A trip to Arizona to spend time with his boyfriend’s family was exactly what Micah needed, but he wasn’t looking forward to talking with his agent and former agent. He gazed out the window as he landed at LAX, and he waited for the plane to stop.
The border collie had his headphones around his head with his music blasting on his oPad. He reached for the overhead compartment to get his backpack. Straightening out his jacket and sling it over his shoulder, he walked out of the plane and through the airport towards the baggage claim area.
Micah’s green eyes paid close attention to the baggage claim, keeping an eye on his belongings and tapping his foot along with the music. He had bought an older album of Vic Vos’ tunes from oTunes. He really enjoyed the beats he produced and compared to Vic, he was an amateur. The border collie was only known to sing and create sick beats.
The luggage slowly trickled onto the conveyor belt. “Flight AA#215 from Phoenix to Los Angeles, please proceed to Carousel 3 to pick up your belongings.” The intercom blared; the collie kept his paws ready to grab at first sight at his luggage.
Each piece of luggage trickled out, and when Micah spotted his, he grabbed it like a basketball and immediately took off towards the smoggy environment. His paws carried his sports bag with no problem, and he found his butler standing out in front of the limo.
“Yo Chase, always on time as usual,” Micah said as he put his belongings in the trunk of the black limousine.
“Of course, Mr. Davenport,” the broad and muscular white tiger said. “Even though I may be your agent, I am still your butler. Ready to head back home?”
“Yeah,” Micah said as he closed the trunk door and entered through the open door that Chase opened without hesitation. The white tiger closed the door and made his way towards the driver seat.
He started the car and looked into his side view mirror for his chance to go into the left lane. He made his way and drove off to their residence.
* * *
Micah woke up from his nap as Chase parked the car in front of their house. The border collie stirred and got out of the car. He was about to take his luggage from the trunk but then the white tiger closed the trunk lightly, shaking his head. “We can get your stuff later on. Right now, we should talk about your problem.”
Micah knew that was coming. His heart started beating faster; he took his steps inside the house, and Chase lead him to the study room - where Mr. McKenley was waiting for him at his desk.
“Hello, Mr. Davenport. Enjoyed your time with Morgan, I take it?” Trivol said as he adjusted his monocle. He was wearing his business suit - a dark blue collared shirt with a red tie and black suit jacket. Micah glanced at the blue wolf’s monocle and shuddered as if it pierced his soul and he could read every thought that Micah had in his .
“I did, Pops,” He replied as he took his seat.
Trivol glanced at Chase and motioned him to sit down with them as well. “Please, Chase. Have a seat. You’re taking over my job after all.”
“Very well, sir,” Chase took his place in the chair next to him. Once the three of them were sitting down, Trivol pulled out his oPad and scrolled through Micah’s tweets. The blue wolf was very particular and clever in finding out information about people.
“Give me a moment as I find those tweets that you and Vic made regarding something he mentioned about you,” Trivol said calmly as he found them.
“Here we go,” He read the tweets out loud to him, and set his oPad on his desk.
“Well, making a New Year’s resolution is one thing but having some personal grudges against players you haven’t even met yet is a bit prejudiced, don’t you think?”
Micah remained silent, sulking in his seat with his fingers clenched on the armrests.
“Perhaps it’s because Mr. Davenport doesn’t want to admit he has prejudice against other species? Man up, Micah. We’re all grown-ups here. Tell me what’s wrong.” Trivol said, interlocking his fingers and glancing at the border collie.
Micah gritted his teeth harder and his fists clenched the seat tighter. The usually well-mannered border collie, with his green eyes staring fiercely at the blue wolf, just couldn’t hold back his anger any longer.
“That I fuckin’ do, Pops! I have beef with a lot of species - the world!” He lost his composure and slammed his paws down on the table, startling both men.
“Whoa there!” Chase said, restraining into his chair with his large white paws. He felt the collie’s spit spray across his face.
“Let go, Chase!” Micah snapped and tried wiggling his way out of the white tiger’s hold. His efforts were in vain as he sat down in his chair.
Trivol, who remained calm throughout the whole uproar, gazed at Micah as he got up from his seat to sit on the desk. “Hmm, I’m rather not surprised by your behavior due to your upbringing in Newark. Tough city to live in… However, Micah, it will be better if you told us why you have these thoughts against other species. Get that out of your system.”
“Why the hell should I?” Micah said, cringing and wrapping himself into a ball in his chair. “You don’t know the kind of shit what I went through. No need to waste my breath in telling you!”
Trivol gazed quietly at Micah’s eyes. “Well, if you don’t tell me what your problem is, then why did you sign up with me in the first place? Did you not want to work on your problem?”
“I’ll get some water for Mr. Davenport here,” Chase said as he exited the room.
Micah grew silent. He thought of why he needed an agent. He WANTED to get rid of these anti-social issues and get along with other furs in the league. What Vic said was right in that tweet. “The L’s got no room for ballers with a grudge. You are paid to play, not stew.” He repulsively ignored that tweet from Kevin. Humor was not what he needed. He needed help fast and the people to do it were Trivol and - now - his new agent, Chase.
Chase came back with a cup of water and set it beside him on the table.
After a couple more moments of silence, he sighed heavily and stared at Trivol and Chase. “Okay… growing up in Newark, lots of shit goes down. You never know if you’re gonna live or die that day. It’s a bet you’re making without knowing you put your life on the table. You just pray to God that you survive. That’s been my life for the past 15 years. I was one of the lucky ones… Some fuckin’ punks took my friend's lives away from me. It was a skunk, a red-tailed hawk, and a wolverine. Those gunshots echoed through my mind, man — even right now. As I watched that skunk pull the trigger on each one of them. I cowered in fear and saw their expressionless faces as each one was taken out. My three friends were laying there dead… I was the last one. I panicked. I heard the gun cocking at me. I was scared shitless, man! I thought my life was going to end that day.
“Then… my real pops arrived at the scene at the bloody last second. He shot the skunk's paw instead of in the head. I thought to myself, Why do you want this fucker to live? He held me close to avert my vision away from the dead bodies. I remember… I clung onto pops, and I remember asking him in that moment. ‘Is it over?’ He reached over and leaned into my ear, ‘Yeah, it’s all over.’
“I was quiet for the past few days after I was taken home. Didn’t want to speak to anyone about that,” Micah said softly. “Then, basketball became my escape. I played rigorously out there and sometimes imagine my friends playing with me. Oh, it was wonderful with them around. Yeah, we got into fights but we were such good friends.”
Micah took a drink of it and sighed, taking a few moments to see what would be relevant. “A couple weeks after that, I joined a martial arts group and worked out every day. You see? I want to be prepared for anything that comes my way. Each week was a challenge, but it was so worth my time. Punks realized how powerful I was and never messed with me. Got into a bloody fist fight, but I won. I was fuckin’ proud of that.
“While doing that, I continued doing what I did best: basketball. I kept in shape. It got me prepared to face whatever shit came my way.”
Trivol sighed deeply, having heard the border collie’s tale. “Geez, you sure are determined.”
“Damn right, sir,” he said, while staring fiercely into the blue wolf’s eyes. “Those friends got me playing basketball in the first place and they said I’m good at it. Probably one of the best ballers they’ve seen. We even made a promise with each other: that each of us would be trying out for the FBA. But now they're gone..." He stifled a few sniffles and tears from his eyes before continuing on.
“In any case, my reason for being “prejudice” - it’s because of that. A couple species came up to my friends and killed them off one by one. They had no fuckin’ reason to. That to me, sir, is my reason for feeling this way.”
Trivol and Chase were sitting in stunned silence until the border collie finished his story, the white tiger shocked at Micah’s horrific tale. “Oh, I never realized you went through so much at that age. I truly am sorry for your loss.”
Micah shook his head. “No,I should apologize to you and Mr. McKenley. You homez put up with me, even when I say something stupid, you guys never give up. Thanks.”
Trivol scoffed and smiled, “Heh, you think some foul-mouthed mutt is going to have my tail between my legs, you’re pulling my leg! Haha! In all seriousness, though - now since you told us what’s wrong, we can finally help you. It won’t be easy, but I’m sure with my guidance and Chase’s brilliant teaching, we can help you.”
“That’s all nicely said and all, Pops, but what advice can ‘ya drop on me?” Micah said, keeping calm.
“First of all, we can’t have any more fist fights. We don’t want that to ruin your reputation. Next, we go over some details regarding your misconception of species,” Trivol cleared his throat before speaking again. “Look, those species that killed your friends don’t represent everybody. People just have a different way of living. Don’t take it out on the species themselves. Not everybody is like that.”
Micah sat in his chair and thought on his words. He let the blue wolf continue on with his speech. “You just happened to grow up in the shittiest part of the country. It’s known for its crime rate. Your thoughts for thinking that are totally justified. However, if you’re going to be in the FBA, you need to drop that thought. The FBA is filled with species from different countries. They’re all going to share the same passion you love: basketball.”
Chase interjected with his words. “If I may, Mr. Davenport. We should be focusing on the Draft! I mean, there’s going to be a lot of players submitting their names into the draft pool. It’s imperative that you get yourself ready. There’s going to be stiff competition. Besides, I think a couple of FBA scouts will be heading to your community team’s game on Saturday.”
Micah nodded, thinking of Morgan’s plan after graduating college. “Heh, I will definitely have to give them a show then.” The border collie rose up to leave, but before he left, Trivol stopped him in his tracks.
“Micah, listen to me chap. Please play for your friends. Do what you can to help them achieve what they couldn’t. They’ll be standing right beside you.”
Micah took his words without saying anything, but finally, his mind felt at peace. Chase had his paws on his back as he watched the border collie leave.
“Do you suppose he’ll learn his lesson?” Chase queried.
“Oh, he’ll learn, Chase.” he said, pulling out a bottle of whiskey and taking out two glasses. “He just needs to see that people aren’t always who they appear to be. Besides, I think he has his ambitions for continuing to live out his friends' dream: to try out for the FBA.”
Chase smiled and walked behind Trivol’s chair, placing his paw on his shoulder. “That he does. I’ll keep an eye on him, sir… He may be the most troublesome client we have had yet.”
“I think so, but I’ve handled Micah for some time. The majority has to be on his own. You and I can show him the door; he’s the only one who can walk through it,” Trivol said as he poured himself and Chase a drink.
“Now, let’s drink to Micah and the many adventures that await him!” Their glasses clinked together as they toasted for Micah’s success.
Plenty of players never got their chance to play on one of the main FBA teams, and here they mingle with unsigned veterans hoping to get called back to play.
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
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