Written by Shataivian
A successful home game to say the least! December 27th was Huntsville’s Superheroes Night where fans got to dress up as their favorite superhero to help honor heroes in service, and the stadium was on fire. The stadium was packed to the brim with roaring fans, giving the Mayors the extra push to come out the victors. The biggest surprise: Chuck Mandaville joined the fun as he, too, dressed up as his favorite superhero. Donning a wild red wig, 3D glasses, and a number 80 Mayors T-shirt, Chuck took the floor, taking time to wave and even meet with some fans. The night was a success.
As Chuck got to his car to make his way home, he tossed the wig and glasses in his back seat, and grumbled his way in. The drive home was brief, but still way out of the way from anything. His wife was seen waiting in the doorway as he pulled up to his garage.
“How’d it go?” Chuck’s wife had a thick southern accent. Chuck grumbled some more, exiting the car.
“Eh, fine, ‘suppose,” Chucks deep voice got out.
“Didya win?” Despite her slender frame, Chuck’s wife knew how to set him straight. His complaining was worthless if he ended up with positive results.
“Yeah, yeah.” Chuck kissed his wife while at the same time making his way for the doorknob behind her. The kiss was a formality at this point, though not without its loving intent.
“They love you?”
“What? Yeah, reckon so.”
“So, it worked, then?”
“Woman, I said ‘yeah.’” His voice was gruff, but his wife took no offense to it. What would have offended others had no malice in her eyes.
“So, whatcha bellyachin’ ‘bout?”
Chuck didn’t answer. The two entered the rustic mansion out in the middle of nowhere. It was dark everywhere but their house, which was still strung up with Christmas lights.
“Léo in bed,” Chuck deflected.
“Been down for an hour.” The slender wolf made her way in front of Chuck. Her hair was tied back for the night, when normally it would be worn out and fluffed. She placed her small hands on his chest to stop him from moving any farther away. “Darlin’ what’s gotcha?”
“Eh, you were right,” Chuck reluctantly answered.
“I know that! What’s gotcha, now?” Chuck groaned. His eyes looked off to the right, though it wouldn’t have been difficult to avoid her gaze even if he looked straight on.
“$22 million for this.”
“You mean, $22 million for the win, right?”
“$22 million and discounted tickets for one win.”
“Oh, hush.” She forcefully guided Chuck to his favorite lazy chair and pushed him in. She reclined his seat, sat down on her knees, and started to take off his shoes. “He’s an investment,” she said to the best of her ability. “You think anyone would’ve showed if he wasn’t there? He IS Huntsville, just like the rest of them starters. Huntsville fans won’t come and root for a team that ain’t Hunstville.” She started to rub his feet.
“Ya can’t just keep saying that.”
“I’mma say it till granpa gets up and does a jig.”
“Lord willin’. Might’a been the only man who would’a known better. Just don’t think dressin’ up was worth it.”
“It sounds like it was to me.”
“Last thing I need is to be losing respect my first year in the league.”
“Darlin’ you are at the top. You can afford to do what you want and still command respect.” She continued to rub his feet, making her way up his legs to help soothe the pain of standing all night.
“No one’s gonna want to join the Mayors with a GM missing a few buttons off his shirt.”
“S’better than being as exciting as a mashed-potato sandwich,” she laughed. “The Mayors are a fun place to be!”
“Alright, alright. You have your fun yet?” His wife nodded and continued massaging.
“But in all seriousness, people are gonna want to be on a team where their GM respects them and has faith in them. Tonight, you showed D’Angelo AND everyone else that you have faith in your players. I say that’s worth $22 million.” Chuck let out a chuckle.
“When’d you get so smart?”
“You didn’t marry no box of rocks.”
“Damn right, I didn’t”
The young wolf continued massaging up and down Chuck’s legs. When she got to his knees he winced, causing her to stop and slowly start again. But when he winced again, she sucked her teeth and placed her hands on her hips, still on her own knees. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt if you just talked to your doctor,” she scolded.
“Darcy, we ain’t starting this again.” Chuck was completely reclined in his lazy chair, head tossed back, and eyes closed.
“If you just got yourself a cane.”
“I ain’t need no cane. Ain’t lookin’ to have some quack tell me I need a cane neither. I’m fine.”
“Ain’t no shame in it.”
“Woman, I said I’m fine.” And that was that. Whenever Chuck brought out the W-word, the matter was decided. Darcy didn’t mind. She kept rubbing his legs.
“Mama called,” she said in a calm voice.
“She still mad?”
“’Course, she is. You wanna call her and make up.”
“Why in the hell would I do that?”
“’Cause she’s my mama,” Darcy said as though she were genuinely answering his question.
“Don’t care who she is, I ain’t talking to her. She wanna be mad cause she was alone for Christmas, that’s on her. Ain’t lookin’ to havin’ that my problem.”
“But she’s my mama, Chuck,” Darcy whined.
“Well, tell her when she get’s to be my age, she can decide for herself if it’s worth the travel just to get yelled at all evening and eat dirt for supper. Until then, I ain’t makin’ the trip. She’s young. Hell, she could’a came out here to visit, herself.”
“53 ain’t, young.”
“It’s younger than me, and she still wants me to make the travel. You ask me, she’s a decade younger and half as smart.” Darcy pouted and stood to her feet. “That make you mad?”
“What if it did?”
“You know I ain’t lookin’ to make you mad.” He grunted as he slowly made his way out of his chair to pull Darcy close to him. “I’m sorry.”
“Better be.” Her neck was practically flat against his chest just so she could see him.
“C’mon. You know I respect you. I bought D. Angelo, didn’t I,” he said, pronouncing the D as though it were an initial. He gave her a small kiss which seemed to perk Darcy right back up. “I just don’t like your mama, is all.” Darcy laughed.
“She don’t like you, neither.”
“Ahh, she’s just jealous ‘cause I ain’t with her.”
“She’s still got Daddy,” Darcy reminded. Chuck returned a look that made her laugh. “You gonna get some sleep?” Chuck pulled away from Darcy and grunted again.
“You alright if I go? The girls are throwing a party for Jessica’s 21st birthday.” Chuck was making his way towards the stairs. He held on to the elaborately carved wooden banister, and slowly took as step up.
“You go on and have fun.”
“Thank you, Darlin’,” Darcy said, jumping up and down. She rushed to the other side of the house to get ready as Chuck took his time climbing each step up to the second floor. When he finally made it to his bedroom, he moved slow to lower himself into his bed, but when he was close enough, he let gravity do the rest. He turned out the light on the bedside table next to him, clasped his hands together, and that was that. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. Maybe Darcy was right. She needed to be right. Only time would tell.