyone's attention. "To my fellow teammates, and friends of Marcus Knight..." His face fell a bit, as he continued. "You all know what has been going on with me in the last few months. I won't ruin this occasion by opening up old wounds. And thanks to the help of some of you, I've been pulled away from the abyss, and am trying to make my climb back. In those few months, I was totally disinterested in doing anything for my good friend, Marcus. He had supported me, cheered me, and I did not repay him in kind. I was going to pass along the planning of this party. I know some of you would have preferred a 'traditional' party, with strippers bursting out of cakes and whatnot, but I know Marcus isn't that type of guy. And the party, I thought, should reflect him. Fun, and happy to have his friends around."
The koala gestured to the otter sitting next to him. "Once I was brought out of my stupor, I realized that Marcus had entrusted me with a sacred responsibility. One I needed, and wanted, to uphold. Needed to, because that's me. Wanted to, because it was him." He turned to Marcus, and extended his hand. "Marcus, congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I've never been prouder of a team, or a person, as I am of Texas and of you right now" The gathered Lone Stars cheered and applauded as the speech ended and Marcus gave Travis a big hug. After that the party continued and It was a great time for all. Great food, great drink, great friends and a great night, Marcus looked around the table. Looking back on his life in the gang he never in a Million years thought he'd be so lucky to have so many friends.
| The time has come|
Written by Thwaitesy
| Tuesday 21st of April. 9:30 AM
Mercedes thumbed her hand through the application requests spread out on her desk in front of her for the Knight-Star dojo. Then after a short moment she smiled. While she was impressed by the number of replies her add had gotten, she wondered how many of them were brought about from her husband Marcus's fame in the FBA. Either way it was nice to see so many people interested in custodial duties in a martial arts dojo. Suddenly she felt them again. Once again the pups were kicking. this morning she had decided it was a day to not tie her hair back into it's usual pony tail so it just flowed freely down her back.
Mercedes smile broadened and she started rubbing her heavy swollen stomach almost urging the offspring inside of her to continue. And so they did for a good ten minutes she let out a contented sigh, "It won't be long now my little darlings" she wished with all her heart she could see them, she and Marcus didn't even know the sexes of their pups, and make no mistake, that was by choice but it did make her more then a little anxious to find out what they were. Marcus was at work at the Lone Star practice facility and her mother who had arrived a few weeks ago to help out was doing just that as she was out getting some necessities. While her father had gone to join in, leaving Mercedes all alone. And she was, at this moment in time, loving it. She decided to take a break form sorting through the applications, getting up from her desk at home she made her way into the kitchen for a quick snack, her maternity dress flowing about her ankles as she walked.
It had been unanimously decided by her mother, and the rest of her staff at the Dojo, that she spend the remainder of her pregnancy at home to ease stress. A decision she was quite thankful for as she bit down ,and happily munched, on one of her favorite candy bars. Then just as she picked up a bottle of milk to take a drink from, it hit her. A sharp piercing pain shot through her gut, the bottle falling from her hand smashing on the tiled floor of the kitchen as she went to clutch her stomach. Soon enough Mercedes water broke and even more liquid fell the to floor in one go.
It was happening.
Trying as best she could to stay upright she made her way to the living room to collect her O-phone. The first thing she did was dile three numbers 911.
Austin Stadium practice facility 9: 55 AM
The orange rubber ball sailed through the air before finally it went through the hoop with a swish as the timer ran out and a cheer rose from the members of the Lone Stars wearing blue. The time was up and the score was 29-24 in favor of the blue team. With the first of several practice games planed for the day over, Marcus had been volunteered by Coach Bilicheck to take the red and blue Jersies into the back and put them in the wash bin.
Casually tossing them into the metal bin Marcus noticed that the paper sign was still firmly in place. The sign read, "Wash my innards" a little joke left over from Kinny's time on the team, and no one had the heart to remove it.
Heading back through the locker room the otter heard a familiar sound, his ringtone. "Odd." he said to himself "Don't usually get calls this time of day." The sudden thought of Mercedes went though his mind and he swiftly picked up his phone. He pressed his thumb to the accept symbol he held it up "Hello?" His mind and heart racing a million miles a second. "Hello, is this Mr. Marcus Knight?" It was a female voice and Marcus was about to hang up were it not for the fact he could hear a PA system in her background. "Yes this is he. Who am I speaking with?" By now some of the other team members were wandering who he was talking to.
"Sir, I'm calling from the University Medical center Brakenridge. I'm calling to let you know that your Wife Mrs. Mercedes Rosa Knight was admitted 5 minutes ago after she called us for an Ambulance. Her Water has broken and she is currently experiencing contractions and she is calling for you."
After hearing the news his ears perked up in excitement, his tail swaying like a pup on sugar. He then cheerfully spoke "Really?! Is anyone there with her right now?" Marcus asked, sure no one would be able to keep her father away even if he were tied to wild horses. "No sir" she replied "She arrived alone but she made me promise to call you first or she'd uhm 'Kick my ass, soon as the pups were born' her words." Marcus couldn't help but laugh at that, "Well that sounds like my wife. Tell her I'm on my way. I'll be there as fast as I can" With that Marcus ended the call and looked at the team who had gathered to see what was up.
"Guys I've gotta go. Mercedes just went into labor, apologies to Bilicheck for me!" he said as he started gathering his stuff like his water bottle and his towel. Quickly moving into the locker room and a about a minute later, he was in his bike riding gear. Leather Jacket, pants and even boots and he had a helmet tucked under his arm. Buck Hopper was holding up Marcus' keys with a grin on his face. "Stay safe on the road man, give Mercedes our best!" Marcus grinned as he grabbed the keys heading out "Will do guys!"
Just as he reached for the door a voice called his name "Marcus?" The Otter skidded to a halt as he heard the voice call his name. Turning to look Marcus saw Hector Louis standing there a cup of coffee in one hand and a file in another. And of course a quizzical look set on his face.
Marcus didn't even seem to take a breath as be once again began moving as he spoke. "Iknowit'searlyinthedaysir,butI'vegottagoIgotaphonecallthatMercedesisattheHospitalin laborI'vegottabetheregottagonowbye!" and then he was gone. Before Hector could make sense of the short 30 mile an hour explanation Marus was out the door and already starting up his bike and riding off. The Rat just kept looking at the glass door for a minute or so "Good morning Marcus, Nice day sin't it. Where are you off to in such a hurry?" Soon enough the rat entered the practice facility to find the team explaining to Bilicheck where Marcus had gone and why. "OK can someone please translate what Marcus said to me before he jumped on his bike and road off?"
University Medical center Brakenridge 10:15 AM
Two members of the hospital staff were standing outside taking a smoke break, one was a wolf the other a Dove. Both were male and dressed as nurses. talking about the happenings in their own lives. "...so I said to her 'If you think I'm paying $70 for a damn Toaster-oven you're out of your mind!' " The wolf said then taking a drag of his cigarette. giving the Dove time to respond "I thought you two were done fighting?" he said as he idly flicked some ashes off his cigarette. The wolf exhaled and replied with a sly grin that looked ore like it belonged on a fox "I like the way she fights" the two laughed at for a moment or two, then the dove took a drag on his own before speaking up "So what did she say to that?" The wolf took on a thoughtful expression "Well she...." He was cut off as the roar of a motor cycle engine seemed to come out of nowhere. They both looked as the owner of the motor cycle parked his bike in a designated area and quickly made his way to the entrance taking off his helmet as he passed them. Before either Wolf or Dove knew it he was inside. The dove looked at the entrance of the hospital slightly confused "Was that who I thought it was?" The wolf looked at the doors and gave a shrug of his shoulders "That depends...who did you think it was?" Pointing to the entrance the with his free hand the Dove said "Dude I'm pretty sure that was Marcus Knight!" The wolf simply scoffed at his friend and flicked some ashes off his cigarette "You think every otter you see is Marcus Knight. You don't shut up about him. 'Hey check out the Otter in that Barber shop I think it's Marcus knight. Look at the Otter by that street light, Is that Marcus Knight?' Give it a rest man" The Dove simply pouted and crossed his arms, "forgive me for being a fan."
Meanwhile Inside, Marcus had made his way to the front reception desk almost frantic he leaned close to the Receptionist, a little too close some might say "Where is she?" he almost bellowed, his voice filled with panic and worry, which obviously took the poor receptionist by surprise. "Uhm...w..who are you looking for sir?" she said regaining her composure. Marcus looked right at her concern written on his face "My wife was admitted here nearly half an hour ago. She's in labor!" The receptionist suddenly recognized the frantic Otter in front of her. "OH Mr Knight! right uhm let me just check" she quickly typed away at her keyboard for a few seconds "Ah ha found her. She's in The Maternity unit right now. Room 15, her midwife should be checking on her right about now." She gave Marcus the directions to the room and soon he was on his way. Several minutes later he arrived at the door and opened it to find His wife Mercedes all dressed in a hospital gown and currently in the middle of the midwifes examination.
Mercedes saw her husband enter and smiled "Hi honey. I'm really glad you made it. I...hold on. Another one's coming Lucy." The midwife stopped her examination and stood back as another contraction started. Marcus was instantly by his wife's side and took hold of her hand. Mercedes gratitude was plane to see even as she squeezed his hand and grunted as the pain continued for a few more seconds.
Hours passed and the contractions started getting closer together. Mercedes just ended a particularly long contraction when the Midwife returned for the next check up. She went through the motions checking everything as was her job to do. "OK then just have to see how dilated you are." she went to it and Marcus made sure not to look, hiding his blush due to the method of checking dilation. "Well Mrs. Knight you're pretty much fully dilated. Time to get you into the delivery room and get those little miracles out. Mercedes looked at Marcus and for the first time in his life he saw her look concerned. Her eyes were almost pleading with him to stay by her side. Smiling he held her hand a little tighter "I'm not gonna let go baby. I'm in this all the way" She smiled again, as a few tears built up in her eyes, she felt like the luckiest female in the world to have him as her husband. Just then the Orderlies came in and began wheeling Mercedes to the delivery room as another contraction hit her, Marcus holding her hand all the way.
University Medical Center Brakenridge 5:30 PM The serine white walled corridors of the Hospital were as calm and serine as if the entire wing was closed, only a few doctors making their rounds visiting their respective patients going about business as usual. A scream soon split the air. Loud and agonized. Some doctors gave it only slight attention with a flick of the ear, while some who had recently arrived for their shifts looked out of what ever room they were in, wandering where it came from.
Mercedes pushed again, screaming as she did so. Marcus was still by her side, holding her hand as tight as he could, as he had been doing for the past eight hours. Not once taking his hand away from hers or wanting to leave her side. He looked to the Obstetrician as he called out the progress of the first pup "We're past the Shoulders! Just one more big push Mrs. Knight!" Mercedes took a moment to breath before pushing again harder then she had been. Another scream and a few seconds later the Doctor stood up showing the newborn pup and shouting happily "It's a Boy!"
They decided to let Mercedes rest a for a few moments before the second pup arrived. The pup was swaddled but not before Marcus was given the honor of cutting the umbilical cord, then the doctor placed the pup in his arms. Marcus held the squirming pup and could not help but cry a little "M...my son" he choked out Mercedes smiled as she watched her husband. Marcus watched in wander as the pup took a breath, his first, then let out an ear piercing wail. Soon enough the crying stopped and was replaced by a kind of mumbling sound and then a nurse took the pup and placed him carefully in a nearby cot to await the arrival of his sibling.
He wasn't waiting too long. after another five minutes Mercedes screamed again and everything started again. Soon enough the Doctor stood up and gave both Marcus and Mercedes a surprise as he proudly announced "It's a Girl!" this time though she was already crying as she was held up. Again Marcus cut the cord and held her after she was swaddled, and as Mercedes rested Marcus gave her a quick kiss. Soon enough their newborn daughter joined her brother in the cot and one of the nurses placed wrist bands on the pups arms with the name Knight and their weight and time and date of birth written on them.
after 10 minutes Mercedes and Marcus were in her own room in the Maternity ward. Mercedes was holding both pups in her arms. Both proud parents were unable to look away as the pups slept. "You know love" Marcus said "Mariam is totally going to freak out when she sees these two" Mercedes chuckled as the image of Mariam Walstein squealing in delight popped into her head. The she looked at Marcus "So, what are you going to name our beautiful son my love?" Marcus didn't even spend a second thinking of a name before he smiled and leaned over so his head was next to his sons'. Then he said quietly enough to not wake the pup but loud enough for Mercedes to hear, "Welcome to the world, Martin Knight." he then gently kissed the top of his sons head. little Martin stirred a bit but didn't wake. instead he simply moved one hand to his mouth and started sucking his tiny thumb.
"And now Hun, what are you gonna name our darling daughter?" Mercedes looked at the sleeping female Otter pup. She gently raised her arm and whispered much the same way Marcus did. "My beautiful little Alexa" and Like Marcus she too kissed her daughter but this time the pup woke up and in true newborn fashion began to cry. Marcus and Mercedes found it to be the most beautiful sound they had ever heard. It was impressive that Martin hadn't been woken by his sister crying, he was still fast asleep and still sucking his little thumb. Marcus fully took in their appearance. It didn't escape his notice that Martin had his mothers fur, while Alexa had his. Standing up Marcus grabbed a camera he had packed and stood back making sure to get all three in frame. with a snap Marcus took the first Knight Family Photo.
Another ten minutes passed Alexa was once again asleep. A knock came at the door. "Come in" Marcus said. a civet nurse popped her head around "Uhm Mr. and Mrs. Knight? You've got some visitors." Marcus reluctantly stood up and went to the door and look out. and was surprised by what he saw. Every single Lone Star was there. Even Hector and Bilicheck. And not least of all were Mercedes Mother, Father, brothers and Sisters. "Heh...Hey guys. What brings you all here?" Marcus said jokingly Hector stepped up. we all wanted to see the newest members of the our little Family. But sadly that will have to wait. We do have a game in less then an hour remember."
Marcus was about to ask Hector if he could be excused from the game to spend time with his wife and pups when Mercedes spoke up "Marcus honey. You have to go. We'll be OK. Mom and Dad are here now. You'll get plenty of time to watch our pups sleeping tomorrow. Now go out there and Win for me and for our pups" Marcus nodded and returned to Mercedes side and Kissed her before kissing his Son and Daughter's heads "I'll be back as soon as the game is over"
As the team started to leave Mercedes father Raul motioned for Marcus to join him for a moment. "Marcus, It takes a strong man to walk away from this moment to do what he has to do for his family. One day when they're older I know they will be as proud of you as I am" Then he hugged Marcus tight. "Now go do as my daughter said and beat those...who are you playing tonight the....Bikers that's it. Win for your pups" he then slapped Marcus on the back as a congratulations and as a way to get him going.
It didn't take long for Marcus to catch up to the rest of the team and he locked into step with his best friend Travis Buckner "So what are they?" The koala asked. Marcus laughed and put his arm round Travis' shoulder "Patience my friend. And don't worry. You'll still be the fist on the team to see them" The Lone Stars exited the lobby of the Hospital an each got into their own vehicles and made ready to set off to the Arena together. As the last two, Marcus and Travis left the Wolf and Dove nurses stood there mouth's on the floor. After they left the building the Dove looked to his friend "I told you that guy was Marcus Knight!"
| The final Thank you|
Written by Thwaitesy
| Marcus Knight (River Otter G) sat in the guest changing room of the Rabbit Valley Pavilion II. Going through his own little pre-game tradition, slowly running his webbed fingers down the four scars on his Left shoulder. The scars served as a constant reminder of the life he very easily could have ended up living, instead of the one he now had. Happily Married and ,now, the father of the two most beautiful pups he's ever seen. And all of that would never have happened had it not been for a certain member of the team he was playing tonight. Shane Rufus.
The Otter made it a Point to constantly remind himself of this fact, so he would never forget just how lucky he was for his life to have turned around the way it had. Proudly wearing his Away uniform Marcus stood at the front of the team as the Starting Point Guard. More then once he thought it strange that he had been kept in this position when he was primarily a Shooting guard. The Thrust players Starters were called out and Marcus again felt the Nervousness that had always been there from the first time I went onto the court before he even became a Bench player. Then the commentators began leading up to announcing the Lone Stars. Behind him Buck Hopper (Rabbit G) was jumping up and down slightly readying himself, behind him was Marcus' best friend Travis Buckner (Koala SF) adjusting his goggles. Behind him Wesley Lachs (Sockeye Salmon PF) and Ahti Nereus (White Sturgeon C) were fist bumping as they always did. After the announcer called out the starters for the Thrust he waited a few minutes fore the crowd to settle before announcing the guest players. Then Marcus' name and Number was called. Stepping out of the tunnel the spot light shone on him as he made his way to the center of the court. Soon enough the rest of the Lone Stars Starting line up was there with him together they Circled put their hands in the middle of them all and raising there arms into the air the shouted as one "1...2...3... LONE STARS!" They all took their places on the court ready for the ball to go either way. The tension was so thick it could be cut with a knife then the whistle blew, the ball went up and the Texas Lone Stars and the San Jose Thrust began their last game of the season. ................................................................................................................................................ The final Whistle blew and the game was over. The score was 104 - 98 in favor of the Lone Stars. Marcus however, paid no mind to the score that night nor what his teammates were doing. The game was over and Marcus had something he had always wanted to do since he joined the league. Now with Shane retiring he was worried he might never get the chance again. Instead of following his team into the guest changing room he made his was over to the San Jose Thrust players. Curious as to what he was doing the other Lone Stars stood together and watched. It did not take long for Marcus to find the particular player he was looking for, Shane Rufus (Red wolf G) Shane was standing with his team and was cooling down with a cold drink. Shane heard a voice not of his team call his name and he turned to face the source, Seeing the Otter he'd met a few times every time their teams played, but this time he looked like an Otter on a mission. "What's up kid?" the Wolf asked. Marcus cleared his throat as he went over his planned speech "Shane, I just wanted to tell you that I'm really going to miss seeing you out on the court and...I, well I just wanted to do one thing that I've been to nervous to do until now. I know I'll likely never get this opportunity to do this again so..." At that point Marcus threw out his arms grabbing Shane by the shoulders and pulled him into the tightest hug he had ever given anybody before. Marcus held onto Shane like he never wanted to let go. "Thank you. Thank you, so much for helping me want a better life then what I had. I wouldn't be here without you. You showed me I could be more then I was. I..." Marcus was cut off as he felt Shane return the hug, and just as tight as the one he was receiving from the Otter. It lasted for a few more moments then the hug ended and Shane rested a hand on Marcus' shoulder then gave out a short but sincere laugh "Hey ,just glad I did some good. Now you're gonna be the one to help some rookie coming up" with that he give the Otter a slight pat on the shoulder "Now get outta here. You're teams watin' for ya" Marcus Nodded and smiling he headed back to his teammates who had been watching the whole thing. Shane watched the Otter head back to his team as he did Redawn Fenwatcher (Red panda G) hooked her arm around Shane's "Well he's certainly an affectionate one isn't he." Shane nodded "Yeah. Good heart on that one" Kwaku (Jungle wolf PF) couldn't help but rib his friend with an observation he'd made. "Good Lord above Shane, Are you actually crying?" the Red Wolf balked at his friend "O'course not. Just got some sweat in my eye is all" The End.
| What happened and Why|
Written by Thwaitesy
| This takes place the day after the Lone Stars were knocked out of the championships last season.
The Lone Star practice facility was quiet. Most of the team had gone to the gym to work out. Marcus decided to work on his shots and even try to devise some plays that might be effective against their rivals, the Bikers for next season. Marcus sat alone on the bench in the practice facility. He had seen and heard the whole thing between Travis and Buck in the locker room, and after that little experience he would rather be by himself.
However the more he thought about how to make better plays against the Bikers, his mind kept drifting back to the last game against the them. He had to sit out the rest of the game after he got six personal fouls. Costing his team vital points and, more over, costing them the game and their place in the playoffs.
His webbed hand balled up into a fist and came crashing down on the bench beside him. The resultant slam echoed off the walls of the empty practice hall. "Marcus?" The otter was so caught up in his own thoughts he almost didn't register the familiar voice calling out his name. Looking up he saw his friend Travis Buckner (Koala SF) standing at the end of the bench with a concerned look in his eyes.
"Are you OK?" he said and Marcus half thought about ignoring him. Turning his head to look down at the floor.
"I'm sorry" he muttered.
Had it not been for Travis large ears he might not have even heard it. "Sorry for what?" Marcus still didn't turn his head instead focusing on a random spot on the wooden floor. "For the game."
"What game?" The confused Koala asked.
Marcus finally turned his head and almost glared at his new team captain. "THAT game!" he nearly shouted "Our last game against the Bikers! I lost it and then WE lost!"
It all flooded back to the Koala now. He'd spent so much time planning all his myriad plans, he'd almost forgotten to talk about Marcus' sudden meltdown as he usually called it. Travis scratched one of his big ears still not completely dry after his shower "Yeah I've been meaning to talk to you about that. What the hell happened out there? That's really not like you."
Marcus motioned for Travis to join him and he did so sitting down beside the otter. "Just start from the beginning" Travis said.
Marcus took a deep breath and exhaled. "I don't know if you know, but I have numerous donations set up for various charities around the city. I even go into the Childrens' hospital and read to them at night when I can. I make sure they're tucked in and I don't leave till they're all asleep."
Travis thought about it for a moment before looking at Marcus, "Why didn't you tell me? I could have helped spin that into a lot more media attention for you and Texas."
"Because I don't want all that." The otter said still looking at the spot on the floor. "Charity work is meant to be just that, Charity. I just feel that advertising what I do out of the good of my heart lessens it."
Travis didn't say anything. Once again there is that damned modesty of his. Modest Marcus. "Is this something to do with what happened?"
A slow rise and fall of the Otters' head signaled the affirmative. "One of the children I read to had to go into an ICU. Something wrong with his heart. His parents weren't there, busy business types, you understand." Travis nodded. "Well I decided that he needed me more the the other children and they all understood, so I sat by him. This was a night we didn't have a game so I was good for it. Anyway during the night while I was reading I heard his heart rate monitor start getting faster...
"Hey, you OK in there little buddy? Marcus asked getting concerned. The young wolf cub started badly gasping for air like he was choking. Marcus, panicking, reached for the call button and hit it again and again desperately hoping that the more he hit it the faster help would arrive.
It was 2 minutes before a Doctor arrived but it felt more like an hour. Marcus didn't understand anything about what the Doctor was saying or doing. All he knew was they they were trying to help the poor kid. All he did understand was when the Doctor asked where the parents were and the nurse replied they couldn't get in touch with them. It was half an hour before the monitor made that awful sound. That long continuous tone that signaled the poor cubs heart had stopped beating for good. The doctor called the time of death. It was only after that the parents arrived and blamed the hospital staff for not doing enough to save their son.
When Marcus stepped forwards to explain to the contrary, the cubs father stared daggers at him "And just what exactly were YOU doing here!?"
"Sir" a petite mouse nurse squeaked "This is Marcus Knight, he's been coming in regularly to help the children get to sleep"
The father looked over his shoulder at the nurse "Yeah right. I know who he is" he said, disgust coating his every word. Looking back to Marcus he continued "And I know that you goddamn sports bastards only care about your fucking popularity and the money you rake in simply for running around a wooden floor bouncing a stupid rubber ball!" The father continued to seethe and rant "You don't care one bit about any of these kids and I know you didn't gave a fucking damn about our son!"
Marcus stood and took the rant as best he could, but deep down it was getting to him. He'd had insults thrown at him before, by opposing team members during games and also by the old Chicago gang he had fallen in with in his unfortunate youth. Those he had no problem with, they were insults to him in particular not his actions or his motives. If anybody had looked they would have seen a trembling balled up fist just waiting for a chance to collide with the fathers face.
The father continued to rant for another half hour while the mother simply cried her eyes out over her young sons death. Despite the anger building up inside him, Marcus tried to see things from their point of view. How would he and Mercedes act if they lost Marty or Lexi or, God forbid, both.
It was almost as if the Wolf father had read Marcus' mind "And you know what. I'll bet you don't even give a fuck about your own kids...you've got two right? All the more fucking publicity for you."
That was the final straw. To claim that he didn't care about someone else's sick child was one thing, but to imply he didn't care about or love his own children, that was going too far. Before Marcus could act on his anger with a good right cross a police officer stepped up and after a few moments escorted the raging father out of the building, the mother following. Marcus had been robbed of a release for his rage.
The local shooting range was not an option either. It had been closed for renovations for the last few days and wouldn't be Re-open for a few more weeks. Once Marcus was home he tried another method, his children. But even watching his son and daughter sleep did nothing to help calm him. Instead it brought back the ranting fathers words about not loving them. Mercedes was too fast asleep to have a sparing session with either. ................................................................................................................................................
"So the next time I was on the court I was just looking for someone to take out my anger on. Not really caring what happened until it happened." Marcus finished recounting the reason for his ejection from the game.
Travis closed his eyes and sat for a moment thinking over what the Otter had told him. For a good five minutes Koala and Otter sat on the bench doing nothing but breathing and thinking. Finally Travis opened his spectacled eyes and glanced sidelong at his Teammate. "You owe this team a debt" He said not unkindly, but at the same time there was a seriousness to it that made it hard, if not impossible, to ignore.
Marcus nodded, he already knew he owed the Lone Stars a huge debt. They had taken a chance on him when no other team would. "I know" he said looking up at the far wall now.
"Not that debt" Travis said standing up. Marcus turned his head to face his friend. "You've paid that debt you owed for being signed a long time ago. This is new and far more serious" Marcus couldn't help but swallow a little. Travis was looking bigger and somehow more intimidating then he ever had, yet he wasn't a foot or even an inch taller. "We lost the championships, and your meltdown had a lot to do with it. I think you know, you owe it to the Lone Stars to make up for that. So I expect you to do everything possible to repay that debt. EVERYTHING. Are we clear on that?" Marcus was taken aback by Travis' tone. He'd never heard him speak like this before, least of all to him. "Well?!" Travis said a little louder then before. Marcus had found he couldn't speak so he nodded his affirmative.
"Good. Now let's go and get something to eat before Ray decides to hog all the good stuff for himself" He said, suddenly his normal self again, before walking out of the practice court.
Marcus was a little shaken by what Travis had told him but in the back of his mind he knew, Travis was right. He did owe the team and he was damned if he was going to let them down again. Next Season would the Season of the Lone Stars. He would make sure of that. But before any of that could happen he had to get something to eat, so he left the practice court and entered the dining hall and sure enough saw Ray trying to hog some of the best stuff and failing. which brought a smile to Marcus' face. first time he had today.
It had been a few hours since his discussion with Travis about his meltdown. Marcus hadn't returned home yet. Instead he rode his bike around the city, just for the sake of riding trying to clear his head.
Suddenly a thought occurred to him. The First chance he got he quickly pulled over and stopped the engine. The Otter took off his helmet, opened his leather riding jacket and puled out his phone and scrolled down his list of contacts. Scrolling right past any of his friends and even Mercedes until he found the number he was looking for under the name Kira. Highlighting it he pressed his thumb to the green call icon.
The Phone rang for a few seconds until it was answered. "Hi it's me....Yeah it's been a while. Listen, I need to see you, right now. Mind if I come over?.... Same price as last time? Sure.... Great, I'll be there soon."
He hung up and put the phone back in it's pocket and closed up his jacket and put he helmet back on before starting his bike up again and rode off. It was several minutes before he arrived outside the house. He got of his bike and stood looking at the place. Hadn't really changed much since the last time he was here. He was always a little nervous when he came here. If anybody knew It'd no doubt be a media frenzy. But he recalled last time he was here, he left feeling ten times better then he did when he arrived.
So after walking up for shallow steps he knocked on the door. A female voice on the other side call out "Who is it?"
Marcus swallowed a little and replied "It's me, Marcus Knight".
The door opened to reveal a not unattractive Elkhound woman. "Well, well. Mr. Marcus Knight. It's been too long. How're the wife and kids?" She asked with a smile while ushering him inside.
"Mercedes, Marty and Lexi and great thanks, Doc." He said with a smile as he entered. But the Elkhound was quick to see something behind it.
"So what brings you here? It's been quite a while since our last session." She asked. a curious brow raised.
Marcus sighed and ran a webbed hand over his head as he always did when nervous. "I lost it during a game and pretty much cost us the Championship. Now I can't think straight. and I just keep getting angry"
"Well come and sit down and tell me everything that happened before, during and after and we'll see what I can do to help you out." Kira said. Her Psychology training taking over. with that the door closed and Marcus once again told the story of what happened.
Marcus Knight Travis Buckner
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