Maelstrom

 

 

Chapter 1

 

1985

Texas Wesleyan University.

Fort Worth, Texas.

 

Curious grey eyes peered up at the huge building through the window of her black 1970 Impala, a birthday gift from her parents prior to leaving home.  Originally from Dallas, Texas, born and raised, Andalyn –Andy for short- was a true southern bell.  She had dishwater blonde hair and grey eyes with a splash of blue throughout them.  They were technically hazel eyes, but her driver’s license simply said grey.  Stepping out of the Impala, Andalyn wore a light blue jean skirt tattered on the hem that rested 2 inches above the knee against her thighs.  Her top was a peasant style, white, that left both shoulders bare, but covered her arms and forearms.  The material was thin, so the warm Texas air flowed right through it.  She had brown leather cowgirl boots on that had a light blue cross on the front of them along with the foot part of the boot.  They stopped just an inch below the knee, socks on beneath where nobody could see.  Currently, her dishwasher blonde hair framed haphazard around her face and down her back in unruly curls, a headband being the only thing to hold her bangs back, which were also curly.  She got the curls from her mother’s side of the gene pool. 

 

“Here goes nothin’.” She murmured in a deep thick southern drawl, swinging her bag over her shoulder and walked around the back to grab her luggage case from the trunk.

 

Sighing, Andalyn missed home already, used to being up at 5 in the morning, prior to coming to college, and helping her father with the fields and animals on the huge farm they owned.  She already missed the tranquility of home, often taking her horse, Lulabelle –her father brought the beautiful animal home as an early Christmas gift when Andalyn was 10 years old- for a gallop around the plantation.  That was a Christmas she’d never forget and couldn’t wait for the holidays to come so she could go home to her family and Lulabelle.  Her father promised to take care of her while she was away, urging her to pursue her education alongside her mother.  The farm was her entire world, all of the animals on it teaching her a thing or two about respect and making her appreciate everything she had in life a lot more.

 

Walking inside over the threshold of the campus property, Andalyn noticed instantly people were all dressed in vibrant colors, headbands on their heads.  Mohawks and short cropped hair was the style, but that’s not who she was.  Andalyn had her own style, preferring to stick to it instead of buy into what society dictated she should wear.  Simply smiling with a makeup free face, unlike every girl she’d passed by, Andalyn headed toward the desk to sign up for her classes, already having an idea of what she wanted her major to be in.  While standing in line, Andalyn once again surveyed her surroundings and popped a piece of gum in her mouth, inquisitive grey eyes landing on a man standing off a ways from the rest of the crowd.

 

He stood out like a sore thumb dressed from head to toe in black.  Black skintight jeans, black muscle shirt and black shades over his eyes.  He had fiery red hair cut short and looked to be slicked back by either a ton of gel or water.  Andalyn couldn’t tell, but she knew for a fact he had curly hair as well just like her.  He stood well over 6 feet, possibly closer to 7 the more she studied him.  One thing was for sure, he towered over nearly everyone else on campus in that hall and had his bare arms folded in front of his chest.  Andalyn could feel something warm develop within her stomach and had to tear her eyes away from him, stepping forward in line, chewing her bottom lip.

 

If she thought he didn’t notice her checking him out, staring him down, the beautiful dishwater curly haired blonde was sadly mistaken.  Wearing black shades gave him ample time to simply stand there and give her a blatant onceover across the room too.  He had to admit her backside looked magnificent in that blue jean skirt she had on and her legs looked soft to the touch.  Stroking his goatee contemplatively, that was also as fiery red as his hair, he merely stood there deciding now wasn’t the time to approach her.  There would be plenty of time for that at a later time.  One way or another she would be his, even if it was for one unforgettable night.  He nodded at one of his friend’s approaching him, bumping fists with him and walked away, having already signed up for his classes for the semester.

 

Once she signed up for her classes and found her dorm room, Andalyn began unpacking her things and felt relieved she didn’t have to share with another person.  Her parents made sure she had her own dorm room, having put away money in a college fund for her every year since the day she was born.  They spared no expense to insure she had the best education possible, allowing her to choose which college she wanted to attend.  Andalyn smiled, setting a picture of her with Lulabelle on her nightstand and slid her fingertips down it, already feeling the emotions threatening to overtake her.  It would only be a few months and then she would be home to ride her beautiful horse again.

 

After everything was finished up and set the way she wanted, Andalyn decided to go venture around campus to check everything out.  It was a lot bigger than her high school and she wanted to get a feel for where certain areas were, such as the library.  Stepping out of her dorm room, Andalyn made sure to lock it and slipped the key in the front pocket of her jean skirt before heading out.  A few people greeted her, giving her a warm reception and she reciprocated the kindness, having been taught by her parents to always respect people.  About 20 minutes later, she found the library and walked in to look around, not believing how big it was and began exploring.  On her way out 2 hours later, she saw a flyer on one of the tables and picked it up, tilting her head in mild interest.

 

START OF SCHOOL BASH!!
ALL YEARS WELCOME!!
BEER, BEER AND MORE BEER!!

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!

 

That had to be the most ridiculous flyer she’d ever seen in her life, chuckling softly and shook her head dropping it on the table.  The address listed below was on campus, so it would be a controlled environment.  Andalyn didn’t want to be stuck in her dorm room all semester bored out of her mind, deciding to let her hair down a bit.  The party sounded fun and maybe she would meet other freshmen to hang out with.  Deciding it couldn’t hurt to attend; Andalyn walked out of the library and kept going with her exploration of campus since she had several hours to kill before the party started.

 

~!~

 

The moment she walked in, his eyes were instantly on her.  The woman had a very unique look about her and not very many women on campus had curly hair quite like hers.  He downed a shot his friend passed him, sliding the shot glass back and kept his eyes focused on the dishwater curly haired blonde that captured his attention earlier that day in the hall.  Her smile was infectious as he slowly made his way through the crowd of people, glad he’d set up his hangout spot near the door.  It was done purposefully in hopes she would come to the party and he could have an excuse to introduce himself.  Honestly, everyone from campus was here so he wasn’t that shocked she’d come.

 

After being passed a beer, Andalyn sniffed it and dumped it out where nobody could see before grabbing a fresh one straight from the keg.  She didn’t trust anyone not to drug her, knowing college campuses were one of the first places date rape took place.  Her parents had taught her well, drilling it into her head not to trust anyone right away.  She took a slow sip of the beer, grinning at the taste and proceeded to take a bigger swallow of it, turning around.  Only to run right into a brick wall, or so it felt like, her beer splashing all over the front of said wall.

 

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” She immediately apologized; grey eyes wide and had to arch her head back to look up at the individual she ran into and locked on stunning emerald gems.

 

Now normally, he would’ve been angry at someone splashing him with beer and knocked their head off their shoulders, but he’d pursued this beautiful woman and gotten too close.  He could smell the flowery scent emanating from her and had to bite back a growl of desire, feeling heady from the smell, while standing behind her watching as she first dumped a drink handed to her and getting a fresh one.  Smart woman.  It made him want her all the more, his stunning emerald green eyes staring down at her almost hungrily.

 

“Yo Calaway just got spewed with beer!” One guy hollered, laughing so hard beer ended up shooting out of his nose, clearly drunk.

 

Calaway, Andalyn immediately filed that name away in the recesses of her mind and took a step back, giving him some breathing room. “Are you alright?  I didn’t mean to splash ya, honey.” Her voice was warm and friendly, grey eyes sparkling under the lights in the house.

 

“Nothin’ a little wash can’t fix, darlin’.” He replied in a deep dark timbre, his voice naturally low and deep, holding an almost husky tone.  Her accent just fueled his fire to want her in his bed more.

 

Andalyn felt every nerve-ending in her body spark, slowly starting a forest fire throughout the tendons of her body, just by the sound of his voice. “My, aren’t you a charmer?” She giggled softly, pressing a hand against his beer soaked top and could already feel the electricity searing between them. “I’m Andalyn, but everyone calls me Andy.  Andy Kervin.” She removed her hand from his chest to extend it since it was her shaking one, watching his completely swallow hers whole and kept their eyes locked.

 

“Calaway – Mark Calaway.”

 

~!~

 

Slamming the door to her dorm room open, Andalyn didn’t care who she woke up and cupped his face in her soft hands, his lips completely addictive.  They were both a little buzzed from the party, but still coherent about what was going on between them.  Andalyn threw caution to the wind, just wanting to do something wild and crazy now that she was away from home and her parents.  Mark growled against her soft skin, lifting her up against the door to where her legs wrapped around his waist, the skirt she had on riding up to bunch around hers.  He pulled her away from the door long enough to kick it shut and slammed her back against it, immediately going on the attack on her neck while his hand massaged her breast in his strong hand.  Andalyn was in heaven, tilting her head against the door and enjoyed being pinned with his strong body, lifting her arms up when he commanded her to.  A second later, her bra and peasant top lay on the floor below along with his own.  Anything this man wanted from her Andalyn would give him, moaning uncontrollably at how amazing his kisses and touch were; how they turned her blood to molten lava coursing through her veins. 

 

Eventually, they made it to the bed and Mark didn’t bother removing the rest of her clothes, merely reaching down to tear her panties clean off her body.  Andalyn accepted another explosive kiss from him and slid her clear nails down his muscular arms.  Mark slid two fingers inside of her to check to make sure she was ready for him, not believing how sopping wet she was.  She was more than ready for what he was about to give this beautiful southern bell.  Fumbling for a minute, Mark managed to unsnap his jeans and pushed them enough down his legs to where his cock was freed from the confines.  Then his hands slid down her soft legs up her thighs while sitting back on his haunches, just looking down at the flushed half-naked woman before him.  Smirking, his head lowered to bury in her voluptuous breasts and took a nipple in his mouth, feeling her body arch to give him full access to any part of her body.  He did love a woman who surrendered absolutely everything to him, growling and finally began pushing his pulsating erection past her slick folds until he was halfway inside.  With a quick snap of his hips, after silently asking her with his eyes if she truly wanted this and gaining a nod of approval in return, Mark buried himself to the hilt inside of her and both groaned at the intense friction.

 

“M-Mark, harder…” Andalyn moaned, burying her fingers in his fiery red hair as he took her heights only they could reach together again. “Goddamn honey, ya feel so good inside of me…”

 

He grunted, not bothering to respond while driving his cock repeatedly inside of her like a madman possessed, burying his face in the crook of her neck.  Her throaty moan only made him pound her harder, just as she requested, unable to deny this enchanting woman anything.  The more she egged him on, the faster, harder and deeper he pounded, guttural growls escaping his lips.  He yanked her up to crash against his body, never ceasing his thrusts and captured her mouth again, sliding his strong hands down to squeeze her delectable backside.

 

“New position?” He asked in her ear, nipping the lobe and felt her nod before pulling away long enough to turn her to where she was on all fours in front of him with her delicious backside in his hungry vision. “Perfect darlin’, so fuckin’ perfect…”

 

“Fuck me, honey, take me…” Andalyn would go out of her mind if he didn’t resume this bout, wiggling her backside at him teasingly just to stoke his fire a little more.  She purred at another growl, feeling his hands clamp down roughly on her sides and cried out the moment his cock slammed back inside of her. “Now make me cum for ya…”

 

Appreciating a woman who knew what she wanted, Mark wasn’t about to disappoint her and proceeded to bury his strong hand in her soft unruly dishwater curls, pulling her up to where her back collided with his chest.  He watched her head turn and captured her mouth in a quick kiss while thrusting even harder inside of her, his fingers plucking her already hardened nipples.  He loved the effect he was having on her, still not believing she took him up on his offer when he asked if she wanted one unforgettable night with him.  Either she was a risk taker or just didn’t care, but either way didn’t matter to Mark as long as she was the one he was screwing.

 

That night turned out to be the beginning of an unforgettable fling and a great kickoff to Andalyn’s freshmen year in college.

 

Chapter 2

 

1996

WWF Headquarters – Titan Towers

Stamford, Connecticut

 

“So, do you have any other questions regarding your contract, Miss Kervin?”

 

Soft grey eyes slowly looked up at him from her contract, raising a slow eyebrow and Andalyn placed the packet of papers on the desk.  She didn’t say a word and clicked the pen, signing on the dotted line before standing up. “No, that'll be fine as long as we agree my son is allowed to be on the road with me.  Please call me Andy, Mr. McMahon.”

 

“That's not a problem, Andy.” Vince McMahon smirked, instantly coming to the conclusion she was from the south due to her accent.  He handed over the information she would need for the position she just signed on with the company for a year. “Your flight leaves at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.  You'll be going to Phoenix, Arizona and you'll meet up with him then.  His name is Steve Austin.”

 

Steve Austin was climbing the ranks of the company quicker than any other wrestler in the WWF and had become insanely popular with the crowd.  Therefore, his appearances, signings and media had increased drastically because everyone wanted to see Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Because of his busy schedule, Steve had a hard time balancing everything, including making travel arrangements from city to city, so he was in desperate need of a personal assistant.

 

“And please, call me Vince.  I’m not a fan of formalities.”

 

She nodded, storing everything he said in her mind.  Andalyn had an administrative associate’s degree along with a bachelor’s in business management.  Right out of college, Andalyn had started looking for a job that could use one or both of her degrees with a little help from her favorite instructor.  Turns out, her instructor and Vince McMahon knew each other well, so a good word was put in for her and Andalyn had been contacted by the WWF for an impromptu interview in Stamford, Connecticut.  They paid for her flight and room; all she had to do was purchase her own food and drink.  Andalyn didn’t understand where this offer came from until her instructor contacted her shortly after making an interview appointment with the head honcho of WWF, Vince McMahon.  The only thing she asked of the company was being able to bring along her 10-year-old son, Rebel, and surprisingly Vince had no problem with it.  Currently, Rebel was out in the waiting area on his Game Boy while she had her interview and signed the contract Vince McMahon offered.

 

“Thank you, Vince.  I appreciate this opportunity and won’t let you down.”

 

“I have no doubt in my mind, Andy.  Good luck and if you have any problems, don’t hesitate to call me.”

 

Nodding, Andalyn took her leave and headed out of Titan Towers along with her son, closing her eyes momentarily. 

 

Andalyn was about to embark on a journey she would not soon forget.

 

~!~

 

“What am I gettin’ an assistant for again?” Steve Austin muttered, mildly curious what Vince had up his sleeve now and stood in a crowded airport parking lot with Dwayne Johnson.  Rocky Maivia would be his WWF persona once he debuted in the company. “I can handle my shit on my own, damn it.”

 

“They serve their purposes.” Dwayne rumbled good-naturedly with a cocky knowing smirk. “Considering you keep forgetting your own name lately...”

 

“I'm always so damn busy; I'm surprised I remember how to use my dick.”

 

“Hence the reason for an assistant.  She would have found her way to you, Austin.” Dwayne grumbled, leaning against the rental car Steve drove while they waited for the PA to arrive. “How are you going to know which one she is?”

 

“Good point, jackass.” Steve admitted, frowning slightly. “I felt bad that she'd be arrivin’ with no one to meet her.”

 

“You are such a moron.  She's here to help you, so obviously SHE'S not a scatterbrained.”

 

“Go fuck yerself, boy.”

 

“Well Austin, as usual, what a brilliant idea you've had.  You just wasted my day.” Dwayne grunted, shaking his head.

 

“Did ya have any other plans, Rocky?” Steve shot back, smiling broadly.  The men often called each other by their ring personas, not really thinking about it.

 

“Sleeping with your mother was on the top 10.”

 

“Yer dead!” Steve tackled his friend to the ground.

 

~!~

 

Andalyn lead her 10-year-old son, Rebel, through the airport terminal in Phoenix, Arizona the following day, noticing how busy it was and kept a firm hold on his hand. “Stay by me.” She ordered gently, not wanting to lose him as they retrieved their luggage. 

 

Andalyn still couldn't believe she'd actually taken this job, but when she found out what the salary was, she had to take it.  Not to mention, her instructor was extremely trustworthy and wouldn’t steer her wrong.  One day, Rebel would have to go to college and, since they enjoyed traveling so much, it was also a plus since the WWF went all over.

 

“No, kiddin’.” He drawled, going through a prepubescent sarcastic phase.  He was mostly a normal 10-year-old; minus the fact he had a mentality of a teenager without a liking for girls. “Mom, I don't need you holdin’ my hand.” Rebel grumbled, trying to pull away from her.  His dishwater blonde hair fell into his green eyes, pointblank refusing to get a haircut.

 

“Rebel, please don't argue with me right now, okay?  We have to get outta here and THEN you can let go of my hand.” Andalyn shot back over her shoulder, pulling him closer when a huge crowd came at them. 

 

They barely managed to escape unscathed and finally made it to the baggage claim, retrieving their luggage then preceded through security.  Andalyn sighed, hating that they had to search her bag with her personal belongings.  She'd deal with it though since it was protocol.  After a half an hour, they were finally free to leave the airport and Andalyn sighed when Rebel started complaining again about being hungry.

 

“We'll get somethin’ to eat on the way to the arena.”

 

She knew he was hungry and still had hold of his hand while crossing the street, heading to the parking lot.  Her outfit for the first day consisted of a midnight blue and white pinstriped skirt suit with a silver dress shirt beneath, blue pumps on her feet.  Her ravenous curly black hair was pulled back in a clip to try holding back the haphazard style with chopsticks, a few curly tendrils framing her face. 

 

“We're almost there.”

 

“You said that during the layover.” Rebel muttered, tired and cranky from traveling.

 

Andalyn blinked when she spotted 2 grown, very LARGE, men going at it in the parking lot.  Shaking her head, she pulled Rebel to stand beside her and they kept walking.  Honestly, men could be immature at times.  She grunted when one came flying at her, shoving her down to the ground and caused her to scrape her knees while Rebel had dodged out of harm’s way just in time.

 

“Damn it!”

 

“Shit, sorry!  Rocky!”

 

“Sorry ma'am.” Dwayne grumbled, helping Steve lift her from the ground. “We didn't mean to knock you down.”

 

“Are ya alright?” Steve asked worriedly, looking her over for cuts and bruises, noticing just her knees were slightly damaged. “Sorry ‘bout that, honey.”

 

“Calm down, Austin.”

 

“I'm fine, thanks.” Andalyn replied evenly, dusting her skirt off and groaned when she noticed her fall had broken skin against the pavement, scratching them. “Now that my day is ruined, can one of you gentlemen point me in the direction of the wrestlin’ arena where the WWF is currently located?” She asked in a thicker than normal accent due to being peeved and knew she would have to change into a pantsuit before meeting the man she'd be working closely with.

 

Steve and Dwayne exchanged looks, raising brows simultaneously.  Was this the woman they’d been waiting for?  Steve groaned, hoping to hell not because this wasn’t the first impression he wanted to make with his new personal assistant while Dwayne looked more than amused.

 

“Um...are ya Andalyn Kervin?” Steve asked, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.  When she shot him a look, he smiled sheepishly and held out his hand. “Steve Austin.”

 

Rebel snorted the same time Dwayne did.

 

Raising a slow eyebrow at this man, Andalyn wondered briefly if he was a stalker of some kind. “What’s it to ya?” She demanded, not taking his extended hand and immediately pulled Rebel to her side, shooting him a glare when he tried pulling away. “Look, I really don't have time for this.  I need to get to the arena and I'm not sure which way it is.  I have a very important meetin’ to attend.”

 

Steve recognized the accent, silently thanking the stars above she was southern like him and smiled a little easier. “I’m Steve Austin,” He repeated slower this time. “I'm with the WWF.  Ya ARE Andalyn, right?”

 

“Mom, I think this is the guy yer workin’ for.” Rebel put his two cents in, trying not to grin.  It was hard keeping his face perfectly straight, emerald eyes sparkling wickedly.

 

“Yer the one Vince McMahon assigned me to?” Andalyn questioned, looking over at her son with narrowed eyes and wondered how he knew since he didn't go to the meeting with her.  She sighed, feeling a headache coming on and decided to just roll with this for now. “Yeah, I'm Andalyn Kervin, Mr. Austin.” She rolled her eyes inwardly, rubbing the back of her neck, also feeling awkward. “I was supposed to meet ya at the arena, so what are ya doin’ here?”

 

“He's the local good Samaritan.” Dwayne joked, extending his hand to her. “I'm Dwayne Johnson, most call me Rocky though.” He flashed a warm smile, his teeth pearly white against his naturally tanned skin and grunted when Steve nudged him in the ribs.

 

“I didn't know if you were familiar with Phoenix.” Steve explained ineptly, clearing his throat. “I thought I'd help ya.”

 

“Boy scout.”

 

“The little man pegged it.”

 

“Do NOT call me that.”

 

“Rebel...” Andalyn’s voice held warning, sighing at the eye roll her son shot back at her. “Nice to meet ya, Mr. Johnson.” She greeted professionally, shaking his offered hand. “And thanks for the thought, Mr. Austin.  I have a rental car so I'll just follow ya over.” She informed him, releasing Dwayne's hand. “Though, do ya mind if we stop and get my son somethin’ to eat?  He's starvin’.” A smirk curved her lips when he scowled up at her. “Well if you would stop complainin’ so much...”

 

“I'm a growin’ boy.” He reminded her smugly.

 

“How old are you?”

 

“10.”

 

“Tallest 10-year-old I've ever met.”

 

“Like I haven't heard that before.” Rebel rolled his eyes, hating his height.  He got called freak a lot at school and was thankful to be away from it.

 

“Yer fine the way ya are, Rebel.”

 

Andalyn shot a glare in Dwayne's direction and guided him to the car, not waiting for their response regarding getting her son something to eat.  He came first to her always.  Her job wouldn’t change that.  They slid in the rental car and buckled up, waiting for him to get situated before firing up the vehicle, pulling out.  This was going to be an interesting job. 

 

“What do ya want to eat, Reb?” She asked once they were out on the open road with Steve and Dwayne following behind in their own vehicle.

 

“As much as you can afford.” Rebel teased, pointing to a Burger King coming up on the left. “Drive thru is fine, Mom.  We don't need to go in or anythin’.”

 

“What do you think of her?” Dwayne asked curiously while they followed Steve’s new personal assistant.

 

“I think Vince is tryin’ to fuck with me.” Steve snorted, pulling into the Burger King parking lot.

 

One thing Andalyn loved about her son was he was fairly easy to please, though she couldn't stand his sarcastic nature.  She ordered him 3 burgers, 2 fries and the largest coke they had available, handing him the bag driving off.  A few minutes later, they were on the road again heading toward the arena.  Andalyn was too nervous to eat; she'd have something later while her son gorged.  Rebel would eat her out of house and home soon enough if he kept eating this much.  Or rather, out of the hotels since they would be living on the road 300+ days out of the year.

 

“Sanity.” Steve muttered when they reached the arena, still sure someone was messing with him. 

 

Andalyn seemed a little bit...stiff...for this kind of work.  He was a laid back guy that enjoyed a beer every chance presented.  This would be interesting, volatile and explosive to say the least.  Rebel’s green eyes widened in disbelief at all of the cars in the parking lot they pulled into. 

 

“Mom, this place is PACKED.” He stared out the car windows in awe, spotting a motorcycle and moaned longingly. “I want one of those...”

 

“Ya can have one when yer 18.” She quipped, knowing he wouldn't like hearing that and smirked when he just glared back at her, both of them stepping out. 

 

Andalyn decided leaving their luggage in the car and grabbed her briefcase with her paperwork in it, knowing she would have to go through Steve's schedule in order to do her job.  She grabbed Rebel's hand, quickly meeting up with Steve and Dwayne, smiling.  Rebel wasn't lying, the place was packed and her parental instincts had kicked into high gear.

 

“Mom seriously, this is embarrassin’.” Rebel groaned, jerking his hand away from her. “I’ll stick to ya like glue, okay?” He crammed his hands into his jean pockets, looking around quickly and arched a blonde eyebrow when a woman called him cute as soon as they stepped inside the building. “That is sick.”

 

Andalyn finally gave up and kept close to her son, placing her hands on his shoulders as they were guided down the hallway by Steve and Dwayne.  Steve was in front of them, showing them the way to his dressing room.  Once they arrived, Andalyn released his shoulders and let Rebel do whatever he wanted, to which he turned the monitor on and sat in front of it. 

 

“Okay Mr. Austin, do ya have a copy of yer schedule with you?” She asked, getting down to business and hoped he did since Vince assured her he would.

 

“Somewhere.” Steve replied, nodding when Rebel shot a look at the Nintendo 64 game system in the room.  It was Dwayne’s, not his. “Help yerself, kid.  It's a wrestlin’ game...”

 

“I'll learn it.” He grinned at Steve before occupying himself.

 

“He's interestin’.” Steve commented, rifling in his duffel bag, finally pulling out a wadded crumpled piece of paper. “Here we go.”

 

“Yer not serious, are ya?” Andalyn sighed when he nodded, knowing she had a hell of a job ahead of her. “Tell ya what: From now on, when ya get important documents like this, give’ em to me so I can keep’ em from bein’...messed up.”

 

Andalyn looked over at her son, smirking, knowing he would beat the game before the night was out.  The kid was a whiz when it came to videogames.  She started looking over it, barely reading the fine print and nodded, jotting down some notes in a notebook. 

 

“I'm gonna switch a few of yer appearances so yer not so booked up.”

 

Steve's face broke out with a relieved grin, feeling a weight lift from his tense shoulders while cracking open a beer. “Thank sweet baby Jesus!  I'll make where they’re delivered directly to ya from now on.” He didn’t bother explaining why the paper was wadded up.  Steve had been reading it and spewed beer when he saw he’d be lucky to have enough time to take a piss in between everything he was supposed to do.

 

“Good idea.  Thanks.”

 

Andalyn continued writing down notes, tapping the pen against her chin, knowing Rebel would be busy for the night with the videogame and silently thanked Steve for having the system.  She ended up writing all of his appearances down on a piece of paper neatly before crumpling up his schedule, tossing it in the trashcan.  Whoever was responsible for making up his schedule should’ve been fired on the spot!  There was a Macintosh computer in the room, but Andalyn wasn’t a huge fan of computers and preferred to write everything down.  If it got to be too much for her to handle, she would use the computer to type and save everything on a floppy disc.

 

Chapter 3

 

“I'm thirsty.” Rebel announced after a half an hour, saving his game and set down the controller.

 

“That makes two of us, squirt.” Steve grinned, standing from the metal folding chair. “I’ll take ya to the cafeteria…uh, if yer Mom’s cool with it.”

 

Rebel rolled his eyes heavenward.

 

“I'll go too.  Could use somethin’ to wet my whistle.” Andalyn announced, refusing to let this man take her son anywhere when she'd just met him an hour ago. “I'm thirsty too, Rebel.”

 

She noted the look on his face and rubbed her temples while Steve guided both of them out the door.  Andalyn was protective of her son, sometimes overly, but had every right to be.  He was her pride and joy and, if anything happened to him, she would end up in a mental institution.

 

“She's a pain in the-” Rebel smiled sweetly at his Mom, moving to walk by Steve.  It'd been awhile since he'd had someone to converse with that wasn’t a female due to being no longer in school with his friends.

 

“She's a Momma.” Steve replied with a shrug. “Mine's the same way and I'm an adult.”

 

“She holds yer hand everywhere?”

 

“I made her quit last year.” Steve replied with a straight face.

 

Andalyn smirked and sent a silent thank you in his direction with soft grey eyes, walking down the hallway with them looking around.  They arrived in the cafeteria and Andalyn got water with a muffin, letting her son raid the table of food.  The boy had a tapeworm, she was sure of it.  Once his plate was loaded, they walked over and sat down at a table as Andalyn glanced around for the first time to see all the coworkers she’d had to converse with eventually.  Rebel sat between her and Steve and went to town on his plate, not bothering to look up at either adult.  It broke her heart because he didn't have a male role model in his life and she had to be both his mother and father.  Andalyn tried so hard, but deep down she knew it never would be enough.

 

“Yo Deadman, you mind me payin' you after I get my paycheck?”

 

“Hardy, don't play cards unless ya can afford to lose.  Pay me now or I’m gonna kick yer teeth in.”

 

“Damn it.” Jeff Hardy groaned, whipping out his wallet.

 

Mark smirked wickedly; swiping the man's water off the table and accepted the money he was handed. “Yer short.”

 

“Cut me some slack man, I got kids to feed.”

 

“You don't have kids.”

 

“I have sperm to make them!”

 

Steve snorted into his own plate of food.

 

Andalyn raised an eyebrow at the bickering and started laughing along with Rebel.  These men were insane.  Andalyn didn't see any females walking around, which made her frown.  Great, she was in testosterone world.  She sighed and bit viciously into her muffin, coughing when a piece went down the wrong pipe.  Grunting, Rebel smacked her between the shoulder blades hard, causing the piece to dislodge and Andalyn smiled down at him gratefully.

 

“Thanks honey.” She croaked out, kissing the top of his head before ruffling his dishwater blonde hair.

 

“Mark – Mark, I was jokin'!” Hardy yelped when he was raised over Mark's head. “I was just kiddin', man!  Come on, Calaway.”

 

“Well...since ya beg so nicely.” Mark dropped him unceremoniously on the floor.

 

“Thanks.” Hardy groaned, rubbing his jarred legs.

 

Andalyn heard that voice and choked on her water, spitting it out in Steve's face, grey orbs wide as saucers.  Mark Calaway.  She hadn't heard that name in years.  She slowly looked over at him and swallowed hard, hardly recognizing him.  The fiery red hair he had back in college was gone and replaced with a dark, almost black, color.  Hair dye, no doubt about it, though his facial hair was the same color as his hair.  His arms were sleeved with tattoos, another change she immediately noticed.  If it wasn’t for his deep voice and build, she wouldn’t have recognized him, but Mark had a voice that was unlike any other.  Andalyn couldn’t breathe suddenly and felt her stomach tighten, her appetite gone.  Even though they hadn't seen each other in nearly 11 years, it did nothing to stem the pain and heartache Mark caused her over a decade ago.

 

“I'm not feelin’ so good.” She muttered, slowly standing and ignored her half eaten muffin.

 

“Mom, ya alright?” Rebel asked, staring at her like she’d lost her mind, his green eyes crinkling with worry.

 

“Calm down, Andalyn, nobody's gonna bother ya or anythin’.” Steve said reassuringly, not liking the pale complexion his personal assistant suddenly had. “Taker, knock it off!  Yer scarin’ people!”

 

“It's what I do best.” Mark chuckled, sitting at the table with Jeff Hardy and his brother, Matt Hardy.

 

“I'm fine.  I got work to do.” Andalyn said quickly, pulling Rebel from the table and walked out of the cafeteria hurriedly, hoping she wasn’t spotted.

 

Fate was a bitch…that was the only thing that could explain this.  Andalyn never knew he became a professional wrestler and always assumed Mark became a pro-basketball player overseas after graduating from college.  Groaning, she walked inside Steve's dressing room and pointed to the Nintendo 64, giving Rebel a look that told him to back off and resumed Steve's schedule.

 

Rebel muttered something about PMS, extremely angry.

 

~!~

 

Steve grumbled, stalking over to where Mark sat and folded his arms in front of his chest. “Good one, Taker, ya scared off my PA, jackass!”

 

“You have a personal ass?” Mark grunted, not looking up from his food.

 

“Have I told ya lately yer sense of humor isn’t funny, Deadman?”

 

Mark rolled his eyes. “No.  Have I told ya yer ‘bout to get yer head knocked off yer shoulders?”

 

~!~

 

The rest of the night Andalyn stayed holed up in Steve's dressing room, only answering questions when spoken to and became completely consumed with her work.  When it was time to leave, she was more than relieved, wanting a nice hot bubble bath and a glass of wine.  Rebel had gotten on her last nerve complaining about being forced to leave the cafeteria.  They walked out of the arena together with Andalyn carrying her bag over her shoulder and Rebel trudging behind her. 

 

“Rebel, if ya don't shut up ‘bout that food, I'm gonna pop ya one!” She threatened heatedly, sick of his smart mouth and slid in the driver's side of the car, pressing her forehead against the steering wheel.

 

“It's BORIN’ sitting in there all night, Mom!” He protested in a growl. “Seriously, ya could’ve let Steve take me with him when he said he would.  It'd give me somethin’ to do besides annoy ya.”

 

Scowling at his mother’s stern look she shot him, the expression on his face was one he definitely did not get from her.  Andalyn had to look away from him, that expression reminding her too much of his father.  She shakily slipped the key in the ignition, knowing he acted more grownup than he should have and headed toward the hotel.

 

“Whatever Rebel, I'm not arguin’ with ya anymore.  I'm exhausted.” Andalyn turned the radio on so he would stop bitching for a few seconds.  She sighed with relief when he did and the rest of the ride was made in silence.

 

~!~

 

“So who was it I scared earlier?” Mark asked, yawning as he fell into step besides Steve on their way out of the arena.

 

“My PA, like I said.” Steve grunted, tired and ready to hit the hay.

 

“Better inform her she ain't got nothin' to worry ‘bout.  I rarely hit women.” Mark assured him with a wicked smirk.

 

“Oh how reassurin’.” Steve groaned when he got whacked upside the head.

 

~!~

 

After ordering Rebel 3 servings of food from room service, Andalyn put him to bed with the television remote and went to take a nice relaxing hot bath.  Her mind instantly went to the past…to Mark Calaway.  Only she didn't know him as Taker, not knowing what that was short for.  She knew him as the Texan that stole her heart freshman year in college.  He'd been a senior and they'd hit it off at a party someone threw to celebrate the first day of college on campus.  They partied, had sex in her dorm room and started a fling that lasted nearly a year.  Right before Mark told her about his offer to go overseas to play pro-basketball, Andalyn found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to hold him back from his dream.  It was her fault for not being careful since they had unprotected sex a handful of times out of the year they screwed around with each other.  The end result was the little boy currently watching Rocko’s Modern Life in bed and Andalyn dealing with a broken heart because she’d secretly fallen for Mark over that year in college.  Andalyn slipped into the water and closed her eyes leaning back, knowing she would try her best keeping Rebel away from him, but it would be close to impossible.

 

Rebel rolled his eyes when a knock sounded at the door, frowning when he realized his Mom hadn't heard it due to being in the bathroom.  Sighing, he rolled out of bed and padded over to answer it, looking way up at the tall figure. “Hi?”

 

Mark peered down at the little mite, smiling good-naturedly. “Yer mom in, son?”

 

“She's busy.  Why, pops?”

 

He blinked at the sarcasm before smirking.  The kid had balls. “Just wanted to let her know I was sorry for scarin' her.”

 

“I'll let her know.” Rebel shut the door in the man's face.

 

“Who was at the door, Rebel?”

 

Andalyn had just stepped out of the bathroom towel drying her hair and wore a black robe tied around the waist.  When he simply said room service wanting a tip, she snorted and rolled her eyes, not believing the audacity of some people.  She smiled, seeing the episode of Rocko’s Modern Life that was on and sat on the bed, beginning to brush her hair, kissing the top of his head. 

 

“I'm sorry ‘bout today, honey.  I'll try to remember yer growin’ up.” She conceded with a heavy sigh.

 

“Thanks Mom.” He hugged her briefly, not feeling bad in the slightest by his lie. “I'm goin’ to bed.” Rebel yawned, slipping under the covers and pulled a pillow over his head like always. “Night Mom, get some sleep!”

 

She smiled back at him, having separate beds and went to hers, rubbing lotion on her legs since they were dry. “You too, my beautiful boy.” Andalyn whispered, finishing up and pulled her hair back in a low ponytail. 

 

Shutting the light off, Andalyn slipped under the covers.  As soon as her head hit the pillow, sleep engulfed her. 

 

~!~

 

Rebel was up early the next morning, something he always did, dressed and watching the morning news quietly, doodling on hotel paper.  He rolled his eyes when he heard a loud thud from the room over, glancing at his Mom to make sure she hadn't been disturbed.

 

“Damn it, woman!  If ya throw one more thing at me, I'm gonna break yer fingers!”

 

Rebel shot to his feet, shaking his head and was tempted to press his ear to the wall.

 

“Screw you, Mark!” Rena Mero –She was known to the wrestling world as Sable- shouted, eyes spitting fire back at him as she threw a second boot, nailing him in the arm.

 

Andalyn groaned, hearing the fighting and slowly sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes, not surprised to see her son already up.  She heard the fighting and growled, steely grey eyes narrowing to slits.  What the hell was wrong with people in this hotel?  First they demand a tip for food service and now people were disrupting her sleep?  Andalyn tossed the comforter back and stood up, wearing a spaghetti strapped light blue nightgown that went to her knees.

 

“Stay here.” She ordered gruffly, walking out and went next door, hammering on the door with her closed fist.  When it opened, Andalyn promptly jacked the woman in the face, her body slumping to the floor at her feet and glared down at her heatedly. “There are OTHER people in this damn hotel tryin’ to SLEEP, you fuckin’ bitch!  Next time, think about that before you wake me up!” She turned on her heel stalking back to the room, slamming the door shut and laid back down.

 

Mark stared down at Rena with wide green eyes, bursting out laughing. “Darlin', we're done.” He said through his laughter, picking her up and depositing her out in the hallway. “Christ.” He grumbled, rubbing his arm. “Vicious bitch.”

 

“Mom, wow...” Rebel hadn't stayed put like he was told, glad he'd disobeyed. “Ya got an awesome hook on ya!  Where'd ya learn it?”

 

“Nowhere ya need to know.” Andalyn mumbled behind her, snuggling into the pillow and sighed when she heard nothing except the television and distant rumbling laughter. 

 

A few minutes later the alarm clock connected to the nightstand blared since Andalyn set it before bed and knew she wouldn’t be going back to sleep.  Slamming her closed fist on top of it to silence the contraption, she slowly got up and poured a cup of coffee.  She didn't like being woke up, especially when she had serious jetlag and knew she’d have to get used to it since traveling was part of the job.

 

“Did ya eat?”

 

“Nah ain't hungry yet.” Rebel said, going back to his doodling. “I was thinkin’ maybe we could go downstairs and eat when yer ready?” He was 10 and couldn’t stand being cooped up in a boring place like this, needing something to do besides drive his mother crazy.

 

“Sure honey, that sounds fine.  Lemme wake up a bit and get dressed.”

 

Yawning again, Andalyn started sipping her coffee down quickly, knowing Rebel wanted out of this room.  She sighed, really hating that he had to come on the road with her for this job, but had nobody else he could stay with.  Especially her psychotic mother who was too busy popping pills left and right to care what day of the week it was.  Ever since her father died of a heart attack when Rebel was 5, her mother had taken to drinking heavily and popping anything she could get her hands on.  The once beautiful farm she grew up on and hoped Rebel would be able to do the same thing one day, was in shambles and had to be sold off.  It broke her heart, which was one of the many reasons she took this job with WWF.  Pushing those thoughts out of her mind, Andalyn drained her cup of java and walked into the bathroom to dress.  Pulling on a pair of blue jeans that had sparkle designs on the pockets and a black tank top, she left her hair down, brushing it out along with her teeth.  She slipped her white tennis shoes on, grabbing her purse.

 

“Okay c’mon, let's go get some food.”

 

“Yes!” Rebel punched the air excitedly, blonde hair falling into his eyes.  He smiled at her, quickly leading the way out of the room.

 

Chapter 4

 

“Is that the woman you punched?” Rebel asked curiously, seeing a blonde with a bloody nose cursing to someone on a cell phone. “Can you do it again?”

 

Andalyn smirked down at her son, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and kissed the top of his head. “Maybe if she wakes me up again.” She winked as they stepped on the elevator, not believing she'd allowed her son to see her do that, to commit an act of violence. “I don't ever want ya to use violence, do ya understand me?  I was wrong and should go apologize to her.”

 

“Yeah, ya probably should, but I wouldn't waste my breath.” Rebel replied truthfully, not saying a word about using violence.  Too late, he'd already beaten up a few kids from his old school for harassing him.

 

“Hold the elevator!” A large black boot stopped the doors from shutting. “Damn.” Mark grunted, glancing back at Rena and stepped through the doors.

 

Andalyn moved to the side, still holding onto Rebel and swallowed hard at who joined them on the elevator. “I already know ‘bout the fights ya been in, Rebel.  Just try to keep yer temper in check.”

 

She didn't blame him for beating up kids that harassed him, though she didn't understand why they did.  Rebel was close to 5 ½ feet tall already and he wasn't even a teenager yet.  A lot of people mistook him for being 16 or possibly older.  If Andalyn were those kids, she'd run in the opposite direction, but some of them just didn't know when to leave well enough alone.  There was no way she’d punish her son either for defending himself.

 

He shrugged with a small scoff. “No promises.” Rebel smirked up at her to show he didn't mean it.  If he kept growing the way he was, he'd be as tall as she was soon.

 

Mark arched an eyebrow, not looking at the pair and couldn’t help overhear and eavesdrop.  The woman probably broke Rena's nose, but was cautioning her son not to use violence.  If that wasn't a walking talking contradiction.  Funny as hell though, especially since the kid didn't seem to take her seriously. 

 

The elevator doors slid open as Andalyn walked out with her son, not caring what people thought of her parenting skills.  She taught him right from wrong, but to also stick up for himself because, if he didn't, kids would walk all over him.  Andalyn refused to let her son go through that and, if fighting solved a problem, then he should do it.  She wasn't like normal mothers, protective yes, but also wouldn’t let her son be pushed around in school either.  Not that Rebel had to worry about that anymore.  She smirked as they walked into the restaurant linked to the hotel and were seated in a booth moments later.

 

“Over here, Mark!” Glen Jacobs –Most knew him as Kane, Undertaker’s estranged brother on-screen during the hot feud they had going on right now in the company- gestured to the big man when he spotted him walk in after Steve Austin’s new personal assistant and her kid.  He kicked out a chair for the man he'd come to respect, arching an eyebrow. “So...”

 

Mark just grunted.

 

“Rena called Tori...”

 

“I ain't the one who broke her nose.”

 

Rebel ordered two meals instead of one and all Andalyn could do was nod in confirmation at the bewildered waitress. “I'm takin’ ya to a doctor.” She drawled amusedly, watching his head lift and stared into his emerald green eyes. “I mean it, Rebel.  Eatin’ this much can't be healthy.”

 

She sighed when he simply snorted; sucking down his water like it was nothing.  Soon, they were served, the table full of delicious food and Rebel immediately dug in while Andalyn took her time with her own plate.  The boy didn't know how to chew, he just inhaled his food.  Andalyn also noticed Mark was having breakfast the same place they were, which was unnerving, but she tried not to let it show and looked away from him the moment he glanced her direction.

 

Glen wasn't put off by Mark's apparent lack of needing to chew before swallowing. “So if you didn't break it, who did?”

 

Mark looked offended. “I don't hit women.”

 

“I remember you smacking Terri.”

 

“She kicked me in the balls, man.”

 

“Who are you looking at, Mom?”

 

“Nobody, eat your food.”

 

Tearing her eyes from Mark, Andalyn looked down at the notes in her notebook, knowing Steve had an appearance at 4 o’clock today and decided to call him.  She sighed, receiving his voicemail and left him a message reminding him of the appearance.  Hanging up before digging into her breakfast, Andalyn ate A LOT slower than her son.  When Rebel asked for another serving, she groaned and nodded, knowing he wouldn't be happy until he had a full stomach.

 

“Sorry I didn't answer the phone, but I was already here.” Steve’s voice sounded from behind, nodding at Rebel. “Can I join ya?”

 

“I don't care.” Rebel was too busy packing it away.

 

Steve sat next to the kid, watching him eat with wide eyes, glancing at Andalyn. “Is that normal?”

 

“Hate sayin’ it, but yeah.” Andalyn sighed with relief upon seeing Steve and smiled at him. “We just ordered.” She referred to her son's third serving on the way while he packed away the second.  It was a surprise –though it shouldn’t have been- he hadn't thrown up yet and simply took another bite out of her French toast. “You have a signin’ tomorrow mornin’ at 11.” She informed Steve as an afterthought, knowing he wouldn't like that, but she couldn't schedule it during his workout time.

 

Steve groaned, signaling for a waiter. “I'll have what he's havin’, only double the order.” He was a grown man and needed the food, smiling apologetically at the waiter’s annoyance. “I tip well if ya smile.”

 

Nate snorted when the waiter smiled. “That's cheatin’.”

 

“So I noticed yer accent, honey.” Steve pointed out once his food was served, starting to dig in. “Where ya from?”

 

“Noticed yers too.  Austin, originally.”

 

Steve grinned, having been to Austin quite a few times working for the WWF and it was also where he began the adventure of being a professional wrestler. “My stompin’ grounds.  Great city.” Normally, Steve would’ve had a beer with his breakfast, but since he had a lot going on that day, water was the better choice.

 

Andalyn giggled and stood up to excuse herself to use the bathroom.  She had to walk right past Mark and Glen, not glancing at them, her scent wavering in the air from the faint perfume she wore.  It was a lilac scent, something she’d worn since her teenage years.  Unbeknownst to her, it was also the scent that attracted Mark to her back in their college days.  The blonde bimbo she’d decked earlier that morning walked out just as she stepped inside and Andalyn smirked, noting the heavily bruised nose.  Maybe the tramp would learn some manners and courtesy to other hotel guests in the future.

 

“Good morning.” She greeted cheerfully.

 

“Maybe for you!” Rena snapped angrily, looking at her fractured nose.

 

Unbelievable, the blonde bimbo didn't even know it was Andalyn that clocked her.

 

Mark's head shot up as he inhaled a scent that was strangely familiar wafting his way.  A flowery scent.  He took a deep breath, knowing the scent, but couldn't place it for the life of him. “Damn...” He shook his head, trying to clear out the headiness. “Get bent.” Growling when Glen said something about him going senile, Mark was tempted to take him out of commission.

 

Andalyn walked out of the bathroom and headed back to Rebel and Steve, who were both in an eating contest. “Yer payin’ for this, Steve.”

 

She sat down, smirking when he just nodded and folded her arms in front of her chest.  That was fine, Andalyn didn't mind getting a free meal out of this and glanced back down at her notebook, switching a few more things around on Steve’s schedule.  She almost had it perfect.

 

“Holy hell!” Rebel blurted out when Steve demolished a plate of pancakes in 30 seconds. “You win.”

 

Steve nodded, looking like he would toss his cookies at any moment and managed to recover, tossing his arms in the air in a sign of victory, grinning when Rebel laughed. “I gotta go puke now.”

 

“He is weird.” Rebel watched Steve bolt to the bathroom.

 

“What an idiot.” Andalyn chuckled, having finished her breakfast despite the food eating contest. “Do ya feel sick?”

 

She wasn't surprised when he shook his head, knowing her boy had to be some kind of mutant to eat as much as he did and not want to blow chunks.  Then again...her eyes drifted to the table where Mark had already finished his fourth serving of food and Andalyn groaned inwardly.  There was no doubt about it, Rebel was Mark’s unknown offspring.  Like father, like son.  As if sensing he was being watched, Mark glanced at her, his green eyes narrowing slightly as he took in the woman and her son.  Something nudged the deepest recesses of his memory, but Mark shook it away, wondering if maybe he WAS going senile.  After Steve did his thing in the bathroom and her son had all of his meals, Andalyn walked out of the hotel with him in tow.  They headed toward the rental car with Steve in the back, always giving her son first choice on where he wanted to sit.

 

“That's pretty sweet of ya, Mr. Austin.” Andalyn drawled amiably, starting the car pulling out.  She had to be at every one of his appearances and basically had to stick to him like glue except for evenings when business was taken care of.

 

Steve looked at her like she'd lost her mind, arching a brow. “What's pretty sweet of me?” He asked curiously, not entirely sure he wanted to know.  If it was a bathroom comment, he'd pass.  If it was a swallowing comment, he definitely didn't need to know.

 

“Lettin’ my son have the front seat.”

 

Arriving at the venue for Steve’s signing, Andalyn made sure Rebel stayed beside her since there was quite a crowd.  They would be in the back while Steve did his autograph signing.  She wasn't happy to find out the signing also had another individual, another wrestler, scheduled to work alongside Steve.  The Undertaker - Mark Calaway.  Andalyn was in hell.  Fate really hated her.  She guided Rebel to sit down in the back with her, playing with his Game Boy and whipped out her notebook to start on next week’s schedule for Steve.

 

“Austin.” Mark grunted when the man dropped down beside him, flexing his hand, knowing soon he wouldn’t be able to bend his fingers.

 

“Taker.” Steve groaned when a pen hit him between the eyes. “Jackass.”

 

He snorted derisively. “Where's yer PA?”

 

“She's OFF limits.”

 

The signing was boring and tedious, lasting well past 4 hours.  By the time it was over, Rebel was complaining about how bored he was and wanted to leave.  Andalyn had to find something else for him to do when it came to these events and wondered if she really did need to be here for Steve’s signings.  What was she going to do, tackle a fan for attacking him?  Snorting, Andalyn stood up when Steve finally finished, Mark following and had to take a deep breath.  She would have to face him sooner or later. 

 

“Done?”

 

“Been done.  Can't feel my hand.” Steve groaned, whacking it against a wall as if to prove it.  He tried punching Mark next. “Did that hurt?”

 

“I don't know,” Mark paused and returned the punch. “Did that?”

 

“Yes…” Steve groaned, cradling his shoulder. “Yer inhuman, Mark.”

 

“So I've been told.” Mark's green eyes moved onto Andalyn, the raven curly haired beauty. “Mark Calaway.” He extended his hand to her. “I don't think we've been introduced yet, darlin’.”

 

She had two choices.  Andalyn could run away from him or just stand there and shake his hand.  Option two won. “Andy.” She replied gently, refusing to divulge her full name to him and took his hand, watching it practically engulfed hers while staring into his emerald green eyes. 

 

They always took her breath away, even more so now.  It was good to see his eyes hadn’t changed, still the same emerald gems she enjoyed staring into and getting lost in back in the day.  A flashback from their first meeting in college flew through her mind and Andalyn had to shake herself mentally to push the memories away.  Age had been wonderful to the man.

 

“This is my son, Rebel.” She introduced, gesturing to him and smiled when he simply waved at them, too engrossed in his game at the moment.

 

“Pleasure.” He murmured, nodding at Rebel, more interested in her name. “Andy, is it?  Don't hear that one much.  What’s it short for?” Mark asked, staring down at her and felt that memory he couldn't remember nudging his brain again.

 

Steve folded his arms over his chest, not appreciating Mark grilling his PA. “I hate breakin’ this up, but we gotta go.”

 

Andalyn could honestly say she loved Steve at that moment because he saved her.  If Mark knew what her name was short for, he would surely remember her since her appearance apparently hadn't.  Then again, her dishwater blonde curls had been changed to inky black.

 

“Yeah we do.  It was nice meetin’ ya, Mr. Calaway.” She said politely, her voice warm as honey and headed out the door with Steve and Rebel in tow, sighing a huge breath of silent relief.  That was close.

 

“Ya look like ya wanna kiss me.” Steve teased as they walked towards the rental car, leaving Mark back to shake away the déjà vou. “Somethin’ I should know ‘bout?” He could be observant when he wanted to be.

 

“You discovered her secret, she's datin’ the guy.” Rebel admitted, deadpan, walking past them with his nose still in the game.

 

Andalyn's eyes widened to the size of potatoes when she heard Rebel say that, immediately shaking her head at Steve. “No I don't wanna kiss ya and no, I'm not datin’ him!” She shot a glare at her son, sliding behind the wheel and couldn’t believe how blunt Rebel was to say something like that. “There's nothin’ to tell, Steve.  I don't know who that guy is, never met’ em in my life.” Oh yeah like he'd REALLY buy that. 

 

Andalyn was toast.

 

“Uh-huh, sure.” Steve looked confused when Rebel slid in the backseat.

 

“So ya can keep annoyin’ her.” Rebel explained, grinning slightly. “Mom, yer red in the face.  Need a moment to chill?”

 

“Ya do look like yer gonna explode…Andy.”

 

“I'm fine.” Andalyn assured them through gritted teeth, taking a few deep breaths to calm down. 

 

Putting the car in reverse, Andalyn pulled out of the spot and headed toward Steve's second appearance of the evening.  Her hand still tingled from Mark’s hand.  Hell, she hadn't forgotten about him and it broke her heart secretly to know he didn't even recognize her.  It was a long time ago and she had to forget about it, glancing in the rearview mirror to make sure Mark wasn’t following them.  She was paranoid, to put it mildly.  When they arrived and a bunch of cute 10-year-old girls started flocking over to Rebel, Andalyn couldn’t help finding it adorable. 

 

“Aww why don't ya walk’ em to a store, Rebel, dear?” She did love revenge.

 

Rebel looked extremely uncomfortable, trying to politely shrug them away, knowing hitting girls was the ultimate no-no. “Um, look...” He grimaced when one took his hand. “I, uh...look, it’s Steve Austin!!”

 

Steve yelped when the girls tackled him, followed by a crowd. “REBEL!”

 

Chapter 5

 

Andalyn rolled with laughter as she watched the 10-year-old girls flocked to Steve like he was the greatest thing living today.  In a way, he was.  She winked at Rebel and walked over, ruffling his blonde hair, not believing he just did that.

 

“Yer indeed my son.”

 

She kissed the top of his head while both of them laughed at the torment Steve endured.  It was such a shame to watch a grown man try to get away from precious 10-year-old girls that just wanted his autograph...and clothes.  Andalyn laughed harder.

 

“Line up nicely and I'll sign autographs for ya.” Steve yelped, wincing when a grown woman tried making a grab for his backside. “Lady, it’s attached, hands off!”

 

Rebel started laughing as well, falling to the ground in his giggling fit. “Wow.” He blinked when a man asked Steve to sign his chest. “Is...that normal?”

Steve groaned.

 

Andalyn had to run to the bathroom because she laughed too hard, barely making it.  She finally calmed down and walked back out, seeing Rebel egging Steve on more and quickly steered him away.  Since Rebel had been good for the most part, Andalyn decided to do a little shopping while they were at the mall.  She kissed the top of Rebel's head, loving him with everything inside of her. 

 

“Get anythin’ ya want for pullin’ that master prank.” She beamed proudly at him.

 

“Anythin’ at all?” Rebel double-checked and when she nodded, he dragged her into the Neostar drooling over games, having a hard time deciding which one.

 

“Ya couldn’t bail me out?” Steve's voice came from behind, looking tattered with his shirt ripped to shreds. “I was almost raped!”

 

“Oh, well we thought ya were havin’ fun and wanted to do some shoppin’.” Andalyn managed to say with a straight face, though Rebel was laughing. “Sorry Steve.”

 

She then burst out laughing as she turned around to watch her son pick out a game.  Steve had no idea what evil diabolical people he had on his hands.  Andalyn and Rebel weren't normal.  She pointed to Pokémon, something he'd been wanting for awhile. 

 

“When yer done, I wanna play it.”

 

Rebel nodded, reading the back of it and reluctantly handed it to his Mom so she could pay for it. “Nice look, Steve.” He said innocently, green eyes wide.

 

Steve had to remind himself this...evil wicked, devious creature was a child just so he didn't stun him into next week. “Not talkin’ to ya.” He grunted, not finding any of this amusing.

 

“Whatever.”

 

“Pick out another game, sweetie.” Andalyn said happily, winking at Rebel before staring back at Steve, ignoring his gruff attitude toward her son.

 

She ended up buying him 5 new games, knowing that would keep him busy for a bit.  Steve was officially dead by the end of the appearances, knowing he had a house show yet to participate in.  His hand would never recover from the signings.

 

“Can we not schedule 2 appearances that require me signin’ autographs in the same day?” He asked later that night at the arena. “I love the fans, but my hand can only take so much, Andy.”

 

“Yer lucky I took off the extra autograph signin’ or ya wouldn't have a damn hand left.” Andalyn informed him coolly, watching his baby blues widen. “I really had to fight to knock that one back till tomorrow.” She was being honest with him while sitting in his dressing room, wearing a pair of black dress pants and a lavender top. “Just lettin’ ya know ya have 2 more on Saturday before ya go home for 2 days.” She didn't cringe when he glared at her. “Ya gotta problem with it, take it up with Vince.”

 

“I will.  I'll put my boot up his ass while I'm at it.” Steve replied angrily. “I'm gonna get warmed up.”

 

“Can I go?” Rebel asked looking up, wanting to see more of the arena. “Please Mom?”

 

“I don't know...Steve, are ya gonna kill my son for what he did?  ‘Cause I assure ya, what I did to that bitch Rena Mero will be NOTHIN’ compared to what I do to ya if ya even lay a FINGER on’ em.” Her voice was calm, cool and collected, though her steely grey eyes flashed dangerously at him.  Steve swallowed hard and Andalyn knew she'd made her point perfectly clear. “Go on, Reb.  Have fun.” She winked, looking back at her notebook, knowing she had a lot more work to do.

 

“Yer Momma is scary.” Steve muttered as they walked out and hadn’t harbored any bad thoughts toward the boy.

 

“Tell me ‘bout it.”

 

Mark watched them go, slipping into the room and closed the door behind him, shaking his head. “What happened to the blonde hair, Andalyn?” He asked bluntly.

 

The pen stopped writing on the notebook as Andalyn froze in her spot, carefully swallowing hard.  She slowly looked up into those green eyes of Mark's, narrowing her own slightly and stood up from the metal folding chair, rubbing the back of her neck.  The attitude in his voice perturbed her considering he didn’t recognize her right away. 

 

“Glad to see ya finally remember me, jackass.” Steve was rubbing off on her.  She didn't mean to call him that, but so many emotions coursed through her at the moment and anger won out. “What do ya want, Mark?”

 

He shrugged, leaning against the wall and folded his arms over his massive bare chest.  Mark hadn’t put his wrestling attire on yet. “It's been 11 years and a lot of chair shots since the last time I saw ya, Andalyn.” He rumbled almost soothingly. “Not to mention ya look...different.” He inhaled the air deeply, shutting his eyes for a second. “It was yer perfume that gave it away, then the whole Andy nickname.”

 

“My perfume?” Andalyn echoed, smelling herself and shrugged, taking her seat on the chair again. “So ya caught me.  I didn't know ya worked here until Steve pointed ya out and told me what yer name was.  I thought ya went overseas to play pro-basketball, so imagine my surprise to find ya here as a professional wrestler.  Who would've thought?” She looked back down at her notebook, not able to meet his eyes at the moment.

 

“I was gonna go overseas, but...plans changed.” Mark rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, his eyes never leaving hers. “Are ya married?” He asked, not seeing a ring on her finger, but in this day and age that didn't mean anything.  He remembered Rebel, wondering who the lucky father was of that sarcastic monster.

 

“No, don't believe in marriage.  It's a piece of paper and expensive jewelry ya can't afford.” Andalyn replied, deciding she wouldn't be getting anymore work done for now and set the notebook aside. “Are YOU married?” She raised a brow, crossing her arms in front of her chest.  Since he wanted to know about her personal life, she had a right to know about his.

 

“Divorced.” Mark grunted, not about to go into that fiasco. “So...what’s yer boy's name again?  Rebel?  Where's his father?”

 

He took in her outfit, arching a brow, trying to find the young woman he remembered.  To his knowledge, Andalyn never wore formal clothing of any kind in college.  Then again, most of their time was spent under the sheets, not that he had any complaints.  He could picture her with dishwater blonde curls, but not formal attire.

 

“Yeah that's his name, though he prefers to be called Reb.” Andalyn informed him, wondering why she did when it was none of his business to begin with. “Gone, ran off after he found out.” She lied smoothly, no emotion in her eyes or face. “It was a long time ago, Mark.  Rebel doesn't know he exists.  As far as he's concerned, I'm his Mom and Dad.”

 

He knew her well enough to know this conversation had ended and decided it was time to leave. “I gotta go get taped up.” Mark pushed away from the wall. “For what it's worth Andalyn, I'm glad yer here darlin'.”

 

Emerald eyes seared into hers for a moment before walking out, Mark closing the door behind him.  He saw Rebel before and had discarded the green eyes at first because he hadn't known who Andalyn was at the time.  However, now those green eyes seemed quite familiar and Mark decided to track the lad down to get a better look at him.

 

Andalyn had to learn how to breathe when he left, slumping back against the chair and tilted her head back with shut eyes.  The blonde hair left her long ago after college when she decided she needed a change - a new start.  She'd dyed it black, not caring what her drugged up mother thought.  Her father was dead so he didn’t have an opinion.  She sighed heavily and stood up, walking over to stare in the mirror, not even recognizing herself anymore.  The formal dress clothes didn’t suit Andalyn.  Blue jeans and tank tops were more her style, but the company did have a dress code.  She gripped the sink with her hands and finally let a few tears fall from her eyes.

 

Deciding she needed water, Andalyn walked down the hallway toward the cafeteria, arms wrapped around her body.  She could only hope Mark would back off now and just leave her alone, but Andalyn had a feeling that wouldn’t happen.  Rebel was the spitting image of him except the facial and head of hair.  He had her old dishwater blonde hair, a color Andalyn would never have again.  Sighing, she walked inside the cafeteria and got water along with an apple, her stomach growling a bit from hardly eating.

 

~!~

 

“Hey Deadman.” Steve greeted from his place on the floor, Rebel behind him applying an ankle lock. “Yep kid, just like that.  Fuck, don't twist!”

 

Mark stared at Rebel, studying every contour of the boy’s face and, more importantly, his eyes.

 

“Yer givin’ me the creeps, dude.”

 

“Yer eyes are a nice shade of green, boy.”

 

“My Mom said I got' em from my Dad.”

 

Arching a slow brow, Mark filed that information away for later and offered to take over for Steve, wanting to spend more time with the boy.  Rebel had a great time, laughing as Mark showed him how to do an arm bar.  Steve was the unfortunate soul it got practiced on and Rebel nailed it after a few tries.  There was no way Mark would be this boy’s guinea pig, but since Steve brought him down here to mess around in the ring, he didn’t see the problem with him being Rebel’s victim.

 

“Ya can't do these moves on people, now.” Mark told him, wondering just what Andalyn would do when she realized he knew her little secret.  This boy was his in every way. “Unless of course, it's with us.”

 

“How ‘bout ya take a turn?” Steve groaned, not believing how strong this kid was.

 

“Holy shit!  Is that Andalyn's kid?” Matt Hardy asked Steve as soon as he rolled out of the ring, favoring his arm.

 

“That is one strong boy.” Jeff commented, standing beside his brother, downing some water. “Damn!  He just took Taker down with a leg sweep and now...oh damn, he's got an ankle lock on him now!”

 

Matt gaped and blinked at the ring. “Steve, do you need to go see a trainer for your arm, dude?” He asked smugly.

 

“I think so.” Steve muttered, wincing.  He was glad Mark and Rebel had such a great time, not believing the Deadman roared with laughter at being taken down by a 10-year-old boy. “Sickos.  Rebel, c’mon yer Mom will kill me if I don't take ya with.”

 

Mark noticed the fallen look on Rebel's face and sat up, getting to his feet. “Let’ em stay with me, just tell her who he's with.”

 

“Umm...no.” Steve flinched at the look that crossed Mark's face. “I don't want her removin’ my balls.  Let's go.”

 

“Blame it on Mark; say he threatened to cut your balls off for you.” Jeff suggested with a grin on his face and groaned when Steve smacked him upside the head with his good arm.

 

“Come on Austin, I'll go with you.  You two have fun.  Rebel, don't hurt the Deadman too much.” Matt smirked as he walked with Steve and Jeff up the ramp, deciding they would go with in case Andalyn decided to really castrate Steve.

 

~!~

 

“YOU WHAT?!” Andalyn bellowed when Steve told her who he'd left HER child with!  She was going to kill this guy.  Shoving past him, Andalyn stalked down the hallway toward the area known as gorilla position that lead out to the ring.

 

“Well, that went better than I thought...”

 

Steve knew better; he shouldn't have left Rebel. “I'm fucked.”

 

“Yeah sorry about that, man...”

 

The Hardy brothers bolted when Steve turned around, glaring at both of them with icy blues.

~!~

 

“Whoa tiger, easy does it.” Mark laughed, catching Rebel when he wound up tossing himself off the ropes too hard. “Ya gotta watch how ya do it or you'll damage yerself.  Watch.” He threw himself into the ropes, flying across the ring and rebounded, doing it twice with grace a man of his stature shouldn't have. “Like that.”

 

Andalyn found the ring and stopped short at the sight of Mark in the ring with her son, blinking, not believing what he was doing. “Jesus...” She whispered and headed down the ramp, bellowing at the top of her lungs. “REBEL LUCAS KERVIN!!”

 

Rebel froze in his tracks, almost falling on his face only to be caught again in Mark's strong hands.  He knew he was in deep trouble because she used his full name. “Umm Mom, I can explain…”

 

Mark snorted almost in disgust at the irate woman, leaning against the ropes and stared down at her broodingly. “Come to join us for some family time?”

 

“No, I - what?” Andalyn now stood at ringside, refusing to get in between those ropes with Mark, especially right now.  Did he know? “Rebel, get yer ass down here right now.” She ordered gravely, accent thicker than normal due to how angry she was, her tone holding no room for argument and was thankful he obeyed without a fuss.  Good.  She'd bust his backside if he didn’t listen to her. “What the hell were ya THINKIN’ doin’ somethin’ like that?” Ignoring Mark for the time being, Andalyn had her full focus on Rebel and placed her hands on his shoulders. “Ya scared me to death.  God, yer gonna be the death of me, kid!”

 

“I wasn't gettin' hurt.  Mark was there.” Rebel grumbled sullenly, scuffing the toe of his sneaker on the floor mats. “Mom, yer bein’ too overprotective again.”

 

“Yeah Andy, I was here.” Mark chipped in, angry that she kept this from him all this time. “Ya think I'd let anythin’ happen to him?” His tone of voice blatantly implied he would never let anything happen to HIS son.

 

“Ya should’ve stuck to Steve's side and ya didn't do it, Rebel.  Jesus, do ya have ANY idea how worried I was when I found out ya were with a stranger?  That's what this man is: A STRANGER.” Andalyn glared up at Mark, not believing his audacity and pointed up the ramp. “March now.  Do it or I swear to god, I’ll take all of those games back I just bought ya, Rebel Lucas!”

 

She didn't care what Mark had to say about this situation.  His input wasn’t needed or wanted.  This was HER son.  He wasn’t there when she gave birth; he had no rights to Rebel and was merely a sperm donor, if anything.  Andalyn couldn't deal with this right now and followed her son up the ramp, scowling darkly.

 

“Since when is someone's father a stranger?” Mark called after her, seeing her freeze for a moment before continuing on her way up the ramp. 

 

He snorted, not following.  Mark picked his battles and right now, he wouldn’t waste his breath.  Andalyn was just too worked up, scared and wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say.

 

“What'd he say?”

 

“Nothin’, let's go.” Andalyn shoved her son through the black curtain, arriving backstage. “That's it Rebel, yer not allowed to go with Steve anywhere else.”

 

When he went to argue, she shot him the deadliest look she could muster up, causing him to clamp his mouth shut instantly.  They walked into Steve's dressing room and Andalyn didn't say a WORD to him, too angry to speak.  She sat down on the chair and proceeded to finish up her work while he got warmed up for his match.  Andalyn was in no mood for any type of attitude and wanted to be left alone while Rebel played Pokémon on his Game Boy.

 

Steve knew he was in trouble and didn't say a word, knowing better.  He felt like a child being punished or something and balked.  He was an adult and Andalyn worked for him!  But then the look on Andalyn's face sent that thought flying out the window.

 

Chapter 6

 

Matt walked in after knocking. “Look Miss Kervin, Steve didn't want to leave your son out there.  Jeff and I...well, we kinda frog marched his ass away.  He did tell Rebel it was time to leave.” He felt bad about getting Steve's balls busted.

 

Andalyn slowly looked up from the notebook, raising a brow and smirked.  Wow, the man can't even defend himself.  How uncanny, she thought almost disgusted, waving the man off dismissively. “Steve, yer off the hook.” This was too pathetic as Andalyn looked back down at her notebook.

 

Rebel simply nodded at Steve as if to say 'she's right you know' before going back to play his game. 

 

“Though if he does it again,” She paused, stopping Matt from walking out the door. “Please inform him his balls will be in a jar in my suitcase.” She smiled sweetly; though it didn't reach touch her steely eyes.

 

Steve exploded. “I didn't say anythin’ ‘cause I didn't wanna piss you off even more!  Yer scary when yer angry!”

 

Matt, who barely made it out the door, collapsed in a fit of laughter.  The almighty Rattlesnake, the take-no-prisoners, beer drinking son of a bitch was scared of a WOMAN.

 

“She reminds me of MY Mom!”

 

“Pussy.”

 

Steve rolled his eyes exasperatedly.

 

“Wow, that's a compliment.” Andalyn snorted and rolled her eyes, watching as Matt fell out the door from laughing so hard. “I gotta admit, Stevie dear, it's gonna be SO much fun workin’ with ya.”

 

She stood up and began packing her things, back facing him.  Andalyn knew he wanted to strangle her and that was perfectly fine with her.  She liked ticking people off; it amused her, especially when a full-grown man had to rely on his friends to defend him.  Steve could snap her like a twig if he wanted to.

 

“Rebel, time to go.” She ordered, finishing up and turned around to face the man she had to assist for and walked past him out the door.

 

Steve sighed, chasing after them. “Hey, wait up a sec.” He called, running to catch up. “Andalyn, look...I’m sorry ‘bout all that.  Can I make it up to ya somehow?”

 

Rebel rolled his eyes. “Just ask her out already, moron.”

 

“Lemme buy ya dinner?” Steve asked, ignoring the kid.

 

“Ya wanna buy me dinner?” Andalyn quipped, smirking down at her son and looked up into Steve's baby blues, shrugging. “Wherever I go, my little man joins.  So. are ya askin’ US out or just me?” When he rephrased it, Andalyn pinched his cheek, nodding. “Sure, I'd like that.  Just let US know when.” Patting his cheek, she turned and walked down the hallway with a laughing Rebel in tow.

 

Steve returned to his dressing room to grab his stuff, mentally smacking himself for not grabbing it on his way out to chase down Andalyn and grunted when he tripped, sprawling to the floor. “Damn it!”

 

“Best learn to watch where yer goin’, Austin.” Mark drawled, green eyes pure acidic and pushed away from the wall he had loitered at. “Night, boy.”

 

Once in the car, Rebel stopped laughing and turned to face her. “Mom, how ‘bout I DON'T go?” Rebel suggested gently. “When Steve asked ya out, I mean.  I'll stay in the hotel room like a good little boy and ya can just enjoy yerself.”

 

He was more than aware his mother rarely had her own personal time.  Rebel couldn't recall the last time she went out without him.  That was pretty bad.  He sized his Mom up.  She was pretty as far as a girl could be; he credited her a bit more since she WAS his Mom.  She deserved a dinner from a nice guy like Steve alone without him being dragged along.

 

“Yer fine with that?” Andalyn asked softly, glancing over at him and moved her eyes back to the road. “Rebel, ya come with the package and any man I'm with needs to understand that.” She sighed when he started contradicting her with reverse psychology, hating it when he did that.  Another Mark quality. “Fine, but if ya so much as step a TOE outta that hotel room while I'm gone, I'm takin’ yer Game Boy away for a month, deal?” She smiled when he nodded his head grudgingly, ruffling his hair with one hand and stopped to get something to eat.

 

Looking in the full length mirror, Andalyn put her hair up and then took it down, not sure how to wear it.  She had no idea why she even cared what she looked like, but wanted to look nice for some reason.  Deciding on a short jean skirt that went 2 inches above the knee, Andalyn pulled on a spaghetti strapped black tank top –it hugged her curves- along with a white jacket.  White Skechers adorned her feet since it was a dressy yet casual outfit.  Andalyn finally decided to leave her hair down and merely slid on a white headband to keep all the small curls out of her face.  If her hair were ever straightened, it would’ve gone past her backside easily.

 

“Okay, what’d ya think?” She asked, turning around to show Rebel.

 

Looking up from the garlic bread he’d been munching on, Rebel devoured two plates of spaghetti already and took a gander at his mother. “You look nice.  What’s the big deal?  It’s just dinner, right?” He knew Steve had asked her out for dinner, but as far as he was concerned, that could’ve consisted of McDonald’s.  He was only 10 for crying out loud! “Ya goin’ somewhere fancy?” He asked, mildly curious.

 

Not that he minded if it was a date; if she was happy, he was happy.

 

“I don’t know where we’re goin’.  God, I shouldn’t even go.” Andalyn mumbled that last part to herself and walked over to look in the mirror again, studying her appearance.

 

It’d been years since she’d gone on a real date, just her and a man.  Andalyn was nervous as hell, sighing when a knock sounded at the door.  She noticed Rebel was still eating and figured it was Steve, checking herself one final time before answering the door.  It was just dinner; didn’t mean she had to put out or do something she didn’t want to.

 

Mark blinked, looking down at her as his green eyes took in her outfit – the entire package in front of him. “Am I interruptin’ somethin’?” He drawled, glancing past her into the room at the boy with a face full of spaghetti sauce.

 

“Hey Mark!” Rebel greeted, appearing at his mother’s side almost instantly. “What’re you doin’ here?” Was his Mom going out with Mark instead of Steve?

 

“I just wanna talk to yer Momma for a minute.”

 

Rebel snorted, walking away from the door. “Take a number, she has a date tonight.”

 

“Rebel, go eat yer food.” Andalyn ordered softly and stepped out into the hall, closing the door behind her. “What’d ya want, Mark?”

 

In truth, this was a nice distraction from thinking about her date with Steve.  Even if it was more drama and likely about him finding out if Rebel was his, Andalyn decided to humor her ex.  Of course, Andalyn would deny it until the day she died.

 

“I wanna talk to ya ‘bout Rebel.” Mark said as if it was the most obvious reason in the world for his visit. “I can put two and two together.  He’s 10.  We last saw each other just over 10 years ago – almost 11.  He has green eyes…MY eyes.  Ya don’t and neither did yer Momma.” Andalyn showed him pictures of her family while they were in college, admiring the huge ranch they owned.  He stared down at her ascetically, daring her to lie to him or deny Rebel was indeed his son. “Ya plannin’ on ever comin’ clean with it?”

 

“My Dad has green eyes.” Andalyn lied smoothly, leaning against the wall and folded her arms in front of her chest. “Mark, when are ya gonna get it through yer head he’s not yers?  When we fucked, we were careful, so you can rest easy.  Yer not the father.” She wished he would let this go so they could move on with their lives and be professional with each other. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta date to finish gettin’ ready for.”

 

Mark wasn’t buying it, not for a second. “The truth shall set ya free, Andalyn.” Mark murmured, watching her walk back into the room to rejoin Rebel and narrowed his eyes.  Lying bitch, he thought with a snort, shaking his head and headed to his own room.  If she wanted to play games, he could too.

 

“What’d he want?” Rebel asked the moment he spotted his mother in the room again.

 

“Asked ‘bout somethin’ regardin’ his signin’ with Steve.” She lied again, deciding she had to protect him from the truth and surveyed herself in the mirror again. 

 

After that confrontation, along with what happened at the arena, Andalyn was not in the mood to go out.  Should I stay or go, she thought, questioning herself and battling on whether or not to take this step with her current assignment.  Mixing business with pleasure never ended well, but…there was something about Steve she couldn’t deny.  Maybe it was his Texas baby blues.  Sighing when another knock sounded at the door a few minutes later, Andalyn reluctantly answered it with a plastered smile on her face.

 

“Hey Steve.”

 

“Hey yerself.” Steve grinned, wearing a pair of blue jeans that looked painted on and an Austin 3:16 t-shirt, never one for dressy clothes. “Here.” He extended a pink rose to her and walked past her after she took it, looking down at Rebel. “Hey boy.”

 

“Sick.” Rebel moaned at the sight of the rose, making a face and shook his head.  Hopefully, he never liked a girl because he’d go nuts if he had to buy flowers and smell like them, not to mention buy dinner.

 

“Thank you.” Andalyn ignored her son, inhaling the beautiful rose and placed it in a nearby vase on the nightstand.  The hotel came with it. “Rebel, please behave and DON’T answer this door without the secret knock.” She ordered, hugging him tightly and kissed his forehead, feeling terrible for leaving him here alone.  What if something happened?  Andalyn really didn’t want to do this and would’ve rather spent time with her son.  However, Steve was sweet to bring her a rose and looked genuinely excited about their date.  She smiled sadly when Rebel groaned and pulled back, knowing she pushed his boundary issue again. “Love ya, remember what I said.” She called before closing the door, rubbing the back of her neck awkwardly the moment it clicked shut.

 

“Good grief.” Rebel muttered, sprawling out on the bed and occupied himself with his Game Boy.  He had too many awesome games to play to go out wandering.

 

“I feel like I’m on my first date again.” Steve joked, trying to break the ice between them and stepped on the elevator with her. “I like yer outfit, honey.” He drawled, flashing a warm smile down at her. “Nice to see ya in somethin’ besides work clothes.  This look suits ya better.”

 

“Believe me, if I could wear this at the arena I would.” Andalyn blushed at his compliment, feeling a little more at ease the more they talked. “Glad I’m not the only one who’s nervous.  I haven’t been on a date since before Rebel was born.”

 

Mark instantly flashed in her mind, forcing a frown to form.  Had it really been that long?  He had been the last man, the last date, she had and ever since she became pregnant with Rebel, Andalyn didn’t find it appropriate to be with another man.  Not to mention, she was in love with him and had to mend her broken heart while dealing with her pregnancy.  Andalyn blinked when the elevator door slid open and felt Steve take her hand, swallowing hard.

 

“So where ya takin’ me?” She asked, not pulling her hand away while they walked through the lobby to the exit.

 

“Dinner.” Steve teased, tossing her a wink. “Nothin’ fancy, I promise.  That’s just not my scene.  10 years, huh?” He whistled low, blinking since she was a gorgeous woman.  Who the hell wouldn’t want to take her out? “Long time.  And a bit of a waste, Andy.  Yer a beautiful intelligent woman.” He ducked his head, glancing down at her and smiled, baby blues glittering under the moonlight.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Grey orbs sparkled back at him as Andalyn continued walking with Steve toward his car.  For the first time since she began working with him, she noticed how truly good looking he was.  The man was gorgeous, even with a bald head.  Bald really suited him.  Andalyn was more into men with…long hair, but Steve was definitely easy on the eyes.  His baby blues could get him out of murder, she was sure of it, and he also had one hell of a body.  Slipping into the passenger seat, Andalyn buckled up and looked over at Steve once he was settled in front of the wheel, not surprised his rental was a truck.

 

“So, what kinda music do ya like?” She grinned when he put on one of her favorite radio stations. “I love this band!”

 

“Me too.  I like anythin’ except rap and that R&B crap.” Steve wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Country is the ticket.  Rock and occasional heavy metal ain’t bad either.”

 

“I like country too.  It’s my favorite.”

 

Chuckling, Steve was silently grateful they had at least one thing in common.  Music could go a long way.  He weaved in and out of traffic through the streets expertly, not prone to bouts of road rage when they’d get cut off.  He did, however, curse when a motorcycle came out of nowhere, zooming ahead of them.  The rider was a female who flipped them off angrily, mouthing ‘slow’ in Steve’s direction.

 

“Jesus Christ, what’s the damn rush?”

 

Andalyn raised a brow at the woman rider and flipped the bird in return, snarling. “Yeah, fuck you too, bitch!” She shouted through the windshield, smirking when the woman raced away and rolled her eyes.

 

Either she didn’t realize she was doing it or didn’t care he was in her presence, but Steve enjoyed hearing Andalyn’s humming.  He figured it’d be a really slim chance meeting someone else who listened to what he did, let alone being able to sing a song of theirs word for word.  He enjoyed her singing and finally pulled up in front of a small diner that was on the outskirts of the city.

 

“Hope ya brought yer appetite.”

 

It was the perfect place for a first date scenario. “I’ll try my best.” She shot back in a teasing tone, sliding from the truck cab and landed on her feet with ease.

 

Chapter 7

 

Once they were seated in a worn down booth and ordered their meal, Andalyn surveyed her surroundings while trying to figure out what to talk to Steve about besides Rebel.  He was the center of her universe and being a mother took precedence over everything else, including her job.  Instead of trying to start a conversation, she opted for silence and sipped her beer slowly.

 

“So, besides drivin’ Rebel crazy bein’ overprotective, what else do ya do?” Steve asked, not about to let her be quiet and found himself wanting to get to know her better.

 

“Besides workin’ for a little boy in a man’s body and bein’ a Mom, that’s pretty much my life, Steve.” Andalyn replied with a straight face.

 

Downing nearly half of her beer, she leaned back against the booth and tried not to worry about Rebel being alone at the hotel.  She had every right to be overprotective of her son and this pompous ass would learn quickly she did what she wanted with her little boy.  Andalyn squeezed him out and went through the pain of childbirth, raising him up until now, not Steve, and until he experienced that he would never understand what it was like being a parent.

 

“You?”

 

“Apparently offendin’ a beautiful woman by puttin’ my foot in my mouth.” Steve muttered, not meaning to upset her and sighed, taking a sip of his own beer. “Nothin’ but my job.  I tried actin’ briefly; that didn’t pan out too well though.  Tried singin’, didn’t work out either.” He smiled, trying to ease the tension between them again and offered her an apologetic smile. “Sorry if I upset ya, Andy.  I wasn’t tryin’ to.”

 

“You didn’t upset me a bit, Steve.” Andalyn smiled sweetly, genuinely not offended.  She just got defensive when it came to Rebel and being told what to do with her parenting. “I really don’t have much of a life except Rebel.  I know it sounds pathetic, but bein’ a single Mom does that.” She saw their food coming and immediately dug in as soon as it was set in front of her. “I’m a borin’ person.  That’s the truth.”

 

Steve studied her thoughtfully, taking his time chewing his food. “No, I don’t think yer borin’, Andalyn.  I think ya devoted yer life to Rebel and put yer own on the backburner.  Not that there’s anythin’ wrong with doin’ that.  Just sometimes, ya gotta do somethin’ for yerself, ya know?”

 

“I guess.” Andalyn averted her gaze to her food, already missing her son and took another bite, hoping her appetite returned. “He is my life.  There’s no puttin’ my life on the backburner.  Rebel is my life and my heart.  That little boy is the reason I’m on this earth day in and out and I love’ em with everythin’ inside me.” She spoke softly, passionately and shut her eyes when Mark popped into her mind again. “I mean granted, he can be stubborn as a bull, but that’s to be expected from a 10-year-old boy.”

 

“I still can’t believe he’s only 10.  He’s so damn tall for his age.” Steve observed, shaking his head. “He’s strong as a bull too.  He ‘bout twisted my ankle off earlier tonight.” He cleared his throat, wishing he hadn’t said that.  She didn’t need any reminders about his mishap with Rebel. “How ‘bout you lemme take ya out again sometime, providin’ Rebel don’t mind?  I know he’s yer life, but…maybe a little breather every now and again won’t hurt.”

 

That surprised her. “Ya wanna take me out again?” She questioned, wanting to make sure she heard him right and could see his blue eyes gleaming back at her. “Okay, torture yerself some more.” Andalyn shrugged with a wink and both began laughing, the tension finally breaking.

 

The rest of dinner went well, mostly with Steve talking about his family back in Victoria, Texas.  He lived on a huge ranch on the outskirts of Austin.  It was a small town called Tilden – Andalyn had gone there a time or two, loving the city of Austin.  Fitting considering that’s what Steve’s in-ring character was named.  He sounded like a true family man, boasting about his brothers and parents, proud of everything they’d accomplished in life.  Andalyn found herself drawn more to him as the night progressed, no longer thinking of him as a man child.  He was simply a man with a big heart and wanted her to be part of his life.  They drove back to the hotel and Steve walked her up to her room like a gentleman, his hand on the small of her back.  Turning to look up at him after slipping her keycard in the door slot, Andalyn became lost in his baby blues and suddenly didn’t want the date to end yet.

 

“Thank ya for tonight.  I had a great time.” Andalyn wasn’t lying and hoped they did it again soon.

 

“Good, I’m glad.  Next time, I’ll let ya pick what we do, okay?” Steve offered with a smile, his forearm resting on the door though he made no move to kiss her or anything, fairly certain Andalyn would slap him silly.

 

“Get in here so I can go to bed already!  I’m TIRED!” Rebel growled through the door, cranky from having to stay up to wait for his mother.

 

“Date’s over.” Steve chuckled, beaming from ear to ear.

 

“I guess it is.” Andalyn leaned up and brushed her lips against his cheek, pulling back once she lingered longer than she should have. “Good night, Steve.” Walking into the room, Andalyn quickly guided Rebel into his room and tucked him in, kissing his forehead.  He was out like a light in no time.  She felt bad he stayed awake to wait up for her, but it also didn’t surprise her either.  Kicking her shoes off, Andalyn walked into the bathroom to change and groaned when a knock sounded at her door.  If whoever it was woke her son up, she would shove her foot straight up their backside.

 

“For cryin’ out…”

 

“Is Mark here?” Rena Mero demanded, looking close to tears the moment the door opened.  She had knocked on every door trying to find him.  This floor had been specifically booked for the WWF stars so she knew she had to be close. “Please?  I really need to talk to him right now.” She sniffled, not realizing this was the same woman who had broken her nose.

 

This woman seriously needed a beating. “Do ya realize it’s nearly midnight and people are probably SLEEPIN’?” Andalyn growled, tempted to shatter the whore’s nose further. “Lady, here’s my advice for ya, ready?  MOVE ON.”

 

Slamming the door in Rena’s face, Andalyn scrubbed a hand down her own, not believing the audacity of some people.  The whore could find Mark herself!  Andalyn was going to bed and could already hear Rebel’s snoring; thankful Rena hadn’t disturbed his slumber by banging on their door.

 

“TAKE A FUCKIN’ HIKE!” His deep baritone echoed throughout the hallway, not pleased at being woken up and wore nothing except a sheet and frown. “Rena, leave me alone, damn it!  We’re done.”

 

“Don’t you dare say that, I refuse to hear it!!” Rena shrieked, not caring who heard them. “I’ll tell everyone about you smacking me around!”

 

“They already know.” Mark pushed her back into the hall and slammed the door shut.

 

Andalyn was 2.5 seconds away from getting up and breaking the whore’s neck if she didn’t shut the hell up.  Didn’t she grasp the concept of keeping her personal business QUIET?  Apparently not!  She smirked when all she heard was silence, letting sleep finally consume her body.

 

~!~

 

A month had passed since Andalyn and Steve started dating and, surprisingly, it was the happiest she’d ever been in quite a while.  Steve was fun, refreshing and downright handsome.  She loved the color of his eyes, especially when they lit up with mischievously.  Rebel was slowly warming up to him; Andalyn didn’t blame him for being skeptical.  Though, it didn’t help Mark was STILL coming around demanding her for the truth about Rebel being his.  Andalyn lost count how many times she’d denied him, saying the same thing every time a confrontation happened.  At this point, she felt like a broken record and was on the verge of snapping.

 

Steve was currently in the gym while Andalyn remained at the hotel with Rebel, pumping iron and trying to get his mind focused on his match that night.  It wasn’t a big deal considering he was always on his game in the ring, but for some reason Andalyn wouldn’t leave his mind.  If he wasn’t careful, Steve would end up falling in love with her and that wouldn’t bode well in his favor considering she was a definite flight risk.  Andalyn left his mind as soon as he heard his best friend’s voice, but it was the question that caught him off-guard.

 

“You fuck her yet?”

 

Steve spewed water all over Dwayne, baby blues nearly popping out of his skull. “Man, you can’t be askin’ me that shit!” He snapped, wiping water off his chin.

 

Dwayne grunted, setting down his weights to shake water off his face. “Say it, don’t spray it.  So did you?”

 

Mark walked in at that moment, shaking his head. “Yeah Austin, did you?”

 

“No, of course he didn’t.” Matt Hardy snorted, ignoring Steve’s icy glare while he started squats, working on his thigh and leg muscles. “You know it’s been a month already…”

 

“Boy, some people like to wait and get to know each other before jumpin’ into bed…”

 

“Sex is a HUGE factor in a relationship and you can’t deny that.” Dwayne pointed out matter-of-factly.

 

“That’s what masturbation is for.” Jeff was thrown out of the weight room.

 

“It’s not like that; we’re gettin’ to know each other first.” Steve defended, growling under his breath.

 

Mark sat a weight bench across from Steve. “Well hell son, sex is part of that process.” He drawled, stroking his goatee. “Unless of course, you’re afraid ya can’t handle her.”

 

Dwayne sniggered, returning to his own workout.

 

Matt was inclined to agree with the Deadman. “He probably can’t handle that hellcat.  I don’t think anyone can.  But damn if I wouldn’t like to try…” He smirked, watching Steve’s face turn redder by the second. “I wonder if she’s tight.” He wondered aloud and, a second later, he too was tossed out of the weight room to join his brother.

 

Thankful Steve had tossed Matt out; Mark had been fixing to cram a dumbbell up the boy’s backside.  He noticed the uneasy look Steve shot him and just smiled back.  A nice big ‘I just fucked your mother’ grin.  He obviously had no idea his history with Andalyn because he could more than handle her in the bedroom.  Steve shook his head, deciding it was time to end his workout and go back to the hotel.  Mark felt he could afford to be generous to the Rattlesnake because he knew something that idiot didn’t.  Whistling, he began his workout since it was completely quiet with Steve and Dwayne vacating.

 

~!~

 

Andalyn sat in Steve’s dressing room, where she was stationed ever since starting with WWF and looked over his schedule, knowing he wouldn’t be happy.  He had to go down to Alabama to have his neck checked out, thanks to pile driver gone wrong before she joined the company.  It was an annual checkup for him and, depending on the results; he could be off the road for a while if surgery was required.  Vince ordered Andalyn to stay on the road to assist another wrestler when Steve left, so she couldn’t go with him.  Hell, she wasn’t sure if she should feel mad or happy, wondering if space apart was a good idea since they’d just gotten into a relationship.

 

“Hey honey.” Steve greeted as he walked in, dropping his bag by the door and walked over to kiss her softly. “I smell, I know.  I need a shower.” He apologized, not daring to inhale just in case he passed out.

 

“Yeah, but I gotta talk to you ‘bout somethin’ first.” Andalyn stood up quickly and stopped him, turning him around to face her. “Vince is sendin’ you away to Alabama to have your neck checked out.” She cringed when his baby blues widened and held her hands up. “Your plane leaves on Friday and you’ll be written out of the storyline.  I just received it, I’m sorry, Steve.”

 

Rebel was too busy playing his Game Boy to notice what was going on.

 

Steve took the paper, reading it and groaned, shaking his head. “Damn it, I told Vince I’d handle it my own way.” He growled, sinking down in a metal folding chair and rubbed his bald head in frustration. “Yer comin’ with me, right?” There was no point to drag her along, but Steve wouldn’t mind the support and couldn’t stop himself from asking anyway.

 

Grey eyes instantly lowered to the floor as Andalyn moved to sit back down in her own chair. “Vince ordered me to assist another wrestler while yer gone.” She cringed, seeing he was about ready to explode and did not dare look up at him.  She had no idea who she would work with either while he was away, but whoever it was she really hoped Steve didn’t find out before he left. “There’s nothin’ to be done, Steve.  I guess Vince thinks yer neck is serious enough that it can’t wait any longer.” She quietly explained, smoothing out the pink and black skirt she wore that matched her cardigan.

 

Dressing up really wasn’t her style at all.

 

“Maybe this time they’ll paralyze me.” Steve grumbled sarcastically, picking up his bag. “I’m not mad at ya, Andy.  I just…” What more could he say? “I’m gonna shower now.”

 

~!~

 

Mark was in a pretty good mood when he strolled down the arena corridor, wearing tight black jeans and an open leather vest, his dark red hair pulled back into a loose tail. “Hey Hardy.”

 

“Please don’t co-cock me.”

 

~!~

 

Suddenly needing fresh air, Andalyn walked over and tapped Rebel on the shoulder to jolt him away from his game. “I’ll be right back.  I need to go get somethin’ outta the car.”

 

She hastily headed down the hallway, feeling tears burn her eyes.  She didn’t want Rebel seeing her upset or Steve for that matter.  Andalyn had to get outside and inhale the fresh air, feeling overwhelmed with everything going on.  What would happen between her and Steve now?  Who would Vince assign to her next?  Andalyn was so wrapped up in her thoughts, she didn’t notice someone following her until she was yanked into a dark empty dressing room.  The lights were off, but Mark had no trouble seeing in the dark, his eyes adjusted to it.

 

“Hey Andy.” He greeted casually, letting her go and spun her around to face him. “Heard Austin was gettin’ shipped off…without ya.”

 

Chapter 8

 

“Mark?” Andalyn tried seeing through the darkness and moved her hand around the wall to find the light switch, flipping it on once she did.  Her heart felt as though it would leap out of her chest any second from having the hell scared out of her. “Yeah he is.  Vince is assignin’ me to someone else.” What business was it of his? “Thanks for scarin’ the shit outta me, jackass.”

 

“Yer welcome, darlin’.” His lips curved into a knowing grin. “Yer gorgeous when yer face is flushed and yer eyes are wide like that.” He commented offhandedly, leaning against the wall while towering over her. “So, ya don’t know who you’ll be workin’ with, huh?  Interestin’.” Mark rubbed his goatee thoughtfully, the smile broadening before abruptly changing track. “Ya gonna tell Rebel yet?”

 

Broken record was about to commence again. “Tell him what?” She asked tiredly, crossing her arms in front of her chest and leaned back against the door.  Feeling her heart rate quickening by staring into his hypnotic emerald orbs, they had always entranced Andalyn in ways no one else could. “I’m not tellin’ him anythin’, Mark, ‘cause there’s nothin’ to tell.” Why couldn’t he move on from this? “I have to go.” Andalyn turned and started out the door, refusing to deal with this right now.

 

“Yeah - yeah go back and keep Rebel from knowin’ his Dad.  Good motherin’.” Mark snorted, watching her walk away and refused to stop her, the gears in his head already turning.

 

A chat with Vince was in order.  Mark figured he could use a personal assistant since his media appearances had increased along with his popularity.  Apparently, women thought it was hot to be morbid and dark.  Nevertheless, this would all work in his favor and the boss would see his way of thinking, as always.

 

It took every ounce of willpower not to go back in there and slap the taste out of Mark’s mouth.  Andalyn was enraged, storming back to Steve’s dressing room and saw her son –HER SON- still playing his Game Boy, oblivious to everything and everyone around him.  Good, she preferred it that way.  Sometimes he was too smart for his own good.  Andalyn would find out who she would be personal assisting before the night was out, she was sure of it since tomorrow was Friday.  She just hoped it wasn’t an overbearing dick and leaned back against the chair, not acknowledging Steve when he emerged from the bathroom.

 

“How’s it goin’, boy?” Steve asked, dropping on the chair next to Rebel while drying his bald head, noticing Andalyn didn’t seem to be in a talkative mood at the moment.  He could only imagine what had her angered now.  Steve adored the woman, but she did have a bit of a temper and it scared even him at times.

 

“I just beat this level.” Rebel beamed, saving his game and stood up, arms in the air. “I am a gamin’ god!  All bow down before me!”

 

“Twisted kid.”

 

On the way back to the hotel later that night, Andalyn received a call from Vince to let her know he hadn’t made a decision on who she’d be assisting yet.  There were a handful of wrestlers who needed her expertise, but he hadn’t made a decision.  Steve walked mother and son up to their room, letting the boy walk inside first and stopped Andalyn before she could join him.  Those grey eyes would haunt him while he was away, he simply knew it, but Steve had no choice except to leave.

 

“What is it?” Andalyn shut her eyes at the feeling of his soft lips on hers, immediately wrapping her arms around his neck.  After a few minutes, she pulled back to break the kiss, her breathing a little heavy. “Mmm that was nice…”

 

“I just – fuck, I don’t want ya forgettin’ ‘bout me while I’m gone.” Steve whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist tightly and pulled her against him.  Steve’s baby blues stared down into hers intently, anxiety clear in them. “I mean, I know we haven’t been together long and bein’ apart will be tough, but…I don’t wanna lose ya, Andy.”

 

Andalyn smiled softly, caressing his face with the back of her hand. “I’m not interested in anyone else, Steve.  Stop worryin’ about it and get back here so I can be with ya again.”

 

She kissed him again one last time and sent him on his way, closing the door behind her before she dragged him in her room so he couldn’t make his flight.  There was no way she could cry in front of Steve and did her best to put up a brave front, a master at doing it.  Excusing herself to use the bathroom, Andalyn waited until she shut the door and turned the faucet on before letting the tears slip down her cheeks.  She would miss Steve more than she cared to admit and buried her face in her hands, crying her heart out.  Andalyn had lied to Steve about not being interested in anyone else and hated herself for it.

 

~!~

 

Vince shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose, having just ended an interesting phone call with Mark Calaway.  His Undertaker.  He’d been shocked as hell at what the man had requested, never figuring Mark needed assistance with his scheduling.  However, his appearances had increased a lot over the past few months because the fans loved and adored him.  They all needed help, in his opinion.  He wasn’t stupid either and knew Mark had a ulterior motive to do this, especially since he’d specifically requested Andalyn Kervin to be his personal assistant.  His motives weren’t entirely healthy for anyone involved and Vince just hoped his top star didn’t put the woman through hell.  He’d agreed though, unable to provide a sound argument against Mark’s request.

 

~!~

 

The following day, Andalyn and Rebel took a flight to Seattle, Washington, where she would get her new assignment in the WWF.  They walked into the arena and headed straight for Vince McMahon’s office, knocking on the door before stepping inside.  The door closed behind her, making Andalyn and Rebel jump and grey eyes widened at the sight of her ex-boyfriend being the culprit behind closing the door behind them.  No, this wasn’t happening!  Her heart nearly stopped as Andalyn looked from Mark to Vince, already knowing deep down what this meant.

 

“Oh my god, no…” Andalyn groaned, lowering her head. “What could he POSSIBLY need an assistant for?!”

 

“Hey, I have things I need help with.” Mark answered, sounding injured with a pout on his lips, though his acidic eyes sparkled wickedly.

 

This is what Vince was afraid of. “Mark needs his schedules watched so he’s not overbooked.” The boss explained indifferently. “He’s popular so PR likes to drive him crazy with more events and media appearances.  He can’t handle it all on his own.” It was the truth and Vince had finally come up with a suitable reason for Mark needing Andalyn.

 

“You’ve GOTTA be kiddin’ me!”

 

Andalyn didn’t buy that lame excuse for a minute, a second, especially since Mark had never asked for a personal assistant until now.  How coincidental that it was her.  She wasn’t born yesterday and knew this was Mark’s doing.  There was no other explanation.  This was her job though and Andalyn had to do it, even though she didn’t want to be within 200 feet of Mark Calaway.  Hell, she’d rather castrate him and wipe that smirk from his arrogant face. 

 

Mark smirked, looking down at her out of dangerously amused eyes. “Lookin’ forward to workin’ with ya, darlin’.” He rumbled, sounding like he fought the desire to laugh.

 

“Let’s not get this…association off to a bad start.” Vince interrupted quickly, almost saying ‘fiasco’.

 

Andalyn smiled sweetly as she extended her hand to Mark, squeezing it as soon as he took it as hard as she could and heard a grunt escape him.  Good, she hoped she cracked at least one finger.  That was the only warning she would send him and it was loud and clear.  Pulling away abruptly, Andalyn wrapped an arm around Rebel’s shoulders and headed toward the door.

 

“Me too, Mr. Calaway.  Come on, Rebel.” She ushered her son out of the boss’s office and had to swallow down her rage, gritting her teeth.

 

That damn Mark Calaway was a slick son of a bitch!

 

“Mom, I don’t think ya like Mark very much.” Rebel observed thoughtfully, eyebrows drawn together while pondering. “I don’t know, he’s a lotta fun.”

 

He remembered the day Mark showed him some wrestling moves in the ring before his mother had exploded in a worried frenzy, dragging him out of the ring.  Recalling her anger, Rebel shuddered visibly.  He’d never seen her so angry.  She’d really been scary that day.  Andalyn rolled her eyes down at him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders heading to catering, knowing he was probably starving.

 

“I don’t even know him, Rebel.”

 

She would try avoiding going to Mark’s dressing room as long as possible, preventing the inevitable and hating she had to stall like this.  All he was going to do was pester her about telling Rebel the truth and Andalyn refused to do it.  Rebel didn’t need to know who his father was.  He’d gotten along just fine without him the first 10 years of his life.  Rebel just rolled his eyes, huffing with exasperation and perked up when he saw where they were headed.

 

“Food…” He groaned, stomach rumbling as if on cue.

 

That smirk was still firmly planted on his lips as Mark reached his dressing room, tossing his gear on the bench.  He stretched, arms going over his head and was glad Vince had seen his side of things.  Andalyn wanted to play games with him about their son, he’d play them right back.  Only Mark would do one better.

 

Andalyn wasn’t surprised when her son had 4 plates full of food and looked at the clock, knowing she couldn’t stall any longer.  She had a job to do and knew Mark’s schedule was probably in shambles.  The man couldn’t do his homework in college; she always had to do it for him the year they were together.  Sighing, Andalyn finished her coffee and stood, Rebel by her side, and headed to Mark’s dressing room.  The dragon’s lair.  Andalyn promised herself she wouldn’t blow up at him or lose her temper because that would only fuel him even further.  She would keep this strictly professional and stopped just outside his door, taking a deep breath.  Knocking twice, they entered and Andalyn prayed she could get through this without committing murder.

 

“Hey Mark!” Rebel greeted enthusiastically, not breaking out the Game Boy like he normally would have.  This man intrigued him too much, probably do his peculiarity.  Factor in the whole ‘keep away’ stipulation from his mother and he was hooked.

 

“Hey there, little man.” Mark replied, a genuine smile crossing his face as he slapped Rebel a high-five, or in his case, a low-five.

 

Andalyn didn’t like seeing that, but maintained her composure. “Do ya have yer schedule, Mr. Calaway?” She asked professionally, taking her seat on the nearby couch and pulled out her notebook.

 

It wasn’t a surprise to discover Mark kept his schedule pristine unlike Steve, not crumpled and wrinkled.  She could actually read the dates and whatnot on it.  Andalyn hated admitting it, but she missed Steve and pinched the bridge of her nose, already feeling a headache coming on.  Getting started, Andalyn kept her head down and focused completely on her work. 

 

Mark listened patiently as Rebel explained the Game Boy game to him.  Midnight something, moonlight something…Mark just nodded and smiled, pretending to understand what the boy was saying.  He blinked when Rebel shoved the Game Boy in his hand, arching a slow brow at the contraption and tilted his head.

 

“Now what do I do with it?” He asked, hoping he didn’t break the small device.

 

“Here watch.” Rebel ordered, taking the Game Boy back and showed him all over again how to play his game. “Like THIS.”

 

Sneaking glances at her son and Mark, Andalyn watched them interact and wondered why Rebel was so attached to her ex.  What was it about Mark he liked, but yet he found Steve annoying?  She didn’t understand it.  He disrespected Steve every time they came into contact, but not Mark.  A lot didn’t make sense to her lately.  She sighed, finishing up his schedule for the next week in an hour.  The man didn’t need a personal assistant, he needed a 6 inch hole planted in his forehead!

 

Mark was well aware of Andalyn watching them, but more interested in his son.  No matter what the woman said, he knew Rebel was his.  He’d seen way too many quirks in the boy that he knew he himself possessed, including the color of his eyes.  Her Dad had green eyes, but his were different and he knew it.  Every lie she told would come back to bite her on the backside and the truth would come out sooner or later.

 

“I have a match in 10, son.  I gotta get around.”

 

Rebel didn’t flinch an eye at being called son. “Can I watch?”

 

“Rebel, leave him alone.” Andalyn ordered, not looking up from her notebook.

 

She knew why he set this up.  He wanted to get closer to Rebel and she wouldn’t allow it to happen.  Not if she could help it.  Granted, there really wasn’t anything Andalyn could do about it until Steve returned.  Damn it, why did Steve have to leave now?  When Rebel began begging her, Andalyn finally snapped and shook her head vehemently.

 

“I SAID NO, REBEL!  Now shut up and play your damn game!”

 

“Jesus woman, the kid is just bein’ a kid.” Mark grunted, pulling the straps up on his wrestling tights.  He disappeared into the bathroom to wet down his hair, emerging a few seconds later, black eyeliner outlining his green eyes.

 

“What’s yer wrestlin’ name?”

 

“The Undertaker.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because he’s morbid.” Andalyn answered brusquely, slamming the notebook shut and slid it back in her bag, standing.  She couldn’t be in this room with him, wanting to kick the ever loving hell out of her ex for putting her and Rebel in this predicament. “If there’s nothin’ else ya need from me, Mr. Calaway, I’m takin’ my son back to the hotel for some rest.” Gathering their things without his response, Andalyn felt her headache quickly turning into a migraine.

 

Mark shrugged, shaking his head when Rebel started griping. “She’s right, it’s time for y’all to go.  I’ll be leavin’ after my match anyway.”

 

“Okay, but tomorrow can ya tell me why yer the Undertaker?”

 

“That’ll take a while…”

 

“I got time!”

 

“Go to the car, I’ll meet ya out there, Rebel.” Andalyn softly ordered, knowing he didn’t want to leave and watched him trudge out the door, closing it behind him.  Cool steely grey met amused emerald green. “You are unbelievable and haven’t changed ONE damn bit!  I know why ya did this and I’m tellin’ ya right now, stop messin’ with MY son!  He’s NOT yers, ya may think and want’ em to be, but he’s not!  We were both sleepin’ with other people back then!” That was a lie considering they were in a full-fledged relationship. “His father is gone and he’s not comin’ back, so stop assumin’ shit ya don’t know!”

 

“So prove me wrong, Andalyn.” Mark challenged, slipping into his black overcoat he wore to the ring. “Do a paternity test and put yer money where yer mouth is.”

 

Patting her on the head on his way out the door, Mark left her with that thought to dwell on.  Mark had to fight to rearrange his features as he headed to gorilla position, trying not to smirk.  He had her right where he wanted her and now the ball was in her court, but if he had to, he would do the paternity test without her knowledge.

 

Chapter 9

 

Scowling the entire way back to the hotel, Andalyn mulled over Mark’s words in her head while the ride was made in total silence.  Not even the radio was on.  Andalyn couldn’t believe what Mark asked of her and there was NO way she would give him a paternity test.  That would reveal her secret – a secret he’d already solved even with her deniability.  Then again, maybe if she somehow had the results switched to where they were negative…Andalyn sighed, immediately nixing that idea.  Rebel was Mark’s through and through, but she refused to let the man be part of her life again. 

 

He’d broken her heart once and left her with a baby he didn’t know about.  It didn’t matter if she was pregnant or not, he still would’ve done what he wanted in the end.  Mark wouldn’t let a baby tie him down, not with his brash attitude and cockiness back in their college days.  Not to mention, the man had a full ride scholarship in basketball overseas and there was no way Andalyn would take that away from him.  She knew he’d worked hard for it and it wasn’t fair to have both of their lives changed.  Andalyn loved him enough to let him go live his dream and didn’t want to stand in his way.

 

Arriving at the hotel, Andalyn sent Rebel to bed, after ordering room service, needing some time to think and ponder alone.  She stared up at the ceiling while lying in bed, having gotten a suite, needing a room for herself as well as Rebel instead of sharing a bed.  Rebel enjoyed his privacy as well.  Her cell phone going off had Andalyn looking to the side, rolling her eyes and flipped it open, hitting the end button.  She didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially Steve, and something told her it was him calling.  Suddenly, Andalyn wondered what would happen if she did tell Mark the truth and came clean.  What would he do?

 

“No, I can’t surrender.  I can’t tell him.  He’ll take Rebel from me.” Andalyn whispered, trembling at the thought of losing her son and slid from the bed to walk over, pressing her forehead against the cool glass window.  She couldn’t lose her baby boy and knew Mark was vindictive and spiteful enough to do something in that ballpark even if she did come clean.

 

Mark made his way back to the hotel for the night, after making a stop at a bar for a few wind down drinks, his mind on Andalyn and Rebel.  He’d contemplated the possibility of Rebel not being his, but had dismissed it instantly.  Mark was fairly certain that boy was his and if he wasn’t, Andalyn would toss that fact in his face with details.  Not this ‘he’s gone’ crap she kept spewing.

 

~!~

 

The next night while Andalyn got ready to head to the arena, she suddenly had an idea, one she knew her son would go for. “Rebel, I think ya should stay at the hotel tonight.” She suggested, slipping her knee-high boots on and covered them with her dress pants, glancing at him. “I just think ya’d have more fun here.  There’s an arcade downstairs and, besides, ya said ya didn’t wanna follow me ‘round all the time with this job.  There’s plenty of security in the buildin’ and there’s also a pool.  What’d ya think?”

 

She hoped he complied because all the time he spent with Mark was not a good idea.  Andalyn figured by giving her son some freedom to do what he wanted, that would help with the Mark situation.  Rebel was overjoyed with the prospect of being left to his own devices, but when his mother mentioned the arcade down below, he grew concerned.  That didn’t sound like her at all.

 

“I don’t know.  Mark said he was gonna tell me ‘bout wrestlin’ some more.” Rebel said, testing the waters and gauging her reaction.

 

“Ya can hear ‘bout that tomorrow.” Andalyn smiled at him, not falling into the trap. “It’ll just be really hectic tonight honey, and I don’t want ya bein’ bored outta yer skull.  I’m tryin’ to do ya a favor here.  But if ya wanna come to the arena and be bored, I won’t stop ya.” Standing, Andalyn finished her makeup and pulled her black hair up in a high slicked back ponytail with a few clips to rid any bumps.

 

Deciding to give his mother a reprieve, Rebel nodded with a smile of his own. “I’d rather stay here tonight, Mom.  Can I have a roll of quarters for the arcade?” He asked sweetly, not about to be completely saccharine and innocent. “Please?” His green eyes twinkled up at her.

 

Andalyn was prepared and handed over $100 in change without blinking. “Have fun, sweetie.”

 

He was a 10-year-old with $100 dollars.  The boy was GONE.

 

Andalyn laughed, practically dancing out of the door and knew Rebel had a key card to their room.  This would irk Mark; some things in life were simply priceless.  Andalyn couldn’t stop laughing the entire ride to the arena, whistling to a country song that came on the radio.  She hadn’t felt this good in a long time and cranked the song up, beaming from ear to ear.  Mark wasn’t the only one who could play games.  Her outfit for the night consisted of a crisp black and white pinstriped pant suit along with a matching cardigan, a black silk shirt beneath.

 

Mark arrived at the arena on his Harley, cutting the engine and set his feet on the cement, long legs encased in faded black jeans with a white t-shirt sculpting his chest to perfection.  Mischief ran rampant in his eyes.  Something big was going down tonight, he could feel it all the way down to his bone marrow.

 

After talking to Steve for a few minutes to assure him she was still alive, Andalyn called the airlines to book Mark’s flights for the week.  She didn’t bother greeting him when he entered the dressing room, nodding and jotting down notes, hating how bad the reception was in the arena.  At least she was getting her work done though.  Her thoughts went to Rebel and knew he was having a blast at the hotel, a smirk curving her lips. 

 

Mark looked around the room curiously, setting his bag down and pulled off the black bandana from his head, shaking his long hair out over his shoulders. “Rebel in caterin’?” He asked, arching a brow when the smirk on Andalyn’s face widened. “What’s the joke?”

 

“Oh nothin’, he’s not here tonight.” Andalyn informed him nonchalantly, hanging up with the airlines after getting a confirmation number. “You have a 6 AM flight tomorrow mornin’ so ya can make yer appearance in Chicago by 10.  Back-to-back signins’, sorry I couldn’t reschedule’ em for ya.” She didn’t sound sorry at all. “Oh, and ya also have a photo shoot ‘round noon after yer second signin’.  Should be a busy day for ya.” Retrieving a bottled water from the cooler in the dressing room, Andalyn hoped she did the right thing by leaving Rebel at the hotel.

 

“Vince said ya were to lighten the load, darlin’.” Mark didn’t miss a beat, though on the inside he debated the pros and cons of hurting her for being a vindictive bitch.  He smiled, patting her shoulder somewhat roughly. “But I’m sure ya tried yer best.” He walked out of the dressing room, whipping his cell phone out and pulled the antenna up, his mind racing. 

 

Andalyn watched him leave and snorted, rolling her eyes.  Lighten the load?  Right.  She wasn’t doing anything for him, if anything she would make him busier than ever.  Looking at his schedule, to her luck, that’s how busy he actually was.  It wasn’t her fault Mark took on too much to handle.  Andalyn shrugged, making a few more calls to hotels and whatnot.  Making a mental note to buy Rebel a cell phone so she could call and check up on him periodically, Andalyn planned on leaving him at the hotel more often.

 

~!~

 

“Hey tiger, what’ cha doing?”

 

Rebel looked up from his game, frowning when he seen Rena Mero. “Playin’ Pac Man.” It was the woman his mother had went off on and broke her nose.

 

“Mark called and asked me to keep an eye on you.” Rena explained, holding out her cell and replaying a voice message. “Is that okay with you?”

 

“I guess…” Rebel shrugged, returning to his game. 

 

15 minutes later, he played a racing game with her and laughed as their seats jostled with the track on the screen.

 

~!~

 

Walking into her hotel room, after a long night at the arena full of phone calls, bitching, moaning and complaining, Andalyn was ready for a hot bubble bath and bed.  What she didn’t expect to see was none other than Rena Mero, a whore, sitting on HER bed playing with HER son! “WHAT THE FUCK?” She shouted, causing Rena to whip around while Rebel’s head snapped up, immediately stalking over to where the whore sat. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YA DOIN’ IN MY HOTEL ROOM?”

 

Rena blinked, not expecting this type of reaction. “Mark called and asked me to watch him for you…”

 

Rebel blinked, watching from his spot on the bed as his mother punched Rena.  He’d actually had a good time with the woman, finding out she wasn’t as bad as he thought.  She told him stories that were age appropriate AND interesting, played games and watched television with him.  Even making sure he ate regular food and not the candy he planned on.

 

“Mom?” He asked hesitantly, the question in his tone timid.

 

Andalyn was livid and proceeded to dot Rena’s eye before tossing her out the door, trembling from head to toe in rage.  She was going to KILL Mark Calaway!  Andalyn wasn’t thinking clearly and kept her eyes closed, standing there stiff and frozen solid, knuckles turning white.  She couldn’t believe Mark would stoop to this level and felt tears slowly leak from her eyes to slide down her cheeks.  It wasn’t often Andalyn cried, but when it came to her son and his wellbeing, all bets were off.  Not to mention, she wasn’t a confrontational type and only defended herself when the situation called for it.  Mother Bear came out the moment she saw Rena with Rebel and she…lost it.

 

“Rebel, please go to yer room.” It was nothing more than a chilling order.  Andalyn walked slowly into the kitchen to get a glass of water, trying to calm down.

 

~!~

 

Mark convinced Rena not to call the police and press charges for assault, knowing she’d be well within her right to do so since she technically didn’t do anything wrong.  Rebel did not need to see his mother hauled off in cuffs.  He paid Rena for her trouble and sent her away.  Then Mark decided to pay a visit to Andalyn, knowing she was enraged at the moment.

 

~!~

 

A knock sounded at her hotel room door about an hour later, Andalyn’s eyes snapping to stare a hole through it.  She stopped Rebel from getting up to answer it, sending him back to his room and closed his door.  If this was who she assumed, he had a lot of balls coming to see her after what he pulled.  Wearing a pair of black cotton shorts and matching tank top, her usual sleep attire, Andalyn slid from the bed walking toward the door.  Her hand was wrapped in a heavy gauze from hitting Rena, not regretting it.  The bitch deserved it for doing Mark’s bidding.  Pulling open the door, Andalyn took one look at the man standing before her and her grey eyes instantly turned to pure steel.

 

“Walk away right now.” Her voice was low and cryptic, NOT in the mood to deal with her ex right now.

 

“No.” Mark shot back, catching Andalyn’s knee before it nailed him between the legs and grabbed her wrists in one massive hand to stop her from slapping him.  He pulled her out into the hallway, pinning her to the wall with his massive body, his heat radiating against her soaking into her skin. “You realize ya could’ve gone to jail tonight for assault?” He asked conversationally.

 

“Be thankful it wasn’t you.” Her voice was ice cold and low, remorseless, refusing to alarm her son in any way while staring into his emerald gems.  Tears slowly slipped down her cheeks and Andalyn didn’t bother stopping them, pursing her lips tightly together. “You had no right sendin’ that filth anywhere NEAR my son, Mark.” She still kept her voice low and closed her eyes, shaking her head slowly back and forth.  Why did she have to meet up with him again?  Why did he have to work for the WWF? “Let me go.” It was a grave order.

 

“Not until you tell me why the hell ya insist on lyin’ to me.” Mark retorted austerely, not bothered in the least by her tears.  Or rather trying not to let her see they did. “Ya keep sayin’ he’s not mine.  Prove it already.  What’d ya gotta lose, Andalyn?  Besides maybe yer pride.”

 

“Because it IS the truth, he’s not yers.  He’s MINE.  He’s MY son.  I raised him!  I cared for him!  I love him more than my own damn life and I will do ANYTHIN’ to protect him.  I told ya, my father had green eyes that are almost identical to yers.  I have pictures.  I don’t know who his father is, okay?” This was the only way to get Mark to back off.  Andalyn didn’t want to do this, but it was the only card she had left to play and hopefully it did the trick, made him believe Rebel wasn’t his. “I was young and stupid back then, Mark.  I don’t wanna find his father, alright?  I just wanna live my life with my son.  That’s all.”

 

Andalyn didn’t dare meet his eyes for fear of him seeing right through her lies.  She closed her eyes tightly shut, not giving in and surrendering.  If she did, she would lose Rebel and that couldn’t happen.  Andalyn wouldn’t survive a custody battle, especially with how rich Mark was.  Money talked, lawyers listened and even judges could be bought off under the right circumstances.  She would carry the fact he was Rebel’s father to the grave because she couldn’t risk the chance of having her son ripped away from her. 

 

Mark blinked, his pride stung and, as silly as it sounded, his feelings hurt. “How many men were there besides me, Andalyn?” He demanded gruffly, a rough edge lining his tone. “Contrary to what ya may have thought, when I was with ya, it was ONLY you.” She was actually the love of his life, his reason for doing as well as he did in college because she’d helped him with his school work and everything.

 

To think she’d been with another man, Mark couldn’t fathom the warm kind-hearted southern belle with dishwater blonde curly hair and distinctive grey eyes cheating on him.

 

It wasn’t possible.

 

Chapter 10

 

As soon as that question popped out of his mouth, it gave Andalyn the opening she needed.  She hated hurting him like this, but it was the only way to get him to back off and stop saying and thinking Rebel was his.  Steeling herself from her own pain, Andalyn squared her shoulders and finally looked up at him, no emotion in her grays.

 

“Enough to assure ya that Rebel isn’t yers.” She stated evenly, feeling him slowly release her wrists from the wall and willed the tears to stay in her eyes.  Pain later, she had to stay strong right now in this moment. “I wasn’t aware we were exclusive back then.  My mistake.” Andalyn sounded like a coldhearted bitch and once again convinced herself it was the right thing to do. “Is there anythin’ else ya needed?”

 

Mark finally nodded, an unreadable expression on his face and his green eyes turned from pained to blank in a second. “I see.  My mistake.” He echoed tonelessly, throwing her words back at her. “I thought we were.  Good night, Miss Kervin.” Not giving her a second glance, Mark stalked away and disappeared in the nearest stairwell, the door slamming shut behind him so hard it fell off its hinges.

 

Blinking, Andalyn let the tears she fought back spill down her cheeks and went back inside the suite.  Pressing her back to the door, Andalyn heard the soft click of the lock as it closed quietly and slid down it until her backside met the carpeted floor.  Sobs tore through her entire body as she drew her knees up, burying her face in them.  Never would she be able to get the image of the heartbroken look in Mark’s eyes out of her mind as long as she lived.  The lies were piling up and Andalyn hated herself for every one of them she told.  She had no choice; protecting Rebel and herself was her number one priority. 

 

Mark was the only man she’d been with in college, the only man she thought about, the SOLE reason why she hadn’t dated anyone in the past 10, almost 11, years until Steve.  Her heart shattered in her chest again, just like last time when she had to say goodbye to Mark since he had planned going overseas to play professional basketball.  She loved Mark, always did and always would, but she loved Rebel more.  Andalyn wasn’t willing to risk losing her parental rights over Mark’s anger toward her from keeping his child from him the first 10 years of his life.

 

Mark rode his motorcycle all night, letting the wind blink away tears that came to his eyes.  He wound up looking for a fight with someone, anyone, just as long as he could vent his anger.  Picking a fight with a man at a biker bar, Mark ended up fighting a group of at least 5 or 6 men, barely walking away.

 

~!~

 

Walking into the hotel restaurant with Rebel, a cup of straight black coffee in hand, Andalyn wore a pair of black shades over her red swollen eyes.  No sleep came to her.  She was worried about Mark, knowing he left incredibly upset.  Crying herself to sleep, Andalyn didn’t get any rest because her dreams were consumed with nightmares.  Andalyn sighed heavily and sunk down in a chair, not hungry while Rebel went to help himself at the breakfast bar, wiping a stray tear from her cheek.  Putting up a brave front for Rebel was hard nor easy, but somehow Andalyn did it expertly and smiled at him whenever he looked at her.  He hadn’t noticed she’d been crying since she’d gotten up and, when questioned about the shades, she merely said the sun bothered her.

 

“Shit…Mark?” Glen Jacobs was sipping a mug of coffee at a table nearby when he spotted his friend stumble through the hotel doors bypassing the restaurant.  He got off of his seat and ran to catch the big man before he fell. “Someone get the WWF trainer and send him to my room!” He shouted toward the front desk, taking in the bruises and lacerations on Mark’s face. “What happened to you?”

 

“I picked a fight.”

 

Andalyn overheard Glen shout Mark’s name and immediately looked up, eyes widening at how he looked. “Stay here, Rebel.” She ordered, rushing over and took her shades off, hardly believing the horrid shape he was in.  What the hell did he do to himself?! “Jesus…” She covered her mouth with her hand and looked up at Glen, wanting to go with them, but also couldn’t leave her son alone. “Damn it!  Wait here!” Andalyn quickly retrieved Rebel from the table, knowing he wouldn’t be happy to be pulled away from his food. “Come on, Mark needs our help.” Being Mark’s personal assistant, Andalyn had to follow him wherever he went, mostly.

 

“Get off me!” Mark growled, trying to push Glen aside, conscious enough to know he was being carried and didn’t appreciate it.  He groaned at the feeling of being laid on a bed, trying to get his vision to focus. “I’m fine, I just need to sleep it off.” His eyes narrowed on Andalyn. “Get out.” He hissed dangerously.

 

“Mark…”

 

“GET HER THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!”

 

Andalyn immediately left the room, Rebel staying behind to glare at Mark before following her out, running back to her suite in tears.  She shakily opened the door and dropped to her knees, wrapping her arms around her abdomen.  Rebel came up behind her, his hand on her shoulder.  After sitting on the bed, Andalyn didn’t care if he liked it or not and wrapped her arms around him, pulling him to sit sideways on her lap.  Stroking his blonde hair between her fingers, she pressed her forehead against the side of his head, doing her best not to sob.  Andalyn needed his comfort right now while she silently cried, not strong enough to fight off the overwhelming intense emotions flowing through her. 

 

Rebel knew his mother was on the edge of something bad and needed him, so he let her hug him to the point of nearly cutting his air supply off.  Returning the hug just as tightly, the boy rubbed her back as gently as he could. “It’s okay, Mommy.” He whispered, calling her that to soothe her, something he hadn’t done in a few years.  Rebel had dropped the endearing word for the shorter and more boy suitable ‘Mom’.

 

Finally calming down after a while, Andalyn gently pushed him off of her to stare into those emerald gems that broke her heart every time she locked eyes with her son.  They reminded her of Mark because they WERE Mark.  Andalyn slowly shook her head and kissed his forehead, hugging him again wiping her tears away.  It was time to pull herself together because Rebel looked worried and she hated seeing that expression on his face.  She had to get over this and move on, to forget she ever had a relationship with Mark Calaway.  Venturing into the bathroom to freshen up, Andalyn shuddered at the thought of having to deal with Mark that night at the arena.  She splashed cold water on her face, knowing she deserved everything he did to her and more for her deceit and lies.

 

Mark arrived at the arena with Glen, not bothering to argue about needing to be chauffeured because he wouldn’t win.  He didn’t care people whispered about his face, wondering what had happened to him.  All he wanted to do was his job, injure someone and go back to his room to drink a pint of whiskey before venting some physical frustration on Rena’s all too willing body.

 

That’s how it went for the next several weeks.

 

Andalyn would leave Rebel at the hotel and be called every name in the book by Mark, keeping her head lowered while trying to do her job.  She would walk out of the arena every night in tears, feeling like she wanted to die.  He would ask her how many men and Andalyn wouldn’t answer him.  It was none of his business and, honestly, she couldn’t lie to him again.  Andalyn knew this would eventually pass and hoped Steve came back soon so she was out of Mark’s clutches.

 

Though, unbeknownst to her, Mark had other plans in mind after Austin returned from having his neck checked out.  Andalyn received a call on a Friday morning, waking her out of a dead sleep and was told she would be Mark’s PERMANENT personal assistant instead of Steve’s.  Her boyfriend, if she could even call him that, would get a new personal assistant.  Andalyn felt like hanging herself, knowing Mark did this on purpose.  He did it so that way she would crack and leave the WWF.

 

Well, she wouldn’t break easily.

 

After the first few weeks, Mark quickly realized he couldn’t stand Andalyn around him.  He didn’t want her around the WWF, period.  When harassing the hell out of her didn’t work, he went a different route.  He kept her by his side as much as possible and would FORCE her to leave.  The bitch broke his heart, he’d break her one way or another. 

 

Andalyn followed behind Mark numbly, holding Rebel’s hand as they went through the airport, sighing heavily since her jetlag was pretty bad.  She was coming down with a vicious cold too on top of everything else.  Mark guided them out to the rental car, not allowing her to take her own and Andalyn sat in the passenger seat, not saying a word.  What could she say?  She was used to this treatment and leaned back in the seat, black shades over her eyes.  He hadn’t struck her, but had his own ways of abusing her mentally and emotionally.

 

There was no excuse for her lies.  Andalyn knew she’d hurt him deeply with what she said about sleeping with other men while they were together in college.  Hell, she could tell him the truth and admit she lied to him, but what good would that do?  It would just further piss him off and things would only get worse.  Andalyn would deal with as much pain and punishment as it took because, eventually, she knew Mark would get over this and move on.

 

Rebel was almost to the point of going nuts.  He had tried and still couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  His mother looked like a zombie from the living dead these days and Mark refused to look at or acknowledge him.  Every time Rebel tried talking to the man, he’d have his head patted and watched Mark walk away.  Honestly, the boy missed Steve.

 

Andalyn wasn’t surprised when Mark got them a suite to share, the sleeping arrangements having changed drastically.  She didn’t bother calling Steve, knowing he was too busy with his neck problem to care what was happening to her.  Trudging in silently, Andalyn went to her room and pulled the black shades from her eyes, tossing them aside.  She looked in the mirror and immediately turned away, feeling sick to her stomach at the reflection staring back at her.  Deep bruises rounded her eyes due to lack of sleep, the nightmares about Mark plaguing her every time she shut her eyes.  Sitting on the bed, Andalyn coughed loudly, the sound reverberating around the room and coming from deep in her chest.  She was definitely coming down with something terrible, especially when she checked her temperature and seen it was bordering 102.

 

“Damn it…”

 

“Out Rena.” Mark ordered, wondering how the hell she’d gotten in the suite in the first place.  He wasn’t about to let Rebel see a woman coming in and out of his room.  Even if the kid wasn’t his, it just wasn’t right.

 

“But Mark…”

 

He had to physically escort her out, turning and frowning. “Bitch.”

 

Andalyn stumbled out of her room, dizzy from how high her fever was and started searching through her bag, finding the ibuprofen.  Popping 3 dryly, Andalyn hoped that would bring her fever down.  She started shivering with chattering teeth and a ghostly white face, looking like a walking corpse.

 

“Rebel, order whatever ya want, sweetie…” She trailed off, coughing again and felt her nose begin to run. “P-Put it o-on m-my t-tab…” Andalyn managed to get out before stumbling back into her room, tears stinging her eyes.

 

She was sicker than a damn dog.

 

“Mom?” Rebel frowned, his voice rising hysterically at the sight of her and couldn’t remember ever seeing her in this bad of shape. “MOM?”

 

Mark couldn’t ignore that even if he wanted to and walked into Andalyn’s room with a frown, spotting Rebel standing in the doorway.  He stood behind him and looked in the room, noticing how bad Andalyn looked and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You need a doctor.” He finally spoke, breaking the silence between them.

 

“N-No…I’m f-fine…oh g-god…” She chattered out and groaned, wrapping the comforter around her as tightly as she could like a cocoon. “I-I j-just need r-rest…” Andalyn smiled at her baby boy and managed to give him a wink, coughing more in the blanket, eyes bloodshot since she’d barely slept the past couple weeks. “O-Oh hell…” She slowly reached over and dragged something out of her bag, handing it to her son. “G-Give that t-to h-him, sweetie…” Andalyn knew she still had a job to do and closed her eyes, trembling from head to toe curling into a tight ball. 

 

Shaking his head, Mark gently nudged Rebel out of the way. “Get your coat and shoes on.” He ordered quietly, scooping Andalyn up into his arms and discarded the blanket.  She needed to be cold, it would bring the fever down. “Fuck.” He cursed, feeling how hot she truly was and carried her out of the hotel room with Rebel on his trail. “Yer goin’ to the hospital.” Andalyn was in no condition to fight him off right now.

 

Andalyn was too tired to argue and coughed harder, groaning softly leaning her head against his shoulder. “M-Mark please…” She whimpered, shivering from head to toe. 

 

It felt like she was freezing.  She hated having Rebel see her in this condition, but honestly it was out of her hands.  Mark ran her ragged for weeks and it finally caught up to her along with her lack of sleep.

 

“Rebel…”

 

“I’m right here, Momma.” Rebel said reassuringly, shivering as they walked out of the hotel, the chilly wind hitting him.  He ran ahead to Mark’s rental truck when the man unlocked it with the control on the keys. “She gonna be alright, Mark?” He asked worriedly, watching the big man gently lower his mother into the backseat of the truck to lie down.

 

“Course she is.” Mark noticed how worried the kid was and hoped he hadn’t lied to him. “Don’t worry, she’ll be fine.”

 

Not wasting another second, Mark buckled Rebel in the front seat and slid behind the wheel, peeling out of the parking lot heading for the local hospital as fast as he could.

 

Chapter 11

 

When they arrived at the hospital, Andalyn was immediately admitted and given a water IV.  She was severely dehydrated and diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  They gave her a sedative when she started fighting because she HAD to sleep and administered heavy antibiotics to kill off the horrible infection she'd caught.  They checked Andalyn’s vitals before allowing Rebel and Mark in to see her.  Andalyn was white as a ghost, even her normally red lips.  Black hair splayed on top of her head and down her shoulders and Andalyn had an IV in her right arm with tubes up her nose, a heart monitor beeping every few seconds.  Due to the sedative, she was currently unconscious.

 

“She looks like shit.” Mark grunted, studying Andalyn critically.

 

“Big time.  Let's never tell her that though.”

 

“Course not.”

 

Mark studied everything hooked up to her, all the tubes in her body and shook his head.  He'd worked her too hard apparently, but at the same time, if she had the balls to do everything she had done, she had the balls to put her foot down and say enough.  So why hadn't she?

 

The consistent beeping from the heart monitor slowly caused Andalyn's eyes to open, the sterile smell entering her nostrils.  Looking around hazily, Andalyn quickly realized she was in a hospital.  Her eyes moved to the IV in her arm, a heavy sigh escaping and that made her cough deeply, breathing heavily.  She looked down further, spotting Rebel’s head resting on her legs sleeping and felt tears instantly sting her eyes, resting back against the pillow.  Andalyn didn't know how long she'd been there and honestly didn't care as long as Rebel was with her.

 

Mark sat in a chair leaning against the wall.  He hadn't slept a wink, though him and Rebel had kept watch over Andalyn all night.  He heard her cough and looked up from the floor, which he had been studying the entire time.  He had the pattern memorized. “How're you feelin', darlin'?” He asked softly, not calling her anything remotely kind in the past few weeks.

 

“Like I got ran over by a truck.” She did not bother looking to see who it was.  His voice was unmistakable.  Andalyn hated hospitals; they gave her the creeps.  She coughed more and groaned when it burned in her chest, knowing she was very sick. “What do I have?” She asked in a whisper, not able to use her real voice since her throat was bone-dry.

 

“Walkin' pneumonia.” Mark grunted, knowing she'd need to take time off to get better.  Even after being discharged, she would probably be weak as hell. “You've been asleep for hours, you should probably sleep some more.”

 

Tempted to wake the sleeping Rebel so the poor kid could talk to his mother, Mark decided against it since the boy had been awake all night worrying over her.  He deserved to sleep.  Andalyn felt hot tears slide down her cheeks when she heard that, thinking it'd only been a small cold.  She was dead wrong on that assumption and paid for it.  For the past few weeks, Andalyn thought she had a nagging cold and kept taking Dayquil and Nyquil to get rid of it, but nothing seemed to help.  Now she knew why. 

 

“Damn it.” She sniffled and wished this burning in her chest would go away. “Is he alright?” Andalyn asked quietly since Mark was the one who'd been with Rebel while she was out cold.

 

“Yeah, just worried sick and dead on his feet.” Mark replied, glancing at the sleeping kid, frowning. “Yer gonna be here for a few days, maybe a week or so.  Then yer takin’ time off.  I already called and talked to Vince ‘bout it.  He'll probably put you to work with someone else.” He shook his head, raking a hand through his tangled hair.

 

“This has to stop, Mark.” She sat up a little more, wincing, her entire body racked with insurmountable pain. “I can't take back what I said and I can't take away what happened.” This wasn't the best place for this type of conversation, but if Andalyn was assigned to someone else she would make amends before it happened. “I'm sorry for hurtin’ you.  I never meant to cause ya any pain.” She meant that more than words could say and felt more tears fall. “I-I deserve this; I deserve what's happened to me and I deserve what you've been doing.  The only one I'm worried ‘bout is Rebel.  I'm tryin’ to do my best as a mother and it seems as though, sometimes, it's not enough.”

 

Mark held up a hand to stop her, shaking his head. “I don't wanna hear it, Andalyn.” He stated somberly, staring at her out of haunted eyes.  A pain he had been trying to hide for weeks now came out during this one moment before he locked it away again. “I don't care anymore.”

 

She didn't say another word after that night and slept for the next week.  Getting up on occasion to say hello to her son and talk to him, Andalyn had to make sure he ate right and everything.  She was actually happy to hear Mark had been taking care of him, feeding him, telling him about his character the Undertaker.  It broke Andalyn's heart to see the happiness in her son's eyes, having a male role model in his life.  She couldn't go back on her word though because then a custody battle would ensue.  After what happened to her, Andalyn didn't have the strength to deal with that on top of her job and being a mother.

 

Mark took care of Rebel, treating the boy like he was his nephew or something, just another kid he knew.  He knew Rebel was happy around him and tried not to let that bother him, refusing to remember how convinced he had been that this was his son.  Now he knew better. 

 

“Careful tiger, your Mom isn't gonna wanna see you bouncin’ ‘round like a jellybean.”

 

“Hyper, hyper, hyper, hyper!” Rebel had gone nuts on chocolate ice cream as a dessert after lunch.

 

Andalyn was restless lying in her hospital bed with nothing to do.  She was slowly regaining her strength, but the doctor still wouldn't release her.  Vince had called, asking her if she wanted to stay as Mark's assistant.  Andalyn was at a crossroads during this phone call and shocked as hell finding herself saying she wanted to stay with him.  More for Rebel than anything, though she asked Vince not to say anything to Mark regarding her decision.  He agreed without hesitation, knowing Mark was one of his top stars and needed her more than Steve did.

 

“Mark, can I try?” Rebel asked eagerly, watching the big man bench-press.

 

“Sure, boy.”

 

Mark replaced the bar, getting up and wiped sweat off his forehead.  He winked at Dwayne and helped Rebel lift the weights, making sure to keep his hand on the bar at all times.  Lifting the weight mostly himself, Mark let Rebel think he was.  He didn't know Andalyn would be staying on so he figured he had just a few days or so with the kid, something he was both happy and sad about.

 

“Mark, let him try on his own.” Dwayne suggested, walking over, wanting to see how strong the boy was.  He blinked when Mark did it only for Rebel to start lifting and it was over 200 pounds. “Holy hell!!  Mark, this kid is strong!”

 

He was stunned needless to say and had a look on his face that reminded Mark of a fish out of water.  Mark and Rebel both grinned simultaneously, looking identical.  Not that they could tell they were, but anyone who looked at them saw clearly, like Dwayne for instance.

 

“Damn boy, what's yer momma feedin’ you?  Steroids?”

 

Rebel brushed his blonde hair out of his face, staring up at Mark out of sparkling green eyes. “Vitamin C.” He replied with a perfectly straight face.

 

Dwayne blinked, looking from Mark to Rebel and raised a slow brow before excusing himself, walking out of the workout room.  He found Steve in his dressing room since they'd been in the arena's workout area and closed the door behind him. “We gotta talk...”

 

“What about?” Steve asked curiously, staring at Dwayne questioningly. “Ya look like someone shit on yer grave.” He smirked when Dwayne just rolled his eyes, dropping down onto the bench to finish taping his wrists. “Just tell me already, man.”

 

How was Dwayne supposed to explain this without sounding completely stupid?  He sighed, deciding to come out and say it bluntly. “I think Rebel might be Mark's kid...” Steve stared at him like he'd grown a second head, but Dwayne remained straight-faced. “Man, I know I sound crazy, but you should've seen it.  I was in the workout room with them down the hall and they both grinned at the same time.  They looked IDENTICAL and they have the same eyes.  Steve, do you think Andalyn left you to be with Mark, man?” Andalyn hadn't spoken to Steve in weeks for obvious reasons, but she had no idea Steve was back early from having his neck checked.

 

Steve frowned, looking thoughtful. “She didn't leave me.” He grumbled defensively. “She was assigned to someone else because of my injury.” True, she hadn't returned any of his calls, but...he just thought she was busy. “She's not into Mark, Dwayne.  From my understandin’, they don't like each other...” He frowned again. “Identical, did you say?” When Dwayne nodded, he squared his shoulders. “Let's go see.”

 

“Well that was...”

 

“Retarded.”

 

“Yeah that, let's try you on some leg weights.”

 

Dwayne didn't know the can of worms he opened, but wasn't about to let his friend get hurt.  They walked down the hallway together and inside the workout room where Mark currently showed Rebel how to punch a bag. “What did I tell you?” Dwayne hissed in Steve's ear, standing right behind him, brown eyes narrowing slightly when Rebel started punching the bag.

 

Seeing them together like this made it all too clear who Rebel's father really was.  Steve wondered through his heartache why Mark hadn’t noticed it yet.  Or why Andalyn hadn’t come out with it?  They were dating as far as he knew, so why would Andalyn keep this from him?  It made no sense, but Steve couldn’t deny the truth in front of him.  Rebel and Mark had too many similar quirks and personalities that were identical.

 

“Yer right, man.” He sighed, retreating before Mark or Rebel could spot him. “Where's Andy at?”

 

“She was released from the hospital yesterday.  I'd imagine she's at the hotel.” Dwayne replied gruffly, knowing Steve was going to have a talk with her. 

 

Andalyn had been released from the hospital after promising to be on STRICT bed rest for the next few weeks, according to what Mark said.  He ignored Steve's shocked look about her being in the hospital, assuming he already knew.  Everyone in the WWF knew about her misfortune of having walking pneumonia, a lot of people blaming Mark for overworking her. 

 

“Good luck with that man.” Dwayne clapped Steve's shoulder and left, heading to retrieve his script for that night's show.

 

Steve feigned an injury just to get out of wrestling, heading back to the hotel to see her.  On the drive so many thoughts flowed through his mind.  He had a hard time believing Andalyn let Mark watch Rebel for one.  He recalled the time she about clawed his eyes out for leaving the boy with Mark.  Had she been going out of her way to hide this from everyone?  But then that didn't make sense if she was suddenly letting Mark watch him.  And when did she get sick?  Why hadn't anyone told him?

 

Andalyn sighed heavily as she typed on her laptop, trying to get some work done and emailing Vince Mark's schedule.  She saved her work when a knock sounded at the door, knowing it couldn't be Mark or Rebel because they both had keycards to the room.  Slowly standing, Andalyn winced since her body was still recovering from the walking pneumonia.  She wore a simple blue velvet suit, pants and jacket with a long sleeved white shirt beneath.  Opening the door, she met the confused hazel eyes of Steve Austin, her own widening.

 

“Hey Andy.” Steve greeted softly, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his tight blue jeans, staring down at her.  He broke their gaze to take in her pajamas, remembering how he had been told she'd been sick. “How're ya feelin’?” He asked, gently stepping around her into the room, knowing they had to talk.  She would’ve told him it wasn't a good time if he'd stayed in the hallway like a good boy.

 

“I'm fine.” Andalyn closed the door and gingerly sat back down on the bed.  She was still pale, though a little pale pink roses bloomed in her cheeks and her eyes didn't have the same dark circles around them like before. “What do ya want, Steve?” She asked bluntly, knowing she couldn't get worked up or have any stress, no matter what. 

 

She was recovering from a serious illness that could've potentially killed her.  Steve tried thinking of a way to word this delicately.  It looked like one good shouting match would be all it took to send Andalyn back to the hospital.  That was the last thing he wanted to happen because he genuinely cared for this woman.  He couldn’t believe she hadn’t called him to let him know she was in the hospital though.

 

“Mark...” He answered slowly, seeing her eyes widen for a fraction of a second. “And Rebel...” Now his stare was intent. “He's Rebel's father, isn't he?”

 

All the color drained out of Andalyn's face as she blinked at him, not believing what he just asked her. “W-What?  Steve, I don't even know Mark that well.  How could he be Rebel's father?” She took a few deep breaths, feeling her heart hammering in her chest and suddenly needed something to drink, mouth dry as she stood again.

 

Steve saw her licking her lips, looking faint and rushed to get her a glass of water, pressing it in her hand before guiding her to sit back down on the bed. “I'm not blind, Andy.  He and Mark have the same eyes, hell they even have identical grins.  Ya just have to look and listen to’ em to see they’re related.”

 

Andalyn was in trouble and slowly sipped the water, a sick feeling erupting throughout her stomach.  How could she lie to Steve when it was obvious he knew the truth?  How much longer would she be able to keep the truth from him if she didn’t come clean now?  Tears swelled in her eyes as she slowly looked up at him, letting them spill down her cheeks. 

 

“Please don't say anything.” She finally whispered pleadingly, dropping the glass on the carpeted floor and buried her face in her hands.

 

Chapter 12

 

“Does Mark know?” Steve asked after a moment of silence. 

 

He wanted to be upset and rage at her, but that wasn't his nature.  If anything, Steve was just...deflated.  Sighing, Steve sat on the bed beside her, pulling her into his arms.  He couldn't imagine Mark not knowing Rebel wasn’t his.  The man wasn't dense and a lot smarter then he looked.  Andalyn wrapped her arms around his neck as Steve pulled her gently on his lap, sitting sideways and buried her face in his neck. 

 

“No…” She whispered, slowly pulling back and stared in his baby blues, knowing she would have to come clean to him.  Not understanding why, Andalyn felt she could trust Steve and took a deep breath, starting her story. “Mark and I met in college.  I was a freshman and he was a senior.  We met at a frat party and the alcohol was flowin’...we ended up sleepin’ together that night.  I didn’t think I stood a chance with’ em.  Every woman on campus wanted him…and he chose me.  We ended up havin’ a relationship for a year, or as close to one as ya can get in college.” Andalyn closed her eyes, lowering her head. “Graduation rolled around and Mark told me he was goin’ overseas to play pro-basketball.  I knew our relationship had to end ‘cause I was goin’ into my sophomore year in college while he would be overseas.  I knew it the moment we first met we wouldn’t last ‘cause of the circumstances.  We slept together one last time the night before graduation and Mark disappeared.  I didn't see him at graduation and figured he'd already left to go overseas.  2 months later, I found out I was pregnant with Rebel.”

 

That was a lot to take in and Steve remained quiet for 10 minutes solid, just reflecting on everything she just told him. “And Mark doesn't know.” He repeated, not believing the man was that retarded. “So why’re ya workin’ for him now?  Are you gonna tell him at all?”

 

“Mark thought, at first, Rebel was his when I started bein’ yer personal assistant.” Andalyn admitted, slowly standing up from his lap and scrubbed a hand down her face, rubbing the back of her neck. “I can't let him find out Rebel is his ‘cause he'll take him away from me.” Tears started again and Andalyn felt very weak as she turned her back to face Steve. “I told Mark he wasn't the father, that my father had the same shade of green eyes.  That I had slept with other guys in college.  I said WHATEVER it took, whatever necessary, to make him believe Rebel isn't his.  I'm tryin’ to protect my son, Steve.  Please, you can't say anythin’ ‘bout this.  As far as me workin’ for him, he was yer replacement.  That's it.”

 

Another silence engulfed them as Steve reflected once more. “So ya lied to him and said all those...things.” He didn't even want to know what Mark's reaction had been to that.  Steve did, however, want to know what was going on between them, where they stood, but didn't think now was the best time for that conversation. “I won't tell him.” He promised finally. “You gonna keep workin’ for him or come back to me?”

 

Now Andalyn was at another crossroads.  Did she tell Steve the truth or did she lie to him too? “I didn't know ya were comin’ back this soon.  Vince called and told me ya already had a replacement and asked me if I wanted to stay as Mark's personal assistant.  I said yes.  It's business, plain and simple.  The man needs a PA with how much shit he has on his plate.  I didn't know ya were comin’ back.  What’re ya doin’ back early anyway?” She turned around, raising a brow. “And what made ya come here and ask me ‘bout Rebel's father?”

 

He took the questions in order. “I'm back early ‘cause they said I could wait to have my neck operated on.” Steve explained, not happy with what happened in the short time he was away and wouldn't be able to change it anyway.  It sounded like Andalyn had made up her mind for the both of them. “And...I saw them in the weight room; they were grinnin’.  Mark has this...shit eatin’ grin and, no offense, Rebel has it too.” He remembered how Jeff Hardy described the grin.  It was Mark's personal ‘I banged your momma’ grin, not that Steve would say that to her.

 

“I know he does.” Andalyn replied softly and had to sit down due to a small dizzy spell, sitting back on the bed trying not to get too worked up.  She didn't yell at him once and wasn’t angry either. “I didn't know Mark worked for the WWF, Steve.” She added quietly. “Imagine my surprise when ya pointed him out in the cafeteria my first night and I saw him.” Andalyn chuckled ruefully, sniffling a bit and wiped the dried tears away from her face. “I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for everythin’.” She whispered, feeling some of the weight lifting off her shoulders from admitting the truth.

 

He remembered that first night quite well, Mark had been terrorizing Jeff. “Don't be sorry.” Steve wished he could be mad at her and failed miserably. “Ya sure ya won't tell him though?  I seen’ em together and I think they'd both be really happy if they knew.”

 

Andalyn's head shot up, instantly regretting that as a bigger wave of dizziness washed over her, causing her to lie back on the bed for a minute and closed her eyes. “No.  One: Mark wouldn't believe me after all the shit I told him.  Two: I can't risk losin’ Rebel.  Mark has a temper and he won't hesitate to use his power and stardom to take my son from me.  I can't do it Steve, so please, pretend this conversation never happened.” She pleaded with him in a quiet voice, trying to get the dizziness to subside.

 

“Just lie down and relax, I'm not gonna say a word.” Steve would probably go to hell for it too.  Unless one day Mark found out the truth, discovered Steve knew all along and hadn’t told him...Steve was getting dizzy himself now. “I think I need to lie down and relax.” He whispered truthfully.

 

Andalyn didn't mind when he lay down next to her or when he pulled her into his arms.  She sighed gently against him, having removed her laptop from the bed and snuggled against the pillow with her hand beneath it. “Thank you, Steve.”

 

She felt his nose bury in her hair and relished in the feeling.  It'd been a long time, over a decade, since she had a warm body next to her and arms holding her close.  It felt too wonderful to push Steve away as Andalyn quickly fell asleep, both on top of the comforter.

 

~!~

 

“Whoa, did you know Steve was back?” Rebel asked later that night when he and Mark returned from the show. 

 

Mark stared at the pair on the bed, not budging from the doorway. “Nope.  Come on tiger, ya can get yer bath in my bathroom.” Mark nudged him towards his room. “Let's not wake’ em up.”

 

Andalyn slowly woke up much later, feeling the dizziness gone and a pair of arms wrapped around her waist, turning to see who it was.  She saw Steve's sleeping face and sighed gently, remembering their earlier conversation and kissed his forehead softly standing.  After taking her medicine, Andalyn wanted to check on Rebel and walked out, closing the bedroom door quietly behind her.  She headed into the kitchen area, getting a glass of water before popping her last pill, hoping she never caught walking pneumonia again.  Mark was in the kitchen, leaning against the counter finishing a bottled water in the darkness.  He tried not to let the fact Steve had slept over with Andalyn bother him, but his blood and jealousy still boiled.

 

“You look like yer feelin' better.” He commented, crushing the bottle in the palm of his hand and tossed it into the trashcan, not commenting on Steve. “Rebel is asleep in my bed.” He added as an afterthought. “He had a bath and I fed him pizza.  He was tryin' to stay up for you, but was tuckered out.”

 

“Thank you.” Andalyn softly replied, holding a hand to her heart since he'd scared her. 

 

The man was quieter than he had a right to be at his size, but Mark had always been that way.  She remembered when he'd sneak into the girl's dorm at college and go up to her room for a quickie.  None of her friends minded, they all knew about her and Mark.  Andalyn smiled at the memory and quickly pushed it aside, setting the glass down on the counter. 

 

“Sorry to bother you.” She walked out of the kitchen slowly, sighing.

 

“You’re not botherin' me.” Mark said quietly following her, his eyes landing on Steve and snorted. “What's he doin' here?” He asked, listening to the other man snoring lightly and rolled his eyes, grunting when Steve began to groan in his sleep. “Now he's gettin' annoyin'.” Mark picked up a throw pillow from a chair and held it over Steve's face, looking to her for permission.

 

Andalyn slowly walked over and took the pillow from him, setting it on the bed guiding him out of her room, closing the door quietly behind her. “He came here to check on me.  Apparently someone told him I'd been in the hospital and he wanted to know where we stand.” She explained, wondering why Mark even cared considering all the hell he had put her through lately. 

 

Andalyn knew he didn't forgive her.  The man wasn't that easily swayed and Andalyn would not think otherwise.  Mark grunted, staring down at her out of intense eyes.  He hadn't forgiven or forgotten anything.  The only reason he was...babysitting...HER kid was because he felt bad for Rebel.  He didn't care to admit he began to care for the boy; that was a whole mess of pain he didn't need to deal with when she decided to pull the plug on it. 

 

“Gotcha, Andalyn.  Well, good night then.” He stepped past her, slipping into his own bedroom.

 

“Mark...” She whispered out painfully, tears stinging her eyes and knew she had no right crying over this. 

 

What did she honestly expect, that things would go back to the way they were before all of this happened?  No, she was smarter than that.  Sighing and knowing she couldn't get herself worked up, Andalyn decided to go check on her little boy and knocked on the door before entering, hearing the shower going.  She smiled sadly at the sight of Rebel sleeping.  God he even slept and snored like Mark.  Her heart broke as she covered him up with the comforter and kissed his forehead. 

 

“I'm sorry Rebel, I'm so sorry.” She whispered and vacated before Mark knew she was in there, closing the door silently behind her.

 

~!~

 

The next morning, Rebel was up bright-eyed and bushytailed. “Mom awake?” Rebel asked, yawning and sitting up in bed.

 

“I think so.” Mark said from his place in the bathroom, busy shaving.  He arched an eyebrow when the boy padded in. “What?”

 

“I want to shave too.”

 

So Mark set Rebel up with shaving cream, a step stool and a razor with the cap still on so he didn't cut himself. “Like this, son.” He said, tilting his head back, looking at his reflection in the mirror with narrowed eyes.

 

“Uh-huh.”

 

Andalyn was up in the living room, reading over her notes in her notebook, trying to get some work accomplished.  She yawned, barely getting any sleep, but would keep that to herself.  There was no need for her to worry Mark or her son.  Andalyn sipped more of her tea, no coffee allowed at the moment and looked up when Rebel walked out. 

 

“Hey sweetheart.” She kissed the top of his head when he sat beside her.

 

“Hey Mom.” Rebel seemed pleased with himself, frowning when she didn't notice what he did. “Don't you smell it?” He asked pouting then remembered pouting wasn't manly, tucking his lower lip back in. “Aftershave.” He announced proudly. “AND deodorant.”

 

Mark walked out, chuckling softly. “You still got shavin' cream on yer face, tiger.”

 

“Ya shaved?” Andalyn's eyes widened when he nodded, tears forming and pulled him into a tight hug, not believing how fast her little boy was growing up.  She sniffled and pulled back, wiping her nose, smiling at him. “Go on, go clean it off.”

 

She watched him get up and walk back into the bathroom before looking back at her notebook.  Wiping a stray tear away that fell down her cheek, Andalyn cleared her throat, needing to focus.  Mark ignored her, or at least appeared to, bustling around in the kitchen getting himself a morning cup of coffee.

 

“Can I have some too?” Rebel asked eagerly when he reemerged, eager to continue being a 'grown-up.'  He took one sip from the mug Mark offered and coughed. “That is GROSS!”

 

“We have cocoa.” Mark offered mildly, green eyes twinkling in amusement.

 

Andalyn giggled, shaking her head and looked up when her bedroom door opened, seeing Steve emerge. “Mornin’.” He was the only one who knew her secret, who knew Rebel really was Mark's.  She just hoped he kept his word and didn’t tell Mark. “You have an appearance today at 4, it's a signin’.” She informed Mark and went back to work.

 

Steve smiled at her, yawning and ruffled the tips of Rebel’s short hair before scratching his stomach. “Hey sport.”

 

“Yo.”

 

Somewhat confused, Steve dropped down by Andalyn.

 

Mark nodded, watching the pair over the rim of his mug, arching an eyebrow before glancing at Rebel, just shrugging one shoulder. “Don't ya have somewhere to be, Austin?”

 

“We'll talk later.” She quietly said, glancing back at Rebel and Mark and looked back into his baby blues. “Go on, I gotta talk to him.” When Steve arched an eyebrow, Andalyn quickly shook her head. “About the job.” She whispered in his ear and patted his thigh.

 

Steve reluctantly nodded and stood up, walking into the bedroom to collect his things.  She hadn't meant to throw him out that fast, but didn't want him around in case Mark erupted when she told him about the phone call from Vince.  Andalyn would put her own spin on the reasoning behind it though.  Rebel crossed his arms over his chest, looking pleased when Steve finally left, rolling his eyes. 

 

“Mom, did he REALLY stay the night?” He asked, being all for Steve until Mark entered the picture.

 

Mark coughed. “I don't think that's yer business, tiger.” He reprimanded quietly, shaking his head when the boy went to open his mouth. “Go brush yer teeth or somethin’.”

 

“I already did!”

 

“Go brush yer hair then.” Mark laughed when Rebel grumbled, reluctantly heading into the bathroom.

 

Chapter 13

 

When Rebel listened to Mark, Andalyn seen this was her perfect opportunity to tell him the news and slowly stood up. “We gotta talk.” She walked past him into the kitchen, refilling her glass of tea and kept her back to him. “Vince called and said I'm gonna remain bein’ yer personal assistant until further notice.” Her voice remained warm as honey as she slowly turned around to face him, staring into his green eyes. “So it looks like you'll be stuck with us for a while unless somethin’ changes.”

 

Mark stared down at her, his green eyes unreadable, his face a perfect poker expression. “Is that right?” He murmured, not looking away from her. “How's that gonna fly with yer boyfriend?” Not that he was interested or anything. “Not that I give a rat’s ass, but if he's gonna be a prick or anythin', that's just shit I'm not needin’.  He makes yer life hell, you'll probably fuck up my schedule or somethin’.” He added, just to drive the notion home that he didn’t care.

 

“He's not my boyfriend.  We went on one date and I have no time to even consider a relationship.” Andalyn corrected, trying not to let her feathers get ruffled by his choice of words. “The only man I want in my life is my little man in the bathroom.  That's it.  So don't worry ‘bout yer schedule bein’ fucked up, it's not gonna happen.” She assured him, knowing they were back to square one and walked past him sipping her tea. 

 

Andalyn had work to do now that the talk with Mark had been handled and went back to it.  Mark shrugged, walking back into his bedroom, spotting Rebel trying to style his hair with water and shook his head.  Talk about needing a father figure.  He snorted, knowing that wasn't his job.  He'd made it clear to Andalyn that they weren't friends.  Mark stopped for the most part being a jerk to her, but that didn't mean they were friends.  Hell, they weren't even on the casual acquaintance level.  She worked for him, that was it and more than enough for him.

 

“Try some gel.” Mark finally advised, sitting down on the edge of the bed, promising himself for lord knew what time he would step back and leave the boy alone.

 

~!~

 

A week passed and Andalyn was back to her normal self, full of energy.  She walked regularly and proceeded at top speed, ignoring Mark's threats to slow down.  She didn't work for him, she worked for Vince McMahon and knew her limitations.  Rebel was homeschooled on top of her working, so to say Andalyn was a busy woman was an understatement.  It didn't help either that Steve wouldn't leave her alone. 

 

“Steve, I told ya already, I don't want a relationship.  I can't have one right now.”

 

Andalyn walked down the hallway of the arena, wearing a pale blue spaghetti strapped dress.  Pants and skirt suits just didn’t suit her tonight and she needed a little change.  She gasped when she was pulled into a dark dressing room and shoved against the wall, her cell phone dropping on the concrete floor.

 

“Why can’t you?” Steve's husky whisper resonated around the room, pinning her to the wall face first and his body pressed against hers. “I thought we had somethin’, Andalyn.” He kept his voice low, soothing almost. “If it's Mark, forget him.  He don't care ‘bout ya, that's more than obvious, honey.” Steve ran his hands down her sides, resting them on her curvaceous hips. “You and me...we could really have somethin’, Andalyn.  Besides, stayin’ ‘round him and yer little...secret…is BOUND to come out.  Just...think on it.” He kissed her right underneath her earlobe. “Alright?” Steve pushed away from her, walking out the door.

 

Andalyn stopped him, pulling him back inside the room, tear-filled grey eyes narrowed at him. “Stop it.  Don't ya dare threaten me ‘bout that!  I told ya ‘cause I trust ya and this has NOTHIN’ to do with Mark.  This has to do with my son and what's best for him.  He doesn't like you, Steve.  He just doesn't.  Ya know why I'm doin’ this, why I'm stayin’ as Mark's personal assistant.  Just stay away from us.” She ordered gravely, going for the door, refusing to let him get the last word in.

 

It wasn’t happening.  Steve grabbed her by the arm, gently pulling her back with a hurt expression on his face. “I wasn't threatenin’ you, Andy.” He said quietly, looking sad that she would even think that. “I'm not Mark.  I don't hate ya.  I just meant he's not stupid; he's gonna eventually realize ya lied to him and then what?  He'll take Rebel from ya.  I'm just concerned ‘bout ya and yer son, that's all, honey.” He stepped away from her, shaking his head. “Sorry, my mistake, I thought ya knew me better than that.”

 

“I'm sorry.” She whispered, taking a step toward him, seeing the sincerity in his baby blues. “I'm just so confused right now about everythin’.  Mark will never find out, he believes me 100% about all the other guys in college.  He believes my lies and maybe I am feedin’ this, but Rebel deserves to be near his father, whether he knows Mark is or not.” Andalyn knew she didn’t make any sense to him, but it did to her and that's all that mattered. “What’d ya want from me, Steve?”

 

“Well, I wanted to pursue what I thought we had goin’, but I guess I read the signs wrong.” Steve rubbed a hand over his bald head, baby blues filled with confusion. “I don't know Andalyn, that's kinda wrong, ya know?  Lettin’ him be ‘round his father, but neither of them know the truth?  Rebel's gettin’ attached; what's gonna happen when all this is over and he doesn't see Mark anymore?  Are ya ready to deal with that?” He stared down at her, palms upward on his outstretched hands as if trying to both reason with her and see things from her point of view. “If ya don't wanna relationship that's fine, but I’d still like to be yer friend.”

 

“Being friends is fine ‘cause, as far as I'm concerned, you've always been mine.  That's why I told ya and trust ya with the truth.  I know ya won't tell anyone.  I don't know what's gonna happen with Rebel.  The only thing I DO know is that he's comfortable with me workin’ for Mark, so until he isn't I'm stickin’ with it.” Andalyn pressed her hand to his chest, staring into his beautiful blues and brushed her lips across his cheek. “I gotta go.  I'll call ya soon.” She swiped her phone from the floor and walked out.

 

Steve stood there, watching her go until she disappeared around the corner and shook his head. “Idiot.” He muttered, heading in the opposite direction.

 

“Mom, check this out!” Rebel said the minute she walked into the dressing room, holding up his hands, showing off his new boxing gloves. “Mark's teachin’ me how to box!”

 

“Rebel, pay-” Mark winced when the bag Rebel was punching swung back, knocking him down. “Attention.”

 

Andalyn's eyes went wide and she started going toward him, stopping because he would hate her for helping him up. “Rebel, I would really like it if ya didn't learn how to box.” She shot a glare at Mark before sitting down on the couch, crossing one leg over the other.  Black hair pooled over her shoulders as Andalyn pulled out his schedule to look over it. “You have a signin’ before the show, Mark.  Better get ready.” Her tone was even, not looking up at him.

 

“I am ready.” He rumbled back at her, patting Rebel on the shoulder when he went to whine. “Argue with her later, son.” Mark suggested, taking down the bag. “Boxin’ ain't gonna hurt him.  Might be a good way for him to release all that energy he has.” He held up his hands when Andalyn shot him a look. “Fine, I'm goin’.  You comin’, tiger?”

 

“Yeah!” Rebel had obviously gotten used to being around Mark 24-7 and it showed as the pair started for the door.

 

“No Rebel, you're staying with me this time.” Andalyn ordered, stopping both of them in their tracks, grey eyes narrowing slightly. “Mark, go to yer appearance.”

 

She pulled Rebel back into the room, knowing she was doing the right thing by doing this.  Even though her son glared at her like he wanted her dead at the moment, Andalyn didn't care.  Rebel exploded the minute the door closed behind Mark, his temper just as horrible as his father's. 

 

“It's alright for me to be ‘round him when ya need a babysitter, but not any other time?” He demanded, green eyes flashing with rage. “You can't keep babyin' me and keepin' me from everyone but you, Mom!” He snapped, throwing a temper tantrum like any normal 10-year-old did when they didn’t get their way. “It's not FAIR!”

 

“Yer with him all the time, Rebel!  Ya need to put some distance between you and him!” She fired back, her temper just as bad as his.  He had a mixture of her temper and Mark's, not a good combination. “Throw all the fits ya want, but the fact remains is that I’m yer mother.  I gave birth to ya and ya WILL listen to me or suffer the consequences.  Now play yer game, sit there and shut up.”

 

Andalyn knew exactly how to put that temper out flaring in his green eyes.  She sighed when he just sulked and got back to doing her job, wondering if staying as Mark's personal assistant was such a good idea after all.  Rebel just sat there, ignoring his game, arms over his chest, breathing heavily.  He didn't even look up when Mark walked back in.

 

“What's yer problem, tiger?”

 

“Mom says I need to put distance between you and me.”

 

“I see.” Mark surveyed Andalyn with a curled upper lip. “I guess ya needed a babysitter and now that ya don't, I'm expendable.  How like you.” He disappeared into the bathroom, slamming the door shut so hard the hinges nearly broke off of it.

 

“Goddamn it, will you both STOP?” It was Andalyn's turn to explode, not believing this and stood up, slapping her notebook on the couch. “The ONLY reason why ya two have been hangin’ out with each other is ‘cause I had walkin’ pneumonia, ya stupid son of a bitch!  Get out here right now, Mark!!” She shouted, face turning beat red and shoved him against the wall when he stormed out. “SHUT UP!  It was ‘cause of YOU I ended up with walkin’ pneumonia!  It was ‘cause of YOU treatin’ me like I was lower than trash that I got sick and ya had to watch my son!  It's not my fault this time and I'm NOT gonna feel guilty ‘bout it anymore!  What happened between us back then is the past, so either get over it or go fuck yerself!!” She had it, absolutely had enough and grabbed Rebel's hand, storming out of the dressing room, slamming the door behind her so hard the walls rattled and the sound echoed down the hallway.

 

“Good riddance.”

 

Mark snorted, shaking his head.  He would miss Rebel, but his mother was baggage Mark just didn't need.  Been there, done that and apparently she had done everything in between.  His green eyes flashed with a mixture of hurt and anger before heading back into the bathroom. 

 

“Poor kid, his momma's crazier than hell.” He muttered.

 

“You suck, Mom.”

 

“Yeah so I've heard.” She muttered in reply, stalking out of the arena and went to the car, getting inside. “Rebel Lucas Kervin, get in this car right now!!” She shouted, steely grey eyes flashing and dared him to defy her. 

 

When he was in and buckled up, Andalyn peeled out of there and went back to the hotel, needing a nice stiff drink after everything that happened lately.  Maybe she should just quit the WWF and find a new career.  No, she wasn't going to let Mark run her off!  They would work this out even if it killed her.

 

~!~

 

Mark waited patiently by the gorilla position, eyes lighting up when he seen Steve coming, apparently ready for the ring.

 

“Where's Andalyn?” Steve asked, not sure if he liked the fact Mark began smiling.

 

“Fuck if I know, she's not my concern.”

 

Now Steve knew he didn't like that fact.

 

Mark whistled after the match, walking up the ramp and left Steve lying in the ring seeing stars.

 

~!~

 

Andalyn was up when Mark walked in the hotel suite later that night, sitting on the couch, wearing a dark blue nightgown that went to her knees sipping a glass of wine.  Rebel was in her room sleeping, after yelling at her for 2 hours straight.  She sighed heavily, lulling her head back and pressed a hand against her forehead.  Andalyn didn't say one word to Mark and ignored the buzzing of her cell phone, suddenly putting it on silent.  She didn't want to talk to anyone, knowing it was Steve.  Mark halted when he seen her, turning and stopped someone from following. 

 

“Not tonight, darlin'.” He said in a low husky tone of voice.

 

“But why?”

 

“Tomorrow.” He murmured, closing the door partially behind him as he stepped out to send her off.

 

The woman giggled.

 

Mark stepped back in, straightening out his shirt. “Yer up late.”

 

“If ya want her to stay the night, Rebel and I can get our own room.”

 

Andalyn stood from the couch and refilled her glass.  She hadn't had a drop since she came down with walking pneumonia.  So tonight, she was having a few, especially after the explosion between her and Mark at the arena.  She walked back over to stare out the window, deep in thought about him and Rebel.

 

“Tomorrow maybe.” Mark shrugged, helping himself to the mini bar.  He poured himself a triple shot of Jack Daniels, setting out a beer for a chaser then pulled his shirt over his head, dropping it on the table. “I'm not in the mood for...blondes.” He eyed her hair, remembering how it had once been dishwater blonde.  Sitting down, Mark lounged in the chair comfortably and sighed as he shook out his hair, letting it fall over his shoulders.

 

Chapter 14

 

“God I hated bein’ blonde.”

 

Andalyn watched him take his shirt off and lounged back against the chair with those long legs encased in tight black jeans.  Even after all this time, with everything he’d done and put her through, Andalyn still found the dick attractive.  She downed half of her wine glass, hoping the alcohol intake would take some of the edge off her currently burning body.

 

“Mark, this has to stop.  This anger and hatred has to stop.” Andalyn remained facing him, her eyes and voice beseeching. “I'm sorry I hurt ya, I really am.  Ya don't know how sorry I am, but think of it this way: Rebel isn't yer responsibility and ya have no obligation to him.  It's one less weight off yer shoulders.  We have to make amends somehow before we end up destroyin’ each other.  I don't want that.  Please, I'm askin’ ya not only for my sake, but for my son's.  Please just let the past go, let's move on and make this work professionally.”

 

He surveyed her thoughtfully, sipping his drink even though, if he'd shot it, it wouldn't have done anything.  It took a lot to get a big man like him even buzzed let alone plastered.  Finally, Mark set the glass down on the stand beside him, folding his arms behind his head, muscles rippling with every movement.

 

“Maybe I didn't mind him bein' around, Andalyn.” He admitted, keeping his voice down in case Rebel was still up. “He's not a burden or a weight.  But then again, it ain't my business.  Ya want to keep’ em attached to yer apron string, that's fine.”

 

Mark stood up, draining the glass and walked over to the bar, pouring another.  Andalyn didn't know what else to say to him at the moment and simply turned to stare out the window, trying to not let his words bother her.  God she wanted to tell him.  She wanted to tell him so badly, her heart ached.  Andalyn was scared though, afraid he would take Rebel away from her.  Tears filled her eyes as she pressed her forehead against the glass window, not able to take that risk.  Mark would have every right to take her to court if she came clean and who's to say he would even believe her?  She'd been so convincing telling him he wasn't the only one she had sex with in college.  What if Mark didn't even believe her?  Andalyn couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t tell him.  Maybe someday, but not now, she thought, downing the rest of her wine and didn’t realize a few tears had escaped her eyes.

 

Andalyn was so lost in whatever thoughts occupied her mind, she didn't even notice Mark had moved around to stand at her side.  The side of his head leaned against the window, staring down at her.  Her tears were always a weakness of his and Mark could feel his heart constricting painfully, fighting back the overwhelming urge to take her pain away.

 

“Why’re ya cryin’?” He asked, trying to keep his tone blank, just mildly curious instead of concerned. “Look, I'm sorry Andalyn, but yer overprotective.  Either let the kid have a bit of freedom or ya turn him into a sissy, that's all I'm sayin’.” Mark shrugged, figuring her damage was him commenting on Rebel.

 

Andalyn touched her face and felt the tears, quickly wiping them away and looked into his emerald green eyes. “I don't want that, to be overprotective.  I'm tryin’ to be his mother and his father...” She had to look away before she spilled her secret, dropping her head. “It's so hard tryin’ to be both at the same time.  I don't know what to do anymore.” She rubbed her temples, feeling a headache coming on.

 

Whatever pushed him to say what he did, Mark would never know. “Let him have some space, Andy.  He’s growin’ up and it’s only normal for him to want a male role model in his life.  Even if ya don't want it bein' me, at least let him around Austin.”

 

After Steve had recovered from his concussion of course.  Mark awkwardly patted her back, feeling her soft skin through the silky material of her nightgown and had to step away to refill his glass.  Needing to get away from the woman who recently ripped out his heart and spoon-fed it to him, Mark refused to go down any road involving intimacy when it came to Andalyn Kervin.

 

“He doesn't wanna hang out with Steve, he wants to hang out with ya.” Andalyn frowned, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “What if he was yers, Mark?” She suddenly asked, causing him to slowly turn his head, emerald green eyes peering at her curiously. “He's not, but I wanna know what would ya do if he was yers, if ya were his father?”

 

Andalyn took a few steps toward him, not able to stop the questions from pouring out of her mouth, even if she tried.  Mark had to slam his drink, considering that.  Was she purposely screwing with him?  If so, she'd better watch it before he decided to return the favor and screw with her.

 

“Same thing I've been doin’.” He answered gruffly. “Or ain't ya noticed?  That boy is happy when he's with me, but ya already knew that, didn't ya?” He shook his head, walking toward his bedroom door. “I get it Andalyn, he's not mine.  Don't need to fuckin’ throw it in my face.” Mark disappeared into his room, slamming the door shut behind him.

 

“Damn it...”

 

Her eyes tightly shut, not meaning for it to come out that way.  What was she thinking?  Did she want Mark to find out about Rebel?  Did she want him knowing the truth?  Sighing, Andalyn walked over and laid on the couch, deciding to give her son what he wanted…space.  She pulled the cover up over her that she'd gotten from the hotel receptionist downstairs and curled up, falling fast asleep.

 

Rebel didn't greet Mark the next morning, eyes puffy and swollen from crying himself to sleep.  He just watched morning cartoons, eating his second bowl of cereal, remembering the blowup he'd had with his Mom the night before.  She didn't want him around Mark; fine, he would give her what she wanted.  Mark grunted, glancing down at the sleeping Andalyn and shook his head.  Damn if she didn't look beautiful when she slept.  He could almost forget she was a lying vindictive bitch like this.  Mark idly wondered if she'd stay that way so he could like her again and walked away, leaving Rebel alone.

 

Andalyn slowly opened her eyes, hearing the cartoons and rubbed the sleep out of them as she slowly sat up, cracking her neck and knuckles.  Sleeping on the couch wasn't that comfortable, but she dealt with it.  Standing, Andalyn cracked her back before going to the kitchen to get some coffee.  She noticed Rebel was already up, not surprised.  He was always an early riser.  She could see how miserable he was and sighed, walking over to shut the television off. 

 

“I'm givin’ ya free reign.” When his eyebrow raised, she simply stood there with an even expression on her face. “Ya can choose who ya wanna hang out with and what ya wanna do…within reason.  Now go on, I know ya wanna go say hi to Mark.”

 

Andalyn then walked back into the kitchen, knowing Mark was right.  She had to give her son space and it hurt to know he wanted to be around Mark more than her, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing either.  Mark blinked in surprise when he heard Rebel behind him, halting rifling for breakfast to see the kid squeezing past his Mom.  Surprised, he dropped down to catch the boy when he hugged him, staring at Andalyn wondering what the hell was going on. 

 

“Okay, tiger, calm down.” He said gently, peeling Rebel off of him.

 

“Mom said I could hang out with ya again.”

 

Mark stared up at her curiously.

 

Smiling serenely, Andalyn nodded silently letting him know she took his advice to heart. “He likes ya.  Not my fault yer likeable.”

 

She shrugged, pouring herself a cup of coffee and fixed it to her liking, heading into the living room to sit down.  As much as she hated getting up this early, it was also part of the job.  Mark wasn't sure if he even wanted to know what caused Andalyn's apparent change of heart.  He wouldn’t say anything about it just in case she changed her mind again.  It would only screw Rebel up more if his mother started acting like she had a split personality.  The nice one and the bitch.  Mark almost smirked. 

 

“What's on the agenda today?” He asked, lifting Rebel up to sit on his shoulders, both of them wearing identical grins.

 

“I do believe ya have the day off.  Lemme check.” Andalyn walked over and opened her notebook to double-check what she already knew, nodding to confirm what she’d said. “Yeah, the day off.” She noticed their identical grins and it both lifted and broke her heart at the same time, the torment obvious in her eyes. “Hold still.” She ordered, pulling her camera out and snapped a picture, putting it away. 

 

Leaving the boys alone for a few minutes, Andalyn headed into the bedroom to get dressed and pulled out some clothes, not comfortable lounging around in her nightgown in front of Mark.  Not realizing how good that nightgown looked until she stood up, his eyes watched the fabric stretch over her chest when she'd gotten to her feet.  He licked his lips and shook his head, setting Rebel down so he didn’t drop him. 

 

“What’d ya wanna do today, tiger?”

 

“I don't know, lemme go see if Mom wants to do somethin’.” Rebel took off after his Mom, knocking on the door. “Decent?”

 

Andalyn chuckled and opened the door, staring down at him, wearing a velvet looking pale green jogging suit, jacket and pants with a white tank top beneath, hair brushed and pulled back in a slick ponytail. “What's up, honey?” She saw the happiness in her son's emerald eyes and it honestly did her heart good.

 

“Mark wants to know what we're doin' today!” Rebel said eagerly, garbling his words a bit in his excitement.

 

Mark shook his head, it wasn’t exactly what he had said, but close enough.  He left them to sort it out, going back into his room to dress.  Tossing a pair of blue jeans onto the bed, Mark hunted for a shirt and decided on a beater since it was hot outside.  Spending quality time with Andalyn and her kid was the last thing Mark thought he’d be doing on his day off, but also found himself getting excited like the boy.

 

“Can we do somethin’, Mom?  Can we?  Please?” Rebel begged, jumping up and down.

 

“You want me to come with?” Andalyn knew that wasn't Mark talking, it was Rebel and smiled wider at his eager nod. “Lemme go talk to Mark, hold on.” She left him standing there and walked over to his room, knocking.  Hearing him call out to come in, Andalyn entered closing it behind her. “Rebel wants to do somethin’ with both of us today.  I'm just gonna tell him that I gotta catch up with my work, okay?”

 

She didn't want him to feel uncomfortable and knew her presence alone did, so spending the day would be pure hell for her ex.  Mark nodded, in the process of getting dressed with his back to her.  He pulled the jeans up over his hips, affording her a quick glimpse of his backside, nothing under those jeans except bare skin.  He turned to face her, the zipper and button not done yet, a light sprinkling of dark red hair going from his naval to under the jeans.  Mark pulled a white beater over his head, tucking it in his pants. 

 

“Why aren't ya goin'?” He asked casually.

 

“Because I know ya don't want me to and I'm fine with it.  I just don't want my son knowin’ how much ya despise his mother.”

 

She kept her eyes glued to the floor while he dressed, crossing her arms in front of her chest and knew she was right.  All of her points were valid and, even though it bothered her, she would sacrifice her own happiness for Rebel's.  Mark snorted, beginning to brush out his hair before he put it in the customary braid. 

 

“If he wants ya there, ya should be.  I can act like I like you.” He looked at her pointedly, blatantly telling her she wasn’t the only one who could pretend to care. “Sorry.” He grunted, tossing the brush aside.

 

Andalyn looked up, seeing he was having trouble braiding his hair and walked over. “Sit.” She crawled on the bed and sat on her knees behind him, taking the braid out and smoothed his hair back, beginning to do it the right way. “I do care about ya, whether ya believe it or not.  I'm tryin’ like hell not to make this as awkward as possible.”

 

Finishing, Andalyn tied it and watched him turn around, hands resting gently on his shoulders.  Staring deep into his emerald green eyes, Andalyn began to get lost in them.  He stared back at her, his gaze gradually moving from her eyes to her lips.  Mark was a goner when he seen her pink tongue flick out to lick them and leaned forward, capturing her lips with his.  Wrapping his arms around Andalyn, Mark pulled her against him and completely contradicted his earlier statement about pretending to like her.

 

“Hey, we goin’ or not?” Rebel called from outside the door.

 

He pulled away, standing and smirked slightly. “Now that's awkward, Andalyn.  Come on in, boy.”

 

Andalyn blinked, trembling as she touched her lips with her fingertips, sitting back on his bed.  She quickly shook herself mentally and stood, walking out the door past Rebel so Mark could finish getting ready.  What the hell was that about?  He claimed he didn’t like her yet gave her a heart stopping toe-curling melting kiss.

 

“Honey, I'm not gonna-” She sighed at the plea in her son's eyes and raised an eyebrow when he grabbed her hand.

 

“I miss ya and want ya to come with, Mom.  Please?”

 

“Lemme get my shoes on.” She said resignedly and walked away from him inside her own room, her lips still burning from that kiss. 

 

Mark was in an abnormally good mood, looking over the local events of the newspaper, frowning and set it aside. “There's an amusement park not too far from here.  You like rollercoasters?”

 

“Can you even FIT on one?”

 

“I'm tall, not fat, son.”

 

“Hey Mom, how ‘bout an amusement park?”

 

Andalyn had changed into a pair of blue jean shorts because of the heat outside in California with a light blue tank top, leaving her hair clipped up. “Yeah that’s fine!” She called through the door, slipping her white tennis shoes on and took a few minutes to calm her suddenly racing heart.

 

That kiss would not leave her mind.

 

Chapter 15

 

After 10 minutes passed, Andalyn finally felt she could face Mark without a crimson face or turning into a cherry, stepping out of her room. “Sorry, I heard what ya said and had to change.” She smiled down at Rebel. “Ya know I don't like rollercoasters, but I'll go on the water rides.” She looked up at Mark and immediately looked at something else in the room.

 

This was awkward as hell.

 

Mark smirked slightly, tucking his wallet in his back pocket. “Champ, yer not dressed.” He pointed out, taking in Rebel's pajamas. “Make it snappy.” He watched as the kid zoomed off whooping and laughed, shaking his head suddenly turning his attention on Andalyn. “Yer lookin’ uncomfortable, darlin’.” He drawled, reaching out to trace a finger over her bare shoulder. “It’s nowhere we ain't been before, relax.”

 

What had gotten into Mark?  Was he purposely doing this to drive her to the brink of insanity?  Her stomach did several flip-flops and Andalyn wasn't sure she knew how to breathe, that single touch on her shoulder instantly burning.  She opened and closed her mouth as he lifted her head by the chin, staring into his eyes, knowing she couldn't resist anything he did.  Andalyn couldn't resist him in college and especially not now since he was a lot sexier than back in the day.  She swallowed past the lump forming in her throat, trying to find words, trying to figure out how to use her voice box again and tried like hell to relax.  Finally just nodding slowly, Andalyn felt like complete jelly under his intense green gaze.  It took every ounce of willpower he possessed not to laugh at the dazed expression on Andalyn's face.  He smiled when Rebel came back out, grinning and ruffled the boy's unruly blonde hair. 

 

“You ready?”

 

“Heck yes!”

 

They arrived at the amusement park a half an hour later and Mark paid for everyone’s ticket inside.  He took off his sunglasses, staring up at the rollercoaster, glancing down at Rebel.  Andalyn had flat out refused to go on any of them, so Mark wouldn’t push her.  He remembered taking her to a fair when they were in college and they had a few high rides he had to pass up because of her fear of heights. 

 

“Sure yer up for this?”

 

“Um...yeah, ya comin’ Mom?” Rebel swallowed hard, wanting to ride it, but also felt like throwing up his cereal too.

 

“I hate rollercoasters, hell no!” Andalyn exclaimed, shaking her head and walked over to sit down on the bench, waving at both of them with a placid smile. “Have fun, honey!”

 

She winked as Mark taunted him into riding it.  Her mind was still on that kiss, deciding both of them just got caught up in the moment and she would have to forget about it.  Rebel felt his stomach rising to his throat as they crept up the hill, closing his eyes.  Once they shot down the hill and the lurch was over, he fully enjoyed the adrenaline rush.  Mark roared with laughter, tossing his hands up in the air, acting like a big kid himself. 

 

“Mom, ya GOTTA go on that!” Rebel shrieked as he wobbled off the coaster and into her arms. “That was AWESOME!  Boy am I dizzy though.”

 

“Did ya have fun?” Andalyn laughed when he swayed against her, wrapping her arm around his shoulders and kissed the top of his head. “I’m not goin’ on the rollercoaster.” She stated emphatically and looked up at Mark, seeing the evil glint in his wicked green eyes. “How ‘bout a water ride?” She suddenly felt hot. “Yeah, a water ride.  I'll go on a water ride with ya.”

 

“Yeah, let's do a water ride.” Mark agreed, studying her light blue top thoughtfully.  He smirked, lifting Rebel up and placed him astride his shoulders. “How'd that be, tiger?”

 

“Okay, it’s not gonna make me dizzy, is it?”

 

“Nah...just...wet.” He looked directly at Andalyn when he said that.

 

Andalyn was in HELL, noting the smoldered gaze in Mark's eyes as he guided them to a log water ride.  They stood in line for about a half an hour before finally boarding.  Andalyn was in front of Mark and Rebel, not minding riding alone.  The sun beat down on them, causing sweat to trickle down her forehead and knew this is what she needed.  The sun wasn't the only thing making her heated.  The ride began, a smile crossing her face, not remembering the last time she did something like this with Rebel.  Mark sat in the back for a reason.  He wanted Andalyn to take the brunt of the water.  He leaned back, relaxing as the ride began and was grateful for the cold water when he did get splashed.  It kept him from thinking thoughts that weren't appropriate for his current situation.

 

“Holy hell, dude!” Rebel exclaimed, spitting out a mouthful of water with wide green eyes and a grin.

 

The water felt heavenly and was exactly what she needed, lowering her body temperature momentarily.  Andalyn shrieked out in laughter as a huge wave of water crashed over their log, completely soaking her from head to toe along with Rebel and Mark.  They got off of the ride and Andalyn laughed when her son ran over to her, hugging him close ruffling his wet blonde hair.                                                               

 

“It's been a long time since we did somethin’ like this, huh?”

 

She smiled when he nodded eagerly and kissed his forehead, her tank top clinging to her body.  Thank god she wore a white bra beneath so it didn't show through.  Shaking her head, Andalyn wrung out the excess water from her hair, her shorts sealing to her body like a second skin. 

 

“I feel much better now.”

 

“Makes two of us.” Mark rumbled from behind her, eyes firmly fastened on her backside. 

 

Mark was tempted to reach out and grab himself a handful, managing to restrain himself.  He did, however, brush against her as he sidestepped, looking down at Rebel before glancing back at Andalyn.  His eyes took in her tank top as it clung quite nicely to her curves, green eyes slowly darkening.  Rebel wrapped his arms around himself, making squishing noises with his shirt.  Andalyn giggled at the noises and turned to look at Mark, immediately regretting that. 

 

“How ‘bout some food?  I'm starvin’ and I know ya gotta be, honey.” She said to Rebel, causing the boy to nod and smiled as they walked away from the ride toward the first eating establishment. “I'll meet ya guys there.” She quickly jogged across the way to a gift shop, buying three towels, needing them at the moment along with a few minutes away from Mark.

 

He tilted his head to watch her jog; apparently Andalyn didn't realize it made her backside bounce.

 

“Uh Mark, what are we lookin’ at?”

 

Mark looked down to see Rebel imitating him and snorted, clamping a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing.  “Uh, just watchin’ the scenery.”

 

“Mom's butt was blockin’ it.”

 

Andalyn walked up a few minutes later, a towel draped around her neck and handed the guys theirs, sitting down. “A corndog?”

 

She smirked over at Mark, knowing it was his doing and decided to tease him a bit since he enjoyed torturing her so much.  Two could play that game.  She dipped it in the ketchup and bit into it slowly, smiling as Rebel completely inhaled his, going to his third.  Mark had ordered him 5 as requested by the little guy.  He definitely has his father's appetite, Andalyn thought, noting Mark's humungous burger sitting in front of him loaded with everything imaginable.  It took Mark a second to realize what Andalyn was doing and wound up with half his burger down his shirt. 

 

“Fuck!” He cursed, wiping the mess off of him, growling and looking at her accusingly.  Mark ordered a fresh one and pulled off his shirt, knowing so long as he had on his pants nobody would care about the lack of a top. “Not funny.” He rumbled, watching as Rebel tried to stifle his laughter, shooting Andalyn a glare.

 

Andalyn snickered in her food as she tried to take another bite out of her corndog, only to snort bellowing out in laughter. “Oh god...” She breathed out, stomach tensing laughing harder and Rebel soon joined in.  Knowing she got him back good, Andalyn wrapped an arm around her son to keep from falling out of her seat, giggling uncontrollably. “Mark, ya okay?” She managed to get out, laughing again and took another bite, shaking her head.  Maybe now he'd cool it with the teasing.

 

Mark nodded, smiling when another burger was set in front of him. “Absolutely.”

 

He arched an eyebrow, seeing her trying to eat her corndog, but had to keep putting it down because she was laughing.  Shaking his head, Mark rolled his eyes heavenward.  He sat there for a minute, just listening to her before slipping his bare foot -he had taken off his shoes and socks to let them dry- up her bare leg, snorting when she shrieked. 

 

“Payback, darlin’.”

 

“Oh ya little...” She bit her lip when Rebel looked at them and smiled, simply glowering at Mark, chomping into the rest of her food.  Andalyn slowly slid her tongue along her top lip smacking them together, seeing he was once again holding his burger. “Eat Mark before ya get it all over ya again.” She snickered, standing up and tossed her tray away, giggling.

 

Snorting, Mark took a huge bite of his hamburger, chewing and swallowed, giving her another pointed look.

 

“Um, what the hell are ya two doin’?” Rebel demanded, having watched all of this in silence, green eyes wide.  He looked confused when they seemed muddled; apparently just realizing he was still there. “Uh, hello?”

 

“Nothin’ honey, eat yer food.” Andalyn waved him off dismissively, opening the map and looked to see where they could go next.  She jumped when Mark placed his cold foot on her thigh again and rolled the map up, whacking him on the head with it. “Now knock it off!” She ordered playfully and reopened it, crossing one leg over the other.

 

Mark just smirked, shaking his head when Rebel shot him a ‘what the hell’ look. “Nothin’, tiger.”

 

“Let's go to the funhouse next.”

 

“Nothin’ like gettin’ lost in- Hey, let’s go to the funhouse next.”

 

“That’s what I said!”

 

“Well, I agree with ya.  What’d ya think, Andy?”

 

“I don't care.”

 

She giggled at how Mark acted.  He was one HUGE kid!  They quickly finished eating and Andalyn let Rebel run ahead, staying back with Mark.  She smiled when they arrived at the funhouse and groaned when Mark forced her to go in.  Never fond of these things, they crept her out.  However, one look in those green eyes and Andalyn would've signed her own soul away to Mark if he wanted it.  Mark hung back, letting her get ahead of him, smirking when he reached the mirrors and stopped to watch her find her way through them. 

 

“Over here, darlin’.” Mark taunted, his height letting him see how to navigate through them, chuckling deeply when she spun around.  A glimpse of his reflection caught her eye before vanishing. “Behind you.”

 

He flicked his tongue against her earlobe and slipped behind another mirror.  Andalyn groaned inwardly, feeling a shiver rush up her spine as she slowly made her way through the mirrors.  She smirked when she felt him behind her and grabbed his hand before he could jump behind another, turning around to face him.  Grey eyes twinkled as Andalyn heard Rebel's laughter, knowing he was ahead of them.  Turning, Andalyn continued making her way through the mirrors, not releasing Mark’s hand because she didn't want him playing anymore games with her.

 

“Nice try.”

 

“Ya liked it.” Mark drawled, letting her lead the way through the funhouse, catching her on the shaking bridge when she stumbled, his hands searing through her damp shorts to her hips. “Mmm.” The sound was almost like thunder rumbling from a distance, vibrating deep within his chest.

 

“Y’all comin’?”

 

Andalyn had to learn how to breathe and nodded, smiling at Rebel as they made their way across the bridge going in the circle spin. “Oh god, I hate this thing.” She grumbled, stumbling her way through, hoping this was over soon so she could put some distance between herself and Mark.  He was torturing her and wasn't called the master of mind games in the WWF for nothing. 

 

Andalyn now understood why.

 

“Mom, ya gettin’ dizzy yet?” Rebel laughed, loving this.  He turned in time to see his Mom start to fall backwards, hooting when Mark caught her. “Good catch.”

 

“Thanks.” He lifted her into his arms princess style, calmly walking through the tumbler like it was nothing.  Come on, he balanced on top of a ring rope for Christ sakes. “Ya alright?”

 

“Yeah, I'm startin’ to feel that corndog.” Andalyn leaned her head against his shoulder, arm wrapped around his neck while the other laid on her stomach.  She felt the fresh air blow across her face and smiled, slowly opening her eyes to look up at Mark. “Thanks.” Andalyn murmured and felt him set her on her feet, sliding down his body, pressing a hand to her forehead. “I never did like funhouses.” She chuckled ruefully.

 

“Remember that one at the campus carnival?” He chortled at the memory. “Ya got lost and started screamin’ yer head off.”

 

“College?” Rebel frowned slightly. “You two already knew each other?”

 

Mark arched an eyebrow at her, looking confused. “He didn't know?”

 

“Know what?”

 

Andalyn's eyes widened when he said that, swallowing hard and knew part of her secret was out now. “Rebel...” She stared down into his big green eyes, nodding. “Yeah, we knew each other in college, honey.” Andalyn couldn't lie to him and felt a sudden rush of nausea coming on. “Oh god...” She bolted to the nearest trashcan and vomited.

 

Mark blinked, shaking his head and followed her, Rebel in tow. “It's probably too soon for ya to be doin’ this.” He pointed out, holding her hair back as she hurled.

 

“Oh Mom, that is gross.” Rebel groaned, peering into the trashcan.

 

“Go get yer Mom a bottle of water.”

 

Rebel took off, shaking his head.

 

“Why're ya pukin’?”

 

“Sorry, that funhouse and corndog didn't sit well with my stomach.”

 

Andalyn partially told the truth, the other part refusing to come out.  She hadn't expected him to bring up a part of their past when they were actually happy and in love, even though she knew Mark was never in love with her.  He cared about her, but never loved her, not like she loved him. 

 

“I'm okay, I'm fine.” She slowly stood up and took the bottled water from Rebel, downing some of it and swished it around in her mouth spitting it in the trashcan to eliminate the vomit taste. “So what next?”

 

Chapter 16

 

“How ‘bout we just...go see a movie or somethin’.” Rebel suggested, not wanting his mother to be sick and knew, if he said go back to the hotel, she would feel bad.

 

“Yeah, that'd be fine.” Mark agreed, lowering his raised eyebrows.

 

Knowing well Andalyn did not tell him the complete truth, Mark shrugged it off for now.  So she didn't tell Rebel they knew each other in college, no big deal.  Apparently Andalyn had known a lot of guys in college.  He scowled at the thought. 

 

Throughout the movie, Andalyn thought about what to tell Rebel, knowing he'd want some answers regarding why she hadn't told him about her background with Mark prior to this job.  She didn't pay attention, just sat there and pondered, wondering what would happen now.  Mark wasn't interested much in the movie either, some kid thing though he pretended to watch.  He draped his arm over the back of Rebel's, reaching out to play with Andalyn's hair.  Hell, if he kept this up he would wind up thinking they were some sort of family.  Snorting, Mark retracted his hand, folding them over his chest to keep from doing anything stupid such as playing with her hair again.

 

Later on that night, Andalyn walked out of the bedroom, smiling since Rebel was completely worn out and currently snoring in bed.  Her hair was down and damp, fresh out of a shower and had a silk ivory nightgown on that went to her knees.  Spotting the rain falling outside as it tapped lightly against the window, Andalyn sighed softly at the relaxing sound.  What a day they'd had together.  Andalyn enjoyed herself immensely, feeling bad that she'd gotten sick at the amusement park, but the movie more than made up for it. 

 

She wrapped her arms around herself as she watched the rain, that kiss and the flirtatious advances her and Mark made on each other throughout the day flowing through her mind.  What did it all mean?  She tried pushing it out of her mind and failed miserably, frowning.  Unbeknownst to Andalyn, Mark sat in the corner of the main room, sipping whiskey from the bottle, wearing nothing more than a pair of dark blue pajama bottoms.  He watched her, upper lip curling into a sort of snarl. 

 

“What happened today?” He demanded, his voice echoing around her.

 

“You’re a lot quieter than ya have the right to be.” Andalyn slowly turned to face him, seeing his shape in the dark with a tumbler in hand. “What’d ya mean?”

 

She walked over to the mini-bar, needing a stiff drink to get through this conversation.  Andalyn knew what he wanted to know.  Why hadn't she told Rebel about knowing him prior to taking this job?  It just proved she had hid something else and that alone made the amount she poured in the tumbler double instantly.

 

“Why didn't ya tell Rebel we knew each other way back then?” He finished the bottle and reached down by the side of his chair to open a new one, staring at her intently, disregarding her comment about him being quiet. “It only makes sense, considerin’ we DO - we DID know each other.  Why not mention it to him?”

 

“Why does it matter?” Andalyn shot back quietly, taking a large swallow of her tequila and felt the liquid burn down her throat. “It never crossed my mind to tell him, Mark.  I don't wanna confuse him.” She shook her head, walking back over to the window to stare out into the pouring rain, holding the tumbler.  Why couldn't she ever catch a break?

 

“It matters ‘cause he might've understood why we don't seem to care for each other better if he knew we have a past.” Mark drawled, standing up and moved to stand behind her, reaching out to caress the nape of her neck with his fingertips. “And what a past it is...” He murmured, lowering his head so their faces were side-by-side. “Remember how good we were together, hmm?”

 

The heat spread throughout her body along with the liquor and Andalyn shivered against him, mouth suddenly bone-dry as she took another large sip of tequila. “Not a day goes by I don't think ‘bout it.” She murmured truthfully, inhaling his intoxicating scent that only Mark possessed.  It was a mixture of leather, gasoline and something else she still, after all this time, couldn't quite put her finger on. “I should've told him, but I was afraid I would confuse him.” That was the truth as well and Andalyn felt her eyes close, his touch spellbinding.

 

“Why would it confuse him?” His voice was low and husky, moving to tower behind her again, resting his hands on her shoulders.  “All he needed to know is that we're old...friends, no confusion there.” Mark began massaging her shoulders in slow sensuous circles, his thumbs gently pressing into the knotted muscles, feeling her relax under his touch. “Did ya miss me?” He whispered, breath hot on the back of her throat. “Did ya miss this?”

 

Entranced, Andalyn melted back against him, her lips parted slightly nodding. “Yes, I missed everythin’.”

 

It’d been a long time since she'd last had a man touch her this way, this sensually.  Mark was the last man she'd slept with, though he'd never know that.  He wouldn't believe her anyway.  That wasn't important though.  Andalyn felt him move her hair to the side to expose her neck further and was in heaven, stomach tensing slightly as his hot breath continued caking on her neck and ear.  Mark grazed the side of her throat with his teeth, smirking when she melted against him and stepped away abruptly. 

 

“Good night, Andalyn.” He whispered, vanishing into his bedroom. 

 

God Mark wanted her, but he'd be damned if he started another relationship, sexual or otherwise, with her.  Andalyn was like a praying mantis, she screwed and killed.  Mark stepped into the shower after shedding his pajama bottoms, resting his forehead against the cool tiles. 

 

Andalyn actually dropped to her knees when he walked away and heard the door shut, swallowing hard trembling from head to toe.  She knew it.  She knew he was playing games with her. 

 

“Damn it, I fell for it.”

 

She felt tears burn her eyes and slowly stood up from the carpeted floor, taking a long swallow of her liquor collapsing on the couch.  Andalyn deserved it.  She didn't blame him because, if the roles were reversed, she'd probably do the same thing.  The lies and deceit was the primary reason she’d let Mark get away with what he just did, the guilt slowly eating her alive.

 

“Never again.” She vowed, laying down on the couch and let a few tears fall, somehow succumbing to a restless slumber.

 

~!~

 

“You look like crap, Mark.  So does Mom.” Rebel commented the next day, worried for both.

 

“Rebel buddy, I got one helluva hangover, mind steppin' out for a moment?” Mark groaned, not wanting to pull his head out from under the pillow.  He had drank himself to sleep just so he COULD rest.

 

“Sure – sure.” Rebel walked back out, staring at his Mom and shook his head, wondering if she had a hangover too.  He groaned when there was a knock on the door, walking over to answer it. “Hey Steve.”

 

Andalyn slowly opened her eyes, hearing the knock on the door and sat up on the couch when Steve walked in, blinking to try to get the blurriness to go away. “What’re ya doin’ here?” She grumbled, standing up and stumbled into the kitchen to make some coffee, knowing Steve was behind her. “We gotta flight to catch in 3 hours, Rebel, will ya go inform Mark, please?”

 

“I came to see how yer doin’.” Steve said softly, ruffling Rebel's hair as he ran past and studied Andalyn thoughtfully. “You look like shit, Andy.” He finally murmured, reaching out to gently turn her towards him. “Everythin’ alright?”

 

“Austin, don't ya have better things to do?” Mark muttered, leaning past Andalyn to grab the Tylenol.

 

Steve didn't say a word, not about to pick a fight.

 

“Everythin's fine, Steve.”

 

Andalyn really was not in the mood to see him at the moment, ignoring Mark’s insult.  As far as she was concerned, Andalyn wasn't going on a personal level with Mark anymore, not after what he pulled the previous night.  She ended up having some pretty erotic dreams, which did nothing except help her sleep peacefully. 

 

“I'm sorry, I gotta get ready to leave.” She walked past him into her bedroom, sifting through her bag to pull out an outfit while Rebel busied himself in Mark's room.

 

Steve leaned against the counter, watching Mark make himself a cup of coffee. “You look like shit.” He offered cheerfully.

 

“You wantin' another concussion, Austin?” Mark demanded in a low deadly tone of voice.

 

“Hmm...I'm guessin’ Andy don't know what ya like to do to people for fun, ya sick fuck.”

 

“She's fixin’ to find out if ya don't get the fuck on outta here.” Mark threatened darkly.

 

Steve sneered. “Try me you- Hey sport.”

 

“Hi.”

 

Andalyn came out wearing a pair of blue jeans with a black and red tank top that had a sparkling devil on it, raising an eyebrow at the tense expressions on the men's faces. “Rebel, go get ready, sweetie.” She ordered gently, removing him from harm's way because Mark looked like he would maim Steve. “You need to leave, Steve.” Standing between them in front of Mark, grey eyes narrowed slightly as Andalyn grabbed him by the arm, guiding him to the door.  They both stepped out in the hallway and Andalyn closed the door behind her, effectively stopping what would’ve been a fist fight. “I don't know what yer problem is, but ya'd better back off.”

 

Steve stared at her like she had lost her mind. “Are ya kiddin’ me?” He demanded, anger flaring in his icy blues. “That...maniac...threatens me with another damn concussion and yer defendin’ him?” Steve glared down at her. “What?  He gets in yer panties and ya decide everythin’s all hunky-dory?” He caught her hand before she could deck him. “Tell him yer little secret yet?  Or still worried he might decide yer not a very good mommy?”

 

“Ya son of a bitch...” Andalyn hissed, shaking her head back and forth slowly, yanking her hand harshly from his grasp. “I knew I should've never told ya!  And no, not that it's any of yer business, but he hasn't gotten in my panties.  He doesn't want me like that and I don't want him.  It's business, plain and simple, ya stupid asshole!” She shoved him away and gasped when he shoved her back, pressing his body against hers, staring into his cold calculating blues. “Back off, Steve, this is yer last warnin’.  Leave me and my son alone before ya get hurt.”

 

“Who's gonna do the hurtin’?  You?” He snorted, apparently not too worried. “Or maybe ya could have Mark do it for ya?  I know how GOOD you are at manipulatin’ him.” Steve grabbed a handful of her hair, jerking her head back and kissed her violently. “I would’ve treated ya like a queen.” He whispered almost sadly, stepping away just as the door opened.

 

“We're ready to go, Mom.”

 

Andalyn saw complete red, ignoring Rebel and kicked Steve in the balls, grey eyes lit on steel fire. “FUCK YOU!” She then tackled and started hitting him with everything she had, tears streaming down her cheeks, twisting and torquing when Mark pulled her off of him. “NO!  NO, GET OFF ME!  YA STAY AWAY FROM ME, SON OF A BITCH!  YA STAY AWAY FROM ME AND MY SON OR I SWEAR TO GOD, I WILL FUCK YER WORLD UP!”

 

She fought against Mark, kicking and clawing at his arms as the tears flowed harder.  NOBODY would threaten her and get away with it!  Steve stumbled to his feet, blood coming out of his mouth and there were scratch marks on his cheeks from her nails.  They wouldn’t scar, but she’d managed to draw a little bit of blood from her cat fighting.  Steve groaned, spitting blood from his mouth trying to talk, but couldn't get past his swollen lips.  Finally he settled on flipping her off.  His icy blues widened when a very angry 10-year-old boy speared him, groaning as his head bounced off the floor.

 

“I hope I broke it, ya cocksucker!!”

 

“Damn Rebel, that was one helluva spear!” Mark commented, still trying to hold Andalyn still. “Stop it or I'm applyin’ a pressure point.” He cautioned gently.

 

Andalyn's eyes widened when she seen what Rebel did, blinking and looked up at Mark as they both simultaneously smiled. “I'm fine – I'm fine now.” She held her hands up and reached over to pull Rebel off of Steve, wrapping her arms around him from behind. “Stay away from my family, Steve, or the next time I won't be lenient.  Our friendship is OVER.” She then pulled Rebel into her chest, kissing the top of his head, feeling him tremble a little. “Ssshhh it’s alright baby, it’s alright now...”

 

Rebel was physically shaking, wanting nothing more than to cream this jerk who had obviously done something to upset -no, that wasn't the word- enrage -no, still not it, but the best he could think of- his Mom. “You okay, Mom?  What'd he do to ya?” He demanded, pulling her into the hotel room.

 

Mark carted Steve down to the nearest trashcan and stuck him in it, headfirst.

 

“I'm okay, sweetie.” She busied checking him over, tears still in her eyes, not believing he speared a man of Steve's size to the ground. “You are yer father's child.” Andalyn murmured, low enough to where he couldn't hear her and guided him over to sit on the couch. “Ya don't need to concern yerself with what he told me.  I took care of it and I'm fine.” Andalyn wrapped a protective arm around his shoulders and pressed her forehead to the side of his head, feeling his trembling slowly subside. “That’s it, calm down Rebel, everythin’s alright...” She soothed, rubbing his arms, not believing how angry he was.

 

Mark strolled back in, looking grave.  He examined Andalyn carefully, taking in her swollen lips and snarled, disappearing out the door.  Rebel began grinning when he heard a girlish shriek followed by something much like glass shattering.  When Mark walked back in, a smirk replaced the snarl.

 

“Well?”

 

“He knows better than to be rude to yer momma now.”

 

“Good.”

 

Andalyn wanted to stand up and kiss him, refraining, knowing now he didn't want her.  She was bound and determined to keep this professional as she looked up at Mark, tears subsiding. “Thank you, Mark.”

 

She stood up, needing a glass of water.  Andalyn leaned over the sink and squared her shoulders, gripping the counter so hard her knuckles turned white.  Steve would tell him.  He would tell her secret and there was nothing she could do to stop him.  Why had she told him to begin with?  Slamming her hands down, the rest of her anger slowly diminished and followed with pure helplessness.

 

Chapter 17

 

“Not a problem.” Mark murmured, trying to rationalize his actions. 

 

She was his personal assistant, so if she was emotionally distressed or physically harmed, two things would happen.  First: People would think he had done it.  Second: He seriously had to keep his schedule the way it was.  That and he didn't like seeing Rebel in distress.  It had nothing to do with the fact that Steve had kissed Andalyn, apparently against her will, or the fact he had put his filthy hands where only Mark's should be…not at all.

 

“Mark, yer goin’ red in the face.” Rebel pointed out curiously, cutting into Mark’s thoughts.

 

Andalyn finally stood up straight, washing her mouth out with hot water and slowly turned around, staring at both of them a lot calmer. “Come on, we're gonna miss our flight if we don't get movin’.” She stated gravely, walking past them out of the room, rolling her luggage behind her. 

 

Rebel and Mark followed her out to the elevator, but Mark opted for the stairs, which she didn't mind.  The ride to the airport was made in silence, each person in their own thoughts.  Andalyn had to find a way to tell Mark now before Steve did.  She was screwed and buried her head in her hands, feeling sick.

 

“Momma, you alright?” Rebel asked for what had to be the 100th time since takeoff.  He sat beside her, staring at her worriedly.  He had never seen her this worried before and it scared the hell out of him. “Mommy?” He reverted back to the old affectionate term in his concern.

 

“Soda for the kid and get her a red wine.” Mark said to the stewardess, smiling uneasily.

 

Andalyn had to calm down before she gave herself a heart attack or stroke, returning to staring straight ahead.  He was pretty curious to know what had happened out in the hallway with Steve, what had sent her over the edge like that.  Now that he thought about it, Mark should've beaten the answer out of Steve.  Andalyn trembled from head to toe, knee popping up and down, not able to calm down to save her life.  She could probably drink 3 bottles of red wine and nothing would stem the worry eating away at her insides.  She looked over at Rebel with tears in her eyes and kissed his head, staring out the window again, pressing her forehead to the cool glass. 

 

“It’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be fine.” She kept whispering to herself, trying to wrap her mind around what happened.

 

Jumping out of her skin when Mark's hand clamped on her shoulder, Andalyn turned to take the wine he handed her.  She swallowed it down, going back to staring out the window.  Andalyn prayed she could find the strength to tell Mark or else she might have to quit her job so she wasn’t around for the eruption when Steve blabbed. 

 

“Oh god...” She trembled more, looking paler.

 

Mark had watched her all through the flight, then the drive to the airport.  Her nerves never once changed, she was shaking and on the edge of her seat, jumping at every little sound.  He let Rebel into his dressing room and stopped Andalyn, staring down at her intently. 

 

“What'd he do to ya?” He demanded calmly.

 

“Nothin’, I'm fine.” She sighed when he pinned her against the wall, eyes instantly closing. “Mark please – please not now, okay?  Please.” She whispered, silent tears falling. “I just want a few more days of peace.  Please.”

 

Andalyn managed to walk away from him and inside the dressing room, knowing she HAD to do something to get her mind off of this ordeal.  Work.  Work never failed her, why would it now?  She opened up her notebook and completely delved into it.  All the while in the back of her mind, Andalyn wondered when Steve Austin would strike and rip her life apart. 

 

Mark didn't follow her back into the locker room and went to find Steve to get his answers. 

 

Unfortunately, Steve wasn't at the arena because he was still at the hospital in the last city getting checked on for being thrown through a glass window.

 

“Mom?” Rebel asked hesitantly. “Are you feelin’...better?” He stood at her side, watching her write down in her notebook, glad to see her doing something normal instead of acting like the world was falling down around her.

 

Andalyn finally sighed and leaned back against the couch, rubbing her temples with her fingers, patting the seat beside her. “Rebel, there's somethin’ Mom hasn't told ya and...” She blinked when Mark walked in, looking madder than an angry bull. “We'll talk later, okay?”

 

She kissed his forehead gently and went back to work, refusing to look up at Mark right now.  Andalyn knew if she did, she would crack under pressure and spill her secret, spill the whole truth and wasn't prepared for that yet.  Rebel frowned, looking at Mark then his Mom, then back to Mark.

 

“Mom, I already know.” He said finally, smiling when she shot him a startled look. “I know ya two were sweethearts and that’s gross, but it’s okay.  I mean, it’s not like yer boyfriend/girlfriend now, right?”

 

Mark shook his head, dropping down on the bench and pulled his bag to him, wishing he hadn't beaten Steve up quite that badly.

 

Andalyn sighed with relief and smiled, ruffling his hair gently, still trembling a bit. “Yeah, that’s what I wanted to tell ya and no, we're not together now.  It was a long time ago and...I should've told ya sooner.  I should've told ya everythin’...”

 

She cleared her throat, swallowing hard.  Rebel was so innocent and had no idea what was about to hit him.  Rebel got up and went to the bathroom, leaving her and Mark sitting in the room together.  The tension was so thick, it couldn't be cut with a knife.

 

“So was that really what ya were gonna tell him?” Mark asked evenly, wrapping the tape around his wrist and tore it with his teeth, doing the other.  Even though his black wrestling gloves would hide it. “Or ya just lettin' him off the hook?”

 

He looked up, acidic green eyes boring into hers.  Mark knew something was up and was fixing to find out one way or the other what it was.  Did she lie to him or come clean?

 

“No and yes.”

 

She leaned back against the couch, lulling her head back and closed her eyes, not believing how fast events turned against her.  It was always like that, she constantly dug herself out of one hole only to wind up in a deeper one than the last.  When would Andalyn ever catch a break and just be able to enjoy life?  Besides Rebel and her job, most of the time, Andalyn hated how her life was and wished she could change the clocks back.  She would've done things completely different.  Mark studied her carefully, curiosity burning in his eyes almost feverishly.  What was she hiding from her son that scared her the way it did? 

 

“What does that mean, Andalyn?” He murmured, tilting his head to the side, long hair sliding over his shoulder. “Yes and no.  Ya weren't lettin' him off the hook or yer sparin’ his feelin’s?”

 

“That's not what I wanted to tell him and yes, I'm lettin’ him off the hook and sparin’ his feelin’s.”

 

She didn't look at him and opened her eyes, instead staring at the pattern on the ceiling.  Her heart thundered in her chest and Andalyn began trembling again, taking in slow deep breaths to calm down.  She was scared to death and had every right to be.  Things were SLOWLY starting to get better for her and then Steve had to ruin it.  She suddenly snarled, planning on maiming that dick if he ever came near her or her family again.  It took Mark a minute to get past the snarl on her lips to realize Andalyn was trembling.  He didn't know if it was from fear, anxiety or anger, but he crossed the room to pull her into his arms anyway, staring down into her pale face. 

 

“Whatever’s got ya so stressed, ya know ya can tell me, don'tcha?” He whispered, concern in his eyes, no games this time just worry.

 

Andalyn wanted to believe him.  God help her, she wanted to tell him everything and couldn't. “I can't...”

 

She buried her face in her hands while sitting sideways on his lap.  Not here.  He'd played this game with her once and Andalyn wouldn’t fall for it again.  However, when Mark wrapped his arms around her body and pulled her against him, Andalyn couldn't help calming down as her head buried in his chest, tears coating her cheeks. 

 

“J-Just a few more days...” She whispered out pleadingly, clenching her fists tightly. “Not tonight, please...”

 

Mark sighed inwardly, that curiosity beginning to drive him insane and reluctantly nodded. “A few days.” He whispered back, stroking her back soothingly.  Finally, he set her on her feet, holding her shoulders just in case. “Ya gonna be alright, Andy?” He asked, not sure what else to say to her. 

 

Whatever it was eating away at Andalyn looked like it might be the death of her if she didn't get it off her chest soon.  She nodded, wiping her tears away and wrapped her arms around his neck in a tight embrace.  Letting go after a minute, Andalyn sat down on the couch, the trembling ceasing for the time being.  She was exhausted and knew in a few days she would have to come clean.  She would have to tell Mark the truth about Rebel, about college, about everything.  Not tonight though.  She watched Rebel walk out of the bathroom and felt him sit beside her, wrapping her arm around him. 

 

“Sorry for scarin’ ya, sweetie.  Mom isn't herself tonight, but I promise I'm fine.” She assured softly, kissing the top of his head.

 

“I hope so.” Rebel muttered, clearly not believing her.  He stared at her more focused then a kid his age had the right to be before nodding, apparently deciding to take her words at face value. “I'm hungry.” He announced insouciantly.

 

“I'll take ya to caterin’.” Mark volunteered, needing some space from Andalyn. “I'm pretty hungry myself.  Ya want anythin', Andy?”

 

She turned down the offer, knowing if she ate it would just come back up again. “Go ahead, I'm fine.” She saw the identical worry in their eyes, sighing heavier.  If only they could see it, Mark wouldn't even have to ask her what she was hiding. “Have fun.”

 

“Mom's lyin' bout bein’ alright, isn't she?” Rebel said knowingly as soon as they were away from the dressing room.

 

“Yeah, tiger, I think so.  But let's not tell her we know, okay?”

 

Rebel nodded, shoving his hands in the front pockets of his jeans, worried about his mother.

 

Andalyn jumped when her cell phone rang, pulling it out of her pocket flipping it open, putting it to her ear. “Yeah?”

 

“Yer fuckin’ boyfriend put me in the hospital!” Steve's deadly voice filled her ear, sounding like he was in serious pain. “But that's okay ‘cause I left him a very nice voicemail.  He's gonna LOVE it, Andalyn, just ya fuckin’ wait!” He hung up on her.

 

Andalyn turned ghostly white when she heard that, knowing Mark always carried his cell phone.  She swallowed hard and stood up, tears in her eyes, knowing she'd have to distract Mark long enough to get his cell phone, but how?  Feeling a surge of anger course through her, Andalyn punched the wall as hard as she could, stumbling back.  Tears slid down her cheeks as Andalyn stalked in the bathroom to clean the small cuts on her hand from the unforgivable wall.  If Mark checked his voicemail, it was over and Rebel was currently with him.

 

“Goddamn you, Steve!”  

 

Running out of the dressing room and down to catering, Andalyn skidded to a halt in her pumps.  She peered in the doorway and saw Rebel with Mark, her chest rising and falling rapidly.  What was she going to do now?  She had to get Rebel away from Mark before he checked his voicemail or else she was screwed.

 

“Rebel honey, can ya come here for a minute?” She trembled again with a pale ghostly white face.

 

Mark frowned, seeing the lack of color in her face and shook his head. “He's fine, darlin'.” He held up a plate. “We brought you back somethin' in case ya changed yer mind ‘bout eatin’.” He set the plate down on the table, holding up his cell when he felt it vibrate and frowned. “Unknown.” He shrugged, tossing it in his bag.

 

“Ain't ya gonna answer it?”

 

“Nope, no number.”

 

“Could be important.”

 

“Or it could be some crazy who got my number, tiger.”

 

Andalyn’s eyes zeroed in on the bag he tossed it in, swallowing hard, knowing exactly what that unknown number entailed. “T-Thank ya for the thought.” She gently said and sat down next to her son.

 

Glancing at the bag every couple minutes, Andalyn remembered every detail about it and wrapped a protective arm around Rebel.  She would end up having a stroke if she wasn't careful and tried to take deep breaths again.  Screw her job, this was her family on the line!  First step was somehow gaining access to that phone and deleting Steve’s vicious voicemail message, Andalyn thought, knowing it was the only way.  Now all she needed was a distraction of some kind, her mind going a million miles a minute or so it felt like.  Rebel was only too happy to provide what his mother needed, thankfully. 

 

“Hey Mark, can we go watch them set up the ring?” He asked, bouncing on the soles of his feet.

 

“I suppose, ask yer Mom.”

 

“Mom, can we?  Please?  I wanna go up to the catwalk, it looks so cool up there!”

 

“Yeah sure, go ahead.” She smiled and grabbed the bag before Mark could. “I'll take this back to the dressin’ room, you two have fun.”

 

Dropping a kiss on Rebel's forehead, Andalyn rushed out of catering and back to the dressing room, closing the door behind her.  She quickly fished through it and pulled out Mark’s cell phone, trembling.  This was so wrong and an invasion of privacy, but Andalyn had no other choice.  She didn't have much time and flipped it open, seeing he had the same kind she did. 

 

“Now where is it, ya son of a bitch?” She muttered under her breath, finally finding the voicemail and clicked it to listen. 

 

Thank god Mark didn't have a password or else she would've been screwed.  After deleting all 50 voicemails, Andalyn finally sighed with relief and threw the phone back in his bag, slumping against the couch as tears flowed.  Screw the few days, Steve knew Mark’s number and would keep calling until he heard of something happening to her. 

 

“I gotta tell him tonight.” She whispered softly and curled up on the couch, burying her face into the couch as her heart began to break little by little. “I have no choice...” The sobs tore throughout her body and Andalyn didn’t bother fighting them off since she was alone. 

 

Mark frowned, realizing Andalyn was definitely going off the deep-end if she allowed her precious boy to go up to the catwalk.  She had backed off a little with the overprotection and given Rebel more leeway, but there’s no way she’d allow her baby boy to do something this dangerous.  Not that Rebel wouldn't be safe with Mark because he was.  Normally the boy had to persuade Andalyn that fact.

 

“Up you go.” He lifted Rebel onto the ladder, climbing after him. “Now just hold onto the rails.”

 

“It is so cool up here.” Rebel said, looking around, holding tightly so he didn't fall.

 

“Yeah, it is.  Kinda high.” Mark replied, watching him like a hawk.

 

Chapter 18

 

“That was so AWESOME!” Rebel exclaimed, pumping his fist into the air after they were back on ground level, eyes straying to the ring that just finished being set up. “Can we?”

 

“Yeah, sure.”

 

Mark followed more slowly as Rebel ran to slide in the ring, nodding as the ring crew passed him by.  He watched Rebel toss himself off the ropes, recalling the first time they'd been in the ring.  Andalyn had blown a fuse, back when Mark thought for a second Rebel was his offspring.

 

“Watch how you do it, son.” He cautioned.

 

Dwayne loitered down, arching an eyebrow when he heard Mark say that, wondering if Andalyn had spilled the truth yet.  Steve had confirmed his suspicions and Dwayne knew the man planned on telling Mark about Andalyn’s deception.  He could only hope the big man took it well because, when Mark had a temper, everything was bad.  He contemplated if he should open his mouth and ask about Rebel, stroking his chin thoughtfully.

 

“Taker.”

 

“Here, you can practice on me, little man.” Matt offered, rolling in the ring and began to bounce off of the ropes, showing Rebel how he did it. “Though, if you're slow like the Deadman here, you do it like this…” He did it slow-motion and gulped when Mark got in the ring. “Gotta go.” He zoomed out of the arena like his pants were on fire.

 

Mark shook his head, exchanging amused expressions with Dwayne. “What're ya doin’ out here?”

 

“Practice.  I heard what you did to Steve in the ring.  You think I want that?”

 

“What'd ya do to him?”

 

“Your old man gave him one hell of a concussion, right Deadman?” That was Dwayne’s way of testing the waters to see if Andalyn came clean.

 

Rebel stared at Mark and Dwayne in confusion, wondering what had them so animated. “We gonna wrestle or not?”

 

“In a minute.” Mark pulled Dwayne aside and demanded to know how he knew Rebel was his son, listening intently to how the man discovered the fact. “Dwayne is gonna keep ya company while I check on yer Mom.” Mark said once they finished talking, managing to flash Rebel a smile and nodded at Dwayne, storming up the ramp.

 

~!~

 

The tears finally subsided as Andalyn sat back up an hour later, getting back to work on Mark’s schedule.  She figured out how to tell Mark and honestly had no idea how he’d react to the truth.  Andalyn blatantly lied and convinced him that Rebel wasn't his.  Now she would have to tell him it was all a lie and...Andalyn felt a headache coming on as she closed the notebook and rested her head back against the couch, pinching the bridge of her nose.  What was she going to do?  Andalyn nearly jumped out of her skin when the door slammed open, her head snapping up and stared back an irate looking Mark, swallowing hard. 

 

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” She snapped, pressing a hand to her chest, jumping again when he slammed the door shut behind him and flipped the lock on it. “Oh god...” Andalyn slowly stood up from the couch, looking behind him. “Where's Rebel?” She asked hesitantly.

 

“He’s fine.  He’s with a friend.” Mark said, his voice quivering with barely contained rage, trying to keep it in check. “It’s really fuckin’ strange, Andalyn, how everyone except me knows the damn truth about Rebel.” He cracked his knuckles, not looking away from her. “I mean, here I am believin’ every fuckin’ word you say about sleepin’ around and him not bein’ mine.”

 

Mark stopped abruptly, face and eyes both showcasing raw fury.  The color quickly drained out of her face as Andalyn's eyes filled with tears, beginning to tremble from head to toe.  She slowly backed away from him, knowing she didn't have anywhere to go since the door was locked.  There was definitely no hiding either.

 

“W-Who told ya that?” She managed to ask, mouth going dry as fear coursed throughout her entire body. “WHO TOLD YA THAT?” Andalyn finally snapped, covering her mouth with her free hand and shook her head in disbelief.  She'd deleted the voicemails, unless he'd already heard them and was playing her like a fiddle in catering??

 

“Dwayne Johnson.  He apparently noticed it when ya were sick.  Rebel and I were workin’ out when he realized.  Then he told Steve, which I'm assumin’ is the reason yer panickin’.  Steve was probably threatenin’ to tell me, wasn't he?” Mark demanded, slowly backing her into a wall. “Tell me, Andalyn, why the FUCK WOULD YOU LIE TO ME ABOUT MY SON?”

 

Dwayne knew all along?  Steve hadn't told her!!  Andalyn could feel tears streaming down her face, but it didn't matter.  Nothing did anymore.  She pressed her back against the wall, cringing at his loud roaring voice.

 

“I-I didn't want ya to know at first...” She whispered staring back into his rage filled acid green eyes, almost chattering. “I-I didn't wanna risk ya takin’ Rebel away from me for not tellin’ you!” Andalyn cried harder, her heart thundering against her chest and closed her eyes, not able to look at him right now.

 

“Why the hell would I take him from ya, Andalyn?  A boy needs his mother.” Mark hissed, pressing his hands on either side of her head, face mere inches from hers. “And he needs his fuckin’ father.  You realize what I could do to you in court?  I could bury yer ass in legalities.”

 

Stepping away from her, Mark shook his head, apparently still restraining himself.  He didn't hit women as a general rule, but made exceptions on occasions.  All Andalyn could do was stand there frozen solid, not able to fight him back or clench her fists.  She deserved this, to be scared half to death. 

 

“I know.  I thought ya went overseas, Mark.  We went our separate ways and I didn't wanna burden ya with it.  I made a mistake, a few mistakes, but I was tryin’ to protect my son the only way I knew how.  I didn't know what kind of man you were when I finally saw you again after all these years until Rebel started hangin’ ‘round ya.  I was wrong, I'm sorry...” Her voice quivered the entire time, still refusing to look at him, feeling like her knees might give out along with her entire body at any moment.

 

“Sorry...” He snorted, nostrils flaring. “Ya knew how to contact me overseas, Andalyn.  I would’ve come back.” Mark pulled her up by her underarms, staring down at her sternly. “Then ya told me ya slept with all those other men and I wanted to kill every one of them, even if I didn't know them.  Was there nothin' ya wouldn't do?”

 

His green eyes filled with anguish, remembering her words when she had convinced him she'd slept around.  The hurt physically assaulted him all over again.  Andalyn finally looked at him, seeing the anguish and pain in his eyes, more tears sliding down her cheeks.  Up until now, she never realized just how much she hurt Mark with her lies and felt her heart shatter, the guilt crashing over her intensely. 

 

“I-I don't know what ya want me to say...” Andalyn whispered, arms hanging at her sides, not caring how hard he'd gripped her arms.  That was the least of her worries; Andalyn just wanted to get out of there alive. “I didn't want ya to feel like I took the job with the WWF to hunt ya down for child support or anythin’.” She lowered her head. “I didn't know you worked here and when I found out, I panicked, okay?  I panicked; I didn't know what to do and, before I knew what I was doin’, I convinced myself ya would take him away from me and that ya could never find out.  I was wrong about everythin’ and ya had every right to know...”

 

“Come on.” Mark took her by the hand and pulled her across the room, unlocking the door stepping out into the hallway, leading the way out to the ring. “We’re tellin’ Rebel before ya change yer mind or somethin'.  I'm not gonna lose my son.” He said the word 'son' differently then he normally would, a hint of pride lacing his tone. 

 

He could actually say it and mean it.

 

“Mark, can't we wait until we get back to the hotel at least?” She stopped when they were just outside gorilla position, swallowing hard. “Not here.  We can't do this here...”

 

She shook her head when he started shoving her into the curtain and narrowed her eyes at the sight of Dwayne Johnson in the ring with Rebel.  The anger flared inside of her and Andalyn suddenly bolted down the ramp, sliding in the ring stumbling to her feet.  It was because of his big mouth she was in this situation and Mark knew the truth about Rebel being his.

 

“I have one thing to say to ya,” She then slapped him as hard as she could, the sound echoing in the arena and shoved him away from Rebel, rage burning in her steely grey eyes. “I don't know WHO the HELL ya think ya are tryin’ to destroy MY life, but I've got news for ya and that punk bitch Austin.  WATCH YER BACKS!  I swear to god, ya'd better be lookin’ over yer shoulders ‘cause one day, soon, ya both will get what's comin’ to ya and that's not a threat, it's a DAMN PROMISE!”

 

Grabbing Rebel's hand, Andalyn got him out of the ring, hand stinging from how hard she'd slapped Dwayne.  Dwayne looked at Mark, wondering what the hell just happened.  Granted, Steve had spilled everything to him regarding Andalyn, but he’d only observed and apparently that was a crime.

 

“What the FUCK, lady?” He shouted after her, confusion in his tone.

 

“Mom, why'd you just co-cock Dwayne?” Rebel asked curiously, seeing Mark waiting for them on top of the ramp. “What's goin' on?”

 

“I have my own reasons and I'm gonna explain everythin’ to ya.”

 

She wrapped her arm around Rebel's shoulders and hoped he didn't hate her for what he was about to discover.  They joined Mark at the top of the ramp.  After pleading with Mark to wait until they got back to the hotel and finally getting him to agree, promising she wouldn't go back on her word, Andalyn had one last phone call to make.

 

“Hey Steve, it backfired.  Congratulations, yer in a match with Mark when you come back on the road.  So take this voicemail and SHOVE IT.”

 

Vince had informed Mark earlier on that night about the upcoming feud and Andalyn was more than ecstatic about it.  When his match was over, they got in the rental car and Andalyn could only stare out the window the entire time, closing her eyes.  Mark was anxious the entire time, hoping against hope Andalyn didn't go back on her word and try to run.  He'd hate to do it, but would either track her down and kill her or have her ass in court so fast her head would spin. 

 

Rebel was curious to put it mildly.  He kept glancing between the adults, sensing the tension and nervousness, unable to keep himself from being excited.  He knew something major was about to happen and couldn't wait to find out what it was.  When they were inside the hotel room, Andalyn immediately went to the bedroom, saying she needed a moment.  She changed into a silver nightgown that went to her knees and brushed out her hair, finally walking back out, seeing Rebel and Mark sitting on the couch. 

 

“I need a drink.” She proceeded to pour herself a nice dose of Tequila and took a long swig of it, finally taking a seat in a nearby chair in front of them. “Sweetie, Mom hasn't exactly been honest with ya ‘bout everythin’,” Trembling, Andalyn had to stand and stared out the window, setting her glass down as tears instantly flooded her eyes. “I lied to ya ‘bout yer father, Rebel.  I lied ‘bout where he is.  He didn't run away from us like I said.  Do ya understand what I'm sayin’?”

 

Rebel more than understood.  He shot to his feet, green eyes flashing and temper flaring much like Mark's had earlier in the night. “You lied to me?” He demanded angrily, fists clenched.  Rebel inhaled deeply, exhaling through his nose, forcibly calming himself down and sat back down on the edge of the couch, holding himself stiffly. “What’s goin’ on, Mom?”

 

“Yes, I lied to ya!” She shouted, throwing the glass of Tequila against the wall and spun around to face her son. “Wanna know who yer father is?  Look to your side, Rebel!  Look at the man who you've been followin’ around and wantin’ to be like!  You have his eyes, his temper, his attitude!  Yer just like him!  I didn't tell ya ‘cause I never thought I’d see him again and when I did, I panicked.  I was tryin’ to protect ya; I was bein’ overprotective and went about it all the wrong way!” Andalyn scrubbed a hand down her face, staring back into Rebel's wide emerald eyes that reminded her of Mark since the day he was born. “Mark is yer father, Rebel.”

 

Rebel stared at Mark incredulously, for the first time really looking at him.  He took in the green eyes, the color, the shape then felt his own eyes.  He shook his head, staring at Mark. “And ya didn't know?”

 

“No.” Mark said quietly, not about to tell him he had suspected it, but listened to Andalyn's lies about cheating on him, knowing that was something Rebel didn't need to hear. “Rebel?”

 

“Give me a second.” The boy whispered.

 

“I-I'm sorry, Rebel.” Andalyn whispered softly, wanting to reach out to touch him and felt tears cascade down her cheeks. 

 

She watched him flinch away and her heart shattered, instantly pulling back, sinking into the chair again.  Burying her face in her hands, sobs once again overtook her and Andalyn knew she should've been honest from the beginning.  She would never be able to turn the clock back.  She would never be able to forgive herself for putting her little boy through this much pain, let alone Mark.

 

“Rebel,” Mark began, only to back off when the boy turned his wrath on him.

 

“How long have ya known?” He demanded angrily. “How could ya NOT know?  We look alike!”

 

“Rebel, it's a long story.”

 

Mark glanced at Andalyn, wishing she would dry it up already.  Rebel needed her to be strong enough through this and she had no right to break down right now.  Rebel didn't reply, just stormed into a bedroom and slammed the door shut behind him, wanting to be alone.

 

Chapter 19

 

“Damn it!” She stood and went after Rebel, opening the door and saw he was laying on the bed curled up. “Rebel, it’s all my fault Mark didn't know until tonight.  None of this is Mark's fault, sweetie.  It's all Mom's fault.” Andalyn sat on the bed, touching his leg gently and sighed when he flinched. “Mark thought ya were his at first when I started my job.  He fought me tooth and nail and I told him every lie I could think of.  I'm not gonna tell ya those lies ‘cause yer too young to understand, but I just want ya to know ya shouldn't be angry at Mark.  Be angry at me and hate me.” Andalyn blinked back the tears, needing to be strong for her little boy right now. “I should've told ya; I should've come clean from the beginnin’, but I didn't know what would happen if I did and I couldn’t lose ya...I can't lose ya.” She rephrased that and got up, bending down so she could face him, running her finger down his cheek. “I'm so sorry, sweetie...”

 

“I'm too young to understand?” Rebel hiccoughed, so many emotions coursing through his veins. “That's what ya say ‘bout everythin', Mom, that I'm too young.” He sat up, wiping tears out of his eyes and stared at her, next wiping snot off his nose with his shirt sleeve, sniffling. “Is there anythin’ else I should know ‘bout?” He asked quietly, staring at her out of glistening green eyes.

 

“No baby, there's nothin’ else.  It's all out in the open now.” She quietly replied, running her fingers through his blonde hair and slowly stood up to sit on the bed beside him, wrapping her arm around his shoulders. “With what I told him, that's somethin’ yer too young for.  I know I say that a lot, but it's the truth.  I'm sorry for lyin’ and keepin’ this from ya, Rebel.” She whispered, pressing her forehead to his head. “I love ya so much, sweetie.  I never meant to hurt ya.  I would NEVER hurt ya intentionally.”

 

Rebel nodded, keeping silent while he waited for his hiccoughs to subside.  When they did, he cleared his throat. “So Mark is...is my Dad.” He watched her nod and smiled timidly. “Does he like me?  I mean as his son.” He looked worried because he adored Mark, already seeing him as a father figure. “I know he does things with me, but...that's not ‘cause of ya, is it?  He's not bein’ nice to me ‘cause of ya, is he?”

 

“Why don't ya go ask him that?” Andalyn suggested softly, pulling him up gently from the bed and guided him out of the room, seeing Mark sitting on the couch with a beer in hand. “Go on, sweetie.” She whispered encouragingly in his ear, pushing him forward and nodded at Mark silently. 

 

She then walked back into the bedroom and closed the door behind her.  Sliding down it as the tears fell once again, Andalyn buried her face in her knees, letting father and son talk unaided for awhile.  She needed a few moments alone anyway. 

 

Mark listened patiently as Rebel stuttered through what he wanted to say, setting the beer aside and doing the only thing he really could at this point.  He hugged his son tightly to him.  Rebel stiffened for a moment before relaxing, hiding his face in his...Dad's shoulder and did something most boys would never do in front of their fathers.  He cried.

 

Andalyn took a shower, needing one to wash away the day and night events.  She stepped out about an hour later and slipped her nightgown back on with new garments.  Opening the bedroom door, Andalyn walked out, not seeing Mark or Rebel anywhere and looked at Mark's closed bedroom door, knowing they were in there.  She then grabbed a broom, paper towels and a dust pan to clean up her mess, feeling exhausted. 

 

Mark lay awake on his side of the bed, head propped up in the palm of his hand as he watched his son sleep.  He studied every detail about the face he had grown to know so well, this time with new adoration.  His...son.  Rebel had fallen asleep on the couch so Mark carried him into his bedroom, knowing this had been a very exhausting night for the boy.  He tenderly placed a kiss on Rebel's forehead and carefully slipped out of bed, walking silently out of the room closing the door gently behind him.

 

Staring out the window, Andalyn wrapped her arms around herself and contemplated what to do next.  She couldn't leave the WWF, not when Rebel just found his father.  But she wasn't sure if she should be Mark's personal assistant anymore, not with everything that transpired.  Sighing heavily, Andalyn already knew that answer.  She would stay in her position because of her –no their- son.  Andalyn knew Mark wanted nothing to do with her, not after breaking his heart and all the emotional turmoil she'd put him through the past few months.  The thought made her head drop and she pressed her forehead against the glass window, silent tears rolling down her face.

 

“He's asleep.” Mark said from behind her, having changed into a pair of loose shorts and a t-shirt. “He's exhausted.” He gently took her by the arms, turning her to face him and peered down intently at her face. “Andalyn, what do we do?” Mark asked softly, staring into her watery grays. “About this?  About Rebel?  About us?” He whispered, tracing the curve of her chin with his finger.

 

“I don't know.” She whispered in response to all of his questions, not sure what else to say to him. “I-I'm not leavin’ the WWF or this job.  Ya and Rebel can be close this way.” Andalyn leaned into his touch, knowing he was messing with her again.  He had to be, like last time, which she deserved. “I'm sorry for everythin’ I put ya through.” She lowered her eyes and slowly closed them, another tear falling down her cheek.

 

“I wouldn't let ya leave.” Mark stated gravely, capturing a tear on his forefinger, staring down at it before popping his finger in his mouth. “Andalyn...was there anyone besides me?” He asked softly, staring down at her, watching her eyes slowly open. “When we were together, was it just us or was that me bein’ a fool?”

 

“There was no one else.” Andalyn whispered truthfully, staring back into his emerald green eyes and pressed a hand against his chest over his heart. “You were the only one, Mark.”

 

Swallowing hard, Andalyn wondered why he wanted to know that information and felt his finger trail from her chin slowly down her neck, eyes never leaving his. 

 

She still loved him and always would. 

 

Mark nodded, closing his eyes, a look of relief crossing his face. “Thank ya.” He whispered and inclined his head forward, gently capturing her mouth with his. “Andalyn, I still love ya.” He murmured against her lips, confessing something he had promised he'd never say since she had joined the WWF.

 

Her arms instantly wrapped around his neck and Andalyn pressed herself against him, running her fingers through his silky dark red tresses.  Slowly pulling back, she pressed her forehead against his. “I never stopped lovin’ ya, Mark.” Andalyn thought she'd never be able to tell him that, rubbing her nose against his.  Cupping his face with her hands, she kissed him again and hugged him tightly around the neck. “I'm sorry for hurtin’ ya.”

 

She never wanted to let go of him again as long as she lived.  Mark just nodded, too intent on holding her against him, reveling in the feel of something he had missed for so long.  He lifted her up and Andalyn wrapped her legs around his waist instinctively, needing to feel her weight against him.  Something solid and concrete to prove this wasn’t just some fantasy his brain imposed.

 

“I love ya, Andalyn.” He murmured against her throat. “Always have, always will.”

 

Andalyn smiled and tilted her head back while his lips assaulted her neck, a soft moan escaping her lips. “I love ya too, Mark, forever.” She breathed out, hands clamping on his broad shoulders.

 

Sliding her hands down his arms, Andalyn lifted her head back up to stare into his darkened forest green orbs.  She rubbed her nose against his, kissing the side of his neck and her entire body trembled against him, having missed him more than words could say.  Before Mark could kiss her, he heard a voice clearing behind them and spun around, Andalyn still in his arms, spotting Rebel in the doorway rubbing his eyes tiredly. 

 

“Yes, tiger?”

 

“What're ya two doin’?” Rebel yawned, still half asleep. “Kissin’?”

 

“Yeah, do ya mind that?”

 

“Not really.”

 

Andalyn smiled, staring into his eyes and kissed his lips once more before he set her down, walking over to Rebel hugging him tightly. “Come on sweetie, let's get ya back in bed.”

 

Guiding him back in Mark's bedroom, Andalyn tucked Rebel in and kissed his forehead.  He was so exhausted he fell back to sleep within seconds, almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.  She closed the door behind her and walked in the kitchen to get a glass of water, suddenly overheated.  Mark watched her, a smirk gracing his lips when he seen the flush in her cheeks and the way the water shook slightly in the glass. 

 

“What's wrong?” He asked in a casual voice, leaning against the counter and reached out to push a stray strand of her hair behind her shoulder. “Yer lookin’...red.”

 

Andalyn downed the entire glass of water and set it in the sink, turning around to face him. “Ya know what's wrong.”

 

She slowly glided a finger down the part of his chest that was bare the top didn’t cover and walked away from him.  The way he touched her, made her feel.  It nearly drove Andalyn insane.  Her lips still burned from their kiss and she ached for more, not able to stop her pulse from quickening whenever he was around along with her heartbeat.  Mark watched her walk away, his green eyes narrowing on her swaying hips and licked his lips.  Shaking his head, he grabbed her by the arm, spinning her around and captured her mouth.  His kiss was demanding…demanding she yield to him, love him, let him love her, all of it.  He wanted all of her or none of it.  Heart, body, mind and soul.  Andalyn completely melted against him, kissing him back just as demanding as the kiss grew boiling hot.  Her body was on fire and she could feel the heat pulsating through her pores.  She slowly pulled back, his fingers in her hair before nodding, breathing heavily.  Taking his hand in hers, Andalyn guided him into her room, closing the door and stopped him when he came after her again.

 

“One condition.” When his brow raised, Andalyn’s grays became perfectly serious. “No more blonde bimbos by the name of Rena Mero, we clear?”

 

Mark couldn't stop a wicked smirk from crossing his face, staring down at her amusedly. “Jealous, are we?” He purred, laughing softly at the expression on her face. “No more blondes by the name of Rena Mero.” He agreed, pulling her back into his arms. “That was a pretty dirty trick of mine, I’ll admit it, darlin’.”

 

“So you DID do it to make me jealous.”

 

Staring into his eyes, Andalyn covered his mouth with hers hungrily while pulling his t-shirt up to push it over his head, running her hands up and down his smooth strong chest, a soft moan escaping her.  It'd been over a decade since she'd had a man in her bed.  This man.  Andalyn pulled back, the nervousness suddenly emerging throughout her body posture and in her eyes. 

 

“Mark, it's been so long...” She whispered, loving how the muscles rippled beneath her touch.

 

Mark had to mentally slap himself in order to stop and focus on her words, blinking. “How long?” He asked, voice rough with desire.  His green eyes noticed how nervous she was and Mark sat on the edge of the bed, gently patting the space beside him. “Nothin’ has to happen tonight, Andy, we have all the time in the world.”

 

She slowly straddled his lap, wanting to be as close to him as she possibly could and kissed him again. “The last time was with ya before graduation.” Andalyn whispered against his lips, seeing his eyes widen and slowly pulled back as tears filled her own. “I couldn't be with anyone else, Mark.  I had Rebel to raise and I was pregnant and it just...it never struck my mind.  Jesus...it's been damn near 12 years since I've done somethin’ like this...” She sounded in near disbelief.

 

Mark could only stare at her, not believing that, unable to believe it.  She was a beautiful woman, desirable, surely he hadn't been Andalyn’s one and only after all this time?  Seeing the sincerity in her eyes, Mark raked a hand through his hair, still staring incredulously.  He almost wished he could say the same thing, but couldn't.

 

“We can wait.” He finally said, not sure what else to say.

 

“If ya want, but I for one have waited long enough.”

 

Andalyn kissed him hard and passionate, guiding him to lay back on the bed, her hair falling around them as she ran her hand up and down his chest.  Her lips sealed to his neck, the feelings and desire slowly coming back to her.  It was like riding a bike, she never forgot and it was how he made her feel that drove her to do this.  Mark almost felt like he was the one with lesser experience when she did that, growling and quickly rolled her onto her back, hair falling down around them, forming a dark curtain surrounding their faces. 

 

“I'm just makin’ sure, darlin’.” He said gruffly, pressing against her so she could feel how much he wanted her. “I just want ya to be sure this is what ya want, Andalyn.  That ya want me, only me and not ‘cause ya feel any obligations.”

 

“I've always wanted ya, Mark.”

 

Her hands ran down his chest, nails barely grazing flesh and arrived at the elastic waistband of his shorts.  She opened her mouth as his tongue dueled with hers and shoved them down his long muscular legs.  Pulling back, Andalyn slowly began crawling up the bed, beckoning him with her finger.  Her grey eyes were now liquid silver, metallic, as Andalyn pulled her nightgown off over her head, tossing it to the floor, leaving her clad in just a pair of ivory panties.  Mark was completely naked before her, not bothering to wear boxer or briefs.  He pulled back to stare down at her, forest green eyes hungrily roaming over her body, hardly believing it had been untouched all this time.  Almost as if it was just waiting for him to return.  Smirking a bit at the thought, Mark ran his knuckles down the curve of her breast. 

 

“Beautiful.” He murmured, leaning down to flick his tongue against her nipple, feeling it harden instantly.

 

Every sensation exploded within her body as Andalyn melted into the bed, her fingers running through his hair while arching her back against his mouth and hot tongue.  Her breathing became ragged just feeling the heat of his body against hers, not believing he'd forgiven her for everything she'd done and said.  She would never lie to him again and vowed never to let him walk out of her life without a fight.  Andalyn pulled his face up to meet hers, kissing him demandingly.  Feeling her more than come to life sent tremors coursing down his spine, his tongue caressing her lips.  Mark demanded access and groaned from the back of his throat, loving the sweet taste of her.  He knew he would never be able to let her go after tonight, or walk away from her, not even if she asked him to. 

 

He was addicted to her. 

 

Andalyn was his drug and always had been.

 

Chapter 20

Andalyn moaned against his mouth, gripping his hair in her fingers as she pressed herself against him more.  Skin meeting skin was the most erotic feeling she could ever experience.  She remembered the last time they were together in her dorm room.  Mark wasn't as muscular or strong as he was now, but still the most incredible lover she'd had.  Before him, Andalyn had been with 5 other guys, none of them coming CLOSE to what Mark could do to her body.  Andalyn felt his large hand slide down her body, across her breast and down her stomach.  Cupping her hot sex in his hand beneath her panties, she gasped out and kissed Mark harder.  He broke the kiss to trail his lips down the side of her throat, humming gently as his mouth burned against her flesh, suckling gently, careful not to mar her beautiful skin.  Mark used his free hand to massage her side and gently remove her panties, feeling her legs bending to help and run his palm up a smooth calf.  Skimming fingertips just behind her knee and up her inner thigh, Mark felt the heat from Andalyn’s sex the closer he became.

 

“Mark...” She breathed out, gliding her hand from his hair down his shoulder, chest and back up again.

 

Using her nails to entice the sensations within his body, Andalyn craved him to feel exactly what she did at the moment.  His lips were so soft and tender against her skin, she loved the feeling that overtook her body, unbridled desire coursing through her.  She cried out softly when his thumb began caressing her swollen bud, thighs tensing while feeling his lips travel further down her chest.  Flicking her other nipple with his tongue, Mark gave it the same treatment as the other.

 

“Hmm?” He rumbled, a bit distracted with what he was doing, loving everything about her.

 

Her scent, the way she tasted, the way she felt.  Andalyn would be very lucky if he ever let her out of this bed again.  One long finger slipped between her folds, crooking into a beckoning gesture as Mark pierced her sweet spot, wanting to make her climax harder then she had ever dreamed before doing it all over again.  She could only moan, raising her hips slightly against him, knees bending and planted her feet against the comforter, trembling at the sheer pleasure overtaking her.  It felt exquisite as she buried her hand in her hair, gripping it and tried focusing, tried to withdraw and hold back, wanting to make this last forever.  Her metallic eyes squeezed shut as Andalyn fought, gritting her teeth, a slow hiss escaping her lips.  Her free hand glided down to cover his while Mark worked his finger in and out of her methodically.  Feeling her hand on his, her guiding him, sent Mark’s mind reeling.  He loved a woman who knew what she wanted, nostrils flaring as her arousal permeated the air, intoxicating him. 

 

“Enough.” He growled, pulling both their hands away, gripping her hips tightly and lowered himself further down on the bed. 

 

Locking metallic silver on deep dark forest green, Mark lowered his head to taste her.  Andalyn cried out softly, hands instantly burying in his hair and arched her back against him.  Her long black curly hair splayed around her on the pillow while his fanned over her stomach, eyes shutting. 

 

“Mark, oh god please...”

 

Her chest rose and fell rapidly, writhing against him as her legs rested against his shoulders, spreading her thighs wider with his strong, muscular hands.  Mark held on tight to her hips, refusing to let Andalyn inadvertently buck him away.  His tongue delved deep, lapping her juices like a man dying from thirst.  He could feel her beginning to climax and worked her harder, moving his mouth to suck on her clit, alternating between gentleness and bordering on too intense for pleasure.  The combination would be a sensory overload.  She couldn't take it and Andalyn whipped her head back and forth, pursing her lips together, trying like hell to fight it.  Feeling her orgasm building within her, Andalyn’s stomach clenched the hot coil in her threatening to spring free.  Her thighs tensed, her walls clamping around his tongue and Andalyn cried out when he added a finger to enhance the inconceivable sensation. 

 

“Ohh...I can't...I can't take it...Oh god...” Andalyn trembled from head to toe, squeezing her eyes even tighter, face contorted as the pleasure washed over her.

 

“Yes ya can.” He murmured encouragingly, running his broad tongue up and down her slit, drawing out the pleasure, torturing her. “Cum for me, Andalyn.”

 

Mark plunged his tongue back inside of her, groaning as her juices coated his tongue.  He held her firmly, thumbs drawing circles on her hips.  His eyes moved up her trembling body to watch her face, wanting to see her explode for him.  His voice in combination with his ministrations sent Andalyn over the edge as she cried out his name, hot juices flowing into his greedy and very willing mouth.  Andalyn fell back on the bed in a sweaty heap, swallowing hard, chest rising and falling.  Her heart felt like it would leap out of her chest. 

 

“Oh fuck...” She gasped out, aftershocks rushing through her body.

 

Smacking his lips, Mark moved himself back up so he hovered over her, his elbows resting alongside her head.  His tongue flicked out to lick his lips, staring down at her out of lusty green eyes. “What's for dessert?” He murmured, smirking when she blushed and bent down to kiss her collarbone, nudging a thigh between her legs, pressing against her.

 

“I missed ya so much...” Andalyn whispered in a drawl, pulling him on top of her, wanting to feel his weight. “Mark please, take me...” She pleaded, kissing him softly and wrapped her arms around his neck, tasting herself on his tongue.  It turned her on more than words could say.  Andalyn drew her knees up again, spreading her thighs for him, wanting him more than her own life at that moment. “I love ya...” She whispered against his lips, smoldering metallic silver staring into his when she said it, wanting him to know how much she meant it.

 

Mark caught her hands in his, bringing them to rest on his chest right over his pounding heart. “It was always yers.” He murmured, bringing her hands to his lips kissing them tenderly before drawing one of her legs around his waist, the other hand moving to her waist. 

 

He positioned himself against her, gritting his teeth so he didn't just thrust, wanting to ease her into this.  Nearly 12 years was way too long not to have sex.  Andalyn smiled tearfully and closed her eyes while he slowly began sliding inside of her, her walls accommodating his size as they stretched to the max, wrapping around him fully.  Her eyes flew open as she stared at him, not believing how massive he was. 

 

“Christ...I forgot how big ya are...” Memories flooded back to her, feeling her thighs trembling against his waist as her hands gripped his forearms, swallowing hard. “Mark...” She moaned out, feeling completely full for the first time in years.

 

Talk about an ego booster.  Mark gritted his teeth, his entire body tensing, forcing himself not to climax right then and there. “Hold still, darlin’.  Gimme a minute.” He ordered, his voice rough and husky. 

 

When Mark could finally concentrate on something besides exploding, he opened his eyes staring down at her.  He smoothly pulled away from her, feeling her inner walls gripping him, trying to stop him before plunging back, sighing at the exquisite heat.  Nearly 12 years with no sex, it was as if Andalyn had lost her virginity all over again.  The burning of her walls as they gripped his hardened shaft, the trembling, heavy breathing, heart thundering in her chest, pulse quickening and the all-out physical sensation coursing through her body...it was overpowering.

 

“Ohh don't stop...Mark, it feels so wonderful...”

 

She bit into his neck, pulling him further against her and planted her feet on the bedding, forcing him to drive deeper inside of her.  It was an indescribable feeling, one Andalyn would never feel again, no matter how many times her and Mark did this in the future.  Mark couldn't have stopped under pain of death.  He was too far gone in her, his body overriding anything his mind might have thought. 

 

“Christ, Andy...” He hissed, tossing his hair back over his shoulder, refusing to have anything blocking her beautiful face from his view. “Yer so damn tight, darlin’.” Grunting when she took him even deeper, Mark snapped his hips forward.

 

“Harder...”

 

Andalyn gritted her teeth and felt him wrap his arms around her, pulling her up as their chests crashed together, legs wrapping around his waist, never sliding out of her.  She cupped his face in her hands, passionately kissing him, feeling his hips snap back and forth in hard sharp thrusts.  Nodding her head, Andalyn pressed her forehead to his as their fingers entwined together.  Mark pulled her back and forth against him to intensify the thrusts, causing her senses to reel.  He couldn't speak, couldn't get a sound past his own gnashed teeth.  Mark silenced her with a searing kiss, knowing if Rebel woke up, he'd probably go insane, refusing to let that happen.  What he couldn't silence, however, was the sounds of flesh smacking flesh resonating throughout the room. 

 

“God, darlin’, I'm close – so close!” He rasped, breaking the kiss for air and finding none. 

 

His world was nothing except the gorgeous woman writhing against him.  She was sending him over the edge, spiraling out of control.  Fighting to stop it, Mark also deemed to let go all at the same time, needing Andalyn to go over that fine razor edge with him.  Andalyn nodded, meeting him thrust for thrust, feeling that burning sensation erupt in her body, the heat overtaking all senses, knowing she couldn't hold it in anymore.  She crushed her lips against his, screaming out against them as she came against him, shuddering, her juices completely soaking him.  Gripping the back of his neck to keep her balance, Andalyn felt him thrusting as hard, fast and deep as he possibly could, knowing his intense climax was mere moments away. 

 

Feeling her release for the second time was enough, he couldn't hold himself back.  Increasing the cadence, Mark drove deeper and harder into her, letting out a loud curse as he came.  His body went rigid for a fraction of a second before shuddering, drawing a few more strokes, prolonging the severe pleasure for as long as he could.  Electricity coursed through him returning her kiss passionately, Mark wrapped his arms around her and held her as close to his massive body as possible.  Andalyn trembled against him, feeling the explosion deep inside of her, her lips shaking and cupped his neck with her hands, refusing to break the kiss. 

 

She finally pulled away needing air to breathe and buried her face in his neck, coughing since she could barely breathe.  Their hearts pounded as one and Andalyn caressed his bare back to his hair, losing it in his tresses while trying to get her breathing back under control.  She sighed as Mark guided them both down on the bed, the cool comforter feeling wonderful against her overheated skin, her eyes closed.  Andalyn ran her fingers through his hair as he rested his head against her chest, opening her eyes to stare up at the ceiling, a soft smile on her face.  She was home.  She was finally back where she belonged.  Mark rolled onto his side, nestling her against him, running a hand lazily up and down Andalyn's spine, working on evening out his breathing.  He finally kissed her temple, brushing her damp hair back over her shoulders. 

 

“I love ya, Andy.” He murmured, pressing his forehead against hers, just enjoying this moment.  He could die happy, not that he planned too.  They had so many more nights ahead of them with their beautiful son.

 

“I love ya too, Mark.”

 

She smiled, feeling the comforter being pulled over them and snuggled further into the bed.  Andalyn was content with feeling his weight on top of her, his arms around her waist and breathing on her neck.  That's how she fell asleep too, in Mark’s arms, where she'd dreamt of being for the past decade.

 

~!~

 

Waking up to his…parents –that was still weird, even in thought- naked in bed together didn’t surprise Rebel.  He had a feeling they would get together after catching them kissing the previous night.  Not a lot of kids got to have their birth parents together in this day and age, it was a rarity.  However, he was still a 10-year-old boy who had his father’s appetite and it didn’t stop him from waking his parents up to feed him.

 

“Come on guys, I’m hungry!”

 

Andalyn was perfectly content lying in bed snuggled up in Mark’s arms, not moving to get out of bed. “I’m not movin’.” She mumbled against his chest, refusing to let him get out of bed either.

 

“Darlin’, we gotta take care of him.” Mark chuckled, hearing her grumbling and kissed the crown of her head. “Did I wear ya out too much?”

 

“Nothin’ I’m complainin’ ‘bout.” She stretched her naked body, her muscles crying out since they hadn’t been used in so long and the delicious ache between her thighs pulsated. “Don’t think I’m done with ya yet either, Calaway.”

 

He smirked, giving her a lingering kiss and had to pull himself away before they began another round with each other. “Neither am I, darlin’.  I assure ya.  But first gotta take care of the tike.” Then he would come back in here and show her just how energized he actually was.

 

“Mmm lookin’ forward to it.” Andalyn purred, reaching out to grab his hand before he could fully leave the bed. “If yer orderin’ room service, might wanna get us somethin’ so we don’t waste away.”

 

“Read my mind.” Mark kissed her again and stood up to pull his shorts back on, leaving the room to tend to Rebel. “Mornin’ son.  I’ll get ya some breakfast ordered.  Let yer Mom rest.”

 

“Thanks…Dad.” Rebel swallowed hard, not sure if he should call this man that so soon. “I mean…” He wanted to ask Mark’s permission and felt foolish because they truly were father and son. “Sorry…”

 

“Why’re ya apologizin’?” Mark asked, sinking down in the chair and gestured him over, placing a large hand on his shoulder. “I AM yer Dad, Rebel.  Call me that if ya want.  Or call me Mark like you’ve been doin’.  I’ll leave the decision up to ya.”

 

“Dad.” Rebel smiled genuinely, feeling confident when the word came out of his mouth. “Thanks Dad.”

 

It did Mark’s heart good to hear that.  He pulled the boy in his arms, hugging him tightly and cupped the back of his head affectionately, rubbing his back.  It would take time for all of them to get used to the major changes that happened in all of their lives over the course of the past 24 hours. 

 

Chapter 21

 

While waiting for the food to arrive, Mark talked to Rebel for a bit, trying to get to know his son better than he already did.  Once breakfast arrived, Mark turned on cartoons for Rebel and ruffled his hair before taking his and Andalyn’s food into the bedroom to wake her up to eat.  She had to be starving after all the lovemaking they’d done.  Mark set the tray of food down on the nightstand and gazed down at her sleeping form, sliding a finger gently down her bare arm.  The same finger caught a strand, a curl, of black ebony and Mark silently wished she would go back to being dishwater blonde.  He missed that color on her, though black suited her just fine as well.  It’d be a lie though if he said he didn’t miss the curly dishwater blonde because it was a nice remembrance of their time together in college.  Not able to stall any longer without risking the food getting cold, Mark bent down to softly kiss his sleeping beauty awake and felt her stir, not breaking it until her arms curled around his neck to pull him on top of her.

 

“Time to eat, darlin’.” He rumbled against her mouth huskily, prying her arms from around his neck and sat back on his haunches, watching her eyes slowly flutter open to look up at him. “Come on, woman, ya need sustenance so I can ravage you all over again.”

 

Andalyn rolled her eyes with a smile and slowly sat up, reaching over the side of the bed to grab her nightgown.  Just in case Rebel decided to walk in unannounced, she didn’t need to flash her goods to their son.  Mark didn’t mind, he enjoyed peeling clothes off of her body and was thankful she had covered up so he could eat in peace without temptation.  The food smelled heavenly as Andalyn’s stomach growled, a flush creeping on her cheeks because it was rather loud.

 

“So, I need to ask ya somethin’.” Mark figured now it was the right time to actually talk since their sexual appetite had been satiated for the moment.

 

“Okay…” Andalyn didn’t know if she liked the sound of this and took a bite of her scrambled eggs. “Ask me anythin’.”

 

Mark took his time, trying to figure out a way to word his questions without the risk of upsetting her. “Well,” He chewed and swallowed his own bite of pancakes, setting his fork down on the plate. “I guess I’d like to know where my woman and son live.”

 

“Yer woman, eh?” Andalyn liked the sound of that, grey eyes sparkling back at him.  There was so much life and love flowing through them for the man in front of her, the only one she ever wanted to be with. “Believe it or not, still in Texas.  The ranch…” The smile disappeared from her face and was replaced with overwhelming sadness. “Is gone.  So we have a small house in Corpus Christi.”

 

“What happened to the ranch?” He hadn’t missed the sad tone of her voice and had a sinking feeling he already knew the answer.

 

“Closed up and sold.  Dad died and…Mom didn’t recover.  She started poppin’ pills to ease her pain and…well, we don’t talk to her anymore.” Andalyn cleared her throat, remembering having to tell her 5-year-old son about his Papa’s death and how he’d never see the man again. “Rebel was 5 when my Dad passed.”

 

Mark had met Andalyn’s parents once when he’d gone home with her for the Christmas holiday and then, in turn, she came home with him to celebrate New Year’s.  They were kind-hearted folk and accepted him, image and all.  They weren’t judgmental like most parents would be.  So it did pain him to hear about her father’s death as well as the shape her mother was in, not to mention the beautiful ranch they had.  Mark and Andalyn had gone horseback riding on the plantation and went to the lake on the property to make love under the Texas night sky and stars.

 

“Sorry to hear that.” He didn’t know what else to say, taking another bite of food. “Yer Dad was a good man.”

 

Andalyn smiled sadly, nodding in agreement. “He was and I know he’s in a better place now.  Just wish my momma would open her eyes and realize killin’ herself slowly isn’t the answer.  I know she wants to be with him, but she still has life to live too.” It’d been nearly a year since the last time she spoke with her mother and her bleeding heart wouldn’t allow Andalyn to simply forget her.

 

That was Mark’s next question. “When was the last time ya talked to her?”

 

“Almost a year, right before I joined the WWF.” 1997 was on the horizon, coming up in a few months, and Mark was currently in the running to be the next WWF champion at the company’s biggest pay-per-view event – WrestleMania. “Anyway, enough ‘bout her.  What else is on yer mind?”

 

Mark knew they just got back together, so demanding her to move in with him wasn’t the smartest idea, given the circumstances. “Just curious.” Now definitely wasn’t the time, however, there was something he COULD offer for the time being. “On our days off, I’d like to take ya both to Houston.  My home.” And soon to be theirs if Mark and Andalyn remained together. “I know Rebel will love it…and so will you.”

 

Why wouldn’t she want to see his home?  Andalyn’s heart melted at the request and she leaned forward, softly brushing her mouth against his. “We’d love to.” She had no idea what the future held with Mark, but one thing was certain she would fight for him as long as he did the same for her and their son. “I can see the gears in yer brain turnin’, what else is on that wicked mind of yers?”

 

She could always read him like a book.  Some things never changed. “Rebel.  When’s his birthday?” Mark hoped he hadn’t missed it and took another bite of food, both of them eating slowly while conversing. “I wanna do somethin’ special for him when it rolls around.”

 

“Funny ya should ask.” Andalyn’s spirits had lifted considerably from the dark subject they’d discussed only minutes ago. “He was born March 10, 1986.  And I know yer birthday is March 24th, so ya both are the same sign and were born the same month.”

 

Mark had a new sense of pride and couldn’t believe what great aim he had, unable to wipe the smile from his face even if he tried.  His son, his firstborn, had a birthday in the same month he did.  It just made their bond that much stronger, deeper.  His only regret was not being there for Andalyn during her pregnancy and when Rebel was born.  Honestly, he did blame Andalyn at first for not contacting him about her pregnancy, but he also saw it from her point of view.  She was a scared sophomore in college while he left her to pursue what he thought was his dream in life – a professional basketball player.  Only, 12 hours prior to finishing his degree, Mark dropped out of college without Andalyn’s knowledge to pursue professional wrestling.  To this day, he had no idea why he did it, but wrestling called to him in a way basketball didn’t.  He had a phenomenal career in the WWF and was far from through with it, not regretting dropping out of college and giving up his basketball scholarship overseas.

 

“It’s in the middle of Mania season, but we’ll make it work.  He’s gonna have the best damn birthday ever.” Mark vowed, refusing to break that promise and bodily pulled Andalyn to press against his body, his green eyes ignited with newfound life. “I love ya, Andy…”

 

The amount of conviction and passion in his voice took her breath away, every part of her igniting in flames against him. “I’m sor-” His finger pressed against her lips, stopping her from apologizing. “Back at home, I have a ton of pictures of Rebel from the time he was born till now.” Making him a special fatherly photo album full of his son was the perfect Christmas or birthday gift, depending on how fast she could get it done.

 

“Alright, no more apologizin’.  Let’s just move on and focus on the future.” Mark suggested, caressing her face with the back of his hand and kissed her again, his fingers once again catching the raven curls she possessed. “I do miss yer blonde hair…”

 

That was the second time he’d mentioned her change in hair color. “I was thinkin’ maybe I should change it back.” Andalyn said nonchalantly, testing the waters to gauge his reaction. “What’d ya think?”

 

“Yer beautiful no matter what color yer hair is.” Mark answered truthfully, though he secretly pictured her with the dishwater blonde hair again and hoped she did go back to her natural color. “Hell, look at my hair.  I use dye too.”

 

That settled it, Andalyn would ask one of the WWF hair stylist if they could change her hair back to the normal dishwater blonde as soon as possible. “I love this color though.” She sifted her fingers through it, remembering his fiery red hair back in college and somehow, blood red fit him a lot better. “Ya should definitely keep it.”

 

Mark chuckled, not having any future plans to go back to his natural fiery red hair.  He hated his natural hair color. “I plan on it for a while.” At least while he remained portraying the Undertaker character, but once he retired, maybe he would go back to his natural color.  That was a long way off though.

 

The mood in the room changed as Andalyn’s grey eyes darkened and steeled over, the thought of Steve and Dwayne popping into her head. “I need to clear the air with ya ‘bout somethin’ since we’re actually talkin’.” She slowly pulled away from him and slid from the bed, trying to reign her temper in. “I was gonna tell ya ‘bout Rebel.  I just needed a few days to get up the courage to do it before Dwayne stuck his nose in my business – our business.” Andalyn corrected as an afterthought and felt Mark take her hand, lacing their fingers together.

 

“Darlin’…”

 

“No, please I gotta get this out.” Andalyn cut him off, frowning down at him and placed her free hand on his shoulder. “I swear, I was gonna tell ya.  When I pleaded with ya for just a few more days, I was gonna find a time to tell ya the truth.  Keepin’ this from ya was tearin’ me up inside.  I was scared ya’d take him away from me and that was stupid of me.  I should’ve known better.  Steve was threatenin’ to tell ya if I didn’t, which is why I went off on him.  And then Dwayne had to open his fat mouth.” She growled, pulling her hand away from Mark and began pacing back and forth in front of him. “I want them to pay.  I want both of them to pay for tryin’ to hurt us and ruin our lives.” Stopping, Andalyn turned to face him with tears in her eyes. “Make them all pay, Mark.”

 

Granted, Mark felt he owed some kind of debt of gratitude to Dwayne for coming clean to him about this.  At the same time, however, he understood Andalyn’s anger and way of thinking too.  Dwayne and Steve were his coworkers and, at one time, friends of sorts.  No longer was that the case.  He would do anything for the love of his life and the amount of pain in her eyes killed him, nearly drove him to his knees.  If she asked him to kill both men, he would without blinking or thinking twice about it.  Something told him she had a more…diabolical plan for Steve and Dwayne in mind.

 

He couldn’t have been more right in that assumption. “It won’t happen overnight or tomorrow, possibly not even this year or the next.  Let them rise to stardom.  Let them THINK they’re safe.” Andalyn straddled his lap, sliding her fingertips up and down his muscular chest while kissing down his jaw to his neck, murmuring against his heated skin. “And when the time is right, ya strike hard and fast, annihilatin’ both of them in one fell swoop.  I’m a patient woman, I can wait as long as it takes ‘cause I know goin’ after them now will be what they expect.”

 

The way she spoke about annihilation and making those men pay sent shivers down Mark’s spine, the pure evilness glowing in her silver eyes.  Yes, they were silver at the moment, not a stormy grey.  When turned on, Andalyn’s eyes turned a deep liquid metallic silver and currently, that’s the precise color they were.  He smirked, enjoying the darker side this woman possessed and buried his fingers in her curly ebony tresses, plundering her mouth with his roughly.

 

“Whatever ya wish will be granted.” Mark promised in a low growl, guiding her back on the bed, having moved their plates of food back on the tray prior to pulling her against him earlier. “Just give me ideas and I’ll make sure yer satisfied.” Anything for her, just like he silently vowed.

 

Andalyn loved the sound of that, metallic silver orbs drinking him in completely and tilted her head back to give him complete access to her neck. “Satisfy me now by fuckin’ me.  Rebel occupied for a while?” She pushed him onto his back to straddle his waist and pulled her nightgown off, dropping it to the side of the bed again.

 

“Mmm yeah…” Mark nodded, gliding his strong hands up and down her slender sides before cupping her voluptuous breasts, tweaking her already hardened nipples between his forefingers and thumbs. “Boy has plenty of food to eat and watchin’ cartoons.” They had plenty of time for session before having to leave to go to the next town.

 

“Good, just what I wanted to hear.” Andalyn purred, reaching down between them to free his hardened cock from the shorts he had on. “Last night ya had yer fun, now it’s my turn to have mine.” Without preamble or a second thought, Andalyn lifted her lower body and sunk her pussy right on his erection, feeling it pulsate and throb inside of her. “Mark…”

 

There was no sweeter sound in the world, to him, than hearing Andalyn’s honey warm voice moan his name. “Goddamn, yer gonna kill me…” He groaned, not believing how tight she was after all the bouts they had the previous night.  Mark thought for sure he’d stretched her just a bit, but apparently not. “Ride me, darlin’…”

 

Obeying his command, Andalyn buried her nails in his chest and proceeded to gyrate her hips as fast and hard as she could, each climbing heights only they could reach together once again.

 

Chapter 22

 

Months flew by with a lot happening in the world of the WWF.  Not only was their super bowl, WrestleMania XIII, on the horizon, but WWF had competition with another wrestling organization known as WCW.  Mark had briefly feuded with Diesel, who was known to the world as Kevin Nash in WCW.  He left alongside Razor Ramon –his real name was Scott Hall- the WWF for WCW, developing two top spots open for the taking.  Mark couldn’t pass it up.  Honestly, Andalyn watched about 10 minutes of that garbage before turning it off, not understanding how they were competition.  Granted, the NWO concept was alright, but WWF still had compelling storylines and much better wrestling than that company.  They also didn’t have the Undertaker. 

 

The officials wanted to put him the main event spot at this year’s WrestleMania and Mark assumed he would be feuding with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart since he was the current WWF World Heavyweight champion.  That year’s Royal Rumble, which was the stepping stone to kick off the road to WrestleMania, was surrounded in controversy.  Steve Austin won it, but he’d cheated to do so.  Instead of the Royal Rumble giving the winner the chance to go to WrestleMania to face the world champion, this year had a special twist to it.  Shawn Michaels had vacated the WWF title after claiming he had to leave the company to ‘find his smile’.  So that left the company without a champion. 

 

The Royal Rumble was supposed to solve that dilemma and, naturally, there was a wrench thrown in the plans, thanks to Steve Austin.  The final four in the Royal Rumble were Bret, Steve, Mark and Vader.  So the company decided to host a pay-per-view event entitled In Your House: Final Four with the main event being those four competitors vying to become the world champion in a four corner elimination match.  It went by Royal Rumble rules and the last man standing would win the title – simple, clean-cut and to the point.  The match was long, grueling and in the end it came down to Bret and Mark with Bret winning the match by dumping Undertaker over the top rope after a distraction ensued by Steve.

 

Andalyn scowled at the monitor, wanting to rip Steve apart for costing her man the championship and rolled her eyes at the crybaby of the WWF held the title over his head.  She could tell Mark wasn’t happy with the outcome, but then again they knew what the future held.  Bret Hart didn’t, but they did and that just made her smile wickedly while going back to working on her man’s schedule for that upcoming week.  The moment he stepped inside the dressing room, Andalyn waited for Rebel to bump fists with him and embraced his father before it was her turn to give him love.  She didn’t need to say ‘well done, nice try’ or anything like that because the kiss she left on his mouth told Mark everything he needed to know.  His time was coming; he just had to be a little more patient and couldn’t wait to rip the title from Bret’s grubby hands.

 

Turns out, fate really was out to kick Bret in the balls, or maybe the company was just fed up with his crybaby antics.  Either way, the next night on Raw pitted Bret against Psycho Sid in the main event for the WWF championship.  He’d been the WWF champion prior to losing to Shawn Michaels and had never had a solid rematch for the strap, so the company granted him that request.  Bret thought he’d win without breaking a sweat and was dead wrong on that assumption.  The best part was Sid was on the road to WrestleMania feuding with Mark, which made his win over Bret that much sweeter.  Mark was the runner-up winner at Final Four, so the company made him the #1 contender for the championship.  With Sid becoming the champion, Mark finally had his opportunity, his shot, to become the next WWF champion and didn’t plan on squandering it. 

 

Andalyn was ecstatic, jumping up and down with Rebel while Mark laughed at them, shaking his head at their silly ways.  All he did was sit there, watching the two loves of his lives and smiled, knowing the company was about to put the amount of faith in him after 6 grueling years to carry them into the future.  He caught the dishwater curly haired beauty in his arms when Andalyn launched herself at him, their mouths instantly finding each others.  Mark was shocked to walk into his dressing room the next day after he asked Andalyn to come home with him on his next days off, seeing her natural hair color again.  Now she really was the woman who had stolen his heart back in their college days.  Mark showed her how much he appreciated the surprise later that night and couldn’t get enough of his gorgeous blonde, always being a sucker for them.  She was no exception either.

 

“Someone’s happy.” He murmured against her mouth, reluctantly breaking the kiss at Rebel’s gagging noises from behind them and rolled his eyes. “Tiger, yer gonna have to get used to this sight.  I enjoy kissin’ yer momma a lot.”

 

Rebel snorted, rolling his own eyes and went back to playing his Game Boy.

 

“He’ll get over it.” Andalyn turned Mark’s face back to stare into his hypnotic emerald orbs and went back to kissing him, showing him with action just how much she was happy for him. “Yer gonna be the best champion this company’s ever seen, baby.  And I know ya already know that, but I’m sayin’ it anyway.”

 

Of course he was.  Mark had worked too long and hard to get where he was in the WWF; nothing would stop him at WrestleMania XIII from bringing the belt home to his Creatures of the Night and his family. “I finally got some days off comin’ up next week, so how ‘bout we head to Houston?” He had a few things to discuss with her, but didn’t want to do it while they were on the road. “We gotta take advantage of these days ‘cause they’re the only ones I have before the rush of WrestleMania takes over.”

 

Tapping her chin pretending to think about it, Andalyn giggled at Mark’s growl and rubbed her nose against his, kissing him again. “I already told ya I’d love to.  Didn’t ya hear me when you asked me all those weeks ago?” She asked cheekily, feeling Mark’s hand slid down her back to squeeze her backside somewhat roughly and purred, keeping it down so Rebel didn’t complain about their affection with each other. “It’ll be nice to sleep in an actual bed for a change instead of a hotel.”

 

Mark agreed wholeheartedly with her, unable to wait to get off the road and back home, even if it was for a few days.  They were better than nothing and rarely came along.  His acres upon acres of land would have Rebel running all over the place, not to mention his private pool and other surprises he had in store for his newfound family.  Mark wanted to bring Andalyn to Houston to make sure she liked his house before asking her to move in with him.  They had rekindled what they had from back in college and were more in love than ever; even more if that was possible.  If Andalyn didn’t like his house, Mark would simply sell his ranch and move wherever she wanted to, never wanting to be away from her or his son again.

 

“So when do we leave?” She asked as he set her down on her feet, rejoining Rebel on the wooden bench.

 

“Leave where?” Rebel finally looked up from his Game Boy; having caught what his mother said and arched a brow.

 

Andalyn grinned, sharing a look with Mark and wondered if he wanted to surprise their son or outright tell him where they were headed.

 

“It’s a surprise, tiger.  Don’t you worry ‘bout it.”

 

Mark ruffled the boy’s hair with a chuckle and began stripping out of his wrestling gear, heading into the bathroom to dress.  Normally, he would’ve teased Andalyn and stayed out there to dress, but since Rebel was here, Mark decided it wasn’t the best idea.  The boy definitely didn’t want to see his father mauling his mother, or vise versa and that made a delicious wicked smirk curve his lips.  The mere thought of Andalyn jumping him from a strip tease made his eyes gleam, wondering if he could bring out that animal in her.  They had 2 days in Texas on a huge ranch that would keep Rebel more than occupied and Mark planned on using it to his full advantage.

 

“Mom, why do ya guys always gotta keep stuff from me?” Rebel grumbled, not amused and pouted the entire ride back to the hotel…or so he thought they were heading. “Wait, why are we at the airport?” He looked back and forth between his parents, tilting his head in confusion.

 

“Vince gave us the next 2 days off and yer father is takin’ us somewhere he’s wanted to for a while.  Now pipe down and stop askin’ questions.” Andalyn ordered as they trekked through the airport with her hand clasped in Mark’s and her other having a tight hold on Rebel’s. “We’ll be there before ya know it.”

 

A few hours later, Rebel’s emerald eyes slowly opened to look out at a huge stretch of land, yawning.  He could see his mother and father talking quietly, not caring what they had to say.  He was a kid; all he cared about was eating and video games.  However, he couldn’t stop his eyes from nearly bugging out of his head as they approached a huge house on the stretch of land and blinked, not believing how big it was.  2 stories, white and massive, the bulk of it sitting on 5 acres of land that surrounded them, planted strategically in the middle of it all.  Even Andalyn had a hard time taking it in, remembering the ranch her parents owned and this reminded her of it wholeheartedly.  It was breathtaking. 

 

Mark put in the code for the gate that surrounded the main property to keep out burglars and unwanted guests.  He noticed the expression on both Andalyn and their son’s faces, a Cheshire grin on his own.  Pushing on the gas, Mark reached over to take Andalyn’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, already knowing just by her reaction alone she loved his place…soon-to-be their place.  As far as he was concerned, this was their home already, she just didn’t know that little detail yet.

 

“This place is HUGE!” Rebel crowed, in complete awe the closer they came to the house and shook his mother’s shoulders to jolt her out of her own shock. “Mom!  This reminds me of Grandma and Papa’s ranch!  Lemme out, I wanna look around!”

 

Chuckling at the boy’s enthusiasm, Mark parked the Chevy Silverado and barely put it in park before Rebel hopped out, leaving his parents in the vehicle alone.  Mark laughed, watching the Rebel run around in circles with his arms stretched out, the hot Texas sun beating down on him.  Granted, it was only 70 degrees, but still the sun could be dangerous even at that low temperature.  It was only February after all.  Mark could see Andalyn still staring at the house and waved a hand in front of her, finally bringing her back from whatever dimension of shock she’d locked herself in momentarily.

 

“Darlin’, you alright?” He asked softly, concern lacing his tone and watched those haunting grey eyes turn to stare at him, unshed tears glistening in them. “Andy…”

 

“I’m sorry…”

 

Andalyn was thrilled to be here, but the overwhelming sadness of her own lost ranch, her lost childhood, was a wound that had never fully healed.  Seeing Mark’s place brought all of that sadness back because it truly did remind her of her childhood ranch with her father horseback riding and feeding the farm animals among other things.  Mark unbuckled her and dragged Andalyn into his arms, knowing she needed his comfort and love at the moment, burying his nose in her soft dishwater blonde curls.

 

“H-How long have you lived here?” She asked quietly, trying to keep the shakiness out of her voice and failed, feeling Mark’s finger hook under her chin to force her eyes up to meet his. “It’s gorgeous…”

 

“Early ’93.  Bought it after savin’ up a couple checks from the Fed.  I saw it and…it reminded me of you, darlin’.” Mark confessed, even back then he couldn’t get Andalyn off his mind and often thought about her almost every day. “Somethin’ possessed me to buy this place, even bein’ alone and on the road all the time.  I didn’t think I’d ever see ya again, but…you were a big factor in buyin’ this.  Andy…” Now was the time to ask her while she was vulnerable and wouldn’t put up much of a fight, or so he hoped. “I don’t want this to just be mine.  I want it to be yers too.  All that lost time with you and Rebel, I wanna make up for it and that starts with us livin’ together as a family.  Bein’ a family instead of just actin’ like one.  I…I want ya to move in and make this our home, darlin’.”

 

Tears of love and sadness mixed slid down her cheeks as Andalyn rested her forehead against his and felt his arms tighten around her waist to draw her closer.  He truly did want to be with her, to be a family and that made her heart soar to the heavens.  Would this man ever stop surprising her?  Probably not – they had the rest of their lives for him to surprise her and so many more obstacles and experiences to be had.  Was this too soon for them to take this step though?  12 years she’d missed out being with Mark because of her fear and stupidity.  Andalyn would not make that same mistake again, wanting to be with this man more than anything and knew Rebel would love living with his father.  Corpus Christi was nice, but nothing compared to the life Mark wanted to give her and Rebel.  Houston was where she wanted to be; anywhere Mark was actually.

 

“Okay.”

 

“Okay?” Mark echoed, arching a brow down at her and saw the sheepish smile cross her beautiful face.

 

Andalyn wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him passionately and nodded. “Yeah – okay.” She reiterated in a mumble against his mouth, pecking him one last time and opened the driver’s door. “Now show me around our new home, Calaway.”

 

He loved the sound of that coming out of her mouth, feeling the pieces of his life falling into place.  Rebel was ecstatic to find out they were moving in this gigantic place and got to pick out any room he wanted besides the master bedroom.  So he chose the one at the far end of the hall away from his parents’ room, not wanting to hear any hanky-panky going on between them.  He was old enough to know what sex was, but didn’t need to hear his parents doing it.  The master bedroom had a bathroom attached with a huge black garden tub.  Andalyn was in heaven, also enjoying the see through shower and knew she would be in there with Mark as much as possible. 

 

After the tour, Mark suggested lunch and Rebel jumped at it, a true bottomless pit.  They had club sandwiches with chips for their first meal and Andalyn promised to whip up a feast for dinner since Mark had the entire house stocked.  Thankfully, the neighbor down the street took care of the ranch when he was on the road, including the livestock.  As soon as Rebel passed out from eating 3 club sandwiches and an entire bag of chips, Mark scooped him up and carried the boy upstairs to his room.  Then he proceeded to toss Andalyn over his shoulder and carted her to the master bedroom for some playtime and then a nap.

 

Chapter 23

 

Steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, green bean casserole, baked beans, deviled eggs and freshly baked rolls were on the menu for their first official meal in the ranch.  Home, their home, Andalyn kept reminding herself, smiling the entire time she found her way around the kitchen.  Mark was instructed to go spend time with his son, so they were currently in the living room watching ESPN.  Rebel was a sports fan, though video games were his first passion.  He did enjoy football and especially basketball, another trait he more than likely inherited from his father.  Mark grinned when Rebel turned on the college basketball game and draped an arm around the lad’s shoulders, quietly telling him about how he’d played ball in college.

 

“Really?” Rebel beamed up at his father, emerald eyes sparkling with the newfound knowledge. “Yer tall enough, were ya any good though?”

 

Mark chuckled at his question, nodding. “Yeah, had a scholarship to go overseas to play actually.  Didn’t take it though, found wrestlin’ instead.” He shrugged at Rebel’s confused expression. “I don’t know why I chose wrestlin’ over ball, tiger.  I still question the choice sometimes, but I wouldn’t change it.”

 

“You don’t get to hurt people in basketball.” Rebel pointed out, deadpan and went back to watching the game, smiling at his favorite team scoring. “Hey Mark?”

 

He was used to being called by his real name instead of Dad, knowing it would eventually happen. “Yeah, son?” Mark looked down at the boy and watched him suck his bottom lip between his teeth nervously, something Andalyn did from time to time.