Written in collaboration with Harlow!
Blake Toivonen walked towards the small cafe where he was to meet his client Julian. Having gotten off the plane just two hours ago, some could tell just how much of a mess he looked like, Untidy hair, a half-tucked in shirt, and shoe laces tied messily were clear indicators of that. He tried his best to remain in composure, but in the end, he just didn't have it in him. Not after seeing Adityan Anggun, another of his clients, collapsing right on the court after an incident involving Julian. A sleepless night followed.
With a sigh, he pushed the door open to see Julian at a table already. For once, the agent was late. The saluki looked at his agent, himself not really as kept, in a hoodie and sweatpants. He nodded to his agent, still in a shock about the other day's events. This All Star Weekend was not going as expected.
The reindeer was relieved to not be the only one dressed casually. He sat down at the table, rubbing his head. "Ok, explain to me what happened out there." he started out.
Julian was pretty anxious, tapping his foot, but got enough composure to reply. "It was an accident... we both went for the rebound and..." he took a sip of his coffee, to sigh and nod right after.
Blake just nodded, having seen the replay at least a dozen times after it happened. "I had my suspicions, Julian. But after having seen the replay, I believe you." he nods, ordering an espresso from a labrador waitress. He then looked back at Julian. "But do tell me this: Is there anything I need to know between you two?"
He looked down to his cup, expression of concern. ("Could I...should I...") he muttered in French to himself. The reindeer's expression wasn't changing as he looked towards the saluki with the same stern expression he asked the first question with.
Julian took a deep breath. Honesty. "I do not like the guy... Plain and simple..."
"Why?" Blake looked unimpressed.
"I don't know if I should say... he was your main guy after all." As sharp as the saluki’s reply was, the tone was still that of anxiety and dour.
Blake sighed, rubbing his forehead, as the concern was just growing. "Listen, I haven't been able to sleep at all and the plane ride here was anything but relaxing for me, so you better tell me right now." he grunted in frustration.
The dog's tone deepened. "Please, sir. It was evident he was the golden boy of the league, and yours. Average numbers, and the need of a pity story to rein everyone else in. I try to keep on with my team, my efforts to the max... for what? For what? It's like I don't exist, like other guards don't exist. How are we going to compete?" He finally blurted out, deep breaths of frustration.
The reindeer shook his head in disapproval. "For your information, Adi's story is genuine. Several folks, including his own brother, have told me the exact same story about him. There is no pity to be asked. He just wanted to be a professional player like you." he grunted. "I will not have you lead by misjudgement, alright?"
The dog checked in his phone, silence reigning for a while. He faced his phone to his agent.
‘Make sure to check my clients for ASW! Especially Jake Turner and Aditya Anggun!’
Blake simply sighed. "I already apologized to the others who made complaints about that, and I'm sorry as well. But right now, I'm not liking what I see from you."
Julian looked down at his empty cup. Now obviously sad, almost tearing. "I just want to succeed. All my life, others were favored over my efforts or I was ignored constantly, I know my parents did..." He composed. "But I want you to know that the thing wasn't on purpose. I didn't like the guy, he did prove and his background to me that day... and that was an accident"
Blake just listened to the ranting. He had thought about asking Julian to step out of the All Star Weekend, but that was beginning to fade, realizing that the accident was just what it was: An accident. He was hoping that the saluki would come clean about something tonight.
"I don't... have to like everyone and spew rainbows everywhere I go regardless how far that can take me. But I want to repair this as much as I can and make as much as I can in this week; I have a busy schedule ahead, and just... desire to win. . I'm not in good terms, but I have to do the respectful thing. Let his family know that I'll cover expenses..."
The reindeer nodded once more, still listening. After a while, he managed to speak up again. "There is no way to like everyone in the league, I agree, but there is a line you can't cross when it comes to disliking another player. Worry about yourself and your success only. Don't make it your business to judge how others have gotten here, that is none of your concern. You should worry about your own destiny and how you become successful in this league, got it?" Blake remained as composed as he possibly could, before speaking once again. "And also, I need you to do me a favour: You tell the Spectrums and the Anggun family that you're covering expenses yourself. You are mature enough to do that. I will call the team reps up and ask to set something up, the rest is in your hands. Have I made myself clear?"
The dog nodded. "I was just in this automatic shutdown of social media. I'll make a statement very soon."
"Good." he nodded, sipping on his espresso, but it wasn't helping him much in regards to staying alert. He was in need of sleep. With droopy eyes, he was beginning to doze off, which the saluki could clearly see.
"It wasn't easy on me either, sir. Got 3 events to take care on top of this. I'll try to do everything I'm able on my end. Go rest."
"Right, I will." the reindeer slowly got to his feet. "I expect your tweets very soon, Julian. Let me know once you posted them, because I might miss it."
Julian nodded "Merci." he said as they parted.
"See you." Blake said after paying the waitress and leaving the building. His job for tonight was done and his hotel bed was calling him.
Coaches need a place to express themselves too. So do the agents for the players. And you can bet the media pops in from time to time.
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
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