• Dexter Hastings

Saturday Book club- Fear No Foe - Chapter 21

CHAPTER 21

Shay and the lads partied and drank until nearly 8 in the morning, Kelly had headed off to bed after only an hour of the Newtown lads arrival. Shay rose from his bed sometime in the afternoon the next day to the sound of the vacuum cleaner. He slowly walked down the stairs, his head pounding from the excesses of the drinking session last night. When he walked into the living room, Kelly was there trying to get the place tidy after the mess they had made last night.

Shay looked at the 3 black bags full of larger cans Kelly had collected from around the room and couldn’t believe how much they drank last night. Remembering what had happened before the lads arrived, Shay asked Kelly “Morning Kell are you o.k? Last night was a bit mental wasn’t it”.

Kelly turned the vacuum off looked over at Shay and replied “Yeah it was Shay; I can’t believe we drank so much”. Kelly then continued with her vacuuming, Shay was quite surprised Kelly didn’t say anything about what had happened, he thought about mentioning it to her, but then thought what if she was embarrassed about it, the one thing he didn’t want to do was upset his best friend. Shay decided not to say anything about what had happened until Kelly did, but Shay was now seeing Kelly in a completely different light, not just as a best friend , but as a would be girlfriend. Kelly was feeling exactly the same way about Shay, she wanted them to be more than just friends, but like Shay, she wasn’t going to say anything unless he mentioned it.

Kelly finished tidying up and went and made Shay a cuppa as he sat down and watched Sky Sports news to see what was being said about his great victory. Kelly had been down to the newsagent’s earlier that day and got all the papers. As he looked through the back pages, most of the boxing reports were about Gary Britain becoming World Champion and proposing to Emma after, the way the Britain fight was span in a lot of the papers they made out that his victory was a lot easier than it was.

The one paper even had a centre page spread about Gary and Emma, telling their story of how their love had grown over the years. Shay’s big title fight just had a small pieces in most of the national papers, Shay sat there shaking his head at how the papers had belittled his European title win.

Shay said to Kelly “Have you seen this crap they have written about Britain?” Kelly replied “Yeah I’ve read them, they haven’t really said much in there about you winning your title”, seems a bit strange to me”. Shay nodded his head and said to Kelly “I’m going to call Dexter to see what he thinks”.

He called Dexter and asked him about the papers and what their next move was, Dexter told him “Its Goldsten son, his got the papers sown up in Britain now, your fight should have got a lot more converge in the papers”.

Shay then asked him “So am I going to get a title shot?” Dexter paused for a seconded and replied “Son it’s not as easy as that, come to my office in a week or so and I’ll talk to you about it, just relax Shay enjoy your victory you were great last night”. For the rest of the day Shay lay on the sofa recovering from the night before still thinking about what had nearly happened between him and Kelly. Kelly had gone to work and when she came back she brought Shay some food from Marc De Paul’s. They both had an early night and neither of them mentioned there encounter the night before. Shay didn’t do much for the rest of the week, Paddy had gone back to New York and Kenny had told him to take a step back from training until he knew what was going to happen.

At the end of the week Shay went to Dexter’s office to see what he had planned for him. Dexter asked him to sit down, he looked really annoyed, and Shay asked him what was wrong? Dexter paced up and down his office then looked at Shay and said “I got the new Super Middleweight rankings and you are ranked second behind Jimmy Tarnna.

Shay sat there quit pleased with this news and replied “Well that’s good news aint it? Jimmy’s just fought for the title so I should be next shouldn’t I?” Dexter nodded his head and said “Yeah Shay in a perfect world you would be, but Tarnna wants a rematch, his manager Ned Redmond is trying to get a mega money fight in Vegas”. Shay looked disappointed in this, but could see why Tarnna wanted the rematch back in America. Shay said philosophically “Well we will get one after that then won’t we?” Dexter looked at Shay with a serious look and replied “Son Tarnna aint even going to get his rematch, Goldsten has already confirmed Britain’s next 2 fight’s. The first is against Mason Mathews and the second is against Josh Fury there ranked 3rd and 4th in the world”. Shay sat there stunned at this news he said “But I have beaten both of them Dext, how is Britain aloud to do this?” Dexter who was still pacing replied “Somehow Goldsten has got the governing body’s to sanction both fights”. Shay sat there completely disheartened then said “So what do we do now?” Dexter replied “We wait son, Ned Redmond will take court action against Goldsten, and if I know Frank, Britain will have his next 2 fights as quickly as they can. I’d say 4 months apart so he will be free to fight in a year’s time”. Shay shook his head and said “So what do I do in that time?” Dexter turned to Shay and said “Take some time out for yourself, I’m going to work on getting you a big fight sometime in the next 12 months, just relax son and enjoy being the European Champ, I’ll be in touch soon”.

Shay left Dexter’s office feeling really low, he should have been on a high after winning the title, but just thought he was always going to be in Gary Britain’s shadow. He went to Marc De Paul’s to have something to eat and to see Kelly, when he told her what Dexter had said.

Kelly replied “Well Shay why don’t you take a holiday, somewhere hot and just relax for a month or so. You need to recharge your batteries”. Shay smiled and said “O.k then Kell do you fancy coming with me?” Kelly smiled and replied “I’d love to Shay, but I can’t really leave the restaurant at the moment, after doing all the promotions for your last fight I’ve got loads of paper work to do here. Why don’t you ask Sparky and the lads if they fancy going away on a lad’s holiday?” Shay looked disappointed that Kelly couldn’t come, but as he thought about it the idea of a lad’s trip sounded good.

Shay nodded his head at Kelly and said “Yeah, I think your right; I’ll call Sparky when I get home”. He gave Sparky a call from his house and asked him if he and the lads would fancy a 2 weeks in the sun, Sparky was well up for it and said he would call the lads and see who wanted to come.

Sparky got back to him the next day and told him there were only 4 of them that could get away at such short notice. Shay replied “That’s fine mate I’ll book the tickets for 2 weeks time”. Sparky asked “So where we going mate and how much is it going to cost?”

Shay replied laughing “Sparky don’t worry about the cost of the flights and the accommodation it’s on me, just bring some spending money”. Sparky then said “Are you sure Shay, I don’t mind paying my own way”. Shay just said “Sparky it’s my way of saying thank you for all your support, just make sure you pack some sun screen as we are going somewhere hot”. Shay booked the holiday for him and his 4 mates straight away; he booked 2 weeks in Barbados with no expense spared. In the 2 weeks before he left for his holiday Shay turned 28 and celebrated it at Marc De Paul’s with his Mom and Kelly, when Kelly

found out where Shay and the lads were going she looked gutted that she didn’t say yes. She said to Shay “Wow that’s one place I’ve always wanted to go”, Shay replied “Well Kell if you fancy going I could book another ticket no problem”.

Kelly smiled, but said no as she knew she had so much work to do at the restaurant. Shay said to her “Well maybe we could go another time”. Kelly gave him a smile and replied “Definitely Shay that would be great”.

When Shay and the lads got to the airport, Sparky asked him “Right then Shay where we off to Ibiza, Ayia Napa, Costa del Sol?” Shay smiled and gave them the tickets for the flights, in unison they said “Fuck me Barbados”, with big smiles on their face’s they boarded the plane to Barbados.

Shay had booked them a villa with its own swimming pool and its own private beach. The 5 bed room villa also came with its very own chef and butler, Shay had really not spared any expense. They had a great time, enjoying the hot Barbados nights in some of the clubs in the holiday complex. They had quite a few parties at the villa, where they would invite people in the clubs back to enjoy their luxury accommodation. Shay was the only single one out of the lads and was getting a lot of attention from the lady’s at the resort. At the last party they had before they went home Shay had got chatting to stunning blonde model called Gabriella who was on holiday with some of her friends. It was obvious to everyone that she was well into Shay and he seemed to be really getting along with her. Shay asked her if she wanted to go into his room for a chat as it was getting to noisy in the main room. Gabriella went into his room with him and that is exactly what they did, talk. Shay told her all about his year in New York and all the fights he had, had, Gabriella did seemed interested in what he was saying, but was thinking to herself when is this bloke going to kiss me. Shay then started telling her about his best friend Kelly and how much support and help she had gave him over the years.

They talked for hours mostly about his friendship with Kelly; Gabriella asked him “So tell me, how come you and Kelly have never got together?” Shay tried to explain that they were just friends and he wouldn’t want to jeopardize that. Shay then paused for a second and told her about what had happened the night of his European title win. Gabriella asked him “Well have you talked to her about it?”

Shay shook his head and said “No, she never mentioned it so I thought it was best not to”. Gabriella smiled at Shay and said “Well she probably thinking the same thing Shay, I really think you need to tell her how you feel”. Shay looked at her and replied “I don’t know if I should, what if she doesn’t feel the same?”

Gabriella replied “Shay you love that girl, I can tell that”. Shay looked at her and said “How do you know that, I only met you a few hours ago?”

Gabriella smiled put her hand on his and said “Shay we have been in your room for the past 2 hours and all you have talked about is Kelly” Shay replied “Well I was just telling you about my friend”. Gabriella then said “Shay you are a single man on a lads holiday and how many women have you been with while you have been here?” Shay paused for a second and replied “None, but that’s not what I came here for”.

Gabriella then said “Exactly, and you have had me sitting on your bed and not tried it on once, you need to tell her how you feel”. Shay thought about what she had said and decided there and then that he would tell Kelly how he felt when he got back to England.

Shay and the lads had, had a great holiday, when they landed back in Birmingham, Shay headed straight home to talk to Kelly. He walked though his front door to find Kelly’s Dad with her, Kelly was in floods of tears as her Dad comforted her. Shay asked Kelly what was wrong; Kelly’s Dad stood up and led Shay out of the living room to talk to him.

Kelly’s Dad told him through teary eyes that there had been an accident and that Kelly’s Mom had died. Shay was speechless, he

didn’t know what to say, he asked Kelly’s Dad if he was o.k, her Dad replied “I’ve got to be Shay; Kelly is taking it really badly”. Her Dad told Shay that Kelly and her Mom hadn’t talked for over a year because of a stupid argument.

Shay looked down at the floor shaking his head; he replied to her Dad “I didn’t know, Kelly never told me anything about not talking to her Mom”. Her Dad told him the funeral was in a week’s time, Shay asked if there was anything he could do, her Dad replied “It’s all arranged Shay, just be there for Kelly she needs a good friend right now”. Shay nodded his head and replied “That goes without saying Mr Carey, I’m so sorry for your loss”.

Shay shook Kelly’s Dads hand and gave him a comforting hug, Kelly’s Dad then went back into the living room to say goodbye to his daughter and then left. Shay saw him to the door and then went back into the living room; he sat down next to Kelly and said “I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom, is there anything I can do?” Kelly looked up at Shay and replied “You can give me a hug for a start”, Shay put his arms around her and hugged her tightly. They hugged for a few minutes and then Kelly asked “So how was your holiday? Did you have a good time?” Shay just replied “Yeah it was good Kell, but let’s not talk about that, are you o.k?” Kelly nodded her head and said “Shay I’m fine, I’ve got to be”. Shay hugged her again with tears in his eyes and said “Kelly it’s me you are talking to, you don’t have to put a brave face on for me” as they hugged Kelly squeezed Shay tightly as she released the sorrow of her Moms tragic death. Shay stayed by Kelly’s side the whole week before the funeral, and was so supportive at the funeral. Kelly’s Mom was laid to rest just a few rows away from Shay’s Dad at Witton Cemetery; the wake was more sedate than Shay’s Dads. Kelly put on a brave face for her Dad and all the family, but Shay knew she was hurting inside.

When they got back from the wake, Shay sat Kelly down and went to make her a cup of tea, Kelly turned the telly on and shouted to Shay to come in and see what was on. Shay walked into the living room to see Frank Goldsten and Gary Britain announcing his first world title defense against Mason Mathews at Wembley arena in 2 months time. T

he reporter did ask about a rematch with Jimmy Tarnna, but all Frank would say was at the moment they were fulfilling their mandatory commitments to the different governing bodies. Shay just looked at the telly and said “Ere are Kell, turn the telly over you don’t want to be watching this crap”.

Kelly turned to Shay and said “Aint you bothered that he’s fighting someone you beat easy? It should be you fighting for the title, what’s Dexter doing about it?” Shay shrugged his shoulders and replied “I don’t know Kell, he told me he would sort it out, and I haven’t heard from him in the last month, I have just got to wait”.

Kelly shook her head and said “I think you need to talk to Dexter, he seems to have too much on his plate to be managing your career”. Shay nodded and walked back into the kitchen to finish off the tea, when he came back into the room with the tea he sat next to Kelly and said “Do you know what Kell, I think your right. I do need someone working closer to me on my career”.

Kelly turned to Shay and said “See I told you, don’t get me wrong Dexter has done great things for you, but with all his business’s he hasn’t always got time to put in his full efforts”. Shay nodded in agreement then said “That’s why I’ve had a brain wave, why don’t you manage me”.

Kelly looked at him in shock and replied “Are you mad, I can’t manage you, anyway what about the restaurant”.

Shay looked at Kelly deep in to her eyes and very seriously said “Kelly you’re the only one I would trust to do this for me, Kenny’s to busy and knocking on a bit now and after what you done promoting the last fight, that was enough for me to know you can do it. As for the restaurant, we can get someone in to run that with Mark, you can just check the books every now and then to make sure it’s all running right”.

Kelly shook her head again and said “I don’t know Shay it’s a big step”. Shay smiled at her and replied “O.k. well if you don’t want to do it I’ll ask Sparky to manage me, he’d love it, travel the world, making high money deals”.

Shay paused for a second and then said “Yeah I think that’s a good idea, I think it needs a man to represent me”. With that comment Kelly gave Shay a scornful look and said “What do you mean it needs a man? Anyway Sparky’s an electrician what the bloody held does he know about doing business deals?”

Shay smiled with a smug grin on his face and replied “Well probably more than he does about electrics, why do you think he is called Sparky he’s always getting shocked; anyway at least I know I can trust him, who else is there?”

Kelly looked at Shay knowing she was being coerced into taking the job, she shook her head and said “O.k. I’ll do it, only so you don’t lose all your money again”.

Shay smiled and replied “Nice one Kell, I’ll call Dexter tomorrow and organize a meeting”. When Shay called Dexter the next day and told him Dexter replied “I’m more than happy for Kelly to manage you son, but her 20 percent will come out of your end of any deals that we do”.

Shay agreed to this and asked if he had any news on his next fight? Dexter told him he would talk to him and Kelly about it tomorrow over lunch at Marc De Paul’s. Shay gave Kelly a call and told her about the meeting, Kelly told Shay she had already started looking into possible sponsorship deals and would run it all by him at the meeting tomorrow as she was going to stay at her Dads tonight.

Kelly seemed to have come to terms with her Mom’s death and was throwing herself into her new found career as a boxing manager after only one day. They all met up at the restaurant the next day, as Shay walked in he could see Kelly and Dexter were already seated chatting away. He sat down and they ordered lunch.

Shay then asked them “So when and who am I fighting next?”

Dexter looked at Shay and smiled and said “The World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council have both sanctioned Britain’s next 2 fights, but the International Boxing Federation has told Goldsten that his mandatory contender for their title is Tarnna”. Shay look at Dexter and said “So where does that leave me?” Dexter smiled and replied “Well in normal circumstances it would leave you in the cold son, but the I.B.F are based in New Jersey, so I’ve used some of my influence and got you a box off against Tarnna for their number 1 spot”.

Shay sat there stunned at the news, but also excited, Tarnna was one of Shay’s modern day hero’s, he had ruled the Super Middle Weight division for years and now he was going to get to fight him. Shay asked “So how have you managed this Dext? I would have thought they would just want Tarnna to fight him in a rematch”. Dexter smiled and gave Shay a wink and said “I told you before Shay; it’s always good to have a devil in your corner”.

Shay thought for a second and remembered Dexter saying the same thing after handing Ken ‘the Hat’ an envelope at the Brooklyn Bakery.

Kelly then spoke up and said “I will call Tarnna’s manager tomorrow and sort out a meeting with him”. Dexter told Kelly that he had already got a meeting arranged with Ned Redmond in a week’s time as it was going to be a joint show between 1066 promotions and Redmond Entertainments and she could thrash a deal out with both of them then.

Kelly replied “Yes Dext that would be great, thank you. Is he landing in Birmingham or London I’ll get a car to pick him up”. Dexter smiled and said “No Kell, we are going to New York to see him”.

Kelly smiled at this and said “Oh well if I have to, I suppose I will go to New York”. Shay just shook his head and laughed and said “Well I’m not paying for your shopping trip”, they all laughed as their meals arrived at the table.

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