Fall

 

 

Chapter 1

 

“Why are we here again?” Randy Orton laughed, walking alongside his two best friends and stable mates into one of the many Vegas strip joints.

 

“Tits and ass, man, tits and ass.”

 

Ted shook his head, trying not to grin. “Because we don't see enough of those at work?”

 

“Not on poles!”

 

“Welcome, please enjoy your stay at the Mirage.” A beautiful blonde bombshell with perky breasts that was in a Playboy bunny outfit greeted, handing them flyers.  Her brown eyes winked enticingly before going to the next set of men to come through the doors.

 

“See...LOOK...” Cody's head about did a one-eighty, trying to walk and watch at the same time.  He would have walked right into a wall if Randy hadn't pulled him out of the way. “Thanks.”

 

“Let's just get some seats and order a drink.” Randy said, trying and failing to sound amused by all of this.  He led the pack down between seats, choosing a table that wasn't too far from the stage, but somewhat in shadows, not wanting to attract attention.

 

“Thank you for visiting the Mirage and now for your enjoyment and sheer pleasure, here is the lovely and mysterious Electric...”

 

'Decode' by Paramore came blasting through the speakers moments later as the strobe lights began flashing along with blue flashes, making lightening streaks as the woman slowly turned her head over her shoulder, winking, her arms up as she spun around, letting the music overtake her.  Her long ebony hair was streaked with electric blue and she had sparkling sapphire blue eyes, a seductive smile on her face.  Her outfit consisted of a blue corset top with black lace panties that fit her like a second skin along with a black garter belt, blue thigh highs and three-inch black Stiletto heels.  Her eyes were decked out in blue eyeliner with lightning bolts on the corners of them and her lips were painted a clear gloss.

 

“Wow...” Ted said, eyes on the stripper Electric. “That is HOT.”

 

“Sure.” Randy said, not looking as he ordered his drink, rolling his eyes when his friends didn't even hear the waitress and ordered for them as well, finally turning his attention to the dancer.

 

“How much do you think she'd charge me for a lap dance?” Cody asked curiously.

 

Her hand wrapped around the thick black steel pole and ran her body up and down it, practically making love to it before spinning and ended up upside down on it.  Holding on as her arms flexed, her legs spread before spinning around it again, letting the music take her away as she moved her head back and forth.  A smirk formed on her lips as money was placed in her garter belt while she bent over, running her hands up her long legs before reaching behind, unclasping the corset top and stood there as her head tilted back, letting it drop from her body, revealing a strapless blue bra.  Her nicely toned stomach was revealed as she ran her hands up and down her sides, gyrated her hips with her eyes closed, and snaked her tongue out to lick her lips.

 

“Over here!  He needs a lap dance!” Ted shouted, laughing as Cody blushed. “Well it IS your birthday!” He whipped out his wallet playfully.

 

“Man...” Cody shook his head, grinning broadly.

 

Randy smirked, glancing at them before turning his head back to the dancer.  Electric.  Suitable name, she was sending energy through him.

 

Her eyes locked on the three men, the spotlight following her, and seen the red flush on the younger man's face. “Don't worry doll,” She purred seductively, running her finger down his chest while bent over. “I'll be gentle.” Electric seen him do a full body shiver and giggled before taking the money from his friend, tucking it in her garter belt and ran her hands up her body while the music once again flowed over her, the strobe lights beginning to go off.  Straddling him, she began the lap dance, pressing herself against him, smirking when he instantly hardened. “So what's your name handsome?” Her mouth was right by his ear as she unclasped her bra, letting it drop to the floor, and covered her breasts with her hands.

 

Cody couldn't even form the words to speak, just mouthing like a fish out of water.  His eyes were firmly fastened on the fleshy globes of soft tissue in front of him.  Ted looked at Randy, arching an eyebrow.  This was a first; the usually chatty, wouldn't shut the fuck up Cody, had shut the fuck up.

 

“His name is Cody.”

 

“Mmm I like that name...” Her voice remained soft and low, a sultry purr as she slowly removed herself from his lap and leaned back against him.  Arching her back, her head leaned on his shoulder while rubbing against him, smirking when he swallowed hard, running her fingers through his hair and down to his neck, massaging the back of it. “Cody what?”

 

Cody was too flustered and turned on at the moment, swallowing hard several times, still trying to work past the lump in his throat.

 

“Moron.”

 

“Tell her your last name, Codes.” Ted smirked, wishing he was in his friend's spot.  He laughed outright when Cody managed to rasp out 'Runnels'.

 

The color suddenly drained out of Electric's face when she heard that, her eyes widening slightly and swallowed hard before immediately getting off of him, flashing a smile since her music had ended. “Happy Birthday.”

 

She was backstage before he could blink, having given him the proper lap dance, and immediately went to throw up in the nearest bathroom.  Cody Runnels.  Tears stung her eyes just as the door opened and Sandy stood there, the blonde with the Playboy bunny outfit, just as she walked out.

 

“What happened, Layne?” She asked resignedly.

 

“I just gave my brother...my flesh and blood...a lap dance.” She had to throw up again.

 

“Aww man...” Cody groaned, pulling a napkin off the table to cover his erection.

 

“There's a memory for the spank bank, eh?”

 

Cody just nodded.

 

“Ted, just so you know, for MY birthday, send the stripper to my room.  A public hard-on is NOT on my top ten list of fun things to experience.”

 

~!~

 

Layne was done for the night and she was planning on leaving, needing to get away from this place as fast as possible.  She changed into a black tank top with a pair of blue jeans, having done her dance, and collected a little over three grand.  Running a hand through her hair, Layne stepped outside and lit a cigarette, trying to not think about what she just experienced tonight or about her past.

 

“Okay guys, stop it!” Cody shouted, pushing Randy when his friend said something about blue balls, stumbling out onto the street when he got pushed back. “It's NOT FUNNY!” He fumed when they just laughed harder.

 

“Man, you're walking like you're afraid your dick is going to fall off!  Just go find a ring rat and work it out!”

 

“She was pretty hot, maybe you should go back in and try scoring her number?”

 

“I don't think that would be a wise thing to do.” Layne stated from the shadows, the only thing telling she was there was the orange dot that was her cigarette as she took another long drag. 

 

She still couldn't believe it was him, her brother.  Out of all the strip joints in the city that never sleeps, he had to pick the Mirage.  Layne could feel a headache coming on and headed for her car.

 

“Why not?” Cody asked, stepping closer, his blue eyes widening when he recognized the stripper. “Hi.” He said, trying not to spaz out in front of the guys. “So if I asked you out, you'd turn me down?”

 

“We could pay you for another lap dance; that should send him into cardiac arrest.”

 

“Asshole, shut up!”

 

“You don't want to date me.” Her voice was low and somewhat timid as she flicked ash away from her cigarette, feeling sick at the mere thought of what she'd done to him earlier. “And I don't think a lap dance from me is something you want, Cody.” She flicked her cigarette away and blew the smoke out, not daring to turn her back on them.

 

“So you're saying he's not good enough?” Ted snorted, rolling his eyes. “Come on Cody, a whore is too good for you anyway, dude.”

 

“So you think fucking his sister isn't that big of a deal?”

 

“Cody doesn't have a sister.  A brother maybe, well, okay...Dustin COULD pass off as your sister.” Randy ducked when Cody swung for his head. “Hey, not MY fault he acts like he's...” He made a hand gesture, implying what he didn't say.

 

Deciding to ignore his friends, Cody rounded on her. “What the hell are you talking about?” He demanded angrily.

 

Tears formed in her sapphire eyes as she stared back at Cody, ignoring the others for the moment. “You were thirteen when I left and you don't remember me?” She knew he couldn't be THAT dense and shook her head sadly before lighting up another cigarette, taking a shaky drag. “Never mind, forget it.  Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoyed tonight.” She walked to her car and got her keys out, needing to get out of there.

 

Cody chased after her, catching her by the arm and whipped her around, staring at her angrily. “I don't know who you are, but you're NOT Layne.” He said firmly. “My sister wouldn't be...be...”

 

“A whore?”

 

This time Randy punched Ted. “Not now, moron.” He ordered gravely.

 

“Hey Layne!” Sandy jogged after her with a smile on her face, handing her the schedule for next week. “Sorry, Scott wanted me to give that to you.  See you in a few days.” She jogged off, blonde hair bouncing behind her.

 

“You're right, I'm not Layne Runnels.  I don't have two brothers named Cody and Dustin.  I don't know that our mother died right before I took off.  No of course not; I'm not Layne.” Her voice was sarcastic as she shoved him away from her when he went to grab her. “Touch me and watch what happens.” She threatened, blue eyes flashing before getting in her car.

 

“LAY!” Cody screamed through the window, pounding his fists on the glass, tears beginning to run down his cheeks.

 

He hadn't seen her since he was 13, she had just run away one day.  How was he supposed to...He stepped back, stuffing his hands in his pockets and walked away, pushing through a stunned Randy and Ted.  Why the hell should he be ready to apologize?  He wasn't the one who walked out on his family!  But he couldn't stop the tears.

 

Layne closed her eyes tightly shut when she heard Cody call her that, her own tears falling and suddenly stepped out of her car, groaning when Cody nearly clobbered her with a hug that nearly knocked the breath out of her. “Damn...” She grunted when he finally pulled back, sighing as she wiped his tears away from her baby brother's face with the pads of her thumbs. “I'm sorry.” She whispered, her shoulders slumping. “Don't cry, Code.” She grunted when he hugged her again and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, feeling him trembling and closed her eyes.

 

Anger was taking over again, he pushed away from her. “Where have you been all this time, Lay?” He demanded, wiping away the tears roughly, staring at her out of hurt and accusing eyes. “Why the hell did you run away?”

“That's his sister?”

 

Randy could only nod.

 

“And she gave him a lap dance?”

 

Another nod.

 

There was so much he didn't know and Layne could feel that headache turn into a migraine. “There's really no time to explain it all, Cody.” She quietly said, seeing the anger in his eyes, and swallowed hard as she raked a hand through her streaked hair.  She used to have deep golden brown chestnut locks, but dyed it to hide her identity from people even further. “The only thing you need to know is I've been here all this time and you can't tell Dustin or Dad.” When his eyes shot open, she held her hand up. “Your sister is dead, Cody.” Her voice was stern again. “I'm not the same Layne I used to be.”

 

Cody didn't know what to say.  If that was how she felt, then no doubt him being here and knowing who she was probably irritated her too. “Fine.” He said curtly, turning to Randy. “You ready?”

 

“Yeah sure, Code.” He said softly, looking from Cody to his apparent sister, his blue eyes calm.  This wasn't his business, but he sure as hell didn't care for the way 'Lay' had just managed to break Cody into pieces with words alone.

 

“MOMMY!!!”

 

Layne whipped around and caught her 10, almost 11, year old daughter in her arms, lifting her up and stared back at the babysitter with narrowed eyes. “What the HELL did I say about bringing her here?” She demanded, not realizing Cody was watching all of this, and shook her head when the blonde bitch just shrugged before walking off.  She looked down at her daughter, who had chestnut colored hair and deep green eyes. “Sweetheart, what happened?”

 

She shrugged nonchalantly, though her eyes were glinting wickedly. “I kinda...threatened her to tell you about her boyfriend coming over.”

 

Layne was scowling and not at her daughter either, holding her close and kissed the top of her head. “Come on, time to go home.” She whispered, heading for her car.

 

“You're going to let your sister walk out of your life?” Ted asked softly.

 

“Wouldn't be the first time she did it.” Cody said bitterly, hands in his pockets, though his eyes softened at the sight of the niece he now knew he had.

 

“MOM!  That's Legacy from that wrestling show you said I couldn't watch!” Her babysitter wasn't so good at her job.

 

“What?” Layne turned around to see Cody staring back at them, along with the other men, growling under her breath. “Trust me, the next babysitter I find you, you WILL obey them and not watch that garbage.”

 

She walked over and put her daughter in the backseat, watching as she buckled up before getting in the driver's side, needing a minute as she let a few tears fall.  Cody knew she had a daughter now.  This wasn't good as she wiped them away, hearing her daughter chattering away about Legacy, them being her favorite apparently.

 

“Cody, if you let her walk away, you're going to regret it for the rest of your life, even if she is a cold hearted bitch.” Randy said firmly, shoving his friend towards the car. “Unless she tells you to back off, get your ass over there right now.  Be the better man...I mean person.”

 

Sighing, Cody knew he was right and rapped on the window.

 

“MOM, CODY RHODES IS AT OUR WINDOW!”

 

Chapter 2

 

“Jesus...” Layne whispered and put her hand over her daughter's mouth to silence her. “I have a migraine, keep it down Reed.” She ordered gently, seeing her daughter nod eagerly. “Stay here.” She added before stepping out of her car and closed the door, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “I'm sorry I left, but I had no choice.” She was speaking quietly so her daughter wouldn't overhear, wiping more tears away from her eyes that were now clean of the thick makeup she wore earlier during her performance.

 

“I get that, but you don't have to run now, do you?” Cody asked softly, staring down at her, searching for the teenager he knew. “Lay, c'mon, it's been 10 years.  Don't you miss us at all?” He glanced at the little girl who was gawking from the backseat, offering her a broad smile, grinning when she squealed. “Is that my...niece?” He asked shyly.

 

“Yes...” Layne nodded and her voice cracked on that word as Cody pulled her into his arms, sobbing in his neck as she held onto him tightly. “I'm sorry...” She choked out, feeling his hand run up and down her back soothingly, trying to calm her down.  Cody was always like that, even though she was older than him by two years.  They were closer than close because of their ages. “I've missed you more than you will ever know.” She slowly pulled back and stared into his eyes, wiping her tears away and sighed heavily. “I can't leave my job, Cody.  I have to support Reed and myself.  It's all I have.”

 

“What are you talking about, Lay?” Cody stared down at her, confusion in his eyes plainly visible for her to see. “Lay, our family is well off, you know that.  Hell, I'M well off now.  I mean, not like Dad is but I can support-” He frowned when he seen her shaking her head.  “Okay, okay no Dad and no Dustin.  I get that, but...can't we go somewhere and talk?”

 

Knowing he wasn't going to leave her alone, Layne nodded slowly, swallowing hard as she glanced back at her daughter's bewildered look. ‘Stay in the car.’ She mouthed, seeing her daughter scowl, and smirked before turning back to face her brother. “Where?” She quietly asked, glancing over at his other friends, and sighed heavily. “Do you honestly think this is the best idea?  They don't like me and for good reason.”

 

“They're just protective, they're like my big brothers or something.  The ugly one is Ted DiBiase or Teddy.  And the guy with the serious eyes is Randy Orton.  They'll love you.” Cody was pleading now. “Come on Lay, come visit with me at the hotel we're staying at.” He knew she wouldn't want him knowing where she lived and didn't want to have a reunion with his sister somewhere public. “Please?”

 

She knew her daughter was going to have a conniption fit if she didn't make a decision soon and finally nodded, though it was reluctant along with the look in her sapphire eyes. “Alright, I'll follow you guys.” She whispered and hugged him back when he pulled her in for another tight embrace, kissing his cheek softly. “I'm not going to run away.” She promised, seeing his cheeks flush red. “If you don't trust me, you can ride with us.  Reed would love that since she seems to know the three of you.”

 

“Okay.” Cody nodded happily, shooting his niece -Reed, he mentally corrected himself- another smile before hurrying to his friends. “We're going to follow you guys to the hotel.”

 

Randy and Ted exchanged looks before nodding, both knowing how important this was to Cody. “Want us to vacate and give you some time with your sister?” Randy asked gently.

 

“I don't know...I'll let you know at the hotel.” Cody said thoughtfully, nodding when they both patted his shoulders, and jogged back to Layne.

 

Layne sighed when her daughter started freaking out in the backseat about this being Cody Rhodes, clapping her hands, and forced her mother to pop two aspirin for her migraine.  Crying did that to her.  Sighing, Layne pulled out of the parking lot of the Mirage and headed on the road, following the other two gentlemen who were with her brother.

 

“Yeah, sorry about the whole...thing.” She said, referring to the lap dance and smirked when her brother flushed red again, chuckling softly. “That'll definitely be a story to tell won't it?”

 

“I'd rather not mention it ever, ever, ever again, if you don't mind Lay.” Cody said, momentarily closing his eyes.  He locked that memory away, pushed it down a deep well in his mind then filled the well with concrete.  He shifted in his seat to look at Reed. “Hi.”

 

“Oh my GAWD...Mom...it's...it's...”

 

“Reed, take a breath.” Layne advised, wondering how her daughter was going to react when she found out this man was her uncle. 

 

Her blood.  Layne popped another aspirin for good measure as she kept following the car before her, not letting anyone else in front.  She couldn't lose them, even though Cody probably knew where they were headed.  So much emotion coursed through her as Layne blinked tears away, still not believing her baby brother found her after all these years.

 

“So...what's Cody Rhodes doing in OUR car?” Reed demanded after taking several deep breaths, her cheeks flushed with excitement, eyes glittering. “And can I meet Ted and Randy?  Please?”

 

“Uh, sure.” Cody said, trying not to grin, hearing Layne's exasperated sigh and looked at her. “Can't we tell her?”

 

“Yeah, tell me.”

 

“When we get to the hotel, sweetheart.” Layne looked at her daughter, blue eyes pleading, and smiled when she just sighed before sinking back in her seat. “I don't want to tell her in the car.” She whispered to her brother, seeing him nod in understanding as he squeezed her hand, making a left and seen the Radisson up ahead. “Wow, you guys are staying in a nice place.” She commented, knowing her brother probably lived first class now that he was a professional wrestler.  Layne knew all about the business because of their father and older brother.

 

“Yeah well...” Cody squirmed uncomfortably. “It's this Legacy thing, we got to live up to it and- And you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, do you?” He laughed when she shook her head no, shaking his own head. “I'll explain it, eventually.” He slipped out of the car, nodding when Randy quirked an eyebrow at him before looking at Layne. “Do you mind if they stick around or do you want me to send them packing?”

 

“Is it me or does it sound like he thinks he's in charge?”

 

“Just for one night.  Tomorrow, we'll duct tape him to a wall.”

 

“Again?”

 

“Duct tape my baby brother to the wall and I'll tape your balls together.” She stated sweetly, stepping out of the car and smirked when Ted winced, seeing Cody chuckling while shaking his head. “I'm still older than you.” She reminded him, helping her daughter out of the car and seen her immediately run over to where Randy and a prudish Ted stood, sighing exasperatedly. “They can stay, I don't care.”

 

“I'm not so good with kids.”

 

Rolling his eyes, Randy just picked her up and placed her on his hip, aware she was too old for this, but...the grin on her face was adorable.  Hopefully this child had gotten her father's temperament because her mom seemed flighty. “Hey there.” He greeted softly.

 

“Hi.” Was the only word Reed could get out.

 

Layne looked uneasy at first, but when she seen how star struck her daughter was, she couldn't resist taking a picture with her cell phone, smiling and put it back in her purse. “Don't you want to know the secret why your favorite Superstars are here?” She asked, smiling when her daughter jumped out of Randy's arms and rushed over to her. “Reed,” She began, dragging her name out and closed her eyes. “Sweetheart, Cody Rhodes is my brother.  Your uncle.  Cody Runnels is his real name.” She wasn’t surprised her daughter hadn't caught on because Cody didn’t use his real name when in the squared circle.

 

“He is?  Are you for real?  I mean, I know we share the same last name and all, but his hair isn't the same as yours and-” Reed frowned, looking at Cody thoughtfully. “Are you really my uncle?”

 

“Yep.  Lay is my older sister.” He said with a grin.  He looked almost alarmed when Reed wrapped her arms around him, bending down to hug her.

 

“I dyed my hair sweetheart.” Layne said, seeing Reed's eyebrows furrow together, and ran her fingers through her golden chestnut locks. “Your hair color is what used to be mine until I changed it.”

 

“You need to change it back because it looks like you have a bruise on your head.”

 

“Thanks.” Layne muttered, rolling her eyes and crossed her arms in front of her chest while Cody held his niece close to him, the heartbreak clear in her sapphire eyes. ‘I'm sorry.’ She mouthed, meaning it more than anything, and smiled when Cody pulled her against him for a family group hug.

 

“Time to go inside, we've been spotted.”

 

Cody looked up in time to see a group of fan girls running towards them. “Crap.” He picked up Reed and booked it inside.

 

When Layne just stood there, Randy sighed and grabbed her hand. “Unless you want to get stampeded, run.” He ordered, blue eyes meeting sapphire, hearing shrieking from the girls.  If it had been a semi small crowd, no problem.  But it wasn't a small crowd, it was like a freaking herd.

 

Layne nodded in understanding as she let him guide her inside, forgetting what his name was while she heard her daughter's shrieks of laughter.  They barely made it on the elevator as the herd came toward them, doors closing in their faces.  They made it to the hotel suite without being maimed as Layne looked around, seeing her daughter was still in awe, refusing to let go of her newly found uncle's hand.

 

“She's attached to you now.” She murmured, seeing Cody beam, and sat down beside them while Reed talked.

 

Randy instantly disappeared into the bathroom.

 

“I hope he's taking his meds.”

 

“Go to hell, Ted.  I'm taking a-”

 

“Hey, there's ladies out here!”

 

“Leak?”

 

Layne just shook her head, holding her keys, knowing they couldn't stay the night.  She didn't want to impose on her brother, but it was his birthday and she felt guilty for making him cry.  Not to mention she wanted to spend some time with him, hoping the other two didn't mind, and seen her daughter staring at her.

 

“What is it, sweetheart?” She asked softly, pulling her daughter on her lap, and kissed her forehead.

 

“How come you never told me, mom?” Reed asked, sounding hurt.

 

“That's too long of a story to get into right now.” That was an understatement, but Layne didn't want to freak her daughter out.

 

“Actually, I'd like to hear it too.” Cody said softly, smiling when Reed clambered over onto his lap, snuggling with her.  He had a niece!  He was so excited it was almost childish, but then again, he didn't really care. “Are you hungry, sweetie?” He asked, glancing at Layne. “Have you eaten?  We can order up something.”

 

“No, thank you.  Reed, you can eat when you get home.”

 

“But-” She beamed when her uncle snorted and grabbed the menu, letting her look it over.

 

“Order something.” Cody demanded, staring at his sister sternly.

 

“Just get me some spaghetti.” She grumbled, rolling her eyes and smacked him upside the head, growling when he pinched her side. “Cody Runnels, don't make me hurt you, boy.”

 

“You could only dream of trying.” He replied cockily and groaned when she put a headlock on him, Reed on the floor giggling.

 

“Now then...” She began conversationally. “What was that, LITTLE brother?”

 

Sighing, Cody grabbed her by the waist, applying a bear hug and squeezed. “Woman, I'm trained for this, don't make me hurt you in front of the baby.”

 

Reed was giggling, watching them. “Suplex her!”

 

“Are you for real?” He said, arching an eyebrow when Reed nodded. “Wow.”

 

Layne groaned as she yanked on his hair and laughed when he dropped her back on the bed, shaking her head as he smirked down at her, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “You still need work.” She laughed when he facepalmed and hugged him around the neck from behind, kissing his cheek. “I missed you Code.”

 

He was her best friend and they always hung out.  She was a little tomboy, always wearing jeans and t-shirts or tank tops.  Never in a million years did she think she would be a stripper, but life forced her into that position.

 

“Need work?  Woman, I am RIPPED.” Cody teased, pulling up his shirt and flexing.

 

“Considering earlier events, is that wise?” Randy asked, walking out of the bathroom in a pair of black shorts, pulling a black t-shirt with a band logo over his head.

 

Ted snickered, looking at Reed. “Know what you want yet?”

 

“Uh...pizza.”

 

“God don't remind me of that...” Layne groaned, shaking her head as she gripped her hair in her hands. “I'm going to be traumatized now.”

 

“I don't get it.”

 

“And you never will.” She watched as Ted ordered the food, rolling her eyes when he included a spaghetti dinner -at Cody's request-, and smacked her brother in the back. “I told you I wasn't hungry.”

 

“Too bad you're eating.” He was glaring at Randy. “We are never bringing up what happened again.” His tone was final as he pulled his niece on his lap.

 

Randy held up his hands, a grin on his face, blue eyes sparkling wickedly. “Hey, you're right, let's not bring it UP, again.” He snorted when Cody face palmed himself. “Sorry bro, couldn't resist.  DiBiase, you order for me?”

 

“Chicken breasts smothered in that honey sauce and French fries.”

 

“Awesome.” He looked at Layne, extending his hand to her. “I'm Randy Orton.”

 

She smiled at him and took his hand, watching as his practically swallowed hers whole, nodding. “Nice to meet you Randy, I'm Layne.”

 

“Mom, this is Randy Orton, the greatest wrestler ever besides the Undertaker.”

 

“Just HOW much wrestling have you been watching, young lady?”

 

She looked sheepish with a beyond adorable look on her face. “Enough?”

 

Layne sighed resignedly and released Randy's hand, shaking her head. “I suppose now it's alright now that you know Cody is your uncle.”

 

“YAY!!”

 

“You like the Undertaker?  Eww...”

 

“Cody is still cranky because he tried pranking the Deadman and wound up dangling headfirst from a flag pole.” Randy explained, ignoring his friends’ sputters. “Shouldn't play practical jokes on people meaner then you.”

 

“You actually tried pranking the UNDERTAKER?”

 

Chapter 3

 

Layne was laughing so hard; tears were streaming down her face by how flushed her brother became. “I really thought you had more brains than that, Code.” She knew the Undertaker, Mark Calaway, from back in the day when she'd come on the road with her father when he worked for the World Wrestling Federation -now it was called Entertainment- and couldn't believe the man was still there. “So you three are Legacy?” She questioned, seeing them nod, and raked a hand through her hair.

 

“Legacy, Mom.” Reed sounded exasperated. “Legacy is made up of Orton JR., Rhodes JR. and DiBiase JR.  All- Hey, does that mean the American Dream is my grandpa?” Her eyes widened. “Whoa...I seen him on the Hall of Fame ceremony a few years ago and he was awesome!”

 

“Dad would love to meet her, Lay.” Cody said quietly. “How OLD are you, Reed?”

 

“11 in a few months.” She stated proudly and didn't notice her mother's head lower, too excited to be around her favorite Superstars.

 

Layne had to stand up and walked over to stare out the window, wrapping her arms around herself, angry tears stinging her eyes.  She did not want to have this conversation with her daughter in the room because what she had to tell him was probably going to tear his heart in shreds.

 

Sensing this, Ted decided to give them both some privacy before food arrived. “Hey Reed, how would you like an authentic Legacy t-shirt?”

 

Reed's eyes lit up like stars as Ted lifted her up and Randy went with them, chattering away as they walked into the other room.

 

Cody wasn't as dumb as he pretended to be and his sister and friends knew it.  He stood up and walked over to stand behind Layne, placing a heavy hand on her shoulder.  He felt her tensing and sighed.

 

“Almost 11, Lay?” He said softly. “Funny, you ran away 10 years ago.” He wasn't accusing her of anything, making assumptions; he didn't have too.

 

“I know.” She whispered, letting a few tears trickle down her face and felt him slowly turn around to face her, staring into his blue eyes. “I was pregnant with her when I ran away.”

 

“Why did you run away from your family when you knew we would help you?” Cody demanded, placing his hands on her shoulders, seeing her head lower and knew he wouldn't like whatever she was going to say. “Layne, what happened?”

 

“Damien...” Her voice cracked when she said his name, feeling her brother tense, and refused to look up at him.  Damien James was one of Cody's best friends and she was secretly seeing him behind her brother's back when they were teenagers. “He raped me, okay?” She walked away from him, wiping the tears away, and felt chilled all of a sudden. “H-He raped me in the back of his truck of all places and then told me if I told anyone he was going to kill me.” Damien was sixteen at the time and a troublemaker to put it mildly.

 

Cody was mentally making plans to look up his old 'friend' and take along Randy and Ted. “Why didn't you tell any of us?” He demanded, trying to be soft and caring, but damn it family was family.  She was supposed to be able to tell them ANYTHING. “Lay, why didn't you come to us?”

 

“I was scared to death and didn't know what to do.” She whispered, sinking down on the bed, and put her head in her hands as the tears continued falling. “I was a terrified 15-year-old that was raped by a guy I thought I could trust, a guy I thought loved me, and...” Layne couldn't go on because the painful memory of that night was slowly beginning to surface. “I took what I saved up from my job at the local diner down the street, bought a bus ticket, and never looked back.  I started stripping when I was sixteen, shortly after Reed was born, and have been doing it ever since.”

 

Cody was processing all of this.  His big sister had been raped by his best friend and, instead of coming to her family with it, had taken off.  Only to wind up a stripper with a rape baby.  It was so damn cliché it would have made him laugh if it hadn't been HIS sister.  As it was, he wanted to cry.

 

“Look, I'm sorry I hurt you, Dustin and Dad.  I really am, but I was scared to death and did what I thought was right.  I'm sorry...” She stood up, not able to take this anymore. “I have to go.” Layne grabbed her keys and walked past him toward the bedroom when Cody stopped her. “What do you want from me, Code?” Her voice was cracking again, knowing he thought very low of her and, hell, that's how Layne felt almost every single day of her life.

 

“I want my sister is what I want.  I want to get to know my niece and I want to know why you think running away is the best answer?  You're a Runnels, we don't RUN away from anything, especially family.  Dad and Dustin were worried sick about you.  Dad thinks you're DEAD, Lay, and he's STILL mourning for you.  You gotta make this right again.”

 

“Are you out of your mind?” Her voice was becoming panicked as she shook her head frantically, more tears sliding down her cheeks. “No!  No I can't, Code!  Do you have any idea what would happen if I were to show up now?  Dad would probably disown me and I wouldn't blame him!  I'm a dirty stripper, that's what I am, and it takes care of my daughter!  That's all I'm worried about and I'll do whatever it takes short of actual prostitution.” She DID have limitations after all. “No, I can't.  I can't go back, I can't face them...” Layne had to get out of there, feeling her heart pounding furiously in her chest. “Reed!”

 

“BUSY!  We're playing the new WWE game!”

 

“This is not the answer, Layne.  Running isn't the answer, so stop it.” Cody ordered, grabbing her firmly by the forearms and pulling her back, staring down at his sister out of narrowed eyes. “Tell Dad whatever you want, I'll back you up on it.  But he wouldn't disown you.  You know him better than that.  He LOVES you and we both know damn well he'd LOVE Reed too.  Don't you want your family back?”

 

“It's not that simple!” Layne shouted at him and started crying harder, burying her face in Cody's neck as his arms wrapped around her, her arms going around his neck. “It's not that simple, Code.  What am I supposed to do about my job, my home here?”

 

“Let me help you through this, sis.  Let me help you for once in your life, please.” He was pleading with her and slowly pulled back, staring into her sapphire eyes. “Let your family help you when you need it the most.  Stop being stubborn!”

 

She knew he was right, no matter how hard she tried fighting it and slowly nodded before hugging him tighter, not wanting to let go. “I'm sorry, Cody, god I'm so sorry...” She whispered painfully, her heartbreaking sobs tearing throughout her body.

 

“Is my mom crying?” Reed asked, glancing towards the door, pausing the game so Ted couldn't cheat.

 

“No, probably Cody.” Randy said seriously. “He cries a lot.” He turned up the volume, looking at the door as well, exchanging a look with Ted.  He could only hope the siblings were getting this sorted out because he didn't want to deal with a moping Cody Rhodes -Runnels- for God only knew how long.

 

The food arrived and Layne was in the bathroom washing her face, not wanting her daughter to know she was crying, and walked out with a bright smile on her face.  It'd been an emotional night as Layne walked over to her daughter and sat down, smiling at Randy when he handed her the plate of spaghetti. “Thank you.” She softly said, feeling her brother pat her shoulder, and placed her hand over his reassuringly.  She was tired of running, it was time to face the music and gain her family back.

 

“Is everything alright?” Randy asked, glancing down at Reed, who was wedged between him and Ted while Cody sat with his sister. “You comfortable?  I can move, sweetie.”

 

“Nope, you're fine.”

 

“Hey you know what Rhodes; why don't you see if you can't get your sister a job with us?” Ted suggested through a mouthful of food.

 

Layne choked on her food when Ted said that, coughing as her daughter patted her back, cracking a smile at her as she patted her chest.

 

“You alright, sis?” He asked worriedly, knowing that probably shocked the hell out of her. “That's not a bad idea though...”

 

“Though Randy would probably have to be the one to talk to Vince about it.”

 

“Vinnie is still around?” She asked, grinning and seen her daughter smack of her forehead, pinching her side gently. “Do you KNOW how long it's been since I've watched wrestling, sweetheart?”

 

“Vince McMahon OWNS the company, of course he's still around.” Reed looked at Randy with a raised eyebrow. “Did you really hurt him?”

 

“Only a little bit, sweetie.  It was for a storyline.  And why do I have to ask?”

 

“Because you're the top dog?”

 

“And Vince will listen to you?”

 

“What kind of job am I selling him?”

 

“No offense to any of you, but there isn't a job in that company that deals with stripping.” She sighed heavily, suddenly not hungry anymore, but kept that smile on her face for her daughter's sake.  Her mental anguish could wait, her daughter was more important, and she wanted Reed to think nothing was wrong. “How's your pizza sweetheart?” She asked, effectively dropping the subject. “After you're finished we have to get going.”

 

“But mom!”

 

“Cody can come see us whenever he wants, but we still have a place here and I can't give my job up.  Not to mention we have an early day tomorrow.” That and she was desperately needing some sleep.

 

“Randy...” Cody was pleading now, looking over at his friend desperately.

 

Randy rubbed his chin thoughtfully, staring at Layne appraisingly. “She can be a valet for us.” He said finally. “She's beautiful, has an attitude, she'd fit right in.”

 

“Hey...you're right, she would.”

 

“Have you three lost your minds?”

 

“Oh my god!!  My mommy is going to be with Legacy!!” Reed was jumping up and down happily with the biggest smile on her face, clapping her hands and everything.

 

Layne knew damn well what a valet was and just crossed her arms in front of her chest with a raised eyebrow at her brother. “You've officially lost your mind.  The SECOND Dad and Dustin see the damn TV they're going to know I'm back!”

 

“You need your natural hair color back though.” Reed stated, eyeing her mother critically, and tapped her chin in thought.  She looked the spitting image of Cody when she did that without realizing it.

 

“No, absolutely not.”

 

“Uh, wasn't letting them know you're back part of the plan anyway?” Cody asked, shooting her a look. “Either you tell them or I tell them, either way, I'm not letting our father mourn for his daughter who is NOT dead.  Besides, you have any idea how much money you could make?  Not to mention full benefits for you and for Reed.  You get those where you work?”

 

Scowling darkly, Layne knew he had several points and sighed, raking a hand through her blackish blue hair, knowing it would be the best thing for her daughter. “I just...I didn't think I'd have to face them so soon...” She grumbled, feeling Cody's arm wrap around her shoulders, letting her know silently everything was going to be fine. “I don't have a choice do I?”

 

“Let me put it this way, Lay, you either come willingly or we'll kidnap you.” He was dead serious and his eyes showed it.

 

Sighing resignedly, Layne chanced a glance up at Randy, who was staring at her with unreadable electric blue eyes. “What if Vinnie doesn't allow it?” She finally asked.

 

“Leave that to Randy.”

 

“Vince will allow it.  He owes me BIG TIME considering what he wanted me to do to his daughter.”

 

“You hurt her, was she really out all that time?”

 

“I caught her face before it actually got the canvas.  You want to come with us on the road?”

 

“What about school?”

 

“Tutors!” Cody was getting really excited about all of this.

 

Layne was feeling dizzy as she stared back at her daughter, seeing she was excited as well, nodding despairingly. “Alright, we're going on the road.” She grunted when Reed tackled her with a hug and smiled, burying her face in her daughter's chestnut locks, closing her eyes as a few tears slipped down her cheeks.  Her father and Dustin were going to beat the living hell out of her when they finally saw her again.  Hell, she'd deserve it too, but she couldn't pass up this opportunity either.

 

“So...we leave tomorrow afternoon. How much time do you need to quit and grab some stuff so you can come-”

 

“Don't you think Randy ought to talk to Vince first?”

 

“If Layne wants to come tomorrow, let her.  I can handle Vince.” Randy said confidently, having finished his meal, and was now polishing off a bottle of water.

 

“Thank you, Randy.” Layne said softly, seeing him nod, and stood up as she stretched before cracking her neck and back.  Feeling the wad of money in her pocket, Layne sighed as she whipped out the 100-dollar bill Ted gave her earlier that night, and handed it back to him. “I do believe this belongs to you.” She winked when he took it and lifted her daughter up in her arms. “We really need to go now, sweetheart, if we're going on the road.  We have to pack and everything.” She looked at Cody, seeing the worry in his eyes, sighing jadedly. “I'm not going to run.”

 

Nodding, Cody knew all he could do was trust her and stood up, jotting down his cell phone number, the hotel's address and room number, knowing he was now being a moron, but couldn't stop himself. “Please, come with us.” He said softly, holding the paper out to her, not caring if he was being a sentimental fool in front of the guys.

 

“Come with us, Uncle!”

 

“You'd have to sleep on the couch.” Layne smirked when he groaned, patting his shoulder, and kissed his cheek. “I won't run for two reasons.  One, I would never do that to my daughter and two, you're right.  I have to stop running and...I have to face Dad and Dustin.  It's time to stop running.  I'll be here tomorrow.” She tapped his nose before turning to face Randy and Ted. “I'm sorry about all of this...and about earlier.” She cracked a small smile at them, shocked when Ted hugged her before Randy followed, inhaling his scent.  Randy smelled incredible as she pulled back, seeing her daughter grinning, and kissed her forehead. “We have a lot to do, young lady.”

 

“I know, I can't wait!”

 

“I can go-”

 

“You have a photo shoot in the morning with me moron, remember?  Some exposure for the rest of Legacy besides the big man.” Ted shot Randy a smirk, laughing when Randy just shook his head.

 

“I can help you, Layne, if you need it.” Randy offered, knowing Cody wanted her packed and ready to go as soon as possible.

 

“Please mom, please let Randy come!  Pretty please?”

 

Layne stared back at him, seeing the pleading in her brother's eyes, not blaming him for thinking she was going to run off. “Sure, that's fine.” She sighed when her daughter squirmed out of her arms and walked up Randy, shaking her head, though she couldn't stop smiling.  She watched as Randy gathered some clothes for the following day and hugged her brother again, kissing his cheek. “I'll see you tomorrow.” She walked out with Randy and Reed, thinking maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.

 

“Hey, one second.” Cody grabbed Randy by the arm. “Not saying that you would or anything, but she IS my sister and-”

 

“And I know.” Randy rolled his eyes. “Man, you need to calm down.  I'm going to help her pack and stuff, okay?  DO NOT blow up my phone either.” He added, knowing damn well Cody would, and followed Layne out.

 

Chapter 4

 

They arrived about twenty minutes later at her apartment complex, which didn't look too bad.  She did make decent money so it wasn't a lowdown shack.  It was clean for the most part.  Layne almost felt embarrassed as she stepped out, seeing Reed had fallen asleep, and carried her upstairs with a smile with Randy behind her.

 

“It's a little messy.” She whispered before unlocking the door and opening it, turning to face the blue eyed hunk with a smile. “Make yourself at home.” She said quietly before going to put Reed down, knowing her little girl was exhausted.  She tucked her in and kissed her forehead, just watching her. “I love you, my Little Star.” She murmured before walking out, closing the door quietly behind her, and pressed her forehead against the door.

 

Randy's cool blue eyes scanned the rooms in front of him, it was normal.  Cool.  He missed normal.  Hotel rooms were becoming normal and that wasn't good.  He set his bag down by the door, closing it behind him and stretched, his hands brushing the ceiling, smiling when Layne walked back out.

 

“You want to pack or sleep?”

 

She had to learn how to breathe again and smirked when he touched her ceiling, shaking her head and chuckled. “You can sleep if you want, but I'm going to try to get as much packing done as I can.  I have a feeling we won't be back here after my father is through with me.” She sighed heavily, fingering a strand of her hair and frowned, knowing she would have to get that changed. “Would you mind if I changed my hair color before we left?” Black with blue streaks, it wasn't her thing and she honestly missed her golden chestnut locks.

 

“Oh no, do what you got too.  We don't have to leave until probably noon.” Randy said thoughtfully, scratching his stomach under his shirt, revealing a hint of his well-defined abs. “What do you want to take?” He asked after a minute.  He would have recommended just what she absolutely couldn't live without, but considering she was taking her daughter on the road, she might want to take some things to ward off homesickness.

 

Layne had gotten a glimpse of his body earlier when he walked out of the bathroom and it was delicious.  She had to focus and started thinking about what she used to bring on the road when she was little when her father was a full-time active wrestler. “Clothes, movies, just little things so that way it's not difficult to travel.  We can always purchase things as we go along.” This was awkward as Layne walked past him and toward her bedroom, seeing he'd followed and bent down as she dragged some luggage out. “I'm going to try to pack light...” She trailed off and turned to stare back at him. “Are you absolutely sure you want me to be your new valet?”

 

“Yeah.” Randy said, staring down at her thoughtfully before looking around her bedroom, trying not to be impolite, but at the same time, nice change of scenery “Legacy needs something new, this storyline we're doing with me being a sociopath isn't going to last much longer.” He studied her appraisingly. “You'll do great.  Nervous?”

 

“Sort of, but I'm also familiar with the business and I'm used to performing in front of crowds…” She trailed off, clearing her throat and pulling open her closet, beginning to take jeans out and placed them on the bed. 

 

Layne watched as Randy sat on the bed and smiled while folding her things, placing them in the luggage carriers, knowing he was doing all of this for Cody.  If she was just some stranger off the side of the road, he wouldn't be bending over backwards.  That much she was certain and grateful for.

 

Randy sighed when his phone rang. “Your brother.” He said, answering it. “Man, do you mind?  We're in the middle of a heated moment here.” He greeted, smirking when Cody instantly started bellowing at him, trying not to laugh.  Oh this was too funny.  Talk about getting some payback for all the pranks Cody had played on him. “Shit, hold on, I gotta find that condom Teddy gave me.”

 

If there was one thing Layne loved, it was playing a prank on her brother.  She pressed her finger to Randy's lips and took the phone, knowing she could pull this off without a hitch. “Hey Cody...oh Randy...” She winked at him over her shoulder with an evil grin on her face. “Cody, would you stop being overprotective...Ohhh damn...Cody, I gotta let you go honey.  He's...” She let out a low moan before snapping his cell phone shut and both of them started laughing their asses off.

 

Randy hadn't stopped laughing when his cell rang again.  Cody was going to blow the damn thing up.  Pressing a finger to his lips, he flipped the lid open.

 

“Fuck yes, Lay, right there baby.  Ride me, honey, yeah...”

 

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

 

“Getting laid...oh fuck...” He hung up again, turning the phone off. “He doesn't know where you live, right?”

 

Layne finally stopped laughing and shook her head, finally regaining the use of her voice without giggling. “No, he doesn't and he doesn't know my cell number either.” When she seen Randy breathe a sigh of relief, Layne laughed softly before beginning her packing again.  She couldn't help feeling turned on by what Randy did and shook herself mentally while he watched her with those electric blue eyes of his. ‘He's going to learn that I am the big sister and he's the little brother, not the other way around.’ She thought with a smirk, not believing how this night turned out.

 

“Must be interesting, little brother playing the older sibling role.  But then again, you're the only girl so I guess it's to be expected.” Randy said, pushing himself off the bed, and looked down at her. “Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it.”

 

“I want you to sit your cute ass down and watch me pack.” She grinned at him with a wink, seeing his eyebrow arch, and shrugged nonchalantly. “If you're hell bent on helping, here...” She paused, handing him a bag, and pointed toward her DVD collection that was in the corner. “Fill that bag with whatever you see fit.  They're all my favorites along with Reed's.”

 

Most of her daughter's DVDs were, unfortunately, wrestling that she'd caved into buying, even after banning her from watching it.  She made sure Cody wasn't in any of them, Dustin or her father though beforehand, not wanting to chance anything.  Layne finished packing her jeans away before starting on the shirts.

 

Randy was more than amused by the fact that Layne owned several wrestling DVDs, especially considering she had seemed so against her daughter watching it.  Not saying a word, he just packed them, noting none of the matches featured Cody and arched an eyebrow.  Still, he bit his tongue.

 

“What next, sweets?”

 

“Sweets?” Layne looked amused, glancing around, not minding that term of endearment and finished packing her garments along with the toiletries.  It took two hours before she was all packed along with her daughter, though she had a feeling Reed would be picky and want to pack her own things.  Groaning inwardly, Layne finally went to take a quick shower before coming out in a black nightgown that went to her knees, stopping Randy before he walked out of her room.  She shut the door and pointed to the bed. “I owe you big time for what you're doing and I'm not letting you sleep on the couch.  My bed is big enough, now don't argue.” Her voice was quiet as she pulled the comforter back before crawling in and snuggled against her pillow, yawning. “Randy seriously, get in the bed and if you even think about going toward that door, I'll put an arm bar on you.”

 

“I'd like to see you try.” Randy rumbled, amusement dripping from his tone.  When she crawled out of bed with a long suffering sigh and made the attempt, he gently grabbed her wrist and twisted so it was behind her back, not hurting her.  He just held her still, feeling her chest jutting against him, his eyes fastening with hers. “Want to know how to get out of this?” He asked, his voice coming out low and husky.

 

Her free hand was pressed against his shoulder, feeling his strength, and his voice was sending a chill rippling down her spine.  Raising a slow eyebrow, Layne maintained the smirk on her face, even though her heart was thundering against her chest. “How?” She asked, sapphire never leaving electric blue, his eyes glowing in the darkness of her room since she'd shut the lamp off.  The shadows of the trees outside her window along with the moonlight being the only glow at the moment.

 

“If I told you, you'd get free and I rather like you in this position.” Randy admitted, his head slowly lowering to meet hers.

 

“Mom?”

 

“And that's another way to break the hold.” He whispered, snorting softly, and let her go.

 

Layne sighed gently and smiled at him before pointing to the bed, walking out of her bedroom and closing the door behind her. “What are you doing up?” She asked softly, crossing her arms in front of her chest, seeing her daughter was very sleepy as she rubbed her eyes tiredly. “Come on; time to get back to bed.  We have a very busy day ahead of us tomorrow.”

 

“Where's Randy?” Reed yawned, trying to stay awake. “Or was I dreaming again?” She smiled sleepily, allowing her mother to guide her into her bedroom.

 

“No you're not dreaming, what happened really did, and Randy is helping me pack.  Now back to sleep.” She kissed her daughter's forehead, seeing the happy, content smile on Reed's face, and pressed her forehead against hers momentarily before stroking her hair. “I love you my Little Star.” She whispered before turning the light out, closing the door behind her, and went back to her bedroom.

 

Randy was sitting on the foot of the bed, staring at the wall.  Cody's sister, off limits.  Off limits.  Damn it, so much for loyalty amongst friends.  He was going to have to sleep on the couch or risk seducing her.

 

His head snapped up when she walked back in, offering a smile she probably couldn't see except for maybe the flash of his white teeth. “Everything all right?” He asked, watching as she neared the bed, inwardly groaning.

 

Cody's sister, off limits.  Future co-worker, definitely off limits.  Damn she was beautiful though.

 

“Yeah, she just wanted to make sure what happened tonight really did.  Asked where you were.” She smiled, seeing even through the darkness how Randy's eyes glittered. “She gets attached very easily.” One of her daughter's downfalls unfortunately, but there was nothing Layne could do about that as she climbed back in bed and pulled the comforter over her, smiling when Randy lay back as well to join her. “Thanks again for everything, Randy.” Her voice was softer as her eyes slowly drifted shut. “By the way, if I wake up and catch you on that couch, you'll be sorry.”

 

So much for THAT plan.  Randy just grunted, rolling his eyes. “Fine, you win this round.” He rumbled, folding his hands under his head, lying on top of the comforter. 

 

He was comfortable in his shorts and shirt, kicking off his shoes.  This was interesting.  He closed his eyes, very aware of the woman lying next to him, and inwardly sighed.  Why did everything have to be so hard?

 

“I always win.” She giggled softly when he growled and pressed a hand against his arm, letting him know everything was fine.  She was out like a light in moments, for the first time in years, sleeping peacefully.

 

~!~

 

The following morning, Layne was up before Randy and left him a small note, letting him know she went to get her hair done and asked him to call Cody over along with Ted.  The note also said to help himself to anything he desired and that she would be back soon.  Reed was still sleeping and Layne hoped he didn't mind watching her for a few hours while she went to her favorite boutique to get her hair done.  Three hours later, she walked out with long golden chestnut curls that rested against her middle back and Layne felt like herself for the first time in ages.  She then called Scott and informed him she was quitting.

 

Randy was woken up by Reed bouncing on the bed, groggily opening his eyes, and raised his head. “Where's your mom, munchkin?” He asked voice gruff with sleep.

 

“I don't know.  Hungry?  I am, let's make some food.”

 

What the hell?  He stood up, finding the note and read it, rubbing the back of his neck and nodded. “Okay.”

 

“My mom probably went to get her hair done before we leave.” Reed said matter-of-factly as she went around the kitchen, moving the chair everywhere she went to get ingredients, tapping her chin in thought. “Pancakes sound good?  Randy?” Reed giggled as he just stared at her with wide eyes, causing her to roll her own in response. “Uncle Cody should be here soon along with Teddy Bear right?”

 

“Teddy Bear?” Randy snorted, shaking his head and opened the fridge, searching until he found orange juice, pulled it out, watching as Reed procured two glasses and filled them both. “Yeah, let me call them.  And no making pancakes without me either, munchkin, understood?”

 

“Yes Randy.” She replied with a giggle, shaking her head, and retrieved some pots and pans from the bottom cupboard.

 

“What?” Ted groaned as he put the cell phone to his ear, his eyes opening a little wider when he heard Randy's instructions, nodding. “Cody was pissed, dude.  Did you really fuck her?” He laughed, shaking his head as Randy explained to him what both he and Layne did, snickering. “Evil, she'll make the perfect addition to Legacy.  We'll be there in a few.” He wrote down the address and hung up to go take a quick shower.

 

“Okay, pancakes.” Randy looked down at the pots and pans Reed had gotten out, arching an eyebrow. “We only need a skillet, munchkin; we're not cooking up a buffet.” He teased, putting back the pots and pans they didn't need, setting aside a skillet and looked at her, arching an eyebrow. “So...you got a box of mix or something?”

 

“I was going to make OTHER things with it, but that's fine too.” She shrugged nonchalantly and handed him the pancake mix with a grin.  She couldn't believe her second favorite wrestler was standing before her, though he would probably end up being number one before long. “Uncle Cody and Teddy Bear!” She squealed, rushing over when the door opened, Randy having left it unlocked for them and jumped into his arms. “We're making pancakes!”

 

Ted immediately recoiled. “Teddy Bear?” He smacked Cody upside the head when he started laughing. “NOT funny, dude.”

 

“That's damn hilarious, bro.” He kissed his niece's cheek before setting her down. “Where's your mom?”

 

“Out.”

 

“Out?  And she left you with Randy?” Cody arched an eyebrow, carrying her into the kitchen and began snickering when he seen Randy reading a box of pancake mix.  The snickers turned into full-fledged laughter when Randy opened the box, shook it, and the white mix exploded into his face.

 

Ted had already whipped out his cell phone and was snapping away.

 

“Man, not even funny.”

 

Chapter 5

 

“I figured I'd be back by the time they both woke up, Code.” Layne said, walking inside, carrying a few bags and smiled when her brother's jaw dropped.  Her long hair was now a deep golden chestnut that matched her daughter's, only a little lighter, her blue eyes sparkling.  She wore a blue denim skirt with a black tank top, grinning as her daughter rushed over to her.

 

“A LOT better.”

 

“I know.” She lifted Reed in her arms and rubbed her nose gently against hers before walking into the kitchen. “It took longer than I thought...” Her eyes widened at the sight of Randy and bit her bottom lip, taking the box from him. “Why don't you let me handle making these, hmm?”

 

“I got it, the box attacked me.” Randy said with a playful smile, blue eyes darting to his sniggering friends. “You both are going to feel an RKO if you don't stop it.” He warned.

 

“With or without the white face?”

 

Cody leaned against the wall, his arms around his midsection. “Man, the doughboy...he just...just-”

 

“Say it and die.”

 

Layne was giggling along with Reed, seeing the scowl on Randy's face and set her daughter down before taking the box from him, patting his shoulder gently. “Go on, sit down and watch TV or something.  I don't want you burning my kitchen down.” She winked when he raised an eyebrow, a heart stopping smile on her face while she got the eggs out. “I win again.” She winked over her shoulder while Randy grumbled, going to take a shower.  The thought of that man in her shower...Layne suddenly felt hot as she mixed the pancakes together while Reed went to visit with her uncle.

 

Cody let Ted entertain the hyperactive Reed, slipping into the kitchen to help his sister.  He could cook.  It was kind of a requirement coming from their household, they all could cook.  Dad had made them all help him in the kitchen when they were younger.

 

“Last night...you two were just yanking my chain, right?” He asked softly, accepting the bowl and whisk she passed him, beginning to stir the mix.

 

Layne's eyes twinkled wickedly as she stared back at her brother, stopping for the moment, and crossed her arms in front of her chest. “What if we weren't?” She shot back playfully, seeing her brother groan. “Cody, I'm older than you so, please, stop being overprotective.” When he scowled, Layne sighed and hugged him tightly around the neck. “You have me back and I'm not going anywhere.  And no, nothing happened.  We were playing a prank on you.” The truth shined in her eyes and she smiled when he sighed a breath of relief before they made the pancakes together.

 

Given what Layne had laid on him the night before about his 'best friend' from back in the day, Cody figured he had the right to worry about her.  Not that Randy was like that, no.  Randy was awesome.  Just...Cody wasn't taking any chances.  Not to mention, if Layne and Randy did hook up, be it for one night or something more, and then broke up...Randy could have her booted out of the WWE just as easily as he could get her into the company.  This could get complicated in a hurry.

 

After breakfast was made, the five quickly ate before loading both Layne and Reed's things in the SUV they were all taking to the airport.  Randy had already made the call to Vince, who was looking very forward to meeting with the daughter of the American Dream.  Layne was nervous as she sat in the front seat, her daughter in the back with Ted and Cody chattering away, while Randy drove.  Butterflies were erupting in her system and Layne felt tears stinging her eyes, glad she had a pair of shades on. 

 

Maybe this wasn't a good idea.  Maybe this was a mistake and Layne felt herself beginning to second guess everything.  That's how she was though.  Layne raked a hand through her hair before fingering a strand of it, having looked in the mirror after Michael was finished, and seen the real her for the first time in 10 long years.

 

“I like your hair.” Randy commented, glancing in the rearview mirror when Reed shrieked with laughter, smirking at the sight of Ted and Cody double teaming her by tickling her. “Three kids.  Great, now I'm a dad.” He joked, ducking when Ted tried slapping his head. “Hey I'm driving man!  Unless you WANT me to crash?”

 

“Uh, no...” Reed elbowed Ted with her pointy elbow. “Knock it off Teddy Bear.”

 

“Yes baby girl.” Ted replied and smirked when she beamed up at him, shaking his head.  This girl already had him wrapped around his finger and he didn't even realize it yet.

 

“Your hair looks a lot better now, Lay.” Cody commented, fingering a strand himself and sighed when she just pulled it away, feeling the sadness radiating off of her. “Lay, everything's going to be fine.”

 

“Somehow I highly doubt that, Code, but thanks for the support.” She wiped a tear away from her cheek and sighed heavily, not looking forward to facing her father and older brother, especially with a kid.  Layne groaned and put her head in her hands. “Why did I let you talk me into this?” She mumbled to nobody in particular before sitting up again, chewing on her thumbnail.

 

“Mom, why are you nervous?  This is LEGACY and we're going to be with the WWE!”

 

She smiled back at her daughter, but it didn't reach her eyes, refusing to let Reed see her distress.

 

“You let him talk you into this because it's a chance at a better life for both you and your daughter, if nothing else.” Randy said softly, but firmly, saying what Cody hadn't been able too.  Cody was bright, but sometimes had a hard time stringing words together so they sounded good.  Randy on the other hand was a smooth talker. “That and family is family.  Everything will be fine, you'll see.  You might even have fun.”

 

“Might?  It's LEGACY...”

 

He was right, being a stripper wasn't exactly the best occupation, and she would be making a lot more money to support her and Reed.  Her daughter was the only thing that mattered though as she nodded back at Randy, silently thanking him for telling her what she needed to hear.  Sometimes the truth wasn't always easy to swallow, but Layne was doing it, deciding she could always run with Reed again if things got too complicated.  Of course, she had a feeling Cody was going to keep a hawk eye on her for a while, which made her silently groan.  She was the big sister and, yet, he was acting like he was older than her.

 

“I still can't believe I'm with Legacy and Cody Rhodes is my uncle.” Reed was star struck again as she snuggled against him with a grin. “I take back what I said earlier.  Legacy is my favorite, Undertaker is second.”

 

Layne started laughing.

 

“Hmm...Maybe we could introduce you to him?”

 

“Uh...or maybe not.” Cody said, clearing his throat awkwardly.

 

“What'd you do to the poor guy now?” Randy asked, sounding amused, reaching over to pat Layne's thigh reassuringly before moving his hand back to the steering wheel.

 

“Nothing, he's sore about what I did and won't let it go.” Cody grumbled, shaking his head. “We'll see alright doll?”

 

“As long as I have Legacy, I'm cool.”

 

They arrived at the airport a few minutes later and Layne stepped out, keeping a firm hold on Reed's hand before finally just picking her up, Cody taking care of their bags.  She refused to let her daughter walk through the busy place as they went through security before going to the terminal.  Apparently Vince was being generous because they were taking a private jet to Los Angeles, California, where the next WWE show was. 

 

Layne buckled Reed in, along with herself, smiling when Randy sat next to her.  Why did he have to be so damn handsome?  Layne knew she couldn't get involved with him and wrapped an arm around her daughter's shoulders while Cody sat on Reed's other side.  Within moments, they were airborne.

 

“Okay, this is freaky.” Reed muttered, clinging to her mom, swallowing hard and began tingeing green.

 

“Never flown before?” Cody asked, smiling at her reassuringly.

 

“No...” Reed hurled on him. “Sorry!”

 

Cody waited until the green light came on before unbuckling, heading for the bathroom after telling her not to worry about it.

 

Randy was up as well, getting her a washcloth and a paper bag.

 

Layne sighed as she rubbed her daughter's back, shaking her head with an amused smile on her face. “You'd better get used to this, sweetheart.  We'll be flying a lot with this job.” She cautioned softly.

 

Reed groaned, taking the washcloth and paper bag from Randy, smiling hesitantly back at him. “Thank you Randy.” She quietly said before closing her eyes, breathing in the bag slowly.

 

Layne ran her fingers through her daughter's hair as Reed went to sleep, pulling her on her lap, in case she woke up, and had to vomit again.  At least it would be on her and not Cody as she kissed her forehead. “Never forget who you are, Little Star...” She whispered in her ear, closing her eyes, and hoped she was doing the right thing.

 

“Okay, so game plan?” Ted asked softly once Cody got back, keeping his voice down so he didn't disturb the girls.

 

“Attacking Paul, of course.” Randy snorted. “I have to kiss Stephanie tonight; think I should pop a breath mint?”

 

“Nah, eat a can of tuna before you do it.” Cody said, smirking. “She'll love that.”

 

Layne and Reed slept throughout the plane ride, both of them exhausted. Reed had gotten up three more times the previous night so Layne ended up staying up with her and helped her pack, assuring her she grabbed her DVDs, laptop and whatnot.  At 10 years old, she had a laptop and knew how to work it better than an adult.  She was highly intelligent and Layne just prayed she didn't grow up too fast.  They arrived a few hours later in L.A. and Layne carried Reed throughout the airport, the little girl feeling a lot better now that they were back on land.

 

“We have time to go to the hotel first?”

 

“No, she has to meet with Vince before the show.” Randy said, glancing at his watch, then looked at Layne and Reed, both of who looked like they could use a quick shower and some food. “Actually, I'll call him and let him know we're running late.”

 

Layne was a nervous wreck as she walked into the hotel room, seeing Reed immediately looking at everything imaginable, cracking a smile.  Cody told her to take a shower to calm down and Layne obeyed, pulling out an outfit for the night, and walked inside the bathroom.  It took her an hour to get ready, simply because she had a breakdown while in the shower that lasted a good twenty minutes. 

 

Sighing, Layne pulled the dark blue tank dress on with black two-inch knee high boots and decided to tease the ends of her hair into curls, giving it bounce. Michael had done a fantastic job as she fluffed her hair out before beginning to do her makeup.  Dark blue eyeliner with clear gloss, nothing major.  She clipped the dark blue choker around her neck, which was lace and went with the dress, before finally walking out as all four heads turned to stare at her.

 

“Reed?”

 

She grinned from ear to ear and nodded her approval. “You look very pretty, Mom.”

 

“I'm going to be sick.”

 

“You'll be fine.” Cody said soothingly, all three men having changed into blue jeans and t-shirts while she was in there, wearing their trunks under the street clothes, duffel bags waiting at the door. “Take lots of deep breaths.”

 

“You'll do great, Layne.” Randy said, ruffling Reed's hair with a grin, laughing when she punched his leg. “Okay, little girl, come here.” He snatched her up, putting her over his shoulder. “You surrender?”

 

“Nuh-uh!”

 

“Fine, right.  Deep breaths got it...” Layne was paling as the thought about what was going to happen and shook her head frantically. “No, I can't.  I can't do this, Cody.” It wasn't the job that scared her as much as seeing her family again after all this time, her father and big brother.

 

“This isn't about the job is it?”

 

“Of course not!” She scoffed, rolling her eyes. “I can do this job like the back of my hand without breaking a sweat.  All I do is walk down to the ring with the three of you and watch you demolish people.  No, I'm nervous about Dad and Dustin.” She raked a hand through her hair and took another deep breath. “I mean it's been 10 years; do you have any idea what they're going to do to me?”

 

“Well...if it makes you feel any better, they probably won't be watching and they definitely won't be there.  Dustin is doing some work down home for a local promotion and Dad is probably helping him.” Cody offered reassuringly. “Look, you can run all you want, but you really think Reed is going to not bug you?  Or that I won't find you again?” Cody stared at her. “Don't run away again.”

 

“I'm not going to run away again.” She promised, staring into his blue eyes that almost emulated her own. “I won't.  I'm not ready to face them, not yet anyway.  I need to become adapted to this new job first.  THEN they can come into the picture.” She nodded when Cody agreed and felt him wrap an arm around her shoulders, feeling a little more at ease just as Reed walked over, wearing blue jeans with her new Legacy shirt. “Where on earth did you get that?”

 

“Teddy Bear gave it to me.” She replied with a smirk and grabbed her mother's hand. “You'll be fine, Mom.”

 

“I know sweetheart.” She smiled for her daughter and nodded when Randy asked if they were ready, following Legacy out the door.

 

Ted scooped Reed up onto his shoulder, listening to her shrieks, and took off down the hallway.

 

“Whoa!”

 

“I think Teddy Bear is becoming kid friendly.  Should we tell him?”

 

“Nah let him figure it out for himself.” Cody chortled while keeping a firm arm around his sister's shoulders, who just kept staring straight ahead.

 

“I'm fine.” She assured him. “I'm just a little overprotective of Reed.” Layne was watching Ted like a hawk with her daughter, swallowing hard and hoped he didn't hurt her.

 

“She's fine.”

 

“I know it's a mother's instinct to worry about her little girl.”

 

“Let's be nice, this is an adjustment period for her bonehead.” Randy said, slapping his friend upside the head as he walked by. “Hey, DiBiase, watch it.”

 

Chapter 6

 

“Randy!!!!!”

 

“That is Maria and she's a real life ditz.” Cody said, watching as Maria jumped into Randy's not so happy arms, then Randy set her back down. “And Randy is her crush of the week.”

 

Layne could only nod and smiled when Maria came over to her, shaking her hand. “I'm Layne Runnels.”

 

Maria blinked, gaped with wide eyes, and asked, “You're Cody's sister?”

 

“Yes and the American Dream's daughter.” Layne was cracking a hesitant smile when she said that. “Sorry, but we really have to go.  We have a meeting with Vince.”

 

“Well...can I come?”

 

Layne smirked and shrugged. “Ask Randy, he's the driver.” She walked away with her brother, leaving the blue eyed leader of Legacy to deal with Maria.

 

Oh so now Layne was a comedian?  Randy groaned, wondering why it was his turn to be the object of unwanted affections.  Though... “Hey Maria, could you do me a favor?” He asked sweetly.

 

“Uh huh.” She nodded, hurrying along as fast as her heels would let her to match his stride.

 

“Layne is going to be working with Legacy, think you could help her with a look?”

 

“Okay!”

 

Layne stopped dead in her tracks when she heard that and blinked at Randy, her eyes narrowing slightly. “I'm pretty sure I can make up my OWN look and you'll be fine with it.” She REFUSED to let this ditz help her, was he out of his mind? “Thank you anyway, Maria.” She flashed a smile. “You two should date.” The elevator doors closed before Randy and Maria could get on, both her and Cody laughing their asses off.

 

“That was CRUEL.”

 

“I know.”

 

Randy just smirked, hoisting Maria up over his shoulder and took the steps, arriving just as they were stepping off the elevators. “I'm driving.”

 

“I got shotgun.”

 

Maria beamed at Layne. “We're going to be bestest friends!” She squealed excitedly, smiling down at Reed. “Hello sweetling.”

 

“Wow...you're cool to watch, but you're loud, did you know that?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Reed, that wasn't very nice...”

 

Though Layne was laughing softly along with Cody, shaking her head.  They slid inside the car, Cody sitting by Maria while she was on the other side, her daughter between her and Cody.  Layne wished she had popped some aspirin because Maria wouldn't shut up.  When they arrived at the arena, Layne was the first person out of the car, pulling her daughter with her along with Cody, all three of them making a beeline for the arena doors.  She was late for her meeting with Vince and hoped he was lenient.

 

Reluctantly, Cody stopped her. “We have to wait for Randy; he's the key to all of this.” He groaned, turning and let out a sigh of relief when he saw Randy was politely, but firmly, blowing Maria off. “You shoulda seen it, last week she was digging on Kaners and that went BADLY.  He finally had to duct tape her mouth shut and lock her in a closet.”

 

“I'm hoping she goes for ‘Taker next.” Randy said, finally joining them.

 

“Sorry, I just had to get away from her before I ended up knocking her out.” Layne stated quietly, seeing the amusement in Randy's blue eyes, and heard her daughter shrieking with laughter as Ted, once again, had her over his shoulder. “Would you mind-”

 

“Hell no, I'll watch this little angel.  Come on, I'll show you Legacy's locker room.”

 

“Yay!!”

 

Layne laughed as she looked up at her brother, nodding silently to let him know she was fine, knowing he couldn't go with her to the meeting since he wasn't the leader of Legacy.  She took a deep breath, needing a cigarette, but knew they couldn't waste any more time. “Lead the way, Mr. Orton.” She smiled at him, chuckling when he groaned, and lead her inside.

 

“Call me, Randy.  Mr. Orton is my father.” Randy said, moving his body in front of hers to clear a path.  They were running late and the halls were packed like sardines in a tin can. “Here we are.” He knocked once before all, but shoving her into the office. “It's a damn zoo out there, Vince.”

 

“You expected any less?” Vince replied, not looking up from his desk.

 

‘Just how I remember it.’ Layne thought as she looked around the office, her hands clasped in front of her and watched as Vince looked up, cracking a hesitant smile. “Hello Mr. McMahon.” She greeted professionally and extended her hand, smiling when he took it before taking a seat like he requested, Randy remaining where he was.  It'd been years since Vince seen Layne; he probably didn't even recognize or remember her.

 

“So Lay,” Vince studied her intently. “The last time I seen you, you were about this tall and had gangly knees.” He smiled jovially when she just stared at him. “It's good to see you back.  And in search of a job?”

 

From behind her, Randy nodded, meeting Vince's curious look. “Valet for Legacy.” He said bluntly.

 

“What do you think about that, Layne?”

 

“I think it would be a great opportunity, Vince.” She replied with a smile, knowing he hated being formal, glad he had remembered her. “Though if this is going to happen, I feel inclined to tell you that I do have a 10, soon to be 11-year-old daughter that will have to travel with me.”

 

Vince waved her off with a smile of his own. “That's not a problem.  Any particular reason why you want to valet Legacy and not someone else?”

 

“Um...well...Cody, my brother.  I haven't seen him in 10 years for personal reasons and he wants to spend more time with me and get to know his niece.” She wasn't lying to the man, but not fully telling him the truth either. “I mean...if you feel Legacy doesn't NEED a valet...”

 

“Legacy-”

 

“Is going to need something.  We can't go around beating up Paul all the time, now can we?” Randy asked with a grin, smirking when Vince just shrugged. “Unless you need one less person to put in your will.”

 

Coughing, Vince shook his head. “That wasn't right, Randy.  Legacy will need a new kick after this angle is finished, I agree with that.”

 

Layne crossed one leg over the other, folding her hands on her lap, and just waited for them to stop talking; wondering if this was the right move for her.  Obviously Vince didn't want Legacy having a valet; she could clearly see that, so she would do anything he gave her.  Reed would be disappointed, but in all honesty, what other choice did she have?  Layne was on limited funds, she had to take whatever was available for her daughter's sake.

 

Vince seemed to consider it for a moment longer, finally nodding. “With Legacy it is then.  How you portray yourself is up to you, so long as it fits in with the stable.”

 

“And, I'm sure you're aware, Randy is the-”

 

“Head of the pack.”

 

“Yes, that.”

 

“Thank you Vince.” She smiled as he pulled out a contract and handed it over to her.  She nodded and blinked repeatedly at how much she'd be making before signing on the dotted line, handing it back to him. “I'll try my best not to let you down.”

 

“You'll be fine.  You're a Runnels, the business is in your blood.”

 

Layne couldn't argue with that and walked out with Randy, feeling a huge weight lift from her shoulders, and stopped him before they walked too far. “Thank you, Randy.  You have no idea how much this means to both me and Reed.”

 

“I have an idea.” Randy said, coughing, and ran a hand down the back of his neck. “Just so you know your insurance kicks in tomorrow, for all of it.  Dental, vision, the works.” He didn't know if she needed it or not, but there was usually a waiting period of sixty days.  He had all, but begged for that to happen immediately, glad Vince hadn't been in one of his moods and poked fun at him for it.

 

Layne was all smiles as she walked into Legacy's locker room a few minutes later, seeing Reed was busy playing a video game with Ted, and shook her head. “You're corrupting my daughter, Teddy Bear.”

 

“Okay, that's not cool.” Ted stated, frowning. “Baby girl can call me that, you can't.  That's just not right and you're far too hot to- OW!”

 

“Dude, shut up!  That's my sister!”

 

“Code, you really need to stop that.  What are you going to do when men in the audience are staring and hollering at me?”

 

“That I don't care about cause it's the fans.  Ted should know better.”

 

Layne walked over, pulling Reed into her lap, sighing when she groaned and went back to the game. “I feel so loved.”

 

“So Vince is cool with it?”

 

“Course he is.  I only had to sell my soul, dignity, pride; all of it.” Randy said, letting out a long suffering sigh.

 

“Sure.  You just promised no tongue on Steph and he was sold.”

 

“Psh, don't you wish.  YOU kiss her.”

 

“I'd rather Paul NOT put his foot up my ass, thanks.”

 

“I'll try not to get in your way, Randy.” Layne quietly said while running her fingers through Reed's hair, frowning when a thought came to her. “Who is going to watch her while we're out in the ring?”

 

“Shit, that is a problem...”

 

Ted frowned as well, stroking his chin in thought, and snapped his fingers when the perfect person came to mind. “Hold that thought.” He walked out of the door and came back a few minutes later with a grumbling Beth.

 

“Holy cow it's Beth Phoenix!!” She was Reed's favorite Diva besides Trish Stratus. “Is she going to watch me???”

 

Layne wasn't comfortable with this, but knew she had no choice, as Beth immediately took to Reed. “I guess so, sweetheart.”

 

“You guys owe me.” Beth said, though she didn't sound upset, she liked kids.

 

“Uh, what do we owe you?” Cody actually blushed when she shot him an appraising grin, coughing to hide it, and ran a hand through his hair.

 

“You're not in my way, Layne.” Randy assured her. “I just hate my current line, makes me look like a nut job.”

 

Layne just nodded back at him, with a hesitant smile, before going back to seeing how Beth interacted with her star struck daughter.  She was going to have to get used to this as she leaned back against the chair, not having much to say. “I'm still your favorite right?” Cody asked his niece, blanching when she waved him off while she chattered with Beth. “I've been replaced!”

 

“Uncle Cody, quiet!” She demanded, sounding perturbed, and grinned when Beth started laughing.

 

“Damn she's a spitfire isn't she?”

 

“Reminds me of her mother.”

 

“Bethie and Reed, oh man, there's a match made in he-” Ted trailed off when he got warning looks shot at him from Beth, Layne and of all people, Randy. “Heaven, I was going to say HEAVEN.”

 

“Sure you were.  Lay, want to go to wardrobe and rifle through the racks?”

 

“I can take her.”

 

“You sure?  I was thinking you and Bethie could hang out with Reed.” Randy teased.

 

Cody started blushing again.

 

“He's scared of me.” Beth stated bluntly.

 

“Hey, I'm not afraid of anyone, especially a woman.”

 

“Stay here, Code, and try not to get into trouble.” Layne laughed softly when he turned redder, standing up, and allowed Randy to guide her out of the room. “So I take it what I'm wearing isn't what Legacy is about?” When he shook his head, Layne understood as they walked down the hallway of the arena.  She honestly didn't know what to say to him so just kept her thoughts to herself, following him.

 

While they walked, Randy began explaining to her about Legacy and what it represented, knowing she needed to have a background history. “We're all third generation superstars.  Rhodes, DiBiase and Orton.  Though since you're familiar with the business, I'm sure you realized that when you heard our names.” He said as they strolled towards wardrobe, trying not to come off sounding condescending. “And the line we're in now is...” He groaned, really hating it.

 

Layne listened to Randy as he told her about the current line he was in with Triple H, whose real name is Paul Levesque, and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, who Paul was married too and Vince's daughter.  Layne remembered Stephanie from when they were younger; Stephanie was eight years older than her and they hardly knew each other.  Layne didn't want to know the McMahon woman.  She just wanted to do her job, make money and support her daughter, the only love of her life.

 

“I understand, but it'll be over soon, so just think about that.” She said, patting his shoulder gently with a soft smile.

 

“Yeah...hey, we're going to swing by the cafeteria so I can get some tuna fish.” Randy said with a grin, finally stopping, smiling sweetly at the women who were now looking at him. “Janet, this is Layne, she's going to valet for Legacy.”

 

“And....?”

 

“And whatever she wants, make it happen?”

 

“And...?”

 

“And I owe you and all the rest of the ladies,” He bowed to them playfully. “Dinner?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“That's fine.” Layne watched as Janet and Tiffany -the wardrobe ladies, though Janet was also the hairdresser of the WWE- circled her critically.  She was used to this and just stood there, finally meeting Janet's brown eyes, before being pulled over to the rack.

 

“Gold?”

 

“It's going to have to be considering that's what Legacy is all about.”

 

Layne was shoved into the changing room with the gold dress and came out a few minutes later, looking down at the material.  It was a shimmery gold dress, which had a scoop neckline that had spaghetti straps, and went two inches above the knee.  Her boots were swapped out for black open toed two inch heels.  Her choker was replaced with a black one that shimmered with gold.

 

“We have to change her makeup.”

 

They sat Layne down and replaced her blue eyeliner with black, making it delicate, before putting gold eye shadow on her eyes, bringing them out.  The clear gloss stayed put.

 

“Now then what about her hair?”

 

“Up or down?”

 

“I think we'll leave it down for tonight.  It would be too much with the dress and we don't want to take away from that.”

 

“You're done honey.” Tiffany smirked over at Randy as Layne stood up. “So, does she approve for Legacy's new valet?”

 

“Hot damn!” Randy whistled, circling her slowly, his eyes raking up and down her body, taking in the dress, hair, her makeup, the whole picture.

 

“Uh, Randy, her eyes are-”

 

“I know where they are.” Randy said softly, staring into Layne's beautiful sapphire blue eyes. “They're the most gorgeous part of her.”

 

Her cheeks turned a deep crimson red as Layne stared back at him, used to wearing heels from her stripping days. “Thank you Randy.” She softly replied, allowing him to take her hand and gently turned her around in a circle, admiring her even more.  Her body was heating rapidly by how he was staring at her and smiled back at the ladies, who smirked in reply.

 

“We want Chinese for a week.”

 

“No, a month.”

 

“We should make it a year.  That wasn't easy to do in the span of a half an hour.” Layne was giggling at Randy's exasperated look and watched as he bowed humbly to them, shaking her head. “Come on, we have to go to the cafeteria for your tuna, remember?”

 

“Oh yeah, big kiss tonight!”

 

“Not a big kiss, just a brush of the lips, chill out ladies.” Randy said, shaking his head when they all just started laughing at him, and guided Layne away.

 

Chapter 7

 

“And that is what I get for agreeing to do this line.” He said, not letting go of her hand. “Think Reed wants something to eat?” He asked thoughtfully. “You should probably have something too.”

 

“I'll pick her something up and I'll eat later.  I'm too nervous about going out there.” She admitted quietly, sighing when he stopped her as their eyes locked again.  He had the most beautiful electric blue eyes she'd ever seen in her life.  They had a hint of gray in them, simply breathtaking. “I know I should be used to it, but these are huge crowds.  I'll get a salad, how's that sound?” When he grinned, Layne smacked him playfully on the arm. “You tricked me into that, Randy Orton.”

 

“I admit it, I'm a fiend.” Randy said with a grin, helping himself to a couple tuna fish with onion sandwiches.  He also snagged some food for his friends, loading up a tray.  Then a second one with food for Reed on there as well as drinks. “Okay, ready?” He asked, balancing them perfectly, one in each hand.

 

“Give me one of those before you hurt yourself.” Layne laughed, taking the one with Reed and her food on it, having picked them out and walked out of the cafeteria with Randy.  They managed to make it back to the dressing room without getting clobbered and Layne sighed when Ted just stared at her like he was a man dying of thirst. “Teddy Bear, stop screwing me with your eyes.” She demanded, seeing his head lower, and smirked before sitting down beside her daughter.

 

“Mom, you look...beautiful.” Reed was grinning as she took her chicken strips happily and began eating.

 

“So you're saying I looked like crap before?”

 

“No, but...you fit in with Legacy now.”

 

“Right.”

 

“She's right, you do.  Gold suits you.” Cody said, studying his sister with a smile, though he shot Ted a warning look. “Watch it.”

 

Ted just held up his hands, accepting the drink and food Randy passed him. “Oh man, onions and fish?  You're trying to kill that poor woman.”

 

Randy grinned. “A practical joke never hurt anyone.” He said, unwrapping a sandwich, and took a large bite. “Mmm.”

 

“I feel bad for Stephanie now.” Layne stated and shook her head as she ate her salad slowly, knowing she couldn't go out there without eating.  She hadn't eaten since earlier that morning when they had breakfast.  She looked over at her daughter, seeing Reed was still chattering away with Beth, deciding she would have to trust Ted's judgment.  She finished her salad, or as much as she could, and set it on the tray before trying to find something to get her mind off of what she was going to do. ‘Just walk out there, stay out of the ring, be eye candy and come to the back.  Not hard to do.’ She kept coaching herself mentally and took a sip of water.

 

“Recap?”

 

“We handcuff Trips to the ring.  I call out Steph.  You two sneak behind her; I drop her, then pucker up.”

 

“With fish breath none the less.” Beth snorted, shaking her head.

 

“Bethie, kiss?” Randy puckered his lips at her.

 

“Hell to the no, boy.”

 

~!~

 

'Voices' by Rev Theory played throughout the arena speakers as Legacy stepped out on stage, all three looking completely serious and cocky.  They weren't alone either as a beautiful chestnut haired bombshell was with him, her hands at her sides and smiled when Randy took her hand, gently turning her around before they both walked down the ramp way, her going slower than them obviously.  She walked up the steel ring steps and slid under the bottom rope, her stomach in knots.  Layne watched as Randy got a microphone and began his long promo, just standing there while the men hooted and hollered, most of the crowd booing Randy, the dark lighting made her dress shimmer even more.

 

Randy was in character now, playing his role to perfection, so were Cody and Ted.  How people would be going ‘what the hell’ if they knew the trio were nothing like their on-screen personas.  Well...cocky, yes; evil and maniacal, no.  When Trips showed up, he nodded to Layne, signaling for her to get out of the ring.

 

Paul spared her one glance, aware of the new valet, not so sure of her actual job.  Just to stand there and look pretty?

 

Layne did what she was told and watched with emotionless eyes as Legacy beat down Triple H before handcuffing him to the ropes.  Her head snapped to the side when Stephanie ran down the ramp, seeing Cody and Ted were already boxing her in, the fear in her eyes unmistakable.  She did her best not to cringe when Randy delivered a devastating DDT to Stephanie, though she could tell he tried to block most of the blow. 

 

The icy look in his eyes made her stomach tighten as she saw him holding the sledgehammer, licking his lips, and bent down to where his face was hovering over Stephanie's.  His lips brushed hers and Layne bit her tongue to keep from laughing because even she could tell Stephanie was trying not to gag by his breath, amusement shining in her blue eyes.  She watched as Randy clobbered Triple H with the sledgehammer right in the face before finally getting out of the ring, Cody and Ted beside her as they all four headed up the ramp way.

 

“Okay, we're waiting.” Randy said once they were backstage, grinning like a shark as they waited for Stephanie and Paul to finally come through.  It took several long minutes since Paul had to be freed and still make it look real.

 

Stephanie got off the gurney as soon as she was wheeled through the curtains, making a face. “Randy...that was DISGUSTING.  What did you EAT?”

Ted was chuckling along with Cody and Layne, all three of them seeing the shit eaten grin on Randy's face. “Tell her man.”

 

When Randy didn't right away, Cody decided to do the honors. “Tuna with onions.”

“WHAT?”

 

Paul stumbled through the curtain moments later, holding his head, seeing how angry his wife was. “What's wrong?” He demanded, seeing she wasn't hurt, and nodded once at Randy.

 

Her blue eyes were lit on fire. “He ate tuna with onions and didn't brush his teeth before kissing me!!”

 

Paul started laughing his ass off.

 

“You write the scripts, Steph.” Randy said with a grin, laughing when Paul clapped his back. “I can only assume since you put that bright idea in there, you got it bad for me.  As a loyal friend, I felt it my obligation to turn you off with foul breath so Paul can keep his wife.”

 

Paul slapped Randy upside his head. “Gee, thanks.”

 

“That is so wrong on so many levels, Orton.” Stephanie scoffed, shaking her head, and looked over at the chestnut haired beauty that her father told her about. “Didn't you used to wear jeans and t-shirts?”

 

Layne smirked, nodding. “Still do, just have a different style.  How are you Stephanie?” She asked softly, her tone polite as they embraced briefly.

 

“Besides getting kissed with tuna onion breath...” She made a face, groaning. “I'm going to kill you, Randy, for doing that.”

 

Layne giggled softly, feeling for the woman as her and Paul walked away while Legacy headed back to their locker room, where Reed was currently playing a video game with Beth.

 

“I think she digs you, Rando.” Ted teased, smacking his friend's back.

 

“Call me Rando ever again and I will plant my foot up your ass, understood?”

 

Cody shook his head, grinning at his sister. “So how did you like it?  Not going to puke are you?” He asked, hoping she didn’t have to toss her cookies.

 

“Mom doesn't puke.” Reed said from her place on the floor, eyes on the screen.

 

“That's right and it was fine.” Layne couldn't thank Randy enough and walked over to her daughter, kissing the top of her head and seen how into the game she was.  Smiling, Layne began gathering their things, knowing she would have to change out of her outfit, and walked into the bathroom.  She turned around when the door closed, seeing Randy standing there, and knew he wanted to talk to her alone. “I'm alright, that was quite a rush out there.” She set her things on the counter and waited for him to speak.

 

“Yeah, it can be.” Randy agreed, cocking his head when Cody started laughing. “What's so funny?”

 

“Internet is already trying to figure out who the hell she is.” Cody snorted, busy on his laptop. “Dude...not even funny.  She is NOT your girlfriend...”

 

“Hey this one says she's my girlfriend, cool.”

 

“Won't it be even funnier when everyone finds out that I'm not dating any of you?” She retorted with a sweet smile before turning around and closed the bathroom door behind her so she could change.  She was out five minutes later, back in her dark blue tank dress with the choker, and noticed Ted was grumbling with a smirk on her face. “I'll be right back; I need to drop these off at wardrobe.” She said over her shoulder before walking out, wearing her two-inch knee high boots again, feeling normal.  The gold she didn't mind much, but it wasn't her color.

 

“Well?”

 

“Well what?” Randy asked, not appreciating Cody joining him in the bathroom, especially since he was fixing to change into street clothes.

 

“How'd she do?”

 

“She did fine, Coddles.  Calm down.”

 

Randy shook his head, snorting and shoved his friend out of the room, shutting the door behind him.  She did fine and damn did she look fine.  Randy groaned, wondering if maybe a cold shower was in order.

 

~!~

 

“Here you go.”

 

“Thanks sweetie and you did fabulous out there!”

 

“You looked even better.”

 

“Thanks to us of course.”

 

“Don't mind us.  We're just snot nosed bitches who make everyone look good.  Hey, are you dating Randy Orton?” Tiffany asked curiously.

 

“Cause honey, the way he was looking at you earlier...”

 

Layne walked away and shook her head, sighing heavily.  She couldn't date Randy Orton, no matter how scrumptious and delicious he was.  Groaning, Layne stopped in the women’s restroom to pat her neck to cool down before going back to Legacy's locker room.

 

Mark -the Undertaker- Calaway was standing there already, listening as Cody shrieked apologies through the door, shaking his head. “Rhodes, come out here and take your ass whipping like a man.”

 

“What'd you do?!”

 

“Um...well, while you and Lay were out-”

 

“He ordered pizza for the stage crew and had it billed to ‘Taker.”

 

Layne stopped dead in her tracks when she seen none other than the Undertaker standing at Legacy's locker room door, swallowing hard, and wondered what her brother did now.

 

“OH MY GOD IT'S THE UNDERTAKER!!!” Reed's shriek could be heard through the door as it was tossed open and there her daughter stood, staring awestruck at one of her favorite wrestlers.

 

Cody was smiling hesitantly as Mark bent down to lock eyes with the little girl, seeing Randy and Ted waiting with bated breath.

 

Reed had to keep a cool head, remembering what her uncle whispered in her ear. “Mr. Undertaker sir, would you please not kill my Uncle Cody?  He's really sorry and he'll pay you back for the pizza.” Her voice was like an angel's.

 

“WHAT?”

 

Ted was laughing his ass off along with Randy. “She has a mind of her own, Coddles!”

 

“Well darlin', if he pays it back, right this very minute, I promise to let him walk out of here on his own two legs, how'd that be?” Mark asked, smiling when she nodded, rising to his full height and stared at Cody. “Well?”


“Um...I don't exactly have THAT much on me...”


Mark glanced at Layne, arching an eyebrow. “I know you.” He said after a moment, trying to place her.

 

“E-Excuse me?”

 

She blinked, seeing her daughter was already getting the money from Randy, who was threatening to pulverize Cody if he didn't pay him back right away, her eyes currently locked on emerald green.  He couldn't possibly remember her from back in the day with her father.  Then again, Reed looked almost identical to her when she was nearly 11 years old.


Reed walked over with that sweet smile and handed Mark the money, her jade green eyes sparkling back at him. “You're very big in person.” She commented and looked over with a grin. “Mom, look who it is!  It's the Phenom!”


“I'm well aware of that sweetheart.”

 

“Mmm and you're very short.” Mark teased, taking the money and counting it, arching an eyebrow. “Cody...”

 

“It's just 10 short!” Cody groaned when Reed shot him a dirty look and whipped out his wallet, handing it over. “Man, now I'm broke!”

 

“Next time, don't order pizza for the guys, though they did tell me to let ya know it was delicious.” Mark turned his attention back on Layne. “Yer, Dusty's lil’ girl.” He said after a minute, glancing at her then to Cody, nodding to himself.

 

“Yeah, I am.” She couldn't lie and smiled when her daughter rushed over to her, lifting her up and pressed her forehead against Reed's. “That wasn't very nice.”

 

“Mom, it's the UNDERTAKER.  It was either he got paid or Cody was going to get beat down.”

 

“Nice.” She grunted and set Reed down when she squirmed, smoothing her dress down while Reed went back inside the Legacy's locker room.  She still couldn't believe Mark had remembered her and ran a hand through her hair, wondering briefly if he talked to her father often.  She decided to chance it and seen her brother's head peek out, eyes narrowing. “You know, I really don't feel like attending my baby brother's funeral, Cody.”

 

“I'm not dying today, right Mr. Calaway?” Cody asked hopefully, looking up at the older man.

 

“No…I don't feel like tellin' yer old man why he's one kid shy at the Hall of Fame ceremony.” Mark said gravely, pocketing the cash. “Next time, Cody, think before you do something.  That little girl might not be around to make sure you keep breathin'.”

 

“Okay, sir, I- What?” Cody whispered, blushing when his friends began laughing at him, realizing he was being teased.

 

Even Layne couldn't stop giggling as she walked past Mark and inside the dressing room, shaking her head. “I'm going to kill you the next time you do something foolish like that.” She stated, seeing Cody's head lower, and popped him upside the head. “Enough pouting, you got what you deserved.”

 

“Mom, I'm hungry.” Reed whined, rubbing her eyes tiredly. “I wanna go.”

 

“Alright, sweetheart, in just a few minutes.” She was tired as well; the adrenaline was starting to simmer down inside of her. “Thanks again for not killing my brother, Mr. Calaway.”

 

“Call me Mark, darlin'.” He said with a grin, his eyes not leaving hers for an instant.  After a second, he nodded at them all before walking away.

 

“Okay boys and girls, I do believe that's enough excitement for one night.” Ted laughed, wrapping an arm around Cody's shoulder. “You get to live to see another day, how cool is that?”

 

“Eek.”

 

“Thanks to my brilliant daughter.” Layne was looking thoroughly amused, though she couldn't get those green eyes of Mark's out of her head. 

 

He was twice her age!  She wanted Randy, but couldn't have him.  She wasn't dating anyone in the business, Reed being the only one she was concerned about.  That and making sure she didn't attend her brother's funeral.  They walked out a few minutes later while Reed told her about her night with Beth and how she beat her at the video game.  Layne gave enthusiastic comments as they walked out of the building just as a Harley roared to their right, Layne seeing Mark beginning to pull away.

 

Mark glanced at her, flashing a smirk before roaring out of the parking lot, his long black hair flying behind him.

 

Chapter 8

 

Randy arched an eyebrow, wondering what that was all about, glancing at Layne. “You okay?” He asked softly, touching her arm.

 

“Yeah, I'm great actually.” She smiled back at him, seeing the worry in his blue eyes, and patted his hand in reassurance. “I'm fine Randy.”

 

“Mom!  Fooood!” Reed whined, causing her mother to sigh, and honestly didn't care.  She was hungry.

 

“Yes, yes we're going.  We're going!” She laughed as Reed dragged her to the car with Randy following suit, Cody and Ted not far behind.  Layne took shotgun while Ted and Cody were in the back with Reed.  Within a few moments, they were on their way back to the hotel and Layne couldn't stop thinking about the smirk she saw on Mark's face.

 

“You know something, we should go out clubbing tonight, celebrate Layne joining Legacy.”

 

“Yeah, good idea; one problem, moron.”

 

“Knock it off you two.” Randy ordered, shaking his head. “You sure DiBiase isn't somehow related to you?” He asked Layne with a playful grin.

 

“I would have to shoot him if he was.” Layne replied with a smirk, causing Randy to chuckle, and felt better now that her first night in the company was over with. “Teddy Bear, I don't do the club scene, especially with my last job.  That and I have my daughter to look after.  You three can do whatever you want, just don't expect me to tag along.” Reed was the most important thing to her and Layne didn't mind staying at the hotels with her daughter.  She had a lot of fun because they were alike and had similar interests, except wrestling of course.

 

“You interested, Randy?”

 

“Not really.  I'm in the mood to just lie down and watch a movie.”

 

“And hopefully brush your teeth, Randy.  Cause your breath stinks.” Reed said sweetly from the back.

 

“I love you, Reed.”

 

Layne laughed and handed Randy some breath mints, seeing the playful scowl on his lips and laughed harder.  They arrived at the hotel and Layne was feeling dead on her feet as she grabbed Reed, nodding when she asked if they were getting food. “Yes sweetheart, whatever you want.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yup, but first a bath.”

 

She smiled when Reed groaned and set her down on her feet as they walked inside the hotel.  Randy had been kind enough to get them a room that was joint to the Legacy suite.  Layne retrieved the keycard before heading up the back staircase, carrying their bags, and let out a yawn.

 

“Hey, Ted and I are going to go out.  You gonna be alright?” Cody asked following her.

 

Randy rolled his eyes, wondering if maybe Cody shouldn't have been born first and dropped his bag on his bed, heading for the other bathroom to shower.

 

“Hey, I-” Ted sighed when the door got shut in his face. “Man, you suck!”

 

“Your mother.”

 

Layne sighed exasperatedly, nodding. “Yes Cody, we'll be fine.  We're just going to order some food and pop a movie in.  Reed, bath now.” She ordered, pointing to the door and nodded when her daughter obeyed, too tired to argue apparently. “Go out and have fun.” She kissed his cheek with a smile. “Thank you for everything, bro.  You saved us.”

 

“I'm just glad to have you back in my life, Lay.” He rumbled and pulled her in for a tight embrace, sighing gently. “I'll try not to be overprotective.”

 

“Good, now get outta here before you make me start crying.  Then I'll have to kick your ass.”

 

Randy emerged 10 minutes after Cody and Teddy had left, freshly showered and in just a pair of black shorts, toweling his short hair dry.  He walked into the main room, picking up the remote and flicked through the channels, nothing on.  He'd have to order something off the movie menu.  He dropped down on a couch, stretching his long legs out before him, listening to the girls in the other room, a smile on his face.

 

“Your chicken strips have been ordered, Reed.” Layne said as she walked into the bathroom, smiling as she sat down, and began washing her daughter's hair. “Never forget who you are, Little Star.” She began singing a song that she'd been singing to Reed since she was a baby.

 

“Never forget how to dream, butterfly.” Reed grinned, doing the wings with her arms.

 

“God gave a present to me made of flesh and bones.  My life, my soul.  You make my spirit whole.  Never forget who you are, Little Star.”

 

“Shining brighter than all the stars in the sky.” Reed sang along while her mother rinsed her hair out. “Never forget how to dream, butterfly.”

 

“Never forget where you come from, from love...” Tears formed in her eyes as Layne kissed Reed's forehead.

 

Randy could hear them singing and stopped smiling, feeling a slight tug on his heart.  For a brief moment, he wanted what Layne had.  A family. “Whoa...” He muttered, shaking his head.  Getting to his feet, he walked over to the mini bar, rifling around until he found the six pack of beer he had placed in there earlier, popping the tab and taking a long swallow.

 

“You are a treasure to me.” Layne tapped her nose. “You are my star.  You breathe new life into my broken heart.  Never forget who you are, Little Star.”

 

“Never forget how to dream, butterfly.”

 

“May angels protect you and sadness forget you, Little Star.  There's no reason to weep lay your head down to sleep, Little Star.  May goodness surround you and love I have found you, Little Star.”

 

“Shining bright.”

 

“You breathe new life into my broken heart.  Never forget who you are, Little Star.  Shining brighter than all the stars in the sky.”

 

“Never forget how to dream, butterfly.”

 

“Flying higher than all the birds in the sky.  Never forget who you are, Little Star.” Layne kissed Reed's forehead again. “You are my little star, baby and don't let anyone tell you different, do you hear me?”

 

“Yes momma.” She murmured, hugging her close, and smiled.

 

“Good come on, time to get out and eat.  Then we're going to bed.” Layne helped Reed out and guided her into the bedroom.  They dressed in cotton shorts and tank tops, hers blue while Layne's was black.

 

Randy had just finishing tipping the waiter when they came out, guessing the chicken was Reed's because she started licking her lips when she seen it, passing her the plate. “I was getting ready to find something to watch, you guys feel like joining me for a movie?” He asked, looking at Layne, trying not to look down at her incredibly sexy legs.

 

Her face was devoid of makeup, showing her natural beauty, while Reed was begging her and chuckled. “Sure, that sounds like fun.” Layne didn't want to leave Randy by himself as they walked out into Legacy's suite, leaving the door open to their own before walking over to sit on the bed, where Randy would be sleeping.  Layne smiled as Reed sat between them and watched her devour her chicken strips while she ate her crispy chicken salad. “So what are we watching?”

 

“Ooo how about Bolt?” Reed was already zooming into her room and got her DVD, grinning from ear to ear. “Randy it's Disney, but it's really awesome.  John Travolta rocks!”

 

Layne giggled softly and looked over at Randy with a raised eyebrow. “Do you mind?”

 

“Uh, no.” Randy shook his head, sipping his drink.  He would wind up eating later after he had wound down from the show.  He watched as Reed popped it into the DVD player hidden behind a cabinet door, shaking his head. “She adapts quick, doesn't she?”

 

“Yeah I know.” Layne replied before taking another bite of her salad, leaning back against the bed with one leg up, shaking her head down at her daughter. “Bolt again eh?  You love this movie.”

 

“I know how, quiet, it's starting and Randy hasn't seen it yet.” Reed finished her strips off and threw her garbage away before snuggling on the bed, leaning against her mother.  She smiled, feeling her arm wrap around her shoulders, and yawned.

 

Before the credits were over with, Reed was already sleeping and Layne shook her head. “Let me put her to bed then we can watch a different movie.” She whispered to Randy, lifting her daughter up, and carried her into their suite. “Sweet dreams my Little Star.” She whispered, kissing Reed's forehead before pulling the blanket up and shut the light off, walking back out, closing the door softly behind her and popped Bolt out. “So what were you in the mood for?”

 

“I didn't have anything particular in mind.” He admitted, now ordering his own food, finishing the order before hanging up. “I just like to unwind.  Clubbing is fun, but not after work.  I guess I'm getting old.” He joked. “If you want, you can order something off the TV, it's covered.”

 

“Do you want to be alone so you can eat and relax?” She asked softly, having overheard his order and felt his hand grab hers, pulling her over to him on the bed.  She had to crawl over him, which made her blood hot, and Layne was glad the air conditioner was on as she grabbed the remote.  She began flipping through channels, not really looking at them, and finally settling on a movie she picked at random.  She didn't even know what it was called, honestly not caring. “Thank you again for everything, Randy.  I'll never be able to repay you.”

 

“Repay me for what?  Making Cody happy and helping someone out?  Don't even worry about it, Lay.” Randy shook his head dismissively. “Cody is one of my best friends, it makes him happy knowing you're around and you're being taken care of, you and Reed both.  And did you realize we're watching porn?” He arched an amused eyebrow.

 

“Oh dear god...” Layne immediately changed it, her eyes wide, and immediately tossed the remote at Randy. “Sorry, I have a lot on my mind.  I wasn't even looking at the titles, just picked something.” When he started chuckling, Layne smacked him, only for him to laugh harder.  She ended up placing her hand over his mouth to keep it down, knowing Reed would wake up, and groaned when he licked her hand. “Oh that is just GROSS.  I really hope you brushed your teeth otherwise my hand is going to smell like tuna and onions.”

 

Randy grinned broadly and breathed into his hand, inhaling. “Mint and beer, what a combo, huh?  I brushed them.” He teased, taking her hand and stuck out his tongue. “Be nice or I'll do it again.” He threatened.  When she in turn threatened him, he ran his tongue slowly up along her palm to the tip of her middle finger.

 

He was teasing her and there was nothing she could do about it!  Layne did a full body shiver and smirked, deciding two could play that game.  Taking his hand in hers, Layne ran her fingernail lightly up his palm to the tip of his middle finger before bringing it into her mouth, nibbling gently and smirked when Randy cursed just as a knock sounded at the door, releasing it.  She took the remote from him and lay on her stomach, her feet up in the air, trying so hard not to giggle.

 

“Tease.” Randy murmured, hovering over her body for a moment, his breath hot against her ear before sliding off the bed and heading to the door.  He thanked the server, tipped him and carried his food in, dropping down on the couch to eat, even though he suddenly wasn't hungry, for food anyway. “No more porn?”

 

“Nope, I think I'll order Yes Man.” She giggled when Randy snorted, shrugging before doing so, and threw the remote behind her.  Her body was still burning from what Randy did and tucked her arms beneath her chin, watching the movie.  She felt the bed dip about 10 minutes later and Randy was hovering over her again.  She knew because she could feel his body heat radiating off of his muscular form and her eyes closed briefly before opening again. “I heard from several people this movie is hilarious and I’ve been dying to see it.”

 

“I'll take your word for it.” He murmured, moving to his side of the bed.  What was he doing?  This was Cody's sister and she was off limits.  Co-worker, co-worker, co- damn she was hot.  And smart.  And beautiful.  And funny.  And fuckable.  ‘I'm going to burn in hell.’ He thought, trying to focus on the movie. “What's this about again?”

 

“Something about a guy who is forced to say yes to every opportunity that passes his way.  I’m not really sure what else happens since I haven’t seen it yet, but so far it’s living up to my expectations.” Layne answered, not daring to glance over at him because if she did, she wouldn't be able to pull away. ‘God help me...’ She thought and inwardly groaned; trying to focus on the movie, but his scent was distracting her.  His entire presence was distracting and, not to mention, it'd been a long time since Layne had sex.  She wondered what sex with Randy would be like and suddenly felt that fire flood her body as she stood up from the bed. “Mind if I grab some water?”

 

“Help yourself, could you grab me one too?” He asked, smiling when she just nodded, and got out of the bed like it was on fire.  Arching an eyebrow, he wondered what he had done and took the remote, pulling up the summary on the TV before switching back to the movie.  He had to remember she was forbidden fruit that he could not touch…damn it all. “So he has to say yes to anything that comes his way?”

 

“Pretty much yes.” Layne replied and walked over, handing him the water before sliding back on the bed beside him, taking a swig of her own before going back to watching the movie.  The water was helping a little, but not much and Layne knew she probably should excuse herself for the night before she either fell asleep or something between her and Randy happened.  She was too comfortable at the moment to do either though.

 

Randy eventually paid attention to the movie, sort of.  He couldn't get into it and it was frustrating to say the least.  Maybe things would have been different if he hadn't had to worry about not jumping Layne, as it was...He felt like taking a nibble out of her sweet neck, just one taste, groaning inwardly.

 

Layne made the mistake of glancing over at Randy, those electric blue orbs locking on hers, and felt her breath catch in her throat.  He was so beautiful and sweet, not to mention very kind.  He didn't have to get her this job with his group Legacy, with the WWE, but he did anyway because of her brother.

 

Chapter 9

 

“What?” She finally managed to ask, her voice not shaky and it shocked the hell out of her, her mind going back to the night before in her bedroom in Las Vegas when he trapped her arm around her back.  That was NOT the image she needed in her head right now and she couldn't pull away from his gaze.

 

Randy shook his head, catching the tone of her voice and grinned somewhat, for a minute then it faded into a thoughtful expression. “I was just thinking I'd like to get to know you more than a co-worker and Cody's sister.” He admitted finally, knowing he had probably just killed anything between them, a peaceful co-existence as co-workers definitely, but had to say it.

 

Her heart was racing and fluttered when those words came out of his mouth, causing a big smile to cross her face, not able to help herself.  He wanted to get to know her better, even though she had baggage?  Though Reed was her life, her very existence, not baggage, Layne mentally chastised herself for even thinking that about her precious angel and turned to where she was lying on her side facing Randy.  She didn't say anything, just kept staring at him and felt his arm snake around her waist, pulling her closer to him.  Her eyes were begging him to kiss her as her gaze fell to soft red lips and reached her thumb up to run across his lower lip, her other hand resting on his chest.

 

“Just think about it, okay?” He whispered, wanting to kiss her more than anything in the world.  But...If he kissed her now after making that proclamation, it would seem like his 'wanting to know her better', meant 'let's fuck' and that hadn't been what he meant at all.

 

“Damn that was boring as hell- What the fuck?”

 

“I want too.” She whispered, having no doubts in her mind about it, and looked up at her brother with an innocent smile on her face. “Good night, Randy.”

 

She brushed her lips against his before standing up from the bed, seeing the dumbfounded look on Cody's face and kissed his cheek before going into her room, shutting the door.  She wanted to get to know Randy a lot better, every piece of him, and smirked as she headed over to the bed where Reed was sleeping peacefully.  She climbed in and pulled her daughter in her arms.

 

Ted had no idea what was going on and flinched when Cody actually tackled Randy, frowning. “Um guys?”

 

“That's my SISTER!” Cody hissed, trying to keep it down, pretty much straddling his friend, swinging at his face.

 

“Dude, get off of me!” Randy hissed back, shielding his face, and tried not to laugh at the same time.

 

“Yo, you two look like you're fucking.” Ted said, having already snapped a picture by now, and smirked when they both looked at him.

 

“My sister is off limits.”

 

“Dude, no offense, but your sister is hot and if she wants a piece of Rando...” He groaned when Randy popped him upside the head. “I agree she's off limits.”

 

“What happens if shit doesn’t work out between you two?” Cody demanded the anger in his eyes. “You told me you wouldn't go near her, Randy!  Find someone else and stay away from my sister.” Cody stalked into his room and slammed the door shut, pissed beyond belief.

 

Ted went to his own room, not saying a word.

 

That left Randy in the main room, wondering just how he had got stuck in the main room to begin with.  He lay on his bed, folding his arms underneath his head, and groaned.  What to do, what to do.  Cody was right.  What if things didn't work out?  Then Layne might take off which would mean Cody would be devastated.  Groaning, he rolled over, pulling a pillow over his head.  Damn it all.  He wanted her.

 

~!~

 

When Randy started leaving her alone, Layne chalked it up to Cody telling him to leave her alone.  That was fine.  Layne didn't need a man anyway, as hot and muscular as Randy was, she had more important things to think about.  It'd been two weeks since she was hired into the WWE and Layne loved it honestly.  She'd already hired a tutor for her daughter, Jemmy, who was currently having a thing for Ted.  As long as the woman did her duties as Reed's teacher, that's all Layne was worried about.  Tonight was WrestleMania and Layne was very nervous because the crowd was 10 times as big as normal.  She walked down to wardrobe, knowing Janet and Tiffany had something special for her since it was the company's biggest event of the year.

 

Randy was pacing his locker room, ignoring Cody and Ted's chatters.  Of course Cody was in a better mood, he was keeping his relationship with Layne strictly professional.  Of course he shouldn't be thinking about her tonight of all nights, he needed to keep his head in the game.

 

“I'm going to go get a drink of water.” He grumbled, stepping out of the room.

 

“Dude, we had water in here...”

 

~!~

 

“Alright ladies, what do you have for me?”

 

“Oh thank god you're here!” Tiffany was excited about this as she led Layne over to the wardrobe before pulling out a beautiful gold gown.  It was shimmery, strapless and went to her ankles, though it had slits up the side that went to her mid-thigh and the back was a crisscross design. “Go put that on.”

 

Layne did as she was told, emerging twenty minutes later just as Randy passed by, a smile on her face as she looked at the ladies, not noticing him. “What do you think?”

 

“I think you are definitely one of the most beautiful women we have on the roster.” Janet smirked and turned her around. “Does the Legend Killer approve?”

 

Randy froze in place, his vivid blue eyes drinking her in.  Not even acknowledging anyone except her, he quickly filled the gap between them, leaving only a few inches between their bodies; already in his wrestling trunks. “You look stunning.” He said softly, his eyes slowly moving up her form. “Gold suits you.” He reached out to finger her hair, noticing how the gold dress brought out the natural tints in her locks.

 

“Thank you, Randy.” She said just as softly, her heart skipping a beat, eyes searching his while smoothing down her dress on the sides.  Layne had to remember he didn't want her; at least that's how he'd acted.  She flashed a quick smile before walking over to sit down to get her hair done, being careful with the dress.

 

“I think we're going to pile it on top of her head tonight.”

 

“This is Mania and I have the gold flowers.”

 

Layne just closed her eyes as the ladies got to work, feeling them teasing her hair in curls, pinning them on top of her head.  They did her makeup with black eyeliner and shimmery gold eye shadow, putting shimmery lotion on her arms and shoulders to make her shine even more.

 

“Not too much, I'm walking her out tonight, remember?” Randy teased, unable to move from his spot, just watching.  He kind of missed seeing her with her hair down, but...she was still gorgeous. “You kinda look like an Oscar.” He joked, trying to get her to flash that beautiful smile at him again.

 

“An Oscar?” Layne smiled as they began putting the gold roses in her hair, her eyes opening to stare back at him, groaning when they hit a wrong spot.

 

“Hold on...” Tiffany suddenly took the first rose out along with the few pins, letting the curls fall down her shoulders and back, grinning from ear to ear. “What do you think, Janet?”

 

“She's a knockout either way.  We should leave her hair down though.  What do you think Lay?”

 

“Let me see.” She stood up when they allowed her too and stared in the mirror, her lips planted a clear gloss as she fluffed her hair out. 

 

The curls were loose, no hairspray because her hair didn't require it.  Layne had the type of hair that just did whatever the stylist wanted to do, which is one of the many reasons she was such a great stripper.  It went to the middle of her back, maybe a little further up, and she smiled when they handed her the diamond necklace that had an amber stone dangling from it.

 

“There, you're ready.”

 

“Knock ‘em dead, girl!”

 

Randy was almost afraid to even breathe on her, worried he would somehow mar this beautiful image before him. “Wow...” He said, shaking his head to clear it and flashed a smile, his blue eyes trying to stay above the neckline. “Should we go show you off a little?” He offered, extending his arm to her.

 

Her smile was bright as she linked her arm through Randy's, wearing two inch black heels that were open toed, the dress swaying with every movement she made.  The heels were high enough to where the dress wouldn't get caught, which was a good thing, and the top was fit perfectly so it wasn't sliding down or anything.  Layne had no idea what had gotten into Randy suddenly and wanted to ask him, but refrained, keeping that smile on her face.

 

“Nervous about your match?” She asked as they walked down the hallway, her nails freshly manicured and clear with the tips being gold.

 

“No, not really.  Well...yes.” Randy said, knowing he sounded like he was confused, and laughed it off. “It's WrestleMania, what's not to be nervous about?  You know how it is; you grew up in this business just like I did.” WrestleMania was the ultimate deal in the WWE. “All I can think of is: what if I screw up?  Wouldn't that suck?”

 

“You won't screw up, Randy.” Layne stated confidently, stopping him as she turned to face him. “You're the best and tonight you're going to prove it.  You're going to be champion, I just know it.”

 

When he grinned, Layne flashed him a heart stopping smile before beginning to walk with him again toward Legacy's dressing room.  Randy was going to be champion, even though he refused to tell her what the script said.  Not that she didn't try either, but he was being stubborn about it.

 

Randy frowned, watching as if in slow motion as the Hardy brothers were running through the hallway, followed by a steamed off Mark and Glen.  Randy wondered what that was about and then looked at Layne who was in the line of fire.  Grunting, he pushed her against the wall just before getting ploughed into and buried by four men.

 

“Oh fuck, that hurt...”

 

“Randy!” Layne rushed over to him, watching as Mark, Glen and the Hardy Boys stopped dead in their tracks, helping him up and sighed as she dusted him off, scowling darkly. “You know, could you four please do that childish shit OUTSIDE of the arena?” She demanded, mildly perturbed, not giving a damn who she was talking too right now.  Randy had a big match tonight, bigger than all four of them combined, and sighed heavily with worry clear in her blue eyes. “Are you alright?”

 

“Oh yeah, I'm fine, I'm-” Randy groaned, stumbling, and was caught by Matt and Jeff. “You morons...”

 

“You got twenty minutes, lie down.” Mark instructed, feeling bad.  Normally, he was all business, but when it came to the Hardy idiots, he was always liable to crack.

 

“Oh yeah, sure.” Randy muttered, shaking his head, and looked at Layne. “You alright?”

 

“I'm fine; I'm more concerned about you.” Layne sighed and shook her head, hearing the mutters of 'sorry' from both Matt and Jeff. “What is it with you young men wanting to be killed early in life?” She blurted out, keeping her arm wrapped around Randy and sighed when he pushed her away gently, muttering something about not wanting to ruin her dress. “It doesn't matter...” She smiled when Randy grabbed her hand and looked up, stopping dead in her tracks at the sight of her big brother Dustin.  Swallowing hard, Layne released Randy's hand, backing up and bumped into Mark. “S-Sorry...” She ran down the hallway away from them.

 

“What the hell is wrong with her?” Mark demanded, spinning around to watch her go before clasping hands with Dustin.

 

“Who was that?”

 

“Are you kidding me?  That's-” Mark ignored it when Randy began shaking his head no.

 

Randy did the only thing he could.  He punched Mark and ran for it, hearing Mark bellowing in pain before chasing.

 

Layne didn't care about rules and needed a cigarette as she arrived outside, leaning against the building in the shadows, lighting up and took a deep, long drag, letting the nicotine flow throughout her body.  What the HELL was Dustin doing here?  Did that mean her father was here too?  Layne felt sick as she paced back and forth, allowing the warm Texas air to flow over her, and tried to keep the tears in her eyes as she took another long drag.

 

‘If Cody did this, so help me god I will KILL him.’ She thought scathingly.

 

~!~

 

Dustin wasn't the only Runnels in the building.  Dusty, the American Dream, was in the building as well.  Of course he was he had been at the Hall of Fame ceremony the night before and there was no way in hell he was going to miss WrestleMania.

 

“Randy, son, what're you-” He stepped back as Randy kept on flying, watching as Mark Calaway steam rolled by next. “Well, what the hell?”

 

“What the hell?” Cody demanded when Randy ran inside, locking the door behind him, wondering where Layne was. “Umm...”

 

“Randy, are you okay?” Reed asked softly, wearing a beautiful blue dress that her mother got for her for the special night, her hair done up in spiral curls. “Randy?”

 

“Man, what the hell happened?” Ted demanded, his eyes widening when Randy finally caught his breath and told them, smacking Cody HARD on the back of the head. “YOU DIDN'T TELL HER?”

 

“I forgot...” He mumbled.

 

“Christ, Randy go make sure she didn't leave the fucking building!”

 

Cody paled.

 

“I uh- Sure?” They all jumped when a loud banging began on the door. “SHIT!”

 

“Who's that?” Reed asked nervously.

 

“Orton, you got two seconds to get out here and take the beating or I'm COMING IN THERE!”

 

“WHAT DID YOU DO?”

 

“Mark...” Layne said from behind, causing him to whip around to face her, and cracked a hesitant smile. “Would you mind waiting until after WrestleMania?” She asked softly, walking over to stand in front of the door. “Please, my daughter is in here and you're probably scaring her.  Whatever Randy did, please, settle it on your own time.” She felt the door open and walked in, closing it in Mark's face before staring at her brother with pursed lips. “When were you planning on telling me Dustin AND Dad are here, Cody Runnels?”

 

“Uh...when I remembered?” Cody said hesitantly. “I kinda forgot Lay, what with Mania and all...” He trailed off when the door opened, clearing his throat awkwardly. “Hi Dad.”

 

Chapter 10

 

Dusty's massive figure was blocking the door, no escape, though he didn't see Layne's face so he had no idea who she was. “Hey son, I came to see you before the big event.” He said with a grin.

 

Layne was going to kill her brother when this was all over with and walked over to sit down by her daughter, watching her play the game and kissed the top of her head, not saying a word.  This wasn't good, especially since Mark Calaway was standing behind Dusty with a bemused expression on his face.  Ted walked over and sat next to Layne, looking over at Randy worriedly while Layne kept her face buried in her daughter's hair.

 

“Mom, look what level I'm on!” Reed grinned, bright eyed and bushytailed.

 

“That's wonderful sweetheart.” Layne quietly replied, glancing at the television while Cody talked with their father, her heart beating a furious tattoo against her chest.

 

“Well, who are these charming young ladies?” Dusty asked with a warm smile, staring at Reed and the woman who was currently hiding her face.

 

“Oh mom, it's Dusty Rhodes!” Reed shrieked, getting to her feet. “He's my-” She frowned when Ted shook his head. “What's going on?”

 

“He's one of your favorite wrestlers, we know that already, sweetheart.” She said calmer than what she thought her voice would come out, swallowing hard as Ted tightened his hold around her shoulders. “Nothing is wrong, play your game.”

 

She kissed the top of Reed's head before slowly standing up, keeping her back to Dusty and wrapped her arms around herself.  She needed to be swallowed in a black hole or something, anything!  She wasn't ready to face them, not yet!  Layne felt sick to her stomach and hoped Legacy could find a way to stall Dusty or get him out of the room.

 

To say Dusty was confused would be an understatement.  He wasn't stupid.  He could see when someone was trying to pull one on him and Legacy was doing just that.  His eyes narrowed when Randy cleared his throat.

 

“What's going on, boys?” He demanded gruffly.

 

Mark was beginning to piece it together.  Now all he needed was a motive, deciding to keep his mouth shut for the moment, just to see how this was going to play out.

 

“Look Dad, she's just a little freaked out about the whole WrestleMania event.” Cody said, begging Randy to say something, but the man was just staring at Layne with worry in his eyes.  Some fucking help! ‘Damn it why didn't I tell her sooner?’ He thought, swallowing hard.

 

Slowly turning around, Layne's glistening blue eyes stared back at her father for the first time in 10 years. “Hello father.” She whispered and blinked, huge tears sliding down her face, not even caring if her makeup was ruined at the moment.

 

“M-Mommy, don't cry...” Reed didn't like it when her mother cried because she rarely did it, which meant something was wrong as she walked over. “Mom, what's wrong?”

 

Ted decided to take Reed down to the cafeteria for some food, not wanting her to see what was about to happen.

 

At first, Randy honestly thought Dusty was going to have a heart attack; watching as the man's face went from pale, to green, to red and then to this purple color that wasn't healthy at all.

 

“Layne?” Dusty whispered, he would have probably fallen down if Mark hadn't been behind him, a bracing hand on his shoulder and reached back to pat it, letting the other man know he was alright. “Baby girl...where you been all this time?” He had honestly thought she was dead, unable to say anything else at the moment.

 

She didn't move toward him, frozen to the spot as the tears just kept falling, lowering her head in shame. “I'm sorry father, I'm so sorry...I've been in Las Vegas...” She swallowed hard, her stomach twisting violently.  This was NOT something she wanted to happen so close to Randy's match.  Now how the hell was she supposed to focus?  She was going to murder her little brother and looked pointedly at him with fire ridden blue eyes before turning sorrow filled ones to her father. “T-There's so much to tell you...” She whispered heartbrokenly.

 

Dusty knew right now wasn't the time.  The show had to go on, but this was his daughter.  His long lost, obviously not dead daughter.  Inhaling deeply, he nodded. “After the show.” He said, his voice weak sounding. “‘Taker, I need-”

 

“Come on, Dream.” Mark said in a slow, soothing voice. “How about we go get you somethin' to drink and maybe a quiet place to set?”

 

Cody felt like shit.

 

“I hope you're happy, Cody!” Layne snapped after her father was gone as she stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut so hard, the walls rattled.  Layne slid down the door and buried her face in her hands, the sobs overtaking every part of her body.  She honestly didn't care about WrestleMania at the time, her heart breaking, knowing her father was probably going to have a heart attack because of her. “I should've never come back.” She whispered, pulling herself up and gripped the sink tightly with her hands, not able to stop the tears. “I should've stayed in Vegas and I let him think of me as a whore.”

 

Randy's normally passive temper was beginning to rear its ugly head, which wasn't good.  He very rarely lost his temper, but when he did it was off the charts. “Cody, go get someone from makeup in here and try to keep your fucking mouth SHUT.” He ordered coldly, watching Cody hop; skip and jump to it before walking over to the bathroom door, lightly knocking. “Layne?  Can I come in, please?”

 

“Do whatever you want.” Her muffled voice sounded in reply, causing the door to open and she was standing there, her knuckles white as she kept her head lowered.  She looked up in the mirror, seeing Randy's face, and turned around to stare back at him. “What is it?” She asked, wiping her tears away, the black eyeliner going with it.  Janet's work was ruined and it was all her fault, which made her cry harder.  Everything was her fault, everything! “I'll be ready for your match, I just need...a minute...”

 

“Take as much time as you need, the show can wait.” Randy said gently, grabbing her hands in his and squeezed softly. “Layne...you don't have to go out there if you're not feeling up to it.  Nobody is going to say anything.” He reached up to wipe away a streak of eyeliner she had missed, sighing at the expression on her face. “They all love you, give them a chance.”

 

“I really want to kill Cody right now.” She muttered, feeling him wipe more of her eyeliner away, and stared back into his blue eyes. 

 

They were so kind and sweet.  It did something to Layne's heart as she brought her hand up to caress his face, those blue eyes boring into hers.  Without warning, Layne leaned forward and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck, needing to feel some kind of security and feeling.  Her hands ran up his neck to his hair, gripping it since he'd let it grow out some for the event, moaning softly as she pressed herself against his strong body.

 

Randy kicked the door shut with his foot, knowing Cody would be back shortly with the makeup artist and pulled Layne against him, kissing her like he had been wanting too for all these weeks now.  He had lifted her up onto the sink and was kissing her passionately, pouring everything he'd been trying to hide when Cody knocked on the door. “Damn it...” He groaned, resting his head against hers.

 

Layne could see the conflicting emotion run across Randy's face and lowered her head, sighing heavily while wiping more tears away. “I'm sorry.” She whispered before sliding off of the counter and opened the door, staring back at her brother through narrowed eyes. “So help me god, Cody, if Dad has a heart attack because you couldn't find the TIME to tell me he was coming here, I will never forgive you.” Her voice was pure ice as she pulled Janet inside the bathroom, Randy vacating, and slammed the door in both of their faces before flipping the lock on it.

 

Cody groaned, tempted to tell her if she hadn't run away and deceived her family, none of this would have happened to begin with, but...The look on Randy's face scared him to the point of weakening his knees. “I'm sorry?”

 

“Not yet you're not.” Randy said in a low undertone. “She wasn't ready, Cody.  What the hell were you thinking?”

 

“I wasn't...”

 

Twenty minutes later, Layne walked out of the bathroom with a fresh coat of makeup on, looking as if she didn't just cry her heart out.  The show had to go on and she wasn't going to let anyone ruin it.  This was Randy's shot at the title and she wanted to be there front and center when he defeated Paul.  She walked past them and to the mirror, checking herself one more time before nodding.

 

“What time do we go out there, Randy?” She asked quietly, refusing to look at her brother.  Layne was afraid if she did, she would end up tackling Cody and ruining her beautiful dress.

 

“In 10.” Randy said, busy doing pushups, gearing himself up.

 

“You got this, man.  You know the outcome, right?” Ted said, trying to be encouraging.

 

“Yeah, I know.  You two boneheads are staying back here, just Layne is going.”

 

Cody nodded, knowing this was supposed to be a personal bit between Randy and Paul.

 

“Mom, are you okay?” Reed asked almost hesitantly as she walked over, seeing her mother was no longer crying, sighing a breath of relief.

 

Layne smiled back at her, nodding, and kissed her forehead softly. “Yes sweetheart, momma's just fine.  I'm sorry if I worried you.”

 

“That's okay.” She brightened right up, jade green eyes glittering. “Teddy Bear let me meet Stone Cold Steve Austin!!” That was another one of Reed's all-time favorite wrestlers, along with the Undertaker. “He was awesome!”

 

“That's great, sweetheart!” Layne replied, sounding enthusiastic and walked over to sit on the couch while Reed joined her, listening to her chattering about Austin. “Really now?” It amazed Layne how fast her daughter was growing up, causing a twinge of sadness to erupt inside of her.  But she kept that smile on for her daughter, refusing to cry in front of her again.

 

“Okay, it's time.” Randy said suddenly, snapping to his feet, his blue eyes focused.  He looked down at Reed and grinned briefly. “Wish me luck?” He asked, dropping to a knee in front of her and tapped his cheek, laughing when she planted a loud, smacking kiss on it.

 

“Just don't be asking me for one.” Ted teased, batting his eyelashes when Randy looked at him. “Good luck, man.”

 

“Be good for Teddy Bear and...your uncle.” She had to force those last two words out before hugging her daughter close and tapped her nose gently. 

 

Standing up, Layne took a deep breath and followed Randy out of the door; her head held high, midnight orbs focused on one task and one task only.  She pushed everything out of her mind at the moment, needing to be there for Randy.  Paul was already waiting at the entrance, though he was going out last being champion and all.  She didn't say a word to him while Stephanie was rubbing his shoulders, just stood beside Randy. 

 

When their music hit, Layne walked through the black curtain and up the stairs before meeting the huge crowd before them, her eyes widening for a fraction of a second before standing on the top stage.  She looked at Randy, who took her hand and twirled her around once before they headed down the long aisle.  It was WrestleMania and it was Randy's time to shine.

 

Randy took his time walking her down the aisle, his heart thudding in his chest.  This wasn't his first WrestleMania, but damn if he didn't feel like a nervous child every time he took stage when this time of year rolled around.  He helped Layne into the ring, glancing at her before climbing a turnbuckle, posing.  Taking his time, he did this in each corner, finally hopping down and moved to stand next to her, hearing Paul's own music starting, his eyes turning too ice.

 

Layne's eyes narrowed at the sight of Paul with Stephanie, who was wearing a pair of black dress pants with a deep hunter green dress top, her hair down in curls.  Layne looked over at Randy and nodded once when he pointed to the ropes, slipping through the bottom, and hopped down with ease.  She watched as Stephanie stood on the opposite side while Paul got in the ring, posing, and placed her hands on the apron, eyes focused.  She didn't even hear the bell when it sounded, starting the match, just kept her gaze on Randy.

 

Keeping character, Randy engaged in a stare down with Paul, finally breaking it to slowly look at Stephanie; a smirk on his easily cruel lips before closing his eyes as if savoring a memory.  This was when Paul ‘snapped’ and they went at it.  Running on adrenaline, Randy forgot all about the problems that they had had backstage and the problems sure to be arising when they were finished.  It was WrestleMania; everything, but his time to shine was forgotten.

 

Every time Randy hit a move, Layne clapped and cheered, only to wince and cringe whenever Paul retaliated.  The match went on for what seemed like forever, both combatants sweating profusely.  Layne's eyes narrowed when she seen Stephanie get on the apron and walked over, yanking her feet from under her and forced Stephanie to smack her jaw against the apron, glaring daggers down at the McMahon Princess.  Smirking wickedly, Layne watched as Randy took the distraction of Paul witnessing his wife being pulled off the ring apron and whipped the man around, hitting the RKO.  Layne's eyes lit up when Randy pinned him for the victory and clapped furiously, proud for her man as she watched him accept the championship belt.

 

Randy stared down at the gold in his hands, blinking sweat from his eyes.  Too be honest, the end of the script had left it to where he had no idea if he would win or not.  He was going to have to thank Paul later for this.  He held the belt up, closing his eyes, and cherished the moment.  When he opened them, he looked down at Layne, who had slid in the ring after the bell rang, signaling the end of the match.  A second later, he was pulling her to him with his free arm, kissing her passionately in the heat of the moment.

 

Layne wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, kissing him back with an equal amount of passion while the fireworks and confetti exploded; showering the arena and them full of it.  Layne was aware they were in front of seventy thousand people and this was WrestleMania, that Cody and everyone backstage was probably watching, but none of that mattered. 

 

She wanted Randy and knew now more than ever he wanted her.  Layne felt him break the kiss and stared into those beautiful blue eyes before raising his hand in victory, the biggest smile on her face, which was flushed at the moment.  She allowed Randy to guide her to the ropes and slid out of them before taking his hand as they walked up the ramp way with the gold.  It was truly a moment Layne would never forget as long as she lived.

 

Chapter 11

 

Ted and Cody were waiting for them when they got backstage.  As soon as Randy and Layne were behind the black curtain, they were DOUSED in champagne.  Laughing, Randy held his hand up in front of his face, his newly acquired championship belt over his shoulder.

 

“YOU DID IT!”

 

Reed was steering clear of the alcohol, laughing as her mom and Randy got drenched.

 

Layne squealed as she was soaked from head to toe in champagne by Cody and Ted, laughing and standing behind Randy, who was getting the majority of it.  She didn't care if the dress was ruined or not, this was a great moment as she raised Randy's hand again and hugged him tightly. “Congratulations.” She whispered in his ear as he squeezed her back before turning around, seeing Reed was still cracking up. “Come here!” She lifted her daughter in her arms and rained kisses all over Reed's face, causing her to giggle and squirm before spinning her around in a circle. “Now you're covered, somewhat.”

 

“Oh gross, mom, seriously.  TEDDY BEAR, NO!” Reed shrieked, laughing outright as clear soda was sprayed on them next.

 

“There we go, baby girl!”

 

Randy was just grinning, champagne dripping off of him, brushing it from his eyes while Cody hoot and hollered.  He watched Layne, licking his lips, and knew something pivotal had happened out in that ring.  More than just him winning the gold.

 

Layne laughed as she held her daughter close to her, kissing her forehead before setting her down, hugging Ted and then her brother.  She didn't want to think about her father and Dustin at the moment and refused too as all five of them went into a group hug; Reed finally hugging Randy around the neck while he held her.

 

“Can I hold it?” Reed asked and grinned when Randy put her on his shoulders, the title belt held up high for everyone to see and brought it down as she stared at it in awe. “I can't believe I'm holding the title. Mom, this is so cool!”

 

“I know, sweetheart, I know.” She was snapping a few pictures with her cell phone that Cody brought her.

 

“Congratulations, Randy.”

 

Randy spun around to grin at The Dream, shaking the man's extended hand with a grin.  No doubt Layne would flee or freak out, but this was Dusty Rhodes.  Contrary to his in ring personality, Randy had a lot of respect for the legends. “Thank you very much, sir.”

 

Dusty's eyes strayed to his daughter and his grand-daughter, a smile on his face.

 

Randy had no idea what was happening next because Paul had come from behind the curtain and was now smothering him in a brotherly hug.

 

Layne wasn't going anywhere, refusing to let this moment be ruined because of her foolish mistakes.  She was glad her father wasn't making a spectacle, though it didn't surprise her.  He was a southern gentleman and had major respect for the business.  She smiled as Stephanie walked over, the two embracing.

 

“I didn't hurt you did I?”

 

“Oh please, if I can take what Randy has dished out, I can take a simple bump off of the damn apron.” Stephanie stated, causing Layne to smile as they embraced again.

 

Layne slowly turned around after Stephanie and Paul left, staring at her father and felt tears pour down her face when he pulled her in for a tight embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck.  Dustin was standing behind them, his face grave as he took in the scene.  When Dusty finally let Layne go, he pulled her to him for a hug.  He was halfway tempted to kick her ass, but...She had some nieces and nephews of her own to get to know.

 

Reed was staring at the Dream as he stared just as openly down at her.

 

Randy and Ted both backed away; this was a family moment.

 

There were no words that could be said as she hugged Dustin back, more tears flowing, nodding when he whispered something in her ear.

 

“Mom, is this my grandfather?” Reed asked, chewing on her bottom lip, and grinned when Layne nodded. “Wow, the Dream is my grandpa.” She sounded star struck and giggled when Dusty picked her up, hugging him tightly around the neck.

 

“I'll talk to both of you later on.  This is Randy's night.” She said quietly, seeing them nod in agreement and grinned tearfully as Dustin took Reed from their father, looking at his niece for the first time.  Cody had been right in her returning.  They didn't hate her, they were just glad to see her again and that she wasn't dead.

 

“So does this mean I'm not in trouble?” Cody asked hesitantly.

 

“Bud, you are always going to be in trouble.  Tonight, we celebrate!” Ted said with a grin, looking at Layne. “You too.”

 

“What about Reed?” Randy followed Cody's gaze to Dusty and Dustin, who were both smitten with Reed. “Ohhh...”