Never Alone

 

Chapter 1

 

“Sit down and shut your mouth right now!” Wade Barrett growled, glaring disdainfully over at his girlfriend with anger shining in his dark eyes.  He pushed her down on the couch when she didn’t immediately follow orders, scowling, daring her to defy him again, especially in front of his creation.

 

Nexus.

 

The group was the most dominant selection of athletes the WWE had ever seen and consisted of Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, Michael McGillicutty and…John Cena.  Wade’s real name was Stuart Bennett, though he refused to be called that in the WWE, having wrestled in another promotion under his birth name.  Justin Gabriel’s real name was Paul and didn’t mind being called by it, though there were a lot of Paul’s in the business…such as Paul Levesque –Most fans knew him as Triple H- and Paul Wight also known as The Big Show.  Paul decided using his ring name wasn’t that bad, most of the guys did it anyway. 

 

Heath wrestled under his first real name, but his actual last name was Miller.  David Otunga had been a reality television actor prior to becoming an entertainer for the WWE, so he refused to wrestle under any other name other than his own.  Windham Rotunda had recently debuted in the company on WWE’s NXT show in its second season, though he preferred being called Harris, hating his real name.  Michael McGillicutty was actually the son of former wrestler and the late great Curt Henning, his real name Joseph Henning, though he tried not mentioning his father too much.

 

Then there was John Cena, a prideful man who was stuck doing Wade’s bidding, including trying to take the world heavyweight title from Randy Orton.  John simply stood there in the far corner, his hat pulled down over his blazing blue eyes, watching the scene unfold.  He couldn’t believe the scumbag leader of Nexus treated his own girlfriend like garbage, wondering why she stuck around.

 

Riley swallowed hard at the look that crossed Stu’s face and immediately lowered her eyes to the floor, clasping her hands in her lap.  What had she ever seen in Stu?  Riley didn’t understand it and probably never would, thankful his attention had averted back to his group of henchmen, knowing she would be paying for her insolence later when they were alone.

 

Where had it all gone wrong?  When Riley first met Stu, he was the sweetest man in the world and she adored his accent.  He was born in England so he had a very deep English accent that used to make Riley weak in the knees.  Not to mention they had unbelievable chemistry both in and out of the bedroom.  To the untrained eye, people thought they were a happy, healthy couple.

 

He wasn’t bad looking either, standing six foot five and weighing well over two hundred pounds.  Riley had been with him for three years and was ecstatic to find out the WWE wanted him on their programming, offering him a contract.  Stu had never been so happy in his life and Riley honestly thought this would make things better between them, especially when he pleaded with her to join him on the road.

 

If anything, things went from bad to worse.

 

At first it was threats, but when Stu felt he wasn’t getting through to Riley, the abuse began and hadn’t stopped.  The threats turned into striking her, mostly across her the face, and then rape soon followed.  Riley would never forget the night Stu raped her, having been drunk out of his mind, and called her every filthy name he could think of while forcing her to have sex. 

 

He was brutal and afterwards Riley couldn’t even stand, knowing her insides had to be torn to shreds from all the raping and abuse.  She’d been suffering for close to two years now, honestly not knowing why she stayed with him.  Love made people do weird crazy things, but Riley was at her breaking point, ready to throw away three long years away so she could finally stop hurting physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

“Prick.” Riley barely mumbled under her breath while she listened to Stu bark orders at his henchman, shaking her head sadly.  Of course he hadn’t heard her, especially with that loud mouth of his echoing throughout the dressing room. ‘I need to get away from him.’ She thought, feeling another piece of her dead broken heart flutter to the pits of her stomach.

 

“Do you understand me?  I want him destroyed.  I do not want Randy Orton walking out of this building tonight, do you understand?” Wade stated, his beady eyes moving to the far corner, a sick smirk forming on his lips. “That includes you too, Cena.”

 

“Man, why does Cena always have to be involved?” David finally had enough and spoke up, watching Wade’s head snap to stare back at him. “We can handle Orton without his interference, remember what happened last time?”

 

John had a match with Wade at a previous pay-per-view event called Hell in a Cell and the stipulations were simple:  If John defeated Wade, Nexus would be disbanded forever.  But…if Wade won then John had to become a member of Nexus.  John ended up losing that match because of outside interference from Windham Rotunda and Joe Henning. 

 

It didn’t matter if John was screwed over, he’d lost and the anonymous Raw General Manager, which was a talking laptop of all things, demanded John to hold up his end of the deal.  If John didn’t do exactly what Wade Barrett ordered, he would be fired and exiled from the WWE forever.  John loved his job too much to let it go, to let all of his fans down, and had put up with weeks of abuse from Barrett, though his patience was quickly wearing thin.

 

Riley had noticed it.

 

“David, do you not trust me as your leader?” Wade demanded irritably, cracking his knuckles when David simply lowered his head.

 

“No, but…”

 

“Then pipe down and listen to me.  I know what I’m doing and I know what’s best for Nexus, which is why I’m the leader.” Wade loved reminding these men he was the one in charge, his eyes never leaving John. “Front and center, Cena, now.”

 

Very reluctantly, John walked over to him, wearing his purple and gold cap with his purple Never Give Up Cenation t-shirt, which looked ready to bust off of his huge biceps.  He wore simple baggy blue jean shorts and sneakers, looking up at Wade with angry filled blue eyes.  He wanted nothing more than to drop Wade like a bad habit right then and there, balling them into fists.

 

“What do you want?” John demanded tensely, his jaw tightened, eyes narrowed.

 

Wade was all smiles, his dark eyes gleaming wickedly. “Go fetch me a glass of water.” He ordered, watching as the light in John’s eyes began slowly dying, chuckling cheerfully.

 

“Are you serious?” John couldn’t believe this, thinking Wade had sunk to a new level when the man forced him to watch Randy Orton being beaten down to a pulp.

 

“Stop it, Stuart.” Riley quietly spoke up, standing from the couch and took the glass her boyfriend had handed John. “I’ll go fetch you some water, leave him alone.” She couldn’t take Stu abusing someone else, deciding to be the sacrificial lamp so to speak.

 

John blinked at the woman, wondering if she’d lost her mind, and watched the fire flare in Wade’s eyes. “No, no don’t worry about it.” He tried diffusing the tense situation, taking the glass from her. “I’ll go get the water, just sit back down.” He really didn’t want to see Wade strike this beautiful woman, having seen it earlier in the day when she simply told him she was going to the bathroom down the hall.

 

“Watch your tongue and mind your leader, Riley.” Wade ordered, pointing back to the couch, not believing she’d actually interfered.  The woman enjoyed angering him that much was obvious.

 

“My leader?” Riley couldn’t take it anymore, her hazel eyes flaring up with rage. “You’re not my leader because I’m not part of the company, you insane jackass!!” She didn’t care what the consequences would be, not able to hold herself in check anymore.

 

Wade couldn’t take her ranting anymore and hauled off, backhanding Riley across the face, watching impassively as she hit the floor with a small cry.  He towered over her through deadly dark eyes, her body instantly scrambling away from him, cradling her throbbing face in her hand.  This little tramp was going to learn the meaning of respecting the leader of Nexus even if it killed her.

 

“Stu…” She whimpered, closing her eyes tightly shut.

 

“MY NAME IS WADE!!!”

 

Riley trembled with fear, tears streaming down her face, feeling the chunks already rising in her throat from how much her face hurt. “Please…” She whispered, knowing it wouldn’t do any good and barely missed his big boot planting into her stomach, instead hitting the couch. “STU, STOP IT!!”

 

“You insolent bitch!” He growled, stalking toward her as she scrambled up to her feet, only to be backhanded again. “YOU WILL OBEY ME!!”

 

Riley shrieked in pain as she went flying against the wall, smacking her head against it and instantly seen stars.  Wade buried his hand in her long black hair, forcing her to meet his enraged eyes and closed hers tightly shut, trembling so hard her teeth chattered.  To think at one point in her life, Riley actually loved this man and now she was being subjected to his abuse.  She actually saw herself becoming Mrs. Stuart Bennett at one point, hell they even talked about having children, but that was long gone.

 

“P-Please…” She stammered out through a busted lip, both of her cheeks immediately swelling, dark bluish black bruises already forming all over her already battered face. “I love you, please don’t hurt me…I’m sorry…” Riley hoped for once Stu would have mercy on her, her eyes still shut as sobs slowly began seeping out.

 

John watched all of this unfold and wanted to kill this monster with his bare hands, knowing he couldn’t do it too.  The way the woman whimpered and pleaded with him not to hurt her broke his heart and John found himself wanting, needing, to protect her.  He could clearly see the fear and heartbreak in those jade eyes, which tore his insides apart, though John didn’t show it, standing there stone faced.

 

“You love me?” Wade demanded, gripping her chin when it seemed as though Riley would look away from him, gritting his teeth. “Open your eyes.” He ordered in a low tense voice, daring her to defy him again.

 

Riley did as she was told, slowly fluttering them open as silent tears trekked down her cheeks, her heart feeling as though it might leap out of her chest from how terrified she was.  This man frightened her and his size didn’t help, towering over her small five foot seven frame, very tiny compared to him.  She fought back a flinch when his hand came up, caressing her face almost lovingly, though Riley wasn’t buying it.

 

“Say it again.” He ordered, his voice gruff with emotion. “Say it while looking into my eyes, Riley.”

 

“I love you.” She said in barely above a whisper, knowing he wanted to hear her voice, and gasped softly when his face buried in her neck, the hold on her hair loosening.

 

“Why do you make me hurt you, Riley?” He sounded as though he was in agony, breathing in her scent, feeling her small body pressed against his. “Why do you make it so difficult?  Why can’t you just follow orders when they’re given so I don’t harm you?”

 

“I-I don’t know…” She was silently thanking the stars for small miracles, knowing what could’ve transpired with Stu, and hesitantly reached up to stroke his hair. “I’m sorry, S-Wade.” She caught herself, hating to call him by his wrestling name because that’s not who she fell in love with.

 

If Riley thought he was apologizing to her, then the woman had officially lost her mind, though that didn’t stop Wade from caressing her sides. “You smell wonderful, love.” He growled in that deep English accent, feeling her shiver against him and smirked, thinking it was from desire.  When in reality, Riley was scared to death, afraid to move though she continued stroking his hair.

 

Her eyes momentarily locked with sky blue, the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen in her life, and they belonged to John Cena.  They hadn’t really spoken to each other, but right now Riley’s eyes were clearly begging him to get Stu away from her.  She couldn’t handle this much longer, knowing her heart would fill with the hope that he would change, that he would stop abusing her, that he would love her again.

 

‘Help me.’ She mouthed, more tears falling and felt Stu reluctantly lift his head as their eyes met again, Riley instantly plastering on a fake smile.

 

Wade frowned, running his finger lightly down the tear streak, sighing heavily. “Why the tears, Riley?  You know I don’t mean to strike you.” His voice was full of such affection and warmth that Riley almost believed he wouldn’t do it again, but knew better.

 

“Barrett, we have to get going if you want to pummel Orton.” John reminded the man contritely, watching him instantly turn away from his battered girlfriend.

 

“We’ll continue this later.” Wade stated as he glanced briefly at his girlfriend, squaring his shoulders and headed out. “Watch over her, make sure she doesn’t leave the room.” He tossed over his shoulder, slamming the door shut behind him.

 

As soon as the door slammed, Riley collapsed in a heap to the floor, heart wrenching sobs flowing out of her body, the pain radiating almost blinding.  She was in so much pain and touched her trembling lip, pulling back to see blood on her fingertips.  Riley was pretty sure her teeth had been rattled from being backhanded twice, though she’d fought back her pain to calm Stu down.

 

Riley nearly jumped out of her skin when a hand clamped down on her shoulder, her head snapping up to stare in those blue eyes of John’s again.  He held out a towel to her silently, Riley taking it, silently thanking him for getting Stu away from her.  John understood and nodded, glancing back at the door as his eyes narrowed again, still not believing Wade had done that to his girlfriend in front of him. 

 

John had to get away from this group and had tried brainstorming for several weeks, contemplating quitting.  It would be the same as being fired pretty much, though John loved what he did for a living too much to give it up.  He also refused to quit because this beautiful woman before him needed his help, frowning when she stood up on spaghetti legs to head inside the bathroom.

 

‘I have to stay to protect her.’ John thought, making his mind up, cracking his knuckles and suddenly slammed his fist into the wall, needing to vent his anger out somehow.

 

Chapter 2

 

Riley stared back at her reflection, the tears continuing to fall, looking like a mauled raccoon.  Stu hadn’t returned yet and she was very grateful, just wanting to be alone right now.  Her face throbbed and seared with pain, especially since his second backhand cut her just below her left eye. 

 

With trembling hands, Riley stuck them under the cold water and splashed it on her face, hissing out in pain.  No amount of makeup was going to cover this up, she was sure of that, so Riley would have to make sure not to stay at the hotels until the swelling went down.  She could then cover the bruises with makeup, once again questioning why she stayed with Stu.

 

Concerned blue eyes watched her from the doorway, John having pushed open the door, seeing Riley crying.  Her face looked black and blue, knowing it was going to get worse if not treated properly.  Sighing, John stepped away from the door as it closed behind him, slowly headed toward her, not wanting to startle the woman in any way.

 

“W-What are you doing in here?” Riley had heard the door open and close, her eyes not moving from the horrendous reflection staring back at her.

 

“You need to be treated.” He stated the obvious, causing her to whip around to face him with wide hazel eyes full of fear and sorrow. “Riley, I’m not gonna hurt you, I swear.  I just wanna help.” John held his hands up, showing her he meant absolutely no harm. “I’m not him, I don’t hit women.”

 

Riley swallowed hard, not knowing who she could trust anymore, but also knew how much John loathed Stu.  She nodded and lowered her eyes from his, feeling the shame cascade over her in waves, knowing she looked horrible.  John extended his hand to her and Riley took it with little hesitation, knowing he wouldn’t hurt her. 

 

He guided her over to the nearby chair and Riley shakily sat down, her legs trembling.  John frowned, having grabbed the first aid kit from over the door and opened it, sifting through to find what he needed to treat her wounds.  He knew he should take her to see Larry, the WWE’s trainer and physician, but also knew Riley wouldn’t go for it.

 

So instead, John decided to be the doctor and pulled out a tube of Neosporin, shaking his head. “Stay here.” He ordered in a low voice and walked out of the bathroom.

 

Riley blinked, wondering what John was up to, and simply sat there staring down at her clasped hands.  Why he even wanted to help such a decrepit weakling was beyond her, though Riley wasn’t going to complain, waiting patiently.  Stu would be back soon and Riley knew she had to do her best to cover her battered face up, knowing a deeper foundation was on her agenda to get. 

 

John looked through his bag and finally found what he was searching for, which was a simple jar of salve that would make the swelling and bruises vanish.  He used it whenever he had a grueling brutal match, mostly using it for black eyes.  Snorting at the irony, John shook his head and headed back to Riley, stopping when he heard a voice behind him.

 

“Cena.”

 

“What do you want, Otunga?” John demanded somewhat crossly, turning around to stare back at one of the men he hated.

 

“I need to talk to you about Barrett.”

 

John pinched the bridge of his nose, knowing Riley was in a lot of pain, but his curiosity got the better of him with this jag off, deciding to humor him. “And?” He prompted, raising an eyebrow when David began pacing in front of him.

 

“I-I’m thinking about…leaving Nexus…” David paused between words, trying to gather his wits, sighing heavily. “That was bogus the way he made us drop the tag titles to Justin and Heath, I’m still hot about it.”

 

“And why are you coming to me bitchin’ about what your leader is doing?” John retorted, folding his massive arms in front of his chest. “Why don’t you step up and tell him how it is or shut the fuck up?  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something more important to do then stand here listening to you whine and gripe about what Stewie is doing.”

 

David blinked at what John called Wade, wondering if the man had completely lost his mind. “We were partners…” He walked out when it looked as though John refused listening to him any longer, feeling more lost than ever. “Thanks for your help, man…”

 

That felt really good and John suddenly had somewhat of a smile on his face, walking back inside the bathroom.  Riley was still sitting there, looking up when he entered and John sighed at the barest hint of fear in her eyes, though it quickly disappeared.  He knew she probably overheard him tell David how to handle his business, but John didn’t care.  He hated this group and wished he could just get out, though he definitely wouldn’t be leaving until he knew Riley was out of it as well. 

 

Something about her drew him in and John wasn’t sure what it was, knowing it’d been building for awhile.  He remembered when he first laid eyes on Riley Jade, how her green eyes seemed lost and sad, he just wanted to take the pain away because it killed him to know a beautiful woman was out there unhappy.  John had a big heart, always had, though sometimes it got him in trouble, which is why he actually regretted accepting Wade’s challenge at Hell in a Cell.  Now he was stuck being Nexus’s bitch and it killed John inside, but like his t-shirt said, he would never give up.

 

Wade had told the group his girlfriend was coming on the road with him for a few months because she wanted to be a part of the Nexus legacy.  John knew that wasn’t the case the moment he first saw her, knowing she’d been forced into this and there wasn’t anything he could do about it.  Surprisingly, this was the first time Wade actually struck Riley in front of him, which made his blood boil, wanting to rip the man’s head off his shoulders.

 

“Sorry about that, had to handle some business.” John softly apologized and squatted down in front of her, seeing the overwhelming sadness in her eyes.

 

“Why are you doing this?” She whispered, wringing the hem of her shirt in her hands nervously. “I don’t understand…”

 

“Because nobody deserves what’s happening to you.” John simply replied and opened his jar of salve, a little trick he learned from his mentor Mark Calaway, who was currently on the Smackdown! brand. “This’ll help with the pain.”

 

Riley looked apprehensive, eyeing the jar, wondering if she should trust this man who wanted to supposedly help her.  What if this was another one of Stu’s tricks?  What if he was making John do this just to get feedback on what Riley had done?  She began trembling violently and shook her head, cupping her face in her hands, wishing she could crawl in a deep dark hole.

 

John blinked and set the jar aside, taking her shaking wrists in his own, trying to pull her hands away from her face. “Riley, look at me.” He gently ordered, frowning. “I just wanna help you, I swear that’s all I wanna do.”

 

“No…” She whimpered, completely terrified because she knew if Stu found out John was helping her, there would be hell to pay. “All a trick…”

 

Sighing, John couldn’t understand what she mumbled and forcefully pulled her hands away, causing her eyes to widen in both fear and wonder. “It’s not a damn trick.” He stated almost heatedly, immediately taking the edge from his voice when she trembled more. “Calm down, calm down and just breathe.” He coached, his baby blue eyes intense and they shined with truth, which even Riley couldn’t deny.

 

“Please don’t tell him…” She pleaded, suddenly gripping his arms as his hands ran up and down her own, trying to calm her down, but that just made her cry harder. “Please, he’ll hurt me badly if you do…”

 

He didn’t like her head down and John placed one of his strong hands beneath her chin, lifting it up until broken jade met warm blue. “I won’t tell him, you have my word.” He murmured in a soothing voice, feeling the trembling slowly begin ceasing. “You can trust me, Riley.  I can’t stand the sight of him if you haven’t noticed.” John snorted and sighed heavily, knowing it was his own fault he was in this predicament.

 

“I can trust you?” She wanted to believe him and in Riley’s heart, she knew John would never betray her, but there was still that lingering doubt that any man could care for a battered woman. “Why?  Tell me why I can trust you.” She suddenly demanded, her hands suddenly splayed against his warm shirt covered chest.

 

“Buttercup,” John paused, running a single finger very gently down her cheek. “I don’t like what he’s doing to you and I’m going to do everything I can to protect you.” The promise in his voice sent Riley’s heart racing, not having felt this way about another man since she met Stu.

 

“Buttercup?” Riley couldn’t help tilting her lips slightly into a brief smile, though her eyes once again were full of sadness. “That’s a…different pet name…”

 

John grinned, knowing she liked it because he’d seen light enter her eyes momentarily. “I’m a different guy.” He simply said and dipped his fingers into the jar, watching her look down to eye the stuff suspiciously. “It actually smells good, wanna try?” He held the jar up, Riley’s hands still on his chest, and John had to admit only to himself that her touch felt incredible.

 

Riley bit her bottom lip and nodded slowly, leaning forward until her nose rested right above the jar, inhaling. “Mmm it smells like sandalwood and…some kind of flower…” She sighed wistfully, having thought the stuff would smell funny, but she’d been wrong. “What exactly is it?”

 

“Sandalwood and vanilla.” John answered and very gently began applying it to her face, knowing it would definitely help with the pain and swelling. “My mentor, the guy who trained me how to wrestle, introduced me to it.”

 

Riley nodded, simply sitting there while John applied a healthy dose to her face, the smell causing her to sigh because it was wonderful.  The way his fingers gently stroked her skin, especially being careful with the cut under her left eye, sent Riley’s heart soaring to the heavens.  John was definitely a nice guy and the sadness suddenly entered her eyes again while he doctored her up.  Why couldn’t she have met him instead of Stuart?  When a single tear slid down her cheek, John immediately pulled back, his blue eyes wide in alarm.

 

“Shit, I didn’t hurt you did I, buttercup?” He asked, causing her to shake her head, and John breathed a sigh of relief before continuing.  The salve was already working its magic against her face, the swelling diminishing and soon the bruises would fade. “There, done.  See, I’m not that bad of a doctor am I?”

 

Riley chuckled very softly and felt the flaming of her face deteriorate, wondering exactly what kind of miracle stuff John had. “Wow, thank you.” She wasn’t sure if the stuff numbed her temporarily, though Riley chanced glancing in the mirror again, touching her face lightly.

 

The bruises were still there along with the cut, but the swelling definitely wasn’t there anymore.  She looked in the reflection as John stood behind her, slowly turning around as their eyes locked again.  He held up the jar of salve he’d applied to her face and blanched, eyes widening, wondering if he was out of his mind to give her this miracle cream.

 

“I can’t…”

 

“You can and you will take it.” John stated, taking her hand and placing the jar in it, closing her fingers around it. “I don’t need it, you do.”

 

Riley went to open her mouth when John pressed his finger to her lips, silencing her, causing a reluctant sigh to escape her. “Okay.” She mumbled against his finger, causing John to grin and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, sending a shiver down her back. “Thank you.”

 

“Don’t thank me yet, buttercup.” He winked when she simply blinked, wondering what he meant by that, but John wasn’t talking. “How are you feeling now?” He asked, changing the subject and pulled a band-aid out of his pocket, taking the wrapper off.

 

“I’m fine now, it doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as it did before.” Riley admitted with a smile, looking down at the band-aid, frowning. “What’s that for?”

 

“You didn’t see the nasty cut under your eye?” John wondered briefly where her mind was and chuckled when she flushed, making her even more beautiful to him. “Hold still.”

 

Riley stood as stiff as a statue and allowed John to apply the band-aid, hoping that was the only gash she’d receive to her face tonight.  Stu usually went out without her at night, no doubt cheating, so that gave Riley a chance to be alone in the hotel room without being abused or raped.  Those were moments she cherished because they were far and few between, Stu always wanting her in bed as soon as they arrived back at the hotel.  Riley had tried making excuses that she was tired or didn’t feel good, but he didn’t care and took what he wanted anyway. 

 

There was no escape and Riley had a feeling tonight was far from over with Stu, knowing the man wouldn’t forget what she did in front of him earlier.  What the hell had she been thinking embarrassing him like that in front of the guys?  Silently hoping Stu decided it was time for another night on the town because Riley honestly didn’t know if she could take another blow to the face, she touched the band-aid once John pulled away.

 

“Take these too.” John procured two aspirins from his pocket, carrying them on him lately because Nexus gave him a headache. “It’ll help.”

 

Riley nodded and popped them in her mouth without preamble, swallowing them. “What did you mean when you said don’t thank you yet?” She asked, her curiosity burning and it showed in those hazel eyes, staring into conniving blue. “What do you have planned, John?”

 

“I’m helping you out.” John made it sound so simple that Riley couldn’t help arching an eyebrow, wondering if he was serious.

 

“Help me out?” She echoed, wondering what the hell he meant by that. “How?  I don’t understand…”

 

Smiling charmingly, John bent down until his mouth hovered over her ear, breathing in her scent. “Just wait and see.” He then pulled back and walked out of the bathroom, leaving Riley standing there looking flabbergasted.

 

Chapter 3

 

Wade walked back to the dressing room about an hour later, having some business to handle that he refused to tell the others about.  He didn’t care what they thought or felt; if they didn’t listen to him he was going to make sure they never had the spotlight on them again.  The power felt incredible and Wade didn’t want to let it go, knowing eventually he would have to, which angered him. 

 

Then his thoughts turned to his girlfriend, Riley, and a snarl rippled from his mouth.  He couldn’t believe what that bitch did in front of the guys, wondering if she truly had a death wish or enjoyed feeling his wrath.  Maybe she got hot under the collar whenever he struck her, which made Wade growl as he cracked his knuckles.  He would definitely show her who the master was and what would happen if she didn’t stop running her smart mouth and embarrassing him in front of others.

 

He was going to go out on the town to try to find a woman who actually wanted him, but Wade decided he would vent his anger and frustration out on his girlfriend.  That’s what she was there for after all and he had a few choice things in mind as her punishment.  The more Wade thought about, the harder he became in his tight black wrestling trunks, dark eyes flashing.  Oh yes, Riley’s night was far from over because Wade planned on taking her in every way, whether she wanted it or not.

 

Riley’s head snapped up when the dressing room door flew open, Stu standing there with an evil smile on his face.  Oh no…she knew what that meant and immediately lowered her head, fighting back tears.  Why couldn’t he just leave her alone for one night?  Hadn’t he done enough to her face?  She chanced a glance at John and the look in her eyes clearly told him what was going to happen tonight once her and Stu were alone.

 

John gritted his teeth, his jaw tightened, having a sick feeling what Wade was planning on doing to Riley.  He wanted to do something, anything, but couldn’t fully put his plan in motion yet.  As much as it killed him to do so, John had to watch as Wade strutted over to Riley and yanked her up by her upper arm, causing yelp to fly out of her mouth.  The way Wade manhandled her made his blood light on fire and not in a good way, John was going to kill him.

 

“Stu, stop it you’re hurting me…” She whimpered, knowing it wouldn’t do any good and winced when he glared down at her menacingly.

 

“I’m only going to tell you once more, Riley, my name is NOT Stu.  It’s Wade and if you do not start calling me that, I will make you even more miserable.” He vowed darkly, watching her entire body tremble against him, and smirked wickedly. “Cena, your duties for the night are over.  I am leaving with Riley.”

 

‘NO!!’ Riley’s mind screamed, her eyes widened in fright, though thankfully her boyfriend’s attention was currently on John. 

 

John was in agony because her eyes were screaming at him to help her, but he was powerless.  He couldn’t go against Wade Barrett, not yet at least, and knew she would suffer.  That killed him and John knew he had to put his plan in motion soon before Riley ended up in worse condition than she was now.

 

Riley squeaked out as Stu dragged her over to where his bag was, thrusting it in her arms, knowing he was forcing her to carry it.  The bag weighed a ton, though Riley somehow managed to shoulder it, knowing she would have a bruise from it in the morning along with the many others she knew Stu planned on giving her.  She knew the predatory gleam in his eye, Riley was in for a very long night as he pushed her toward the doorway.

 

“Have a good evening, Cena.” Wade shot back over his shoulder, ushering his girlfriend out of the dressing room and down the hallway, still in just his wrestling trunks. “I hope you’re ready for a very long night, Riley.” He warned, glancing down at her with mild interest, knowing she would have to do. “If you thought I was through with your punishment for what you did earlier, you were sadly mistaken.”

 

Those words sent tremors of fear throughout her body as Riley walked behind him out of the arena, lugging the huge bag with her.  She knew if she tried making a run for it, Stu would simply find her and the punishment would be much worse.  Riley had to find a way out, but so far she’d come up empty, John’s words suddenly floating back to her.

 

Just wait and see.

 

What did that even mean?  Did John have some kind of plan to get her away from Stuart?  And if so, why hadn’t he informed her of it?  Why didn’t he take action instead of letting her walk out of the arena, knowing what was going to happen to her?  The more Riley thought about it, the more tears filled her eyes because John was betraying her by not helping like he promised.

 

Riley placed Stu’s bag into the trunk of the SUV and slid inside the passenger seat, buckling up while Stu adjusted the seat.  He wasn’t used to driving an American car yet, used to the wheel being on the rights side of the vehicle instead of the left.  He’d lived in America for a little while, though he still wasn’t used to them and often made Riley drive just so he didn’t get annoyed.  Riley honestly didn’t mind driving, but tonight he was and that just made her fear increase.

 

He was so angry with her and she was going to pay for it tonight.

 

“I’m sorry…” She whispered solemnly, a few tears trickling down her cheeks, and gasped when his hand suddenly gripped her thigh, his nails digging in through the thin jean material.

 

“No you’re not, but you will be.” He promised in a sinister voice and fired the ignition up, peeling out of the parking lot of the arena. “You’re going to learn that I am the leader and you will obey me or suffer the consequences, Riley.”

 

“Why are you doing this to me?” She suddenly cried out, burying her face in her hands, shoulders slumping in defeat. “I love you, what’s happened to you?”

 

Wade growled and squeezed her thigh even more, forcing her to lose her breath from how much pain he caused. “Because I can.” He nearly whispered, forcing her to place her hand on his, trying to get the pain to stop.

 

“O-Okay I get it, I understand…” She breathed heavily, wincing when he squeezed her thigh harder. “Please stop it!!” She cried out, knowing a massive bruise was already forming, pleading with him to not hurt her. “I-I’ll do what you want, just please stop hurting me…”

 

Deciding the punishment could wait until they arrived at the hotel, Wade reluctantly pulled his hand away from her thigh, forcing Riley to suck in sharp breaths.  Her thigh was throbbing and on fire, trembling slightly, and forcing her knee to bounce without her realizing it.  Riley wrapped her arms around herself and bent over, trying to will the pain away, and closed her eyes tightly shut as soft blue eyes suddenly entered her mind.

 

The rest of the ride to the hotel was made in silence, though Riley could feel the anger seeping out of Stu’s every pore.  Her heart plummeted in her stomach when they arrived and he once again forced her to carry his bag, guiding her inside with his hand on the small of her back.  Riley knew he was only being kind for show, even though the receptionist could clearly tell something wasn’t right with the couple before her.  She simply handed over the keycard and watched as Stu shoved Riley toward the elevators, Riley stumbling slightly as she dropped the bag.

 

“Can you do NOTHING right?” Wade growled, lifting the bag from the floor with ease and hoisted it over his shoulder, shaking his head. “Come on…”

 

Riley tried to think of something, anything, to get away from Stu to prolong the inevitable, but before she knew it, they arrived at the hotel room.  He slid the keycard in the slot and pushed open the door, shoving her inside in front of him, watching her fall to her knees as she held her still throbbing thigh.  He tossed his bag to the side with ease and cracked his neck, watching her shakily return to her feet. 

 

Snarling, Wade stalked over and backhanded her without waiting, watching her body fly to the carpeted floor as a cry sounded from her lips.  Riley knew he just reopened her cut because she could feel the blood rushing out of it into the band-aid, crying out when he stalked over to kick her in her leg.  First the abuse and then the raping, it was like clockwork as he proceeded to use his feet and hands to inflict pain, shouting about how worthless she was to him.

 

When Riley could barely stand, Wade finally stepped back and admired his handiwork, smirking viciously. “Undress.” He ordered gravely, folding his arms in front of his chest and then held a hand up when she went to do his bidding. “On second thought, undress me first.” Riley swallowed back the bile, knowing she had to pretend to enjoy what was happening and began standing up, when Wade held his hand up again. “On your knees.” He ordered, watching her eyes widen slightly and growled, taking a threatening step toward her. “Do you NOT know how to follow orders?”

 

Riley didn’t say a word and simply crawled toward him on her hands and knees, tears streaming down her face, knowing what Stu wanted her to do.  She still refused to call him Wade, no matter how much pain he caused her, and closed her eyes before hooking her thumbs in the waistband of his wrestling trunks.  She slowly pulled them down, freeing his throbbing erection and felt it brush against her lips, emanating a deep growl of approval from Stu.

 

“If I had known you wanted foreplay, you should’ve said otherwise.” Wade smirked down at his frightening girlfriend and wrapped his hand in her beautiful raven black hair, squeezing slightly. “Now be a good little bitch and do your job.”

 

Riley hated giving any man a blowjob and knew Stu was aware of it, but he didn’t care.  It was all about his needs and Riley knew she had no choice, feeling ashamed and pathetic that she was on her knees in front of him.  Forcing herself to get this over with, Riley reluctantly brought the head of his cock in her mouth, causing her eyes to shut tightly, trying to go to her happy place.  She heard Stu’s groans of sanction and ignored the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, just thankful he wasn’t beating her within an inch of her life. 

 

Her mouth throbbed to open, but Riley pushed herself to do it, bringing him in and out of her mouth at a slow rhythmic pace.  Soon though, the slowness was getting on his nerves and Riley felt his cock jamming its way down her throat, thanking the stars she didn’t have gag reflexes.  His hand tightened even more, making it feel like he might rip her hair out of her skull, and Riley whimpered in pain. 

 

Wade thought she was thoroughly enjoying this and tilted his head back, relishing the feeling of her mouth on him and began thrusting his hips, driving his cock full force.  Her deep throats caused Wade to end this much sooner than he wanted, though he honestly didn’t mind.  With one more deep throat, Wade’s seed exploded in the back of her throat, forcing her to swallow him completely whole and Riley did it without a sound.

 

Pulling away from her, Wade slipped the trunks off completely and then snapped his fingers, forcing her to stare up at him through wide hazel eyes. “Undress now.” He ordered, already heading for the bed and stopped when Riley didn’t immediately follow him. “Did you not hear me?”

 

“No.” Riley couldn’t take it anymore and stood her ground, shaking her head. “I’m not doing it.” She felt sick that she was forced to do something Stu KNEW she despised, the anger flashing in her eyes.

 

“Did you forget who you’re speaking to?” He demanded, watching her purse her lips tightly together, and scowled before stalking over, backhanding her again. “YOU WILL OBEY ME, YOU SELFISH CUNT!!”

 

“NO!!” Riley screamed, beginning to fight him for everything she was worth, even nailing him right in the eye with her fist. “I HATE YOU!!”

 

That received another backhand to the face and Riley’s head was spinning, knowing she more than likely had a concussion, her lip already swollen.  She could feel Stu on top of her on the carpet as he ripped open her jeans, the button flying, and yanked them down her legs.  She tried fighting him, but was powerless because of how much her head pounded.  Her panties were next to go and Riley began scooting away from him, crying out when he pinned her beneath him, his mouth crushing hers.  Still, Riley refused to succumb to this without a fight and began squirming against him, wrenching her lips off of his.

 

“GET OFF OF ME!!” She screamed again, feeling her arms pinned above her head in one of his massive hands, his knee parting her locked thighs.

 

“SHUT UP!” Wade shouted, his cock throbbing with need for her and ignored her protests. “You belong to me, Riley!” He forced her knees to bend as he positioned the head of his cock at her entrance, which was completely dry, forcing him to growl out angrily. “If you don’t start lubricating, I might have to hurt you…”

 

“FUCK YOU!!” She spit blood right in his face and he backhanded her again before covering her mouth so nobody would hear her screams.

 

“Mine.” He growled sadistically and snapped his hips forward, burying himself to the hilt inside of her unwilling body, feeling her thighs tremble against his. 

 

Pure animalistic intentions took over as Wade began thrusting as hard, fast and powerful as he could inside of her, going deeper with each thrust.  Her body was betraying her and soon Wade could feel her juices coating him, a low groan ripping from his mouth.  Riley cried the whole time and he ignored it, simply enjoying the feeling of her pussy wrapped around his hardened shaft, taking what he wanted without caring.  She belonged to him and the sooner she realized that, the better they would both be. 

 

Wade could feel himself spasm and jolted a few times, grunting in approval as his seed exploded inside of her, her screams muffled against his hand.  When Wade felt himself grow limp inside of her, he pulled out and uncovered her mouth, watching disdainfully as her body curled up in a tight ball, sobs following.  He snorted and kicked her in her thigh again, causing her to cry out, and walked away to retrieve some clothes.

 

“I’m going out for awhile, be a good little bitch while I’m gone.” He purred almost affectionately, having bent down to run a finger down her cheek, smirking when she flinched away from him. “If I come back and you’re gone, you will regret it.”

 

The last thing Riley heard was the hotel room door slamming shut just as the darkness overtook her ravaged and pain-filled body.

 

Chapter 4

 

For hours, John laid in his hotel room staring up at the ceiling, hands folded behind his head.  It was a good thing Wade still allowed him to keep his own hotel room, John would’ve probably murdered the rest of Nexus in their sleep if he had to share a suite with any of those idiots.  Not that he wasn’t already planning on causing a rift within the group, but that was his little secret. 

 

His thoughts turned to the beautiful honey blonde girlfriend of Wade’s.  Riley.  No matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn’t get those jade eyes out of his mind, the way they practically screamed out at him for help.  He wanted to help her badly, but John had to wait it out and sighed heavily, wishing he could just fall asleep. 

 

Already showered, John had gamed for a few hours on his PS2 as a distraction, preferring it over the PS3 because the damn thing was too heavy to cart around from city to city.  John was restless and it was all because every time he closed his eyes, he saw those haunted pleading jade orbs.  Standing up from the bed, wearing just a pair of boxers, John walked over to stare out at the city lights, pressing his forehead against the cool glass window, trying to push her out of his mind.

 

No such luck.

 

“Damn it…” He grumbled, walking away from the window and began pacing back and forth, gritting his teeth. 

 

Too bad nobody was there to throw a shoe at, he was frustrated and that’s how John usually got his aggravation out, his ears slowly turning red.  He’d love to throw a shoe at Wade and hopefully knock him out, a smirk curving his lips at the thought of using a heavy steel toed boot.  Of course that wasn’t John’s style, he preferred sneakers and even wrestled in them, which nobody else had in the wrestling business to his knowledge.

 

Just the memory of Wade striking Riley down caused John’s simmering blood to boil, his fists clenched at his sides, gritting his teeth.  He wanted to kill Wade for hurting her and John honestly had no idea why.  Hell, he was raised to respect women, knowing his mother would beat him within an inch of his life if he ever laid a hand on the opposite sex.  John was raised with morals and right now they were all being flushed because he couldn’t seem to just quit wrestling, the one thing he loved more than his own life.

 

“I’ve had enough.” He whispered and stalked over, nearly ripping out a pair of baggy jean shorts, slipping them on. 

 

John slipped his sneakers on and shoved his wallet in his pocket, having the keycard to his room in it, heading out shirtless.  He didn’t care at the moment, hunting down one specific room and scowled, knowing he would probably anger Wade by doing this.  Snorting, John didn’t care what the man thought and knew only god knows what was happening to Riley right now.  Suddenly taking off, John ran down the hallway of the hotel, knowing Wade had spaced himself out from the rest of Nexus and John didn’t even think about the reasoning.

 

He arrived outside of Wade’s door and didn’t hesitate, beginning to pound on it.  John blinked, the door slowly pushing open the slightest and looked down, noticing a shoe had blocked the door from apparently completely shutting.  Frowning, John slowly made his way inside the dark room, trying to adjust his blue eyes to the darkness and stopped when he hit something.

 

Or someone.

 

Slowly bending down, John could already feel his stomach tightening as soon as his hand came in contact with a bare shoulder, swallowing hard.  Somehow, he knew exactly who it was and immediately stood up, trying to feel his way through the room until he found the light switch, flicking it on.  What he saw before him made him sick to his stomach and John had to take several deep breaths or else he would lose his breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

Riley lay prone on the carpet curled up in a ball, her entire body bruised from head to toe.  They were deep blue, black, purple and yellow bruises, some faded.  Others fresh.  There even looked like fresh bruises had replaced the fading ones, overlapping each other, which made John feel more ill.  John slowly walked toward her, most of the bruises fingerprint shaped, which made his blood boil even more, trying not to explode. 

 

“Riley?” He whispered, almost afraid to touch her, but knew he had to get her out of here and to the nearest hospital. “Riley, wake up.”

 

John touched her shoulder and slowly turned her over, finally not able to stand it anymore he grabbed the nearest trashcan, vomiting in it.  Her face looked bluish black and swollen beyond measure, her chest rising and falling slowly, which was a good sign because it meant she wasn’t dead.  John set the trashcan aside and immediately grabbed the blanket from the bed, wrapping her body in it, frowning when she didn’t even stir.  Her body had probably been through a horrible ordeal and was trying to heal itself while she slept.  He felt her trembling in his arms and closed his eyes briefly, knowing her dreams were plagued with vicious nightmares of her abusive rapist of a boyfriend.

 

“I’m gonna get you out of here, buttercup, I swear.” John promised, whispering in her ear as he lifted her up with ease, cradling her against him. 

 

Surveying the room, John picked up the bag he knew was Riley’s and slung it over his shoulder, not worried about anything else right now.  He was getting her out of here and far away from Wade, not knowing if he should take her to the hospital or back to his room.  John was so confused, he’d never been in this situation and frowned, staring down at her blackened face.  Even through the deep bruises, Riley was still a beauty and John noticed the dried blood on her nose and the corners of her mouth.

 

Would she get mad if he took her to the hospital?

 

“I’ll call Larry, have him look her over and see what he says.” John decided, heading down the hallway as quickly and quietly as he could, not wanting anyone to see them. 

 

Riley’s head lulled against his chest, the trembling suddenly stopping and John couldn’t help cracking a smile, knowing even in her subconscious, Riley knew she was safe.  Once he arrived at his room, John walked into the bedroom part and gently set the woman down, keeping her fully wrapped up in the blanket.  He made sure she was comfortable, promising once again in her ear he would protect her, and walked out to make a phone call to Larry.

 

“This better be important.” Larry grumbled in a sleep gruff voice, rubbing his eyes.

 

“Larry, it’s John.”

 

“Cena?” Larry sounded surprised, rarely getting a call from this man, and knew something wasn’t right. “What’s going on, man?”

 

John glanced back into the bedroom of his hotel room, swallowing hard, seeing Riley still slept soundly. “I need you to come to my room.  Something’s happened.” He tried not letting the sick feeling overpower him again, but that was incredibly hard considering the shape Riley was in.

 

“What room are you in?” Larry was already dressing, hearing the urgency in John’s voice.

 

“1492, please hurry.” John hung up without another word and tossed his phone on the nearby couch, hoping he was doing the right thing.

 

Five minutes later, a knock sounded at John’s door and he walked over, looking through the peephole first to make sure it wasn’t one of the Nexus morons. “Thanks for coming, man.” John breathed a huge sigh of relief at the sight of Larry, running a hand over his nearly shaven dark brown hair.

 

Larry waved him off dismissively, seeing the worry in the man’s blue eyes. “What’s going on, John?” He demanded, seeing how distraught John was, which wasn’t like the man at all.  Though lately with the whole Nexus thing going on, Larry honestly didn’t blame him. “Are you hurt?”

 

“No.”

 

“So then why did you call me here?”

 

John didn’t say anything and simply guided Larry into the bedroom part of his room, watching the color drain from Larry’s face. “This is why.” He said solemnly.

 

“Sweet Jesus…” Larry whispered and immediately went to the young woman’s side, feeling sick to his stomach much like John had, blinking at the extensive damage. “John, who did this to her?” There was no way John was capable of hurting a female, Larry was sure of that, but someone had done quite a number on her.

 

“Wade.  This is his girlfriend Riley.” John explained, walking over to stand on Riley’s other side, such sadness in his blue eyes.

 

“I know who she is, she’s been coming to me for several months now, but I never realized this was going on…” Larry sounded somber and swallowed hard, shaking his head. “Riley…”

 

“What do you mean you’ve known for months?” John suddenly became angry, clenching his fists tightly at his sides. “Why didn’t you report it or something?”

 

“Because it wasn’t my place and she begged me not to.  Patient confidentiality.” Larry simply stated and continued examining her, ignoring John’s angry glare.

 

“How many times has she come to you?” John demanded, trying to calm down and couldn’t believe Riley had come to him for medical attention, his suspicions that Wade had done worse confirmed.

 

“Never mind that, she needs medical treatment immediately, John.”

 

John knew Larry was going to say that and sighed heavily, simply nodding. “The only problem is that Wade is gonna find out and come after her.  She’s too scared to do anything against him, Larry.  I have to protect her.” He didn’t want to take her to a public place, knowing Wade would play the loving boyfriend part and end up doing this to Riley again.

 

Larry couldn’t help agreeing with John, frowning as he continued surveying the damage, puling the blanket away. “Her ribs are possibly cracked or broken.  One of her cheekbones is definitely cracked, but only an x-ray can confirm that.  She NEEDS medical attention John, do you understand that?” He stressed, staring into the man’s worried yet determined blue eyes. “How about if you drive her to the next town to the hospital?” He suddenly suggested, pulling back a little.

 

“And if he finds out where she is?” John demanded somewhat angrily, not believing Larry couldn’t do anything for her besides send her to a hospital.

 

“He won’t, trust me.  We’re leaving tomorrow to go to the next town, just make sure it’s not the same one.  I’ll call Vince and let him know that you’re taking a week off because of your knee.” Larry knew John had been having problems with his knee lately so that would be perfect cover up. “Riley could simply tell him that she went home for a few days because she was sick of traveling.”

 

As crazy as it sounded, Larry made a lot of sense and John suddenly smiled, nodding. “Alright, that sounds like a plan.  Thanks a lot, Lars.” He chuckled ruefully when Larry rolled his eyes, immediately becoming serious again as he stared down at Riley. “I’m not taking her out of here without having her properly dressed.”

 

“I’ll help you and then we need to get her out of here and to a hospital fast.” Larry was worried about the young woman and helped John pull jeans and a shirt on Riley’s body, trying to be as careful as possible.  It scared him when she didn’t move an inch, simply breathing deeply and evenly. “Her body must’ve sustained a shit load of damage to sleep through this.” He muttered, ignoring John’s glare as they finished dressing her in a pair of jeans with a long sleeved black shirt. “Now then, off you go.”

 

Nodding, John lifted Riley’s body in his arms, her head once again lulling against his chest.  He glanced over at Larry and caught the keys that were tossed at him, knowing John didn’t have a rental because Wade refused to let him drive on his own.  He was forced to come back to the hotel with Nexus to ‘keep up appearances in front of fans’.

 

“I know you have a plan, John.  What is it?” Larry asked before the man could leave with Riley, watching the fortitude burn in John’s eyes, actually admiring him for taking the liberty of helping this poor woman.

 

“I’m keeping her as far away from Wade Barrett as I possibly can.  I might have to quit the company.” With that said, John walked out of the hotel room and headed down to Larry’s rental car, stopping in his tracks at the sight of Justin Gabriel –Paul- standing in the stairwell talking on his cell phone. “Fuck.”

 

Justin looked up at the sight of John and blinked, staring back at Riley with such anger in his eyes. “He raped her.” It wasn’t a question and John nodded once, ready to fight this Nexus punk if he got in his way.

 

“I’m taking her to the hospital and you’re not stopping me.”

 

“Why would I stop you from helping her?” Justin demanded somewhat irritably, immediately calming down because honestly he couldn’t stand the sight of Wade Barrett. “It’s about time someone helped her.”

 

John blinked, surprised to hear that from the man’s mouth, raising a slow suspicious eyebrow. “Why do you care?” He demanded, cradling Riley closer to his strong body, not caring if he was still shirtless or not.  John had both bags slung over his shoulder, having already packed all of his stuff because he knew Larry would tell him Riley would need a hospital.

 

“Because for months I’ve watched what he’s been doing to her.  You don’t know this, but Riley and I go way back.  We’re best friends from high school.” When John’s eyes widened slightly, Justin chuckled ruefully, nodding. “You don’t have to believe me, but ask Riley when she wakes up.  She’ll tell you the whole story that I took her to all the school dances and whatnot.  We lost contact and reunited when Wade brought her on the road with us.  He doesn’t know about us knowing each other and we’d like to keep it that way.”

 

“So you’d rather be a fuckin’ coward and let him hurt her rather than help her?” John was seething and wanted to rip Justin’s head off, scowling. “Some friend, get the hell out of my way before I hurt YOU.”

 

Sighing, Justin merely stepped aside and let John stalk past him into the parking garage, lowering his head in shame.  He knew he was a coward for not helping Riley, but what John didn’t realize or know was that Riley had BEGGED him not to say anything about it.  She didn’t want Wade knowing she had any connection on the road and Justin respected her wishes, like any real friend would.

 

A few seconds later, John peeled out of the parking garage, flipping Justin a one finger salute on his way toward the next town and nearest hospital.

 

“Hang in there, Riley, just hang in there a little longer.”

 

Chapter 5

 

When Riley woke up the following day, every part of her body hurt, a soft groan escaping her.  Beeping sounds surrounded her, though Riley’s head was pounding from Stu’s backhands, swallowing hard.  She slowly opened her eyes, trying to clear her blurred vision, and felt her mouth fall open when she looked down, wearing a hospital gown.  The sterile smell…Riley began trembling, her heart rate skyrocketing, wondering how the hell she wound up in a hospital.

 

“Good morning, Riley.” Doctor Sands greeted, walking inside the room with a clipboard in hand, a soft smile on his face. “How are you feeling?”

 

“Fine.” She lied, sitting up a little in the bed and it took every ounce of willpower for her not to wince, wanting to get the hell out of here.  Stu more than likely had returned to the hotel room and was probably going stir crazy trying to find her. ‘He’s going to kill me.’ She thought sadly, looking down at her hand, which had an IV sticking out of it. “I want to leave.”

 

Doctor Sands nodded, though he didn’t look happy about that. “Riley, your injuries are very extensive and I think it’d be best if…”

 

“I’m leaving.” Her voice held finality as she threw the blanket off of her, eyes narrowed, daring this doctor to stop her. “I’ll sign whatever papers I have to, but I am leaving.” She knew the routine, Riley had been in the hospital before due to Stu’s severe abuse; though this time she didn’t admit herself.

 

“Very well.” The doctor sighed, knowing he couldn’t keep her here. “You will be signing a paper stating that you’re going against doctor’s orders, do you understand that?” He asked, watching her nod mutely, the bruising on her face hard to look at. “Very well, I’ll draw those up immediately and you can be on your way.”

 

“Thanks.” She looked around and blinked, finding a bag of clothes beside her bed. “Before you go, do you know who brought me here?”

 

Doctor Sands smiled sadly and shook his head. “Unfortunately I don’t.” He then walked out without another word, leaving Riley sitting there in mild bewilderment.

 

“Stu is going to kill me.” She whispered, tears stinging her eyes, and winced because every part of her body throbbed. “Hopefully that doc can give me some pain killers, if not I can get some from Larry.”

 

With great difficulty and biting back a ton of pain, Riley slipped into a black bra and cotton panties, black stretch pants along with a long sleeved black shirt that covered most of her battered body.  She pulled the socks and shoes on, wincing every few seconds and managed to stumble over to a full length mirror that was in the far corner of her private room, sighing at her reflection.  Her face was black and blue, though Riley was thankful her eyes hadn’t swelled shut this time and had fingerprint bruises on her throat from where Stu gripped her throat while raping her.  Tears instantly slid down her cheeks as Riley pulled away from the mirror, walking over to stare out the window, wondering just who brought her here and probably saved her life.

 

The last thing she remembered was hearing Stu leave the hotel room and leaving her curled up in a tight ball on the carpet of their suite.

 

“Thank you…whoever you are.” She whispered, pressing her forehead against the cool glass window, wishing she knew who had found her and brought her here to receive proper medical attention.

 

“Ms. Jade?” The nurse called from behind and Riley pulled away from the window. “I have your forms if you’ll just sign here…”

 

Without a word, Riley did so and was released an hour later.

 

~!~

 

John drove down the road, his hands gripping the steering wheel, knowing it was wrong to leave Riley in the hospital by herself, but he had no choice.  If she knew it was him that found her, they would be awkward around each other and John didn’t want that.  So instead, he made sure to inform security of Wade –Stu- and they assured him Riley would be perfectly safe. 

 

He reluctantly left the hospital, only to go to the local store in town, and bought her some fresh clothes.  All Riley had with her when John brought her to the hospital was the blanket he wrapped her naked body in.  John refused to leave her with just that blanket and had a sinking feeling when Riley woke up, she would be leaving right away, so he set up a rental car to be brought to the hospital as well.

 

John’s cell phone blared and he knew exactly who it was, rolling his eyes. “Cena.” He answered on the third ring, leaning back against the seat.

 

“Good morning, Cena.” Wade chirped, sounding relaxed and satisfied, waving his hands at the woman he’d slept with the previous night. “I trust you slept well.”

 

“Some.” John grunted, turning the music down even though what he really wanted to do was drown this abusive bastard out. “What do you want, Barrett?”

 

Wade smirked, leaning back against the headboard and took the cup of coffee the busty bottled blonde handed him, taking a sip. “It seems as though I overslept, so I won’t be at the arena until later.” He planned on having another round with this woman before taking his leave. “Much later.”

 

John didn’t miss the lewdness Wade injected in his voice, gritting his teeth. “Great, why are you telling me this?” He demanded irritably, trying not to toss his phone out the window, very tempted to do so.

 

“Well that’s quite simple, I want you to make sure Riley makes it to the next town safely.” Wade requested, smirking when the busty blonde began running her hands up and down his chest, straddling him, grinding against his already hard erection. “Do you understand me?”

 

This was the first request John actually didn’t mind doing, hearing heavy breathing on the other line, shaking his head in disgust. “I’ll get it done.” He promised, knowing Riley probably left the hospital and headed back to the hotel, knowing he couldn’t tell her he was the one who found her…not yet at least. “Anything else?”

 

Wade hissed out when the blonde took it upon herself to start their next round, grunting. “No.” The phone went dead.

 

“Fuckin’ pathetic.” John growled, tossing his phone in the passenger seat, though he couldn’t stop the faint smile appearing on his lips because he would have several hours alone with Riley in a car. “I’ll make things right, buttercup, just hang in there.” He stated, closing his eyes briefly, knowing he had to put his plan into motion sooner than he originally planned. “I swear it, Riley.”

 

John did a u-turn and immediately went back to the hotel to retrieve Riley Jade.

 

~!~

 

Somehow, someway Riley arrived back at the hotel before Stu returned, knowing he probably stayed with another whore for the night.  She stumbled into the room and surveyed the damage, which wasn’t too bad all things considered.  He’d basically took her on the carpet and it seemed the maid hadn’t arrived yet. 

 

The front desk recognized her because Riley had stopped at a local Walgreens to buy the thickest jar of foundation she could find, applying it heavily.  She claimed she’d lost her key card and they instantly gave her another one, Riley thanking them before heading up to pack her things, having hoped Stu wasn’t there waiting on her.  She sighed and immediately stripped out of her clothes, desperately needing a shower. 

 

She popped a pill to help with the pain the doctor kindly gave her before she left.  It wouldn’t make her drowsy because she explained to him she would have a long drive ahead of her to the next location she was going.  Riley stepped under the hot sprays and let them work all the kinks out of her body, let the previous night’s events wash away along with the tears that poured out of her eyes.  Not able to look at herself, Riley simply washed her body and hair, knowing Stu would be back any second and she had to make sure most of her face was covered up or he would go ballistic.

 

Shutting the shower off a half an hour later, Riley stepped out and wrapped a towel around her body along with a long sleeved black silk robe, feeling a little better.  She brushed her teeth and hair, pulling the raven locks into a simple loose ponytail because her head still hurt.  She pulled out a long sleeved red shirt and dark blue jeans, shoving the clothes that were left for her at the hospital, and zipped her bag back up before slipping her socks and shoes back on. 

 

Riley took out the jar of foundation and proceeded to reapply it, after putting a thin layer of that special salve John gave her on her face to help the bruising and swelling, the pain pill helping making it easier to put on.  Once almost all of the bruising was covered up and Riley thought she looked halfway decent, she walked out of the bathroom to put the contents away, knowing she had to get on the road.

 

Her entire body froze when a knock sounded at the door, her head snapping to stare at it.

 

“Riley, it’s John.” He called through the door, seeing the light on under the door, knowing she was here.

 

What did John want and what was he still doing here?  Riley blinked and slowly walked over, unlocking the door to open it, warm blue eyes staring back at her.  She was still moving slow, but Riley had to be strong and push through it, cracking a small smile back at him, letting him know silently she was fine.  The previous night had been really bad and Riley felt terrible for trying to drag John into it.

 

“May I help you with something?” She asked politely, turning away from the door to head back over to her bag, pushing the last of her toiletries inside of it. “We have to make this quick because I’m already running late.”

 

John did a cursory once over and couldn’t believe how well Riley moved around, knowing the hospital must’ve given her pain pills.  He already could tell she applied heavy foundation to hide the heavy bruises, also knowing she used the salve he gave her, not able to help smiling.  He was just glad she was alive, knowing Larry would be shocked to see Riley moving around of her own accord, especially with the condition she’d been in the previous night.  She was a strong woman and that just fueled John’s attraction to her, wanting to protect her at any and all costs.

 

“Actually that’s why I’m here.” He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, cracking a hesitant smile at her. “It seems Wade got tied up with something and asked me to make sure you made it to the next arena.”

 

‘Or doing someone.’ Riley thought bitterly, though she didn’t show it, simply nodding. “I have a rental here already, but I’ll go with you just so neither of us have to hear him bitch.” She watched as John’s widened slightly, a small smile crossing her face. “We need to get going, Stu will be upset if we’re late.”

 

John nodded, knowing she was right and walked over to grab her bags, holding his hand up when she began protesting. “No woman should ever carry a bag when a man is around.” He winked, hoisting both hers and Wade’s over his shoulder, though he was tempted to leave Wade’s behind. “Come on, it’ll be fun riding with me, I promise.”

 

Nodding, Riley followed him out of the room, feeling safe for the first time in over a year.  They walked out to the parking garage, after handing over their key cards, and John opened the passenger door for her like a gentleman. “Thank you.” She whispered, slipping inside, the door shutting as she clicked her seatbelt on.

 

“You’re welcome.” John rumbled quietly and placed the bags in the backseat before slipping behind the wheel, the seat already adjusted. “What kind of music do you like?” He asked once they were on the road, heading for the interstate.

 

“I’m not picky.” Riley wasn’t used to being asked what she liked or what she wanted, so this was a little uncomfortable to her. “You can listen to whatever you want, John.”

 

John frowned, wondering if Wade ever asked Riley what she wanted or what made her happy, growling inwardly at the thought.  She probably wasn’t used to being asked questions, only given demands, and that just fueled his anger more.  He wouldn’t show it in front of her though, knowing that’s not what Riley needed right now as he took the exit.

 

“Nope, I won’t listen to music unless you choose what it is.” John grinned when she shot him a look, winking, not believing how comfortable he felt around this raven haired beauty. “How are you feeling today?”

 

“I’m fine.” Riley knew he probably asked her because of what happened the previous night, knowing Stu had shown an ugly side to their relationship. “Stu apologized to me and we spent a wonderful night together.” She lied, looking out the window and closed her eyes, blinking tears back.

 

John knew she was lying, but refused to call her on it, knowing it had to be extremely hard for Riley to accept her boyfriend’s abusive ways.  Larry had called him earlier to check on Riley and ripped him apart for leaving her at the hospital alone, but John had his own plan in mind.  If Riley woke up and saw him there, John would be screwed and he couldn’t have that.  He tried explaining to Larry his plan and the man hung up on him, even after being assured Riley wasn’t in any danger and Wade had no idea where she was.

 

“That sounds nice.” He murmured, not meaning it in the slightest and dying to reach over to take her hand, wanting to comfort her any way he could.  He didn’t, knowing Riley didn’t want that. “You look nice today.” He complimented, watching a small blush creep up in her cheeks, making her even more radiant if that was possible.

 

“Yeah.” Riley wasn’t sure how to take the compliment, not able to stop feeling warm and tingly all over, sighing gently. “Thanks…”

 

“No problem, buttercup.” He replied, wondering if she was hungry and then immediately pushed that out of his mind. 

 

How could anyone be hungry after the horrible ordeal Riley suffered the previous night at the hands of Wade?  John would have to be the dumbest man alive if he even attempted asking her if she was hungry.  So instead, they rode in silence to the arena and it was surprisingly the most peaceful drive he ever had in his life.

 

Halfway through the drive, Riley fell asleep from the mixture of exhaustion, the pain killer and the serenity she felt in the presence of John Cena.

 

Chapter 6

 

“It’s about time you two showed up.” Wade said by way of greeting as John escorted Riley inside the dressing room, his hand on the small of her back.

 

“Traffic was a bitch.” John said deadpan, guiding her over to sit on the couch, knowing she was still extremely exhausted.

 

Wade snorted, folding his arms in front of his chest, the rest of Nexus off doing their own thing. “Is that right?” He didn’t believe a word John said, his eyes landing on his girlfriend, who simply laid down on the couch. “Get up.” He ordered gravely, raising a slow eyebrow when John stepped in front of him before Wade could fully make it toward Riley.

 

“Leave her alone for the night, Wade, aight?” John stated heatedly, his hand pressed against Wade’s chest. “She’s been through enough.  Go get your whores and screw them blind.  I’ll keep her with me tonight and make sure she won’t escape or she’ll regret it.”

 

Those words coming out of John’s mouth sounded foreign because he would never lay a hand on Riley.  He had to keep the act up, knowing Wade wanted him to be ruthless and hoped Riley didn’t believe a word he said.  He wished he could glance back at her and assure her with his eyes that he wasn’t going to hurt her, but John couldn’t do that, his eyes locked on Wade’s dangerous dark orbs.

 

Wade chuckled and clapped John on the back harshly, gripping the back of his neck. “You’re a good man, Cena.  Real good man.  Maybe you do have Nexus potential after all.” His eyes moved back to Riley, gritting his teeth at the sight of her bruises showing even through the thick foundation he knew she wore. “Make sure she eats something, she looks too skinny and I refuse to have a thin nothing on my arm.”

 

“You got it.” John’s voice was devoid of emotion, though he did agree with Wade that Riley needed to eat, that she was too skinny.  Even though she was still the most beautiful woman he ever laid his eyes on. ‘Oh what you don’t know asshole.’ John thought, knowing his plan was about to come full swing now that he had Riley out of harm’s way.

 

“Well then, now that I know she’s well taken care of and being watched, I’m going to work out and stretch these muscles I overworked last night.” He smirked when Riley flinched, her head lowered, and the satisfaction crossed his face when a single tear slid down her face. “Don’t worry Riley, maybe if you’re a good little tart, I might take you to bed tonight instead of a woman who knows how to please a man.”

 

As soon as the door shut, Riley burst into tears, burying her face in her hands as her entire body trembled.  Stu just admitted openly that he’d cheated on her, even though Riley already knew about it, but the fact he did that hurt more than anything.  She gave him everything, including her heart and sliced it open without any remorse, without any care in the world.  Riley had to get away from him, but wasn’t sure how to do it, having a sinking feeling Stu would just come after her because he enjoyed the insurmountable power he had over her.

 

John walked over and sat on the couch beside her, wrapping an arm around her shaking shoulders, pulling her against him. “I didn’t mean what I said, Riley.  You gotta believe that, buttercup.  I had to put up a front with him.” He murmured in her ear, hating to feel all the waves of pain that was radiating off of her. “I’m sorry…”

 

“No you’re not.” She suddenly shoved him away and stood up from the couch, ignoring the pain her body currently felt, sniffling. “You’re just trying to act like the good guy so you can get a piece of me!  You want a piece of me John, huh?  Is that why you’re acting all nice and heroic with me?” Riley shoved him back on the couch when he went to stand up, more tears sliding down her cheeks as she began pulling her shirt off. “Then take it.  Take EVERYTHING!”

 

John blinked when Riley began removing her clothes and stopped her, placing his hands on her wrists before the shirt could fully come off. “No, that’s not what I want.” Granted, John wouldn’t mind having sex with Riley, but that wasn’t on the forefront of his mind, knowing she had a lot of healing to go through first. “I just want to protect you, I don’t expect anything.”

 

“Why?” She demanded, the shirt pulled up halfway, exposing her heavily bruised stomach and John had to suck a sharp breath in at the sight of them. “Why not just take what you want like he does?”

 

“Because I’m not him.” John stated, slowly and gently running his knuckle down her stomach, his eyes locking with her as he grabbed the material of her shirt, pulling it back down to cover them. “Because I refuse to treat a woman like she’s garbage and I refuse to force myself on a woman by any means.”

 

Riley swallowed hard and wrapped her arms around herself, looking away from him in shame. “I don’t understand…” She whispered and felt John grab her folded arms, pulling her back down to sit on the couch next to him.

 

“You don’t have to understand, but I want you to believe that I’m gonna help you.” When she looked up into his eyes, John smiled and caressed her face with his knuckles very gently. “I’m gonna get you away from him, Riley, I swear.”

 

“John, please…” She whispered, pulling her gaze from his and looked down at the floor, only for him to lift her chin with his strong hand. “Please don’t tell me something you can’t make happen…” Riley didn’t think she could take getting her hopes up, wanting to believe every word that came out of his mouth.

 

“It’s gonna happen, buttercup.” He promised, watching her eyes close, his heart breaking as more tears fell. “Look at me.” He requested in a soft rumble, watching them open and smiled. “I swear to you and I don’t promise or swear anything I can’t make happen.”

 

Riley finally sighed, her shoulders slumping, knowing she’d probably made a spectacle of herself earlier, but felt the need to snap. “Alright, I trust you.” She whispered, not entirely sure if she’d lost her mind, but Riley didn’t have a choice. 

 

John was her way out.

 

“Good, now get some rest.  You need it.” John pulled her against him as Riley curled up on the couch, her head resting on his shoulder. “Sleep buttercup, I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere.”

 

The combination of his voice and body heat along with her exhaustion from the previous night caused Riley’s eyes to shut.  She snuggled up against him, John’s arm wrapped around her protectively, daring anyone to touch her.  He ran his finger up and down her arm, staring down at her peaceful tear streaked face, feeling his heart break.  He was glad Wade agreed to let her stay with him and John planned on pampering her to the fullest.

 

A little while later, Riley began stirring in her sleep, tears streaming down her face as she jerked on the couch.  John had let her stretch out and currently sat on a chair, watching her every move, knowing she was having a nightmare.  Riley whimpered, her eyes squinting tightly as she began moving her hands, acting as if a huge body was on top of her and she was trying to shove them off.

 

“Please…Stu don’t hurt me…” She whispered out softly, loud enough for John to hear and he was by her side in an instant.

 

“Riley, Riley it’s me.  It’s John.” He murmured soothingly in her ear, watching her body slowly calm down and sat on the couch as he pulled her into his arms, cradling her against his chest. “I swear I won’t hurt you, I just want you feeling safe and secure.”

 

Tear filled jade eyes shot open and a waterfall cascaded down her cheeks at the sight of John, her heart hammering against her chest. “John?” She immediately wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, jumping back as soon as the dressing room door opened, her eyes widening. “Paul…”

 

Justin couldn’t help sighing with relief at the sight of Riley, having heard from Wade she was with John in the locker room. “Riley.” He watched as she jumped out of John’s arms and threw herself into his, Justin lifting her up as he hugged her tightly, but not to the point of hurting her. “Thank god you’re alright, Ri.”

 

She sniffled against him, burying her face in his neck as her tears soaked it, clinging to Paul for dear life. “I-It was so bad, Paul…” She sobbed quietly, her feet slowly lowering to the floor, but he refused to let her go. “I’m alright though…”

 

Pulling back, Justin gave Riley a cursory once over and shook his head, feeling his blood boiling. “I’m going to kill him, Riley.” He vowed in a low deadly voice, scowling. “I swear to god, I’ll fucking kill him.”

 

“No you won’t because you know as well as I do that won’t solve anything.” Riley stated, running a finger down his cheek in a purely friendly way. “You’re going to keep the fact we know each other a secret and keep doing what you’re doing.”

 

“He’s hurting you though, Riley!” Justin snapped, releasing her to rake a hand through his short black hair, wanting to shake some sense into her. “You’re like a sister to me, I can’t let him hurt you anymore!”

 

“Paul, stop it.” Riley ordered, injecting severity into her tone. “Just stop it please.  I’m still alive and he can never find out that we know each other, don’t you see that?  He will make your life miserable if he does and I’d rather have all the abuse rather than ruining your chance in this company!”

 

Justin groaned, hating when she contradicted him and felt completely helpless because, as much as he didn’t want to admit it, he knew Riley was right. “Damn it…” He whispered, closing his eyes and simply pulled her back into his arms, holding her close. “I swear to god, as soon as I’m out of Nexus, I’m going to beat the fuck out of him.”

 

“Fine, but until then you need to keep up the act.” Riley forced him to meet her eyes, hoping he didn’t go back on his word as tears formed. “Promise me.”

 

“You don’t trust me now?” Justin asked in a quieter voice full of solemn and pain, wanting to help her, but knew he couldn’t yet. “I promise I won’t tell him.”

 

Riley smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes and felt John standing behind her, his hand gently resting on her hip. “I’ll protect her, Justin.” He stated, glancing down at Riley when she bit her bottom lip, nodding once. “You got my word.”

 

“I know, especially after last night…” He immediately shut his mouth when John did the cut throat motion with his hand, but it was too late.

 

“Last night?” Riley raised an eyebrow and looked up at John, who stopped the motion just in time, but she could clearly see the guilt in his blue eyes. “You two come clean to me right now.  What happened last night?  Did this have anything to do with me being in the damn hospital?”

 

Justin shot an apologetic look at John. “You didn’t tell her I take it?” When John mutely shook his head, Justin groaned. “Damn it I have a big mouth.”

 

“Out with it.”

 

John held his hand up when Justin went to say something, knowing he had to be the one to tell her. “Go on, I’ll fill her in.” He stated, already guiding Riley away from Justin, knowing she was still in a lot of pain from the previous night.

 

Justin looked apprehensive, but Riley assured him that she would be fine, accepting another hug from Justin before he walked out. “You found me last night.” She said as soon as they were alone, watching John look down with his elbows resting on his knees, hands clasped together.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“How?” Riley thought Stu had shut the door on his way out, looking confused. “Why did you come to our room?”

 

“Something told me to.” John said, not able to describe it any other way, and slowly looked up at glance at her. “The door was open when I got there and I walked in and found you.”

 

Blinking, huge tears slid down Riley’s cheeks as she stood up from the couch, needing some space from John. “And you took me to the hospital and…left me there?” She sounded heartbroken because Riley was scared to death to wake up completely alone, hating hospitals in any capacity. “You left me alone in a hospital in a strange town…”

 

“I had no choice…”

 

“Is that all you have to say?  That you didn’t have a choice?” She demanded, trying not to raise her voice, but Riley was slowly getting angry. “How the hell does Paul know about last night?”

 

John sighed heavily, but didn’t move his eyes from her as she began to slowly pace, knowing better than to stop her. “When I found you, I called Larry,” He paused, letting that sink in as Riley stopped to stare at him in aghast. “I didn’t know what to do and brought you back to my room first.  Larry came and examined you, telling me you had serious injuries that needed medical attention he couldn’t give.  So I wrapped you up in a blanket and carried you outta the hotel, running into Justin…”

 

“His name is Paul.” She corrected through gritted teeth, fists clenched at her sides.

 

John ignored that because he knew Justin preferred being called by his ring name instead of his birth name. “I thought he was gonna stop us, but instead he told me to get you medical attention and quickly explained how you two knew each other.  He told me to ask you if I didn’t believe him, which I didn’t until now, if you want the truth.”

 

“I’ve known him for a long time and Stu doesn’t know anything about it.” Riley stated, trying to stay mad at this man, but in all honesty, how could she?  John had saved her by bringing her to a hospital for proper treatment and Riley didn’t even want to know the injuries she had and still did. “You can’t say anything to him, John.  Paul will be ruined if you do.”

 

He nodded, standing up from the couch to tower over her, sighing at the tears that kept spilling from her eyes. “You have no idea how badly I wanted to stay with you last night, Riley.  I had no choice though.  I had to leave, but I didn’t leave without getting you some clothes because all you had with you was that blanket.  I made sure to pay the hospital to give you a false identity in case that mother fucker came after you.  I protected you the only way I knew how, but Wade can’t find out yet.  He has to believe that I’m still on his side, that I’m still his goddamn errand boy.” John growled at the mere thought and knew it would be over soon, that he would finally be free of Nexus, and Riley was going to be as well.

 

Riley took a deep breath and reached up, gently placing her hand over his beating heart. “Thank you for helping me, John.” She softly said, deep jade eyes filled with gratitude as the anger diminished. “You have no idea…”

 

John pressed his finger to her lips, shaking his head. “I just need to know something.  Do you trust me, Riley?” He asked, needing to know if she was on his side, taking both of her hands in his.

 

“Yeah I do.” Riley felt him pull her into his arms, his lips brushing against her forehead, and clung to him for dear life, hoping John could keep his word to protect her.

 

Chapter 7

 

The next few days were a slice of heaven for Riley because she’d spent her time with John instead of Stu, who’d been too busy with the business to really notice.  For that she was eternally grateful and couldn’t believe how well John treated her.  It was completely different with him and Riley hated for admitting this, but she could get used to this treatment if she wasn’t careful. 

 

It would come to an end sooner or later, but until then, Riley was going to enjoy the pampering John gave her, smiling the entire time.  He made her laugh harder than any man she’d ever met, always keeping her in good spirits and kept promising her he would get her away from Stu.  Not to mention the man was incredibly smart and Riley could actually have a normal conversation, voicing her opinions on things with John listening to every word she said.

 

It felt nice being treated like a human being instead of an animal.

 

It was Monday night and Riley once again sat in Nexus’s locker room, sighing heavily while they strategized their matches for the evening.  Riley was bored out of her skull, though John being in the room made her feel a little better.  Her bruises had started fading considerably, especially with John’s help and Riley was grateful, her face looking spotless through the foundation she wore, which wasn’t as thick as normal.

 

Wade glanced over at Riley, his eyes narrowing at the look in her eyes, seeing she was saying something to John.  They’d been spending a lot of time together and his blood began boiling when John made her laugh.  He used to do that and Riley never laughed around him anymore, which angered him to no avail.

 

“Excuse me.” He muttered and stalked over to where Riley and John sat on the couch, glaring down at both of them.  Riley’s head instantly lowered, the laughter dying instantly as she stared at her clasped hands in her lap. “What’s so amusing over here that you had to interrupt me?”

 

“Nothing man, just trying to keep her occupied.” John stated, seeing the danger in Wade’s eyes, trying not to show the anger shine in his blue eyes.

 

Wade missed it and snorted, glaring down at his girlfriend. “Stand up.” He ordered suddenly, watching her body tremble and smirked wickedly. “Now.”

 

“No.” Riley whispered, feeling the tears building in her eyes, refusing to look up at him.

 

Suddenly grabbing her by the hair, Riley squeaked out in pain as Stu’s fingers wrapped in her raven locks, forcing her eyes to meet his dangerous dark orbs, swallowing hard.  He yanked her up from the couch and crushed his lips to hers, brutally kissing her.  Riley struggled and fought against him, crying out because her lips were fully healed yet from the last assault he inflicted on her body.  With every ounce of strength she had inside of her, Riley managed to shove him away from her, their lips tearing apart, though his hand was still in her hair.

 

“You worthless whore!!” Wade shouted, not believing she just did that and suddenly saw stars as his eyes crossed, immediately releasing her hair.

 

Not able to take it anymore, Riley had hauled off and kicked Stu as hard as she possibly could below the belt, forcing her to release him. “DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN, YOU BASTARD!!” She screamed, tears streaming down her cheeks from both anger and fear, knowing she would be paying for that later.

 

It would be worth every second of brutality.

 

David grabbed her from behind, his eyes wide in shock with what just happened, holding her arms as she began struggling against him.  He honestly felt for his boss because that kick had more than likely lodged his balls into his throat.  Riley cried harder as she tried breaking free and watched as John intervened, pulling her away from David’s grasp.  She felt sickened by this man touching her and leaned against John, shaking from head to toe.

 

“Now isn’t the time or place.” John stated when David went to grab her again, holding his hand up, not caring if Wade was currently writhing on the floor in agony.

 

Riley sighed with inner relief when David backed off, glancing up at John quickly, silently thanking him with her eyes before looking down again.  A very small smile curved her lips at the thought of causing Stu pain, which was nothing compared to what the man had done to her over the past year.  John lead her back to the couch, rubbing the back of her head gently, while David went to check on his boss to make sure he was alright.

 

John and Riley could’ve cared less.

 

“Are you okay, buttercup?” John asked in her ear, his voice nothing more than a soft whisper.

 

She nodded mutely, assuring him with her eyes she was fine, a glimmer of light flashing through them before dimming again.  He knew she was scared and honestly, John hadn’t expected Riley to lash out like that, knowing Wade was going to be livid when he recovered.  John would have to think fast because he refused to stand back and watch Riley be abused one second longer, having kept her with him for the past few nights after persuading Wade to go out and find someone else to screw.

 

“You stupid bitch!!” Wade growled out, still holding his genitals as David slowly helped him up to his feet, the pain nearly blinding. “Just wait until I get you alone!!  You’ll wish you’d never done that!!” He threatened viciously, bending over because he felt like he was going to throw up, trying to get the pain to stop.

 

Justin loved every second of this and stifled laughter along with John and Riley, having walked over to join them, wondering what the hell had gotten into her. “Nice going, Ri.” He whispered to where only she could hear, his arms folded in front of his chest while David went to retrieve some ice for Wade, pressing it against his throbbing lower extremities. “Excuse me.” Justin had to leave the room before he burst out laughing, knowing that could’ve been some serious blackmail, but unfortunately he didn’t have his phone on him.

 

The look on Wade’s face was priceless and John couldn’t help smiling.  It was definitely priceless and John wished he had his phone on him as well, but it was in his dressing room.  While David tried helping Wade, the man was groaning in agony and that just made the moment that much more amusing, though John knew Wade would recover eventually.  He’d figure out a way to get Riley away from Wade before he could do any real damage, knowing he had to put his plan into action soon.

 

“Come on man, we gotta get going to that meeting with Vince.” David stated, knowing Wade probably wasn’t in any condition to deal with the owner of the company, but they had no choice. “Cena, stay here and watch her.” He ordered, guiding Wade out of the dressing room along with the rest of Nexus, including a chortling Justin, the door slamming shut behind them.

 

“She will regret doing that to me.” Wade’s threat shot over his shoulder into the dressing room before the door could fully shut, which wasn’t anything Riley hadn’t heard before.

 

When John saw the coast was clear, he immediately stood up and walked over to lock the door, wanting to have some alone time with Riley.  He headed back over and pulled her trembling body into his arms, holding her close to him, kissing the top of her head very gently.  He could already feel her tears on his neck and inwardly growled, wanting to rip Wade Barrett’s head off and roll it down the hallway like a bowling ball, the rest of Nexus, the exception being Justin, being the pins.

 

“He won’t touch you, I promise.” John vowed, hoping she believed him because he’d come up with the perfect plan to get her away from Wade for good.

 

Riley looked up at him through tear-filled eyes, sniffling. “How is that going to work when he has his mind set on making me sleep with him tonight?” She asked in a quiet voice.

 

Fear dripped in her tone as John held her closer, not wanting to be away from him even for a second.  She didn’t want to leave his comforting and strong arms, feeling safe whenever he was with her.  They were so loving and reassuring, something Riley hadn’t felt in a very long time.

 

John rested his chin on top of her head and closed his eyes, knowing what he had to do. “My plan goes into full effect tonight.  Just be ready for anything, buttercup, aight?” He pulled back to stare down in her surprised hazel eyes, running a finger down her cheek.

 

“I’ll be ready.” She promised, having had this conversation with John a lot over the past few days. “What are you doing to do though?” Curiosity burned through her because John still hadn’t told her the full extent of his plan and Riley didn’t want to screw anything up.

 

“Don’t worry about it.” His eyes never left hers, smiling softly. “Just be ready to run as fast as you possibly can, okay?” When she nodded, John caressed her face lovingly, assuring her everything would work out. “I promise I’ll never hurt you, Riley.  You believe me, right?” He asked, hoping she trusted him because it would take trust to make this plan work.

 

Looking into his beautiful sky blue eyes, Riley knew instantly he would never hurt her the way Wade had, nodding. “Of course I do, John.  I trust you with my life.  This past week has been amazing without all of the beatings, berating and raping…”

 

She meant every word that came out of her mouth and John held her even tighter without hurting her.  He never wanted to let her go and Riley felt the exact same way, burying her face in his chest.  Her body felt wonderful against his and John planned on showing her what a real woman should be treated like once they were fully away from Nexus.  Their contact soon ended by the banging on Nexus’s locker room and John looked down at Riley, the fear once again entering her eyes.

 

“Go in the bathroom and lock the door.  Do NOT come out until you hear the dressing room door slam shut on the second time and watch the monitor.” When Riley blinked at him, the pounding on the door becoming harder, tears formed in her eyes. “Trust me.”

 

He kissed her forehead softly and watched her rush off to the bathroom after she kissed his cheek, locking the bathroom door as John ordered.  Riley didn’t know what the hell was going on, every part of her body trembling.  She couldn’t help the tears that slid down her cheeks and wrapped her arms around herself tightly, her breathing quickening.  She didn’t want John to get hurt because of her and slid down the wall far away from the door, closing her eyes tightly shut, waiting for that second slam of the dressing room door to occur.

 

“That bitch of yours hit me!!” John growled angrily and ripped the door open, holding his face after slapping himself, feeling sick for calling Riley that, but he had to make it believable.

 

Wade’s eyes nearly shot open in shock and looked at John’s face, the red handprint very visible in the lighting on his cheek. “Where is she?” He demanded irately, watching as John pointed to the bathroom door and stormed past him toward it.  Yanking on the handle, Wade’s blood began shooting through the roof when he found it locked, making him growl ferociously, beginning to pound on the door with his huge fists. “LET ME IN RIGHT NOW, RILEY!!”

 

David blinked and immediately helped John to the couch, heading over to where Wade was ready to bust down the bathroom door. “Boss just relax and let her come out on her own, alright?  You’re gonna kill her at the rate your temper is skyrocketing.” David tried reasoning, knowing Wade would probably knock him on his ass, but had to try. “Just chill out because I don’t want you going to jail for murder.”

 

As much as he hated admitting it, David was right and John smiled on the inside, knowing his plan was working out better than he originally planned.  He hardly had to do anything, which made it more amusing.  He’d slapped himself as hard as he could, so his cheek was stinging, but on the inside John was laughing hysterically because the pain was worth every bit of this moment.

 

“Come on John, we got the match.” David stated, having picked John for his partner and watched nervously as Wade stared at the door murderously. “Wade, you gonna be there at ringside, right?”

 

Wade just nodded and growled under his breath incoherently, something about making Riley wish she’d never been born.  However, Wade had no idea how wrong he was and what was about to transpire.  He walked out with David and Wade, closing the door behind him and then opened it again, slamming it a second time.  He hoped Riley remembered to lock the dressing room door, though there wouldn’t be any danger with what John had planned.

 

Throughout the whole yelling and banging on the door, Riley cringed every time Stu’s fist collided with the door, glad it was made of metal.  It would be nearly impossible to kick in, even with a man at his size, which she was thankful for.  She just leaned back against the mirror, having hopped up on the counter, her knees drawn up against her chest. 

 

When she heard the second slam of the dressing room door, Riley slowly slid from the counter and headed for the door, closing her eyes with her hand on the handle.  This was the moment of truth because, if she opened this door and Stu stood there waiting for her, Riley knew John would’ve betrayed her.  Her heart broke at the thought, but Riley had to have faith in him and unlocked it, yanking it open. 

 

Nobody was there and tears instantly slid down her cheeks as relief flooded her body, cringing at the dents in the door Stu created.  Riley immediately walked over and locked the dressing room door, glad it was metal again before doing what John told her to do.  She flipped the monitor on and curled up on the couch, looking around to make sure nobody would jump out at her. 

 

John hadn’t done anything to break her trust her for him and, until he did, Riley knew she had to keep the trust strong.  Riley already knew she was falling in love with John and closed her eyes, hoping he felt a little of the same way she did.  Riley’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted, hazel eyes widening by what she saw on the monitor, and could only cover her mouth with her hand in shock.

 

Chapter 8

 

John’s music flowed through the speakers as he walked out on the stage, looking out at the fans, knowing most of them hated him already for being with Nexus.  He didn’t have a choice, but John wasn’t about to let that get him down, glancing down at the Nexus band on his arm, biting back a scowl.  This faction was about to get a rude awakening and he could only hope Riley was safe in the dressing room alone. 

 

Squaring his shoulders, John saluted the fans before sprinting to the ring, sliding through the bottom rope and raised his hands in the air as the fans both cheered and booed him.  He expected that, taking his dog tags off and kissed them before handing them over to the ref, peeling his shirt off to toss it into the crowd.  John flat out refused to wear a Nexus t-shirt because, as far as he was concerned, he wasn’t in the faction willingly and only willing members wear the shirt.

 

He bounced off the ropes a few times, getting pumped for the tag match with David, nodding when Nexus music blasted through the arena next, David and Wade stalking to the ring.  Wade still looked in pain while David looked determined; John knew he silently wanted to be the Nexus leader and hated Wade.  He didn’t even acknowledge his partner, simply slipping through the ropes as their opponents, the Hart Dynasty, stared back at them. 

 

John leaned against the ropes and looked down at Wade, who had murder in his dark eyes while David began the match against Tyson Kidd, his real name being TJ Wilson.  His partner was David Hart Smith –his real name was Harry Smith, his father the late great ‘British Bulldog’ Davie Boy Smith- as TJ locked up with David, both of them battling to see who would get the upper hand first.  John just stood there and watched as they broke apart and threw David into the ropes, delivering a high dropkick.

 

“GET IN THERE CENA!!” Wade barked angrily, pointing, but John refused to go to David’s rescue, folding his arms in front of his chest. “GET IN THERE OR YOU’RE FIRED!!”

 

John was getting sick and tired of Wade throwing that threat at him, reluctantly getting in the ring to assist David by shoving TJ away with ease.  He pulled David to his corner, slipped between the ropes and smacked the pansy as hard as he could right between the shoulder blades.  David bellowed out in pain and rolled under the bottom rope, feeling like his back was lit on fire.  John smirked in satisfaction and proceeded with the match against Harry, nodding at him because he’d already had everything worked out with both men.

 

Just when it looked as though the Hart Dynasty gained the upper hand, Wade of course intervened and John pretended to be down on the mat.  He slowly crawled toward David, holding his midsection with Wade screaming at him to tag David in.  John reached his hand out and closed his eyes momentarily, feeling TJ pull him back to the center of the ring, preventing the tag.  Wade was pacing like a caged animal on the outside and John couldn’t help revel in the satisfaction seeing how perturbed Wade was.

 

“When?” TJ whispered in John’s ear, both of them locked up again, trying not to move their mouths too much.

 

“Now.”

 

TJ nodded and lifted John’s body up in the air, springing him off of the top rope before delivering a somersault neck breaker known as The Code Blue.  Wade screamed and John simply lay there while TJ covered him, Harry getting in the ring to knock David off of the ring apron before the man could make the save.  The count of three happened and John couldn’t believe how much that hurt, but it’d been worth it, knowing what was coming next.

 

The Hart Dynasty instantly vacated the ring, Natalya clapping by their sides, who was Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart’s daughter and TJ’s girlfriend off-screen.  They walked up the ramp way celebrating while John slowly sat up, holding the back of his neck, glaring up at David’s berating while Wade grabbed a microphone.  So he’d lost the match, what was Wade honestly going to do besides bitch at him for something that was out of his control?

 

Or that’s what John wanted them to think.

 

“Can you do NOTHING right, Cena?” Wade demanded, stalking around the ring like an idiot, and John quickly got to his feet. “You just lost the match for Nexus!!”

 

John shrugged, refusing to say a word while David mumbled under his breath, his hands on his hips. ‘Damn fairy.’ He thought while continuously favoring his neck, even though that move hadn’t hurt nearly as bad as what people thought.

 

“David, leave the ring now.” Wade ordered, watching David’s eyebrow raise, wondering if the man was serious. “Do you not know how to follow instructions?  GET OUT OF MY RING!”

 

David scoffed, not believing what a power trip Wade was on, and slipped through the ropes heading up the ramp way to the dressing room.  This was turning out better than John thought, though he kept the solemn look on his face, knowing David wouldn’t come to Wade’s defense after being verbally castrated on national television.  Wade had no idea what he was doing and John was about to show him exactly what happened to those who received too much power and let it go to their heads.

 

“Don’t you have something to say?” Wade finally got in John’s face, his eyes full of anger and resentment, daring the man to strike him once.

 

“Actually I do.”

 

John knocked the microphone out of his hand and lifted Wade on his shoulders, delivering a devastating attitude adjustment, which was also known as a fireman’s carry.  Wade’s body crashed to the mat with a thunderous impact, but John wasn’t done yet.  He glared down at Wade hatefully, the abhorrence burning in his ice blue eyes, and slid out of the ring to stalk over to where the ring announcer sat.  He shoved the man out of the way and grabbed the nearest steel chair he could find, sliding back inside the ring. 

 

Wade was slowly getting up holding his lower back, looking shocked by what John just did, ready to teach him the meaning of respect.  When he turned around, John swung the chair and cracked Wade as hard as he could upside the head, actually smiling at the blood that instantly flowed out of Wade’s forehead.  He knew the show was rated PG, but honestly John didn’t care and this was very personal.  Wade’s blood was on the chair and John began hammering it down all over his body, hoping he snapped bones. 

 

Nexus flew out from the back, including David, and John proceeded to nail each and every one of them with the chair.  They were all sprawled out outside the ring, not able to get inside to help their leader, and John instantly went back to work on his primary target.  Looking down at his Nexus armband, John growled and ripped it off, throwing it on Wade’s bloody, beaten and broken body, tossing the chair on the mat.  He took the microphone, knowing the rest of Nexus was laid out for the time being and Wade probably wouldn’t hear what he had to say, but John honestly didn’t care.

 

“I don’t follow your orders anymore, Barrett.” John growled right in his ear, watching the man’s body twitch slightly, breathing heavily from the beating he just gave. “I’m quitting, but I wanna leave you a message.  I’m only gonna say this once so listen up: If you ever, and I mean EVER, touch her again, I’ll kill you with my bare hands.  Do you understand me?” He grabbed Wade’s head and nodded it, only to throw his head back hard against the mat, blood coming from Wade’s mouth. “Clean yourself up, homie.” He then lifted Wade’s body up on his shoulders and delivered another attitude adjustment right on the chair, hoping he snapped the man’s back in half.

 

John finally slid out of the ring as the EMT’s rushed to the ring, holding his fists up while the fans screamed and hollered for him.  He knew he’d just satisfied both the WWE universe and Riley Jade, heading to the back to check on her.  His chest and arms was smeared with Wade’s blood; John knew he had to go to Riley before anywhere else, wanting to make sure she was alright after watching her boyfriend being dismantled on the monitor. 

 

He ignored the stunned expressions shot at him from his follow co-workers, knowing he wouldn’t be fired from the WWE because he was the company’s main money maker besides Mark Calaway also known as The Undertaker.  Walking up to the Hart Dynasty, John held his hand out, nodding when both TJ and Harry shook it.  He knew without their assistance he wouldn’t have been able to pull off Wade’s beating and his official termination from Nexus.  Without any other business to handle, John headed straight for Nexus’s locker room, hoping Riley hadn’t passed out from shock.

 

Riley just stared at the screen in astonishment, alarm bells ringing in her head that this was very bad.  She couldn’t pull her eyes from the monitor though, it was like driving by a car wreck slowly, not able to help looking at the horrific scene.  Her mouth was open, eyes as wide as they could possibly go and Riley knew she should be running for her life while Stu was down for the count.  Instead, she was sitting there like an idiot, frozen solid and not able to move a muscle, tears slowly swelling in her eyes.

 

Still, she couldn’t budge.

 

She couldn’t believe what John had done for her, destroying the man who had made her life miserable for the past few years.  Riley didn’t know how to feel about it, wondering why she had mixed feelings and suddenly she understood.  It was a love/hate relationship between Riley and Stu, had been for awhile, so she loved and hated the man with all of her heart. 

 

She loved when he didn’t abuse or rape her and hated him when he smacked her around, forcing her into sexual relations.  Blinking, huge tears slid down her cheeks and all Riley could do was let them fall, her heart breaking and mending all in one fluid motion, her breathing growing heavier by the second.  She was either going to hyperventilate, shout for joy or pass out.

 

As much as Riley wanted to jump up and down, she knew this wasn’t over.  This was FAR from over.  If there was one thing about Stu Riley knew better than anyone, it was his appetite for revenge whenever he was screwed over.  He was going to come after both her and John, which made the alarm bells ringing in her head sound louder.  Skipping town was definitely on her top priority list, but Riley had to stay until John returned, knowing he was on his way. 

 

Her head snapped to the side when three knocks sounded on at the door and Riley swallowed hard, closing her eyes at the sound of John’s voice flowing through it. “Riley it’s John, open up please buttercup.” He sounded rushed and she knew why. 

 

Riley ran to the door and unlocked it, the tears still pouring from her eyes, quickly giving John a cursory once over to make sure he was alright. “Thank you.” That was all she could muster up to say, John instantly pulling into his arms, hugging her tightly.

 

“You can thank me later when you’re safe from him for good.” He stated, knowing this wasn’t over yet and they had to get out of the arena before the Nexus idiots returned.  Justin was currently distracting them by keeping the group down at Larry’s, who was taking his sweet time treating Wade. “This was only the first shot fired in this war, Riley, but I swear I’m gonna do everything to make sure you’re away from him.” John vowed, knowing he couldn’t promise her anything because he honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. “We don’t have time to talk about this right now, we need to get outta here before they come back.”

 

When Riley could only nod, John cracked a smile and quickly gathered their things, hoping she was ready to make a run for it.  They couldn’t stop and sign autographs for fans, which he knew were outside of the arena doors waiting for him.  John still had a huge fan base even after being forced to be in Nexus.  He grabbed her hand, their fingers laced together and carted her out of there, heading for the exit.  Riley kept up with him, knowing why he was in a hurry and kept looking over her shoulder, the fear swimming in her hazel eyes.

 

“John!  John, can I have an autograph?”

 

“Cena, Cena stop and sign this!!”

 

“CENA, CENA, CENA!!”

 

John didn’t stop to acknowledge anyone, knowing he couldn’t because Riley was his number one priority.  It killed him for not stopping, but right now their lives were at stake with Nexus still in the building, knowing serious repercussions were going to follow.  He didn’t care right now and unlocked the getaway rental, literally shoving Riley in the passenger seat, tossed their bags in the back and slid behind the wheel.  The keys were already in the ignition, John would seriously have to thank Justin later for his help with this and fired it up before literally peeling out of there, leaving tire marks behind.

 

“Where are we going?” Riley quietly asked, looking behind her, expecting Stu to be behind them raging and ready to kill, the anxiety overtaking her body.

 

“West Newbury, Massachusetts and when we get there, we’ll sit down and talk about what we’re gonna do next.” John explained, taking her hand and frowned at how much it trembled, knowing she was scared to death. “Nothing is gonna happen to you, buttercup.  You’re safe now.”

 

“Won’t Stu expect you to go there?” The amount of apprehension and trepidation in her voice broke John’s heart, but Riley couldn’t help it. “I’m sorry I just…I don’t want him to find us…”

 

John nodded in understanding, smiling softly. “I had a house built in West Newbury about a year ago and nobody knows about it.  It’s under a false identity, my mom’s maiden name actually, so anyone who sends that mother fucker after us will be clueless.” He explained, driving as fast as he could to the airport without breaking speed limits, even though he wanted to.

 

“Okay.” Riley didn’t know what else to say to him and turned to stare out the window as the scenery blew by her, closing her eyes.

 

“You trust me right, buttercup?”

 

John wanted to make sure she had complete faith in him because they were going in hiding for a little while.  He’d already discussed this with Vince and there was no way Nexus would be able to pry the information from his boss because not even Vince knew about this house.  Honestly, John hadn’t even told his family about it and he never kept anything from them, but he wanted a place where he could just go and chill out alone.  This was going to be the first time he brought someone to his private house and hoped Riley didn’t tell anyone, immediately dismissing that because he knew she was good at keeping secrets.

 

“I do trust you, John.” She assured him, cracking a hesitant smile because she honestly did. “I’m just scared that’s all.  I didn’t expect you to do what you did to Stu…Please don’t mind me.” Riley squeezed his hand and leaned back against the seat, sending a silent prayer above that she would finally be safe from Stu Bennett. “Why you want to help me is still something I’ll never forget, but I appreciate it.”

 

John glanced over at her when Riley grew silent, not sure what to say to her comment about him wanting to help her.  Hell, John had asked himself that for the past few weeks and, honestly, he didn’t have an answer.  Why wouldn’t he want to help a beautiful angel from her abusive boyfriend, the same boyfriend who made HIS life a living hell? 

 

It was a no brainer in his eyes and John vowed right then and there, pulling into the airport parking lot.  He guided Riley inside, having the plane tickets along with their bags in hand, and handed them over to the flight attendant after going through security.  As he watched Riley fall asleep on the plane, John vowed he would do everything in his power to protect her from Wade.  He never released her hand and leaned back in his own seat as the plane took over, closing his eyes to get a few hours of sleep, both headed to West Newbury.

 

Chapter 9

 

West Newbury, Massachusetts welcomed them with open arms as the crisp air flew over both John and Riley, helping her exit the plane.  He smiled down at her softly, his arm wrapped securely around her waist, not wanting her to feel uncomfortable or scared in any way.  John knew this was going to be a lot for Riley to take in, but hopefully her time with him in West Newbury would warm her up to him a little more.  He expected absolutely nothing from her, that’s not why he saved her from Wade, and knew actions would prove it more than words.

 

“How are you feeling?” John asked in her ear while making their way through the airport, after being checked out by security.

 

“Surprisingly awake, but then again I did sleep the entire plane ride here.” Riley replied wittingly, smiling when John arched an eyebrow down at her, chewing her bottom lip. “Sorry.”

 

“No reason to be sorry, buttercup.” John chuckled, honestly not knowing if this woman had a sense of humor, his eyes lighting up. “Don’t apologize for anything you do, you’re completely safe here.”

 

That was easy for John to say, he hadn’t been the one who was beaten and raped over the past year from Stu.  Of course, Riley didn’t say that out loud and simply nodded, looking around the airport as they headed toward the exit.  John already had one of his cars waiting, which was a bright yellow 2007 Dodge Charger SRB Super Bee. 

 

Riley was almost afraid to touch it and watched as John popped the trunk, tossing their bags inside before opening the door for her.  He smirked, knowing she was probably surprised by the choice in car he left at the airport, but John paid the airport a decent amount of money to keep his cars there and to take care of it.  He had quite the collection of cars, which Riley would find out eventually, though they weren’t at his hideaway.

 

She had to admit the scenery was absolutely breathtaking as John drove toward his house supposedly nobody knew about.  It was impossible to have a secret house, right?  Riley sighed gently and stared out the window as the trees flew by, having always enjoyed the wooded area, the window rolled down blowing through her black hair. 

 

It was very soothing and Riley wondered briefly if John would be staying with her far away from everyone, frowning at the thought.  The guilt was already eating away at her and Riley jumped slightly when John took her hand, her head snapping to stare at him, his lips softly caressing the back of her hand.  Riley knew he was trying to soothe her fears, to relax her, but how could she relax when he was taking time off from something he truly loved doing?

 

Then something occurred to her.

 

“Are you going to be fired?” Riley blurted out, watching as John shrugged his shoulders, tears instantly filling her eyes. “Oh John…”

 

“If I am, I’ll simply find another thing to do.” He assured her in a tender voice, sighing when she began crying. “Riley, what happened was long overdue even if I partially did it to get you away from that asshole.  I couldn’t handle being the bitch of Nexus anymore.”

 

Riley honestly couldn’t blame him, trying to shove the guilt away because John made several valid points she couldn’t ignore. “What will you do now if you are fired?” She asked quietly, lowering her eyes from him, knowing she was probably being too noisy. “Forget it, I didn’t mean to ask.”

 

“Yes you did or you wouldn’t have.” John retorted with a grin, bringing her hand up to press another kiss to the back of it. “I’ll either continue with my music or probably do movies for Hollywood instead of the WWE.  I have a feeling I’m not gonna be fired, not too concerned with it right now.  My main focus was helping you and getting both of us out of Nexus.”

 

Riley didn’t know what else to say and simply kept quiet, leaning back against the chair as he headed through the woods.  So he had a private secluded house in the middle of the woods?  Her heart rate suddenly skyrocketed and Riley had to admit she was really nervous about this, knowing nobody would be able to hear her screams.  John was such a sweet man though, he would never hurt her, though Riley thought the same thing about Stu and look what happened. 

 

“Come on buttercup, time to give you the grand tour.”

 

John was bouncing up and down acting like a little kid, excitement shining in his blue eyes.  It was contagious because Riley began feeling excited herself, taking his extended hand as he lead her up the stairs to the front door, the smell of the woods surrounding her.  Pushing open the door, John pulled Riley gently but firmly inside, the door closing behind her as he proceeded showing her around.  It was a typical two story house with three bedroom and bathrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, full basement that John turned into his gaming room and a laundry room.  Everything around the house screamed John, he definitely was the most unique man Riley ever met, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

“Your house is really nice, John.” Riley said once the tour ended in the kitchen.

 

“Thanks, you want some grub?” John asked, already pulling food out of the fridge, watching Riley’s eyebrow slowly raise.

 

“Uhhh some what?”

 

She blinked when he held up the packages of lunchmeat, having had his maid, Jessica, stock the house full of food prior to them arriving.  Jessica was the only one who knew about this house and John paid her very good money to keep her mouth shut, refusing to tell Riley something like that.  Hopefully, Riley wouldn’t be observant and notice how much food was in a secluded house, John cringing inwardly for being such an idiot.

 

“Food buttercup, I call it grub.” He explained, already making her a sandwich because she was too pencil thin for his liking.  Some meat on her bones would make those curves stand out more and the clothes not hang on her so much. “After we eat, I’ll take you upstairs and you can pick whichever room you want.  They each have their own bathroom.  I highly recommend the green room because it has jets in the tub.” He winked when she giggled, loving the sound of her laughter, and vowed to make her laugh more often.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Their fingers brushed together when she reached out to take the sandwich from him, feeling a jolt of electricity rush up her arm.  Blue locked on jade and Riley could tell John felt it as much as he did, which confused her.  Riley instantly pulled away and took a bite out of her sandwich, suddenly finding it more interesting than the man standing before her.

 

John could tell Riley felt that same jolt, but decided not to say anything, knowing what she needed right now was reassurance and security.  He simply smiled at her when she finally looked up, watching her practically devour the sandwich, blinking.  Ever since Riley joined Wade on the road to be with Nexus, John couldn’t recall ever seeing Riley inhale a sandwich that fast.  He was sorely tempted to remind her to chew and then swallow, knowing that would probably get a smack across his face for his troubles, so John kept his mouth shut.

 

Once they finished eating, John lead Riley upstairs and Riley went for the green room, taking his suggestion.  He smiled as she looked around the huge bedroom with a four poster bed that had a dark green canopy draped over the top of it.  Her hands gently ran over the fabric and John could tell Riley loved this room, deciding he would be deeming this as hers. 

 

It was going to be called the Riley room from now on and nobody except her would be able to sleep in it.  This beautiful raven haired beauty having a room in his house made a warm fuzzy feeling fill John’s stomach, immediately pushing it away for now.  He followed her while her eyes took in everything, including the flat screen television that was set up on the wall along with a blu-ray player and small stand of blu-ray movies.

 

“I’ll show you the best part of this room.”

 

John took her hand as their fingers laced together, neither noticing because of how natural it happened.  He lead her inside the huge private bathroom that had a dark green garden tub that had the jets inside, John grinning when her jade eyes lit up like stars.  Riley absolutely loved garden tubs and walked over, not able to wait to take a bath, knowing the jets would help soothe her aching muscles and sore body.  She was still incredibly sore from Stu’s latest attack, the bruises on her body proof of that and hopefully she could fully heal her body before having to face her boyfriend again.

 

“Do you like it?”

 

“I love it.” Riley looked over her shoulder at John and bit her bottom lip sheepishly, turning her gaze back to staring at the huge tub. “Are you sure this is alright?”

 

“Yes, now stop asking.  My place is your place, you understand?” When she simply nodded, John sighed and walked over, turning her around as their eyes locked, placing his hands on her shoulders. “I mean it, you don’t have to ask me to do anything.  If you want to eat something, just go for it.  If you want to play a game or movie, do it, don’t ask.  You don’t need to ask permission, I want you to be completely comfortable here.”

 

Riley couldn’t believe how trusting John was being with her and couldn’t help feeling astonished, wondering what made her so special.  She wasn’t exactly the prettiest woman in the world, but this man was determined to get her to open up to him, to do things on her own.  Stu would’ve backhanded her if she even asked for a simple bottle of water, tears swelling in her eyes at the cruelty her boyfriend showed her lately.

 

“Thank you.” She whispered and immediately accepted John’s embrace, burying her face in his chest. “Thank you so much, John.”

 

“No need to thank me.” John hoped he snapped Wade’s back in half for the pain he put Riley through, kissing the top of her head gently. “How about you take a nice hot bath and relax a little while I head downstairs to make a few phone calls?” He suggested in a lower voice, his mouth right by her ear.

 

Riley went to ask if it was alright, but stopped herself, simply nodding because the bath sounded too heavenly to pass up. “Okay.” Their eyes locked briefly and John leaned down to kiss her forehead this time, Riley sighing softly.

 

“Take your time and relax.” He wanted to make that clear that she was here to do one thing and that was relax as much as possible, knowing they would be going back on the road sooner or later.

 

Nodding, Riley watched him walk out and closed the door behind him, the silence of the bathroom unnerving.  She turned the faucet on as the hot water poured forth into the garden tub, slowly filling it while Riley undressed herself, placing her clothes in a neat pile in the corner.  She looked down at her body and frowned, running her hand over her abdomen, tears falling because of how tender it was.  John’s salve had helped somewhat, but Riley knew she had a ways to go before they were completely gone. 

 

Riley’s thoughts turned to John and hated the fact she was putting his life in danger, but had nobody else to turn too.  Her parents had been killed in a hit and run car accident, the car exploding in flames upon impact before they had time to blink.  To make matters worse, Riley was a lonely child and didn’t have any siblings, her parents just wanting her apparently. 

 

She ended up being raised by her abusive grandmother, who believed in religion a little too strongly, and Riley ended up running away when she was seventeen.  Graduating high school on her own was a feat in itself, but Riley didn’t stop there and ended up going to college, working three jobs to pay off her tuition.  She had her own place, which was a studio apartment that barely kept her warm, but Riley was a survivor and didn’t back down from anything or anyone.

 

Until Stu Bennett came into her life.

 

Riley sighed and leaned back against the tub, closing her eyes because even with as much pain as Stu put her through, it was nothing compared to what her heart felt.  She already knew it was over between her and Stu, had been for awhile, and Riley refused to go back to him unless it was over her dead body.  Honestly seeing herself falling in love with John, Riley immediately nixed that thought, not wanting to be with another man just so she could be beaten and raped again.

 

The scent of vanilla and sandalwood permeated the room, thanks to the bubble bath solution Riley found in the bathroom while preparing her bath.  She ran her hands up and down her arms, the water feeling wonderful against her skin along with the soap.  Riley still couldn’t believe how generous John was being toward her and knew she owed him everything she had for saving her life.  Stu would’ve more than likely killed her for what she did to him, smirking at the memory of lodging his nut sack in his throat.  If it wasn’t for John, Riley wouldn’t be here and she wished there was something she could do to repay him for all he’d done for her.

 

Not hearing the bathroom door open and close or the shuffling of feet, Riley was too engrossed in her bath as gentle sighs escaped her, her eyes closed.  She jumped when she felt a strong muscular hand on the back of her neck, staring back into the soft blue eyes of John’s, immediately relaxing.  This was his bathroom and she wondered if he wanted to take a bath, beginning to lean forward a bit and sighed when he began massaging her neck with his strong fingers.

 

John couldn’t stop himself from touching or checking on her, not believing how breathtaking she looked in the garden tub.  The bubbles covered all of her important parts, but John knew she was still very skittish and shy, smiling.  He pulled away from her and stood up, taking out candle lighter from his baggy shorts and began lighting the few candles that were in the bathroom to make it smell good.  That included two which were on the ledge of his garden tub, his eyes locking briefly with Riley’s, showing her he wasn’t in there just to admire her body, though that was a definite plus.  John set the lighter aside and walked over to flick the light off, bathing the bathroom in a soft illuminating glow, slowly walking back toward her.

 

“Mind if I join you?” He asked huskily, having pulled his t-shirt off and waited for her answer.

 

Chapter 10

 

Gulping nervously, Riley felt a shiver course throughout her body, her mouth suddenly going try. “I-If you w-want to…” She stammered out, those soft blue eyes locking with hers, swallowing hard. 

 

Her knees drew up, leaning back against the tub and chewed her bottom lip, wondering what would happen if she said no.  Hell this was his bathroom, his tub, she couldn’t deny the man who saved her anything and Riley knew it.  John saw the fear building in her eyes and sighed heavily, knowing he probably was going too fast for her.

 

Lowering himself to be eye level with her, John reached in the tub to run his finger up and down her arm very lightly. “I won’t hurt you, buttercup.” He promised in a deep soothing voice, his finger trailing up to her shoulder and neck, taking his time. “I just wanna caress you, feel you, relax you…” His mouth was right by her ear, his hot breath sending a jolt through her. “Let me in, Riley.”

 

Her eyes drifted shut, chest rising and falling rapidly, the water growing hotter and Riley knew it was because the rise of body temperature. “Yes, come in.” She breathed out, his fingers leaving her neck as her eyes opened, looking away as John shed the rest of his clothes in front of her.

 

Her cheeks burned and that made her even more radiant as the candlelight reflected off of her soft skin.  How could Wade hurt a beautiful angel like this?  How could he take her for granted the way he had?  John refused to walk away from her and shoved her gently forward, stepping inside the tub, being careful not to land on top of her. 

 

The thought of Riley on top of him was very enticing, but John knew he had to take baby steps, not wanting to push her into something she clearly wasn’t ready for.  He sunk down in the hot water and pulled Riley’s back to press against his strong chest, wrapping one arm around her waist.  Riley sighed and leaned back against him, feeling his finger up and down her arm while his lips began caressing her neck softly.  Getting lost in the softness and feel of her skin against his lips and tongue, John bit back a groan, slowly feeling his arousal grow beneath the water.

 

“I won’t go too far, I promise.  If I do, tell me to stop and I will.” John murmured huskily in her ear, feeling her melt against him and splayed his large warm hand against her abdomen.

 

“I trust you, John.” She whispered, nodding, letting him know she was fully enjoying everything he was doing to her. 

 

Truth be told, Riley was scared to death, but also knew this man would never hurt her the way Stu had.  Not to mention his lips felt too wonderful against her to pull away, Riley hadn’t been touched like this by a man in so long.  She couldn’t remember the last time a man had actually taken his time in caressing and making her feel like a woman, which is what John was doing.  Her head lulled back against his shoulder and Riley lifted her foot up out of the water to turn the hot water on, steam slowly rising.

 

This was truly a heaven Riley never experienced in her life, not even with Stu.

 

Every bruise that marred her beautiful body John vowed he would give Wade the same treatment, knowing what he did wasn’t the end.  He hadn’t broken the man’s back, though he’d used every bit of strength and power he could muster up.  He hadn’t been one hundred percent last night when he delivered the attitude adjustment, which was really a fireman’s carry, on the steel chair.  What John would’ve really enjoyed doing was taking that chair and lodging it in Wade’s throat while delivering the STF, which was a drop toehold submission move that forced the head back and caused tremendous pain in the back.

 

After being caressed from head to toe by John with a loofah sponge and body wash, Riley knew it was time to get out before they both pruned further.  She turned her head as John lifted himself out of the tub, quickly wrapping a towel around his lean muscular waist.  She couldn’t believe what an incredible body the man had and Riley immediately turned red at the thought, trying to push that in the back of her mind.  She felt a light tap on her shoulder and Riley turned as she met those beautiful blue eyes again, not able to help smiling.  John winked and opened the towel for Riley to walk into, watching her bite her bottom lip apprehensively, knowing it would take time for her to trust a man again.

 

Not that he blamed her.

 

“John…”

 

One gentle finger pressed against her lips before Riley could say another word. “I’ll be a total gentleman, Riley, I promise.” He vowed, holding the towel open for her again patiently. “You can trust me.”

 

Hesitantly, Riley slowly pushed herself up from the tub, John helping her when he thought she would struggle.  John knew she was sore from the beatings Wade gave her, vowing once more to end his career in the WWE if it was the last thing he ever did.  Riley lowered her head as John wrapped the towel around her body fully along with his arms, wanting her to feel safe and secure.  She honestly did and closed her eyes, leaning back against him comfortably while they just stood there slowly drying off.

 

“Thank you.” She whispered and felt him slowly tilt her head back as their eyes locked.

 

“My pleasure, buttercup.” He murmured, brushing his lips very softly against her forehead. “Come on, I don’t want you catching a cold by standing here in just a towel with damp hair.  It’s cold outside.”

 

Riley agreed and followed him out of the bathroom, keeping the towel firmly clasped in front of her so it didn’t fall away from her body.  John couldn’t believe what an incredible body the woman had, once again wondering why Wade would treat her like a piece of trash.  She was indeed one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen in his life, one of the many reasons why John wanted to help her.  He had the hero mentality, always putting guys backstage in their places if they were jackasses to any of the women, no matter the circumstances.

 

He remembered a while back when he walked backstage after a grueling match with Randy Orton and saw John Hennigan –most fans knew him as John Morrison- fighting with Melina Perez –she was simply known all over the globe to fans as Melina-, who was his ex-girlfriend.  They had been on and off for the past few years since both debuted in the company and finally decided to be in a real relationship.  John noticed Hennigan was getting pissed and walked over to diffuse the situation, having a teary eyed Melina walk away so her boyfriend could calm down.  Later, Hennigan thanked John for helping out and John in turn recommended the man go through anger management to handle his temper better.

 

Backstage, John was a locker room leader and took his role very seriously, but lately Nexus had turned him into an obeying dog.  That was fine because it wouldn’t last much longer and, as soon as John was free to do what he wanted, he was going to eliminate Wade Barrett from the WWE forever.  That was his one and only goal, which began by snatching Riley away from his clutches and bringing her to West Newbury.

 

They walked inside the huge bedroom John had shown Riley previously, which was hers permanently regardless of how things worked out between them.  She clutched the towel tighter while John walked over to the dresser drawer, pulling out a plain cotton white t-shirt with a pair of boxers.  He then walked over to the far corner of the room, moments later a bag dangling from his fingers staring her in the face.  Riley blinked, it was her bag that she thought she’d lost at the arena and John had apparently grabbed it for her along with his own things.  She sighed with relief and took it from him, walking over to set the bag on the bed, sifting through it quickly. 

 

John watched her and frowned, not liking how much she trembled and walked over, standing right behind her.  He gently slid his large hands down her soft arms until they rested over hers, lacing their fingers together.  Riley chewed her bottom lip and leaned back against him, closing her eyes to relish in his warmth and comfort.  John smiled because he knew this relaxed her and gently slid one hand up her arm to her the side of her neck, trailing his large fingers down it in a caress.  That motion caused Riley to turn her head until their eyes locked, her bag suddenly forgotten as those blue pools captivated her again, drawing her in.

 

This woman was enchanting and John was falling under her spell, quickly realizing exactly why Wade wanted her because so did he.  He watched as her soft pink lips opened to say something and he knew exactly what it would be.  He couldn’t bare hearing another thank you from her and instead lowered his head until their lips very softly touched.  Riley gasped gently, but the feeling of his lips against hers overtook the fear she felt, having craved to feel wanted for awhile. 

 

Stu never made her feel this way, not even when he wasn’t using her as a punching bag and that scared Riley.  Still, her hand instantly slid up his arm to cup his cheek and felt John’s warm hands grasp her waist, turning her fully around as the kiss deepened.  Riley moaned, not believing how gentle John was being with her and felt him lower himself on the bed so she didn’t have to strain to reach him.  Her heart pounded furiously and Riley felt herself lowering as well, straddling his lap, the kiss never breaking as her hands clutched his muscular shoulders. 

 

John groaned from low in his throat, knowing this probably wasn’t the best thing to do, but there was no turning back and he honestly didn’t want to stop.  His hands slid up and down her back, pulling her closer to him as his tongue swiped against her sweet lips, begging for entrance, wanting to taste her.  Riley immediately responded and opened her mouth, moaning louder at the feeling of their tongues clashing for the first time, her hands on his shoulders tightening as she tried scooting closer to him, wriggling on his lap.

 

Slowly and reluctantly pulling back, John broke the kiss, completely breathless from what just happened between them. “Buttercup, if you keep doing that something is going to happen you’re not ready for.” He warned in a low ragged voice, pressing his forehead to hers, trying to calm down.  He could already feel himself rising to the occasion and didn’t want to scare her, trying to calm down.

 

“I’m sorry…” She whispered, tears stinging her eyes and started to move from John’s lap but his hands clutched hers, stopping her from moving.

 

“Please tell me you don’t regret that kiss.” John was almost afraid to say that, but he also refused to hide his feelings from Riley. “Because I damn sure don’t.  I should’ve done it sooner, but I didn’t wanna scare you.”

 

“You do scare me, John.” Riley admitted quietly, feeling him pull back until their eyes locked once more. “But only in a good way.  I know you’re not like Stu.  I’m just…It’s been so long and…” She was struggling with words and could feel hot tears of embarrassment spill down her cheeks.

 

“Shhh you don’t have to say anymore, buttercup.” He hated it when she cried, it nearly tore him in half every time tears fell from her beautiful jade eyes, immediately wiping them away with the pads of his thumbs. “Please, I’ll do anything if you stop crying.”

 

Riley bit her bottom lip and tried stopping, but the more she tried, the more tears fell. “I’m s-sorry…” She stammered and John immediately pulled her against him, wrapping his strong arms around her trembling frame, his heart breaking because of how much pain radiated from her body. 

 

She buried her face in the crook of his neck and John refused to move, knowing she needed to be comforted right now.  He could still feel her sweet lips against his, the lingering almost enough to arouse him, but Riley didn’t need that right now.  What she needed most was being held and told that everything was going to be alright, that she didn’t have to live in fear anymore.  John didn’t say anything for awhile, running his hand up and down her back soothingly, trying to get her to calm down.

 

“Don’t be sorry.” He finally whispered, his mouth right by her ear. “There’s no reason for you to say those words because you have nothing to be sorry for, Riley.  If anyone should be sorry, it’s that piece of shit ex you have.”

 

Riley slowly pulled back and wiped her tears away, sniffling. “My ex…” That sounded weird coming from her mouth, but surprisingly the biggest weight lifted from her shoulders when she referred Stu as her ex. 

 

There was no way they could mend their relationship and Riley already knew her heart was slowly but surely pulling toward John, her savior.  Stu would never be the same again and Riley had fallen out of love for him the first time he struck her down and raped her.  After that, her love for him quickly turned into fear and she didn’t know how to get away from him without Stu hurting her even more.  John had been her way out and now that she was safe for the most part, Riley was going to start getting her life back in order the best she could, hoping she wouldn’t have to hide for the rest of her life.

 

A ghost of a smile splayed across her beautiful lips and Riley gently ran her thumb over John’s full red lips, nodding. “This is more than I ever expected and I don’t know how to repay you…” She sighed when John pressed his finger against her lips, silencing her once more as he brushed his lips feather lightly against them.

 

“There’s no repayment needed, I just want you to be happy and hopefully I can help you through it.” He stated, watching her nod and blinked when Riley threw her arms around his neck, his eyes closing as he tightened his arms around her.

 

“I just need to take this slow and I need time to adjust to everything.  I want to get to know each other before we do anything more.  If anything becomes involved with this…” She pulled back to look at him, wanting John to understand that she did want him, but Riley wasn’t the type to just jump into bed with a stranger.

 

Even though John saved her from Stu, he was still very much a stranger to her.

 

Nodding, John completely understood what she meant and lifted her up with ease, kissing her lips once more softly. “Get some rest, buttercup.” He said, setting her on the bed gently, not wanting to harm her in any way. “Don’t worry, we’re fine, but you need time and I want to give you that.  If you need me, my room is just down the hall.  Don’t hesitate to come find me if you need me for anything…” He began walking toward the door and stopped, turning back to stare at the raven haired beauty. “Anything at all.” Winking, he vacated the room.

 

Riley couldn’t help blushing and looked around the room after John left, touching her lips with trembling fingers and felt this rush of excitement overwhelm her.  It was intense and Riley knew that once she did get to know John better that they would end up together.  That thought alone made her happier than she’d been in the past few years and Riley decided she wouldn’t be thinking about Stu anymore, hoping her subconscious agreed with her.  After slipping into a pair of black pajama pants with a matching tank top, Riley slipped into bed and stared up at the ceiling.  John’s scent surrounded her and that eventually lulled Riley into a deep slumber, the first peaceful rest she’d had since meeting Stu.

 

Chapter 11

 

“Where the fuck is that bitch?!” Wade Barrett growled angrily for the umpteenth time, holding ice to his lower back. “I swear to god I’m gonna give her the beating of her LIFE when I find her!!” He vowed in a deadly voice, glancing over at David, who hadn’t said much of anything.  Though he looked perturbed because of what John Cena pulled…That was another person he was going to put in their place.

 

David had a white bandage wrapped around his head because of a lethal chair shot from Cena that caused a grade A concussion.  He spent two nights in the hospital because his blood pressure had dropped considerably, having lost so much blood.  John had split him completely open and David wasn’t happy to find out he would have a small scar from the brutal blow.  The plastic surgeon did everything he could to sew the cut up without scarring, but it was no use, the cut had simply been too deep.

 

“That fucker Cena is gonna pay for what he did to me!” David spat hatefully, holding the ice bag against his forehead because he could feel another pounding headache approaching.  The doctor had told him the ice would help, but the only thing to fully get rid of the pain was pain killers and David refused to take them. 

 

“Stop bitching, at least you’re not out of ring action because of a bruised back!” Wade shot back, gritting his teeth as another stab of pain shot through his back right up his spine.

 

He sighed, knowing now more than ever that he underestimated Cena and couldn’t believe he’d fallen for the man’s trap.  He honestly thought the man didn’t care about what happened between him and Riley, but obviously Wade was sadly mistaken.  It was a mistake he was determined to rectify because he knew John couldn’t stay away from the ring. 

 

He would come back and Riley would be with him, which is when Wade would strike.  It angered him to know that he’d been tricked into having Riley stay with John, his blood boiling at the thought of John’s hands anywhere on her body.  That body was HIS property!  Wade vowed to make her pay with everything she had, possibly even her life, the next time they were alone together.

 

“Yeah?” David wasn’t taking that line down, standing up. “Well at least your face still looks somewhat fucking decent while I have to deal with a fucking scar across my handsome face!!” He was egocentric and David wasn’t afraid to admit it, especially when it came to his looks.

 

Arguing with his fellow Nexus member wouldn’t help matters any and Wade didn’t want to stir an argument. “Calm down.” He ordered in a lower voice, slowly sitting up after removing the icepack from his back, which felt like it was lit completely on fire. “Look, we have to rationalize about this and fighting against each other is not going to solve anything.  This slag is tricky and she already took Cena away from us, even though he wasn’t ours technically to begin with.”

 

David couldn’t help snorting, rolling his eyes. “What’s your point?” With his looks having been nearly destroyed, David was not in the mood for a condescending Wade.

 

“My point, you inconsiderate prick, is simply this: I have a plan once John comes back on the road.  If you would listen for five seconds without running that trap of yours, I might include you in on it.” Wade was being VERY condescending now, but David’s curiosity had peaked and Wade could tell, a smirk spreading on his lips. “Are you ready to listen?”

 

“I’m all ears, boss.” David stated, knowing Wade loved being called that and listened intently as the man began spewing out his plan for both John and Riley.

 

~!~

 

“John, what is going on?” Riley demanded as his huge hands covered her eyes, one massive arm wrapped securely around her waist.

 

John smiled, feeling her apprehension and knew she was extremely nervous about him surprising her. “Will you calm down and stop worrying?” He said exasperatedly, trying not to chuckle. “Lord, I thought you trusted me buttercup?”

 

Riley couldn’t help giggling. “I do trust you.  More than you know.”

 

Two weeks had passed since John brought Riley to West Newbury and it’d been pure bliss with him.  They spent the days talking and relaxing on the couch watching movies, playing every kind of video game that was currently out on every kind of gaming system.  Riley’s arms still hurt from playing WII bowling, though she’d managed to beat John a few times. 

 

Though when he did win, she gave him rewarding soft kisses. 

 

It was so nice being with a man who simply wanted to spend time with her instead of berating and raping her every night.  John treated her like a queen, pampering her to the fullest and even cooked for her a few times, though Riley quickly took that over.  John hadn’t minded and enjoyed her cooking immensely, wondering if this woman could do anything that didn’t surprise him.  It seemed like every day he learned something new about her, which was very refreshing.

 

Their nights were spent bathing in the garden tub and just talking about every topic that seemed to come up.  John was a regular chatterbox and he was pleased to find out Riley was as well…once she became completely comfortable.  He knew she was still adjusting to things and that was completely understandable, but his desire for her was growing rapidly. 

 

He loved the feeling of her leaning back against him while he ran his fingers up and down her body while they watched a movie, bathed together or simply sat on the couch curled up.  Riley often fell asleep against him and admitted that it was his body heat causing her to fall asleep before him constantly.  Not to mention she was still healing physically, emotionally and mentally from what Wade put her through, which again John didn’t blame her for.

 

Riley felt blessed having John in her life.

 

“You best trust me.  Now close your eyes and no peeking.” He ordered gently but firmly, causing Riley to sigh exasperatedly, her curiosity nearly getting the better of her. 

 

She refrained though, having a feeling John went through a lot of trouble to surprise her with whatever he had in mind.  John stopped and released Riley, waving his hand in front of her face before a huge grin spread across his face, taking her hands to guide her to what he had planned.  He hoped she liked it and it didn’t scare her because John rarely did anything like this for a woman, but Riley was special.  She was definitely different, one of a kind and he wanted to show her how a real man was supposed to treat a real woman.

 

Once they arrived around five minutes later, John reluctantly released her hands to fix a few last second details, nodding when he was satisfied.  He wore a simple pair of blue jean shorts, no shirt and sneakers, wanting to be comfortable.  Riley wore a pair of skinny jeans –it always killed John whenever she wore them- along with a long sleeved sky blue shirt that had a V shaped neckline and left plenty to the imagination, her feet encased in white sneakers.  Her beautiful black hair hung down her back in waves, hugging her waist perfectly. 

 

She was the vision of perfection, especially now that the bruises Wade gave her were vanishing.  Taking her hand, John pulled Riley to stand in front of him, his arms once again encircling her waist, knowing she got chilled easily and it was night time.  He didn’t want anything ruining this moment and rested his chin on top of her head, still not believing she kept her eyes closed the entire time.

 

“Open your eyes.” His lips hovered over her ear while he spoke and John watched as her enchanting jade eyes fluttered open, grinning even more at the look that adorned her face moments later.

 

Riley’s mouth fell open at the sight before her and all she could do was stare in sheer amazement, not believing what John did.  A beautiful small waterfall gently fell into a private lake that had crystal clear water inside from what Riley could tell.  The water glistened and gave off a luminous blue glow that reflected off the water and their faces, bathing them in it.  Flowers of all kinds surrounded the area, most of them wildflowers, and a blanket lay in the center near the waterfall with two long stemmed candles and a picnic basket.

 

“This is…” Riley didn’t even have the words and slowly turned around, the blue glow making his eyes sparkle. “What is this about?” She finally asked, a smile etched on her face, wondering why he did all of this.

 

John leaned down and softly brushed his lips against hers, pressing their foreheads together. “I wanted to do something special to you…for you.” He quickly corrected, cursing mentally and watched as Riley began giggling again.

 

He was simply too adorable and Riley reached up to caress his face with the back of her hand. “Thank you.” She kissed him this time, having to reach up a little since he was much taller than her. “It’s absolutely breathtaking and when I’m ready, you can do whatever you want to me.” She promised with a wink, causing John to groan.

 

“Tease!” He accused in a playful growl, causing her to giggle more. 

 

John honestly would be content for the rest of his life just to hear her laughter.  That’s how intoxicating it was.  He could literally sit and listen to her laugh all day long, it was the most beautiful music to his ears.  He wiggled his eyebrows at her, making her laugh harder and John found himself chuckling right along. 

 

Suddenly, an evil gleam flashed in his eyes and Riley couldn’t get away from him fast enough as he suddenly lifted her over his broad shoulder, being careful so he didn’t hurt her.  Riley squealed out in protest, wiggling her hips and any part of her body to get him to release her, but it was no use.  John laughed the whole way to wherever he was carrying her and Riley’s eyes widened when she made the mistake of looking in front of her, seeing he had headed straight for the small lake with the waterfall.

 

“John, don’t you dare…”

 

It was too late.  John dropped her unceremoniously in the lake, which was surprisingly warm as the water completely engulfed her.  John quickly joined her, having kicked his sneakers off and knew she would probably want to kill him for ruining her sneakers, already having a back up pair over by the blanket.  Riley surfaced a moment later spurting water, her eyes wide in shock, not believing he just did that!  John took one look at her and couldn’t help laughing as he held his stomach, back-stroking toward her.

 

“What are you thinking?!” She exclaimed, groaning because her long hair was clinging to her shoulders and back, her clothes and shoes ruined. “Are you crazy?!”

 

Smirking, John pressed a finger against her soft lips and quickly replaced it with his lips, groaning softly.  Riley couldn’t help returning the sweet kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck and moaned when John gripped her legs to wrap around his waist in the water.  She loved the fact she was at his height, the warm water suddenly feeling hot just by the warmth spreading through her body. 

 

When his tongue swiped across her lips, Riley immediately opened up for him and gripped the back of his neck, the kiss intensifying instantly.  John knew she wasn’t ready to go to the next level, but it was getting harder and harder for him not to push the issue, just wanting to feel Riley in every single way, including writhing beneath him while he made sweet passionate love to her.  Riley gasped in his mouth as his hands slid down her back to grip her jean clad ass, giving it a gentle squeeze. 

 

Even her ass felt perfect…John was officially in hell.

 

“I don’t know how much longer I can wait, Riley.” John growled after reluctantly breaking the kiss, running his hands up and down her body, loving how the clothing clung to every part of her. “I want you so goddamn bad.”

 

Riley stared deep into his eyes, knowing she was feeling just as anxious as he was, but didn’t want to rush into something she wasn’t ready for. “Soon John, I promise soon.” She whispered against his lips, not wanting to stop the kissing.  Just because they couldn’t have sex didn’t mean they couldn’t fool around a little and Riley wanted to explore.

 

John groaned when she kissed him again and couldn’t deny this raven haired beauty anything, knowing she already had him wrapped around her finger.  He moved over to where he could pin her against the side of the lake and began trailing his lips from hers down her neck, her legs tightening around his waist.  She was driving him insane and John knew Riley didn’t realize what she was doing…or so he thought. 

 

Riley could clearly feel the bulge in his jean shorts beneath the water pressing against her inner thigh and bit her bottom lip, tilting her head back to give him full access to her neck and upper chest.  She knew John wouldn’t go any further than that, having been the complete gentleman, but she was starting to feel like she wanted more…she craved more.  She shivered from head to toe when he reached the spot just behind her ear, causing John to pull back, both of their eyes darkened with desire for each other.

 

“Come on buttercup, time to get out and dry off.” He suddenly pulled away from her, needing to stop before they both did something he knew Riley wasn’t ready for. “Don’t worry, I’m not mad or anything, but if we don’t stop, something bad is going to happen and I don’t wanna push you.”

 

As much as Riley didn’t want to stop, she knew John was right and nodded reluctantly, both of them pulling out of the water moments later.  John wrapped a towel around her shoulders and softly kissed her lips, having a bag of clothes for them to change into.  He turned his back while she dressed in the simple pair of blue cotton shorts with a matching short sleeved shirt, which nearly killed him to see her in.  Her beautiful smooth thighs and soft legs, the way the shirt hugged every curve of her body, especially her chest. 

 

John had to get his mind out of the gutter and quickly changed into a pair of loose jersey dark blue shorts, both of them settling down on the blanket.  John pulled out another blanket and wrapped it around Riley while she leaned against him, knowing his body heat combined with the blanket would keep her nice and toasty.  For the rest of the night, John just sat there holding Riley while they fed each other from the basket and talked. 

 

Around one AM, Riley had fallen asleep against John and he refused to let her sleep on the cold hard ground, immediately lifting her up and carrying her back to the house.  John knew he was already falling in love with this angel in his arms and hoped she felt the same way about him, knowing Wade had put her through hell.  He carried her into her room and then stopped when she snuggled further against him, causing John to close his eyes, hoping he didn’t regret this decision. 

 

He backed out of the room and headed toward his own, wanting to sleep with Riley in his arms and hoped she didn’t freak out when she woke up in his arms come morning.  John laid her gently on the bed and kissed her forehead feather lightly before walking over to shut the door and peeled out of his jersey shorts, leaving him clad in black boxers.  He climbed into bed and wrapped her up in his strong arms, smiling when Riley instinctively turned to bury her face in his chest, one leg draping over his muscular thigh. 

 

Completely content, John fell asleep in a matter of seconds with Riley securely in his arms.

 

Chapter 12

 

How was he going to tell her?

 

John paced back and forth in front of the door, raking a hand through his hair, wondering how he was going to do this.  He still couldn’t believe the audacity of his ex-wife, Denise.  The marriage lasted no more than a year and nobody knew about it.  Not one to publicly announce who he was with for fear of fans doing something irrational and stupid, John hadn’t even told the guys in the back about the marriage.  The divorce was clean cut and simple with his ex getting thirty of percent of whatever he had at the time, no alimony. 

 

There had been no infidelity, both realizing they weren’t meant to be together and fell out of love. 

 

However, right after the divorce finalized, John ended up sleeping with Denise one more time and apparently that was pushing fate too much because nine months later, Denise gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  They named him Anthony Felix Cena, reversing John’s middle name to make it his son’s, which John didn’t mind.  In fact, he found it very rewarding being a father and tried seeing Anthony whenever he could, but his job took precedence over everything else.

 

“You haven’t seen him in months, John.  He needs his father!” Denise had shouted over the phone at him only hours ago, John replaying the conversation in his head.

 

“Look, I know I haven’t seen him…”

 

“Do you love him?  Because he’s your son and you don’t show one OUNCE of love toward him!”

 

“Yes I love him, Denise, damn it!  Will you just shut up and let me talk for two seconds?  DAMN!” John didn’t have much of a temper, but when it flared, everyone knew it was best to leave him alone.

 

Denise had begun crying over the phone, which tore at John’s heart strings a little. “Then you won’t mind me bringing him by to see you since you’re home.” She remarked, already packing up Anthony’s things, desperately needing a break and some time alone. “I’m on my way.”

 

“Fine whatever, bring him by.”

 

John had snapped his cell phone shut and pressed it to his forehead, knowing this wasn’t going to go over well with Riley.  She didn’t even know he had a son and she would probably think he was just another man looking for excuses not to be a proper father.  His shoulders hunched over in defeat as he slid down the wall just outside Riley’s bedroom door, closing his eyes, trying to get his head to stop pounding.  Denise could be really pushy at times when it came to Anthony and John wanted to strangle her for it. 

 

Granted, he loved his son with everything inside of him, but he wasn’t about to give up his dream job either.  Denise knew what she’d gotten herself into when she married him and they had a kid together after the divorce was finalized.  She knew his job and how demanding it was, John had asked her repeatedly over the course of her pregnancy if she was ready to handle the little one alone most of the time because he couldn’t be there constantly for her.  Denise told him she understood, not to worry about anything and the child would know who their father was regardless if John was in the kid’s life or not.

 

Now John was at a crossroads because he knew Riley was still trying to recover from what Wade did to her.  Tossing the fact he had a kid at her wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but John didn’t have a choice anymore.  Denise was hell bent on making sure he spent time with Anthony, having made a phone call to her to let her know the child support check was on the way.  When Denise asked if he was home, John reluctantly told her the truth, knowing now he probably should’ve lied, which is something he rarely did.

 

John didn’t want to lose Riley, but knew he would have to tell her before Denise arrived with Anthony. “I have to do this.” He whispered, slowly standing up to face the door again, squaring his shoulders.  He slowly knocked on the door with his knuckles, taking a deep breath when he heard her sweet voice.

 

“Come in.”

 

Riley smiled at the sight of John, though it quickly vanished at the solemn look that came over his handsome face, anxiety immediately taking over. “What’s wrong?” She hesitantly asked, slowly standing up from the bed to walk over to him, frowning. 

 

A few hours ago, Riley heard him on the phone downstairs yelling, but most of it was muffled because of how big the house was.  She had no idea what could’ve upset him so deeply and knew he’d been out in his garage all morning tinkering with his car collection.  Something was wrong, the look in his blue eyes nearly broke her heart and Riley couldn’t help reaching up, caressing his face gently with the back of her hand.  Whatever it was, Riley hoped he would tell her because she owed him after everything he’d done for her.

 

“Buttercup, there’s something I need to tell you.” John knew there was no beating around the bush, not when it came to this raven haired beauty and gently guided her back to sit on the bed.  He remained standing, too agitated to sit at the moment.

 

“I figured as much considering I heard you yelling at someone downstairs earlier on the phone.” She commented, folding her arms in front of her chest, staring at him expectantly. “Who was it?”

 

“It was my ex-wife, Denise.” John said bluntly, gauging her reaction and was pleased when Riley didn’t immediately start freaking out. “That’s what I need to talk to you about.”

 

He’d been married before and Riley honestly wasn’t surprised because he was a great man.  Whoever gave him up was very stupid; though Riley couldn’t help feeling a little grateful the marriage didn’t last. “What is it?” She asked softly, remaining calm for the most part, unless he told her he was still married.  Then all bets were off, she would find a way to beat the hell out of him. “You can trust me, John.” She added, hoping that would’ve make him lose his nerve and took one of his hands in her own, squeezing it gently with soft jade eyes.

 

Slowly lowering himself to sit beside her, John never released her hand as their fingers entwined together, his eyes locking with hers. “I don’t want you to think I’m keeping anything from you because that’s not what I’m about.  Sometimes I can be brutally honest and people shun me for it, but that’s who I am.  That’s me, that’s how I roll.” He shook his head, trying not to talk hood because this wasn’t a joking matter. “Before I tell you what’s going on, I need to know something, buttercup.  Its aight if you don’t give me a straight answer because I know this might sound pushy.  I just…I need to know if there’s gonna be a future with us being together and I’ll understand completely if you don’t wanna be with me.  All I’m asking for is a chance because I really like you, Riley.” John was actually falling for her, but now was not the time to admit that. “Hell I’ll understand if you don’t ever wanna speak to me again after what I tell you, but I’m not gonna keep it secret.  I can’t.  You deserve honesty and I wanna give you that, I wanna give you everything you deserve.” He stopped and lowered his eyes, feeling her squeeze his hands again, trying to control the emotions stirring within him.

 

Riley’s heart went out to John because he already looked heartbroken, which in turn hurt her.  She reached up and lifted his chin, making their eyes meet once more, smiling softly. “Whatever it is, I won’t judge or ridicule you for it.” She promised, scooting closer to him. “I do want a future with you, John.  Now tell me what’s going on because before I keel over from suspense.”

 

John couldn’t help chuckling; Riley could always make him laugh and smile no matter what kind of mood he was in.  He also wasn’t sure if she’d still feel the same way once he told her about Anthony, knowing there was no turning back now.  It was do or die, John definitely was all about doing and took a deep breath to calm his suddenly racing heart.  His nerves were on edge, every part of his body tensed, waiting for Riley to turn a one eighty on him.

 

“I have a kid.” He blurted out, swallowing hard.

 

Jade eyes widened in shock as Riley stared at John like he’d grown a second head, blinking.  Did she just hear him right?  He had a child?  Millions of questions swirled around in her mind, but Riley couldn’t think straight.  She didn’t know what to ask him first, simply squeezing his hands, trying to digest this.

 

“H-How old is he?” She managed to ask in a stammer, staring into his anxious blue eyes.

 

 “He’s three, soon to be four.” John answered, trying to register the emotions in her eyes.

 

He felt his chest constrict at all the kindness and understanding that resided in them.  How did he get so lucky to find a woman like Riley?  She was everything he wanted and more, completely understanding no matter the circumstances.  When this ordeal with Wade ended, John knew they would indeed have a future and he would do absolutely anything to make sure she belonged to him completely.

 

“Do you have a picture of him?” She diffidently asked, chewing her bottom lip, wanting to see the little boy with her own eyes.

 

Grinning, John nodded and whipped his wallet out, opening it to reveal at least a dozen pictures of a beautiful little boy.  He had cropped dishwater blonde hair and deep ocean blue eyes that matched his father’s to perfection.  Most of the pictures had them both grinning like fools, they were truly the most adorable pictures Riley ever saw in her life, her heart already melting for the little guy.  She was already completely in love with John’s son and knew seeing the little boy in person would just intensify it.

 

“He’s adorable.” She stated, smiling tearfully. “What’s his name?”

 

“Anthony Felix Cena.” John announced proudly, puffing his chest out a little and smiled at the sounds of Riley’s giggles. “He’s my little man.  Denise wanted to name him after me, but I insisted he should have his own name, ya know.  So we agreed that he’d be named after my middle name, basically flipping it.  See, my middle name is Felix-Anthony, but I like Anthony Felix better personally.”

 

“So the phone call had to do with her wanting you to spend more time with him since you’re home, right?” Riley smiled when John blinked at her, giggling even harder.

 

“How did you know?” John was amazed she could read him so well, turning to fully face her.

 

Riley smirked and leaned over to softly brush her lips against his, sighing in contentment. “Because the look on your face when you walked in here said it all.  I went through the same ordeal with my sister, Mary.  Her ex-husband, Theodore, had sole custody of my nephew, Aaron.  Every time Aaron did something wrong, Theodore would call my sister complaining and demanding her to come pick the kid up before he strangled him.  After three years straight of dealing with those idle threats, my sister finally got tired of it and told the courts.  She was smart enough to record the conversations on her cell phone and then put them on a CD after transferring them to her computer.” Riley couldn’t help the light that entered her eyes at the thought of her brilliant older sister, continuing with the story. “Once the courts heard the conversations, they immediately granted her sole custody of Aaron and gave Theodore visitation rights, which he immediately brushed off.  You should’ve seen the look on his face when Mary handed them the copy of the CD.  He had a ‘what the fuck is that look’ and paled with each conversation that played in front of the entire courtroom.  Theodore ended up moving to Hawaii with some dumb blonde bimbo and he hasn’t spoken to Mary ever since.  He hasn’t seen Aaron in close to four years, but Mary prefers it that way, especially since she’s met a guy named Samuel and they’re very happy together.”

 

John listened in amazement and wished he could’ve been in that courtroom just so he could laugh and point at Theodore for being a dumbass. “You’re amazing you know that.” He stated once she finished, pulling her to straddle his lap, his arms wrapping around her waist.

 

“Why do you say that?”

 

Instead of answering her, John slid one large hand up her back to grab the back of her neck, pulling her against him as their lips met in a passionate heated kiss. “Because you just are.” He whispered once they parted, needing air to breathe. “You have the kindest, biggest heart, Riley.”

 

She smiled with tears in her eyes and kissed him softly, rubbing her nose against his. “So when is the little man arriving?” She asked, excited to meet him.

 

“This afternoon sometime.” John answered, knowing this definitely was going to be interesting considering he hadn’t seen Anthony in close to four months. “Denise wants a break and I don’t blame her.  Apparently the little man is more than she can handle.”

       

He smirked, knowing Anthony got his energy from his father and John could handle it with no problem.  Denise was a great mother, but she didn’t have a lot of patience and kids required a ton of it.  She’d actually hired a nanny to help take care of Anthony because Denise had a full time job as a lawyer and spent most of her time in the office away from home.  When the nanny grew fatally ill, Denise had no choice and moved her practice to her house temporarily, but working with a three almost four year old wasn’t working out.  That’s why she called John and demanded him to spend time with his son, basically telling him Anthony was his responsibility for a few months.

 

“I can’t wait to meet him.” Riley suddenly looked worried and John sensed it, asking her what was wrong. “You sure he’s not a problem to bring on the road with us once we go back?” Riley knew Stu wouldn’t soon forget what happened and he’d be out seeking revenge.

 

“Nope not at all.  We just have to be careful and watch out for those idiots.” John stated confidently, kissing her again in reassurance, knowing Nexus would use anything to their advantage.  The one good point in all of this was they had Justin to back them up, knowing he wouldn’t let anything serious happen to Riley unless it was under his radar, which happened frequently. “I’ll protect both of you with my life, Riley, so don’t worry about anything.”

 

She smiled up at him, trusting John with anything he said and nodded, kissing him for a few more lingering minutes. “I’m starving, come on I’ll start cooking so when the munchkin arrives he won’t have to wait to eat.”

 

John’s heart beat a little faster when Riley said that, immediately stopping her from walking out and passionately kissed her, pushing her right against the door.  Riley moaned, instantly wrapping her arms around his neck as he lifted her up, her legs wrapping around his waist, savoring the feeling of him pressed against her.  She was already falling in love with him and Riley knew that was treading on dangerous ground, but she couldn’t help it.  He was everything she wanted in a man, everything she wished Stu could’ve been, but the more time Riley spent with John, the more she hoped he was the one.

 

Chapter 13

 

Two weeks later, Riley sighed shakily as they walked into the TD Banknorth Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, clutching John’s hand tightly.  Apparently, Vince had removed the large stick from his ass and begged John to come back because of the plummeting ratings.  John thought it over, deciding he couldn’t allow Nexus to take away what he loved most: his career as a WWE Superstar.  Ever since he was little, all John every dreamed and thought about was becoming a wrestler, slowly working his way up by first becoming a body builder.  His physique was astonishing and the man had ridiculous strength.

 

They also knew Wade and the Nexus were lurking in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to strike.  John promised her everything would be fine and convinced Riley to come back on the road with him after some major persuading.  Riley was against it at first, but one look in his pleading blue eyes and she immediately caved, knowing she couldn’t deny him anything. 

 

Riley and Anthony hit it off as soon as they met, the little boy taken with her and the feeling was definitely mutual.  She loved how he tried saying certain words and called her Riey for short, which Riley adored.  It was pronounced Ri-E, leaving the L out, Riley not minding it a bit.  He loved her cooking and John was shocked at how well his son adapted to the new surroundings along with the new woman in his life.  So when John called Denise to ask if he could take Anthony on the road for a few months, Denise jumped at the chance and brought over a whole slew of clothes and toys for their son to take with him.

 

Jade eyes were peeled, constantly on alert in case any attempts were made by her ex-boyfriend.  John instructed her to stay close and Riley definitely wasn’t going to disobey, knowing it was for her own safety as well as Anthony’s.  Currently, Riley had a hold of Anthony’s hand and she couldn’t help smiling down at him, seeing the excitement in his blue eyes. 

 

She didn’t want anything happening to him and vowed to protect the little boy at all costs.  Over the past two weeks, Riley grew very protective of Anthony, her motherly instinct kicking in even though she wasn’t one technically.  When John glanced down at her with a smirk, Riley arched an eyebrow, having been gazing down at Anthony.

 

“What?”

 

“Nothing, it’s just your beauty.  It’s so eye catching.” John laughed when her cheeks tinged red, grinning.

 

“You’re so corny sometimes.” Riley remarked, shaking her head and kissed his lips softly. “I’ll meet you in your dressing room.  I’m gonna go get something to drink in the cafeteria.”

 

John frowned, immediately protesting her to do that. “Let me go with you…” He didn’t want her venturing off alone, but also knew Riley wanted to regain some of her independence, she’d been locked away for the past few months with John.

 

Riley pressed a finger to his soft red lips, shaking her head. “I’ll be fine, it’s just down the hall and I know you have to practice for your promo tonight.  Don’t worry about me, okay?  I’ll be right back.” She promised, sighing when Anthony refused to let go of her hand.  She lowered herself to be eye level with him, ruffling his hair and winked. “I’ll be right back, take care of daddy for me okay?”

 

Anthony nodded, still looking worried and felt her release his small hand.

 

Walking away from them, Riley wondered just what she was supposed to accomplish by leaving John’s side, sighing.  It was no way to live to hide behind him for the rest of her life; she would have to face Stu sooner or later.  The arena was packed with people so there was no way he’d be stupid enough to try something. 

 

At least Riley hoped anyway.

 

People waved at her as she passed by them and Riley knew what they were thinking, not daunting her too much.  Granted, she and John had been camped out together for close to two months, but that didn’t mean anything transpired.  She woke up in his bed morning after he surprised her with a picnic by the small lake a few miles from his house and it was perfect.  He hadn’t tried seducing her or anything, simply stealing sweet kisses and being completely patient with her. 

 

She was very surprised when John didn’t seem hurt by the fact she wanted her own room after sleeping together in the same bed.  It wasn’t that Riley didn’t want to take that next step with John, but she needed time to get over her heartbreak over Stu.  She’d given three good years to that man and couldn’t just forget it ever happened because that would be the same as saying those three years of her life didn’t exist.

 

John was a godsend and Riley wondered what she’d done in life to deserve such a patient, loving man to come to her rescue.  Granted, she wasn’t perfect, but Riley couldn’t recall doing anything that would construe her being a horrible person.  Hell in John’s eyes, Riley was flawless and she hated that he thought of her that way, but there was no changing the man’s mind.  For once in her life, Riley didn’t have to hide who she really was and enjoyed the freedom of saying what was on her mind, even though at times she still held back with John.

 

He gave her strength she never knew she possessed.

 

Riley entered the cafeteria a few minutes later, having been weaving in and out of crowds, knowing her away around practically every arena by now.  She’d been traveling with Stu for awhile after his insistence that they hadn’t spent enough time together.  It was all an act, he played her like a fool and she fell for it hook, line and sinker.  Never again would that happen, Riley vowed he wouldn’t touch her unless it was against her will, suddenly wishing she’d let John come with her.

 

‘Stop being paranoid.’ She mentally scolded, waving to another one of the Raw Divas, Melina, on her way inside to grab her much needed water.  Riley was parched after the long drive from the airport, though it was mostly because of insane traffic jams.

 

His cold dark eyes watched her from a corner of the cafeteria while she fought with the vending machine, a smirk tilting his already tightened lips.  So she had indeed returned with Cena, he always knew she wasn’t the brightest woman on earth.  Wade held a hand up when his sidekick, David, started moving toward her, knowing they had to bide their time and wait. 

 

He looked at the doorway, not seeing anyone was coming this way, knowing they were all down at Janet and Tiffany’s getting ready for the show.  When he was sure the coast was clear, he waved his hand at David, signaling for him to follow silently.  If David screwed this up, he would be out of Nexus in a heartbeat and Wade wouldn’t have any remorse for doing it, sneaking up behind the slag that cost him so much.

 

His control over John Cena being one of the many things she would pay dearly for.

 

In one swift movement, Wade pulled a lead pipe from behind his back and pressed his finger to his lips when David’s eyes widened.  He hadn’t told David the entire plan; only that he would be rewarded for helping him get revenge on Riley and Cena.  He’d stolen the pipe from one of the equipment trucks that was meant for stage setup and didn’t hesitate, knowing if she turned around and saw him she would scream. 

 

The sound of the pipe smashing against her skull reverberated off the walls of the cafeteria as her body slowly began crashing to the floor.  Wade didn’t waste another second and whipped out a cloth and bottle of chloroform, immediately covering her mouth with it.  He refused to take a chance that the lead pipe shot hadn’t been enough to knock her out, knowing how hard of a head this woman had.  The blow had already knocked her unconscious as Wade finally pulled the cloth away, tucking it in his back dress pant pocket, nodding at a bewildered David.

 

“What the bloody hell are you doing standing there?  Get her out of here and to the basement immediately!” Wade barked, snapping David out of his shocked daze, knowing they didn’t have any time to screw around.

 

Where she would be spending the rest of her days as long as Wade wanted.

 

David stared at Wade, wondering if he’d truly lost his mind, but wasn’t about to argue with his leader.  He bent down and lifted Riley’s unconscious body from the concrete floor without hesitation, carting her out of the cafeteria.  Wade had a sick and twisted mind, but David was going with it because he didn’t want to screw his career up, not to mention he wanted his reward.  Ever since he laid his eyes on Riley, her beauty captivated him and what happened between them nobody would ever find out.  He wasn’t worried about it, smirking as he headed down to the basement with Wade following suit.

 

“Set her down.” Wade ordered, having shut the door and knew nobody would hear her screams, smirking with sadistic intentions. “Grab those chains.”

 

David did as he was told and watched as Wade proceeded to chain Riley to the wall of the basement, licking his lips at this raven haired vixen. “Do I get my reward now, Wade?” He asked anxiously, rubbing his hands together, taking a step forward when he was stopped short.

 

Eyeballing him, Wade considered it, glancing back at Riley with a derisive snort, his eyes cold as ice. “Are you going to fuck her and then betray me?” He demanded somewhat angrily, remembering how he’d bought all of John’s lies, saying he wanted to watch Riley for him.

 

“No, I’ve wanted to feel her tight pussy around my cock since I first laid eyes on her.” David stated, not caring how that sounded as the hunger entered his own dark eyes, knowing she wouldn’t be able to fight him off. “I’m won’t fuck you over man.”

 

Wade eyed him even more and finally nodded, seeing David wasn’t stupid enough to screw with him. “Fine, but remember this is not just for sex.  She needs to be thoroughly punished for turning her back on me and Nexus.” He stated coldly, chuckling evilly when David advanced on the once love of his life.

 

“Oh don’t worry,” David paused as he removed his shirt, knowing Wade would leave during this or so he thought. “She will be punished.” He promised, tossing his clothes to the side, standing in just his thong, which Wade found somewhat disturbing.

 

Still, he wasn’t leaving, wanting to make sure David came through on his promise.

 

‘You brought this on yourself, Riley, remember that.’ Wade thought, watching as David hauled off, slapping her across the face to try waking her up.  It didn’t work, the blow to the head had caused her to slip into unconsciousness and Wade knew she wouldn’t wake up throughout the bout with David.

 

He was indeed a sick, demented man.

 

David wasn’t waiting; having been patient long enough and licked his lips at the blue jean skirt Riley wore, unsnapping it before roughly yanking it down her legs.  His smack to her face already left a nasty handprint shaped bruise, which David admired, smirking when he actually split her lip open.  A small trickle of blood slid down her chin and he swiped his tongue to lick it while ripping her cotton panties from her body, tossing them over his shoulder. 

 

David knew Wade wasn’t leaving when he remained standing there still and mentally cursed, hoping he didn’t regret doing this.  If Wade punished him for this, he was going to make the man’s life a living hell and gripped her hips, wrapping her limp legs around his waist.  Her head hang loosely and the only way David could tell if she was even alive was the fact her chest rose and fell evenly as he snapped his hips forward, driving himself to the brink inside of her.

 

“Fuck!” He grunted out, nearly losing it by how tight she was. “Goddamn she’s tight!”

 

Wade nodded with absolutely no expression, his face hard as stone. “Yes she is, continue on.” He ordered evenly, watching as David drove in and out of her limp body, smirking because Riley couldn’t do anything about it.

 

When he finally had her again, she would be fully awake and feel every amount of pain he could muster.  Right now, Riley was getting an easy punishment, even though it wasn’t even close to being completed.  He would probably end up killing her, but then again, what fun would that be?  Death was an easy way out and Wade wasn’t going to allow that to happen unless he completely broke her.

 

“That’s it, make her suffer.” He growled, already feeling himself harden in his pants by the way David yanked back on her hair to bite her neck viciously, drawing blood.

 

David had finally removed her shirt and bra, tearing both of them off and Wade watched as her body was completely ravaged by another man.  Grunting, David’s thrusts became harder and faster, nearly splitting her body in two, making the chains rattle that were clasped around her wrists and ankles.  He was leaving some kind of mark on her and figured biting her neck was the best way to go, groaning because he knew the end was near. 

 

Her walls began contracting violently around him, knowing he probably made her bleed and that just fueled his desire for her more.  He wanted to cause her insurmountable pain and couldn’t believe the stupid whore wouldn’t wake up, knowing there was no way she could fake sleeping with how hard he was screwing her.  It would come in time, David had to be patient, but at least he got a taste of what she was like, honestly not blaming Wade for keeping her around.  Her pussy was nice and tight, just the way he liked it, though he knew Wade wouldn’t share her for long so David took every opportunity that was presented to him.

 

“Nice job.” Wade stated as soon as David released and pulled out of Riley, watching her body hang loosely there, ignoring the blood running down her thighs. “Well done, now leave so I can reconcile with her.”

 

“Thanks, I’ll leave you to her.”

 

David nodded and tossed the condom away he’d slipped on right before beginning his assault on Riley, breathing heavily.  He began dressing while Wade slowly walked over to her, wondering what he was going to do.  The man just stood there and watched him rape a woman; Wade was capable of absolutely anything.  Wade clapped his hands on David’s back as the man passed by him, nodding with a slight smile, respecting and admiring how David broke her in.

 

“Go upstairs and wait for me.” Wade instructed, already unbuttoning his shirt and rolling up the sleeves, acting as if everything was perfectly fine. “Distract Cena, but whatever you do, do NOT look suspicious or even act like it about Riley’s disappearance.” He knew John was already searching for Riley, pinching the bridge of his nose.

 

“I know exactly what to do.” David left without further lingering, the door closing behind him as another sound of flesh smacking against flesh echoed.

 

Now all Wade had to do was wait patiently for his beloved to wake up to her never-ending nightmare.

 

Chapter 14

 

A few hours later, a soft groan escaped Riley as she tried opening her eyes, immediately regretting that as a shot of pain zipped through her forehead.  Tears instantly stung her eyes; the pain was too strong for her not to cry as they began slipping down her cheeks in two rapid streams.  It was excruciating and Riley was sure her head was going to explode any second, swallowing incredibly hard, not even realizing she had dried blood on her mouth.  Something wasn’t right, Riley went to move her arm and felt her chest tighten when she moved her head, opening her eyes just a little and noticed her wrist was in a huge massive steel cuff.  She slowly moved her head to look at her other wrist, seeing the same thing and let her head drop as the tears poured harder.

 

“John…”

 

“Isn’t here.” That cold voice stated from the shadows, causing Riley to instantly begin trembling from head to toe, breathing quickening. “Wake up love.” He said it so sincerely that Riley almost believed he actually had a heart. “Open those beautiful eyes for me.”

 

As soon as she did, Wade punched her right in the face, watching her head snap to the side as a stream of blood spilled out of her mouth, forcing her to cry out in pain.  He loved watching her torment and relished in the fact she was completely defenseless, not able to fight him off like all the other times.  It would be kind of sad really, he enjoyed a good fight and knew Riley could give it to him unlike any other.  She had that kind of fire inside that he slowly wanted to extinguish, hoping she realized she would never lay eyes on John Cena again.

 

Riley coughed and spit out more blood, her head moving to hang in front of her again, raven locks haphazardly all around her.  She felt dazed from that blow and slowly pried her eyes open, the pain even worse because of the lighting in the basement, even though it was dim.  She knew exactly who had her and Riley had nobody to blame but herself, knowing she was in this predicament because she left John’s side.  Wishing she hadn’t, Riley knew it was too late when Wade punched her again, this time in the stomach, causing her to nearly vomit.  That made her momentarily forget about her face swelling up, hoping he didn’t jostle any teeth.

 

“What’s the matter, love?  Not in the mood to fight me back?” Wade taunted with a sadistic laugh, enjoying how much pain she was in because it was nothing compared to what she’d put him through. “Come on Riley, show me just a little of that fire.

 

Riley could barely register where she was, but heard what Wade said, immediately lifting her head with some inner strength she didn’t even know she had, spitting blood right in his face. “Fuck you.” She whispered, knowing exactly what he wanted and she wasn’t going to give it to him.

 

“That’s lovely.” Wade wiped the blood from his face and punched her again in the stomach, her cries of anguish fueling his already raging craving for her. “Again!”

 

“FUCK YOU!!” She screamed and that followed with another blow to the stomach, causing her knees to buckle this time. “Stop it, Stu.”

 

“SHUT UP, YOU FILTHY SLAG!!” Wade roared, grabbing her by her hair roughly and pulled her against him as far as the chains would let her. “Shut your mouth right now or I’ll be forced to use this!” He pulled thick black tape and smirked when she began trembling.

 

“Why are you doing this to me?” She could only whisper, biting back another cry of pain when he yanked on her hair more. “What’s happened to you?  Where’s the man I used to love?” All Riley wanted was some answers, ignoring the throbbing pain searing through her stomach.  When he released her hair, Riley began sobbing violently, shivering from the cold damp basement that surrounded her naked form.

 

Wade snorted and raised a slow eyebrow, deciding if he should answer her or not. “Don’t ask questions either!” He ordered, gripping her bruised chin in his strong hand, forcing broken jade to meet his dark orbs. “You’re mine Riley and the sooner you realize that, the better off you will be.” He spat angrily, swinging the ring of tape around his finger tauntingly, knowing he would have to use it so she wouldn’t try screaming for help.

 

Not that it would do any good.

 

He decided he wouldn’t have his way with her at that moment, knowing he had to keep up appearances above, smirking wickedly.  The first part of his master plan had gone flawlessly and Wade couldn’t wait to put phase two into action.  Riley was back where she belonged and he was going to make sure she never left his side again unless it was over his dead body.  As if anyone could take him out, the thought made him chuckle sardonically.  Once they were back at the hotel, however, he was going to take his time thoroughly punishing her for leaving and betraying him.

 

“Stu…”

 

“Keep your mouth shut.” He ordered, wondering what was so hard about following instructions.  The sound of tape stretching echoed throughout the basement and Riley could barely get out a scream before he shoved a piece of tape over her mouth, causing more tears to fall.  He smirked and snaked his tongue out, running it up her cheek to lick some of her salty tears away, groaning from low in his throat. “Delicious.” He purred and grabbed her cheeks, dark eyes flashing. “I will return shortly and then the real fun will begin, love.” Wade promised and stepped away from her to head up the stairs, squaring his shoulders, licking his lips. ‘She belongs to me now, Cena.  Now it’s time to make you suffer for what you did.’ He thought, the door slamming shut and locking signaling to Riley she wouldn’t be escaping anytime soon.

 

~!~

 

Anthony looked around his father’s dressing room, his wide blue eyes taking everything in, and waited for Riley to come back.  He already missed her and frowned, little eyebrows scrunched up in frustration.  She was nice to him and, even for a three almost four year old; Anthony could tell his father thought the same thing.  He walked over to where his father sat and yanked on his jean shorts, gaining John’s attention.

 

“Daddy, Riey?” Anthony asked, looking back at the door, wondering where she was. “Riey.”

 

John frowned, having wondered where Riley was himself, knowing it didn’t take that long to go get something to drink in the cafeteria.  Why didn’t he force himself to go with her?  He was out of his mind to let her wander off by herself, especially since he knew the Nexus, more important Wade Barrett, was in the building.  Still, he trusted her judgment and didn’t want to smother her, knowing Riley wanted to regain some of her independence, not blaming her a bit.

 

“I don’t know bud, but she’ll be back soon okay?” John rubbed his temples when Anthony extended his arms, wanting to sit on the couch with him. “She went to get something to drink.”

 

A knock sounded at the door as John and Anthony’s heads both snapped up, looking at each other simultaneously, wondering who it was.  Normally, John would’ve just called out a ‘come in’, but due to recent events, he wasn’t taking any chances.  He set Anthony on the couch, telling Anthony to stay put and headed over to the door, slowly opening it.  He was immediately ready to fight at the sight of Wade and David from Nexus, blue eyes narrowed to slits, cracking his knuckles.  Ready to defend his son with his life, John stood in the doorway, refusing to let them walk inside because he didn’t want them seeing he’d brought his on the road, not if he could prevent it.  John raised a slow eyebrow when Wade smiled and extended his hand, his eyes never leaving Wade’s for a second because he knew how slick he was.

 

“Good evening Cena.” Wade greeted politely, not making any moves to attack him, even though he really wanted to.

 

“What’s the catch?” John shot back, not trusting Wade because he knew how the man operated, flat out refusing to shake his hand. 

 

He’d put Riley through complete hell, he wanted to punch Wade right in his fat nose and break it.  Too bad he hadn’t broken his back with that Attitude Adjustment when Cena defected from the Nexus, breaking script.  Next time they were in the ring together, he would be sure to rectify that and make sure he ended Wade’s career for good.

 

“There is no catch, Cena.” Wade still had that same smile on his face, chuckling. “We just wanted to say how sorry we were for treating Riley as we did.  She didn’t deserve any of it.  We just wanted to come by and apologize to her if it’s alright.” He explained, hoping David didn’t screw this up as he glanced over at his fellow Nexus member. “Isn’t that right, David?”

 

David nodded, too busy thinking about what he’d done to Riley earlier, but managed to keep a straight face. “It was wrong; no lady should ever be treated that way.” He lied, surprising Wade by how smooth it came out, and both looked inside the room not seeing her anywhere.

 

“She’s not here.” John wasn’t sure if that was smart telling them, folding his massive arms in front of his chest. “But she’ll be back soon.  She went to get something to drink and hasn’t come back yet.” His nostrils flared, blue eyes turning to pure ice as he stared at both men skeptically. “Have you two seen her?”

 

Wade shook his head, not doing it too fast or that would raise John’s red flags even more. “No, we just arrived not long ago.” He lied, looking somewhat concerned even though it didn’t reach his eyes. “I do hope she’s alright.  Did she tell you she was going anywhere else?” He asked, playing the concerned part to perfection, knowing he was probably knocking John for a loop.

 

“Daddy, Riey?” John cringed when Anthony once again asked him where Riley was, wishing she would walk through that door so he knew she was safe.

 

“She’s off somewhere kid, she’ll be back soon.” David quickly said, winking down at the little take that looked the spitting image of John, wondering when the man had the squirt.

 

“I’m sure she’s just off seeing some old friends.” Wade insisted, stepping inside the room since he had John’s attention on his son for the moment. “She was great friends with a few of the Divas on the roster.  Anyway, that’s not the only reason why I’m here, John.” He waited for John to stand up after setting Anthony back on the couch, those apprehensive blue eyes staring into his.

 

“What’s up?” John knew this was about the angle and rubbed the back of his neck tiredly.

 

“It’s an offer I would like to extend to you, since after all, I am a gentleman.” Wade bowed almost mockingly, knowing at that precise moment while John wondered where Riley was, she was chained below them in the basement completely naked. “We want you back with Nexus, John.  You were a great member to our team and you know as well as I do that together we were unstoppable.  You know you miss wrestling and dominating the entire roster alongside Nexus.  We make better allies than enemies, John; even you have to see that.” Wade made several valid points and hoped John just went along with it, knowing the man wasn’t the brightest man on the planet.

 

John couldn’t help the longing that filled his body, having missed being in the small ring and he also longed to become the world champion again. “I don’t have a choice, Wade, considering the writers are keeping me with you guys no matter what.” John informed them somewhat bitterly, wanting to destroy Vince for forcing him back into Nexus. “Apparently, me being Nexus’s bitch have made ratings soar and Vince wants to keep it that way.” He snorted, glancing back at his son before his eyes locked on Wade again. “Riley won’t like it when I tell her, but I can’t do anything about it.  So you don’t need to extend an invitation to me because of the boss.” He ran a hand down his face in frustration, wondering where Riley was at and hoped she was alright, knowing Wade would be with her if he was the culprit.

 

Anthony eyeballed the two large men with his father and frowned, definitely getting a bad vibe from both of them.  Something definitely wasn’t right; he could feel it pulsating through his tiny body, slowly slipping off of the couch.  While the men talked, which Anthony didn’t understand any of it, he knew something was wrong and hauled off, kicking the smaller man right in the shin.  For a small boy, Anthony was very smart and could smell a rat anywhere.  Something told him they knew where Riley was as he kicked him again, scowling.

 

“Hey!  You little brat don’t kick me!” David groaned, holding his shin, growling. “John man, keep your kid on a goddamn leash!”

 

Wade raised an eyebrow down at the little guy, wondering if he could sense something wasn’t right with this, immediately brushing that away.  He was a child, children didn’t know anything. “John, that’s very unprofessional of you not to handle your child properly.” He stated, folding his arms in front of his chest and ignored David’s whining about his shin.

 

“WHERE’S RIEY??  I WANT RIEY NOW!!” Anthony shouted, feeling his father pull him away from David when he went to kick him again.

 

“Anthony, stop it now!” John ordered, fed up with these two jackasses telling him how to raise his son, glaring angrily at them.  He was growing more worried with each second that passed by and Riley hadn’t returned yet. “Anthony, don’t kick people it’s not nice, aight?”

 

“Riey…” Anthony whimpered, tears stinging his eyes and looked up at his father, wishing he understood why he kicked that mean man. “Where Riey, daddy?”

 

‘The kid knows.’ David thought, seeing how distraught he was and glanced at Wade, knowing they had to leave before the kid got anymore suspicions.  He didn’t know how the squirt knew, but he did and that didn’t bode well for his and Wade’s master plan.

 

“We’ll go out there and search for her if she’s not back in an hour, okay?” John tried soothing his son and putting his mind at ease as he began crying softly, breaking his heart.  He had no idea where to start looking for her, which frustrated John even more than he already was. “Are you sure you haven’t seen her?” If Wade knew where Riley was, he wouldn’t tell him anyway, but he also wouldn’t be here talking to him either.

 

“I told you, John, I haven’t seen her since the last time we were all together.” Wade stated, wondering if the man would be stupid enough to accuse him of kidnapping when there was no proof. “I just want to apologize to her for everything I’ve done.  I’ve decided to go to therapy for my anger issues because I know I’m not perfect.  She deserves someone better than me…someone like you.” That left a bad taste in Wade’s mouth, but he somehow managed to say it with a straight face.

 

“I haven’t seen her either ever since you betrayed us in the ring and jumped script.” David piped in, immediately regretting saying that when Wade shot him a deadly glare, swallowing hard. “That’s all behind us now though, time to be a team again.”

 

If he didn’t shut up, Wade was going to maim him once they were alone again.

 

“She wouldn’t just run off without saying a word.” John grunted, more to himself than Wade and David, wondering what the hell was going on. “Would she?”

 

Wade shrugged, holding his hands up. “I honestly don’t know, John.  Riley is capable of anything, maybe she just decided to return home?” He suggested, watching the anguish fill his eyes and bit back a wicked smirk, clapping John on the back. “Don’t worry, we’ll find her, I’ll help if you want.”

 

After countless hours of searching, John finally gave up and took a sobbing Anthony back to the hotel, not knowing what happened to Riley.  Wade had even helped look for her, which wasn’t something the man would normally do given his past with Riley.  He couldn’t have taken her, even though John wanted to believe he had because then he would find Riley. 

 

Still, something wasn’t right as he drove off in the opposite direction of Wade, both of them parting ways.  Wade had already instructed David to put Riley in the trunk of his car, after wrapping her up in a thick coat, refusing to let her get sick on him.  John had no idea she was in the trunk, completely knocked out with her mouth taped shut so she couldn’t scream if she did wake up.

 

There would plenty screaming for her to do later on once they arrived at the hotel.

 

Chapter 15

 

For the next three months, Wade and David kept Riley hostage, chaining her up in the basement of every arena they performed in.  Even at house shows, they would sneak her in before anyone else got there, including the ring crew, and leave her there until they left at night.  They kept her fed, though Riley couldn’t even eat anymore, slowly starving herself to death. 

 

She’d rather be dead than be Wade’s toy that he could rape and beat whenever he wanted.  When Wade tried forcing her to eat, Riley simply shoved the food to the floor and he would end up forcing her to eat it where it landed.  Slowly but surely, he was breaking her and Riley didn’t even cry anymore, having done it so much that her ducts were completely dry.

 

What made it even worse was the fact Wade would let David have his way with her, along with a few of the other Nexus members, except Justin and Joseph.  For some reason, Wade didn’t trust them to know about his abduction of Riley, bringing the rest of the members down one by one to the basement that he did trust.  He had this sinking feeling that if he told the other two about Riley, he would end up losing his toy and that simply couldn’t happen. 

 

Whenever footsteps sounded, Riley knew what was coming and finally stopped fighting, just hanging there limp while Nexus had their way with her body.  She was covered head to toe with bruises, Wade refusing to cut her because bruises would heal and go away; he didn’t want her all scarred up.  He made sure the other members didn’t do it either and if they did, Wade would make sure they were kicked out of Nexus for good.

 

At the very least, they all wore condoms so Riley had a slim to none chance of getting pregnant by them.

 

It was a nonstop rape rampage and Riley knew her body was slowly giving out on her, not able to take much more abuse.  She knew Wade didn’t care and wasn’t about to tell him, hoping one day the darkness would swallow her whole completely and she’d never wake up to this vicious torture again.  Riley missed John, but came to the realization after the first month she’d been forced to endure Nexus that he wasn’t coming for her.

 

Hell, he didn’t even know where she was.

 

Tonight would be different however.

 

They were currently in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and Riley was once again chained up in the basement, hanging limply with her naked battered form.  David had once again snuck down without Wade knowing and told her to be a good little bitch and keep this between them or he would snap her in half.  Riley was used to the threats and didn’t acknowledge him, feeling sick to her stomach when he began kissing down her neck, fondling her breast while slipping his other hand down to lube her up. 

 

David was slick, she’d give him that much credit; though Riley hoped one night Wade would come down there and catch David in the act of violating her without his consent.  She was HIS after all and the guys could only have their fill whenever he gave the green light.  Loving how she didn’t fight him off anymore, David began his assault on her body in the dim lighting, not caring if she was covered in bruises and proceeded to take her from behind, wanting to loosen her tight pussy a little more.

 

It didn’t last long, much to Riley’s relief and David pulled out of her, cursing about her pussy being too tight for him.  She simply hung there with her head down again and wasn’t surprised when he’d slapped her across the face, cutting her cheek.  He stormed up the stairs, promising he’d return for another bout later on, the door shutting echoing back at her moments later.  David wasn’t one to follow instructions and Riley knew when Wade saw her cheek split open, he was going to demand how it happened.

 

She would gladly tell him.

 

Footsteps echoed back at her not even five minutes after David had left, causing her to cringe, wishing there was some way she could escape.  David was probably already ready for round two of that night and Riley wasn’t sure if she could perform, snorting at the thought.  Her performing meant hanging there limply while different men violated her body, if she could even call it hers anymore.  It didn’t matter how many times she screamed no, they didn’t listen and took what they wanted, leaving her a broken mess afterwards.

 

Riley’s heart nearly stopped when she heard a familiar voice.

 

“Riey?”

 

For the first time in a month, Riley could feel tears sting her eyes and felt them slide down her cheeks, her knees buckling somewhat. “Anthony?” She managed to cough out, her throat incredibly dry, hearing his small footsteps coming toward her.  Riley managed to open her eyes and saw the little white and black sneakers on his feet, causing her to cry harder.

 

Anthony had been walking with his father down the arena hallway when they stopped, his dad talking to someone.  He decided to wander off since he was bored without his dad realizing it, looking around the arena.  The sounds of something rattling caught his attention and Anthony saw a small door ajar further down about twenty feet or so.  He wanted to explore and looked back at his dad before deciding it wouldn’t hurt, his curiosity peaked. 

 

He was maybe ten feet to the door when it suddenly swung open, causing him to immediately hide behind one of the huge equipment trunks, hearing the man saying naughty words.  Anthony could hear that rattling again and waited to make sure the coast was clear before heading toward the door, putting his finger in his mouth.  His dad would be very mad at him, but Anthony had to find out what that rattling was as he slowly pushed open the door and slowly crawled down the stairs.  When he arrived at the bottom and saw the raven hair, Anthony knew exactly who it was, his little heart pounding.

 

The little boy reached his hands up and parted her black hair, gasping at the sight of Riley staring back at him. “Riey!” He couldn’t believe he’d found her and frowned, seeing the tears mixed with red stuff on her face. “Riey no cry.”

 

This was her only chance and Riley had to hope this little three year old boy would be able to do what she said, swallowing hard. “Anthony, I need you to do something for me.  Can you go get your dad?  Go find your dad…bring him here.  Can you do that for me, pumpkin?” She asked in a hoarse voice, trying not to let the hope consume her body, but Anthony had found her.

 

He was going to save her from this hell.

 

“Daddy, go get daddy.  I be back, don’t weave.” Anthony ordered in his small stern voice, causing Riley to smile, which felt foreign to her.

 

“I won’t, go get him please.” She whispered, knowing they didn’t have much time because Wade would be down to see her soon. ‘Please hurry little man, please…’ She silently prayed and closed her eyes as more tears fell, splattering on the concrete floor.

 

Anthony ran as fast as his feet could carry him, his big blue eyes widened, not believing he found Riley.  He rounded the corner and slammed right into his father’s leg, John looking down with his own eyes wide.  Tears had coated the little boy’s face and Anthony hadn’t even realized he’d been crying, yanking frantically on his father’s jean shorts.

 

“Daddy, daddy, I did it!”

 

“Where the hell have you been, little man?” John had been looking all over for him, having been talking to Justin about their upcoming tag team match that night, when his son had wandered off. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”

 

Anthony squirmed in his father’s arms, trying to break free, breathing heavily from running. “Daddy, I did it!  Come see!  Down, come see!”

 

“See what?” John was confused and knew he really didn’t have time for this, but the frantic look in his son’s eyes made him listen. “Anthony, what’s going on bud?”

 

“Come see, gotta come see!” He kept repeating and John reluctantly released his son, blinking when he jumped down and grabbed John’s hand. “Need to show you!”

 

John reluctantly went with his son as Anthony pulled him down the hallway, though John finally lifted him up so they could make it the destination faster. “Tell me where to go.” He stated, causing Anthony to nod, pointing in the direction of where Riley was.

 

“Stop.” Anthony ordered when he found the familiar door, nodding and squirmed out of his arms again.  He yanked on John’s shorts again, causing his father to bend down to be eye level with him. “It’s Riey.” He whispered, pointing at the door with tears building in his eyes. “She down.  Down, it’s Riey daddy, I did it.”

 

John felt his heart beat instantly pick up a notch, staring at his son with bewildered eyes and swallowed hard.  Riley was here?  He thought she ran away back home months ago and she was suddenly here?  John stood there in disbelief and watched as his son walked over, trying to pull the handle on the door that lead to where he could only assume was the basement of the arena.

 

“Move Anthony.” He ordered and yanked the huge door open, Anthony walking between his legs as he began descending the stairs again. “Be careful, little man!”

 

“Riey, Riey, Riey…” Anthony kept mumbling with determination, slipping down the stairs one by one with John watching over him, loving how his son wanted to do things on his own.

 

Riley’s head snapped up as soon as she heard John’s voice, closing her eyes as the relief flooded through every part of her body.  Anthony actually did it, he found his father and John was going to finally find her. “John…” She tried to yell out, but it was a mere whisper, rattling the chains with as much strength as she could muster up. “John!” She tried again in a raspy voice, coughing.

 

Stopping at the sound of rattling chains, John rushed past his son and stopped dead in his tracks, feeling as though his heart might explode at the sight before him.  There she was, chained up, brutalized and completely naked, not one stitch of clothing on her.  Tears instantly swelled in his blue eyes as John hesitantly walked toward her, shaking from head to toe, gritting his teeth angrily.  He was going to murder whoever did this to her!  After three months of searching, John couldn’t believe his son had been the one to find Riley, knowing he had to stay strong.

 

“Buttercup?”

 

“John…” She whimpered and began crying her heart out, feeling his arms instantly wrap around her, wishing she could mold herself against him forever. “John…”

 

“I’m here buttercup, I’m here now.” John looked around frantically for something to break the chains off of her, knowing she had to be in some serious pain.  He had to get her medical attention immediately, but the first step was getting her out of the arena.  Screw his match, Riley was more important. “Fuck, how do I get these off Riley?” He demanded, raking a hand through his short brown hair.

 

“Corner.” She whispered, groaning when her throat burned and he hadn’t heard her. “Corner!” She repeated, this time more forcefully, managing to point with just her finger over to where the key was kept.

 

Nodding, John rushed over to the corner and saw the small key dangling by a black cord, ripping it off the pipe it hung on. “Anthony, stay back.” He ordered when the little boy went toward Riley, knowing now wasn’t the time for a reunion. “Goddamn what the hell happened to you?” He demanded, more to himself than her as he unlocked the cuffs from her wrists and ankles, her body instantly slumping against him.  Riley didn’t have the strength to walk on her own and coughed as blood slowly coated her lips, John lifting her up in his strong arms. “Never mind, we’ll talk about it later, I need to get you to a hospital.” He was frantic at her condition and knew Riley must’ve had serious internal injuries, blood coming from her mouth not a good sign. “I got you buttercup, I got you.” John had to cover her up and suddenly set her down gently to pull his shirt off, pulling it over her head before lifting her up again, knowing it would cover all of the vital parts.

 

“Stu…Nexus…did this…” She managed to rasp out weakly, slowly losing consciousness in his arms, knowing she would be safe now. “Justin…call…Justin…” That was the last thing she said as the darkness swallowed her whole, welcoming it because her body was wracked with insurmountable pain.

 

Not able to lose his temper right now, John quickly vacated the basement with Anthony in tow, knowing Wade had lied to him about everything.  He’d been the one who took Riley and John should’ve known, blaming himself for what happened to her.  He never should’ve let her go to the cafeteria by herself and the fact Wade had come to his dressing room wanting to apologize to Riley…Was John really that stupid and trusting?  He would deal with every single one of those bastards, except Justin, on his own time, but right now Riley needed medical attention before she went into the white light.

 

“GET OUTTA MY WAY!” He roared at the top of his lungs, making every single WWE Superstar stop in their tracks as John raced down the hallway toward the exit with Riley in his arms. 

 

Anthony kept up as much as he could, John making sure not to leave his son behind while trying frantically to get Riley to the hospital.  He strapped Anthony in his car seat and laid Riley in the back before speeding out of there, letting cuss words rip out of his mouth.  John broke speed limits as he raced to the nearest hospital, which was ten minutes away from the arena, seeing Riley completely still in the backseat, her chest slowly rising and falling being the only indication she was still alive.

 

“Hang in there, don’t you dare die on me, Riley.” He ordered, punching the gas pedal even more.

 

“Daddy, Riey hurt.” Anthony whimpered, trying to reach back for her and John took his hand instead, not wanting him to have blood on his tiny hands.

 

John nodded at his son, swallowing hard and hoped he hadn’t been too late. “She’ll be okay, little man.” He couldn’t think the worse right now until the doctor came and told him what was going on, squealing his tires to a halt outside of the emergency room doors.  They could tow his vehicle if they wanted, but John had to get Riley inside, knowing she was out of time.

 

The doctors immediately got a stretcher for the battered woman, keeping John back while he tried consoling his son, who started crying about wanting to go with Riley.  He held Anthony close while he filled out some paperwork for Riley and then was instructed to wait in the ER waiting room, Anthony still crying.  All he could do was hold his son, rocking him back and forth, praying that they weren’t too late in finding her.

 

Chapter 16

 

Eight grueling hours later, a doctor in blue scrubs walked out into the waiting room, her brown hair pulled back in a tight bun with a scrub cap tied on her head. “Family of Riley Jade Morris?” The doctor announced, causing John’s head to snap up and stood up, gently setting Anthony down, who had cried himself to sleep in his father’s arms.

 

“I’m her boyfriend.” It came out so smoothly, even though John knew they hadn’t made anything official yet, swallowing hard. “Please, just tell me she’s alive…” He pleaded, not able to take it if Riley died because he hadn’t been able to protect her.

 

Sighing, the doctor took the scrub cap off, knowing this wasn’t going to be easy for the gentleman to hear. “I’m Doctor Adams and I’ve been treating Riley since she was brought to me.  It’s not good right now.  She’s in critical condition…” The woman trailed off, not knowing the man’s name.

 

“John.  John Cena.”

 

“Mr. Cena, we’re doing everything we can to help her.” The doctor assured him, her soft brown eyes letting him know it was the truth, still looking stricken by her current patient. “The next forty-eight hours are going to be extremely touch and go, but you’ll be kept updated.”

 

John’s face fell, his heart plummeting to his stomach, not knowing why he was so surprised considering the condition he found Riley in at the arena. “How serious are the injuries?” John stopped her before the doctor could walk away, grabbing her arm gently, his blue pleading with her to tell him everything she knew.

 

“Whoever did this was out to slowly torture her.” The doctor wasn’t supposed to say this, but she could tell just by the extensive list of injuries her patient had that it couldn’t be construed as anything less. “Riley has multiple rips in her vaginal tissue from being raped repeatedly along with extensive internal injuries.  She was bleeding out internally and it looks as though she was struck several times in the abdomen.  We had to perform emergency surgery on her to remove one of her kidneys because of the damage along with reconstructive eye surgery due to a cracked retina.  Also, she was hit in the back of the head with a foreign object that we can’t pinpoint, which caused her brain to hemorrhage so we had to perform brain surgery as well to stop the swelling.  Very surprisingly, there was no brain damage from the blow and her brain has calmed down, which means the swelling has gone down so there’s a chance she could make a full recovery.  She’s very lucky to be alive, but being strong and young, the odds are in her favor.”

 

John had to learn how to breathe again, not believing everything that happened to Riley, feeling his blood boiling with rage. “When can I see her?” He asked, running a hand through his hair and tried keeping what little food he had in his system down so he didn’t hurl all over the waiting lobby. “Please, I have to see her, doc.”

 

Doctor Adams hesitated, but one pleading look from the man’s blue eyes and she caved, wanting what was best for her patient. “Alright, but you need to prepare yourself because she doesn’t look well.  She had tubes in her nose, IV’s in her arms to keep her hydrated and her head is wrapped pretty heavily along with her face.  She’s currently in a coma because her body is healing from the attack she sustained and we don’t know how she’ll progress until she wakes up.”

 

Nodding, John completely understood, just wanting to be beside Riley in case she did wake up. “I just want to see her.” He whispered, not trusting his voice at the moment for fear of it breaking.

 

When Doctor Adams noticed John wasn’t alone and had a little boy, she immediately stopped him from going toward Riley’s room. “Are you sure you want to bring him in there?  It’s pretty intense, Mr. Cena.” She warned, knowing it wouldn’t be in the child’s best interest or her patient’s for the little boy to see Riley like this.

 

“Where else can I put him?” John asked in confusion, seeing Anthony had stayed asleep, which was good.

 

“There’s a twenty-four hour nursery in the hospital you can put him in while you visit with her.” Doctor Adams pointed in the direction John would need to go, frowning. “I suggest you not bringing him in to see her until she’s healed somewhat.”

 

Nodding reluctantly, John headed in that direction, thanking her for everything and headed toward the nursery. “Riey…” Anthony mumbled against his father’s chest, beginning to stir. “Daddy, Riey?”

 

John’s heart wrenched with pain at hearing his son’s pleas for Riley, hoping she would be alright, for both of their sakes. “You will, but not right now little man.” He said, wanting to ease Anthony’s mind so the little boy wouldn’t get upset again. “She’s very sick and needs time to feel better.”

 

“I wove Riey.” Anthony murmured, looking around when his father stopped walking, frowning a little.

 

“I know little man, I love her too.” John hadn’t admitted it to Riley and felt terrible that he hadn’t the last time they were together. “I’ll tell her, but you need to stay here so I can go check on her, okay?” He set Anthony down, knowing he would probably fall back asleep from sheer exhaustion.

 

A young woman with soft blue eyes and black hair walked up in her pink scrubs, smiling. “We’ll take care of him.” She assured him, watching as the man stared back at his son, who was already curling up in a bed.

 

“Thanks.” John lowered his eyes to her nametag, seeing the name Mindy on it, before heading out to go see Riley.

 

Before John could fully make it to Riley’s room, he was stopped by the sight of Justin barreling through the waiting room, looking frantic.  John’s eyes narrowed and felt his fists clench at his sides, wanting to tear into him for not protecting Riley.  Had Justin known what Wade and the rest of Nexus were doing to her and, more importantly, did Justin join in the sick festivities?  John didn’t care and saw complete red, stalking toward Justin, gritting his teeth.

 

“Please I need to see her.  Her name is Riley Jade Morris!” Justin sounded frenetic, staring at the nurse with worried eyes, hitting the desk when she didn’t type fast enough. “She was brought in here by John Cena!  I need to see her!”

 

“Why?”

 

Justin turned around, hearing John’s voice and immediately walked over to him, breathing heavily. “Where’s Riley?  Is she alright?” He demanded, beginning to back up when John glared at him, his eyes widening. “Whoa wait a minute, you don’t think I actually had something to DO with what they did, do you?!  Riley is my best friend!”

 

“Did you know?” The tone of John’s voice clearly told Justin that if he was smart, he would answer the question without hesitation.

 

“FUCK NO!” Justin exploded, his face turning tomato red. “Hell, I’ve been looking for her for the past few months!  I heard she left you and went back home, so I caught the first flight out to go see her, wanting to make sure she was alright.  She wasn’t there and I started searching in all the possible places she could’ve disappeared to.  I came up empty and thought she vanished off the face of the fuckin’ earth.  Barrett never told me anything about taking her…”

 

Justin couldn’t talk anymore, feeling tears sting his eyes, remembering what he’d heard from Joe what happened.  Apparently, after Riley was saved from John and taken to the hospital, Wade had completely lost his temper and screamed about the stupid little bitch escaping him again.  He made the mistake of blurting out how Riley had been locked in the basement of every arena for the past three months and Wade wanted to know how the hell his dirty little secret was discovered.  Justin had immediately left the arena without preamble, along with Joe, who was currently trying to park the car.

 

“He kept me and Joe out of the loop, man, I swear!!  You know how much Joe can’t stand the sight of Barrett and Barrett knew that.  That’s why he didn’t involve us in…what happened to her…” The amount of guilt in Justin’s eyes was crippling John, making all the anger drain from his huge tensed body. “If I would’ve known, I would’ve saved her sooner, but I had no idea.  Barrett is a slick son of a bitch and he has David, Heath and Harris under his thumb.”

 

John had to sit down for a second, trying to take in all of this newfound information, clasping his hands in front of him tightly. “Right after Riley disappeared; Wade came to me wanting me back in Nexus.  Said we made good allies instead of enemies and he knew how much I missed wrestling in the WWE.  I actually believed him and really thought Riley had taken off because she was scared to see that asshole again.  I didn’t blame her, I wasn’t even mad, but I was hurt because I thought we had something brewing between us.  I…I fell in love with her and I thought she left me…” His eyes closed, John trying to keep the tears from burning his eyes, but it was no use as a few slipped down his face. “So I failed her just as much as you did, Justin.  I didn’t protect her like I promised I would…she’s never gonna forgive me.”

 

“She won’t blame you for what happened.” Justin said confidently, knowing how big of a heart Riley had and if knew the woman as well as he thought he did, he knew she was in love with John as well.

 

“Why wouldn’t she blame me?” John suddenly demanded, standing up, raking a hand through his short cropped brown hair. “I shouldn’t have let her leave my side that night.  I should’ve gone with her to the fuckin’ cafeteria, but I was too worried about getting shit started that night with the show!”

 

Justin heaved a sigh and looked up when Joe walked in; nodding once, before turning his gaze back to John. “You need to stop blaming yourself.  One thing you need to understand about Riley is that she’s very independent and stubborn.  She doesn’t like being followed around and figured Wade wouldn’t try anything after having his ass kicked by you.  She’s always been too big for her britches and thought she could overcome anything, including that dickhead.”

 

John listened to Justin and knew deep down the man was right.  He knew Riley better than John did and it sounded just like her, stubborn, bull-headed and independent.  Though John also knew she was vulnerable and tended to think with her heart more than her mind, which he normally did as well. 

 

Knowing Wade was on the prowl and ticked off after being betrayed by John, Riley should’ve stayed by his side.  Instead, John felt he’d been smothering Riley too much and didn’t want to upset her, which is why he allowed her to go off alone to the cafeteria.  It was the biggest mistake he ever made in his life and John would try rectifying it by ending Wade Barrett’s career.

 

“What’s her condition?” Joe asked quietly, glancing over at John briefly before turning his attention to Justin. “Is she…?”

 

“She’s alive, but I don’t know any more than that.  Has the doctor said anything to you about her condition?” Justin asked, his eyes turning to John while Joe sat beside him.

 

John explained Doctor Adams’ diagnosis, staring straight ahead the entire time, speaking quietly. “I haven’t gone to see her yet.  I had to drop my kid off at the nursery because the doctor said it wouldn’t be smart to let Anthony see her like this…” Swallowing hard, John wasn’t sure if he would be able to stomach seeing Riley in the condition Doctor Adams described, but knew he would have to stand beside her no matter what.

 

“Damn…” Justin couldn’t believe the extensive injuries, paling with every word that came out of John’s mouth. “She was…tortured?”

 

“Raped.” John whispered, not trusting his voice at the moment for fear of it cracking. “Raped and beaten.  And I know Wade isn’t the only one who did it.” Closing his eyes, John remembered the last words that Riley uttered to him before she completely went unconscious in his arms and he hadn’t done it. “She told me to call you, those were the last thing she said before passing out.  I wasn’t gonna do it because I didn’t know if you were a part of what happened to her…”

 

“I would never think to hurt Riley.  She’s like a sister to me, John.” Justin stated, clenching his teeth because it hurt that Riley had asked for him and John hadn’t called. “We’ve known each other a long time and Wade still doesn’t know about our past.  It doesn’t matter now anyway, I’m leaving Nexus and I’m going to make sure he never touches anyone again.” Wade Barrett’s days were numbered.

 

Raising an eyebrow, John couldn’t help thinking about how black and blue Riley’s body was, how physically destroyed it appeared to be.  Every bruise on her body was marked as an assault by Barrett and Nexus, knowing the rest of them were no doubt involved.  Riley was a strong woman and John admired her, knowing any other woman would’ve been dead by now, but Riley had survived three horrific months of violent raping and beatings.

 

“Stand in line because when she does heal and get outta here, Wade Barrett will wish he’d never laid a hand on her.” John vowed, finally looking over at Joe, who remained relatively quiet. “You look like you got somethin’ to say, man.”

 

Joe hesitated, though he knew he couldn’t keep this from the two men who adored Riley and, truth be told, so did he. “I didn’t know about her being taken by Barrett, but…I did overhear Otunga bragging to Harris about having his way with a woman.  I didn’t think anything of it because they’re always hunting for fresh pussy.” He sighed warily, looking away from the men, eyebrows drawn together. “But Otunga started talking about how a woman he fucked was chained up and he’d never fucked a woman so hard in his life, which was tough to believe because I’ve seen the man naked and he doesn’t exactly have the right equipment to fuck a woman for any extended period of time.  Anyway, it made me sick because I couldn’t imagine who this woman could’ve been because the way David described it, it sounded pretty fuckin’ bad. ‘I took her like an animal and didn’t stop until she bled on my dick.’ That’s exactly the words that came out of his mouth and I didn’t think anything of it because Wade had been talking about trying to find Riley.  He made it sound like he had no idea where she was and actually made me believe he was really concerned about her…and he had her the whole damn time…”

 

Took her like an animal until she bled on his dick…John was going to kill David Otunga and stood up from the chair, his eyes completely iced over, so much anger flowing out of the pores of his body.  He’d beaten and raped Riley to the point where he caused a lot of damage internally and BRAGGED about it?!  John took the nearest chair and hurled it across the room, putting a hole in the wall, causing the receptionist of the ER lobby to scream, before stalking out of the hospital.  Justin and Joseph simply stared after him in shock, their eyes widened, and shook their heads simultaneously, knowing John Cena had officially snapped.

 

“When this is all said and done,” Justin paused; standing up to go retrieve the chair John had thrown. “Wade Barrett is going to regret ever meeting Riley.”

 

Joe could only nod in agreement, walking over to try calming the startled receptionist down.

 

Chapter 17

 

A few hours later, John decided to finally go see Riley, after standing outside trying to simmer his boiling blood.  What Joe said really lit him on fire and not in a good way.  John was never an angry person; he enjoyed life to the fullest and did everything he could to try to make even the most sullen person laugh.  He was a goofball and didn’t care what people thought of him with a heart full of gold.  John would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it, anything to keep hate out of the world.

 

Right now, John was full of hatred for Wade Barrett and Nexus.

 

He currently stood in the doorway and stared back at the woman he searched the past few months for, his heart breaking at the sight of Riley Jade.  She lay prone in the hospital bed, lifeless, with tubes up her nose to help her breathe.  She had two IV’s in her arms, one pumping medication and the other water to prevent infection from the surgeries as well as hydrated since she’d been through a tremendous amount of trauma recently.  There was a thick white gauze wrap around her head, a patch over her eye –Doctor Adams said she was lucky there hadn’t been any permanent damage sustained to her eye with how many times she was struck-, amongst countless machines hooked to every part of her body, helping her live.

 

Tears swelled in John’s eyes as he slowly walked inside the hospital room toward her, refusing to let them fall, but he couldn’t help letting the emotion overtake him. “Goddamn I love you so much, buttercup.” He whispered, taking her lifeless hand in his, wishing she would just open her beautiful green eyes.

 

John knew she wouldn’t answer him, but that didn’t stop him from talking to her anyway.  Somewhere deep down, John knew Riley could hear his voice and he wanted her to know he was right beside her, refusing to leave her for any reason.  He’d already made a call to Vince and basically threatened to quit again if the man didn’t give him an extended leave of absence with pay so he could take care of Riley.  Not to mention, John threatened his boss because what happened to Riley had been in the arenas in which Vince was responsible for, which meant it would be a huge lawsuit if Vince pushed the wrong buttons. 

 

After getting permission from his boss –Vince’s hands were tied after all-, John hired a nanny named Nancy, hoping Riley didn’t mind, but he refused to let Anthony see Riley until she woke up.  The last thing he wanted was to scare his son or traumatize him in any way.  Anthony didn’t like the fact he couldn’t see Riley, but John assured him that it was for the best and he would get to see Riley again when the time was right.  The little boy was forced to stay at the hotel down the street from the hospital and gave Nancy hell at first, though John was pleased that Anthony had stopped after only a few weeks.

 

John could be vindictive when the situation called for it.

 

~!~

 

“Her body is healing nicely, John.” Doctor Adams informed him, walking inside her favorite patient’s room with a gentle smile, trying to keep hopes alive. “The swelling in her brain has definitely gone down with the new CT scan we took so that’s a very good sign.  She should be waking up any day now.”

 

Lifting the eye patch, Doctor Adams nodded at the progress and slowly pulled it away from Riley, deciding she no longer needed it, smiling when John breathed a huge sigh of relief by the news.  The reconstructive eye surgery had gone perfectly, though not without some doubts on Doctor Adams part.  They were gone now because the swelling was gone and all that was left was yellow bruising, the stitches having been taken out a week ago.

 

Hard to believe it’d been three months since Riley was found and treated by Doctor Adams, who had ended up being a godsend to John.

 

Three months was a long time, though Doctor Adams didn’t seem too concerned about it, so John wasn’t going to start worrying.  He trusted the doctor because she was very upfront with him regarding Riley’s condition and made sure to stop by every day to check on her.  Doctor Adams calmly and rationally explained to John exactly why Riley was still in a coma, which John fully understood, but that didn’t stop him from wondering if she would ever wake up.  There was a chance that Riley would never open her eyes again, Doctor Adams didn’t have that big of an ego, though she was confident that Riley would indeed make a full recovery.

 

“Thank you.” John softly said, having said those two words more times than he cared to count the last three months.

 

Doctor Adams nodded with that same smile, patting him gently on the shoulder. “If she wakes up, call someone in here immediately so I can be paged, alright?”

 

“No problem, doc.  Thanks again for everything.”

 

Doctor Adams left the room to check on her other patients, having given Riley a new bag for her IV.  The stitches from her countless surgeries had already been taken out and surprisingly the only nasty scar Riley had was hidden in her hair due to the emergency craniotomy.  Both John and Doctor Adams knew her body was healing from all the injuries and if he had to, John would wait an eternity for her to wake up.

 

He just wished it was sooner rather than later.

 

~!~

 

Voices. 

 

She could hear voices talking. 

 

Riley was in a dark abyss and didn’t know which way to turn, which way to go.  She’d been walking for countless hours, though it felt like days possibly even months.  At least she wasn’t in the presence of Stu or his goons anymore.  She was pain free and it was an incredible feeling, though Riley knew deep down it was too good to be true. 

 

It had to be. 

 

She would wake up eventually and be chained to the wall of yet another grungy arena basement while Stu and his goons had their way with her body.  Why couldn’t they just kill her and be done with it?  Why did Stu have to torture and torment her, break her down into nearly nothing?  Her spirit and fire was gone, everything about Riley Jade no longer existed and yet, here she was now pain free and walking down a pure black hall of some sort.

 

She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the voices because Riley had endured silence for so long.  Voices sounded foreign to her, though it also gave her a huge rush of relief.  She kept walking, faster this time, until suddenly she was running through the darkness, trying to find where those voices were coming from.  Her heart raced and pounded vigorously, every part of her body igniting with hope that maybe she would soon be out of this dark abyss.

 

Then again, did she want to take the risk of feeling pain again, of being tortured?

 

It seemed as though Riley didn’t have a choice in the matter because suddenly she could see light.  It was dim at first and captivated her, drawing her toward it.  Tears slid down her cheeks as the voices became louder and more familiar.  One was definitely a woman, though Riley was certain she’d never heard it before and then…it was him!

 

“John?” Riley whispered and began running faster toward the light, her black hair flying behind her along with the tears that kept pouring. “JOHN!”

 

“Riley?” It was definitely him, she could hear the somewhat panic in his voice and it broke her heart, wanting to ease any negative emotion he felt.

 

“I’m here!!  I’m right here, John!  Where are you?” She called, trying not to sound too demanding, but even her own voice was frantic by now. “John, please answer me!!”

 

“Buttercup, I’m here…”

 

Suddenly, the light blasted throughout the black darkness, engulfing it along with Riley and all she could do was let it, surrendering.

 

~!~

 

“John…”

 

John was in hysterics as he stared down at Riley, blue eyes as wide as they could go without popping out completely.  His heart nearly stopped when she breathed out his name in her slumber.  He had sat in the chair beside her bed playing his PSP, trying not to drive himself into insanity with boredom.  He hated hospitals, but flat out refused to leave unless Riley was beside him or transferred somewhere else.

 

Nothing else mattered at that moment, especially when Riley began flexing her fingers very slowly, but it was still movement.  His blue eyes moved from her face reluctantly to the heart monitor that began beating wildly and John could only stare at it, knowing he should be running out of the room screaming for Doctor Adams.  Instead, all he could do was stare at her in sheer amazement, not believing those beautiful jade eyes were staring back at him for the first time in over a month.

 

It had been the longest month of John’s life.

 

“Riley?”

 

“John…” She rasped out a little louder, instantly beginning to cough due to how dry her throat was. “W-Water…”

 

“Water.  Okay.  Water.” John stumbled away from the bed and out the door, suddenly running down to the nurse’s station as fast as he could. “Where is Doctor Adams?  I need Doctor Adams NOW!” He demanded, causing the nurse to blink rapidly.

 

“Sir, she’s with another patient right now…”

 

“I don’t give a fuck!  Get her to Riley Jade’s room now!  She’s awake and she needs water!!” John shouted, snatching the cup of water out of the startled nurse’s hand.

 

“John, calm down man, before you scare the hell out of the poor girl.” Justin ordered, having overheard what John said and wondered if it was true. “Riley’s awake?”

 

With tears in his eyes, John slowly turned to face Justin and nodded, watching as his eyes lit up. “She wants water.  Now where the hell is Doctor Adams?”

 

“I’m right here now stop yelling, John.” The doctor ordered, shaking her head as she grabbed Riley’s chart and headed down the hall toward her patient. “If you can’t calm down, I’m going to have to ask you to stay outside while I examine her.”

 

John swallowed hard, not wanting to leave Riley alone when she just woke up. “I’ll behave, doc.  I just got…carried away.” He didn’t know how else to say it and looked over at Justin, knowing the man was eager to see Riley. “I’ll come get you in the waiting room after the examination is done.  I don’t want to leave her alone right now.”

 

Nodding in understanding, Justin headed off to the waiting room while John and Doctor Adams walked inside Riley’s.  The poor woman looked frazzled and scared out of her mind, though all the fear drained out of her eyes as soon as they locked with John.  She slowly raised her hand up and John was by her side instantly, leaning down to brush his lips against her forehead tenderly. 

 

When Riley went to speak, John pressed his finger to her lips and simply smiled through tears while Doctor Adams calmly explained what happened to her.  John helped her drink the water, instructing her to sip slowly so she didn’t start coughing and choking on it.  Doctor Adams changed her IV bag and gave her another shot of medication, not wanting her to have any infections and so far they’d been successful.

 

“When can I get out of here?” Riley rasped out a little clearer, once she’d downed the whole cup of water, which felt like heaven against her esophagus. “I want to go home.”

 

“Soon buttercup, I promise.” John murmured, glancing up at Doctor Adams and knew it would still be awhile before Riley could leave the hospital.

 

“If you stay on track with the healing, I would say in two weeks, but no sooner than that I’m afraid.  We need to keep you under close observation because of all your injuries.” Doctor Adams explained, causing Riley to lower her eyes to the blanket while John continued holding her hand.

 

Riley could only nod, not expecting anything less, especially after everything Stu and Nexus put her through.  The thought made tears sting her eyes, how could John even look at her after everything that happened?  How could he still want her?  She was ruined now, Riley lost count how many times she’d been raped and abused.  Riley was damaged goods and John was too good for her, he deserved better and she would make him see that sooner or later.

 

Once the doctor left, Riley immediately released John’s hand and laid back on the bed, silent tears rolling down her cheeks.  John frowned and went to take her hand again, only for Riley to snatch it away.  Something was going through that beautiful mind of hers and John already didn’t like it, trying to get her to look at him.  All Riley could do was lay there and silently cry, closing her eyes to pretend that she was tired so maybe then John would leave her alone.

 

“Riley…”

 

“Don’t.” Her voice was cold and distant, even though it broke her heart inside. “I want to be alone.”

 

“Why?” John gently but firmly grabbed her chin, forcing their eyes to meet. “Talk to me buttercup.”

 

“I don’t want to.” She whispered brokenly and sighed as soon as John’s lips touched hers.

 

“Talk to me.” John urged huskily, not fully pulling out of the kiss and rubbed his nose against hers before kissing her again. “I’m not going anywhere, Riley.  I’m here and you’re not gonna push me away.  Anthony loves you.  I love you.”

 

Riley pulled back at that moment and stared in his incredible blue eyes, wondering if he was telling her the truth.  Did he just say he loved her?  Was Riley hearing things?  The heart monitor went off rapidly due to how fast her heart thundered and neither cared.  When John placed his hand over her heart, a stream of tears flowed from Riley’s eyes down her cheeks.  John smiled and brushed his lips against her cheeks, wiping the salty tears away, hating to see her cry.

 

“How can you…?”

 

“Because I do and so does my son.  You mean everything to us, Riley.  We were so lost without you and I swear to god I searched, baby.  I searched everywhere for you and couldn’t find you anywhere.  That stupid son of a bitch came to me wanting me back in Nexus and pretended that he didn’t know where the fuck you went.  I believed him, Riley.  I fucking believed him and he had you all along!” John suddenly had to stand up, the anger overtaking him and began walking away, when her hand shot out to grab his.

 

“Please don’t leave me.” Riley pleaded, hating to see John so angry and upset, but didn’t blame him either. “Stu is very conniving, John.  There’s no way you could’ve known he had me.  Don’t blame yourself.  I know you searched for me, I never doubted you for a minute, but I honestly thought you would never find me because of the lengths Stu went through to hide me.  Just please calm down, there’s nothing we can do to change what happened and losing your temper won’t solve anything either.”

 

He knew she was right and it took every ounce of energy on John’s part to calm down, especially after what Joe told him.  He was going to take Otunga like an animal and make him bleed like a stuffed pig, though it wouldn’t be the same as what the prick did to Riley.  John was going to break every bone in his body and make sure Otunga had to eat and drink through a straw for the rest of his life.  Nobody would ever touch Riley again unless it was over John’s dead body.

 

“Hold me?”

 

John couldn’t deny her that even if a gun was pointed at his head and walked over, taking a few deep breaths before sliding on the hospital bed. “Anything for you, buttercup.” He whispered, kissing the top of her head and making sure he didn’t hurt her more than she already was.

 

Within moments, both were fast asleep and Riley had a smile on her face for the first time in months.

 

Chapter 18

 

Over the next several weeks, Riley’s recovery commenced beautifully and she was finally ready to be released from the hospital.  Stu hadn’t tried contacting her, much to Riley’s relief, but that still didn’t stop the nightmares that haunted her day and night.  Every time she closed her eyes, Riley saw those cold dark eyes of Stu boring into her, taunting and she could feel his filthy hands all over her body. 

 

Riley woke up screaming on a nightly basis and John was right there to hold her close, reassuring her that she was far away from Stu.  Every tear that fell from her eyes shattered a little piece of John inside and he didn’t know how to help her, how to make her forget about what Stu and the Nexus did to her.  He even asked Doctor Adams what he could do to help Riley, only for her to respond with two words: Time and Patience.

 

Honestly, neither were John’s strong virtues.

 

Tonight was no different as Riley bolted upright in her hospital bed screaming, tears streaming down her cheeks.  John jolted awake and immediately wrapped her in his arms while she struggled and hit him on the chest with her tiny fists, knowing she was still somewhat in the dream.  He didn’t mind her hitting him; it felt like butterfly brushes, but John would never tell Riley that.

 

Riley swallowed hard, slowly opening her eyes and knew she was coming out of yet another horrifying nightmare.  Her grip on John’s jersey slowly loosened as Riley pulled back, staring down at her trembling hands while absentmindedly rubbing her wrist, trying not to let the decadent memories overtake her.  It was no use; Riley buried her face in her hands and sobbed violently, not able to speak while John rubbed her back.

 

When Riley finally calmed down, she slowly pulled away from John and wiped her tears away, sniffling quietly. “I want a pregnancy test done.” She stated, wrapping her arms around herself, hoping she hadn’t woke up the hospital staff.

 

John blinked, staring back at her like she’d grown a second head. “What?” He hadn’t meant to sound so surprised, but honestly he didn’t expect to hear those words come out of her mouth. “Come again?”

 

“I want a pregnancy test done.” She repeated, finally looking up at him through tear filled jade eyes. “I need to know, John.  They didn’t use…anything…when they…” Riley felt John’s finger press against her lips, fresh hot tears sliding down her cheeks.

 

“Don’t say anymore.” John whispered, kissing her forehead softly, knowing she was right to want one. “I’ll go get Doctor Adams for you.”

 

“T-Thank you…” Riley stammered, still shaken up from her nightmare and rubbed a hand down her healing face, sighing. “Hurry back.”

 

John nodded, dropping a soft kiss on her cheek and headed out of the room to find Doctor Adams, knowing this was going to be an awkward request.  He headed up to the nurse’s station and tapped on the window, watching the woman turn around holding the phone to her ear.  When she ushered to hold on a minute, John grunted and kept on moving down the hallway, deciding to find someone on the floor who could help point him in the direction of Doctor Adams.

 

While John was out searching, Doctor Adams appeared in Riley’s room with a smile on her face, wiping it away at the look on her patient’s face. “Riley, what’s wrong?  Are you in pain?” Doctor Adams asked, walking over and could see the tears in her eyes, setting down gently on the bed.

 

They had become good friends and Riley trusted her doctor, slowly taking her hand. “Patricia, I need you to do something for me.” She only called her doctor by her first name when it was just the two of them in the room.

 

Patricia smiled encouragingly, nodding and squeezed her hand. “Anything Riley, what is it?” She asked, watching Riley’s eyes advert to the blanket. “Come on, talk to me sweetie.  What do you need me to do?” At this point, Patricia was willing to do just about anything for this woman, not believing how strong she was after everything she’d been through.

 

“I need you to get me a pregnancy test.” Riley said above a whisper, not looking up at her doctor and friend, swallowing hard. “It’s been a few months and…I know that’s enough time to pass to find out if I am pregnant or not...” This was extremely hard for Riley to talk about because, if she was pregnant by any of those raping lunatics, an abortion was happening immediately. “Please, I need to know right away.”

 

Patricia honestly didn’t blame her, knowing they had done a rape kit when Riley was first brought in because of the condition her body was in.  They found a copious amount of semen and Patricia knew there was a good chance of her becoming pregnant.  A rape kit wouldn’t determine that though.  It would be too soon to tell, but now that enough time had passed, Patricia knew without a doubt if Riley was pregnant, she could find out.

 

“Alright, I’ll be right back with the test.  Just try to relax and calm down, alright?” When Riley nodded, Patricia stood up and headed out of the room, raising an eyebrow when John came skidding to a halt in front of her. “Where’s the fire, Cena?”

 

“Was looking for you.” John heaved, having ran up and down the hallways of the hospital and glanced inside Riley’s room, before looking back at the doctor. “I take it you talked to her and…”

 

“I’m on my way right now to get what she wants.  I’ll return shortly.” Doctor Adams stated, walking around John and stopped, turning to look at the man again. “If I were you, I’d find something else to do for the next hour.  This isn’t going to be one of those times Riley needs you to hold her hand.  Not until after.”

 

John frowned, his forehead bunching up in wrinkles. “But I wanna be there for her…” He sighed when Doctor Adams held her hand up, cutting him off.

 

“She doesn’t want a male presence beside her when she takes a pregnancy test that could change her life forever, John.” Doctor Adams explained softly but firmly, wanting him to understand how Riley was feeling right now. “If she is pregnant by one of those scumbags who raped her, she’s not going to want you there to see her fall apart.  Don’t worry, I won’t leave her side until she’s calm and relaxed again.”

 

“Promise?”

 

“I promise, John.  You can stay outside of her room, but you’re banned from it until she takes the test.” Doctor Adams stated, causing John to reluctantly nod, knowing there was no way he could fight doctor’s orders. “Fine, I’ll be just outside if she needs me.”

 

Nodding, not expecting anything less from John, Patricia walked away not wanting to keep Riley waiting too long.  John sighed heavily and looked inside Riley’s room, seeing she was staring out the window with silent tears sliding down her cheeks, breaking his heart.  He didn’t know what to do for her and felt helpless, promising to take her pain away.  So many questions hit him at once and John suddenly pulled his gaze away, sliding down the wall just outside Riley’s door, burying his face in his hands. 

 

What if she was pregnant by one of those pricks? 

 

How would she know who the father was? 

 

Would she keep the baby?

 

Helpless wasn’t even the word for it and John suddenly felt nauseous, wanting to kill every single member of Nexus who touched her, especially Barrett.  What John wanted to do was go back on the road so he could do what he vowed to Justin and Joe.  Ending Barrett’s career and sending him to a hospital, possibly even a grave, but such was not the case. 

 

He couldn’t do anything besides sit outside Riley’s hospital door, while his son was in the nursery down the hall sleeping peacefully.  It hurt even more every time he went to spend time with Anthony, only for the little boy to demand where Riley –Riey- was.  John had to explain every time that Riley was recovering –getting better in other words- and his son couldn’t see her until she was better.

 

Or until Riley told him it was alright for Anthony to see her.

 

Patricia arrived back ten minutes later and felt her heart ache at the sight of John outside of Riley’s room, sighing gently.  He was so in love with Riley and it was a waste of time because Patricia knew it would take a long time before Riley recovered from what happened to her.  He was a good man with a big heart; she only wished he would open his eyes and take his son far away from Riley before they both got hurt.  Patricia liked Riley, but also liked John and knew exactly what was going to happen, what the outcome would be.

 

No matter how long John stood beside Riley, she would find a way to push him over the edge or run away because she wouldn’t be able to trust a man for the rest of her life.

 

Deciding not to bother him, Patricia walked past him and inside Riley’s dressing room, smiling tentatively at her patient. “Are you ready?” She waved the box, causing Riley to nod.

 

Her stomach clenched violently as the nerves began overtaking her body, but Riley had to fight them.  She had to be strong.  She had to know the truth, no matter if she liked it or not.  Slowly sliding from the hospital bed, Riley shakily held her hand out for the test, her face pure stone, wanting to get this over with.

 

“I’ll be in here when you’re done.” Patricia assured her softly, watching as Riley nodded once before turning to head into the bathroom, the door closing behind her.

 

She could only hope the results came out negative, for both Riley and John’s sake.

 

~!~

 

Justin couldn’t help staring out the window of his hotel room, watching the rain fall outside in buckets.  Seattle definitely wasn’t the greatest city to perform in, but he went wherever the company instructed.  Justin wasn’t happy in the slightest with his current position in the company, gritting his teeth at the thought.  

 

Shortly after Riley was found brutalized; Vince had made a vast decision to move Wade Barrett to the Smackdown! roster.  It was during one of the WWE’s draft lotteries they did annually after every WrestleMania, wanting to shake things up again and hopefully draw in higher ratings.  Justin was silently relieved, only to be told that he was also joining the Smackdown! roster and would be in a group known as The Corre.


They consisted of Wade, Justin, Heath (Slater) and Windham (Husky Harris).

 

Nobody in the WWE, besides Joe, knew about Justin and Riley’s friendship and Justin was going to do whatever it took to make sure it stayed that way.  So instead of getting upset about it, Justin accepted the opportunity with a smile on his face, though on the inside he wanted to crumble.  He didn’t know what emotional, physical or mental state Riley was in because John had refused to tell him anything. 

 

Being a locker room leader, John didn’t want Justin thinking about Riley while he was on the road performing for the fans, knowing that definitely wasn’t good for business.  As much as Justin loathed John’s point of view, the man had a valid point and he couldn’t argue with the locker room leader.  As much as he hurt being away from Riley, Justin knew she was in safe hands with John and had to focus on his career, knowing if anything drastic changed with her progress, he would be the first person John called.

 

His eyes closed when a knock sounded at the door, bringing Justin out of his thoughts and slowly turned to go answer it.  Company wasn’t something Justin wanted tonight, not after dealing with a brooding Barrett all night, though he managed to get through it without bashing his skull in.  Calling Riley names left and right wasn’t in Wade’s best interest, considering the WWE lawyers were thoroughly investigating every arena Wade and the Nexus had been at during the three months of Riley’s disappearance. 

 

So far, they only had evidence at the arena where she was found, but Wade had thoroughly cleaned up after himself, making sure there were no handprints or anything found on any objects found.  The ONLY evidence they had was the rape kit that was given to Riley and, even then, there was so much semen they couldn’t figure out who was the culprit without testing each and every one of them.  Each man would have to willingly submit a DNA sample and, without probable cause, that wasn’t happening.

 

What was even worse was the fact Wade didn’t have any record against him, not even a traffic violation, which made it that much harder to pin him on the crime.

 

Vince didn’t want a mess so he promised the hospital to bring the company’s lawyers into it, along with investigators that were only paid top dollar, promising to help the poor woman in any way he could.  Personally, Justin thought Vince was only doing it to cover his ass, which was a smart thing to do, but it also sickened him.  Riley was a victim of multiple raping, beatings and anything else Wade and Nexus did to her down in those arena basements.  Every cry, scream and drop of her blood didn’t mean a damn to anyone in the company, which pissed Justin off.

 

Because all the evidence was circumstantial, there was no way the raping and beatings could be pinned on Wade.

 

Wade Barrett was going to get away with nearly killing Riley and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

 

When the knocking persisted, Justin finally resigned to the fact whoever it was obviously wanted to talk to him.  He wore just a pair of boxers, no socks, and honestly didn’t care if he was dressed appropriately or not.  Opening the door, Justin couldn’t believe who was staring him in the face, shock filling his eyes at who stood before him.

 

“I need your help Justin, please.” Riley whispered, blinking as huge tears slid down her cheeks, wearing just a pair of cotton black shorts with one of John’s t-shirts he’d given her. “C-Can I come in?”

 

Justin pulled her inside gently out of sight, closing the door behind him and guided her over to the bed, seeing her feet were bare. “How did you get here?” More important question, how the hell did Riley know where the WWE was? “Is John with you?”

 

Riley shook her head, instantly lowering her gaze to her lap, clasping her hands together tightly. “No.”

 

Justin didn’t like the sound of this and bent down in front of her, reaching up to wipe her tears away that just kept falling. “Riley, what is it?  Talk to me.” He urged, placing his hands on her freezing thighs, only for her to start crying harder.

 

If John wasn’t with her…did John even know she was here?

 

“Did you run away from the hospital?” Justin suddenly asked, somewhat blurting it out, swallowing when she nodded once.  This wasn’t good. “Riley…”

 

“Paul…” She rarely used his real name, but she wanted him to understand how serious the situation was. “…I’m pregnant.”

 

Chapter 19

 

Justin could only sit there on the carpeted floor for what seemed like hours, staring straight ahead, not believing what Riley told him.  She was pregnant.  She was pregnant with…Justin felt absolutely ill and tried swallowing back the nausea, which was incredibly hard to do.  He already knew Riley had no idea who the father was and honestly didn’t care, knowing the bastard didn’t have any rights whatsoever.

 

Hell, Justin would be really surprised if Riley chose to even keep the baby.

 

“What am I going to do?” Riley whispered more to herself than him, standing up to walk over, staring out the window at the pouring rain. 

 

Her hair was dripping wet still, along with her clothes, which clung to every part of her body at the moment.  Justin watched the raindrops reflect off of her face, making her even more beautiful, though she was like a little sister to him.  Still, that didn’t stop him from noticing the condition she was in and knew she would end up getting a vicious cold if she didn’t change out of them.  Standing up and jolting out of his shocked state, Justin grabbed a t-shirt and some boxers, knowing that was all he could offer her at the moment and walked over to hand them over.

 

“You’re going to get sick if you don’t change out of them.” He pointed out, hoping she listened to him and watched as a tear streaked face met his, breaking his heart instantly. “Riley…” He sighed and pulled her into his arms gently, her tears instantly soaking the front of his bare chest, rubbing her back up and down with his hand. “It’s going to be okay, I promise…”

 

“How can you even say that?!” Riley cried, her voice somewhat muffled against his chest, clinging to him for dear life. “I-I don’t even know who…” She couldn’t finish that statement and pulled away, moping her face with her hands.

 

“Let’s worry about one thing at a time, alright?” Justin coaxed, still holding the warm dry clothes in his hands. “First let’s get you changed out of those wet clothes before you catch a nasty cold.  You’ve been through enough and your immune system is shot right now with everything that’s happened.  Please, change into these and then we can talk as long as you want.”

 

Riley could hear the pleading in his voice and reluctantly nodded, knowing he was right. “Thank you.” She whispered, taking the clothes from Justin and walked inside the bathroom, closing the door behind her. 

 

She shivered as she slowly undressed; looking around the bathroom and suddenly saw her reflection for the first time in months.  Most of her injuries were healed, though the light in Riley’s eyes was snuffed out and she looked like a skinny corpse.  Riley couldn’t handle it and looked away from the mirror, fresh tears sliding down her cheeks as she tossed her wet clothes in the corner.  A warm shower sounded wonderful at the time and Riley knew Justin wouldn’t mind, reaching over to turn the sprays on.  She finished fully undressing, before stepping under the hot water, letting it envelope her.

 

Her thoughts turned to John and Anthony, the pain in her heart intensifying because she knew John was going to be very upset with her for running away.  Riley couldn’t face him though, not after finding out the results of the pregnancy test from Doctor Adams.  She felt so ashamed and dirty, John deserved much better than her and Riley figured sneaking out of the hospital was the best thing to do for everyone.  It was only after Riley left the hospital that she realized she had nowhere to go, which lead her to Justin.

 

If anyone understood what Riley was thinking or feeling, it was Justin.

 

Riley knew she was in love with John, but wasn’t sure if she could trust being with him, knowing he would never hurt her.  Then again, that’s what she thought about Stu and look where that trusting frame of mind got her.  Kidnapped, beaten and raped repeatedly on a daily basis for months by him and his band of thugs.  What made her honestly think John or any man for that matter was any different than Stu?

 

Closing her eyes tightly shut, the painful memories rushed back no matter how hard she tried fighting them.  It was going to take a long time before Riley was the same again, if ever, and John didn’t deserve to be with someone as broken as her.  Stu destroyed every piece of her and Riley wasn’t sure how to pick up the pieces of her life, wondering if she’d ever be able to. 

 

She just hoped John found happiness and didn’t come searching for her because this wasn’t his problem.  Not to mention he had a beautiful little boy to raise without dealing with her mess.  Riley couldn’t help missing them, especially little Anthony, but knew she did the right thing by leaving without saying goodbye.  The precious angel saved her from possible death and Riley owed him her life, knowing she was hurting him right now by leaving.

 

Again, she was doing the right thing and would make it up to both John and Anthony someday.

 

After her shower, along with several thousand shed tears, Riley finally stepped out and wrapped a towel around her body, the steam rolling off of her shoulders.  At least she wasn’t cold anymore, though Riley was afraid she would catch a cold from being out in the rain, knowing Seattle didn’t have warm temperatures often.  Tonight was no exception; though Riley wasn’t thinking at the time, only focused on getting to Justin without collapsing from exhaustion. 

 

Sighing, Riley picked up her wet clothes and hung them over the towel rack to dry, already knowing Justin was probably planning on taking her shopping the next day for better clothes.  She wasn’t throwing her articles of clothing away just in case Justin wasn’t thinking of doing that, not expecting anything from him, and slid the fresh dry clothes on he gave her.  Riley pulled her raven locks out of the t-shirt while once again staring in the mirror, fingering one long strand, tears filling her eyes. 

 

Her hair was now past her rear and Riley decided she needed some kind of change, having grown it out for Stu.  She was no longer under his control or with him and could do anything, suddenly sifting through the drawers of the bathroom.  When she found a pair of scissors, Riley actually cracked the barest hint of a smile, looking back at her reflection, sniffling with a nod.

 

“Goodbye to the old me.” She whispered before beginning the transformation, long strand after strand of black hair falling on the counter, floor and in the sink.

 

It took her nearly an hour before Riley finally finished, setting the scissors down and knew she would have to get the cut evened out.  It went from being past her rear to a cute pixie cut that Riley thought suited her.  It was messy right now, though Riley did part her bangs to the side, happy that she no longer looked like Stu’s Riley.  This was the new her, a new beginning and Riley placed her hand over her stomach, knowing another life was growing inside of her. 

 

With everything that happened, Riley was shocked she could still conceive let alone end up pregnant with a baby, remembering what Doctor Adams said about the tears in her vaginal walls.  Even if she did decide to carry this baby to term, Riley would more than likely have a premature labor or a cesarean delivery.  Could Riley honestly carry a baby that was conceived by rape and brutality for nine months, if the pregnancy lasted that long? 

 

Tears swelled in her eyes as Riley lifted the t-shirt to feel her bare stomach, not seeing any bump that indicated she was pregnant yet, even though she knew she was only around five weeks along, according to Doctor Adams estimate.  One of those bastards who raped her was the father, Riley was certain of it, feeling sick to her stomach at the thought of carrying one of them inside of her.  Pulling the t-shirt down, Riley knew what she had to do; glancing back at the closed bathroom door, knowing Justin was either waiting for her to emerge or sleeping since it was in the middle of the night.

 

The bathroom door opened, causing Justin’s eyes to fly open as he sat up in bed, his eyes widening at the sight of Riley’s haircut. “Did you…?” He glanced behind her inside the bathroom, having stood up, seeing all of her beautiful black hair lying in one big pile in the trashcan. “Riley…”

 

“I’m going to need you to call Barbara and fix it for me.” Riley requested, walking past him toward the second bed, sitting down.  Barbara was also known to the WWE universe as Diva Kelly-Kelly.  Though, unlike Paul not wanting to use his real name, Barbara didn’t mind people calling her by her birth name. “I needed a change in my life and got sick of how long my hair was.  And…I’ve decided I am keeping the baby…”

 

Now that was something Justin hadn’t been expecting to hear, not having a problem with Barbara coming to fix Riley’s hair.  They were good friends and Justin knew how worried his fiancée was about Riley, remembering the fit she threw when she demanded to know the condition of Riley, only for Justin not to have any information.  He explained what John told him, only for Barbara to blow up again, thinking it was a ridiculous excuse. 

 

Justin just let her blow off steam and promised the first thing he heard about Riley he would inform her, hating the fact they were on separate rosters.  He missed Barbara deeply and had tried several times to get back on the Raw roster to be with her, only for Vince to deny the request.  He was tired of the position in the company, thinking about quitting and going to TNA, but he also didn’t want to destroy his wrestling career like so many before him had.  Granted, Jason Reso –fans knew him as Christian- had lucked out by being invited back to the WWE, but Jeff Hardy had ended up doing drugs and destroying not only his career, but his life.

 

“Are you sure you want to do that?” Justin asked cautiously, sitting down beside her, placing a hand on her shoulder gently. “I mean, this is a big decision to make, maybe you should think about it a little more before…”

 

Riley cut him off, holding her hand up to stop him from saying another word. “This child didn’t do anything wrong, it’s not his or her fault that they were conceived out of anger and hatred.  I’m not going to punish an innocent child, it’s not right.” She heaved a sigh and stood up, wrapping her arms around herself, chewing her bottom lip. “I know it’s a lot to take in after everything I’ve been through, but this could be my only shot at being a mother and I’m not passing it up.  This is going to be part of the healing process, no matter who the father is…”

 

“What happens when those bastards find out you’re pregnant, Riley?” Justin demanded, walking over to stand behind her, both of them staring out the window as the rain poured even harder. “Do you honestly believe they won’t come after you for rights?  They can’t convict any of them because all of the evidence is circumstantial.” He turned her around, staring down into the dead jade eyes of his friend, his heart breaking for her. “They will know one of them impregnated you, especially Barrett.  Vince is covering up what happened to you with lawyers and investigators, who haven’t found anything besides the evidence in the basement of the arena you were found in.  It looks as though…they are all going to get a slap on the wrist for what happened.  Without solid proof, they can’t put any of those mother fuckers in jail.  Not to mention they had to submit a DNA sample to the hospital willingly where the semen is currently being tested that was found inside of you during the rape kit and they’re not gonna do it.  They don’t want their DNA put on record for future cases.” John had explained all of this to him after Justin called him, hearing what was going on from Wade’s mouth.

 

They were going to get away with kidnapping, raping and torturing her for months?  Riley couldn’t feel her legs and suddenly dropped to her knees, burying her face in her hands, sobbing violently.  How could the justice system be so cruel?  Justin sighed and dropped down beside her, knowing Riley had no idea how the investigation was going and hated Vince McMahon even more for covering up what happened to one of his best friends.  He wished they could do something to bust those assholes, but Justin couldn’t think of anything, simply holding Riley close while she sobbed her heart out.

 

When Riley finally calmed down, she pulled back to wipe the tears away, sniffling a little. “Vince is trying to cover this up, but it’s not going to happen.” She stood up on shaky legs, feeling the exhaustion overtaking her, but Riley was afraid to shut her eyes.  Every time she did, a nightmare occurred and Riley was tired of reliving the horrific events that Stu and his thugs put her through. “I will make them pay for this.”

 

“How?” Justin had to ask, watching as she stumbled over to the bed, knowing she wouldn’t mind sharing one with him because they were practically brother and sister. “What do you plan on doing, Riley?”

 

“I’m going to tell each and every one of those cocksuckers that I’m pregnant and it might be their baby.  But first, I’m going to pay Linda McMahon a special visit to inform her on what’s going on with the investigation.” Riley knew Linda didn’t take too kindly to Vince’s antics in the company, not to mention she was a woman who would listen before jumping to conclusions. “One way or another, they will be forced to submit a DNA sample or else Linda might end up releasing them from their contracts.”

 

“How can you be sure of this?” Justin was intrigued, tilting his head slightly to the side and watched as fresh tears stung Riley’s eyes.

 

“I’m not sure about anything, but at this point, I have nothing to lose.” Riley knew it was a big risk to take, but if anyone would listen to her and believe what happened, it was Linda McMahon. “I’m keeping this baby and I’m going to make their lives miserable until the truth is out.”

 

One way or another, Riley would have her revenge, even if it meant using an unborn child to do so.

 

Justin wanted to tell her so many things, but all he could do was nod and support her, knowing that’s what Riley needed now more than ever.  He waited until Riley fell asleep before dialing Barbara’s number, knowing he was disturbing her rest, but this was important.  He made a promise to her and Justin didn’t break promises, no matter what.  When he got her voicemail, he sighed heavily and left a message to call him because he had information on Riley, knowing that would make her return the call sooner.  Justin went to join Riley in bed, but suddenly stopped and looked at his cell phone again, closing his eyes against the guilt that consumed him suddenly. 

 

He knew it was because of John, knowing the man was probably worried out of his mind about Riley, but it wasn’t his place to call him.  Riley had to do it when she was ready and right now, she was going through too much in her life to worry about John Cena’s feelings.  Deciding he was doing the right thing by not calling John, Justin finally laid down and closed his eyes, letting sleep consume him.

 

Chapter 20

 

Just as Riley suspected, Justin had clothes waiting for her as soon as she woke up, along with a special visit from Barbara.  The girls embraced and Barbara immediately got to work on her hair, fixing it while Riley explained where she was going.  She could trust Justin and Barbara to keep a secret, even though sooner or later the entire company would find out.  Riley was banking on it, which is the sole reason why she even contacted Linda to begin with.

 

“Are you sure you’re gonna be alright going alone?” Justin asked for seemed like the millionth time, worry shining in his eyes for his best friend. “I’ll go with you if you want.”

 

“I appreciate the offer, but for the final time I’m fine.  I have to do this alone and you can’t just leave the road.  What would Barb think?” Riley reasoned, cracking a small smile when Justin opened the door as they both walked inside the airport, heading for the terminal with the private jet Linda sent for her.

 

“Barb understands I’m the only one you can turn to right now.  It was her idea to offer to go with you, but I told her you’d be stubborn and pigheaded about it.” Justin smirked when Riley rolled her eyes, glad she got some of the spunk back. “Barb is your friend; she knows there’s nothing else going on between me and you.”

 

Riley was glad to hear that because she thought a time or two Justin did feel something more for her than just friendship. “Good, that’s good.  I’ll pay you back for the clothes when…”She sighed against Justin’s finger that pressed to her lips.

 

“Don’t worry about it, just focus on where you’re going and those bastards that are gonna pay for what they did.” Justin stated soft enough to where only Riley could hear him, watching her nod in acceptance. “Good, now go get on that plane and call me as soon as you get there.”

 

“I promise.” Riley hugged Justin tightly around the neck, tears stinging her eyes, but didn’t let them fall. “Thanks for everything, Justin.  I owe you.”

 

He held onto her, not wanting to let her go because Justin honestly didn’t know when he’d see her again. “It’s gonna be okay, I promise Ri.” He pulled back, staring into her weary jade eyes, knowing she was scared to death about what she was about to do. “Are you sure you don’t wanna call him?”

 

“Who?”

 

“John.”

 

Instead of answering him, Riley simply kissed his cheek, their eyes locking briefly once more before she walked away, heading through the terminal to board the private jet headed straight for Connecticut.  Justin could only sigh heavily and knew Riley didn’t answer him because she didn’t want him involved anymore.  He couldn’t blame her, though Justin could only imagine how worried sick John was since Riley took off without a word from the hospital.  Justin didn’t leave the airport right away; instead he stood staring out the window as the private jet took off into the sky, hoping Linda McMahon could help his friend.

 

~!~

 

To say Linda McMahon was shocked to hear from Riley Jade Morris was an understatement.

 

She heard from her daughter, Stephanie, what happened to the poor woman and Linda’s heart went out to her.  To be found chained up in an arena basement, naked and exposed, beaten to a pulp was sickening.  Though, when Riley asked to speak with her in person regarding the situation, Linda couldn’t refuse and decided against telling Vince about the meeting.  She had a private jet sent from Connecticut straight to Washington, which was fine with Riley, promising not to utter a word about the meeting to anyone.

 

In fact, Linda invited Riley to the McMahon mansion instead of WWE headquarters, deciding it would make her more comfortable.  Again, Riley complied and Linda was satisfied, already ordering her servants to make up one of the many guest bedrooms for Riley because she refused to let the woman stay in a hotel alone.  After what she’d been through, Riley deserved some pampering, not to mention she was still technically a member of the WWE staff, though her job title would have to change.

 

That would be discussed more in depth at a later date.

 

Linda was even kind enough to send a limo to the airport, not wanting Riley standing around waiting to grab a cab to bring her to the mansion.  Not too fond of cab drivers herself, Linda wouldn’t let one of her guests take a cab when she had a perfectly running limo with a driver that had a clean record.  She gave specific instructions that Riley was to be brought straight to the McMahon mansion with no stops on the way and Malcolm, the driver, nodded in understanding before driving off to pick up Linda’s guest.

 

So when Riley walked through the terminal inside the airport and saw a man holding up a sign with her name scrawled on it in black permanent marker, her curiosity was more than a little crested.  Hesitantly, Riley grabbed her bag first from the luggage retrieval area before heading toward the man, swallowing hard.  He had black glasses on with a pure black suit, his graying hair not easing Riley’s anxiety much.  She had a feeling this was Linda’s doing, but Riley was constantly looking over her shoulder ever since she escaped from Stu and the Nexus.

 

“Hi.” She spoke quietly, tilting her head when the man slowly lifted his shades to stare at her out of calm brown eyes.

 

“Are you Riley Morris?” He asked promptly, arching an eyebrow when the woman bit her bottom lip.

 

“Yes.”

 

“ID please.”

 

Riley blinked as he lowered the sign and shakily fished through her purse, pulling out her driver’s license, handing it over. “I uh…”

 

“Very well, Miss Morris.” He tossed the sign away in the nearby garbage can and extended his hands, remembering Linda warning him ahead of time how skittish she might be. “Allow me to take your bags.  The limo is just outside waiting.  Mrs. McMahon is expecting your arrival.”

 

“T-Thank you…”

 

“Malcolm.” He flashed a friendly smile, taking her bag that she reluctantly handed over and escorted her out of the airport toward the long stretch black limousine, opening the door for her. “Slide right on in and help yourself to anything you want.  There’s beverages and caviar along with a fruit and vegetable tray.  Mrs. McMahon wanted you as comfortable as possible.  I hope this is to your satisfaction.”

 

“Uh…yeah thanks.” Riley didn’t know what to say or even think, refusing to touch the caviar because she hated raw fish.

 

Though, her stomach growled at the sight of the huge fruit tray staring at her.  Malcolm closed the door without another word and put her bag in the trunk, sliding behind the wheel, the limo taking off moments later.  Riley jumped a little, not expecting it and looked around the limo in amazement, everything luxurious right down to the crystalline tray that the fruit sat on.  She couldn’t help herself as soon as the pineapple came into her vision, taking a chunk and popped it in her mouth, smiling softly at the sweet taste.

 

While Riley sat in the limo alone staring out the window, all she could think about was John, hoping one day he understood why she left.  It wasn’t that she didn’t love him; Riley knew she was completely in love with him, but this wasn’t his fight.  He wasn’t the one who was chained up for months while men constantly raped and beat her.  He wasn’t the one who went through all the pain and barely came out of it alive.  She had to fight this battle on her own without him, especially now that she had a lot of collateral on the scumbags who tortured her.

 

That collateral was currently growing in her stomach.

 

Riley pressed a hand to her stomach and closed her eyes, a few tears slipping down her cheeks.  She craved to have John’s arms wrapped around her, his sweet words whispering in her ear that everything was going to work out.  Then there was sweet little Anthony that saved her life and Riley vowed she would do something extraordinary for the boy once this ordeal was taken care of.  She missed them both more than words could say and knew John would be really angry at her, but if he loved her as much as he proclaimed, then when Riley finally contacted him all would be forgiven.

 

If not, Riley would have to keep moving forward with her life, no matter what.

 

Sighing deeply, Riley pulled her cell phone out, knowing Justin was waiting on her call to make sure she made it safely to Connecticut.  He answered on the second ring. “Hey Justin, I made it.” She said softly, hearing him let out a huge sigh of relief, shaking her head. “I’m sorry I couldn’t call you as soon as the plane landed, but Linda sent a limo and I had to let the driver know it was me he was looking for.”

 

“No problem honey, how are you feeling?” He asked worriedly, not able to help it and nodded when Barbara mouthed if it was Riley on the phone, waving her off. “How’s the baby treating you?”

 

“Baby’s fine, surprisingly no morning sickness yet.” Riley half joked, trying to make light of a very dark and bad situation, her free hand never leaving her stomach. “You need to stop worrying about me so much before Barb will get jealous.”

 

“Woman, how many damn times must I tell you I won’t get jealous over your friendship with Justy?” Barbara demanded through the speakerphone, laughing when Riley began cussing because she’d heard everything Riley said. “Now how’s my little niece or nephew doing?  You better feed that baby; don’t make me hunt you down!”

 

Riley couldn’t help laughing after cussing at Justin for putting her on speakerphone, hating it when he did that. “Yeah, yeah I’m eating pineapple right now and the baby is agreeing with it.  You should see this limo, it’s unbelievable.” Riley was still bewildered, popping a red grape in her mouth next. “I feel like I’m royalty right now.”

 

That did not surprise Justin or Barbara in the slightest, knowing the McMahons made sure any guest they had was taken care of. “Good, fruit is great for the baby and I know Linda will probably have spreads waiting for you when you get there.” Barbara giggled when Riley groaned; starting to complain about how much weight she would gain if she kept eating as much as she was lately. “Well DUH you have to eat more because you have another life growing inside of you, sweetie!  A cute little bundle of joy that we’re gonna spoil rotten, I’m just warning you ahead of time.”

 

“She’s not lying either.” Justin grumbled and groaned when he got popped upside the head for his troubles, growling. “Woman, if you don’t stop that…”

 

“You won’t do shit.” Barbara cheekily stated, winking and went to brush her long blonde hair, contemplating if she should cut it since it was getting to her waist. “Tell Riley I love her and to take care of that baby!”

 

“I heard her.” Riley couldn’t help laughing at how cute Justin and Barbara were together, knowing they were soul mates. “You two are adorable, you know that?” She popped another piece of fruit, this time mango, in her mouth.

 

“Yeah, she’s my Barbie doll, even though sometimes I just wanna bend her over my knee and...”

 

“You can stop right there, Justin.” Riley ordered, not wanting to hear what kinky things her best friend wanted to do to his girlfriend, chuckling. “You need to propose to her and get it over with.”

 

“THANK YOU!!” Came Barbara’s voice from the bathroom, causing Riley to laugh even harder while Justin grumbled something incoherent.

 

“That is my queue to get off of here since I think we’re close to the mansion.” Riley said in between giggles, trying to bite them back, but it wasn’t happening. “You have fun with Barbie and I’ll see you guys soon.”

 

“Keep us informed kiddo.  I wanna hear from you at least once a day.” Justin stated, standing up to walk further away from the bathroom, clearing his throat. “And for your information, missy, I already have the ring.  I’m just waiting for the right time to pop the question.”

 

Riley’s eyes widened and a loud squeal followed moments later, forcing Justin to pull the phone away from his ear, groaning. “Damn girl!” He was sure an eardrum had just blown.

 

“YOU BETTER CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU DO IT, PAUL LLOYD JR!!!”

 

Riley NEVER used his real name so Justin knew if he didn’t call her right after the proposal, she would hurt him. “You got it, I promise as soon as I do it.  Now keep it down, I don’t want Barbie finding out.” He muttered, chuckling when Riley squealed again in excitement, nodding when she demanded to be in the wedding. “Barbie wouldn’t have it any other way, you know that.”

 

“Good.” Riley looked out the window when the limo stopped, the euphoria of Justin’s pending proposal to Barbara fading instantly, knowing they had arrived. “I have to go, we’re here.  I’ll call you as soon as I can.  Love you guys.” She ended the call abruptly just as Malcolm opened the door, slipping the cell phone in her purse.

 

“Welcome to McMahon Manor, Miss Morris.” Malcolm announced, extending his hand and was surprised when she took it, helping her out of the limousine.

 

“Oh my…”

 

The mansion was gigantic and Riley wasn’t even sure if that was the proper word to call it, blinking, feeling her throat tightening slightly.  It had to be at least four stories high, if not more, and stretched on for miles.  It would probably take an entire week just to have a tour of the place and Riley suddenly wondered if coming here was the right thing to do.  Her hand immediately went to her stomach protectively, reminding Riley the reason why she contacted Linda in the first place, nodding silently.

 

“Right this way, Miss Morris.” Malcolm instructed softly, jolting Riley out of her doubts and guided her toward the stairs that lead to two huge double oak doors. 

 

Malcolm couldn’t help chuckling softly at how astounded the woman looked, the wonderment in her eyes reminding him of how he felt when he first started working for the McMahon family.  He’d been their driver for over thirty years now and loved his job because not only did it pay well, but the benefits were outstanding.  Malcolm would never find another job like this and planned on doing it until he physically could not drive anymore.

 

“Mrs. McMahon is waiting for you in the den.  I will take your bag up to your room.” Before Riley could say a word, Malcolm was off, having stopped just outside of the den area so Riley didn’t get lost, knowing that wouldn’t bode well with his boss.

 

Taking a deep breath, Riley pushed open the double doors that matched the front ones, only smaller, knowing there was no turning back.

 

Chapter 21

 

Lost.

 

That was the only word John could think of that described how he felt, wondering what he had done wrong.  From the moment he’d woken up and found out Riley had escaped from the hospital, all he could think was what had he done to make her run off so suddenly?  Then he thought about what she wanted to find out and hunted Doctor Adams down, who simply told him she couldn’t reveal the results of the pregnancy test due to patient confidentiality.  John was livid, not believing he was being kept in the dark and left the hospital with Anthony in tow, which couldn’t stop crying ever since he found out Riley had left them.

 

It shredded John’s heart every time tears fell from his little boy’s eyes, the pain turning slowly into hidden anger.  How could he be so stupid to fall for a woman who clearly had too much baggage and pain of her own to even consider a relationship?  It was simple.  John knew he couldn’t help who he fell in love with and didn’t regret saving Riley from Barrett.  He would do it all over again in a heartbeat because no woman deserved the kind of abuse that Barrett put Riley through, no matter the circumstances.

 

It just absolutely sucked that while he was being Riley’s knight in shining armor, he also fell in love and let her run off with his heart.

 

Anthony would heal from the pain, but John knew it would take him longer to do so, wondering if he would ever see Riley again.  There was a reason she ran off, a reason she didn’t trust him enough to let him help her with whatever she was going through.  He couldn’t begin imagining the type of disgusting vile things Barrett did to her down in the arena basements, which were now checked on an hourly basis by order of Vince.  He didn’t need another scandal in his company apparently and was doing everything in his power to cover his ass.

 

She needed time to heal and John was going to give her that, deciding she would contact him when she was ready.  He’d already tried calling Justin, knowing that would be the first person Riley would run to, only to find out he hadn’t seen or spoken to her either.  It was as if Riley Jade Morris had vanished off the face of the planet.  Someone had to know where she was, hell the woman didn’t have that much money on her due to Barrett freezing all of her accounts, including the one for insurance, which left John paying for her hospital bills.

 

Then again, maybe Riley had a secret bank account hidden from Barrett and she was using John to plot her escape.  John immediately shook his head at that thought, knowing Riley wasn’t that kind of woman.  Something scared her and John had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach it had to do with that pregnancy test Doctor Adams gave her just hours before Riley’s sudden disappearance.  If she was pregnant, that definitely would be a reason to run off without leaving a note or anything saying she would be alright.

 

Riley left nothing.

 

John looked over at his little boy, his arm wrapped protectively around his shoulders while Anthony slept on him, both of them on a plane headed toward Los Angeles.  That’s where John was catching up with the Raw roster, needing to get back to work since he didn’t have the slightest idea where Riley could’ve gone.  And as long as he was on the Raw roster, he could keep tabs on Wade Barrett and the rest of Nexus.  It didn’t matter if they were split up into two groups now, the Corre on Smackdown! and the Nexus on Raw. 

 

John would make them pay by beating the living hell out of them in the ring.

 

“John?”

 

He was jolted out of his deep thoughts and looked up, tilting his head slightly at the sight of his longtime friend, Randy Orton. “Hey man, what’s up?” He greeted softly, nodding when Randy ushered to the seat beside John near the window, being careful not to wake Anthony up.

 

“Not a whole lot, how about you?  I heard some things on the road.” Randy admitted openly, never one to beat around the bush, which John respected him for.

 

John sighed heavily and nodded, glancing down at his son again, the pain in his heart flaring up all over again. “Yeah well, what I had to deal with is over.  I’m back on the road ready to kick ass and take names.” He stated, hoping Randy dropped the subject, not wanting to talk about Riley if he could help it.

 

“Yeah you sound like it.”

 

Randy didn’t know what to say because he’d heard through the grapevine of the company that John had stayed with that woman, Riley Morris, who was found in the arena basement a few months back.  He could hear the pain in John’s voice and had a feeling things didn’t turn out well with the woman, though Randy honestly wasn’t surprised.  John was always so upbeat and lively, but right now he looked like he’d shot his puppy or lost his best friend, something to that effect.  It unnerved Randy because he was dubbed one of the locker room leaders of the company and didn’t want John’s mind clouded when he stepped back in the ring, wondering if sparring lessons were in order.

 

“If you need anything, let me know okay?” Randy offered finally, deciding it was best not to bring up the subject or pry into John’s personal life, their friendship having dwindled over the past couple of years.

 

“Yeah thanks man, I appreciate that.” John managed a half smile and leaned back in his seat, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Hey Randy, I got a favor to ask you.”

 

“What is it?” Randy asked, pulling his gaze from the window to John, arching an eyebrow.

 

“I need you to…spar with me a little in the ring.  I haven’t been in the ring in the past few months and I need to freshen up a little.” John explained, also being dubbed a locker room leader, and this was one of the many reasons why. “Would you mind doing it a couple of times?”

 

Randy smiled; glad John was putting the business before his personal life, knowing it was going to be hard getting through whatever was bothering him. “Sure man, no problem.  We can spar as many times as you want before you get back in the ring.” He extended his hand and John took it, both men nodding simultaneously. “And I mean it, if you need to talk about anything; I’m here for you John.”

 

John knew what Randy meant by that and nodded, pulling his hand out of the handshake. “I know…I just need time to sort shit out in my head before I talk about it.” He stated quietly, not sure how else to word it and honestly didn’t care, just wanting to toss himself back in his work so he couldn’t think about Riley for at least a little while.

 

Randy understood that, remembering when his marriage fell apart with his now ex-wife Samantha, immediately pushing her in the far recesses of his mind.  He hadn’t talked about his personal life with anyone in the company, keeping his personal and professional lives completely separate like Mark Calaway had done.  He didn’t know how Mark managed to do it, but Randy learned from the best and nobody knew that Randy had divorced Samantha.  He preferred it that way, though didn’t wear his wedding ring because not only was it not safe in the ring, but he honestly didn’t care if anyone noticed.

 

So far, no one had and it’d been six months since the divorce finalized.

 

“So what’s up with you lately?” John decided to be nosey, wanting to get his mind off of his own grief for a couple minutes and knew Randy was the perfect outlet. “How’s Samantha and Alannah?”

 

Randy smiled at the sound of his daughter’s name, masking the disdain for his ex-wife. “They’re good, Al is getting so big.  I can’t believe how fast she grew up.  How’s your little guy doing?” He ushered toward the sleeping Anthony, causing John’s face to fall a little.

 

“He’s fine, healthy as a horse and eats just like his old man.” John chuckled half-heartedly, both men trying not to laugh loud when the little boy began snoring lightly. “Just like his old man.” John echoed in a whisper, still not believing what a blessing he had in his life.

 

“He looks like you.” Randy pointed out the obvious, causing John to nod. “That way Denise didn’t want to be a mother anymore?”

 

“Something like that.” John grunted, remembering when he called Denise to ask if he could bring Anthony back on the road because he had to return to his job, thanks to Vince’s change of heart, only for the woman to practically toss their son at John and Riley without blinking. “Denise needed sometime alone and I was the one who offered to take Anthony on the road with me for a few months to give her a break.”

 

“Damn I wish Samantha would let me do that.” Randy muttered and immediately regretted it as soon as the words left his mouth, seeing John’s eyebrow slowly lift in question. “We’re divorced.”

 

John’s jaw dropped and he could only stare at his friend, wondering how the hell that marriage fell apart considering Samantha and Randy seemed perfect for each other. “Damn I’m sorry, Randy.” He honestly meant it, placing a hand on the man’s shoulder for support. “What happened?”

 

Randy scoffed, shrugging John’s hand off his shoulder, hating to have any pity thrown at him. “Oh you know the same old shit I’ve been dealing with my whole life since becoming a WWE Superstar.  Guy falls for girl; girl is left at home alone and decides the loneliness is too much so she screws anything on two legs that shows her the slightest bit of attention.” He felt sick just talking about it, blue eyes adverting to the flooring of the plane. “She was in a threesome when I went home about a year ago and found her being fucked from behind while sucking some other guy’s dick.” He dropped his voice considerably, knowing the other passengers on the plane wouldn’t appreciate his vulgar language.

 

“That’s fucked up.” John stated, not believing Samantha would even be in something like that, shaking his head sadly. “Did you know who the two assholes were?”

 

Randy chuckled ruefully, the bitterness dripping in his tone, his jaw tightening slightly. “Yeah I knew them.  We both do actually.”

 

Now John was too intrigued to back off the conversation, almost hesitating to ask. “Who was it?”

 

Randy turned his head until their blue eyes locked, tears actually filling Randy’s. “It was two mother fuckers from the Nexus group.  Or I guess they’re in the fuckin’ Corre group on Smackdown! now.” He cleared his throat, knowing John would want to know the names because of what happened to that Riley girl a few months back. “It was the redhead and…Otunga…Now that I think about it; Otunga is still on Raw while the redhead went to Smackdown!”

 

“The redhead…You mean Wendy’s little brother, Slater?” John gritted out, knowing those two had also raped Riley at least once, though John had no solid proof as far as the redhead went.  Otunga on the other hand…That prick was going to have his ass handed to him by both John and Randy for all the pain he caused both men, John’s anger surfacing. “Yeah, I know Otunga…more than I should…”

 

“What do you mean?” Randy couldn’t help asking, seeing the anger ignite in John’s eyes, clearing his throat awkwardly.

 

John felt sick at the memory of Joseph Henning telling him what David said about screwing a woman chained up until she bled on his dick.  David Otunga was going to pay for what he did to Riley; John knew that woman was Riley David referred to in his gloating.  What man in their right mind would gloat about screwing a woman chained up until she bled on his dick? 

 

A sick demented one.

 

“There’s no proof against him, but I know that mother fucker is one of the ones that raped and tortured Riley.” He watched Randy’s eyes widen and had to look away, the pain in his own too embarrassing for another man to see. “Now you know where I’ve been the past few months…”

 

Randy nodded in understanding, his already tightened jaw actually cracking because he was doing his best to keep his temper in check. “Apparently we both have issues with Otunga and I think we need to settle them.” Randy growled lowly, folding his arms in front of his chest and looked out the window again.

 

“Sounds like a plan to me.”

 

The rest of the flight was made in silence, both men letting their anger fester for what David Otunga did to both women they had deep feelings for.  Randy would always love Samantha, but he could never forgive her for willingly screwing someone as downright sick as Otunga and Slater.  John would always love Riley, but it was her decision to leave and if she never wanted to see him again, he wasn’t going to chase her down.  However, both men had one new goal in mind and that was making David Otunga’s life a miserable living hell, which would start as soon as John was back in the ring.

 

Once the plane landed, John and Randy parted ways, promising to get together for a sparring lesson the following day before anyone else arrived at the arena for Raw.  John carried his son upstairs along with their bags, still not believing Anthony had slept the entire flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, not waking up once on the ride to the hotel.  He literally cried himself into a deep slumber and John checked his pulse, paranoid his little boy would never wake up again.

 

Anthony was just a very deep sleeper like his father.

 

Once John got Anthony settled in bed, waking him up long enough to change him into pajamas, John decided it was time to call Denise.  He’d put the phone call off long enough and it was finally time to take Anthony back home to his mother as soon as possible.  If he had to miss another show, Vince would have to deal with it, but John didn’t want his son around while John was plotting someone’s death.

 

“John, what’s wrong?” Denise demanded as soon as she picked up, rubbing her eyes. “It’s like three in the morning…”

 

“I know.” John grunted, stepping outside on the balcony and knew this wasn’t going to be an easy conversation with his ex-wife. “Everything is fine with Anthony, but…I have to send him back to you sooner than expected.  Some things have come up and…he can’t be on the road with me right now.”

 

Denise chewed her bottom lip, glancing over at her sleeping boyfriend, and slipped from the bed to talk to John privately. “What happened, John?  Talk to me.” Even though their marriage didn’t work out, Denise and John got along for the most part because they loved their son too much to put him through any amount of pain.

 

Closing his eyes, John cracked open a beer before giving the long explanation about Riley and everything that had happened.

 

Chapter 22

 

Linda sat there in stunned silence, after hearing the horrific story about what happened to the woman sitting in front of her, not sure what to say.

 

Riley tried stopping the tears from falling, but having to relive what Stu and the rest of his group did to her was harder than she originally thought.  Not leaving out any details, Riley knew it was probably harder for Linda to hear about what her employees did to an innocent woman, especially in the arenas that the McMahon family rented out in order to put on shows.  She was almost afraid Linda would do the same thing her husband did and sweep this problem under the rug so to speak, not wanting to deal with the scandal.

 

But Riley had to try.

 

On the contrary, Linda was steaming with hidden rage, wondering why the hell her husband hadn’t told her about this.  Just because she’d handed over her position as CEO of the WWE to her husband did NOT give him the right to keep things of this magnitude away from her!  Granted, Linda wanted to be Senate in the worst way, but not at the expense of poor innocent women like Riley being tortured in such vile disgusting ways, especially in the WWE. 

 

She was not going to brush this off and planned on having her OWN investigation regarding these allegations.  Linda’s heart absolutely broke for Riley as she cried her heart out while explaining in full detail what happened to her.  Everything she could remember and every name that came out of Riley’s mouth Linda was committing to memory.

 

“Did you find out when the conception date was, dear?” Was Linda’s first question, pulling out a small notebook out of the side drawer of the table beside her, deciding taking notes would be vital at this point. “I hope these questions aren’t too direct, Riley, but if you want my help you need to tell me everything I ask of you, alright?”

 

She was so kind; Riley sniffled and nodded without hesitation, knowing Linda was going to help her with this. “September twenty-seventh, which is when I was still held captive by those...monsters.” She whispered the last word, wiping more tears away and knew this wasn’t good for her baby, trying to settle down.

 

“When were you taken hostage?” Linda asked promptly, having slipped her glasses on, gritting her teeth because she was livid at Vince for his foolishness.

 

Did he not realize this woman could probably take every penny they had simply because he refused to show her an OUNCE of compassion?!

 

“June twentieth.” Riley remembered it like it was yesterday because she had nightmares every time her eyes closed, seeing the cold brooding eyes of Stu staring back at her as he took her viciously.

 

“When were you found?” Linda tried not to get emotional over this and had done a great job thus far, but that was until she heard Riley’s answer.

 

“October third or fourth, I can’t really remember the date…” Riley lowered her eyes, knowing she probably should’ve gotten that information from Patricia, but hadn’t thought about that when she made the escape.

 

Linda had to stop for a second, slowly removing her glasses and stood up to walk over to the mini bar, desperately needing a drink. “You were gone for over three months?” Linda finally asked, after a brief moment of silence and slammed a shot of brandy down her throat, trying to keep what was left of her sanity.

 

“Yes ma’am.”

 

“Linda.  Please call me Linda, Riley.” She requested, clearing her throat and poured another drink, this time a little bigger so she couldn’t slam it in a shot before walking back over to take her seat again. “I apologize for my behavior, but this is very disconcerting because my husband hasn’t told me anything about these events.”

 

Riley’s eyes widened, chewing her bottom lip nervously. “Oh.”

 

Vince hadn’t told his wife what was going on in their company?  This was bad; Riley suddenly felt sick to her stomach and knew the morning sickness combined with anxiety wasn’t a good combination with the pregnancy.  Riley simply sat there while Linda looked over what she’d written in the notebook, keeping her eyes on the floor as silent tears fell, sniffling.

 

Hormones were a bitch.

 

“And we’re not going to tell him I know about this.” Linda stated, instantly easing Riley’s anxiety and pushed the small trashcan over to her in case she had to vomit.

 

Riley’s head shot up, her jade eyes the size of saucers and swallowed hard at the determination in Linda’s eyes. “I-I don’t know understand…” She could slowly see the wheels in Linda’s head turning and knew the woman could be as vindictive, if not more so, than her husband.

 

“Don’t worry about it anymore tonight, Riley dear.” Linda waved her off absentmindedly, standing up and set her brandy on the table, knowing she had quite a few phone calls to make. “You let me take care of this matter and just relax as much as possible.  Though I do have one request.” When Riley nodded, Linda smiled and placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder, letting her know everything was going to be fine. “You need to stay here for the time being.  Nobody knows you are here and I want those bastards to think they’re going to get away with this before striking.  I want my husband to think he has the control while I make my own investigation secretively.”

 

“Y-You want me to stay here?”

 

Linda nodded with another soft reassuring smile. “Yes, just until this matter is resolved.  It will take time and I want you here so I know you and the baby are safe.  I feel responsible for what happened to you and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure those bastards pay for what they did to you.  You have my word on that, Riley.” She explained and stepped back as Riley stood from her seat, both women wanting the same thing.

 

Justice for what happened to Riley.

 

“Alright, I will stay here, but I do want to be part of what happens to them.” Riley stated, refusing to just stand by why someone else took care of her problem, smiling when Linda nodded.

 

“Absolutely, I would never deny you that.  Just let me make a few phone calls and relax for the evening.  Don’t even think about this.” Linda guided her toward the doors, her arm wrapped securely around the woman’s shoulders. “The first thing I’m going to do is hire my own investigators and authorities to search each of those arenas top to bottom to see if they can find anything.  I will let you know if anything comes up, but I think the only way to nail these pricks is DNA tests from each of them.”

 

Riley heaved a sigh, closing her eyes and knew this was hopeless. “They can deny having that done and did already though…”

 

Linda held her hand up, a smirk spreading across her lips. “You leave that to me.  Trust me, within a week’s time I will have every one of them hand over a DNA sample without blinking.”

 

Riley didn’t understand how Linda was going to pull this off, but she did have a lot of money to work with, so she wasn’t going to lose faith yet. “Thank you for all of your help, Linda.  I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t called you.” Doing something out of the ordinary, Riley took a chance and hugged Linda, surprised when the woman returned her embrace.

 

“No need to thank me yet, Riley.  When we have each and every one of those bastards behind bars and out of the company, THEN you can thank me all you want.” Linda stated and pulled back, pressing a hand to Riley’s still flat stomach. “You must be starved, dinner will be ready shortly.  In the meantime, why don’t you go lay down and take a nap?  You look exhausted and you need plenty of rest for that baby.”

 

Linda was a born grandmother, causing Riley to sigh reluctantly and Linda couldn’t help laughing softly. “Very well, whatever you say Linda.  Thanks again.” She walked up the stairs and saw Malcolm meeting her, knowing he would guide her to one of the many guestrooms of the mansion.

 

Linda watched her go up, nodding silently at Malcolm and went to make those calls. “She reminds me so much of Stephanie.” She whispered, heading into her study, closing the door behind her.

 

~!~

 

The iron bar pumped up and down, straining his muscles and John didn’t care.  He was well over his max weight, sweat pouring down the sides of his face, gritting his teeth as he poured all of his strength and energy into this workout.  He had to do something to get Riley off of his mind and so far nothing was working, not even this workout.  Every time John closed his eyes, those jade eyes flashed into his mind, even when he was in the ring. 

 

Being sleep deprived had become a regular lifestyle to John.

 

He missed his little man being on the road with him, but John knew it wasn’t the right time or environment for Anthony.  Denise was surprisingly understanding when John called and explained the entire situation, simply telling her Riley had been badly injured while with him, running off.  Assuring him it was fine, Denise took Anthony off of John’s hands and he hugged his little boy, promising to come back to see him as soon as he had some time off the road.  It broke his heart to leave Anthony with his mother, but John knew he was doing the right thing as a responsible father. 

 

However, John couldn’t leave without the ever present question of where was Riey from his son.

 

“Hey man, need a partner?”

 

John gritted his teeth at the sound of that voice, slowly lifted the bar from his chest, racked it, sat up and stared back at none other than Windham Rotunda with ice cold blue eyes.  This asshole had a lot of balls to even talk to him let alone offer to be his weight lifting partner.  Not to mention John was under the impression he was sent back to FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) because he couldn’t hack it on the roster and was written off of the Nexus storyline shortly after Riley was found.

 

He was one of the men who tortured and raped the woman he loved.

 

Suddenly, a slow smile spread across his face as John stood up from the bench, nodding. “Sure, I’ll watch you lift first since I just finished my reps.” He offered kindly, the devious dangerous gleam in his eyes completely missed by Windham.

 

Windham grinned, glad John agreed since he didn’t like weight lifting without a partner.  He walked over to the bench where John had previously been and settled in for his own reps, lifting the bar from the rack with John standing right above him.  So many thoughts ran through John’s head as he watched Windham begin pumping the iron, trying not to let his temper overtake him.  He wasn’t going to just let Windham walk away either and John wanted the man to feel just a shred of fear.  Wanting him to know what it was like to be controlled without being able to do anything about it, to have his life flash before his beady eyes.

 

John let the man finish one set of reps, standing there trying to think of what he could do, and it suddenly hit him. “Hold up man, I think something’s wrong with the rack…” He walked over to the side and stood over Windham, his hand wrapping around the middle of the bar squeezing.

 

“It doesn’t feel like it…” Windham suddenly had his air supply cut off as John slammed the bar down right against his throat, the words dying from the man’s lips. “J-John…”

 

“SHUT UP!” John growled angrily, knowing there was no way Windham could fight him off, especially since John was probably the strongest guy in the entire company. “Shut your fuckin’ mouth and just listen to me, you son of a bitch.” His voice lowered, not wanting to cause a scene, glad the door was closed for the time being and it was just the two of them in here. “I know what you did, Windham.  I know what you and those pussies did to Riley Morris.  It wasn’t just Barrett and you can deny it all you want, but she told me everything.  You were one of the ones who raped and beat on her, weren’t you?”

 

“Y-You…”

 

John pressed the bar even harder against Windham’s throat, not caring if he was completely cutting off the air supply by now. “What did I say?  I told you to shut the fuck up and, if you wanna walk out of here with any vocal cords left to scream like the bitch you are, you will stop talking and just listen.” When Windham just stared up at John with absolutely terror in his eyes, John was more than satisfied, though he didn’t let up on the bar yet. “I’m warning you right now, if you EVER come near Riley again in any way, shape or form, I will kill you.  I will rip your vocal cords directly out of your ass and if you think I can’t do it, TRY ME.  You and the rest of those pricks are being put on notice right now: I will find each and every one of you and make you pay for touching one hair on her beautiful head.”

 

Windham began gagging; trying to get breath back in his body, but John wasn’t allowing it, his face turning beat red.

 

“There is something you need to do and I’m going to make sure it gets done right now.” With Windham in this position, John knew he had the perfect opportunity and yanked as hard as he could on Windham’s hair, making sure the root was attached. “So help me god, if you’re the one who…” He stopped, refusing to say anything about Riley being pregnant, having it confirmed by a nurse that was helping with Riley at the hospital. 

 

It was amazing what a little flirting could do, but John did whatever necessary to find out why Riley ran off.

 

John made sure not to let go of the hair DNA sample and slowly turned his head toward the detective who approached him secretively before John began his workout.  The detective told him that Windham was coming this way and if he wanted to help Riley Morris, he would acquire a DNA sample for her.  John didn’t know who this detective was and honestly didn’t care.  Once Riley’s name was mentioned, John was in and handed over the hair as the detective walked over, having been standing in the shadows watching the whole time.

 

“Thank you John, we will be in touch.  Please do not mention this to anyone on the roster.” The detective stated, glad for one cooperating employee of the company and walked out, having acquired what they came for.

 

John slowly turned his head to stare down at Windham, having one last thought he wanted to plant in the man’s head. “If you know what’s good for you, you won’t come back to the WWE because, if you do, your career will end before it even starts.” With that said John released the bar and racked it with one hand, watching as Windham coughed and rolled off the bench pathetically.

 

John walked out, wondering where that detective had gone, having a feeling they knew Riley’s whereabouts.

 

Chapter 23

 

Linda was pleased when the detective she hired walked into the mansion with all of the DNA samples she asked for, having instructed to take whatever measures necessary to get them.  The detective didn’t disappoint and Linda knew they wouldn’t.  Though she had no idea that the detective had John Cena help with one of the DNA samples, but even that wouldn’t bother Linda.  Cutting a check for a large sum of money that would definitely keep their mouth shut and more than pay for the job; Linda sent the detective on their way and headed to her private study.

 

“Malcolm!” She called through the intercom that linked straight to his room, hearing his voice moments later.

 

“Yes Mrs. McMahon?”

 

“Would you be a darling and come to my study for a few minutes?” She asked politely, pouring herself a glass of brandy and leaned back in her large chair.

 

“Right away, Mrs. McMahon.”

 

Pressing the end button on the intercom, Linda enjoyed her glass of brandy and closed her eyes, knowing all the pieces of her plan were coming together.  Though now she had to deliver the DNA samples to the authorities she’d personally contacted, keeping everything from her husband.  It wasn’t hard considering he had his grandchildren to contend with along with running the WWE.  She knew Riley was counting on her and Linda wouldn’t let the girl down, knowing she’d been through hell and back.

 

A few minutes later, a knock sounded at Linda’s study door and she smiled, setting her brandy down on the nearby table. “Come in, Malcolm.”

 

“What is it, Mrs. McMahon?” Malcolm immediately asked and blinked when she simply handed over a large igloo cooler container, causing his eyebrow to slowly rise. “Umm…”

 

“Please take that to Officer Dickson.” Linda instructed promptly, standing up to place another log in the fireplace, glancing behind her shoulder when Malcolm looked hesitant. “He’s the gentleman who was here a few days ago regarding Riley and he’s expecting this container immediately.”

 

Malcolm knew better than to question anything his boss did or requested of him, simply nodding. “I’ll get to him straightaway, Mrs. McMahon.” He stated, causing a bright smile to cross Linda’s face.

 

“I’ve already called him and he’s expecting you.” Linda informed, finishing off her glass of brandy and walked past Malcolm out of her study. “Call me as soon as he has the container in his hands, please.”

 

Malcolm nodded and headed out, neither spotting Riley around the corner, having listened to the whole conversation.  Riley pressed her back against the wall and covered her mouth, her other hand against her protruding stomach, wondering what Linda had in that container.  She specifically told Linda she wanted to be involved in the planning of bringing down Stu, but obviously the woman didn’t want her in it.

 

“What’s going on?” She whispered quietly, watching Malcolm head out of the mansion double doors, chewing her bottom lip.

 

Riley knew she should’ve trusted Linda McMahon to take care of this situation, but what if it all backfired?  What if whatever was in that container wasn’t enough to bring Stu down for what he did to her?  She wanted revenge for what Stu and the rest of his goons did to her, for all the pain she’d been caused. 

 

Until that revenge was complete, Riley couldn’t move on with her life, wondering suddenly if she ever would be able to.  Tears formed in her eyes as Riley walked over to the window and watched as the long black stretch limo drove away with the mystery container inside of it, the curiosity burning within.  Riley knew she could always ask Linda, but then again what if the woman simply denied anything regarding the container just to keep her out of the plan to bring her rapists down? 

 

Riley honestly didn’t know what to do; wiping a few stray tears away and froze when she heard a throat clear behind her.

 

“Riley, what are you doing out of bed, my dear?”

 

Closing her eyes, shame instantly crossed Riley’s face as soon as she turned around to face Linda, unable to look at her, finding the marble flooring suddenly intriguing. “I-I’m sorry, Mrs. McMahon.  I heard voices and…” She couldn’t tell the truth so Riley decided to try improvising. “This pregnancy really has my insomnia acting up.”

 

Linda eyeballed her; not believing a word Riley said and took a step forward. “I see.” She walked past Riley to stare out the window, knowing the girl had watched Malcolm drive away and wondered if she’d overheard their conversation. “Riley, if we’re going to make them pay for the crimes they’ve committed against you, we need to start trusting each other, dear.”

 

Her face flamed at the realization that Linda knew she’d been lying through her teeth, mentally cursing. “I-I’m sorry…” How could Riley trust anyone at this point after what happened to her?

 

Sighing gently, Linda turned around and walked over to wrap an arm around Riley’s shoulders, knowing the woman didn’t need to be berated right now. “Come with me to my study, Riley.  I will explain everything.  I thought you were sleeping at this time of night and didn’t want to disturb your rest.  That’s why I didn’t call you down to tell you what I’ve done yet.”

 

Riley felt incredibly foolish; her eyes glued to the floor by now and simply allowed Linda to guide her into the study, the doors shutting behind them. “I’m sorry…” She didn’t know what else to say, the words coming out in a mere whisper as silent tears fell.

 

“I understand it has to be difficult for you to trust anyone, especially after what happened to you.  I assure you though; I was going to tell you tomorrow during breakfast.  Obviously, I made a mistake in thinking you were asleep so my apologies for that.” She explained softly, handing over a glass of apple juice to Riley while Linda decided on some more brandy, both setting down on the couch.

 

“N-No apologies necessary, Mrs. McMahon.” Riley stammered, not believing how imprudent she’d been to actually spy and listen in on Linda’s conversation with Malcolm.  After everything this woman had done for her, Riley had no reason not to trust her and felt sickened at her serious lack in judgment. “I-I should apologize to you for…spying…”

 

Linda held her hand up, Riley’s words instantly dying on her lips and simply flashed a soft smile. “There’s no reason for you to apologize either, Riley.  And please call me Linda.  There’s no reason for us not to be on a first name basis, right?” When Riley could only shrug, Linda decided that would have to do and sipped her brandy, handing over tissues silently. “How are you feeling?”

 

“I wish I could stop crying and throwing up, but it seems neither is going to stop anytime soon.” Riley answered truthfully, blowing her nose, absolutely hating hormones and wished death on the asshole that forcefully impregnated her. “And I’m tired of feeling drained…”

 

Linda couldn’t help chuckling softly, reaching over to pat Riley’s hand in comfort. “That’s part of being pregnant, dear.  You’ll feel better once you’re in your second trimester, you’ll see.” Memories of Stephanie’s pregnancies with her granddaughters flashed through Linda’s mind, causing her to smile even more, even though her daughter was a pain in the ass ninety-nine percent of the time. “Now then, I’m sure you want to know what was in that container I sent with Malcolm.”

 

Riley slowly looked up and nodded, listening as Linda explained in full detail what was going to happen and the remnants of the container.  Tears slid down her cheeks that were full of pure relief as Linda revealed the fact that she’d collected all the DNA samples, thanks to a detective that would remain anonymous, they would pit against Stu and all of Nexus.  When Riley told her not to question Paul, Linda nodded in understanding because Riley had been with Paul –Justin- prior to coming to Connecticut, so she wasn’t going to have the authorities question him.

 

“So, what you’re saying is…”

 

“We should know within the next seventy-two hours everything in order to convict them.” Linda finished with a grin, eyes sparkling and could see sheer relief flash through Riley’s eyes, knowing the woman was finally starting to gain some liberation. “Now, I know this next part might not be easy for you to hear, but…”

 

“The baby.” Riley whispered, finishing what Linda was going to say and looked down at her stomach, having thought about what she wanted to do. “I’ve decided what I want to do.”

 

Linda raised a slow eyebrow, having a feeling she wasn’t going to like what Riley was about to say. “Whatever you decide, I’ll help you in any way I can, Riley.” Linda assured her, watching Riley look up as their eyes locked.

 

“I’m going to have the baby,” Riley wanted to put Linda’s worries at ease, seeing the anxiousness in her eyes, pausing to let that sink in before continuing. “But I’m not keeping it.”

 

“You’re going to adopt then?” Linda smiled, knowing that was a brave decision on Riley’s part and honestly didn’t blame her for not wanting to raise a child conceived the way this fetus was.

 

“Yes and I was hoping…you could help me find a suitable family for the baby…” Riley had no idea how to go about doing something like this, feeling incredibly lost, but Linda was all she had right now. “Please I know I’ve asked a lot of you already, Linda, but I want what’s best for this baby and…I can’t raise it.  I want it to have everything and I don’t want to ever find out who the father is.”

 

“Of course I’ll help you, Riley.  You can stay here for the remainder of your pregnancy and I’ll go through the adoption proceeding with you.” Linda offered, watching Riley’s eyes widen and smiled, knowing she would be safest here at the mansion. “Of course, I’ll have to let Vince know, but after what I’m about to do to the company, I’m SURE he will be bending over backwards to try to make things up to me.  You will just be the icing on the cake so to speak.”

 

Riley had no idea what to say and did something she normally wouldn’t dare.  Tossing her arms around Linda’s neck, Riley cried in sheer joy, glad someone was going to stand beside her through this difficult time in her life.  Nothing Riley ever did would be able to repay Linda for all of her kindness, but she would try nonetheless, deciding getting a part time job was on the top of her list.  She wasn’t going to stay at the mansion without giving Linda some kind of compensation, knowing it was the least she could do.

 

“I know I’ve said it countless times, but thank you for everything Linda.” Riley whispered and felt the kind woman caress her back soothingly, trying to calm her down. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without your help.  I am sorry for not trusting you…”

 

“As I said earlier, I don’t blame you with everything that’s happened, dear.” Linda stated, pulling back to wipe some of the tears from Riley’s eyes, knowing the woman was exhausted because of everything she’d been through and the baby. “I will start making calls tomorrow to set up appointments for the adoption.  Unless…you have some people in mind already?”

 

“No, I don’t.” Riley wondered suddenly if she was supposed to, raking a hand through her hair. “Should I?”

 

“No, some people do and some don’t.  Now stop worrying, everything is going to be fine and the adoption agency will make sure your baby ends up in a safe, secure home.” Linda said confidently, having went through the agency before with one of her old friends, though they rarely spoke anymore. “However, should you decide you want to keep the baby, even after it’s born, you have time to take your child back.”

 

“Really?” Riley blinked, wondering why adoption agencies would have a clause like that, her eyes lowering. “Why?”

 

“Because a lot of mothers go through the birthing process and end up connecting with their child even before it’s born.  So when the baby finally arrives, it’s harder to break that connection and it grows stronger.” Linda explained softly, wanting to assure Riley she had options and if she wanted to keep the baby, she could in the end. “The government allows around two months, depending on the adoption proceedings.  The family you end up choosing will want to get to know you before the birth.”

 

Riley looked up at Linda with tears glistening in her eyes, wondering how the woman knew exactly how she felt. “I know without a doubt I don’t want this baby.  If this was a baby conceived out of love, the way it should’ve been, then yes I would keep it in a heartbeat.  But I will end up hating and resenting this baby if I do keep it because of how it happened.  So please…Please Linda, just get rid of it for me…” She was breaking down; Riley could feel it within her heart and had to sit down, burying her face in her hands as the sobs began tearing through her entire frame, trembling violently.

 

Sighing heavily, Linda could only nod and walked over, sitting down beside Riley as she wrapped the fragile woman in her arms, trying to alleviate some of her pain. “I’ll take care of it, I promise.” Linda whispered, deciding to do everything in her power to help Riley in any way she could, not caring what Vince thought or did. “Come now sweetheart, don’t waste your tears on them.  They will soon get everything they deserve and more, you have my word on it.  Now come on, you need to get to bed.  It’s late and we’re both exhausted.”

 

Riley didn’t say anything and simply stood up, feeling her knees weaken, but managed to somehow let Linda guide her to her room.  Once Riley was at her door, she turned to Linda and hugged her again, not trusting her voice.  Linda patted her back and wished her sweet dreams before heading off to her own room, leaving Riley completely alone. 

 

Shutting the door behind her, Riley couldn’t even make it to her bed, pressing her back against the door sliding down, burying her face in her hands again.  All she could do was sit there on the marble floor and cry her heart out, ignoring the pain in her stomach.  She knew it was the baby, but Riley couldn’t stop her tears of the sobs that tore through every part of her body, knowing it was stressing both the baby and her out. 

 

She felt the chunks rise in her throat and managed to somehow crawl over to the nearby small trashcan, emptying everything she ate that evening for dinner and dessert.  It was the morning sickness, Linda had given Riley a book called ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and she’d read it front to back, not wanting any surprises.  Once Riley was finished, she took a few tissues from the nightstand and wiped her mouth off before crawling up in the huge king sized bed, curling up in a tight ball as sleep instantly consumed her.

 

Chapter 24

 

Vince whistled happily in his office as he looked over the ratings from last week’s shows, pleased with the results.  Hiring new writers was definitely a smart route to take, he was glad to be rid of the fools that couldn’t do their jobs properly.  The ideas were all the same, but now that he’d hired a new band of writers, things were slowly starting to look up.  One thing worried Vince and that was the fact he hadn’t heard from his lovely wife, Linda, knowing she was busy planning her next campaign to become a senator.

 

Or so he thought.

 

“Mr. McMahon?” A voice sounded from his doorway, causing the owner to look up with startled eyes.

 

Vince slowly stood up from his chair, eyeballing the commanding figure somewhat hungrily, a huge smile crossing his face. “How may I help you?” He asked cordially, knowing it wouldn’t be prudent of him to be rude to this unexpected guest.

 

A long legged dishwater blonde walked past Vince to sit in his chair, propping her steel toed boots on the desk with her arms folded behind her head.  She had on a short black jean skirt that had extensions connected to her black thigh highs.  Her upper body was covered in a simple black jean corset with a leather vest that was only buttoned halfway.  Her eyes were covered in black shades, one eyebrow raised at the owner of the WWE.

 

“You’ve never heard of me, but I’ve heard all about you and what happened in your company…Vince.” The woman stated as if talking about the weather, her glossy lips shimmering slightly. “My name is Detective Vanil.”

 

Vince swallowed past the lump that suddenly formed in his throat, but remained calm and didn’t blow his stack at the audacity of this woman. “I don’t know what you’re talking about…” He decided playing dumb would be his best option, wondering who the hell had hired this detective.

 

“You don’t eh?” Vanil snorted and shook her head, rocking her feet back and forth while moving paperwork around on Vince’s desk absentmindedly, getting underneath the owner’s skin. “Well then, allow me to refresh your memory, Vince.” She suddenly had both feet on the ground, her hands folded on the desk as she pulled the black shades from dangerous grey eyes, daring the man to lie to her again. “I will warn you that lying to me would be perjury, something you really don’t want to do, because you could be arrested on the spot for it.  Do we understand each other?”

 

This woman wasn’t fooling around and Vince knew it, feeling his own eyes narrow. “Just what is it you’re wanting in my company, detective?” He somewhat demanded in a cold voice, folding his arms in front of his chest. “Because I’ll have you know, I’ve dealt with authorities much larger than you before, so you don’t scare me.” Or so Vince wanted her to think, putting on a brave front. “Why don’t you tell me who sent you here?”

 

“Why don’t you sit down and shut the fuck up?” Vanil was getting pissed and stood up from the chair, squaring her shoulders and watched as Vince McMahon’s eyes nearly shot out of their sockets. “You don’t intimidate me either, Vince, especially since I was hired by someone very close to you to investigate what happened in your company a few months ago.”

 

Vince paled visibly and wondered who this detective was referring to, trying to rack his brain to make sure he hadn’t told anyone besides the people necessary regarding what happened to Riley Morris.  Someone close to him?  Was this detective deliberately trying to confuse Vince so he would spill the truth or did she already know everything that went down in the company all those months ago?  He’d already had his own investigation, which was just enough to wipe any traces of what happened, so his employees weren’t arrested for the crime they committed.

 

It was simply business and the WWE didn’t need bad publicity.

 

“While you stand there pondering what to say next, I’ll enlighten you on exactly why I’m here and I’ll even be nice enough to tell you who hired me.” Vanil was feeling generous, seeing she’d shut Vince up temporarily and walked around the desk slowly until she was leaning against the front of it, completely stone faced. “Does the name Riley Jade Morris ring a bell to you?”

 

“That matter was already assessed…”

 

“Assessed?” Vanil chuckled ruefully, stroking placing one hand on her gun, which was in a leather holster around her waist. “Is that would you call your half-assed investigation?  What you did was indeed not only against the law, Vince, but it was very wrong.  This poor defenseless woman was forced to come into your company not of her own volition because her ex-boyfriend, Stuart Bennett, though he refers to himself these days as Wade Barrett.  And you hired her on to be a part of the group Nexus, even though she didn’t want to.  So what you did was allow Bennett to force her signature on the contract, which I’m sure you know is forgery.  That is ANOTHER strike against you and your company, Vince.” She held her hand up before Vince could utter a word, deciding the asshole had spoken enough for one day. “Then after Ms. Morris got away from her abusive ex-boyfriend to team up with John Cena, Bennett went on a rampage and actually destroyed dressing rooms in your arenas, which you paid out of your own pocket to fix.  So instead of suspending him or doing SOMETHING to help this woman, you simply allowed your Superstar to continue being on the road and hurting other Superstars in the ring because of ratings.  Very foolish indeed, Vince.” She actually shook her finger at the owner, knowing that pissed him off to no avail and Vanil didn’t care, continuing. “And when Ms. Morris suddenly ended up missing, from one of YOUR rented out arenas, what did you do?  Absolutely nothing!  You told the police that were called to the arena that you hadn’t seen or heard of Ms. Morris since she’d disappeared with Mr. Cena, which is a lie because you had even spoken to Cena prior to them returning to the road.”

 

How Vanil knew all of this was simple and quite easy: She pulled WWE employees aside while doing the investigation, under Vince’s nose, and questioned them before finally going to the main source, John Cena.  John had told her everything, how he’d searched high and low for Riley that night and every night when she disappeared, only for Vince to not even lift a single finger to help.  The phone call from Vince to rejoin the company, promising to keep Bennett away from him at all costs because John had specifically told Vince that Riley was coming back with him.  Vince had agreed and John was smart enough to record the entire conversation on his cell phone, letting Vanil listen to it, which put even more evidence against Vince.

 

Vanil made sure to get a recording of that phone call.

 

By now, Vince was staggered and had to sit down, pale as a ghost, unable to speak a word.

 

Vanil didn’t take an ounce of pity toward the man and stayed where she was, simply glaring down at Vince. “Now that I have your attention, I’ll continue with the reason I’m here.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been going around to all of the arenas that you rented out during Ms. Morris’s disappearance and thoroughly had the basements searched.  I’ve also acquired DNA samples from ALL of your employees involved in the disappearance and they’ve all matched up to the DNA that was found on Ms. Morris when she was found and brought to the hospital.  So, we’ve established that you’re being charged with purgery, forgery and border-lining attempted murder.” She actually laughed when Vince looked as though he might toss his cookies, rolling her grey eyes heavenward. “Sick isn’t it?  Though, I do have a proposition for you and, if you accept it without trouble, all of YOUR charges will be dropped.” It was a deal Vanil had made with Linda McMahon prior to the investigation.

 

“W-What proposition?” Vince stammered, wondering what this bitch could possibly want from him and had a sinking feeling he wouldn’t have a choice after everything she just threw at him. “Name your terms, Detective Vanil.”

 

“Good boy, I knew you’d see the light and do the right thing.” Vanil stepped away from the desk to squat down in front of Vince, staring into his bewildered eyes. “The proposition is quite simple: Every single employee who was involved in the kidnapping and attempted murder of Riley Jade Morris will taken into custody and driven to the nearby police station.  There is enough evidence against them that not even the best attorney will be able to save their asses from what is coming.  So, we can either do this the easy way or the hard way, Vince.” She stood up, hands on hips again, daring him to try finding a way out of this. “You either save your own ass or go down for all of the crimes they’ve committed against Ms. Morris.  You have five seconds to decide.”

 

Vince simply lowered his eyes, knowing he had no choice and slowly managed to make it to his feet, dusting himself off. “I’ll hand them over to you, but first I need to know something, Detective Vanil.” When the woman simply raised an eyebrow, Vince walked over to sit behind his desk again, clearing his throat. “Who sent you to reopen the investigation without informing me?”

 

This was going to be amusing to reveal. “Your wife, Linda McMahon.” She answered without preamble, wondering if that truly was all Vince cared to know. “Anything else, Vince?”

 

Vince shook his head and would have to start looking for new employees to take over the ones he was about to lose possibly for good. “No, that is all.  I’m taking it you’re arresting them tonight?” He inquired, watching the detective smirk with those glittering grey orbs, wondering how a knockout like her ended up in the profession she was in.

 

“The police squad cars are already outside waiting, I will be taking them out one by one in front of everyone.” Without another word, Vanil walked out and shut the door behind her, chuckling coldly. “Smart move, McMahon.” She muttered and headed down the hallway, deciding a gun was necessary to have in her possession once she arrived at the Nexus locker room. 

 

Employees moved out of her way as Vanil deliberately walked, knowing there was no need to rush because these assholes didn’t know what was coming.  She unsheathed her gun from the holster, which was an EAA Witness 10MM full size steel.  It had enough power to blow someone’s head clean off their shoulders or blow a hole in someone’s leg should they try to make a run for it.  Either way, every single asshole that touched Riley Morris was going behind bars tonight, Vanil would personally see to it.