Chapter 1


Initiation night.


Time had flown rather quickly since her disappearance from television.  That was alright, it had all been worth it just to build the suspense of what was to come.  Tahlia looked in the full-length mirror, wearing a black slip of a dress that rested against her thighs.  She wasn’t a slut like the other women in the WWF and prided herself on that, having true in-ring ability.  Her long blood red hair hung down her back in waves, straightened with angled bangs so it rested partially over her face.  Deep amber orbs were outlined in black liner, clear gloss painted her lips and a black choker adorned her neck.  Picking up the black robe, Tahlia slipped her arms into it and let it settle over her shoulders, nodding at her appearance.  Hopefully, this would please her new master. 


The door opening jolted Tahlia out of her thoughts as she looked back at another who would be initiated alongside her that evening.  Dennis Knight, or Mideon, as the others had been referring to him as for the past several weeks since his own abduction.  He still couldn't fully think of himself as Mideon, not just yet...not until later that night.  Dennis smiled at Tahlia nervously, rubbing his hands together.  He was as ready as he was going to get, more than ready; he wanted this.


“Almost time.” He croaked, clearing his throat with a cough and another one of his weird little smiles. “Ready?”


Handpicked by the Undertaker...it was an honor and he couldn't understand why he had been so terrified when this was what he wanted…what he needed.  It was time for a new era, a new regime, and he would be at the forefront of it in the days to come.  They had gotten to know each other since the abductions; locked in a cell together developed a friendship between them.  Tahlia had been all for escaping until they were brought to the master. 


The Phenom of the WWF – the Undertaker. 


He was the most respected and revered man in the company, possibly the greatest wrestler of all time.  And he wanted both Dennis and her to join his crusade.  It was all about power and he wanted to build an army in order to combat with Vince McMahon’s Corporation.  Tahlia had a bone to pick with them, especially Chyna, who she’d been feuding with for several months.  She felt the same way Dennis did; it truly was an honor and privilege to be chosen by the Deadman and Tahlia refused to disappoint.


“You’re shaking.” She pointed out amusedly, placing a hand on his arm and smiled up at him. “Relax and breathe, Mideon.” She knew better than to call him anything else.

“I’m trying, Tahlia, I’m trying.”


He honestly was, but it was hard because of his excitement.  When he had first been taken, he had been scared out of his mind.  Nobody came back right...everyone had learned that.  They all seemed changed and now he knew why because they were fighting for a cause, a bit of history in their little place in the world.  Dennis craved that change.


“It’s almost-” Heavy, deliberate footsteps echoed outside as Dennis cocked his head. “Time.” He breathed, jumping up and down in place, trying to vent out this energy.


Her voice was low and soothing with an almost haunted tone. “You will give yourself a heart attack if you do not calm down.” She pointed out, sounding mildly concerned and slowly moved her eyes to the door, the handle turning. 


The time really had come.  She merely stood there with her hands clasped in front of her while Mideon continued pacing to relieve his nervous energy.  Tahlia remained calm as a cucumber, her face stoic and showed nothing she thought or felt.

“I do hope you’re ready for this.” Paul Bearer stated, stepping inside with a large looming dark figure standing behind him, staring at the two people to be initiated into his Phenom’s Ministry. “Mideon, fix your robe…”


Nodding, Dennis did so eagerly.  He wasn’t in the ideal shape for this business, but his heart was just fine, though it felt like it was going a million miles a minute.  He marveled at how well Tahlia seemed to be able to keep it together, wishing he had her composure.  His gaze moved to the towering figure, knowing exactly who it was.  The Boss, the Master, the Lord of Darkness…Dennis realized he was acting quite…gay and cooled his jets.


Beneath his hood, the corner of his mouth curved up in the barest hint of an amused sneer.  He had chosen well…for the most part.


“Good, now follow.”

Tahlia nodded once at Mideon being a gentleman and letting her walk in front of him, keeping her face straight.  She didn’t dare look up at the Lord of Darkness, not yet.  It wasn’t allowed until after the initiation, where they both would be considered equals among the other members.  So far, it was just the Acolytes, Bradshaw and Farooq, along with her and Mideon.  The army wasn’t done being built, but that would all happen in due time.  Once Paul stopped, she did and kept her head lowered with the cloak hood up.  She looked like a black velvet statue, but if one looked close and hard enough, they would see her chest slightly rising and falling through the cloak.


Everyone thought he was crazy.  Evil.  Some even used the words satanic and demonic.  Perhaps they were right.  The way he took his recruits, snatching them from their mundane, boring lives and jobs…it was a little dramatic, but he had always had a flair for the dramatic, the dark and sinister.  Tonight, he knew would raise even more concerns; a woman was joining his little group.  He could hear it now and closed his eyes, his feet carrying him with surety to their destination as he envisioned it.  A low hiss escaped him, one of content.  He did love these moments and rested a hand on each of his initiates’ heads.


“Moments until you are truly…mine.”


“Yes, my Lord.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Paul smiled approvingly as they answered in unison, seeing the pleased look in his Phenom’s eyes.  He had some input on who to choose to join their crusade, but ultimately it had been Undertaker’s decision.  It was a little unsettling to discover he wanted a woman to join the ranks, but Paul had to abide by what he wanted.  He saw no desire or want in his Dark Lord’s eyes, so hopefully all would remain completely professional.  They were here to do their master’s bidding and nothing more, to serve and obey only him.


Bradshaw and Farooq joined the ranks moments later, each in black skintight shirts with pants, arms folded in front of their chests, both men remaining silent.


Tahlia took a deep silent breath as the cloak was removed from her head along with Mideon, each directed to the waiting platforms they would be strapped to.  A T with spikes through it…the Undertaker’s personal seal and symbol.  Bradshaw guided her over to it while Farooq took care of Mideon, once again all of this done in silence with the master watching intently.


Undertaker had selected Tahlia for reasons beyond the fact that she was easy on the eyes.  She was beautiful and not in the sense that seemed to be the normal with the women in this organization.  There was nothing plastic on her and she defied conventions in her way of dressing and how she spoke.  She was not airheaded, not a piece of eye candy.  She had talent in the ring and held herself with respect and was a woman who knew her self-worth, would not bow to any man just because it was expected of her.  No…she was more than that and those qualities is what he needed in his Ministry.  He watched impassively as everything was done, eyes moving between his two chosen thoughtfully.


Bowing to the Undertaker was Tahlia’s choosing and freewill.  One thing about him was he wanted all of his followers, his minions, to choose if they wanted to be in his Ministry of Darkness or not.  Why wouldn’t she?  Tahlia had been locked up in a cell, but no harm had come to her.  She was well-fed, clothed and not asked to do anything degrading.  Not to mention, this was the Undertaker.  Her career would skyrocket being associated with him along with Paul Bearer, another legend of the business.  It would be foolish of her to pass up this rare opportunity because Undertaker only handpicked a few he felt worthy enough to serve his cause. 


Staring up at the ceiling while Bradshaw finished the bounds around her wrists and ankles, Tahlia continued breathing in and out evenly, not a hint of fear in her eyes and face, just sheer determination.  Dennis looked over at Tahlia just to make sure she was holding up alright, feeling somewhat protective of her since they’d spent a few weeks together in that cell.  Once again, she was perfectly content with the situation just as she had been in the cell.  Not once did she freak out or lose her cool like he did.  Deciding to take her lead, Dennis turned his head to stare up at the ceiling and shut his eyes, knowing he was about to fully become Mideon.


This was the part that seemed to freak everyone except them out…when he spoke in 'tongues', which was actually old Latin.  If these peons would educate themselves, they would have known exactly what he was saying.  This was an initiation, almost like a reverse Catholic Mass or baptism.  He was baptizing them all right, into his personal Darkness, into a new life.  New opportunities.  He knew some of them would never reach their true potential, not when they finally left him.  But he also knew which ones would, which ones were exceptional.  Tahlia, for example, and he looked directly at her, considering her future.


“Tahlia, do you give yourself over completely to the Lord of Darkness and his Ministry?” Paul asked, proceeding with the ceremony that wouldn’t be shown on television and stepped aside to make room for the Undertaker.

“My mind, body, heart and soul belong to him.  I will do whatever my Lord commands me and I will not fail him.” Tahlia answered, keeping her eyes on the ceiling even as the Undertaker peered down at her, the hood of his cloak drawn up to shroud his face in darkness.  She didn’t look directly at him and felt his finger slid across her forehead, marring her skin with black ink.


“Mideon, do you give yourself over completely to the Lord of Darkness and his Ministry?” Paul reiterated, leaving his Phenom to finish up with Tahlia and watched the man nod his head, replicating the same exact words she had moments ago.

Phase one of the initiation had been completed and phase two would be broadcasted live for the world to see.


This was the part that everyone would lose their minds over and that just made it all the sweeter.  He made sure the camera had a pretty clear view of what was going on as he took his spot, rather enjoying these custom 'props' he had made, just for these occasions.  His T and X symbol, used for chairs…the sacrificial tables.  The whole set had been built from scratch, painted black, by the newest recruits, with help from the Acolytes.  It was a test to see if they could handle following a simple order from their master.  Each person who was initiated into the Ministry of Darkness had to make their own symbol from the materials provided. 


The instructions were simple, fashion the wood into his symbol, big enough for their bodies to comfortably fit on, along with painting it black or dark purple.  Tahlia opted for purple while Mideon stuck with black, though on camera they both looked identical.  Along with the symbols made came the Undertaker’s throne, which he had constructed and built himself.  It took 2 weeks, but in the end the symbols had turned out beautifully and Tahlia was proud to be strapped to the very architecture she’d created singlehandedly.


Undertaker began speaking, his voice carrying throughout the building for all to hear, thanks to the mouthpiece he wore.  He allowed his words to seep into every mind there, letting it sink in, letting them try to decipher what it all meant.  The actual people who mattered -Tahlia and Mideon- they knew; they knew this was for them and when the words were done, he stood up.  Paul was waiting beside Mideon, ignoring the age-old adage of ladies first.  He preferred to think of it as saving the best for last.  Mideon was one of those who would seek greatness and fall short.  Tahlia, on the other hand, she was classed with Bradshaw and to a lesser extent Farooq and would find greatness.


Tahlia remained still with her eyes closed, just as directed by Paul, breathing in and out evenly.  What she could hear from the fans was they didn’t believe what was happening before their eyes.  But she did.  Undertaker had been very precise in his explanation of what to expect during the second half of the initiation.  He showed them the silver dagger, which Paul currently handed over to the Dark Lord and proceeded to cut his wrist on national television, blood slowly seeping out of the wound.  Tahlia didn’t see any of this, but she could tell from the audience’s response exactly what part they were at.  His blood was put into a goblet and Mideon drank from it, just a sip of his sweet essence.  Tahlia would have to do the same thing and had mentally prepared herself for drinking someone else’s blood.  It would seal her to the Undertaker in every way, her Lord and Master.


He was clean; he had let them know that ahead of time.  STDs and disease free, and cutting himself on national TV, in front of a crowd…it was interesting.  He would admit to getting a rush as the crowd lost its respective mind.  Dennis Knight was no longer Dennis, but reborn Mideon and he took the dagger again.  Here was the part where they had to have complete faith in him, trust that he would not hurt them.  Mideon's robe was pulled down and he took that dagger, beginning the final part of Mideon's initiation into the Ministry.  He carved his symbol into Mideon's chest.  When he was done, he looked towards Tahlia.


Trust was hard to come by with Tahlia since she’d been burned one too many times by friends and ex-lovers.  However, this was business and Undertaker was strictly that.  She trusted him explicitly, knowing this would catapult her character growth as well as stardom in the WWF.  It would all be worth it.  Her eyes opened at his command to drink from the goblet and she did without hesitation, feeling the red liquid slid down her throat before gently being pushed back down on the symbol.  Tahlia did everything in her power not to tense at his strong hand gliding up the length of her body, her eyes once again closing and could feel the dagger slicing away her own robe.  Her heart pounded furiously against her chest, her adrenaline peaked off the charts and all Tahlia could do was lay there breathing steadily.


Undertaker marked her differently than he had Mideon.  For one, when he had discussed this with them, individually, Mideon had insisted for days that it be done in a very pronounced manner, very prominent place.  Mideon could be a fanatic.  He would be utterly devoted to Undertaker and whatever cause he took up.  He might need watched if it got out of control.  Fanatics were great, if they could be controlled.  Tahlia…he ran the blade down along the string of her dress, studying what skin he could see.  She'd get her mark, but it would be smaller, subtler, something she'd be able to either live with or have removed quietly and quickly later down the road.


One thing about Undertaker was he took her feelings under consideration with this process, actually asking her thoughts on it.  She was honest with him, not a fanatic like Mideon.  Tahlia finally agreed for the carving to take place on her hip, knowing it would scar.  He had to cut deep enough for blood to seep out and she was alright with it, having a high tolerance for pain.  Maybe that was another reason why he chose her to join the Ministry.  The dagger cut through the thin material of her black dress and slid up until he arrived at her hip, tearing what he had to away to completely expose it.  Beneath, she wore black silk panties and a matching bra, though he wouldn’t see the upper half of her.  Tahlia didn’t flinch or move, just tensed ever so slightly while he began the process of digging into her skin.


Well, she had decent taste in under garments, he would give her that.  He was quick, but careful, making sure it would leave the scar the way he wanted.  He hadn't bothered offering either of them anything for the pain.  No quick drink.  No Tylenol.  No topical ointment.  No, Undertaker needed people who could take whatever was dished out.  When he was finished, he surveyed his work, mentally nodding in satisfaction.  He was quite pleased with his choices and tonight's initiation.


Chapter 2


That hadn’t hurt as badly as she thought it would and Tahlia was relieved, continuing to do her breathing treatment.  It was the only way to get through staying perfectly still while he carved into her skin with the silver dagger.  His voice pronounced they would know why they were afraid of the dark and they would learn to adapt.  After that, another symbol hanging in the air from the rafters exploded on fire, signaling the end of the initiation.  Tahlia could feel the symbol being wheeled to the back by Bradshaw and slowly opened her eyes, thankful he’d covered her lower half with the shredded robe.  Once the binds were cut from her wrists and ankles, Tahlia stepped off of the symbol just as Undertaker came through the curtain.  Mideon was already off of his and admiring the huge symbol carved into his chest.


Apparently, Paul was thinking the same thing about Mideon potentially being a fanatic because Taker caught him eyeing the man speculatively.  All about keeping Mideon controlled.  He halted in front of Tahlia, who other than just a hint of a flush to her cheeks, seemed just as composed as ever.  He liked that.  She would be a good fit.


“Brother Paul will treat those and ensure they heal as they should.” He informed them both, glancing at Mideon and then back to Tahlia. “You did well.”


“Thank you, sir.” Tahlia replied with the barest hint of a smile, not showing the discomfort she currently felt and kept her eyes locked with his. 


They were all equals now, so they could look their master in the eye.  He preferred it that way; looking down signified to him something was wrong or perhaps they were hiding.  The carving was small, it wouldn’t take much to treat, but Tahlia knew better than to question what the master wanted done.


“If it’s alright with you, I think Paul should focus on Mideon.  I can handle this on my own.”

Paul raised a brow at the mistress and shrugged, handing over the bottle of peroxide and bandage he planned on using. “If you insist.” Personally, he agreed with her as far as Mideon needing his assistance more.

Bowing her head out of respect, Tahlia took her leave into the bathroom to treat her wound and change into regular clothes, all black and purple, as requested by Undertaker.


Shaking his head, he moved to sit on the locker room bench and shed his heavy robe, rolling his shoulders back.  Sighing, Taker leaned back into the lockers, allowing the coldness from the metal to seep through his skin.  He closed his eyes and reached for the straps to his wrestling attire, which he had worn beneath the robe, pushing them down and then rolled his shoulders again.  Much better.  Everyone knew the game plan, knew what they were supposed to do, where they were supposed to be.  He hoped the newest recruits were able to keep up and handle it because he was not in the business of handholding and baby stepping.


Nothing else would transpire that evening; it would give Tahlia and Mideon time to rest from the initiation.  What happened next, she would be prepared for.  Slipping into black jean leggings and a long sleeved purple top, Tahlia pulled her hair back in a messy bun since they were all heading back to the hotel.  Her wound was cleaned and wrapped; it wouldn’t bleed long and then she’d remove the bandage to let air coat it. 


Being in the Ministry of Darkness was definitely a change of pace because everyone within the group traveled together.  Tahlia didn’t mind that just as long as she got her own hotel room, needing some kind of privacy being the only woman in the group and all.  Walking out, Tahlia froze at the sight of Undertaker shirtless, sitting on the bench with his head lulled back and eyes closed.  Had he fallen asleep?  Nobody else was in the locker room, just them and Tahlia didn’t know what to do, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully.


“Sir?” She called out, taking a step toward him and didn’t see him flinch, frowning. “Undertaker?”


Another failed attempt at waking him.  Sleeping on this bench wouldn’t do well for him or his body.  Finally, Tahlia stopped in front of him and placed a hand on his bare shoulder, hoping she didn’t regret this.


“Undertaker, sir??”


Taker had fallen asleep.  The sound of silence had lulled him there once everyone, except her, had filed out.  He had been busy lately, on top of being an insomniac and tended to doze in the strangest of places, if it was quiet enough and he was relaxed enough.  However, the moment her palm touched him, his eyes snapped opened and his hand flew out, catching her by the wrist and dragging her down to him.  It took him a moment to realize who the touch belonged to and he growled, more at himself then her.


“What, Tahlia?”


That was a reaction she hadn’t been expecting, amber eyes wide in wonder and maybe a hint of fear.  It was good to fear the master, kept everyone on their toes with his volatile nature.  Not to mention, it showed respect.


“I-I’m sorry, sir.” She cleared her throat, hating that her voice had stammered and didn’t move even though their noses were practically touching. “Sleeping here isn’t wise considering who else is still in the building.” Tahlia referred to the Corporation since the Ministry was about to be at war with them. “I was just trying to help…” She had to fight the urge not to lower her eyes from him and was sure he could hear how hard her heart pounded against her chest.


“Point taken.” He admitted grudgingly, though he was fairly certain he would have woken up if that heavy locker room door had been opened; that damn thing squeaked like crazy. 


Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if he was going to fall asleep.  Taker stood up and stretched, realizing he had taken her with him and looked down, tipping his head.  His hair spilled down over his shoulder as he considered her, letting go of her wrist so she could right herself.  Tahlia took a few steps back to give him room and grabbed her bag, which spilled to the floor the moment he snatched her against him.  Luckily, she’d remained on her feet and hadn’t landed directly in his lap.  She looked back at him, noticing how tired he was and honestly didn’t want him driving back to the hotel for fear he’d fall asleep at the wheel.


“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you look dead on your feet, sir.  Why don’t you let me drive us back to the hotel?  Mideon was my ride and he left with Paul to tend to his chest.  You’d be doing me a huge favor.” Otherwise, she’d be calling a cab to come get her at the arena and there was no time frame on when it would arrive.


He considered that, studying her before finally nodding. “You’re right.” He said in a low, gravelly tone. 


Taker was tired.  Planning all this, scouting recruits, evading Vince McMahon and his cronies was tiring, on top of going out and performing for those mindless masses.  Factor in working out and traveling in general…he could use a solid 30 minutes of sleep.  He turned, not surprised to see his robe had been folded and set on his duffel bag, knowing one of the boys had done it before leaving.  Slinging everything over his shoulder, Taker procured the keys to his rental and turned back, handing them to her.


More like a solid 8 hours, possibly longer.  Tahlia didn’t dare voice her thoughts of that magnitude to him and took the keys, having her own bag slung over her shoulder.  The rest of her belongings were at the hotel, she had a separate bag just for the arenas with her gear and the clothes she’d worn tonight for the initiation.  They walked silently out of the arena together, noticing not a lot of people were left.  She set her bag in the backseat while Taker did the same thing with his and unlocked the vehicle, sliding behind the wheel. 


Patiently waiting for him to make himself comfortable in the passenger seat, Tahlia started the engine and rubbed her hands together, wearing black gloves since it was freezing outside.  Taker simply had a black leather duster on, not bothering to pull the straps of his wrestling attire back on his shoulders.  Normally, she would’ve voiced on how cold it was outside, but Tahlia remembered who was in the vehicle with her and remained silent, letting the car warm up a few minutes before pulling out of the parking lot.


He had an unnaturally high body temperature and ran warm even on the coldest of days.  Not that he made it a habit to go around nearly naked in the middle of winter or anything, but 5 minutes waiting on a car to heat up wouldn't kill him.  Taker tipped his seat all the way back, folding his hands under his head and closed his eyes.


“You did well tonight, Tahlia.” He said after a moment, giving her rare praise.  She'd better store it for a rainy day because he wasn't in the habit of doling it out often.


He’d already complimented her once that night, so hearing it again made her fully believe he was past the point of exhaustion. “I’ll admit, it was quite the experience and…I actually enjoyed it.  Even the whole carving your symbol in my skin thing.” Tahlia had looked over at him while speaking, once again locking eyes to make sure he knew she meant every word she said. “Riding on the dark side is fun.  I think I’ll enjoy whatever comes next.” Finally, the car was starting to warm up as she cranked the heater on full blast, not feeling like an ice cube anymore.


“You enjoyed the…pain?” Taker kept his eyes closed, but he was not falling within the next few minutes, he knew that.  Interesting. “Or just the act of the dagger piercing your skin, marking you…in front of all those people?” Because some people had voyeur sides; some didn't know it, some did.  Tahlia had hidden depths he hadn't suspected.  Or maybe he was overthinking it and she had just overall enjoyed how well everything had gone due to a simple rush of adrenaline.


“Honestly?  Both.” Tahlia had surrendered everything to him, so lying was pointless. “The whole experience was…indescribable.  Part of it was adrenaline, but a bigger part was knowing I’m about to become part of something amazing and memorable.  Besides, a little pain never hurt anyone, especially on a pleasurable occasion.  And since I’ve never done something like that before, it was a rush.” One she would never feel again as long as she lived, but at least she’d have the brand to prove what she’d done during her tenure in the WWF.


“If you ever decide you want to try knife play again, make sure it’s with someone you trust.” Just because one never knew with people.  She might’ve found herself a new fetish to dip her toes in, if that was her thing. “Keep up on the wound care so it heals properly.” Don't be like Mideon, who had been talking about pouring tattoo ink into the wound to make a type of jailhouse tattoo.  He could already feel the regret when the man eventually got over this. “I’m sleeping now, Tahlia.” Taker closed his eyes again.


That was his way of telling her to shut up and drive.  Tahlia didn’t have any fetishes, though she did enjoy being tattooed.  Maybe that’s why being carved into didn’t bother her or hurt nearly as much as it should’ve.  Again, high threshold and tolerance for pain.  She drove back to the hotel, keeping the radio very low to where it wouldn’t bother Taker’s rest.  Every once in a while, she glanced over at him at a red light or stop sign, admiring the manly beauty he possessed.  His face was very handsome, even with the newly grown out devil beard that made him look satanic.  It didn’t bother her.  The black fitted him well too. 


35 minutes later, she pulled into the underground parking garage and cut the ignition, once again in a hell of a predicament.  Taker slept soundly and deeply, his chest rising and falling in slow breaths.  What was she supposed to do?  The last time she tried waking him up, he’d grabbed her and nearly pulled her into his lap.  Instead of trying that again, Tahlia opened her door and shut it loud enough that would jolt the master awake, grabbing her bag from the backseat.


One eye popped open and he groaned, rubbing a hand down his face.  Taker was seriously considering sleeping in the car.  After hearing the backdoor slam shut, he got in motion and out of the car.  He retrieved his own things and headed inside, not surprised when she kept up with his long strides.


“If things don’t work out…you’ll have a career as a chauffeur.” He informed her dryly; the only hint he made anything resembling a joke was the brief spark of amusement that flickered in his eyes. 


Taker even displayed manners and held the door open for her, eyes automatically scanning the near empty hallway for anything that would interrupt them reaching their rooms.  Lately, he had a problem with ring rats of an even odder variety than the usual.  Rolling her eyes playfully back at him, Tahlia chortled at his lame attempt at a joke and shook her head.


“Please, I’d just go back to working in a garage on cars.” She shrugged at his raised brow, stopping outside of her hotel room door and blinked when Taker did the same thing…only the door right beside hers.  What the hell? “Get some sleep, sir.  Good night.”


Tahlia didn’t know what else to say to him as she unlocked the door and walked inside, shutting it behind her.  She set her bag down against the wall and kicked her shoes off, settling on the bed with a sigh.  Either Taker set this up on purpose to keep an eye on her or…fate had a weird sense of humor.


Her room right next to his was just odd.  He generally tried to take a room at the end of the hallway, near the exits, and without people on either side of him.  Taker lived in hotels and motels, he knew what happened in the dead of the night.  Loud sex or louder fights, or some combination of the two.  Shaking his head, he kicked the door shut with his heel and dropped his stuff on the bed, beginning to shed his boots and ring attire.  Shower.  Then sleep.  Maybe food.  Mostly sleep.


Chapter 3


A shower was in order after the long strenuous night she’d had, even if it was mostly pleasurable.  It wouldn’t always be like that with the Ministry of Darkness.  Mideon would pay for leaving her high and dry at the arena, a wicked smirk curving her lips.  How to pay him back she would have to mull over.  Stripping out of her clothes, Tahlia pulled out a small radio she carried with her and opened the bathroom door to set it up, already having it programmed to her favorite rock station.  Standing in just her black bra and panties, Tahlia started the shower sprays and ripped the bandage off of her hip, hissing at the slight sting.  She ran her fingertips over it, softly smiling and looked in the mirror, not believing the drastic changes she’d made to her appearance in the last month.  It was all worth it though, she was finally where she belonged and would never be able to repay the Deadman.


He was in the shower as well, and apparently the bathrooms shared the same wall because he could hear music and then singing.  It wasn’t bad singing, but loud and he was tired.  When he was done and out of the shower, towel wrapped firmly around his muscular waist, the music was still on and his fresh headache was now throbbing in time with it.  Taker checked the time, realized how late it was, and contemplated if he was getting any sleep tonight.  Sighing, he walked to the door and opened it.  He stepped through, feeling and hearing the door slamming behind him and frowned.  This was not the hallway.


Metallica was currently on the radio and she’d cranked it up because it was a great song.  The Unforgiven, one of her favorites.  Tahlia didn’t hear the connecting door to her hotel room open while she continued dancing around, the night being her time to shine.  She was nocturnal, a full-bred night owl and embraced it.  So when she turned around, wearing just a pair of cotton white panties and a matching white bra, Tahlia nearly jumped out of her skin, letting out a squeal.  Scrambling to cover herself up with the comforter from her bed, Tahlia stumbled over to turn the radio all the way down and looked up at the master through wide amber eyes.


“Oh my god, I-I didn’t know you were here…” How the hell did he get in her room?!  Her eyes looked past him at the connecting door and Tahlia shut her eyes, knowing exactly what sent him in here. “Umm…” Another apology wouldn’t cut it, she had to think fast and lowered her head in shame in front of him, knowing she royally screwed up.


“Your taste in music is excellent, the volume however…”


It was incredibly loud or the walls were really thin; some combination of both.  Taker had not missed the way she had scrambled to cover herself up and honestly, when she had scrambled, all she had done was give him a more interesting view of her body in action.  She was freaking out over her bra and panties, and he was standing here in just a towel.  His emerald green gaze surveyed her, knowing mixing business and pleasure was a bad idea, but he’d still enjoy the view she had given him; that comforter was very unnecessary.


“I will keep it down, sir.”


Tahlia could not help giving him a onceover of her own, admiring a beautiful man dripping wet and half naked in front of her.  Hell, without that towel she knew for a fact nothing else was beneath it.  Dear Lord, he was quite the specimen and Tahlia had only covered herself up because he’d scared the daylights out of her being in her room.  However, it wasn’t his fault she couldn’t hear the door open while she danced her heart out to one of her favorite rock bands.  The grip on the comforter softened as Tahlia realized just what she did, scoffing at herself for being foolish.  She’d been in bra and panties matches, so he’d probably, most likely, already seen the goods, so to speak.


“It won’t happen again.”


He had, but there was no reason to point it out and embarrass them both by making this situation more uncomfortable or awkward then it already was. “Good.” Taker reached for the door handle and went to open the door, cursing under his breath when it didn't open.  Apparently, it had latched properly this time. “Great.” He would have to go down to the front desk to get a key.  And then his towel just fell off and he banged his head against the door, not bothering to turn and face her.  She could have a good look at his bare, pale ass. “Even better.”


Wow…just wow…Tahlia had to pry her eyes away from that gorgeous pale white backside of his, noticing the muscle definition his body had.  She had to do something to rectify this situation before she either burst into blames from her own embarrassment or said the hell with business and jumped him. “Let me get dressed and I’ll go down to the front desk to get a spare key for you.” She offered, tossing the comforter aside and stood up from the bed to walk toward him. “It’s my fault you’re in here in the first place.  Just…relax for a minute, have a drink if you want.” Pulling on a black tank top and matching cotton shorts, Tahlia grabbed her own keycard and license, starting for the door.  She froze when his hand wrapped around her upper arm and slowly turned her head until warm gold met intense emerald stones.


“Or perhaps, you could allow me to use your room phone to call down and request they come up?” Taker suggested, noticing she was staring very intently at his face.  He didn’t blame her; he was naked, facing her in all his pride and glory. “This is their mistake.”


He knew he had specifically requested a room in a corner, with nothing adjacent, and they had told him everything was good on their end.  Only to receive an unlatched door between two rooms, booked by two people; the hotel owed them something.  Like another damn towel.


“Your face is red, Tahlia.” Taker pointed out the obvious, a slow wicked edge appearing in his tone. “I know you’re not embarrassed…you haven’t looked.  Yet.”


Drawing her bottom lip between her teeth, Tahlia had to choose her words carefully and could feel his hand searing the bare skin of her arm. “I’m trying not to and you’re not making it easy, Taker.” She replied truthfully, her voice low and calm, just as it’d been earlier during Mideon’s mini-freak out before the initiation happened.  Calling him sir was NOT an option right now. “If you insist on calling them, be my guest.  They have 5 minutes and then I’m going down there to rip them a verbal asshole for not following your orders.” Her eyes flashed momentarily at the thought of someone disobeying what her master wanted.  That’s who this man was – her Lord and master and she would do anything to make sure he was healthy and happy. “Use whatever you want, my room is your room.”


It was like she was pricking at his evil side, however unintentionally, drawing that out and to the surface.  His headache had receded and he was waking up as he studied her thoughtfully, wondering if he should play a little game or not.  Could be fun.  Could lead to problems down the road.  She was always so composed, so unruffled, but tonight she had shown her game face could slip.


“Whatever I want, Tahlia?” He would just test the waters and see what happened.


“Yes.” She answered without hesitation, refusing to pull away or not answer any questions he asked. “I made a vow to you tonight and I meant it.  Whatever you need or want, all you have to do is ask and it’s yours.  Anything, just name it.” Tahlia was an honorable woman, poised for the most part, but she did enjoy letting her hair down and getting crazy once in a while.  She did not catch the meaning under his deep voice or else that question might’ve been answered a lot differently.


Taker raised a slow black brow, wondering if she realized the weight her pledge was going to carry.  He could have ordered her to kill someone; would she do it?  Fetch him a coffee?  Give him a blow job?  He stepped away from her, turning to retrieve his towel, which required him bending down to pick it up and he’d bet money she hadn’t averted her eyes quick enough because he heard her fidget behind him.


“In the bathroom.” He ordered, wrapping the towel back around his waist and tucking it tighter this time, figuring he probably shouldn’t be sexually harassing his Ministry members. “I want to see your hip.”


Yes, she’d snuck a quick peek at his backside again and had to swallow down the hunger her body suddenly felt.  If he asked her to kill someone, Tahlia would do it because it was part of her vow she’d made to serve him, to do his bidding.  Of course, she didn’t think Taker was capable of cold-blooded murder, so that thought had never crossed her mind.  She blinked at his request and followed him inside the bathroom, not questioning what he wanted.  Hopping up on the bathroom counter, Tahlia lifted her tank top enough to reveal his symbol blazing back at him against her skin.  It was still red and somewhat swollen, but the more air got to it, the better off it’d be.  She’d made sure to pour more peroxide on it and added Neosporin to prevent infection further, knowing how to take care of a wound.  Tahlia shut her eyes momentarily as his finger grazed across it to check it out and looked down at him just as his eyes rose to meet hers.


“It’s healing quickly.” She murmured softly, not moving away from him and knew they were in close proximity to each other due to how small the bathroom was with Taker’s large frame taking the majority of the space.


“Not really.” He countered, studying it thoughtfully.


The dagger had been cleansed prior to doing Dennis and he knew Paul had wiped it down quickly with an alcohol wipe before doing her.  However, she had been wearing clothes, before and after cleaning it; it was going to get rubbed and perhaps stuff in it.  Without asking permission, he pulled a fresh washcloth from the towel of clean linens that she hadn't used, ran it under hot water with soap, and scoured the area, waiting until it bled clean before taking a hand towel to apply pressure.


“I have salve.  Keep it covered for the night with the salve and tomorrow, it’ll be scabbed over.” Then the trick was not plucking at the scabs. “If you wish.” He was naked, in her bathroom, and now standing between her legs with his palm separated from flesh by a piece of towel.  


His night was interesting.


Again, another surprising response from the Phenom and Tahlia sat there taking the brunt of the pain, not showing any sign it bothered her.  Honestly, she thought it was taken care of, but if Taker didn’t think so, she would not question his judgment.  He knew better than she did, being in this business nearly 9 years gave him a lot of stroke.  Tahlia trusted his judgment and nodded, watching him the entire time while he tended to her.  This was supposed to be Paul’s job, but she’d been stubborn wanting to do it and made a mental note to simply let the man tend to her from now on.


“Yes, sir.” Her voice remained a soft murmur and Tahlia gently placed her hand on top of his, their eyes once again meeting. “Thank you for helping me with it.” Given how close he was, she should’ve been uncomfortable, but Tahlia remained content and mildly curious about the man standing before her.  He really was shrouded in mystery.


He just grunted, nodding once to acknowledge her words before walking out of the bathroom.  She really was a curiosity.  No signs of pain.  No fear.  Would do anything he asked.  Taker made his way to the bedside phone and called down to the front desk, explaining what had happened, their screw-up and demanded someone come let him back into his room in 3 minutes or less.  He was giving them 2 because the woman who had answered sounded terrified when he informed her who he was.  Taker also needed to retrieve said salve.  When the maid appeared, in 2 minutes, he slipped into his room and shut the door in her face.  He quickly pulled on black drawstring bottoms and retrieved the salve, figuring the towel and his nudity wasn’t overly bothering Tahlia, but…he wasn't about to put either of them in any more interesting predicaments.  


Not tonight.


While Taker busied himself in his room, Tahlia continued pressing the towel against her wound and left the bathroom to make herself more comfortable on the bed.  She merely sat there, pulling the towel away to study the wound and noticed he’d dug a little deeper with the dagger than he probably should have.  Oh well, nothing to do about it now.  Tahlia wasn’t upset; only a few chosen were branded with his symbol and she felt privileged to be among them.  Looking up when he entered through the connecting door, Tahlia set the towel aside since the bleeding had stopped and watched her master lower to his knees in front of her with a jar in hand.  Her tank top was removed for the time being until she could cover the wound up with a bandage, then she would put it back on.


“Is there anything I can do for you, sir?” She asked after he applied enough salve to the wound and placed a bandage on it. “I mean, besides keeping my music down.” Tahlia smiled at him to show she was genuine in her offer, wanting to repay him somehow for being kind to her.


A black brow rose as he met her stare, trying to decipher if she was serious and unaware of just how vulnerable she made herself…if she was some kind of psychopath, who kept it hidden quite well when he had been scouting her. “Not tonight.” He answered finally, deciding he would keep an eye on her, just in case, and then come back to test his theories another time. “Loosely covered tomorrow when you’re wearing clothes…” Taker’s gaze roamed up her body, the corner of his lip tugging upwards into the barest hint of a smirk. “Unless you prefer to go around as is.” That would not elicit any complaints from him.


Finally, her cheeks turned crimson and Tahlia couldn’t meet his eyes, clasping her hands tightly in her lap. “Not particularly.  Bad enough I’ve shown the world almost all of me.  I shouldn’t be self-conscious, but…I’m a little more conservative than that.”


Not that she wouldn’t mind walking around in her bra and panties around him privately because that was actually a delicious thought.  What the hell was wrong with her?!  Tahlia slipped her tank top back on and stood up from the bed, gently rubbing the bandage with her fingertips while finally looking back up at her master again.


“If you need anything, you know where to find me.”


“Right through that door.” Taker gestured to the door that attached their rooms, wondering who had made that screw-up and if he should thank them or choke them to death. “Get some sleep, Tahlia.”


He reached out to run a finger just underneath her eye, taking her face in.  She had a very busy last month, he was surprised she wasn't sleeping, unless she had insomnia like he did.  In fact, now that Taker recalled, she spent most of her nights awake in that cell and slept throughout the day.  She was nocturnal…definitely could be fun.


“Tomorrow, the fun starts.”


She shivered at his tone, the smile widening on her face and couldn’t wait to see what was in store for the Ministry now that she was a full-fledged member. “Looking forward to it.” Not pulling back from his touch, Tahlia accepted it and leaned into him. “Good night, sir.”


Amber eyes watched him disappear through the connecting door, closing it almost silently behind him and Tahlia blew out a breath.  He wanted her to sleep, which meant tomorrow would start early in the day more than likely.  Tahlia stretched carefully, not wanting to widen or irritate her wound and decided it was time for bed.  Turning the radio completely off, Tahlia pulled the comforter back and slid into bed, the room blanketing in darkness moments later.  More tired than she thought, she was out like a light almost as soon as her head hit the pillow, the adrenaline gone.


Chapter 4


He had everyone up bright and early.


Taker had actually slept quite well once he had fallen asleep.  He had met with Paul first thing to discuss what came next, what he expected from their newest recruits.  He was especially interested in seeing Tahlia’s talents put to good use.  She had some issues with Chyna, who was apparently leaning towards the Corporation, with or without her partner, HHH.  Taker wondered what ear he would have to plant a suggestion in to make that match happen, wanting to see Tahlia be able to cut loose without restrictions on the Amazon.


Bright eyed and bushytailed, Tahlia wasn’t surprised to be taken to a nearby gym for working out and training.  She had on a black sports bra and tight shorts; making sure to keep her wound exposed the way Taker advised.  Currently, it was bandaged because her workout would make her sweat profusely.  That definitely wouldn’t help with the healing process.  With her hands wrapped in black tape, Tahlia first began with cardio and set the treadmill to what she wanted. 


Speed is what she needed in order to take down Chyna since the woman wasn’t all that quick in the ring.  Agility would come later during her jumping exercises on boxes the gym provided and finally strength.  Wrapping a black bandana around her forehead to keep the sweat from dripping in her eyes, Tahlia had her hair pulled back in a low tight bun at the nape of her neck.  No distractions were needed during her workout.  Stepping on the treadmill, Tahlia took a deep breath and began her run, cranking the speed up every couple minutes, not wanting to overwork her muscles and body.


“She’s very fierce.” Paul commented from beside Taker.  He was on a treadmill, about the only exercise he could do without killing himself.

“She is.  I want her to take out Sable.” Taker said in between repetitions, bench pressing.  His workout attire was a pair of gym shorts and sneakers.  His hair braided back with a bandana to keep sweat from dripping in his face. “And after Chyna.”


“Sable is nowhere near as…impressive as Chyna is.” Chyna was a powerhouse who had moves.  Sable was a glorified call girl who had learned basics.

“True, but she’s not getting anywhere near Sable or Sable’s belt without a major win under her belt.” He had plans.  Some were meant to be distractions from what he actually wanted and others were for different reasons Paul didn’t need to know at the moment.


Mideon was Tahlia’s sparring partner and currently they circled each other, each determined to take the other down. “Who are you picturing me as right now?” He asked, having a feeling he knew the answer and grunted as they locked up tightly, the move perfect.

“Chyna.” Tahlia used upper body strength, able to lift well over 200 pounds with ease and planted Mideon flat on his face, hooking his arm behind his back with her knee dug in the back of his head. “She’s mine.  I will destroy her.” She’d been cost the WWF Women’s championship, which is why Sable was currently holding onto it for her.  Not for long.

Groaning, Mideon knew better than to show weakness and pain, quickly rolling over to use his weight to his advantage, but Tahlia was too fast for that.  She managed to roll out of it with ease and planted a vicious arm bar on him next, yanking on his arm. “Fuck!” He hissed out, trying to find a way out of the hold.

“Tap.” She ordered, not releasing it for a second and put more torque on it until Mideon had no choice or else she would pull his arm out of socket. “Good boy.” Releasing him, Tahlia did a kick-up and felt empowered, wondering if Undertaker’s blood had anything to do with it.  Or maybe it was just the rush and adrenaline from her workout and sparring session with her friend.


When she kicked up, he caught her and lifted her easily over his head, arms extended up completely.  Taker had sat up on the bench, watching Tahlia and was impressed all over again.  He had seen what she could do before and, watching her now, her sparring was impressive.  Now he had just wanted to see what she would do when surprised.  She had tensed and then gone still yet pliable, allowing him to do what he would.  He lowered her, moving his hands so she could push off from his forearms and applauded the backflip.


“Well done.”


“Thank you, sir.”


Tahlia bowed her head at him, not expecting to be snatched up like that, but she handled it with poise; at least she thought so.  Normally, any other person would’ve gotten cracked in the face by her head and seriously hurt.  Not when it came to her master though.  He could do whatever he wanted with and to her; Tahlia would not fight him on anything.  She had to fight the urge from giving him a scan; her body coated in sweat from head to toe just like him and also pushed the thought away of offering to give her master a tongue bath.


“Is it time to leave?” If so, Tahlia planned on showering first because she refused to get into a vehicle smelling of sweat and grime.


He shook his head no, though others were filing out, including a rather disgruntled and confused looking Mideon. “Spar with me, Tahlia.”


Taker wanted her to knock him on his backside and knew she could.  All it would take was one wrong move on his part, an opening, and she’d nail it.  He put his fists up, adopting a boxer’s stance.  Admittedly, he also wanted to enjoy the visuals her body in motion presented.


“Come on.”


Will I get to spar with him?”

“If he wishes it.”


“He’s probably helping her get better.  Stronger.  She’s a woman after all.”


Paul wondered if Mideon realized that Tahlia was a warrior and hadn't been recruited due to her beautiful face, but her fighting abilities. “Hmm.” He murmured, not agreeing or disagreeing, busy filling out the schedules for the rest of the week. “You should go check in with the Acolytes.”


Tahlia blinked, staring at him like he’d suddenly grown three heads and, for a brief moment, wondered if he was serious.  Or just toying with her.  He was the master of mind games, after all.  Or he was testing her; it was a test she HAD to pass.  Taker was HUGE compared to Mideon and she only weighed 135 pounds soaking wet.  Granted, most of her body was muscle, there wasn’t much fat on it even though she didn’t have the best eating habits.  High metabolism was her best friend in that area.




Denying him wouldn’t be tolerated, especially since he looked determined.  The soft gold in her eyes hardened as Tahlia took her own stance with her hands up.  If he wanted to spar with her, she would not deny the master anything, but hopefully he wouldn’t punish her for knocking him on his backside.  Lifting him wasn’t an option, she’d have to go another route and find an opening while they circled each other much like she did with Mideon.  When he made a move toward her, Tahlia rolled out of the way just in time and was back on her feet, having cat-like reflexes.  However, so did Taker.  This would be her toughest challenge yet, even more so than Chyna.


Most of his openings were testing, seeing what she did.  He had watched her fight, but to fight her himself was different.  Taker gave her an opening, observe what she did with it and tried it again from another angle.  She relied a lot on her speed and agility, which was a good thing because she was tiny.  Tiny but strong; he discovered that when he got a fist to the jaw.  He stepped backwards, a hand moving to rub the spot, green eyes narrowing as he considered her.  Taker approached again, going with the lumbering strength over everything approach many men in the WWF utilized and, when she feinted right, he caught her and slammed her right back down.


“I have only one suggestion for you.  Stop relying on your right side.” That was the one and only thing she needed to improve.  She continuously went right and surmised that was her dominant side.


“Yes, sir.”


The wind had temporarily been knocked out of her, but Tahlia had to regain control and win this.  If he wanted her to go left, she would.  Currently, Taker straddled her and made the mistake of settling his arm right by her head.  That gave her the opening she needed as she pulled on his arm and locked her legs around his upper body, using the power in her legs to roll over to where he was now on his back.  Just to make sure he knew she was listening, Tahlia had used her left side for the leverage and could tell she’d stunned him.


“Like that?”


She pushed off of him and stood up again, waiting for him to regain his footing before continuing.  This time when he lunged for her, Tahlia did a handstand and locked her legs around his head before flipping him over onto his back again with her sitting on his chest.  His growl instantly made her get off of him and back up, her chest rising and falling rapidly from how heavy she breathed.  Taker retaliated with a long leg sweeping out, knocking her right off her feet and onto her back.  He was on top of her again, straddling her, his knees pinning her hands down along her sides.


“Submit.” He ordered, more than pleased with her, but…he was the dominant in this group.  The amber eyed beauty lay beneath him sweat slicked, a flush along her chest and up her neck, her lips parted and eyes glossy.  Tempting vixen, he thought, wondering what would happen if he did make a move. 


Nodding at his command, Tahlia snaked her tongue out to wet her dry lips and tried catching her breath, but him on top of her wasn’t making it easy.  She hadn’t meant to anger him, but he was the one who demanded her to spar.  Tahlia took no prisoners when she sparred because it helped increase her stamina, ability and confidence.  Taker had knocked her down and, if he hadn’t ordered her to submit, she would’ve found a way to gain the upper hand on him.  That was just who she was, a fighter at heart.  She’d been wrestling since age 15, it was her passion and first love, everything else in life came secondary.  Wrestling and the Ministry would always be number one to her.


“Only to you, sir.” She finally managed to say, still breathing a little heavy.


He had experience on her, years of it.  Taker wasn't angry; he was simply calling an end to their session because, as interesting as it was, they were running out of time before other duties called to them. “Good.” He murmured back, trailing his thumb along her jawline before finally pushing himself to his feet.  


Extending his hand down to help her up with gusto, Taker brought her up to his feet rapidly, her body colliding with his.  His touch lit something inside of her, but now was not the time or place to act on her impulses.  Her body meeting his just made that need inside grow more intense, but again she had to squash it.


“I wouldn’t mind sparring with you again.  Unlike Mideon, you give me a challenge.” Tahlia smiled up at him, trying to ease the tension between them and stepped back, feeling him release her hand. “Thank you for the time, sir.  I’m gonna go shower now, if that’s okay.” At his approving nod, Tahlia took the bandana from her forehead and groaned since it was soaked with sweat, simply tossing it in the garbage nearby. 


She had enough and, if needed, more could be purchased.


Taker watched her walk away, admiring the sway of her hips, curve of her waist and shook his head.  Bad idea mixing business with pleasure, but she did say anything.  He tilted his head, eyes narrowing thoughtfully, deciding to think on it.  For now, shower because, like her, he was in desperate need of one for a multitude of reasons.  Once he was in the open locker room off of the gym, he studied his jaw in the mirror, nodding his approval.  She had left her mark, in more than just one way.


Under the semi-warm sprays, Tahlia thought back to the sparring session with Taker and looked down at her right hand, the tape no longer there.  She’d torn it off both hands on her way to the showers.  Striking Taker in the face the way she had was unacceptable.  Tahlia couldn’t believe she’d done it, closing her eyes while the water pounded down on her.  He’d pushed her to do it, but that was still no excuse and she was lucky he hadn’t knocked her out for that shot.  Then she just focused on Taker, her master, and planted her hands against the wall, envisioning him standing behind her.  It was the only way to quell the fire inside of her he’d started as her hand drifted low to take care of her current issue.


“Oh yes…”


It’d been a while since she last pleasured herself and leaned against the shower wall, slowing sliding her middle finger past the silky wet folds.  She made sure to have downstairs waxed due to her wrestling attire and the fact shaving made her itch far too much.  Waxing was a lot better and she only had to have it done once a month instead of doing it weekly.  The way her smooth flesh felt as she slid her finger in and out of her sex sent shivers throughout her body.  Taker instantly filled her mind and she touched the brand mark on her hip that was still healing, closing her eyes.  She was his completely and he didn’t even realize it yet.


“Taker…” She moaned out, raising her hand to slap over her mouth and muffled her cries, feeling the orgasm begin rippling throughout her body. 


If only it was the master doing this to her at this moment…Tahlia increased the pace, her face contorted in blissful agony.  Her release came moments later as her juices spilled out of her body all over her hand.  She didn’t stop until the orgasm finished, screaming out his name in her hand and sagged against the shower wall, breathing sporadically.  It took her several minutes to calm down and get her heart rate to return back to normal.  The last thing she wanted to do was have Taker find out what she’d done in the shower because of him.  Finishing up, Tahlia stepped out 10 minutes later, chilled from turning the shower sprays on cold and dressed, ready to face her master again.


Chapter 5


Tahlia didn’t mind living out of hotel rooms, but when the master requested the Ministry to join him at his home in Texas, she was stunned.  Paul was too.  After all, this was Taker’s domain and sanctuary.  Maybe he did think of them all as a family, though that thought process was disturbing considering Tahlia wouldn’t mind sleeping with their Lord.  They had 2 days off before having to be back on the road for house shows, which were always fun.  Chyna would be there and her revenge could begin on the Amazon.  Walking into one of the rooms of the 3-story mansion, Tahlia set her bag on the bed and looked around, not surprised the décor was black and gray with a gothic tinge.  She sat down on the bed and began rifling through her things to try finding something to do or occupy her time with.


He had brought them home with him simply because he had received notice that McMahon was looking to have individual chats with his employees.  His employees indeed…the last thing Taker needed was the boss poking his nose where it wasn’t wanted.  That, and he needed to see how they all interacted together.  Paul had voiced some concerns and he paid attention to Paul when the older man actually spoke an opinion.


“Is everything to your liking?” He asked, leaning in the open doorway of her room, arms folded over his chest.


Tahlia looked up at him and nodded, setting her Walkman down on the bed, standing up. “Yes, sir.”


How could it not be?  She had her own private bathroom, the bed could probably fit 5 of him and the room even had its own television with cable.  Tahlia didn’t watch much television; there was never any time in her line of work.  Music was another passion of hers though and, instead of using the radio, she decided to splurge a bit and bought a Walkman with a headset.  There was no more disturbing the master or anyone else for that matter just because she enjoyed blaring music in her ears.


“You have a beautiful place.” It was also out in the middle of nowhere, which should’ve unnerved her, but instead all she felt was peace.


“Thank you.”


Taker took great pride in his home.  It was his personal project and it wasn’t finished.  It was something he had been working on for years.  He had bought the house, a fixer upper, gutted it and began restoring it to his taste.  Even the furniture was custom-made, based on his own designs.


“You should see the grounds.” His emerald orbs flashed wickedly for a moment, wondering how she’d do in his little maze. “There is a gym, in the lower level, underground.  If you wish to work out or spar.” With him, and his tongue darted out to lick his bottom lip.

The first part of what he said caught her attention. “The grounds?” She echoed, feeling her curiosity peak and tilted her head slightly at the wicked gleam in his eyes. “Well, if you’re not busy, why don’t you show me what you’re talking about?”


Tahlia was dying for a tour and wanted to do it with him, walking over to stand in front of him.  Sparring with him in this house sounded like a delicious idea too, but that could wait until later.  Since Texas was warm, even in the month of January, she had on a pair of black Capri’s with a dark purple tank top, her hair braided to hang over her left shoulder.


Nodding, he led the way outside, taking the back stairs, through the large pantry, out the doors into the kitchen and a side door outside.  He was aware his house was a bit large for one person…hell, it was a bit large for a family of 9, but he liked it this way.  Spending hours trying to memorize the layout and still miss something.  Taker guided her down the slope that led to a large hedge, an opening and gated entrance to his 'back yard'.  He was comfortable, in black skin-tight jeans and nothing else, not even shoes.  Knowing the layout, where not to walk, Taker was perfectly comfortable.


“Well…?” He gestured her through the gate and into the maze.


Any normal woman would’ve been terrified out of her mind to venture into a maze with this man, but not Tahlia.  Her trust in him was complete and she knew he wouldn’t let anything happen to her.  She was his property, his minion and one of his warriors to fight for him in the upcoming war with the Corporation.  Tahlia walked through the gate and into the maze without hesitation, looking around at the tall hedges and felt him behind her, his body heat soaking through her skin.  It was exquisite and she could tell, if one didn’t know where they were going, getting lost would be very easy. 


Getting out would be difficult and she wondered if Taker had sent people in here to their demise, immediately shoving that thought of her mind.  The man wasn’t a murderer or a cult leader, nobody was here that didn’t want to be.  When she came to a crossing, a fork, Tahlia chewed her bottom lip and went left, remembering Taker telling her how she always favored the right side whenever sparring.


He couldn't help noticing she had started veering right before hesitating and going left, remembering their sparring session and simply trailed behind her.  His bare feet made no noise on the cool grass as she navigated her way through.  She'd get turned out, stuck at a dead-end, but he noticed she was committing those pathways to memory, never taking the same one twice unless it was to loop back to an offshoot.  Good.  Taker timed her, wondering how long it would take Tahlia to reach the center, which held his personal little retreat in the form of a fire pit, some outdoor furniture and hot tub.


I went left, so I should go right this time - then left again, every other turn, Tahlia thought, nodding to reassure herself she was doing the right thing.  This wasn’t as hard as it looked, if one knew what they were doing.  She did, to an extent.  Another fork and she’d gone right the last time, so it was another left.  If Taker designed this, he did an excellent job, though it was an easy navigation once she figured out the pattern.  Left and right, not the other way around or the person got stuck and had to backtrack from the beginning.  It took her exactly 10 minutes before they came out the other side, Tahlia grinning at the fire pit surrounded by comfortable furniture and…was that a hot tub?  It’d been a while since she had a good long soak in one of those.


“That was fun, definitely made me think and kept me on my toes.” She admitted, turning to look up into his eyes while speaking. “This is really nice back here.”


“It’s relaxing.”


Dropping down onto a chaise, specifically designed to hold his weight and height, Taker was not the average sized person.  Most furniture could hold his weight, usually, but for his height he was generally screwed.  6'10 giants were not the normal.  He let a leg dangle over the edge, propping his elbow on the pillow and his head against his palm as he considered her.


“You picked up the pattern quite quickly.  Remembered the left.” It was sort of a compliment and he gestured for her to sit as well.


“I remember everything you tell me.” Tahlia admitted openly, sitting down in the seat next to his chaise and lulled her head back against the cushion provided. “You’re right, it is relaxing out here.  Hell, if this was my place I’d never want to leave.”


Though, he’d only been able to have this place because of what they did for a living, working their backsides off traveling 300+ days out of the year.  Wrestling wasn’t cut out for everyone and only those who could steel themselves from being homesick or away from families persevered.  The stars had come out, glistening on them one by one along with the moon and Tahlia couldn’t remember ever seeing them so clear before.  Probably due to the fact she lived in a small studio apartment in the middle of New York City.  She hated it and planned on moving somewhere else eventually since she was never home.  Maybe Texas could be her next destination; it was warm and peaceful, at least where Taker had taken them.


“One day, I won’t leave.” He said musingly, turning so he was lying flat on his back and stared up into the night sky.  This was something he tended to miss while on the road.  So many cities, and all that light pollution, tended to block out the stars. “I’ll come home and it’ll be my final time coming back.” That would be the day he retired and Taker did not see that day anywhere in the immediate future. “Why did you agree to join the Ministry?  Or is it a career move?” He wasn’t stupid; he knew he was a superstar in this sport and her association with him would catapult her career faster.


Honesty, she had vowed to him to never lie and Tahlia wouldn’t start now. “At first, I didn’t think we had a choice in the matter.  Once chosen, that was it, your fate was sealed.  But then Paul explained to us what exactly you’re doing and wanting to accomplish, giving us an out.  I didn’t want to pass that up.  I mean, yes, my career benefits from this because of who you are.  I’d be stupid not to take the offer and opportunity to learn from you.  Honestly, I don’t know why you chose me.  I consider it an honor, but I didn’t think you’d want a woman in your ranks.  You just never seemed to go that route with your career, so being the only woman chosen to join you is…well, a privilege.  And I won’t squander it, for however long it lasts.  I want to learn all I can from you.  This will only make me stronger, better and eventually I WILL dominate the women’s division of the WWF.  That will start with taking back what’s rightfully mine.” The Women’s championship.


He knew what rightfully was hers.  She was referring to the Women's championship and couldn't blame her.  Taker had tasted gold and wanted it back, the power and prestige, what it represented.  The best.  The strongest.  The most talented.  The whole kit and caboodle.  Or, that’s what those belts had represented before the McMahon’s decided to crap on everything.


“Fair enough.”


Taker lapsed back into silence for a while, eventually pushing himself up and stretched.  It was dark out and going back was not on his list of things to do right now.  Not when he was enjoying the downtime.  Instead, he retrieved wood from the neat log pile that was always well stocked and got a fire going, looking over towards the hot tub.  A few minutes later, Taker had it started up and removed his jeans.


Tahlia had seen his bare backside already, so it didn’t bother her that he was stripping.  However, she averted her eyes away from him to stare into the fire, letting the tranquility take her away.  That was until a shadow loomed over her and her eyes stared back at the huge hand being offered to her.  She took it and stood up, unable to deny her master anything.  Taker guided her over to the bubbly hot tub and gestured silently with his hand, blatantly giving her an invitation. 


Did she take it and risk trouble brewing between them or play it safe and decline?  Lifting her tank top up and over her head, Tahlia wore a dark purple bra beneath that was cotton and slipped her shorts off as well, revealing a matching pair of panties.  She hated silk, having only worn it for the initiation at his request.  Everything she had worn that night was picked out by Taker.  The wound on her hip was now nothing more than a scabbed over T with spikes symbol, so the hot water wouldn’t make it worse since it was mostly healed.


Basically, she wore plain underwear and that was... interesting.  He openly perused her, finally shrugging and stepped into the water, hissing as it made contact with his skin.  Taker settled himself in one of the built-in seats, gesturing for her to join him.  At this point, Taker was wondering just what he would have to say or do to prompt a reaction from her that was decidedly against what he wanted.


“Come here.” He ordered, crooking a finger at her while tapping his thigh with the other hand.


Time to test that out.

They were treading on dangerous ground doing this, but Tahlia was resolute in her vow to him.  Anything he wanted, she’d truly meant those words.  Moving over to him as her body sliced through the bubbly hot water, Tahlia could feel the temperature rising within her, her blood stirring and had to think of every disgusting thing on the planet to get through this.  Taker was completely naked beneath the water; what kind of purgatory or hell was this?  Settling down on his lap, amber eyes trailed up his chest until they met intense slightly dark green.  They reminded her of a fern, which was a weird thought to have considering the predicament she was in.  Tahlia wanted to reach out and touch him, but instead kept her hands clasped in her lap, being mindful not to brush against any other part of his body.


Well this wouldn't do.


She was doing what he said, but was also hesitant and tried to still put distance between them.  He sensed there was indeed a limit. “No.” Taker grabbed her waist to move her, pushing his massive thigh up until she straddled it, facing him and guided her hands to rest palms against his shoulders. “Better.” He tilted his head back, letting his hair float in the water as he just sat there, enjoying the weight of Tahlia on him and wondered how long she would suffer this, a smirk curving his mouth.


What was he doing to her? 


How far would this go? 


She could feel his slightly hardened erection brush up against her wet panty covered crotch and swallowed hard, trying to focus on something else.  So, she began kneading his shoulders and could feel how tense he was, wondering when was the last time he had a proper massage.  Tahlia heard his low purr and applied a little pressure to her thumbs since they were doing most of the work.  While doing this, she studied the tattoo on his neck and let her eyes trail down to where it met the others, admiring the artwork he had.  She had a few tattoos, though they weren’t nearly as covering as his, though most could be seen at the moment.


“How does that feel?  You’re really tense.” Tahlia murmured softly, finally deciding to work on one shoulder at a time with both of her hands because, doing them both at once, wasn’t doing him any favors or breaking the muscles down.


“If you ever decide professional wrestling is not working out, I’ll hire you on as a personal massage artist.” Because she was definitely a master artist with those delicate hands of hers. “There isn’t much time for... working out the tensions.” Taker admitted after a moment, tipping his head to give her better access to his neck, his hands moving to her hips to pull her closer.


“Yes there is.  You just have to make the time for yourself.” Tahlia hadn’t disagreed with him once until now, always finding time for herself even being in the Ministry.  It wasn’t a long stretch, but there were times she had alone she enjoyed and, in this business, one had to put themselves first before anyone else. “You work so hard.  You deserve to be taken care of.” Being drawn closer to him made her want to relax him more, enjoying having Undertaker turn putty in her hands. “And wrestling is my passion, I just know the body and how to mold it to do what I want, nothing more.”


Her disagreeing with him here didn’t count because she wasn’t actively trying to disagree with him based on a principle.  Only in an effort to encourage him to apparently take better care of himself.  Taking her hands, he guided them down his chest to his abdomen, letting her work her magic there.


“And what is it, exactly, you want, Tahlia?  Right now?”


Chapter 6


His muscles rippling beneath her fingertips caused heat to spread throughout every portion of her body as she continued soothing his aching body. “To make my Lord and master feel good and relaxed.” It was the honest truth; Tahlia wasn’t concerned with her needs and desires, only what this man wanted.  She owed him everything for bringing her into the fold and having enough faith to believe a woman could stand equally tall with the men he’d chosen to follow him. “So, tell me what you want?  What would satisfy you and please you?” Her eyes searched his, her hands never stopping the massage while speaking her mind.


“Finding your breaking point.” Taker had caught her hands in his, straightening up and moved so she was out in the center of the hot tub.  He moved with her, one hand sliding around to her back, splaying his palm against it as he began tipping her backwards into the hot water. “That would please me, to find out where your devotion to me stops, to find out how far I can push you before you say no.” And there was a number of ways he could do it, personally and professionally.


Completely taken aback by his words, Tahlia could only shake her head back at him and felt more confused than ever. “I don’t understand.  Y-You WANT me to say no to you?”


Why?  That was the next and only question filtering through her mind while the back of her head met the water, her braid swirling around the top of it because of the jets.  He wanted to push her to the breaking point…to find the one thing that would make her fight him off.  Tahlia didn’t want to though; the ceremony bound them together and she drank his blood for Christ sakes!


“I won’t do it.  No matter what you do to me, I won’t deny you anything, Taker.” If that meant being punished, so be it, but she couldn’t – wouldn’t – disobey her Lord and master. “So, you can try, but I’m afraid you’re going to fail in that endeavor.”


“Let's find out.”


Baring his teeth at her in the hint of a mocking grin, Taker dunked her beneath the water.  He watched her impassively, noting how calm her face was, even as she held her breath, her eyes shut to protect them from the hot water.  When enough time had passed, he wasn’t out to kill her after all, Taker bent down face first into the water as well.  His lips found hers and he passed fresh oxygen to her in the kiss, allowing her more time.  This would definitely go down as weirdest kiss she’d ever experienced in her life.  Tahlia wasn’t scared he would drown her because what would be the point?  She was marred with his symbol and felt an unbreakable bond with Taker. 


It would a waste of time and energy to kill her here and now. 


His mouth on hers had Tahlia gasping for air under the water and all she could do was kiss him back, blaming it on lack of oxygen.  Her arms wrapped around his neck to bury her fingers in his hair, pressing herself against him and suddenly Taker pulled them both above the water for air, the kiss breaking effectively.  Tahlia coughed and heaved to regain her breathing, finally looking up at him wide eyed.  Her arms were still wrapped around his neck and she had to turn her head to cough more, releasing her hold on her master.


Once she had coughed her airway clear, he pushed her hair back from her face, studying her. “Tahlia... we’re going to have a lot of interesting times together.” He informed her, standing up with her in his arms.  Water poured off them both and the transition from hot to cold covered them both in goosebumps, but it felt good all things considered. “Very interesting times.”


“I see that.” Tahlia mumbled, her chest hurting a little from how hard she coughed and felt Taker cart them both out of the hot tub.  He set her down on her feet, handing over a towel and she took it to wrap around her body. “I should inform you of something, Taker.” They were way past the point of her calling him ‘sir’, though she would do it around the other minions.  At his raised brow, she reached up to brush a strand of black hair from his forehead. “You failed and you won’t find a breaking point with me.  Not when it comes to you.” Others yes, him no. “Good night.” She kissed her fingers and waved at him before grabbing her clothes, heading back through the maze to find her way back to the mansion.


Well... in typical male fashion, the first thought that popped into his head was along the lines of ‘she wants me’ followed by ‘I hope she’s not crazy or already in love’ because he had his fair share of crazies.  If she wasn’t crazy, if Tahlia was just that damn loyal, then he wanted to find out what made her tick.  Find out, explore it, break it and reassemble.  Whistling under his breath, Taker retrieved his jeans and followed her back to the mansion, slipping them on as he went.




Staring back in the mirror, Tahlia smirked at the new attire she’d had wardrobe make for her.  Originally, the colors were different, but since she was with the Ministry now, purple and black it was.  The pants were black and purple thickly striped with silver studs starting two inches below the waist, planted directly in the middle of each leg and going down all the way.  The top was the same colors, the front black with studs, the sides and back dark purple.  It laced up the front and had a halter style, leaving her arms bare.  Also, because of how low the pants sat on her hips, it proudly showcased Taker’s symbol seared into her skin.  Nodding approving at the seamstress, Tahlia gave her a quick hug and hightailed it back to the Ministry locker room.  She could only hope Taker approved of her new wrestling attire, wanting something a little edgier now that she was running with the big boys.


Mideon was mildly disappointed from his time at the mansion.  Being there had been great, seeing where the Lord of Darkness resided, but he had thought there would be more one-on-one interaction with Taker.  Bradshaw and Paul seemed to be two people he automatically turned to and he had noticed Taker and Tahlia disappearing on the first night.  Frowning, he finished with the paint on his forehead, looking up when the door opened. 

“You got everything arranged?”

“Of course I did.  I don't understand why...”
“Because I want her to have her moment.  It'll let her move onto bigger and better things, which benefits the Ministry as a whole.”


Walking into the Ministry locker room, Tahlia immediately grabbed her wrestling boots and began to loosen them up, slipping one on her foot to start the process.  Every eye was on her and she could feel it, finally looking up at the boys she’d traveled with for the past month and a half. “Yes?” She asked impatiently, raising a brow at the Acolytes and Mideon staring down at her with wide eyes. 

“Your outfit…”

“Attire.” Bradshaw coughed, correcting his partner and smirked when Farooq flipped him the bird.

“She looks…nice.” Mideon rolled his eyes at the horn dogs and sat down beside Tahlia, knowing she was focused on her upcoming match with Chyna that night. “So, I need some advice on how to get Taker to notice me.”

“What?” Tahlia could tell there was distance between her and Mideon lately, having a suspicion as to why.  Because their Lord and master preferred her over him, though she couldn’t figure out why. “You really want my advice?” At his nod, she continued lacing up her boots and flipped her freshly dyed black and purple streaked hair over to the side. “Stop trying so hard and let him come to you.  Do what he says, obey his commands, but let him come to you when he needs something.  He’ll need you when you least expect it.”


“Makes sense, I suppose.” Mideon eyed her doubtfully, his eyes narrowing in on her and smiled slightly.  He and Tahlia had a bond, that came from sharing a cell for a month, and he’d been an ass over the past few days. “Ministry cheerleader?” He gestured to her hair.

She looked more like a Ministry gothic Barbie doll and he shared a knowing look with Paul, chuckling darkly before turning back to the planning of the night. “She’ll do fine.”

“But against Chyna?”

“Brother Paul, you’re trying my patience.”


“I’ll be fine, Brother Paul.” Tahlia stated confidently, standing from the bench and began jumping from one foot to the other, getting her adrenaline pumping. “Chyna has an ass kicking coming her way by me.  I owe her for costing me what the bitch Sable has around her waist – MY title.  And it will be mine again; it’s only a matter of time.  First, I gotta take down the Amazon bitch and then go from there.” She had a plan, after talking it over with Taker to make sure he was onboard with everything. “She doesn’t have a prayer tonight.” Amber eyes flashed, steeling over as Tahlia continued doing her pre-match warm-up and kept her focus solely on the goal that night. 


Destroy Chyna.


“Language, Tahlia.” Taker drawled darkly, though he was amused.  He knew she could back up what she was saying, but she’d have to remember that they all knew it as well.  Posturing was quite unnecessary. “Also, for the record, your input will not be required unless we are talking to you directly.”


On the ride here, Paul had mentioned it looked like he might be showing favoritism.  Which he could do, he was in charge, but... not exactly a good thing for keeping everyone on board.  This would show he wasn’t playing favorites.  He wasn't McMahon and it would be interesting to see how she reacted.  Tahlia stopped her pre-match warm-up long enough to bow her head, murmured an apology for stepping out of line to both her master and Brother Paul before resuming what she was doing.  The intensity somehow clouded her judgment and mindset, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing.  If Taker felt she was stepping out of line, then she would try not to do it again. 


Once she was fully warmed up, Tahlia took a bottle of water and downed half of it, thrusting her arms gently back and forth.  Then she sat down on the floor and began stretching, needing to be as limber as possible for Chyna.  Speed and agility would get her through along with power, but she also had to use her brain.  She’d studied tapes on how Chyna moved and knew what to expect, thankful for Taker’s large wrestling tape collection back at the mansion in Texas.  Spreading her legs wider, she felt the burn and didn’t realize she was nearly doing the splits; glad her wrestling attire was durable and could take the abuse.


The major problem with having a woman in the Ministry, and one he and Paul had discussed prior to ‘recruiting’ Tahlia, was the fact that, if she was easy on the eyes, which she was, there could be some problems.  Of the male kind because she wasn’t inviting the stares or the thoughts that were obviously going through many of their heads, his included.  She was oblivious to the fact that she was being watched, that her interesting positions was drawing unwanted attention and he cleared his throat.


“Perhaps there is something you all should be doing.” It wasn't a suggestion and the men busied themselves.


Eventually, they would have to see her as a true member of the Ministry.  Tahlia wasn’t stupid or blind, she simply didn’t care if they stared at her while she did her pre-match warm-up routine.  It wouldn’t change just because she was in the Ministry and having her own dressing room wasn’t an option.  Earning their respect by kicking ass in the ring and backing up what she said she could do would be proof enough.  They were all still trying to get used to each other, after all.  It’d only been a month and a half since the recruiting and only a week since her and Mideon’s actual initiation.  It was time to prove herself worthy of being part of the Ministry of Darkness with actions instead of words.

“Sister Tahlia, you’re up, my dear.”

Nodding, she finished painting her lips purple, her eyes only outlined in thin black liner with no other color, not seeing the need for it.  Walking out with Paul would be part of her entrance, which would take some getting used to, but Tahlia didn’t argue against it either.  She caught Taker’s eye on her way out and knew he would be watching her closely, knowing she could not fail taking out Chyna.  This was her true test and if she failed, the consequences would be severe. 


There was no failing the Lord of Darkness, at all.


Taker was indeed watching her, knowing her first match was going to show him that either he was an idiot, who should have stuck with time honored traditions of women are best served as candy for the eyes.  Or he was a genius.  Taker leaned towards B.  Chyna was no lightweight, she knew what she was doing and she had trained under the best.  She also wasn’t above using dirty tricks, a nut shot or two came to mind.  He settled himself comfortably in his chair, gesturing for silence.


He wanted to watch.


Stepping up on the apron, Tahlia flipped over them with ease and acted like the heel perfectly, shooing off the fans booing her.  Currently, the Ministry were the antagonists and she actually enjoyed playing the heel role. “Come on!” She leaned forward with her elbows resting on her thighs, beckoning Chyna to come out with her hand.  Amber eyes widened as flames exploded from the top stage and the theme of Kane’s echoed throughout the arena.  She looked over at Paul, who looked white as a sheet and Tahlia knew what that meant.  How could she forget about Chyna’s bodyguard, Kane?! 


Tahlia went stoic, looking perfectly calm while Chyna made her way down the ramp with Kane by her side and the moment the Amazon bitch stepped in the ring, she attacked.  Driving her knees into Chyna’s gut, Tahlia didn’t stop until she had Chyna down against the ropes, stomping her repeatedly.  The count of 4 had her back away with her hands up, glaring at the referee before proceeding to do the assault all over again.  This was the only way she would survive, especially with Kane out there and Tahlia kicked it up a notch, pressing her black boot against Chyna’s throat holding the ropes for leverage. 


Once again, at 4 she stepped back as the referee commanded and drug Chyna up by her hair before delivering a snap suplex in the center of the ring and then proceeded to deliver 2 more after that.  With Chyna down, Tahlia bounded off the ropes and felt her foot being grabbed by Kane, immediately planting face first in the mat.  FUCK, she thought, as the beating from Chyna began, something she had expected.  Now it was the time to soak up the pain and punishment, take it and then get the upper hand somehow.


He shook his head, wondering if they both had gotten distracted.  Of course, Kane would be with Chyna!  They were ‘partners’ or whatever.  Taker didn't understand it nor did he want too.  Tahlia was Ministry, she had a feud with Chyna, so it made sense that Kane would be coming out as well. 

“My turn, sweetheart.” Chyna crowed in her nasally voice, pressing Tahlia directly over her head and launched her into the turnbuckle as hard as she could.  She smirked, seeing the ‘heel’ crumple at impact and proceeded to put her big black boot right on Tahlia’s throat, pressing in as hard as she could.

“Sit down.” Taker ordered when Mideon got up.


Chapter 7


Her throat was killing her along with her midsection, but Tahlia somehow managed to make it back to her feet.  She fought back, kicking Chyna in the stomach and threw a couple forearms into her face, amber eyes alight with gold fire.  Remembering what this bitch cost her against Sable, Tahlia channeled all of her frustration and anger into getting back in the fight.  Chyna was strong, but not nearly as quick or agile as her. 


She didn’t have the makings to be a champion, it took more than being built like a brickhouse to be in this sport.  Tahlia clasped her arms around Chyna’s waist tightly and used her strength to lift the woman over her head on her back, giving her another suplex to get out of the sleeper.  Coughing and trying to regain her breathing, Tahlia knew she had to capitalize on this or else she would lose the match more than likely.  Hitting the ropes, she drove all of her weight right on top of Chyna in a splash, going for the cover. 


Only to get a 2 count.


That 2 count came because Kane had grabbed Tahlia by her ankle and jerked backwards, pulling her off the canvas and right into the ring ropes.  He let go and paced, watching as Chyna massaged where it was obviously hurting before pushing herself up.  Chyna was quick for her size, she had to be; she was trying to fight men, not women like Tahlia, but Tahlia was quicker.  Kane would give her that.  She was like one of those little dogs that bit and held on, shaking until someone conked her on the head.  Tahlia wouldn’t stay down and Chyna’s abdomen felt like it was on fire.  Cursing under her breath, Chyna decided to distract the referee, wondering if Kane would do what she needed him too.


Put Tahlia down for her.


This monster needed to be set on fire, then maybe he’d leave her the hell alone so she could finish Chyna off.  Tahlia was angry and it showed, but she couldn’t let the rage interfere with her thinking.  Or blind her.  While the referee was distracted, Tahlia went to sprint forward, only for Kane to jump up on the ring apron.  He was quicker than a man his size had a right to be and grabbed her hair.  She countered by hanging him out to dry, his throat colliding with the top rope as his big body spilled to the outside. 


Tahlia zeroed in on her target, her victim and chopped Chyna’s legs right from under her, making the woman crash to the mat in a heap holding her leg.  She smiled maliciously and began working on the leg, knowing in order to chop down a tree, you had to go for the lower half.  Chyna was a lot taller than her 5’7 frame, but that didn’t mean Tahlia couldn’t chop her down to size. Chyna’s screams echoed in her ear, which were pure music to Tahlia as she continued hammering her elbow and bodyweight into the hurt knee.  Like a shark smelling blood, Tahlia was going in for the kill and could smell victory approaching.


At the best of times, Kane was unstable, meaning he could go either way on his temperament, his mind set.  Tahlia, who worked for the Undertaker of all people, had just dropped his burnt backside and the unstable went to lunatic.  He climbed over the rope, still shaking cobwebs from his skull.  Ignoring the referee’s orders to get out, he caught Tahlia by the throat and chokeslammed her without any aplomb.  No holding it, no showing off his strength, he just raised her as high as he could and slammed her straight to hell.

“It doesn’t count.” Taker sighed when Tahlia was declared the winner via disqualification, pinching the bridge of his nose.


It wasn’t the first time Tahlia had gotten chokeslammed and wouldn’t be the last, though she was highly annoyed and enraged by the disqualification.  Her brain was jarred a little along with her equilibrium, but Tahlia had to fight through it.  Kane wasn’t a small man by any means.  Her body was, however, conditioned to take brutal bumps and moves like that. 


She lost…even though she won by disqualification, she still LOST. 


Tahlia rolled out of the ring slowly and held her lower back, shaking her head at Paul trying to help her.  That match was hers; she had Chyna beat and, if that burnt freak hadn’t interfered, she would’ve won hands down.  This was her moment, her time, and Kane had ruined it!  Gritting her teeth, Tahlia walked into the Ministry locker room, ignoring everyone and kept her head down while grabbing her clothes so she could go shower the sweat and grime off her body.


“Tah-” Mideon shook his head when the door to the adjacent bathroom slammed shut in his face.  He turned to stare at the Undertaker, who was still watching the monitor with a bored look on his face, frowning. “You let that happen.”

“I did.”
“You knew Kane would be there.” Paul surmised, mentally slapping himself because he should have realized it as well.

“Is this a game to you people?” Taker didn’t look at them, didn’t raise his voice. “You are all here for a reason.  You all know the history of these people, how they have history with me, with us, and did not expect this?” He pushed himself out of his chair. “Everyone out.”


20 minutes later, Tahlia stepped out of the bathroom dressed to head back to the hotel.  The Ministry had nothing else going on that night onscreen, backstage or match-wise.  Her hair was braided over her shoulder and the cold shower had simmered her boiling blood.  Kane coming out with Chyna should’ve been expected and Tahlia made a mental note for that the next time they hooked up in the ring.  Next time, she would eat Tahlia’s shoelaces and possibly the entire boot. 


Wearing a black long sleeved top and blue jeans, –they were the only wardrobe exception as far as color went– Tahlia stuffed her gear in her bag and zipped it up, turning only to collide with Undertaker.  She was under the impression he’d left already to head back to the hotel like the rest of the Ministry did.  Tahlia kept her head lowered, knowing she disappointed the master tonight and had her crying jag in the shower where nobody could hear her.  She would never, ever, cry in front of the Ministry and especially their master.


“You did well out there tonight.” Taker complimented, green eyes remaining impassive when her head shot up in obvious surprise. She apparently wasn’t expecting that after her tainted win.  He was, however, not about praising what had been done right before pointing out the wrong, especially when it was an obvious mistake that could have been prepared for. “However, you should have known better about Kane.  Next time, your victory will be unquestioned, no doubt, it will be yours.” Because people would question if she would have been able to win on her own, never mind the fact that she had clearly been stomping Chyna’s backside.  Tahlia would be scrutinized by everyone simply because he had hand chosen her.


“No, it wasn’t and I will do better next time.  I should’ve expected Kane to come out with her, it was my mistake and I will atone for it.”


Tahlia didn’t pull her eyes away from him, knowing better than to drop her head at this moment.  He had complimented her, but she didn’t agree with him and knew better than to say that to his face.  Disagreeing with him wasn’t an option, ever.  She could think it all she wanted in her brain, but actually saying aloud would never happen.  If Tahlia wanted respect from the Ministry, the only people she really cared about, she had to win cleanly, even if it meant cheating at times.  They were heels in the company, so that was allowed within reason.  Cheating was fine, after she established she could do it on her own merit, in a clean match that did not have someone interfering in it.  Then, even when she did cheat, no one would question whether or not she could have gotten the job done in a fair fight.


“You did do well.  You were dominating her and would have won.  Do not doubt that, Tahlia.” Taker gripped her chin in his hand, staring intently down into her eyes, searching for and seeing the disagreement she was trying to hide.  She really was the perfect disciple, wasn’t she? “Do not.”


“Yes, sir.”


Tahlia didn’t doubt she could beat Chyna, not for a second.  She wouldn’t be in the business if she didn’t think she had what it took to bring the Amazon bitch down.  However, she didn’t do well in that match because, if she had, she would’ve saw Kane coming a mile away.  Hell, that was Chyna’s MO lately ever since joining up with the Corporation.  Tahlia had been so consumed with revenge, she didn’t stop to think how low Chyna would sink to beat her.  Taker’s voice held finality and she had to agree with what he said, even if she disagreed wholeheartedly.


Even now she was agreeing with him, but only because she felt she had to and he inwardly rolled his eyes.  Was there no end to this stubborn streak of hers?  Taker circled her, clasping his hands behind his back and he considered her.  Tahlia had taken some licks tonight.  A boot heavily planted on her throat, being chokeslammed and dropped on that turnbuckle at full force.  He came to a halt just behind her.


“Strip for me, Tahlia.” He ordered, his baritone dropping to a low pitch.


This must’ve been the punishment she knew was coming.  Tahlia couldn’t hesitate, not for a second and shut her eyes, pulling her shirt up over her head.  She fought back a wince since her midsection was bruised from being dropped on the turnbuckle.  The arena of all places he would punish her…Tahlia felt humiliated doing this, but at least the master was nice enough not to do this in front of the entire Ministry.  It was just the two of them.  Hell, he kissed her under water and he’d seen her practically naked, so this shouldn’t embarrass her.  Just do it and get it over with, her mind coached, as she stepped out of her jeans, having already kicked her tennis shoes off.


“Do you want me completely naked, sir?” She asked softly, facing him and clasped her hands in front of her, wearing cotton black panties and bra.


“What did I say?” Taker remarked coolly; he had said strip.


There hadn't been any provisions to that, any mention: to underclothes as an add-on.  He had told her to strip.  He watched her hesitate for only the briefest of moments, wondering what she would do and tipped his head to the side, taking in the curve of her waist and gently flared hips.  That cotton underwear of hers... practical and somehow erotic.  She wasn't out to show off her goods, going for practicality and comfort instead.  Taker distracted himself by taking in the bruise on her back from where she had collided with the turnbuckle and mat.  It looked quite painful and he reached out, unsnapping her bra for her, his fingers trailing down the bruised flesh.


Anything for him she would do, those were Tahlia’s exact words and she was currently eating them.  She had challenged Taker to find a breaking point with her and, if he thought simply stripping naked in front of him would do it…well, he was about to be disappointed.  A hiss escaped her at the feeling of his finger touching the bruise on her back as she pulled the bra off to let it float to the concrete floor.  He stood right behind her and Tahlia could feel his hot breath on her neck while he continued stroking her marred skin.  Hooking her thumbs in the waistband of her panties, those came off next as she slid them down her legs, bending over just a little and gently nudged them aside.  If this was a punishment of some kind, it was low and degrading and she would’ve rather been beaten down.


Low and degrading maybe, but at the end of the day, it was all on her.  She was doing this by her choice, not his.  Taker had told her what he wanted and she complied, no matter how distasteful she may have found it.  Tahlia could have said no.  She could have respectfully declined.  He was just pushing buttons and seeing what did what and where she finally put her foot down.  That bruise ended at her tailbone and he ran a finger down her spine and then up her hip, just the tip of his finger.  She was beautiful, bruised and all.


“This needs tended to.”


There was no way he did this with the other Ministry members, so why was she so different?  Oh right, she had tits and a vagina.  Tahlia wondered if she’d ever be accepted as a true member of the group.  This wasn’t what she signed up for, but still she had given her vow to him.  Mind, heart, soul, body… His touch felt amazing and, under other circumstances, Tahlia might’ve made a move with him, but not now.  Not during her punishment, which he had yet to dish out.  Whatever he wanted to do to her, she would take it and deal.


“I was going to put some salve on it when I got back to the hotel tonight, sir.  It’s not as bad as it looks.” It was an honest response and, surprisingly, her voice remained soft and low. 


If he ever told Bradshaw or Farooq to strip, they both would have punched him in his nose, Lord of Darkness and their leader be damned.  That would be their line. “Do you feel powerless, Tahlia?” He asked, his mouth right against her ear, moving so his body was aligned with hers, close enough for her to feel the heat emanating from him, but not as close to be touching.  Taker skimmed his palms up along her arms, curling his fingers around his shoulders. “Resent your spot as a female, perhaps?” His breath was hot on her earlobe. “Do you think I am unfair in my treatment of you?”


A shiver shot down her spine at his hot breath on her neck and ear, which were weak spots.  Was he a mind reader?  Tahlia immediately shook her head, knowing better than to admit what she’d been thinking to him.  Her breathing had turned uneven and Tahlia did her best not to lean into his touch or react in any way, remaining standing where she was staring straight ahead.


“No, of course not, sir.  Everything you do is for a reason.” Powerless was an understatement; all of them were powerless against this man because he was the boss and their master. “I deserve whatever you decide to do to me.”


“Do you really?” Taker taunted, moving slowly to the other ear, letting her feel the brush of his little beard along her shoulder blades. “Do you really deserve this, hmm?  For what?  What do you deserve it for?  For failing me?  Is that it, Tahlia?” One hand was now on her hip, moving slowly until it was splayed against her abdomen.  He could feel the raised flesh, knowing the swelling from her bout with Chyna and attack with Kane would leave some marks that would subside within the next day or so. “What is my reason?”


“Those who serve you, Lord and master, should never fail, no matter the circumstances.  And I did.”


Chapter 8


She was on fire, every part of her body yearning and aching for completely different reason.  The slight pain she’d been in earlier had evaporated and all that was left was the forest fire engulfing her from head to toe.  Tahlia would’ve given just about anything to have the fire put out, swallowing hard at his questions firing off one after the other at her.


“I do not presume to know my master’s reasoning for what he does, only that I accept it.”


Taker would not break her, not now or ever; every line he could’ve crossed happened with her first few weeks in the Ministry.  Tahlia had no qualms about any of it, enjoying the majority of it mostly.  They were definitely going to have fun, he could tell.  Taker stepped back, removing his robe deftly.  Within seconds, he had Tahlia wrapped in it and turned her around, staring down into her eyes intently.


“You will break, Tahlia.” He informed her, pulling her back towards the bench near the lockers where his duffel bag was. “The question is: which way will you fall when you do?” Would she break because of what he would eventually do or because she had allowed it to be done?


Tahlia clutched the robe to her body tightly, amber eyes full of perplexity at his words. “I don’t understand.  You WANT me to break?  You want me to stand here and tell call you a bastard for treating me differently than the other members of this group?  You want me to tell you how degraded and low I feel after you forced me to strip in front of you?  Because I have tits and a vagina instead of a dick?  Is that what you want me to do?” Taking the robe off, Tahlia dropped it on the bench in front of him and scooped up her clothes, her amber orbs finally full of gold fire much like they had been earlier when she was out in the ring. “Oh wait, I guess I just did, SIR.” Storming into the bathroom, Tahlia slammed the door shut and gripped her hair in her fingers, trembling so hard her teeth began to chatter.


He began laughing at her outburst, a deep hearty laugh that echoed around the room and then began changing into his street attire while she did whatever she was doing in there.  Taker waited patiently, keeping track of the time.  When she was in there for a bit longer than he had thought necessary, he knocked once and then made his way inside.  He wasn't surprised to find her staring at herself in front of the mirror, anger blazing in her features.


“When you keep objectifying yourself, you can expect others to do the same, Tahlia.  You say it’s because you have tits and a vagina?” He stared at her through the mirror. “Maybe.  But none of my men, with the disturbing exception of Mideon, have gone as far as you to prove your devotion to me.  So, tell me, why do you feel it necessary to prove your worth in any which way?”


“When we were taken, Mideon and I, we were told we had to obey you.  Every command, no matter how demeaning, was to be followed.  Every order given was to be done, no questions asked.  Our devotion to you was either all or nothing.” Tahlia couldn’t meet his eyes in the reflection and shook her head, gripping the sink harder.  She was fully dressed back in the clothes he forced her to take off, her bag sitting beside her on the floor. “And if we didn’t obey our Lord and master, we would be punished.  If we failed you in any way, shape or form, we would be punished.  I’m only doing what I was told and I thought that’s what you wanted.” Spinning around to face him, Tahlia folded her arms in front of her chest eyeing Taker coolly, the anger in her eyes diminished for the time being. “And why I try to prove myself to you is simple.  I respect you and I want to follow you.  I want to be here.  I want to fight for your cause and help you take out the Corporation, to bring the WWF to its knees.” While she spoke, Tahlia slowly made her way over to him and kept eye contact the entire time. “I vowed to obey you and follow your lead, to be your soldier in the war we’re about to be in.  Anything you want, is yours.  Doesn’t mean I have to like some or all of the things you do, but I’ll do them because you command it.”


“You do realize, Tahlia, that I demand that at first?  Have you heard me speak that way since?” Taker had not. “It is to prepare you for what might come, to make sure you understand what might be required of you.  I want devotion, but I don’t want blind devotion.” Because he was seeing where that was going with Mideon, badly. “When I tell you that your only failing tonight was not being prepared for Kane, that is the truth.  You, in your desire to be perfect -for me or yourself- had you thinking elsewise.” He reached out, fingering a lock of her purple dyed hair thoughtfully. “You did well tonight in that fight.  Your flaw was lack of foresight.  And if what I require of you challenges who you are, at your very core, then speak up because you weren’t recruited for just your prowess in the ring.” He had recruited her for the total package.  It’d be a shame if her spirit and personality were locked away because he needed to refine his indoctrination speeches.


“You want me to speak my mind freely?  Here it is.  I was a dumbass tonight.  I should’ve known that Amazon bitch would bring Kane to the ring and I completely forgot about it.  Why?  Because I was so hell bent on revenge because of what that she-man cost me.  That WWF women’s title is MINE.  I never lost it, I was screwed out of it and Sable is prancing around here acting like she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I want to rip her fake blonde hair out of her hair and choke her with it.” Tahlia had to take a breath and shut her eyes, reigning her temper back in where it needed to stay for the time being. “Being angry blinded me to things I should’ve been more prepared for.  That’s why I didn’t do well tonight.  Because again, I was a dumbass and that win means nothing to me.  I want to actually beat her, pin her or make her submit and earn respect, not just take it and have people think I don’t deserve it.  I have a lot to prove to you and…you’re right, I am a perfectionist.  And I’m damn hard on myself, but it’ll only make me stronger.  I can’t promise I won’t fail you again, but I’ll do all I can not to do it.  Sorry for the rant.” She muttered that last part, chewing her bottom lip and averted her eyes from his, letting out another shuddering breath.


She had averted her eyes from him and Taker felt this was disconcerting. “I want you to stand up when you’re asked to do something that is against who you are.” He corrected gently, noting she hadn’t finished dressing completely and reached around her for the salve that Paul usually set out in the bathrooms for the Ministry to use in the event they got their backsides handed to them.  Taker opened it and kneeled before her, dipping two fingers into the cream. “I want you to follow me, but not mindlessly.  Not you.” Because it went against who she was and Tahlia would need this fire of hers within days to come; he was sure of it.


The adrenaline had worn off, so the salve stung a bit when he applied the salve to her bruised abdomen, still shirtless with just her bra on.  Tahlia had put it on along with her panties and jeans, just not her shirt, too heated to have a long-sleeved top on.  He wanted her to stand up for herself and not take any grief, but how far did that go?  Something was brewing between her and Taker; Tahlia could feel it and didn’t know how to feel about the possibility of getting close to the Lord of Darkness. 


Her Lord.


“Even you?” She asked softly, placing her hands on his broad shoulders while he tended to her for the second time. “Do you want me to defend myself against you, if you say or do something I don’t like?  Or are you the only exception to that rule?” Her eyes followed him as he rose back to his feet and turned her around, moving her hair to rest over her shoulder while he applied salve to her back.


“Fight me if you wish, if I overstep my boundaries.” Taker said finally, knowing they were setting off down a path that would be interesting to say the least. “But... you will not do so in front of the Ministry.  And I... I will endeavor not to put you in those positions before them.” That was about as good as she was going to get from him and he gently moved her bra strap aside, finishing with the salve before slowly pushing it back in place, resting his chin on her shoulder. “Is defense necessary if you like it?” He rumbled, his lips brushing against her throat even though his gaze never left hers.


“I suppose not.” She replied coyly, eyeing him from the side and the spot on her throat burned from his lips.  They were a lot softer than she originally thought. “And I’m only admitting this to you since we’re alone, but…” Tahlia was begging for trouble with what came out of her mouth next. “I didn’t mind stripping in front of you, not completely.” Had he been thinking back to the hot tub at the mansion, the kiss under the water, because she hadn’t been able to forget about it. “Thank you for tending to me again.  You didn’t have to do that, but I’m glad you did.” She would call him sir in front of the other members, but once they were alone, it was either Taker or nothing at all.


Taker had already gathered that.  There had been plenty of nudity or partial nudity between them lately, enough to where, if there was a problem, it probably would have manifested itself by now.  Or she would have just informed him in her little rant.


“You’re very-”


He let out a very long string of curses, all under his breath.  Taker stepped out of the bathroom, the salve in one hand and arched an eyebrow. “Yes?”

“Master, I came to see if you-” Mideon faltered, his eyes straying past Taker to the bathroom where Tahlia was now pulling on a shirt and then to the cream in Taker's hand. “If you needed a ride...”


Tahlia knew their time had ended abruptly and smoothed the shirt down her body, already seeing future problems with Mideon.  He would assume what didn’t happen and she could feel a headache already forming.  Maybe getting involved with Taker wasn’t the smartest idea, especially being one of his followers.


“Thank you for helping me with my wounds, sir.” She bowed her head with her bag slung over her shoulder and walked out, leaving Taker to tend with the fanatic.  Sometimes payback came when one least expected it and she chuckled to herself, heading straight to her car to go back to the hotel.


“I do not.” Taker said after a long moment, considering his minion.  He had recruited Mideon because the man possessed unique qualities and he was undervalued.  Raising him up from nothing, Taker gave him purpose and, in doing so, had probably shot himself in his own foot so to speak. “Come walk with me, Mideon.” Maybe having a small, one-on-one chat would appease the man as well as help put him in his place. 


One beneath Taker's boot and out of his hair.




New York City. 




For the moment at least. 


Stepping out of the cab she’d hailed at the airport, Tahlia looked up at the old building she lived in and clutched the pea coat against her tighter.  It was freezing this time of year, below zero weather sucked.  Heading inside with her luggage in hand, Tahlia made her way up the creaky stairs and arrived on the third floor, unlocking the door.  It was small and suited her, a typical studio apartment; she didn’t own a lot of things, just had a couch, TV on a small stand and a kitchen table with chairs.  A queen-sized bed sat up against the wall since the apartment was one big giant room with a couple closets, a radio in the corner on the carpet. 


2 days off without the Ministry had Tahlia feeling lost, not sure what she would do while everyone parted to go home.  Taker didn’t invite them back to the mansion, which she was a little disappointed about, but he probably needed time away from his minions.  She took her coat off, draped it over the couch and turned the heat up since it was freezing in her apartment.  Then she opened the freezer to pull out a frozen pizza and preheated her oven, turning the TV on in the process to her favorite music station.


Not inviting any of them, Taker’s reason was because he hadn't gone home.  He needed a bit of a break, mostly from Mideon and Paul.  Then there was Tahlia on his mind.  She was a major distraction it seemed, but one he didn't mind being distracted by.  The amber eyed beauty was intriguing.  The way she had wanted to bow to him, but also struggling with it; it was an interesting moral issue on his part he rather enjoyed watching play out.  Taker wondered if it was over after their ‘talk’ and what would have transpired had Mideon interrupted.


Once her apartment warmed up to where she was comfortable, Tahlia removed the hooded sweatshirt she pulled on and took the pizza out of the oven, cutting it up.  While it cooled, she pulled the mattress from the wall to set on the floor and began moving her head to the beat of the music playing from her television.  MTV had some great rock music on it, though she did prefer classic rock above everything else.  Metallica was her favorite band currently along with AC/DC.  Pulling her hair back in a messy bun, Tahlia cleaned up the mess she’d left behind the last time, not much of a housekeeper and raised a brow when a knock sounded at her door.  Instantly, she pulled a small gun from beneath her couch cushion, her hiding spot and clicked the trigger back, cautiously creeping toward the door.  She didn’t exactly live in the safest part of the city.


“Who is it?” Tahlia called out through it, refusing to answer it and waited for a response.


Chapter 9


“Housekeeping.” Taker snorted, wondering why she didn’t have a spyhole or something.


New York was not the safest city, ever... he hated it almost as much as Chicago.  Slums for the most part and the fact that he was here... obviously, there was something wrong with him.  She had seen where Taker lived; he figured it was only fair he saw where she laid her head when she wasn’t on the road.  So far, he wasn’t that impressed.


It was her turn to snort, amber eyes narrowing to slits. “Mother fucker, there’s no housekeeping in this APARTMENT building.”


Did this idiot really think he’d get inside her apartment that easily?  Tahlia wasn’t born yesterday and clicked the trigger back again, making sure the sound went through the paper-thin door.  She dared whoever it was to try bursting in.


“In case you’re deaf, that’s a gun and it’ll blow your fucking head off the moment you step through my door.  So, if I were you, I’d leave or else you’ll find yourself in an early grave.” It was the only warning she’d give.


His response was to drag his rather long fingernails down the door, smirking and made sure his body was clear of the door, just in case she did decide to blow a hole through it.  Taker wondered if she’d heed common sense and know that, even if he was someone wanting to break in or hurt her, that she’d still be subject to laws of murder as he hadn’t actually tried forcing his way in.  Yet.  Tahlia was... interesting when she wasn’t being his little submissive.


“Open up.” He growled, just to see what else she would say.


“Fuck off, dick!” Tahlia retorted, having an excellent aim since she’d gone to shooting ranges whenever she had time off from wrestling. 


It was a hobby of hers, though the only gun she owned was the one currently in her hand.  She couldn’t tremble, fighting back the fear and wouldn’t pull the trigger unless this moron tried to force his way inside.  Self-defense she would go down for, nothing more.  It was a home invasion and she had every right to defend herself, keeping a steady aim directly at the door.  Depending how tall the individual was, Tahlia would either nail him in the heart or just above it in the collarbone.  Either way, he’d go down.


This was amusing and he leaned his head against the wall, keeping clear of that door.  He drummed his fingertips along the flimsy wood and sighed impatiently. “Tahlia...” Taker let taunting seep into his tone. “That’s rather rude, wouldn’t you say?” If she couldn't place his voice, him knowing her name was probably going to rattle her. “Open up, my delicious little psychopath.” He wouldn’t try opening that door, not doubting for a second she’d shoot.  


Smart girl; she definitely needed the protection and he was pleased she had taken steps to protect and defend herself in this hellhole of a city.


This idiot knew her name?  What the hell?  Tahlia felt her eyes widen, feeling her hand trembling on the gun and immediately took a deep breath, knowing there was only way one out.  Her window on the fire escape, which was rickety as hell and would probably collapse under her weight.  Who was on the other side of her door?  Tahlia was torn between making a run for it or opening the door to find out and possibly blow his head off.  Something told her to open the door, that voice sounded oddly familiar, but she couldn’t place it.  It had to be someone she knew personally because she’d only given her name out to those she knew and conversed with.


“Just tell me who the hell you are and what you want.  I’m not opening it until you reveal yourself.” She didn’t lower the gun for an instant, trying like hell to keep the tremor out of her voice.


“I want you to let me in.  You already know who I am.” Taker said reasonably, knowing well when that door did finally open, she would either shoot him, kick him in the balls or do both.  And he would totally deserve it because he was toying with her. “Open the door for your Lord of Darkness, Tahlia.” His dark baritone was teasing, with a very evil lilt to it. “Let me in...”




Tahlia felt her jaw drop, lowering the gun and immediately unbolted the lock on the door to open it.  Sure enough, there he stood in all his glory with amusement glowing green eyes and a smirk.  What the hell was he doing here?  She immediately put the safety on the gun and tossed it behind her on the couch, shaking her head at how stupid she acted.


“I could’ve really hurt you or possibly killed you.” She muttered, taking his hand and pulled him inside, shutting the door to put the bolt back into place before turning to face him. “What are you doing here?  And stop smirking, scaring me half to death isn’t remotely funny, SIR.” It took a lot of resolve not to knock the smirk off his face, knowing she’d have every reason to do it.


“You can have one punch.” He offered, seeing the rage brewing in those eyes.  Taker had terrified her and he knew it, not planning on apologizing for it because it had been amusing for him. “As for killing me, unlikely.  You would have had to aim at an angle to clear the door.” Because even he was not dumb enough to stand near one when the person behind it had a gun. “Come on, precious,” Taker tapped his jaw, lowering himself to her level, eyes still showing his amusement. “Make it count.”


“You’re insane.” Tahlia could only stare at this man and bewilderment, tempted to take him up on his offer.  He was taunting her, baiting her to hit him.  Again, she had to ask herself what the HELL? “I’m not a precious anything, don’t call me that.”


She did take the punch…right in his shoulder as hard as she could, feeling marginally better.  Then she had to wonder why he was here at her tiny studio apartment in the middle of winter in New York City.  Did she miss something with the Ministry?  If Paul didn’t inform her, she would hurt the fat man and walked into the makeshift kitchen where her pizza was now cold.


She could punch, he’d give her that and rolled his shoulder to test out the pain.  Nothing that would be a bother.  Taker took a look around, revolving in his place to study her apartment.  When he thought apartment, he thought a few rooms, maybe a balcony or something.  This was… he wasn’t sure how to describe this.  Didn't she make enough money to afford better?


“So... this is your... prison?” He asked after a moment, frowning.  


“I’m never home.”


Tahlia shrugged her shoulders, not thinking this place as a prison so much as convenient for what she needed.  She wasn’t materialistic and didn’t need a lot to satisfy her.  Compared to Taker’s mansion, it looked like she lived in poverty, but in reality, Tahlia was very well off.  She had plenty of money to move wherever she wanted, but never had any time to do it.


“And is that judgment I hear in your voice?  Maybe I should call you Judgy from now on.” She smirked, grabbing beer out of the fridge and tossed him a can, cracking hers open.  Why was he here in the first place?  Tahlia was under the impression everyone had 2 days off and didn’t think Taker would step foot near her…prison. “It’s safe to drink, I promise.”


Taker was a snob and would be the first to admit it. “I am judging.” He agreed, cracking the beer after checking the label to make sure it wasn’t some feminine, watered down crap.  Taker shook his head, his loose hair fanning around him. “This place is... interesting.”


He shouldn’t insult her cell; that was rude, but he honestly hadn’t pegged her for someone who used their place as a truck stop.  His home was an investment, eventually Taker would retire there, so he saw no reason to waste money on a temporary space, which... this had to be.  Also... a studio apartment was a novel concept; he got the idea.  Cram as many people into a building as possible since it was meant to provide enough housing, when in reality, it was odd.


“I know you are, Judgy.”


Tahlia grabbed a cold slice of pizza and popped it in her mouth, walking past him again to sit on her bed.  The couch was next to it, but she preferred her bed since it was usually just her.  After swallowing down a bite of pizza and a long swig of her beer, which was Budweiser, and moved her head to the song currently playing through the television.


“I didn’t miss anything with the Ministry, did I?” Taker shook his head and that made Tahlia feel better, sighing with relief before taking another bite out of her pizza. “I figured you’d go back to the mansion…”


Her apartment, as it was, was sparsely decorated and she had outfitted it with the obvious necessities.  Basics. “So, I honestly expected something different.” He confessed, eyeballing her furniture and wondered if it would hold his weight, deciding he wouldn’t test it and sat down on the floor instead.  His back was against the wall, his long legs stretched out before him. “I don’t know why though.” Maybe his poster or something was what was missing.


“You act like I’m gonna bite you or something.  That floor is hard as a damn rock and your ass is gonna be sore if you don’t get up.  Sit next to me since you came all this way to…visit.” Tahlia patted the spot beside her on the mattress, which had a clean white sheet on it.  She’d put it as soon as she pulled it from the wall to set on the floor in front of the television. “What were you expecting exactly?  A posh townhouse or no wait, a penthouse?  With white carpeting and shiny floors and a lot of space?” She scoffed, rolling her eyes and stood up to toss her empty beer can into the garbage before taking her place on the bedding. “I’ll move eventually…if I can find the time to do it.  And find a place I actually wanna move to.”


There was no way Taker would sit on anything that came out of a wall, in a paper-thin studio apartment, in the slums of New York. “I’m fine here.”


He had sat, and slept, on worse.  Not always being the wrestling Superstar he was these days, he’d had to pay his dues and live like a tramp.  Thank the stars he didn’t have to anymore.


“Black carpeting, gold accent and a bed large enough for us to roll around in.”




Tahlia shook her head, turning crimson again and had to look away at the TV until her face returned to its normal color.  He wasn’t comfortable here, that much was obvious.  Hell, she didn’t know he would drop in on her like this.  Tahlia had no idea what to say to him or do, wondering if the reason he did come was to get in her panties.  Not that she would mind it, the man had haunted her dreams ever since that kiss in his hot tub under the water.  It was possibly one of the most passionate kisses she’d ever experienced in her life and, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t forget about it.  Not to mention she’d stripped naked in front of him, so he knew exactly what kind of body she said from head to toe…literally.


“Well, where are you staying while you’re here?  You don’t like my place, so take me somewhere else.  And then we can ‘roll around’ as you so eloquently put it, Judgy.”


It wasn’t that Taker was uncomfortable; he was just a bit lackluster at her digs.  She lived like she was one of the guys and that made him snort at the irony. “I’ll take you wherever I wish.  Including this hard floor.” He informed her, a hint of something predatory entering his eyes. “And then you’ll change my name from Judgy to God."


Tahlia wondered if Taker was just all talk or if he would actually do what he said, tempted to challenge him.  He came here for a reason and still hadn’t divulged it, which was a little bothersome.  Taker never did anything without a reason and purpose, he was a methodical man.  Maybe he was waiting for her to make a move; it made sense the more she thought about it.


“Definitely not this hard floor.” He was out of his mind to think she’d actually want to be screwed on this hard-wooden floor that had no give whatsoever.  The building was extremely old, falling apart around the seams, but luckily her studio was still in fairly good condition. “I offered.” Laying on the bed, Tahlia stared up at the ceiling with her black purple streaked hair fanned around her, taking it out of the tie she had it in and shut her eyes, sighing in contentment.


He was there because he had wanted to see how she lived when she wasn’t around him or the Ministry.  Taker wanted to see the fiery yet submissive Tahlia in her natural environment and, apparently, she lived a lot differently than his unnamed, unacknowledged until now expectations.  Pushing himself to his feet, he stretched, cracking his back and stared down at her.  She looked so... vivid against the white of her sheets and he took a moment to appreciate the view.


“Why do you draw my attention so...” He mused, running a tongue along his bottom lip as he contemplated it.


Maybe he should just screw her and get it out of his system.


Amber eyes slowly opened to stare back up at him, tilting her head slightly and shrugged at his question. “Because I’m a woman, you’re a man and I’m following you willingly.  You have power over me and that can be very erotic, if used right.  Then again, I could be way off.  Only you know the answer to that question, Taker.”


Truthfully, she didn’t see herself in the same league as him.  Look how he lived compared to her.  Granted, she did have the money to probably get her own mansion just like his, but for what?  She had nobody to share it with, nobody in her life to care about her.  She’d been alone since she was 15, leaving home to pursue one dream and that was becoming a professional wrestler.


“So, are you gonna tell me why you’re here or keep beating around the bush?”


Tracing a long finger along his bottom lip, Taker contemplated her almost broodily. “Boredom.” He answered almost grudgingly. “I wanted to see how you lived, as you know, I’m not impressed.  But I am... Judgy.” As she had eloquently put it. “Are you safe here?  Do you worry about being attacked?” His acidic eyes strayed to her gun still on the couch. “Have you ever had to use that, Tahlia?” And why was that thought rather hot?


She smiled at his concern for her wellbeing and shrugged, looking around her prison before her eyes landed on him again. “Probably not and I’m not home enough to be attacked.” She stood up from the mattress and stepped off of it onto the hard-wooden floor, still wearing her jeans and a plain white t-shirt, nothing fancy.  It clashed with her hair, but Tahlia wasn’t bothered by her appearance and could care less what people thought. “Let’s just say I’ve had to fire off some warning shots and leave it at that.” She winked, sliding her fingers down his arm until her hand clasped his, their eyes meeting. “Worried about me, Judgy?”


Taker pulled her down into his lap before she had a chance to blink, settling her with her legs draped over his waist, facing him and frowned. “You’re a member of my Ministry, of course I’m worried.”


He knew he was sexist because he didn’t worry one bit about Bradshaw, Farooq, or Mideon because they were men.  Her amber eyes were considering him and he wondered if she was reaching that conclusion.  A sexist pig he may be, but it was still sweet nonetheless he worried about her.  What was happening between them?  Taker had a softer side to him he didn’t show to anyone else except her, but what made her so special?  Why was he curious about her above the rest?  Tahlia could see problems brewing with Mideon in the future if they kept going down this road, not sure if she wanted to deal with the fanatic.


“Then you should help your minion be safe.” She murmured, pushing the leather duster off his shoulders he wore to pool bunch against the couch and slid her hands up his muscular arms. “So how do you want to do that, my dark Lord?”


Chapter 10


The idea of his cock down her throat suddenly came to mind.  As if reading it, his cock decided to test the constraints of the black jeans he was wearing.  He sent a prayer upward and out, glad they were tight because it meant he was hurting his own self and not poking at her.


“You probably don’t want to know.” Taker growled, capturing her hands and bringing them to hover between them. “This changes nothing, Tahlia, if it happens.  You know that, don’t you?” He was giving her a warning.


Things had changed between them though, ever since she became a member of the Ministry of Darkness.  She was supposed to be a soldier, someone Taker relied on to do his bidding and nothing more.  Yet he had singled her out of everyone, had shown kindness and the last thing Tahlia wanted to do was ruin that.  Sex complicated things, she wasn’t stupid and Mideon once again popped into her head, forcing a frown to spread across her face.


“Then we should keep things the way they are now and…you should treat me just like everyone else in the Ministry.” Nodding as if reassuring herself this was the right thing to do, Tahlia slid off his lap and put some space between them, shoving down any desire she felt for him. “The last thing I want to do is cause problems within the group and this would definitely do it.  Because even though you say nothing changes if we sleep together, it will.  And you know it.  And I know it.  So, it’s better to just not cross that line.”


She was right, though he hadn’t necessarily meant it that way.  He had meant between them personally.  Taker would still be her master, her Lord of Darkness, and having sex with her wouldn’t change how he treated her in front of others, or what he expected from Tahlia.  There wouldn’t have been any ‘easy’, but... for other reasons she was right because regardless of how much they would have tried, sex complicated things in the most stupid of ways.  Grunting, he pushed himself up, staring down intently at her.


“You’re right.” He didn't have to like it though.


“I don’t want to be.  I really don’t.  But can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me things will stay the same if we have sex?  And that’s all it would be is sex.  And then when it’s over, what do we do then?  I want you, I won’t deny that, Taker.  I’ve wanted you since you kissed me at the mansion.” Tahlia was battling with herself, her brain and heart at war with this situation.  Her hand pressed against his chest over his heart, gold locking on acid and she could clearly see the desire in his eyes. “If we do this, if we cross this line, there’s no going back.  So, tell me if the risk is really worth it for one night together.  Unless you want more than one night, I’m fine with that too.  You have to tell me what you want though, so we’re on the same page.  Because I do want you, but I won’t jeopardize my career either.”


“I want you.” Taker wouldn’t lie, but now – now it seemed like there was too many complications and his compulsive desire to play games was beginning to peak. “But... you’re right, it would change things.  I doubt you’d be able to tolerate me treating you as one of the boys, which is what you insinuated you wanted.” He shook his head, removing her hand from his chest. “And then, you’d always wonder if your spot was earned in the ring or in my bed.” Eventually, she would.


“The only thing I want you to do is treat me like everyone else.  I don’t want any special treatment, I never did.  And if I fuck you, I fuck you as just me and not your minion.” Tahlia wanted to make it clear she would not bow to him in the bedroom like she did in front of the other members of the Ministry. “I can handle anything you throw at me, Taker.  But what happens between us in the bedroom, if it happens, STAYS there.  Business and pleasure stay separate.  No mentioning it in front of the guys or using it against me as leverage, should I piss you off for whatever reason.  Those are my terms.” It was the only way to ensure her career was safe and Tahlia honestly didn’t care who thought she slept her way to the top.  The only opinion that mattered to her was his. “The ball is in your court, Judgy.”


“I can’t promise you that, Tahlia.” Taker couldn’t because he was just that kind of man. “All you would have to do is say or do something and I would use it against you.” Because that was just how he was.  If, for instance, Tahlia decided to defect or something, he’d use it against her viciously as a way to retaliate and demoralize her.  And he would tear her down with it. “I am... a vicious, cruel person and you haven’t seen the fullest extent of that.” He was being kind and warning her. “You want this, then there are no strings or conditions.  It happens and what occurs afterwards... you deal with.”


No matter how badly she wanted him, Tahlia couldn’t deter from her conditions set out to him.  She smiled sadly, nodding in understanding and had to squash whatever she felt for Taker.  Defection would never happen, she was with the Ministry until the end…until he didn’t need the group anymore.  She was branded by him as the ultimate vow, but apparently that wasn’t enough.  Nothing ever would.


“Then I can’t.”


Sex wasn’t worth destroying her career over.  Tahlia had worked too long and hard to get where she was to let a man destroy it all.  Professional wrestling was her passion, everything she’d ever wanted to do in life and her family disowned her because of her pursuit.  Taker didn’t need to know any of that though.


“I’m your follower and nothing more, we’re in agreement.” That would make Mideon happy.


“So we are.” Grunting, though he was as fickle as the wind, Taker reached out to grab Tahlia by the arms, hauling her to him hard enough to cause their bodies to roughly collide.  Or, more to the point, her body crashed into his. “If you change your mind...”


His lips were on hers before she could say a word, his tongue demanding entrance, giving her a taste of what she was passing up based on what ifs.  He was unpredictable, prone to mood swings, games and she should’ve known all this by now.  Oh, he was an evil man to do this to her when she was trying like hell to fight temptation as it was!  The devil incarnate!  Tahlia didn’t pull away and returned the kiss with equal fire and need, burying her fingers in his soft hair, her entire body lit ablaze.  When his tongue slid across her lips begging for entrance, she gave it to him without hesitation, melting further.  Only when they both needed air to breathe did the kiss break, both pulling away simultaneously and caressed his face with her hand, gliding her thumb across his lips.


“If you change yours.” She whispered, breathing heavily and felt his arm tighten around her waist instead of letting her go.


“My mind was made up a while ago, precious.”


Taker bent to hook an arm beneath her knees and literally swept her off her feet, feeling her grabbing hold of him tightly.  That just made him laugh, a dark rumble like a thunderstorm surrounding them in her tiny studio apartment.  He’d test that bed out now and moved so he was kneeling on it, her still in his arms, never breaking eye contact.


“Last chance to throw me out.” He whispered huskily, already laying her down on the mattress.


“No, I can’t.”


Tahlia didn’t want to either, pulling him down on top of her and captured his mouth with hers again, his taste addicting.  Taker was a drug, a dangerous addictive drug and she couldn’t push him away now, even if the very gun resting on the couch above them was pressed to her temple.  Tahlia would regret this and knew it would come back to bite her on the backside, but her body screamed at her to give into this devil.  She was trapped and could only hope he didn’t destroy her when all was said and done.  Clothes flew in all directions as they devoured each other, giving into their desires consequences be damned.


Friday morning rolled around with Tahlia and Taker leaving New York City together, catching a flight to the next town to rejoin the WWF for house shows.  She had a match against Ivory, not looking forward to it, but Tahlia would have to climb her way back up the ladder in order to get another shot at Chyna.  And then Sable would be hers.  They didn’t hold hands and she listened to music while Taker slept since they hadn’t gotten much rest over the past 2 days being holed up in her studio apartment, naked and eating takeout for sustenance.


Unfortunately, even though she had beaten Chyna, it wasn’t enough because it had been via disqualification.  He imagined those McMahon fucks found that amusing.  It kept Tahlia away from Sable, their little meal ticket, that much longer.  No matter.  Taker had faith in her abilities to get back up to the top in an efficient and timely manner.  It was a matter of ensuring she was given the proper time in the ring she needed, which also meant sending Paul out to ensure she was slotted matches and not ignored.  Or put in something degrading that would require him burning down an arena.  He would not allow anyone to disrespect his Ministry.


Once at the arena, Tahlia acted as if nothing happened and she hadn’t spent the past 2 days sexing up Taker.  She was purely business, nodding at the fellow members of the Ministry.  Just to make sure there was no confusion, she had come to the arena alone in her own rental vehicle.  Mideon did NOT need any more ammunition against her or to find out what they’d done.  Nobody did, not even Paul.  Changing into her gear, Tahlia began her pre-match warm-up, staying focused and knew she had to destroy Ivory tonight to send a message to Chyna and Sable.  Ivory would NOT walk out of the arena of her own volition, she mentally vowed, doing her stretches and then did a kick-up, amber eyes full of fire and determination.  There would be no Kane tonight interfering, just a one-on-one match and if Ivory wasn’t ready, god help her.


While she was doing her own thing, Taker discussed other business with the rest of the Ministry, going over what he had planned for them as a whole and individually for the night.  Tahlia's career wasn’t the only play he had going.  His entire Ministry would be climbing ladders and he knew where his ladder would lead, green eyes glittering wickedly.


“Paul, I have another name for you.” Taker passed over a dossier he had been working on, not watching the matches all the time for nothing. “Let me know what you think.”

“Another recruit?”


“Mideon, don’t you have work to do?” Paul reprimanded and blinked up at his Phenom, wondering if he was serious.  He could tell just by the look on his face this is what he wanted.  Mabel…they were going after Mabel. “When?” He nodded at the mention of the next pay-per-view event entitled the Royal Rumble. “Acolytes, you will be chasing the Tag Team titles coming up on Monday.  Tonight, you face Too Cool and do not disappoint the Lord of Darkness.”

Too Cool was toast.  Tahlia shook her head with a grin and ignored Mideon for the most part until he approached her, crouching down beside her. “What’s up?” She could be friendly towards him, but the man needed his head examined. 
“How were your days off?” Mideon’s work would start during his own match that night, but for now he decided to bug Tahlia.

“Eventful.  New York City sucks, but they do have great shopping centers.” She lied smoothly, wishing he would leave her alone because he was clearly fishing for information. “How was yours?”

“Boring, slept mostly.”             


“Why Mabel, dare I ask?” Paul asked curiously, wondering what on earth Taker wanted with that creature.  He had been in the company forever, but... never really made it anywhere.

“He’s intimidating, or would be, if he stopped wearing ridiculous clothing.  Also, he’s going nowhere and this will revitalize him.”

And he’d owe Taker for that, same situation with Mideon, although Mideon was... of a different breed. “I see.  All right.”

“You want to spar after the show?” Mideon asked, sort of joining Tahlia in her warmup.


“No, I’ll be tired after my match, but how about tomorrow?  We can do it at the gym and I’ll kick your ass again.”


Tahlia smirked, hoping they could rekindle the friendship they once had, but if not, it wasn’t a big deal.  She wasn’t in the company to make friends, they were her allies and nothing more.  If they didn’t want to respect and look at her as an actual member of the Ministry, that was on them.  Tahlia had nothing to prove to any of them except their master and she would do it, come hell or high water. 

“Sister Tahlia, we’re up.” Paul walked over, gesturing her away. “Keep your distance from him.” He cautioned quietly once they were out of the dressing room, shaking his head. “Taker spoke with him and…he’s jealous of you, to put it mildly.”

“I figured as much.” Tahlia shook her head, hoping she was wrong in her assumptions, but glad Paul had come clean about them to her. “Thank you, Brother Paul.  Come on, time to go kick some ass.” They headed down to gorilla position and made their entrance.


Ivory... that was an interesting opponent and she was just as good as Tahlia was, even if Tahlia had beaten her already.  Ivory was quick, athletic, and this would give her an actual chance to show off her skills.  She had underestimated Tahlia before, thinking she was just another pretty face and it had cost her dearly.  Taker would enjoy watching this.

None of them seen Mideon slip from the room.


Nodding at Ivory, both women actually had a lot of respect for each other and that wouldn’t change, even though Tahlia was part of the Ministry now.  The bell rang and they locked up with Ivory slapping a headlock on her.  Tahlia threw her against the ropes and knocked Ivory down, making her head bounce off the mat.  It showed she had power in her upper body as well as lower, amber eyes glaring down at the woman.  Ivory was in her way to the Women’s championship, so she had to show no mercy and followed the knockdown with a quick triangle choke.  Tahlia wrenched back on Ivory’s arm, using her powerful legs to make the woman start to fade and flicked her black purple streaked hair out of her face.


All Mideon had done was go and review roster standings, to see who Tahlia would face if she beat Ivory, mulling that one over in his head.  Jacquelyn, she was a tough Texas broad.  Luna Vachon, she was crazy and he was surprised Taker hadn’t recruited her.  Nicole Bass... he shuddered at that one, letting the wheels turn.  Taker wanted everyone up the ladder, Tahlia included.

He lazily applauded when Ivory tapped, Tahlia getting the win via submission.  Those legs of hers were strong and he knew that from delicious experience.


Having her arm raised in victory did Tahlia’s confidence good as she flipped over the top rope to land down on the mats surrounding the ring with ease.  Ivory was a pushover, not in her league and had a lot of ring work to do.  Tahlia had done this for years before being signed to the WWF only 2 years ago back in 1997.  Her anniversary was coming up actually, now that she thought about it.  Paul guided her back to the locker room, but instead Tahlia opted for some fresh air outside.  She needed it, her adrenaline had skyrocketed through the roof during that match and Ivory tapping too soon didn’t help matters because she couldn’t exert it.

“Watch yourself.” Paul cautioned once more, heading to the Ministry locker room alone and sighed the moment he entered, being bombarded with a demand on where Tahlia was. “She’s outside getting air, I guess…”

The cold air assaulting her felt good as Tahlia leaned back against the building and knew she wouldn’t be able to stay out here long.  Just a few minutes, that’s all she needed.


Mideon frowned, wondering why Tahlia needed to be outside.  Why hadn’t she come back to the locker room to join the rest of them?  He shook his head, reminding himself that if Taker didn’t care then he didn’t need to either.  Taker seemed to be ready to begin recruiting more people and he had to wonder just how many the Ministry needed. 

Taker only had eyes for four more people and that would be spaced while he and Paul worked out the details of the other plan.


Chapter 11


“The Ministry has to be destroyed.”

Hearing approaching voices, Tahlia quickly stepped further into the dark shadows the trucks provided and frowned, listening intently.  It was Vince, Shane, Test, Kane and Chyna.  Her eyes narrowed at Chyna and Kane, gritting her teeth to keep from growling and stayed perfectly calm.

“How do you plan on doing that, Mr. McMahon?”

“Give us orders and they will be carried out, sir.”

Vince smirked, clapping Test on the shoulder and nodded. “If we take out Undertaker, the rest will fall with him.  It won’t be easy, but…” His beady eyes landed on Kane. “Are you capable of taking him out and proving your loyalty to me?”

“Yes he is.” Chyna stepped forward, clasping Kane’s arm gently. “We both are.  Tell us what to do.”

“Listen carefully.”

Tahlia’s amber eyes widened as she overheard Vince’s plan to try destroying her master and had to inform Taker of the danger immediately.


Shane fell behind, shaking his head with a half-smile as they continued on.  More boasting about taking out the Undertaker and for all his McMahon bravado, he knew that was easier said than done.  That man was inhuman, he had to be, withstanding the punishment he had taken over the years.


“My money is on Taker.” He mused, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his trousers and trailing along after the group, wondering if Test could put his head any further up Vince’s backside.


If Vince thought for a second he could take out the Lord of Darkness, he was sadly mistaken.  Tahlia agreed with Shane McMahon, eyeing the boy and wondered if he was truly on his father’s side.  Interesting.  Once the Boy Wonder had ventured into the building and Tahlia knew it was safe to head back inside, she made her way back to the Ministry locker room.  Tahlia had no idea how to go about doing this, if she should tell Taker in front of everyone or…alone.  They would all just laugh at her and carry on since none of the guys thought of her as a true member.  Making her mind up, Tahlia pushed open the locker room door and shut it, flipping the lock on it to gain everyone’s attention.


“McMahon is planning on taking you out tonight, sir.” Her eyes were locked on Taker, who merely raised a brow at her. “I overheard the Corporation talking outside while I was getting some air and…they have your hotel room number and all of your information.  I think they plan on sending Kane to do the deed.  I just thought you should know in case you wanted to change hotels or something, my Lord.”


As the words spilled from her lips, Taker’s eyebrow just rose higher and higher. “Oh, really?”


He didn’t doubt her for a second.  Though Farooq and Bradshaw were openly considering her words, as if she might have been blowing something out of proportion.  Taker supposed that was how it worked, the majority of females in this company were drama queens; the boys just needed a bit more experience with one who was not.


“Kane, hmm?”

“Should I...?”

“I’ll need gasoline... lots of it.”


She didn’t storm into the locker room in an uproar or raise her voice hysterically.  Tahlia had remained perfectly calm, breathing a little heavy from walking fast, but other than that nothing she did should’ve screamed drama queen.  Gasoline…she could only imagine what that would entail and hoped the Big Red bastard fried for thinking he could get one over on her master.  As long as Taker believed what she said, that’s all Tahlia was concerned about.  Honestly, why would she lie about something like this?

Bradshaw narrowed his dark eyes at the woman, folding his arms in front of his chest. “Why were you outside in the first place?” He demanded, eyeing her shrewdly.

“No offense, but…I’m the only woman in a group of dicks.” Taker DID say she could defend herself if the situation merited and right now, it damn sure did. “Sometimes, I need a moment to myself to get away from all the testosterone.” Walking into the bathroom with her bag in hand, Tahlia shut the door and flipped the lock on it, shaking her head.

“Well…that was rather rude…” Bradshaw grunted, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

“And you deserved it, partner.” Farooq shook his head, getting ready for their tag team match that would main event the house show.


“All things considered, is it safe for her to be outside by herself, without giving anyone notice?”

Taker did not miss the look Paul shot him, and inwardly rolled his eyes. “No.” Mideon had a point... not that he knew the logic or reasoning behind it, but Paul did. “Brother Paul, I believe you have some gasoline to procure?”

Paul groaned, hating handling the chemicals that Taker frequently needed. “Anything else?”

“A blowtorch would be nice.”


“If she hadn’t been out there though, we wouldn’t know what those assholes in the Corporation are planning.” Farooq spoke up, narrowing his eyes slight at Mideon. “Next time she needs air or space, I’ll go with her.” He didn’t bother waiting for a response and nudged Bradshaw, both of them walking out to go do their match. “Something’s not right with that guy.”

“Mideon?  Yeah, he’s a little on the…weird side.” To put it mildly, Bradshaw added in thought. “Paul said somethin’ ‘bout his jealousy toward Tahlia.  Said the Deadman’s been spendin’ more time with her than the rest of us, not that I care.” Bradshaw honestly didn’t and the only reason they decided to side with the Deadman was because of the career boost. “What do you think?”

“We need to keep an eye on him, make sure he doesn’t try anything stupid.”

“Agreed.” Now it was time to kick Too Cool’s teeth down their throat, or knock them out with a Clothesline from Hell.


Taker was left alone with Mideon while Paul left to go get what he wanted and Tahlia was still hiding in the bathroom like the premenstrual creature she was.  He could feel his underlings stare on his face and simply continued staring at the monitor.  It was one thing to demand obedience and devotion from a person, it was another entirely to have a fanatic salivating over his boots.


“Why don’t you go see if you can’t eavesdrop, hmm?” That was something Mideon was good at.  Skulking.


Tahlia walked out of the bathroom a few minutes later, dressed in a purple short sleeved top and black skinny jeans, her hair pulled up in a high ponytail.  Nobody else was in the locker room except her and Taker.  Where had Mideon gone?  She knew the Acolytes had a match and walked over to the monitor, sitting down beside him silently to watch.  What would it take to finally get the rest of the members to accept her?  Tahlia didn’t show emotion for a second, but yet she could see the judgment all over Bradshaw’s face.  Farooq, she wasn’t sure about.


“Damn!” She cringed at the lariat Bradshaw delivered to Scotty 2 Hotty, knowing he wasn’t getting up from that. “Holy shit, he nearly decapitated him.”


“Good.” His voice dripped with approval, not minding for a second that Bradshaw could have hurt the idiot. “You do realize they think of you less because they have seen nothing to show you are not as airheaded as the rest of the... women performers.” Disdain dripped from his tone.  The women’s division had become a joke.  Bimbos, airheads... all the normal now. “Your ‘dicks’ comment and storming off, only cements this.  You need to take it like a man and give it back just as well.” Not flounce off. “In time, they’ll realize you are more than your... more interesting areas.”


“No matter what I do, it won’t make a difference and I’m done trying to gain their acceptance.  I have yours and that’s all that matters.”


Tahlia looked up at him, wondering if he truly did believe her and couldn’t let the fact they’d had sex interfere with business.  Granted, she’d felt worry the moment she’d overheard the Corporation’s plan to take him out.  What would’ve happened had she not been outside getting air?  Tahlia didn’t want to think about the deadly ambush or what Kane could’ve done to Taker.


“I should’ve just kept my mouth shut and waited until we were alone, like now, to tell you about the Corporation.” Lesson learned, it wouldn’t happen again.


“Tahlia,” Taker pushed himself up out of his seat, turning to tower over her.  There was no teasing, no playfulness, nothing but seriousness and command in his eyes. “You will learn to be a team player.  You are not a single entity unto yourself and you will integrate.  If I didn’t think you could handle what I knew what is to come your way, I wouldn’t have recruited you.” He snorted. “And you will stop your fatalistic, woe is me, attitude concerning whether or not they will accept you.  Make them.”


How?  How was she supposed to do that when everything she did and every word out of her mouth wasn’t taken seriously?  The tone of his voice implied it would be in her best interest to simply nod and obey what he ordered.


“Yes, sir.”


Tahlia was clueless on how to do that, but one way or another she had to make every member of the Ministry accept her.  She would figure it out.  Maybe once they surprised the Corporation later that night and beat down Kane, they would see she hadn’t lied or made up the story.


“I apologize, I will try harder and I won’t stop until they do accept me.  Thank you for making me see reason, my Lord.” Tahlia didn’t dare rise to her feet and stayed on her knees in front of him, bowing her head in respect.


Very likely, she was lying through her teeth and disagreed with him, but that was quite all right.  This was one of those times when he wouldn’t brook a disagreement.  His men were men and he was pretty sure Farooq would be assisting Bradshaw in minding his mouth, which would be a monumental task as Shaw was a brash, bold and thoughtless Texan idiot.  Taker lowered his hand to rest on the top of her head for a moment, tapping once to let her know she was to rise.


“You did do well, to let us know.”


Standing, Tahlia nodded and kept a stoic expression on her face, looking up into his acidic eyes. “I’m just glad I overheard what they were planning and nothing catastrophic happened.  Not that you can’t handle yourself, sir.  I’m just…”


She heard the door open and shook her head, clearing her throat as Taker walked past her to speak to the Acolytes.  She knew travel arrangements would be changed due to the Corporation’s ambush plan and would merely follow.  Sitting on the bench, Tahlia felt like a regular fish out of water and leaned her head back against the lockers, trying not to eavesdrop on Taker’s talk with the Acolytes.  She wanted to know what was going on, but at the same time that would be sticking her nose in their business.  So instead, she pulled the CD case out of her bag and began reading the back of it to give her something to do until it was time to leave.

“McMahon has left, we should head out, my Lord.”

That was the cue she’d been waiting for as Tahlia grabbed her bag to sling it over her shoulder and raised a brow when Farooq approached her. “Everything okay?” She asked quietly, keeping her voice perfectly neutral.


“You’re riding with us.  John wants to apologize for footin' his big dumb ass in his mouth.”

“You mean puttin’ my big dumb ass foot in my mouth, man." Bradshaw cleared his throat, because he had been hard on her, but... so far, she was impressive in the ring and that was about it.  Unless one counted her having women issues. “So yeah, ride with us?”

“Your gasoline is ready.”



Tahlia smiled back at them genuinely and placed a hand on Bradshaw’s long-sleeved shirt covered arm. “It’s okay.  I’m sorry for what I said earlier.  I was out of line.” Extending her hand, amber eyes practically glowed back at the rough around the edges Texan and Tahlia felt her hand being accepted, shaking it firmly. “Come on then, lead the way, boys.” 

Farooq chuckled, extending his arm and guided her out of the dressing room, deciding to give the woman a chance.  The Deadman chose her for a reason and they had to respect that.

Paul raised a brow, wondering what had gotten into the Acolytes and looked up at his master. “That’s interesting…” Then he had an idea, tapping his chubby chin thoughtfully. “You think they’d mind if she accompanied them to ringside for a few matches?”


Taker considered that, stroking his goatee thoughtfully. “Maybe.” He said finally with a shrug. “You can present the idea to her and see what she thinks on it.” Personally, he thought she might find it offensive or something, being regulated to a valet.  However, it would be good for her as she’d begin bonding with others besides him.

Mideon looked like he was going to say something and then bit his tongue.


“So, are you boys’ hungry?” Tahlia asked and then laughed when both of their stomachs began gurgling. “Food first before you two waste away.” 

“Taker doesn’t need us at the hotel right away, does he?”

“No.” Bradshaw shook his head, opening the door for her and forced Farooq to sit in the back. “Unless you’re more comfortable in the back, honey?”

“Nope, the back is fine with me, sugar.” Tahlia winked, hopping in the backseat and laid sideways with her feet pressed against the side while Farooq took the passenger and Bradshaw drove. “I’m not picky about where we eat either.”

It would have to be something quick considering Taker was expecting them at the hotel to catch Kane in the act. “It’ll have to be fast food unless you wanna wait for room service?” He made it sound like a question, giving her a choice while staring back at her in the rearview mirror.


“Whatever works, I’m flexible.  I’ll just burn it off when I kick Mideon’s ass during sparring tomorrow.”


Farooq hated his cell phone.  It barely ever worked.  He did better with the pager. “Find a pay phone.” He ordered, waiting patiently as Bradshaw scoured the streets.  Right next to a McDonalds, fortunate. “Paul wants a check in.” He explained, not even bothering to try angling his body into that booth, just reached for the phone. 

“The Undertaker insists you three take your time.  Apparently... there’s something he doesn’t want you to wind up involved in about to happen.” Which was probably arson, and potential homicide.  Taker wanted them to have plausible deniability. “Also, he wants French fries.” 

“He wants French fries?”

“He asked for gasoline.  He asked for French fries.”


“Uh... got it.”


Chapter 12


Taker liked French fries?  Tahlia couldn’t help laughing at the vision in her head of Taker kicked back on his hotel bed with a huge order of fries in front of him. “Sorry, I’m sorry…” She giggled harder and soon, the Acolytes joined in with her while they pulled into the drive thru of McDonald’s. “I didn’t think Taker would like French fries of all things, but to each their own I guess.  They are pretty yummy.” Matter of fact, Tahlia had Bradshaw order her a chicken sandwich with large fries and an orange HI-C, not minding splurging since she was tired of room service.  She took the bag, folded it up tightly, so Taker’s fries didn’t get cold and set it beside her while chomping on her own, bobbing her head to the rock song on the radio.


“So what’s the deal?”

“Boss wants us to take our time.  My guess is he doesn’t want any of us around to be suspects to...”

“Setting whoever comes through that door on fire?”

“Yeah that.” Ron fell silent for a moment. “Think he’ll do it?”

“Uh yeah... you’ve met him, right?”


“Well, I hope he realizes his fries will be cold by the time he gets them then.” Tahlia spoke up, poking her head between the seats and looked from Farooq to Bradshaw. “So we have to kill time before going back to the hotel…and we don’t even know where that is yet.  You boys up to playing some pool and having a couple beers?” It was a way to wind down and they could always call a cab if they got too hammered.  It took quite a bit to get her intoxicated though and she could only imagine how much these two could pack away. “My treat.”


Within the hour, Mideon came skulking in, looking around furtively.  He had followed them from the arena and now he was here to get them. “He's finished.” He announced, smiling flatly when Bradshaw and Farooq whirled away from the pool table, their sticks out and obviously ready to bust a head.  Mideon waved their cigar smoke away from him. “Kane was sent to the hospital with third degree burns, Chyna... second, I think.” He glanced at Tahlia who was still lining up her shot, frowning slightly.


She also had a cigar hanging out of her mouth, shocking Bradshaw when he offered her one and she took it.  There were mugs piled on their table, each having 3 beers a piece along with their McDonald’s meal.  The bar was kind enough to let them eat and drink after the owner got their autographs.  Huge fan of the WWF apparently.  Tahlia didn’t mind and neither did the Acolytes as long as they were left alone.


“Aww so close and yet so far, Shaw.” Smirking, Tahlia took her turn, sinking 3 balls in a row and lulled her head back when she missed the final 8 ball shot. “DAMN IT!” If she lost, she owed each of them $50. “We’re nearly done with this game, give us a sec.”

Bradshaw nailed the shot, sinking the 8 ball and won the game. “You can play.” He commended, then extended his hand. “Now pay up, sweetheart.”

Rolling her eyes, Tahlia handed over the money and finished her beer before they walked out to head back to the hotel.


“So, what all happened?” Farooq asked as they walked, wondering why Mideon reeked of gasoline.

“They came in, burst through the door from what I was told and, before they could get too far, he threw a bucket of gasoline on them, then followed up with a blowtorch.” Mideon shook his head.  He’d been the one to dispose of the evidence. “Taker booked us all in a new place and Paul is with him now.  Kane ran into him while on fire, so... he’s got some minor burns of his own.”


Tahlia snapped her head toward Mideon, frowning upon hearing that.  Taker had gotten burnt?  Minor – they were minor, she had to remind herself mentally, doing her best not to show how worried she was.  This is what happened when business was mixed with pleasure, now she was starting to feel things for their master.  That couldn’t happen, Tahlia had to squash whatever it was…after she checked on Taker.  Jumping in the backseat, the Acolytes drove off from the bar with Mideon following suit.


“You two look dead on your feet, so I’ll deliver the fries to Taker.”

“Thanks honey, we appreciate that.” Bradshaw truly meant it because he could feel the exhaustion creeping up and knew his partner wasn’t far behind.

“We owe you one, Tali.”

She smiled at Farooq’s nickname he came up for her and hopped out as soon as they parked the vehicle. “Thanks for a great night out and letting me ride with you guys.” She squeezed both Bradshaw and Farooq’s arms before heading into the building with her bag and Taker’s fries in hand, mentally preparing herself to see him bandaged up or worse.


“Why don’t I do that, Tahlia?” Mideon offered, walking up alongside her, having to run to catch up because he had to give the Acolytes their room keys. “Also, I got your new key card.” He fell into an easy step beside her. “I got bandages I have to take up anyway.” Not like she was getting to Taker's room without him anyway; she didn't even know the room number. 

Where the hell was that idiot?  Taker sighed, staring in the mirror at his chest and shook his head.  Kane, when he had realized what had happened, had ran screaming like a lunatic for Taker and wrapped him in a bear hug.  Paul had been handy with water, but... first and second degree burns on the chest and arms.


“Okay.” Mideon had serious issues and she didn’t want any part of it, but she had told the Acolytes she would deliver the fries and would see the task done. “No I got it, just lead the way.  We can go together.”


Tahlia dared him to argue with him and smiled when he reluctantly lead her up to their master’s room.  Why was Mideon constantly trying to get in her way?  Was he actually jealous of her?  Was Paul right?  He had to be.  Once they arrived at the room, Tahlia let Mideon knock on the door since he rushed to it first while she trailed behind.  Serious issues, she thought, shaking her head while his back was turned to her and waited for the door to open.




He was sitting on the edge of his bed, allowing Paul to tend to his wounds as he couldn’t actually see some of them.  Feel sure, but not see.  Taker watched through narrowed eyes as Paul took the bandages, noting Tahlia trailing in with a bag that held his fries.  He allowed Paul to resume his work, becoming acutely aware of the fact that he was being stared at.  By Mideon.  He was in nothing but a pair of black pajama bottoms and the man was eyeballing him.


“You.  Are.  Dismissed.”

“Sir, I-”

“Tahlia, close the door behind him.”


Shrugging at Mideon’s incredulous look, Tahlia watched him slink out the door and closed it as ordered, walking back over to take the bag of fries. “I’ll warm these up for you, sir.” She offered, not bothering to wait for a response and walked over to the small microwave the room came with, popping them in. 


While waiting, Tahlia surveyed the damage to his chest and arms, wishing they could’ve been here to help him when Kane was set on fire.  She’d heard Chyna had gotten burned too and had openly laughed along with the Acolytes.  Served the bitch right for sticking her nose in the Ministry’s business.  The microwave went off and she grabbed a paper plate, pouring them along with some ketchup on the side before walking over to set them on the bed beside him.  Asking if he was alright would’ve been stupid on her part, so Tahlia decided to go another route to check on him without showing too much concern.


“How are you feeling?  Those look like they hurt.”


“Painful would be a good word.” She hadn’t waited for an order on those fries and ruined them.  Scowling, he tossed them aside into the nearby trashcan. “Paul?”


“I’ll go get you another order.” Sometimes, it was like he was working for an overgrown, evil as hell child.  Shaking his head, Paul grabbed his keys and wallet, stepping out the door, muttering about Taker's disgust for reheated fries.  They had to be fresh or cold.  Never reheated. “Children...”

“How did you occupy your time?” Taker held out a roll of the wrap towards her and stood up, holding out his arms.


“Smoked cigars, played a couple rounds of pool, ate fast food and drank beer in a bar.” Tahlia answered promptly, fighting back the urge to roll her eyes since all she was trying to do was help him out. 


Honestly, reheated fries weren’t that bad as long as they were done the same night they were bought.  That was just her though.  This man was fickle, she had to remind herself of that.


“It was fun.  I like them and Farooq even came up with a nickname for me.  Tali.” She grinned, wrapping his arms carefully while speaking in a soft warm tone.


“Tali...” He let it roll of his tongue before shrugging. “It works.” Once she was done with his arms, he stepped back, frowning down at her. “You realize, you probably saved my life tonight, don’t you?” Because Kane and Chyna had come in with weapons… weapons that would have probably left him a vegetable or worse. “So... thank you.” It was said gruffly and probably the best she’d get.


“I shudder to think what would’ve happened had I not been out there tonight overhearing what they had planned.” Tahlia murmured softly, the smile on her face nothing more than a frown and reached up to caress his face with the back of her hand. “I should’ve been there for you, to help you.  I know you ordered us to stay away, but…isn’t that what we’re here for?  To watch your back and help you win this war?” Her eyes trailed over the bandages on his body and could feel the tears building, fighting them off as much as she could. “I’m just glad you’re still here.  I was worried about you.  If anything happens to you, I won’t forgive myself and I know the others won’t either.”


“Your job is to do what you’re told.” Honestly, he hadn’t expected McMahon to stoop as low as to send someone after hours to attack him, to try to take him out.  Taker applauded the move; it was something he would have done.  Planned on doing, in his own... fashion.  He studied her thoughtfully, realizing she was blinking quite a bit and frowned.  Reaching out with a thumb, Taker caught the first and only tear drop that escaped. “Why,” He asked musingly. “Are you crying?”


He was amused by all of this and it just cemented how truly twisted this man was. “I got something in my eye.” She muttered, not bothering trying to hide the fact she just lied to him and squared her shoulders.  Tahlia had to be stronger than this, she was a soldier!  Not some sniveling, crying woman who worried about a man that clearly could never feel anything for her. “You need to rest.” Looking away from him, she bit her bottom lip and folded her arms in front of her chest, letting out a shaky breath. “I just had to see with my own eyes you were okay and I’m glad you are.  I won’t take up any more of your time.” Picking up her bag, Tahlia slung it over her shoulder and cursed herself mentally for showing weakness.


She had just shown a major flaw to him.  She cared.  About him.  His green eyes widened at that, wondering if she was clinically insane.  Taker had told her who he was and hadn’t lied.  And he had plans for her.  He could probably use this to his advantage actually, the more he mused over it.


“Are you trying to lie to me, or yourself?” Taker demanded, a bit curious about that.  Because she had cried.  And her admitting she had had to see if he was okay, with her own eyes nonetheless, was interesting.


No strings, no expectations…that was the deal, even though she had gone back on her portion all to have 2 nights of passion with him.  She wasn’t perfect and couldn’t just shut her emotions off like a light switch.  It didn’t work that way.


“I’m overwhelmed to see you in this state.  Didn’t expect it.  And I’m also a little pissed at you, if you really want the truth, because you sent us away when you needed us the most.” There, that was half the truth at least.  She turned back to face him, unable to deny she did care for him.  A lot more than she probably should because it would only end up in heartache if she let her feelings become too intense. “So yes, I let one tear fall and I feel like a jackass now because of it.”


“You should, and be pissed all you like.  When I want to put you in danger, believe me, I will.” Now he was being arrogant and it showed in both the sneer on his face and in his tone. “I didn’t need any of you.  You eliminated that need when you told me what you heard.  You would have been in my way at best, worst a victim or a person of suspect, if things went south.” Taker caught her chin in his hand, forcing her to look at him. “You don’t have to like my orders, but when I do give one, you will obey and not question them.  I do what I do for everyone.” Mostly. And just because she did look scrumptious, with her lower lip trying not to jut out and her eyes were still glistening, he kissed her.


Tahlia sighed softly at the feeling of his lips on hers and immediately slid her arms around his neck, being careful of his bandaged chest.  Apparently, Taker wasn’t in too much pain because he pulled her flush against his body to where their chests collided and deepened the kiss.  She knew what this would eventually lead to and, with as bad as his burns were, Tahlia couldn’t risk him hurting further.  With all the strength in her body, she managed to pull away from him and shook her head vehemently, golden eyes warring with both passion and distress.


“No.” When he came toward her to pull her back in his arms, Tahlia took a step back and held her hands up. “Not tonight.  You’re hurt and you need rest.  Heal up and then you can have your way with me.” 

Paul walked in at that precise moment, tossing the bag of fries on the bed. “There, now if you-” His eyes moved from Taker and Tahlia, feeling the tension between them. “Everything alright here?”

She smiled softly, nodding in Paul’s direction. “Never better, Brother Paul.  I was just leaving.  Good night, my Lord.” Tahlia bowed her head to Taker and flew out the door with her bag in tow, knowing she would pay for that insolence later.  It was worth it as long as he healed up and rested.


What an insolent wench!  Who was she to judge if he needed rest, if he was hurt?  Snorting, Taker turned away from Paul’s knowing gaze and eyed the sack of fries. “Don't say a word.”

“Is getting involved with her on any level but professional wise?  After all, you recruited her for a reason...”

“I remember.”

“And how is she supposed to do that, focus on that, when she’s obviously wrapped with you?”

“Then Paul,” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Maybe we’ll just have to use her... feelings... against her, or to keep her in line.”

Paul secretly doubted that, but nodded anyway.


Chapter 13


Royal Rumble arrived with the Ministry of Darkness on a mission.  A new recruit would happen tonight.  Along with her ring attire, Tahlia was required to wear a black velvet robe for what they would be doing tonight.  There was no match scheduled for any of the Ministry.  They were all focused on the task their master laid out before them and that was the 500-pound Mabel.  The man was downright scary, very heavyset and wore ridiculous clothing. 


What was even MORE ridiculous was the fact he’d been beaten by Mankind, of all people, in just over 5 minutes in a squash match.  Then he was in the Royal Rumble and had been eliminated almost as soon as he arrived in the ring, showing more failure.  Tahlia stood beside Taker, staring straight ahead with the Acolytes beside her and Mideon next to Paul, all of them waiting.  Once the lights went out in the arena, Mideon and the Acolytes rushed out to start beating down Mabel in the aisle while she trailed behind alongside the master silently.


Taker knew what he had told people about Mabel, about recruiting him, and it was partly true.  Mabel would be very loyal and, by the time they were done with him, he would make quite the enforcer.  However... he needed someone just a bit more pathetic than Mideon and that was for Mideon himself.  Someone Mideon could actually feel like he was above because Mideon was definitely at the bottom of the totem pole.  Those he actually wanted, who had drawn his actual attention, that trio would come along soon enough.  Not so much the boss, but the two beneath him.  They had potential.  Bradshaw, Tahlia, these two... they were the ones who would endure long after the Ministry was gone.

“This is a joke.” Ron muttered, shaking his head as Mabel went down just a bit too easily.  They were going to have to get his ass to the gym more often or else he’d never last.

“Can you see a purpose for him, Tahlia?” His tone made it sound like he was asking about the weather.


Tilting her head slightly with the hood up, Tahlia kept her arms folded in front of her chest, the only skin to be seen was her face…if the camera came too close. “Yes, my Lord.” When he asked her to elaborate, she didn’t respond at first and continued staring at the 500-pound man, nodding confidently. “He is broken, but fixable and we can do that for him.  He can be the monster he used to be.” This man had actually crushed Undertaker’s face with his thigh after performing a leg-drop and required the master to wear a face mask for a few months.  Tahlia knew her wrestling history, submerged herself into it at a young age and had it burned into her memory. “He can give us an edge in the war to come, sir.” He had asked her opinion and she gave it, bowing her head the moment Taker stepped toward Mabel to remove his hood while the Acolytes and Mideon held the big man still.


There was that too, he conceded.  Mabel had broken his orbital bone, to be exact, hence the reason for the mask.  It had protected the entire region, allowing that bone to heal.  Not the most stylish of looks, but... he had done what was needed.  Taker made a mental note to put the man on a treadmill, just because he was petty and that would be an amusing revenge.


“I think he’s ready.” He made a gesture, not surprised when Bradshaw caught it and nodded. “Tahlia... I don’t think the cage is going to hold him if he decides to get himself to full steam.” Which he doubted, Mabel hadn’t been Mabel in a while; it was like the man had drowned his potential in bad gimmicks and Cheetos.


Nodding, Tahlia stepped back a few feet out of harm’s way alongside Paul, watching as Mabel was continuously struck by the Acolytes and Mideon.  This was part of the initiation, though she hadn’t been beaten down.  Her match had been against Ivory and the lights had gone out.  She was pulled from the ring, remembering something being slapped over her mouth and woke up in the cellar alongside Mideon.  She’d been in a white ragged dress, feet bare and hair down, face devoid of the makeup she’d worn.  Instead of freaking out and making a spectacle, she merely sat there waiting to first find out where she was and second, the explanation. 


Mideon had hung from the ceiling in shackles and chains because he had fought tooth and nail, yelling out for someone to help him.  Tahlia had finally told him it would do no good because nobody could help them and to stop.  Soon after, he listened and the shackles were removed before they were brought before the Undertaker.  It had shocked her, but after hearing what he had to say, Tahlia and Mideon agreed to join him.  Being promised to recapture the WWF Women’s championship was also too tempting an offer to pass up.


Some would say he was the devil, promising glittery and golden things in exchange for souls, so to speak.  And the likeness wasn’t all wrong because he did like to bargain for things he wanted, such as able bodies.  Sometimes he even lived up to his end of the bargain.  Taker followed lazily as Mabel was beaten backstage and then down the hallway, ignoring the shocked stares of the sheep who worked for Vince, the whispering.  He did fall back, making Tahlia and Paul walk before him.  Paul, he needed, Paul was his right-hand man and as such, he was a target.  He was also fat and slow, easy pickings.  Tahlia... well, many females were jealous.  He had put her in a very, very interesting place; something no woman had had before.  She was a target as well.



“Cars are waiting.”


All the bags were packed and already waiting to take them to a place on the outskirts of the place.  It was an old apartment building of sorts, but had been condemned years ago.  Tahlia ignored the glares shot her way and kept her head up, her face stoic and expressionless.  People were under the assumption Taker had brainwashed his followers when, in reality, all he’d done was make the chosen offers.  It was an honor to be chosen to follow the Phenom and Tahlia didn’t care what anyone else thought or felt about her choice. 


However, when she bypassed Shane McMahon, her eyes briefly swept him just to see if he had anything planned, another ambush, and the barest hint of a smirk curved her lips before walking out of the building.  Once she was in the car with the Acolytes, who had taken a shine to her traveling with them, Tahlia finally removed her black robe and sighed with relief.  The robe wasn’t cool by any means.


“So, does anyone know why he chose Mabel?” Ron asked curiously. “He used to be a powerhouse back in the day, but...”


Unless Taker thought he could awaken that beast... speaking of beast... Mabel’s large backside was sedated and in the small U-Haul trailer they had rented to cart him.  If those sedatives wore off, Ron did not want to be in a car with the man.  There was a lot of damage a pissed off Mabel could do in a tiny, moving space.


“Maybe he feels pity for the man.  I mean, they did battle back in the day and Mabel even broke Taker’s face.  Maybe he wants to awaken that monster again and use him against the Corporation.” Tahlia could only guess along with the Acolytes, hoping this wasn’t a mistake on their master’s part and immediately pushed that aside.  No don’t question what he does, she reminded herself, knowing doubts wouldn’t do her any favors. “We just have to trust what he wants to do.”


“Hey, I do trust Taker, for the most part.  Known him a long time, we both have.  But at the same time, you got to be careful.” He’d never actually say that in front of Taker, just because he liked where his head was and Taker had a very long reach.

“John!” Ron wasn’t stupid; he knew Tahlia had a relationship with the Deadman that was different from the rest of them.  No idea what kind and he wasn’t speculating. 


“Just... we all need to make sure we’re eyeing that board of his carefully.  We’re pawns, and he will... you know.” He was loyal to Taker, but he also knew how the Deadman operated if something suddenly changed.  He’d cut his losses and change his plan, including those in it.


Somehow, Tahlia knew that was directed at her, but she didn’t lash out at Bradshaw because he meant well.  He was looking out for her and so was Farooq.  They were her boys and they had confided in each other quite a bit lately.  She had started accompanying them to the ring during their matches and, surprisingly, the men didn’t seem to mind it.  Tahlia had no idea why they decided to start liking her, assuming Taker had ordered it, but either way at least they were all on the same page for the moment.


“We’re the pieces on his chess board.” She nodded, showing Farooq she understood what he said and placed a hand on each of their shoulders. “I don’t know about the two of you, but I’m starving.” She hoped wherever they were being taken for the evening had food and a shower to use.


“Yeah... me too.” Paul went out earlier and apparently made this place ‘livable’. “Said the water runs, but it’s cold.” The place had been condemned, was on the outskirts of a crappy area, in other words, perfect for them to use for a few days. “He also said we had to stay on the lower floors because Taker was up there earlier and a lot of the flooring is bad.” It would never support their combined weight.  With the exception of Tahlia, they were all some hefty boys.


“Great.” Tahlia did not sound thrilled about these circumstances at all, not bothering to hide her disdain and wished they could stay at a regular hotel.  However, this recruit meant a great deal to their master and they had to abide by what he ordered. “If not, we could probably run out and grab something.”


The sedative wouldn’t last nearly as long on Mabel as it had Mideon.  Tahlia was certain she’d been ethered during her own abduction and suddenly felt pity for Mabel, hoping the big man cooperated or else they would have a huge problem on their hands.  What the hell was she supposed to do with a 500 mastodon like him?  Short of being in the way…Tahlia wondered why exactly she was brought into the Ministry and couldn’t figure it out, turning her head to stare out the window.


Taker was waiting impatiently when the Acolytes finally showed up with his cargo.  He rubbed his hands together gleefully, a wicked smile lighting up his otherwise pale, demonic face. “Open it up.”

“It sounds like he’s waking up.”

“Open.  It.  Now.” His tone didn’t leave for argument in the light of the moon and what few streetlamps remained, Paul could see Taker slid something over his fist.  When it was opened, he was there to greet the groggy Mabel, who looked ready to attack out of panic. “Welcome to darkness.” He sneered right before planting his weaponized fist right in the bigger man’s forehead.  Mabel was out again. “Get him inside.”


“That’s gonna leave a mark.” Tahlia muttered to herself, cringing as the big man crumpled to the group in a heap. 


She felt bad for Bradshaw and Farooq, who were forced, with Mideon’s help, to cart the man inside.  Grabbing her bag, Tahlia took in her surroundings and saw they were literally in the middle of nowhere.  The snow crunched under her feet as she tightened the black coat around her body and more had started to fall.  There was at least 7 inches on the ground, hopefully a storm wasn’t on the way.  Paul hurried everyone inside where it was warmer, the heat cranking in the old building and Tahlia could only hope it remained that way until they left in the morning to head to Raw.

“Your room, Sister Tahlia.” Paul handed over her key before giving the Acolytes and Mideon theirs, the rooms all side-by-side, but not connected. 

“Brother Paul, please tell us you added food into this plan.”

“Yeah man, we can’t waste away here.”

Paul sighed, rolling his eyes at these grown men acting like children. “There’s a kitchen stocked.  I will cook something…”

The fat man was on the verge of keeling over, his face beat red from doing all of Taker’s bidding that night. “Brother Paul, I hope I’m not overstepping my boundaries, but…you look exhausted.  Why don’t you let me handle cooking tonight?  Please?” She placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled warmly, worry flooding her eyes for him.


Paul considered her, finally nodding.  Sometimes, he forgot he wasn’t a spry young man anymore and he knew Taker forgot as well.  Or perhaps Taker just didn’t care.  It was hard to get a read on his Phenom these days.  He was in on most of the younger man’s plans, but... he knew there were things Taker didn’t tell him, or anyone else for that matter.  He kept his secrets closely guarded.


“Thank you.  I am going to go lie down.”

Taker heard that and studied his right hand thoughtfully. “Your services won’t be needed tonight, Paul.”


He caught the nod Paul gave him in acknowledgement.  Taker idly wondered who would take Paul’s place when the old man was gone.  He’d need to start grooming a new right-hand since Paul wasn’t in the best health or a spring chicken anymore.


“I’ve already dosed Mabel again.  He should be asleep until morning.” Just in case that loaded punch didn’t keep the behemoth down.


Tahlia made her way down the hallway and found the kitchen with ease, seeing it had been sanitized already for cooking.  Probably Paul’s doing, the man really was on top of everything.  Pulling her Walkman out and clipping it to the waistband of her jeans, Tahlia got started and pulled out the thawed pork chops from the fridge.  She took the saran wrap off of them, seasoned them with salt, pepper and rosemary while the oven heated up.  Once it was preheated, she popped them in and moved her head to the beat of the song playing off her Metallica album.  The sides would include mashed potatoes and vegetables –Paul already had them prepared and they just had to be warmed up- and she had to peel a lot since there were all huge men within the Ministry to feed, especially Mabel.  Sitting down, she began the process with the peeler and started humming softly, trying to get her mind off everything for a little while.


Chapter 14


Standing in the doorway of the kitchen, he watched her.  Taker wasn’t cold and had divested himself of unnecessary clothing.  He wore steel toed boots and black jeans, his hair held back with a bandana as he needed to go down into the basement to get everything prepared for when his toy did wake up.  But first... he had wanted to see what she was up to.  Cooking... the woman who had a freezer filled with frozen pizzas could cook?  He felt the side of his mouth hitch upwards.  


Tahlia was constantly surprising him.  


Quietly, he crept up behind her, hearing the music and planted his hands on her hips, not surprised when she whirled around with that peeler and caught her wrist before she could take off his face.  Dropping the peeler instantly, Tahlia stared back at him wide eyed and felt his hand release her wrist.  She could’ve taken his eye out!


“Jesus, you scared the shit out of me!” She hissed quietly, taking the ear buds out of her ears and shoved them in her pocket, aware his hands were still on her waist.  The potatoes were only half done and suddenly, they were the furthest thing from her mind. “Paul needed a break, that’s why I’m doing this, in case you were wondering.”


Her hair was currently pulled back in a tight bun with just little wisps clinging to her forehead, since she had to wear the heavy robe during the Royal Rumble earlier that night.  Then Tahlia noticed he was bare from the waist down and had to fight back the hunger boiling inside of her.  They hadn’t had sex since those two days in New York City and Tahlia had avoided him, if she was being honest, when it came to sex.


“Dinner should be ready soon.”


“Providing you don’t attack anyone else.” He snorted, peering over her shoulder and nodded.  Food, real food and not fast food or greasy diner grub, sounded delicious and another wicked smirk spread across his face, his acid green eyes lighting up. “And for dessert?” Taker bent down, running his tongue up the column of her throat to her earlobe, nipping at it. “What’s on the menu for that, hmm?”


A shiver shot through her body at the feeling of his tongue and Tahlia smirked, beginning to cut the potatoes up so they would boil faster, dropping them in the pot of water. “I don’t know.  I didn’t really think about that, but I’m sure I could come up with something.” Her voice had dropped a low seductive pitch, feeling his arms tighten around her while he continued teasing her neck. “If you have something in mind, I’m open to suggestions.” Never once did she stop cutting the potatoes and hoped a couple pounds would be enough to feed everyone.


His massive hands moved down to cup her backside, giving it a firm squeeze. “I have a few ideas.” But they’d have to be expounded upon later, he had to go finish up downstairs. “Keep to the first two floors, Tahlia.  Everything above that is unsafe.” He warned her, reluctantly stepping away.  This building would be torn down soon enough, but for now, it would be safe for what they wanted it for.

Mideon slinked away from the doorway before either could turn around, his mind mulling that interaction.


“Okay.  Be careful.” Tahlia knew he would be annoyed by her concern over him, but Mabel genuinely scared her.  He wasn’t a small man, one of the biggest in the WWF currently and didn’t want Taker’s face crushed again. “I’ll come get you when dinner’s ready.”


At his curt nod, Tahlia stuck the earbuds back in her ears and began playing her music again, finishing up the meal.  It would be edible and good, only because Paul had done the prep work.  Tahlia could cook, she just preferred to relax whenever she had the chance to go home and slaving over a hot stove wasn’t appealing…at all.


His work in the basement went rather fast.  Taker had overseen, personally, the pouring of the concrete, makeshift pillars that stood alone save for their anchor in the floor, that Mabel would be chained too.  Then a cage surrounded him.  He wasn’t risking anything and... he was a little spiteful.  Broken orbital bones hurt.  When the chains were in place, Taker got the large dolly and began the process of carting the large man over.  Not an easy process by any means, but the dolly helped relieve a lot of the weight.  By the time Mabel had been chained up and the cage locked, he was glistening with sweat.


An hour later, dinner was finished since the pork chops had to bake a little while longer.  They were thicker than normal.  Tahlia went to tell everyone and was surprised to see Mideon already asleep.  Shrugging, she left him be and figured he’d wake up to eat when he was ready.  The Acolytes were the first in the kitchen, followed by Paul and Tahlia offered to make him a plate.  He waved her off, patting her cheek affectionately and she watched him closely, monitoring him from a distance.  She nodded silently to Bradshaw, who caught her eye and left the kitchen once she was sure the boys would keep an eye on him while she tracked down Taker.  He was on the second floor in his room, so Tahlia headed up there and tapped lightly on the door, waiting for the approval to enter.


“Dinner’s…” Her voice trailed off at the sight of him dripping with sweat and Tahlia immediately averted her eyes, very tempted to offer to give him a tongue bath. “Dinner’s ready whenever you want to eat.” She turned, heading back downstairs.


“What’s for dinner?” He asked, seeing the sigh in her shoulders as she turned around, keeping the amusement off his face and out of his tone.  


He gestured at her to follow him as he stepped into the bathroom, turning on the sink and waiting for the water to run clear before washing the sweat off, meeting her gaze in the cracked, dingy mirror.  The jeans were unbuttoned and unzipped, because he had other places to clean up as well.  Sweat was no one’s friend and he did not miss the way her eyes followed the trail of water down his chest.




She had to pull it together, he was just a man with an incredible body and…dear lord, the vision of her tongue running up the length of that stomach…Tahlia had to learn how to breathe again. “Chops, pork chops.  Mashed potatoes and veggies.” Get a grip idiot, she mentally chastised herself and tore her gaze from his body to look around the bathroom, seeing the grime caked on the floor. “Do you want me to make…Mabel a plate?” She offered softly, trying to get her mind on anything else except tearing the rest of this man’s pants off and jumping on him. “I could make you one too, if you want.  You look bushed.” Reaching up, she swiped a drop of sweat from his cheek and popped her finger in her mouth, savoring the taste.


“I doubt Mabel is going to want to eat anything... when he wakes up.  He’ll be out for at least the next 12 hours.” He had done the math on the weight versus how much sedative and this time, coupled with that punch, Mabel would stay asleep. “Besides... I’m not feeding him until I know how he’ll react when he comes too.” Taker wasn’t above torturing someone and stared intently down at her.  He stepped out of his unlaced boots and hoisted her up over his shoulder, smacking her ass. “Dessert first.” He growled possessively.


What they did behind closed doors was their business and nobody else’s.  Even if the Ministry knew about their sexual activities, Tahlia wouldn’t deny herself pleasuring this man.  She squealed out, not expecting him to lift her over his shoulder and reciprocated by biting into his neck.  Not hard, but enough to heat his blood.  Hers was already molten lava just being near him in all of his sweaty glory.  Feeling her back hit the bed, Tahlia felt his mouth devour hers and slid her hands up his sides to his chest, every part of his body healed from the burns.  Using leverage and the strength in her legs, Tahlia turned the tables to where she straddled him and broke the kiss between them.  Removing her shirt, Tahlia hovered her mouth over his and denied him the kiss, instead lowering her head to start the exploration of his muscular chest.


“Dessert first indeed.” She purred, sliding a finger down his chest and reached up to undo the bun her hair was in, letting the blackish purple tresses spill down her back and over her shoulders.


His response was to capture her jaw in one strong hand and force her head back up.  He plundered her mouth, taking what he would and let go after they were both breathless. “You may proceed.” He rumbled huskily, seeing the glazed look in her amber eyes and knew it was likely the same with his.  Taker would let her explore, for now, until he was ready to take over.  He folded his arms behind his head, watching her intently and groaned when she purposefully brushed her hand against his straining cock, tempted to reach down and free it from its prison. “Wicked, Tahlia...”


“I can be.” She conceded, nipping at his lower abdomen and traced the BSK Pride tattoo with her tongue, gently stroking him through the confines of his jeans.  He said dessert and she could use a protein shake, amber eyes nothing more than liquid gold. “Mmm…” Tahlia slipped off his body and pushed him back down when he went to sit up, shaking her finger at him. “Let me pleasure you, Taker.”


Pulling his jeans off, she kneeled before him on the bed and enjoyed how his cock stood at full attention because of her.  She knew it was her administrations causing his erection and felt a power rush over her.  This was the only time she would have remotely any power over Taker and took full advantage of it, gliding her tongue over the tip to taste the pre-cum that’d formed.  Mine, she thought, knowing better than to say that aloud and continued teasing him, licking him up and down like a popsicle.


Some women liked being dominated while they were sucking cock.  Some women would bite and he had no idea what kind of woman she was.  Given her submissive ways when it came to their relationship outside the bedroom... she might bite.  Taker knew she wasn’t a pushover, she viewed deferring to him as part of her role as his lesser.  One hand gripped the sheet behind him when he felt her tongue on him like she was a lolly, the other was inching its way to her hair.


Whatever he did to her, Tahlia would never hurt him or bite him, prepared for the consequences of her actions.  He tasted incredible, her eyes closing to relish the feeling of his cock against her tongue and made sure not to use her teeth.  His hand burying in her hair made her moan against him as she began slowly swirling her tongue around the tip.  He hardened more against her touch and tongue if that was possible, the veins popping out to touch her palm.  It wouldn’t be long before he climaxed and Tahlia wanted to swallow him whole, looking up at him to lock molten gold on dark forest green. 


Her eyes told him silently she would finish him off as her mouth opened wider to take as much of his girth as she possibly could.  He was huge, there was no way she would fit his entire cock into her mouth and Tahlia thanked the stars for not having a gag reflex.  It’d fit, but she’d probably have split lips and a sore throat... he was considering it, knowing with a little easing, she could take him balls deep in that luscious mouth of hers.  Maybe another time, when Taker could position her and make it easier; first time always deserved a bit of consideration.


“Fuck, Tahlia...” He growled, fisting his hand in her hair, wrapping the silky tresses around his hand, his hips arching up to meet her lips as she showcased a set of skills he had definitely not recruited her for.


During their time in her apartment, Tahlia had stuck straight to screwing and let Taker have foreplay, if he wanted.  He’d tasted her pussy quite a bit, so it was only fair she did the same to him.  Sliding her hand up his glistening chest, Tahlia worked her mouth up and down his length, digging her nails into the middle of his chest and moaned uncontrollably.  It wasn’t called a job for nothing, but it was one she definitely wanted to give. 


She wanted to make Taker feel worshipped, needed and desired the same way he made her while they were in her small studio apartment.  He had done the majority of the exploring and worshipping, treating her better than she could ever fathom.  Reaching down, her soft hand fondled his balls while her nails slid down his abdomen and bobbed her head up and down his cock faster, driving him even deeper into her mouth to where his tip brushed the back of her throat.


If she kept that up, Taker was likely to drown her in semen.  He could feel his balls tensing, knowing he was moments from exploding and grit his teeth.  It was a battle of his will versus her worship of him.  And that was exactly what it felt like, Tahlia was worshipping with her mouth, tongue, her hands... his eyes rolled into the back of his head and everything coiled in him.


“Tahlia!” He got out through grit teeth, letting go of her hair before he tore it out and brought his fists down on the mattress, not caring who heard what came next as he exploded into her willing mouth.


Slamming her eyes shut, Tahlia was prepared for the eruption in her mouth and swallowed all of him, forcing it down her throat.  It was a lot, way more than she anticipated, but not a single drop was wasted.  Her nails raked down his thighs, a shudder overtaking him from the aftershocks of his climax and Tahlia moaned, finally reluctantly pulling her mouth away from his sagging cock, breathing heavily from the workout she just had.  She sat back on her haunches, wiping the corner of her mouth with the pad of her thumb and pressed a soft kiss to his navel just above the place she’d thoroughly pleasured.


“Mmm…” Nuzzling his stomach, Tahlia stayed there for a few minutes and breathed him in, sweat and all, calming her raging body down.


“Good girl.” He murmured, caressing her hair with his rather limp hand, feeling his heart still racing and aftershocks sending tremors through him.


Taker imagined she hadn’t expected that much and he hadn’t either, to be honest.  Apparently, she worked him up without realizing it.  He stretched, testing out his limbs before grabbing her by the shoulders and hauling her up the length of his body, claiming her lips in a hungry kiss, not minding the taste of himself on her tongue.


“We’re not finished, Tahlia.” He promised huskily. “Not by a long shot.” He was already rising to the occasion again.


“Didn’t think we were, Taker.”


Chapter 15


Tahlia sat back long enough to remove her bra before capturing his lips in another explosive kiss, their tongues swirling together in a dance of seduction.  She heard his growl and soon felt her back meet the bed, Taker turning the tables on her.  This time, she stayed where she was and caressed his arm and upper back while he teased her neck and ear, bunching his hair in her other hand.  Tahlia writhed beneath him, more than ready to take whatever he had to offer and felt tremors of her own overtake her body.


Feasting on her, Taker did not need supper when he had a feast laid out before him, or beneath his as it were.  He took his time, working her up into a frenzy before turning attention to her thighs and other areas, but always coming back to her bundle of nerves with his tongue.  Gliding a leg up her calf, having long ago divested her of her clothing, and in between her legs, Taker slid one long finger into her.  He growled his approval at the feeling of her velvet walls immediately clamping down on him, the slick heat enveloping him and he could remember very well what that had felt around his cock.


Tahlia fisted the sheets on the bed, her legs draped over his broad shoulders and arched her body into his mouth.  His forearm came down against her lower half, keeping her still and that drove Tahlia to near insanity.  This man’s tongue on her sex sent her world spiraling off its axel, the hot coil within her stomach forming.  It wouldn’t take long for her to cum in buckets for him, which is exactly what he wanted.  Tahlia couldn’t make it easy for him though, fighting back her climax and gritted her teeth, rolling her eyes in the back of her head at how incredible his tongue felt.  She cried out, feeling his teeth scrape her swollen clit and whimpered, forcing another shudder to overtake her body.  Gripping her breasts tightly, Tahlia could feel her end coming and felt her body betraying her, her breathing erratic by now.


“No!” Was her response when he pulled away long enough to demand her to let go for him, shaking her head prolonging the inevitable. “Not…yet…”


“Now, pet, now...” Taker breathed against her clit, smirking when another whimper was dragged from her reluctant throat.  


He added another finger, crooking them against the nerve bundle inside of her, the one too many men liked to call a myth… those amateurs.  The way her hips began bucking, even more wildly then before.  He had to actually hold her down with his free hand, refusing to stop until she begged for mercy and even then, he didn’t let up.


Two of his fingers felt like an actual dick was inside of her.  Her resolve cracked and soon she completely shattered to pieces against him, surrendering everything.  Tahlia couldn’t hold back or fight off her climax anymore, the hot coil inside of her springing free and cried out his name in her release.  Hot juices flowed from her trembling body into his greedy hungry mouth, wave after wave of pleasure washing over her.  Collapsing back on the bed while he feasted on her ambrosia, Tahlia could only stare up at the ceiling and tried catching her breath.  Sure her heart would fly out of her chest at any second from how fast it thundered against her chest. 


Her body was now slicked in sweat much like his, overexerted from everything he forced her body to experience with that evil slick tongue and mouth of his.  Taker didn’t even give Tahlia time to recover before he had crawled up her body and drawn her legs over his hips, positioning himself at her sopping entrance.  When her eyes met his, wide, he gave her a very evil smile and snapped his hips forward, sheathing himself within her still recovering, still clenching body.


“Christ!” He hissed between his teeth, taking a moment to breathe before withdrawing and snapping forward again, his hands on her, guiding her to meet him as he set the pace.


All Tahlia could do was meet him for every thrust he produced inside her body, gripping his arms to where her nails left half-shaped crescent moons embedded into his skin.  This was the first time they had sex outside of her apartment in New York City, their bubble and she had no complaints.  Her breasts bounced up and down as he increased the pace, spreading her thighs apart wider.


“N-New position…”


Tahlia brought his face down to hers, kissing him soundly and managed to pry her legs from around his waist to sit upright in bed.  She pushed him back to give her enough room to turn, now sitting on all fours in front of him with her backside in his vision.  He would go a lot deeper with penetration this way and be able to dominate her, both of them won.  Missionary style was alright, but nothing compared to straight up doggy style dirty sex.  She didn’t have to say anything, merely looking over her shoulder at him and slid her tongue out across her upper lip slowly.


His response was to place a large hand squarely in the middle of her back and push her down face first into the mattress, leaving her spread to his lusty gaze. “Delicious.” He thundered, bending down to bite a very pert cheek, smirking when her body flinched and laved the spot with his tongue.  


She’d have a bite shaped bruise there for a few days; good thing she wasn’t in the habit of flashing her backside to the cameras.  Not that he would have minded hearing her explain that one.  Managing to turn her head to the side so she could breathe, Tahlia gripped the sheets and cried out the moment he filled her to capacity again.  She didn’t mind having a mark from Taker, the proof was his symbol carved into her body.  It was nothing more than a scar now, a beautiful reminder of what she’d sacrificed and her complete devotion to him.  Never did she think he’d be interested in her sexually, but hell maybe that was part of why he brought her into the fold in the first place. 


Being used for sex was an unsettling thought, but Tahlia wasn’t concerned about it right now.  After the passion haze cleared from her brain, she’d be able to think clearly, but right now all she cared about was being thoroughly fucked by her Lord and master.  Her moans had turned mostly into cries, the feeling of him plummeting in and out of her receptive sensitive body, and how deep he drove, made a rush of heat crash over her.  She had surrendered to him in every way, giving into temptation and currently reaped the benefits by having her nearly numb pussy pounded.


Tahlia would also have a sore backside to match because he was delivering a spanking, though she didn’t seem to mind at all.  He was admiring his handiwork, the red cheeks, and bent down to run his tongue up her spine, growling. “Mine.”


A little pain and pleasure never hurt anyone and Tahlia had a high threshold for pain, so his slaps just made her pussy tingle with delight.  The conviction in his growl claiming her just spread the forest fire already raging inside of her and only he would be able to put it out.  Tahlia felt his hand bury in her hair, yanking her up to where her back collided with his chest as he continued hammering in and out of her, the bed squeaking dangerously under both of their weight. 


Even when it broke they didn’t stop, the ecstasy overwhelming their senses and any rationality.  Tahlia could only lull her head back against his shoulder, his teeth sinking into the spot where her shoulder met the neck and cried out again, knowing she would sport a lovely mark there too.  Soon, they reached their end as their bodies sagged against each other, slowly coming down from the intense sexual high they’d rocketed to.  He flopped on the bed beside her, knowing if he didn't, he’d crush her.


Now back at her apartment, the only place to really sleep was her mattress on the floor, so they’d fallen asleep together.  This time, however, she had her own room and, even though his bed was broken, Tahlia didn’t think he would allow her to actually sleep overnight in here.  They were sex and nothing else, that’s what he wanted and she didn’t expect a single thing from him.


“Fuck…” Tahlia cursed, trying to push herself up and finally succeeded, every part of her body burning, arms and legs in particular.  Her breathing came under control again to where she wasn’t heaving and her heart rate had gone back to normal. “Wow…” Then she surveyed the damage they’d done and slapped a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing, amusement twinkling in her golden eyes.


Taker rolled out of the broken bed and stood there, naked with his hands on his hips, surveying the damage.  Well... structurally... it would hold, the floor and walls, the bed was royally screwed.  He looked behind the headboard, smirking at the hole in the wall.  Paul’s wall to be exact and began laughing outright when his right-hand flipped him off.


“We’re relocating, Tahlia.” He was starving and Paul was liable to shoot them, his face was not happy.  Scooping her upright, Taker gently set her on her feet.


To say Tahlia was mortified would’ve been the understatement of the century.  How the hell did they not see Paul staring back at them in the throes of passion?!  She’d never dressed so fast in her life, her face BURNING crimson and shook her head at Taker’s thoroughly amused face.  Jesus, she would NEVER live this down.


“Umm sorry, Brother Paul…”


He flipped her off too, which made Taker laugh harder and Tahlia decided to vacate the room immediately, shaking her head.  This would go down as probably the most humiliating night of her life.  Taker let her flee, figuring she’d need a moment or three to calm down as she was beet red and cursing up a storm.  Laughing, he retrieved his pants, making sure his backside was to Paul as he put them on.

“Screw you too, Mark.”

“Temper, temper.”

“You do realize, if word gets out...”

Why did Paul have to be such a realist?  He zipped his fly, turning and considered it. “It won't.” He said confidently. “And if it does, I’ll deal with it.”

“What about her?” Paul cocked an eyebrow. “Does this change... anything?”

“Of course not.”




The following morning found Tahlia waking up alone, naked again, after Taker coerced into bed a second time.  She was out of her mind to sleep with him repeatedly, but…who was she to deny the man?  It shocked her when, after they were finished, Taker merely pulled her into his arms to spoon up against her, falling into a deep sleep.  They hadn’t talked about anything, just had sex and then fell asleep in each other’s arms.  It was nice being held throughout the night, but waking up alone stung a bit.  Sighing, Tahlia tossed the sheet off of her and walked into the bathroom to take a cold shower.  Bradshaw hadn’t been lying about the water not having a drop of warmth unless boiled.  After she finished and dressed, Tahlia brushed her teeth and pulled her hair back in a ponytail before heading out to see what was going on with the Ministry.


“Calm yourself...” He was teasing Mabel, who had not woken up in the best of moods.  In fact, he had woken up insane. “You haven’t even tried to hear my offer.”

“Go fuck yourself, Deadman!  I know what you do, brainwashing these people!”

“Bradshaw... hand me the taser.” Taker extended a lazy hand, his fingers curling around the weapon of choice. “Language and manners, or else.” He sparked it threateningly.


“We’re not brainwashed, jackass.” Bradshaw muttered, folding his arms in front of his chest while Farooq stood on the other side of the cage.  They didn’t have much time since Raw was a few hours away from this location.


“Just hear what he has to say.  What harm will it do?” He’d known Mabel for a long time, coming up through the company with the man along with Undertaker and Farooq. 

“Look man, we can leave the group anytime we want.  He’s not keepin’ us hostage or nothing like that.  Hear him out and then go from there.” Farooq was a veteran along with Bradshaw, Undertaker, Paul and Mabel.  Mideon was the only one who hadn’t been in the company but a couple years, as far as he knew anyway. 

“The sooner you stop bein’ a jackass and listen, the sooner you can eat.  We got food for ya.” Maybe that would entice the mastodon.

Shutting his eyes, Mabel couldn’t believe this was happening to him and wondered why he, of all people, was targeted by the Undertaker. “Fine.” He gritted out, narrowing his eyes to slits at the Deadman. “I want out of this cage first.  THEN I’ll listen to what you have to say.”


Taker's response was to zap the cage, forcing Mabel to step away from it. “No.” Because he didn’t trust Mabel, at all. “First, you hear what I have to say, then we discuss you getting out of that cage.”

Considering what Mabel could do when properly motivated, Paul thought that was a wise decision and held a finger up to his lips when Tahlia came down the stairs, gesturing for her to steer clear.


“Damn it!” Mabel growled, tempted to try busting his way out of the cage and jumped back when Taker zapped it a second time.  His eyes landed on the woman on the stairs and raised a brow, then remembered the woman who joined the Ministry. “Fine, tell me what the hell this is about.” He’d do just about anything to get out of this cage, hoping Bradshaw and Farooq hadn’t just fed him lines of bullshit.

Tahlia hadn’t meant to interfere and silently crept her way back upstairs, not spotting Mideon anywhere.  Where the hell had he gone off to?  Sighing, she grabbed a hooded sweatshirt from the room she shared with Taker and headed outside.  There was a lot a foot of snow on the ground and she opened her mouth as the flakes kept falling, catching a few in her mouth.  Having her Walkman in hand, Tahlia put her CD on and stuck the ear buds in her ears before falling back in the snow to create a snow angel.  This was better than being inside hearing Mabel cussing and growling up a storm.


Mideon had been caught lurking outside of doors that morning by Paul and told it would be in his best interest to make himself useful while they were here.  Then he had been handed a snow shovel.  So he was out here, cleaning off the cars and shoveling the snow aside to make a path from the building to the vehicles.  He was grumbling under his breath, wondering if Paul would tell the Undertaker.  It wasn’t like he was trying to be nosy; he was just checking in with everyone, so to speak.


Chapter 16


The small pause in between songs had Tahlia notice Mideon shoveling snow and she had to fight the urge not to laugh.  She wondered if breakfast had been prepared. “Probably not.” Deciding to head back inside, Tahlia sighed when she was stopped by the sound of Mideon’s voice and shut her eyes briefly.  She had to acknowledge him or else it would be disrespectful to the entire group, which is something she wouldn’t do. “Hey, I was gonna make some coffee or hot chocolate.  Do you want some?” It looked like he’d just finished shoveling and was frozen solid. “Come on, let’s get you inside.”


Nodding, he let her lead the way, stomping his boots off and inwardly cursed Paul.  Only that evil, spiteful prick would send him out here in the freezing weather. “I-I c-can h-help.” He chattered through his teeth once they had shed their winter gear. “Boss likes his coffee black.” Mideon added, not aware she already knew how Taker took a lot of things.  Like her, sunny side up.


“No, you just sit down and try to warm up.  And try to stop chattering, it’s not good for your teeth.”


Tahlia took her hooded sweatshirt off and draped it over his shoulders since it was twice her size.  She loved huge sweatshirts.  They were comfortable and warm, this one would almost fit him, so the shoulders would be covered.


“So hot chocolate or coffee for you?” When he said coffee, she nodded and began brewing a pot, not seeing anything made for breakfast.  That was her next task, especially since a hot meal would warm Mideon up good and proper. “You should really invest in some gloves.” He was out there with bare hands; Tahlia actually felt sorry for him.


“Didn’t think about it.”


He managed with a smile, though, if Paul was going to have him out shoveling and stuff in this horrendous cold, Mideon sure would be buying himself a couple pairs.  And some proper snow boots or something.  When he realized what she was doing, he started to get up.


“Let me help.  I can cook.” Breakfast for sure, because that was his favorite meal.  Pancakes, waffles, eggs, French toast... a bowl of Kix.


Now that he looked warmed up and the chattering had stopped, Tahlia didn’t mind him helping, returning a genuine smile.  Mideon was her friend, but ever since they’d been initiated into the Ministry, things between them had been tense.  She missed her friend, so it was nice to stand beside him talking and laughing while cooking.  Hopefully, Taker managed to get through to Mabel or else they would more than likely be staying here a few more days.  Home cooked meals were a lot better than fast food or room service at a hotel, so maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Her and Taker couldn’t break any more beds though since they were limited, if they jumped into bed together again.


“Do you want me to finish up while you go inform everyone breakfast is ready?” She offered, taking over stirring the pancake batter and could see the elation on Mideon’s face to do it. “Go on, I can finish up.”


Nodding, he took off down the stairs.  Mideon was greeted to the Acolytes facepalming themselves while Paul was shaking his head.  Taker was standing there, smiling that evil grin of his that made chills go through Mideon.  That was not a good smirk.  He took in Mabel, who was laying on the ground, twitching and gathered what had happened.


“Uh, breakfast is ready.”

“Good.  I'm starving.” Mabel was going to need some time to think about it.  He had Taker fooled and acted like he was accepting of everything, then attacked the minute that door was open.  Fine, he wasn’t above brainwashing a person.


Tahlia had just finished the last of the bacon when the Acolytes, Paul, Mideon and Taker, with taser gun in hand, walked inside. “Okay gentlemen and master, there is bacon, pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs and hash browns to choose from.  Mideon did the majority of the work, so dig in.”


Fixing herself a plate, Tahlia walked out of the kitchen and found the sitting room, where there was plenty of room for everyone to sit down and eat comfortably.  The table and chairs wouldn’t hold their weight, it would buckle for sure.  Her thoughts went back to Mabel, wondering if the big man would accept being in the group or decline.  He hadn’t eaten since they abducted him, but food was a pleasure and Taker could be an evil man when he wanted to be.


It wasn’t like they had Mabel all that long, less than 24 hours, so Taker wasn’t worried about starvation kicking in anytime soon.  Might actually be good for the guy.  He made sure there was a bottle of water in there.  Mabel would need it after pissing himself.


“Mideon... when you’re finished eating, toss a bucket of water on Mabel.” So the guy didn’t reek of piss the next time he went down there.


After breakfast, Tahlia was thoroughly bored while Taker and Paul talked over who the next recruits would be.  How many men would Taker allow to follow him?  She knew another woman wouldn’t, she was the only one, but couldn’t help wondering who else he had in mind.  Needing to get her mind focused on something else, Tahlia strapped her fingerless gloves on, pulled a long-sleeved shirt on with black stretch pants and boots before going outside.  There was a court of sorts, a patio, so she began shoveling it off in order to get some kind of workout. 


Tahlia was restless, blasting music in her ears away and didn’t stop until the entire thing was completely clear.  Changing out of the boots into her workout shoes, she began to do exercises, needing to keep her body in shape and did sprints back and forth on the patio, touching each side every couple seconds.  It was a way to keep her speed and agility intact, exercises that didn’t require being at a gym.  Maybe going for a run around the property wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  However, her workout was cut short when Paul walked out and informed her she was being summoned by Taker.  She walked back in with him, pulling her ear buds out and stuffed her fingerless gloves in the back pocket of her pants, wondering what this was about.


He was waiting with a list and held it out to her. “We’re going to be here a few days.  This is what I want.  You may ask the men what they need and add whatever you wish.” Taker then held out a credit card between two fingers. “You should also invest in appropriate nightwear.  Something I can tear off you.” Her practical pajamas... he would feel almost bad about destroying.  Lingerie, not so much. “Take one of the boys with you.”

“We need another first aid kit.”

“Add that as well.”


He wants me to go shopping, had been her first thought and it took A LOT of restrain and resolve on her part not to slap him for that lingerie comment.  She did NOT wear any of that lacy crap, not like she had the night of initiation.  However…Tahlia smiled sweetly and took the credit card, bowing her head with absolute wicked intentions in her eyes.


“It will be done, my Lord.” Mideon was OUT of the question, but at the same time…maybe it would help get their friendship back on track if she asked him to tag along.  It could be amusing to watch how he reacted in a lingerie store, of all places. “Brother Paul, do you need anything?”

This sickly-sweet tone of voice of hers told him one thing: Taker was in TROUBLE later on and he had to fight back a smirk. “Not at the moment, no.  The Acolytes will probably request beer, though.  Fair warning.”

“I’ll go find out.” Turning, she left the room to go track down who she considered to be her boys. “Being sent on an interesting errand, do you two need anything besides beer?”


Taker had caught that tone and wasn’t overly concerned.  She’d probably rack up his credit card and he didn’t really care.  He had other, more pressing, things to worry about than her being annoyed with him.  Not like she wouldn’t forgive him later when he took her to heights only he could.


“I’m going back downstairs.”

“Pizza.” Ron grunted, smirking when she rolled her eyes. “Cigars.”

“Sunday paper and a deck of cards, darlin’.”


“You got it, anything else?” Tahlia asked while jotting those items on the list Taker had given her and kissed each of their cheeks. “Hold the fort down while I’m gone and there’s leftovers in the fridge if you’re hungry.” Walking out of their room, Tahlia went on the hunt for Mideon and found him in his room, laying in bed. “Hey big guy, wanna join me for a shopping trip?” She waved the paper with a smile. “It’s for everyone, mostly the master though.  You can pick out what you need or want.  He gave me his credit card to use.” Tossing him the keys, Tahlia didn’t give him a chance to respond and handed him the coat. “I’ll even let you drive.”


Nodding, Mideon scrambled off the bed to follow her while putting on his jacket.  He definitely needed some winter wear and laundry stuff. “Think there’s a working washer and dryer in this place?” He asked curiously, mostly because they had been on the road awhile, at least the men had, and he needed to wash his clothes badly. “We should find a truck stop and take hot showers.” He did not understand how Taker could tolerate the cold the way he did.


“Yeah, it’s downstairs though…where Mabel is.” Tahlia didn’t want to go down there and nobody else did besides Taker, apparently. “Maybe we can get some stuff washed or just pick out new clothes while we’re out.  And cold showers aren’t that bad, just work out beforehand.  They feel good actually.” She shrugged, not bothered by them either, but then again Taker had kept her heated since they’d gotten there. “But if you want to stop at a Laundromat to get some stuff cleaned, we can do that.  He didn’t give me a time frame, so we can do whatever as long as we picked up everything on the list.”


He shook his head, she was crazy. “It’s freezing, the middle of winter, we’re shacked in a drafty, condemned building with ice cold water and it’s not that bad?” He began laughing, shaking his head and wrapped an arm around her in a quick one-armed hug. “You're a lot tougher than most people give you credit for.” Mideon already knew she was tough.  Tahlia had spent a month in a cage and not broken.  Mabel, on the other hand… he frowned. “I don’t think he’s going to mind us being gone a bit.  Mabel is being... stubborn.  Should we gather up everybody’s things?  We can drop it off and pay the people to do it while we run errands.” Laundromats usually had attendants who did that sort of thing.  Mideon had used that service a lot since becoming a wrestler.


Tahlia wasn’t sure if Taker would condone that, but it was worth asking.  She would not take his belongings without permission, enjoying having her head attached to her shoulders. “Go start the car, I’ll go ask everyone really fast.” She took off out the door, first asking the Acolytes and carried out a bag of their clothes before heading back into the sitting room.  Taker was alone, Paul was nowhere to be found and Tahlia surmised he was probably downstairs doing something with Mabel. “Mideon made a good point about our laundry piling up.  Do you want me to take your stuff to have washed at a Laundromat, sir?” She used that word just in case someone walked in and had already grabbed her things on the way to ask him. “He’s also going with me shopping.”


“Yeah, that’s fine.  Take everything.” It wasn’t like he was in the habit of leaving anything in his pockets usually. “Look,” He caught her by the arm before she could walk away, pulling her into him. “Watch what you say around Mideon.  I know you two have a... unique... relationship, but he’s not all there.” Which was probably rich coming from him since he wore robes and called him the Lord of Darkness.


Maybe it wasn’t a good idea for her to ask Mideon to be the one to shop with her, but…there was no changing it now. “I’ll be careful.” She murmured, reaching up to stroke his beard gently with her fingers and accepted a kiss from him, only pulling back when they began melting against each other.  Plenty of time for that later. “See you in a little while.”


Tahlia winked over her shoulder and headed to the room they shared to grab his clothes.  Lugging 4 bags of clothes outside to the car, Mideon hopped out of the car to help her and Tahlia made sure to tie them all tightly so nothing would fall out.  They took off a few minutes later, heading toward the nearest Laundromat and turned on rock on the radio.


When Paul found out Taker had sent not only Tahlia out, but had allowed Mideon to go with her, he arched an eyebrow. “Is that wise?”

“He calms down around her.  Also, if he runs his mouth, she’ll come right back to me and report it.”

“You’re cruel, you know that?”

He grunted and nodded; it seemed about right though he preferred to think of himself as a man with a plan.


Instead of going to each store together, Tahlia split the list in half with Mideon to knock it out quicker.  The clothes wouldn’t take that long to have washed and dried, so they were on a time constraint as far as picking them up before the Laundromat closed.  It wasn’t a 24 hour one like others she’d gone to.  So while Mideon took care of Taker and Paul’s items, she grabbed what the Acolytes wanted and then reluctantly walked into a lingerie store, groaning.  This was not her.  This wasn’t who she was. 


Sighing, Tahlia began sifting through everything that was black, purple, grey or white, knowing any other color was off limits.  She absolutely refused to buy anything with a G-string or thong, not caring if that’s the type of lingerie Taker preferred.  After picking out 5 sets, she paid for them and had them bagged up before walking out, meeting up with Mideon in their meeting spot.  When he asked what was in the bag, all she did was shake her head, muttering ‘don’t ask’ under her breath.


He eyeballed the bags, trying to figure out what she had bought, but they were just plain black plastic, much like any other store.  Then Mideon realized it could have been something... personal, feminine hygiene for example, and shuddered, letting it go.  He liked her and didn’t want to know about her personal belongings.


“I got what was on the list, and a few extras.” Such as deodorant for the guys because Bradshaw needed it badly.


Along with the lingerie, she had also gotten toiletries like shampoo and conditioner for herself, shaving cream with a shaver, things like that.  The lingerie store had it all, surprisingly.  She still couldn’t believe the things she picked out to wear for Taker, contemplating if she should go through with her devious idea.  Probably not, he would paddle her backside until it was black and blue if she did.  Tahlia nodded when Mideon asked if she was ready to go to the Laundromat and followed him out, trying not to let her cheeks turn crimson at the thought of wearing any of this lingerie in front of the master. 


They put the bags in the backseat and took off with Tahlia deep in thought staring out the window.  It shouldn’t have bothered her Taker wanted her to look a little…sexier for him, but for some reason it did.  She was a very simple woman, not complicated and apparently he wanted sexy and complicated.  She just hoped he enjoyed whatever she picked out because it would only be worn for his eyes only, no one else’s.


Truth be told, one could tell a lot about a person by what they wore underneath their day clothes.  For example, Tahlia usually wore cotton underwear and bras.  She was a very practical sort of woman who preferred to focus on what was outside as well as be comfortable.  Taker wanted to know what Tahlia would bring back to wear for him, if she would be comfortable in it or if she would sigh in relief when he did rip it off of her.


Chapter 17


“Why am I doing this?  Is the sex really THAT good I have to degrade myself like this?” Tahlia muttered to herself, pulling on the lingerie she’d bought and stared in the cracked mirror, feeling incredibly uncomfortable. 


This wasn’t her style or practical, just a visual for Taker’s pleasure.  The lengths she was willing to go to for some dick was astounding.  Out of the 5, she decided to start with the one she thought Taker would enjoy most and had only bought it because of him.  It was a black mesh cutout strappy teddy, see-through everywhere.  Featuring a sheer crocheted bodice and decorative multi straps, there were big holes that accented the center on both sides.  The material was elastic for comfort, no lace. 


The bottom featured high-cut thighs that flattered her slender strong legs and clung to her sexy curves.  Bottom line, there was not much left to the imagination with this particular piece of lingerie and she ignored the fact her nipples were clearly showing through the mesh fabric.  Pulling the black silk robe on she’d bought, –it rested just above the knee and once again wasn’t lacy- Tahlia tied it tightly around her waist and stepped out of the bathroom.


Taker was not in the bedroom, not yet.  He was downstairs, sipping a beer in the kitchen and staring broodingly at the faded and cracked wall, wondering just why the hell he had picked this place.  Oh yes... because he didn’t want Mabel getting loose and actually destroying something valuable.  Mabel was steadfast in refusing and his bargaining was turning out to be baiting to try to get any of them near that cage door.  Taker wanted him, badly, but at this point it was just to break the idiot and turn him into another mindless devotee  That was about all he was going to be good for once he was done.  He drained what was left of his beer and tossed it at the wall, growling.  His gaze moved upward, towards the ceiling, where Tahlia was waiting on him no doubt.  Smirking, Taker headed up to see what his little playmate had bought.


A sigh of relief escaped her lips not seeing Taker in the bedroom yet because it gave Tahlia plenty of time to push aside doubts.  Taker would see right through them.  He didn’t want a woman who doubted herself and didn’t think she was sexy.  Tahlia had to channel sexy…somehow, but had no idea how to do it.  Granted, her ring attire was sexy, but it also covered up all the important fragments of her body and she absolutely detested bra and panty matches.  Vince had forced her into them prior to her becoming part of the Ministry. 


Pacing back and forth, Tahlia chewed her thumbnail trying to channel sexy. 


Sexy…it was in the attitude and how she carried herself, body language.  Maybe her voice needed to be changed too.  Sinking down on the bed with another groan, Tahlia buried her face in her hands and couldn’t believe she sunk this low for her master.  Her head snapped up when the doorknob twisted and immediately sat upright, pushing her left down hair out of her face impatiently.  Sexy, think sexy, she mentally coached herself, looking up at him and swallowed hard, immediately sucking her bottom lip between her teeth.


Stepping into the room, Taker ducked his head in order to make it through the doorframe, turning to shut and lock it behind him.  He shed his boots, socks and shirt before sighing and unfastening his long black hair, running his nimble fingers through it to loosen it from the braid he had been wearing it in all day.  Finally, Taker shifted so he was facing her, his emerald green eyes widening as he took in what she was wearing.


“Stand up.” He ordered, unable to keep the huskiness from seeping into the growled command.


Obeying, Tahlia slowly slid from the bed and felt a shiver rush through her at the sound of his voice dropping several octaves.  It was already low, the huskiness made it sound nothing more than raging thunder.  She kept her arms at her sides and didn’t look down, knowing that wouldn’t be smart on her part.  Confidence, she had to show it and felt him circle her to stand behind her, pulling her back against his chest with his hands played on the robe over where it was tied.


“Wait.” She gripped his wrist before he could undo the tie and let out a shaky breath, staring straight ahead not sure why she stopped him.  This was all really new to her and Tahlia had definitely stepped out of her comfort zone doing this. “I hope what I picked out pleases you.” Calling him sir, Lord and master wasn’t happening, not since they were completely alone.


She was awkward, uncomfortable, and whatever she had picked out was obviously not something she would have normally selected.  So... that meant Tahlia had gone out of her way to find something to please him, something beyond her comfort zone.  Stroking his beard, he gently nudged her out away from the bed, more towards the middle of the room and began circling his prey.  He trailed a finger along her shoulder, taking in the feel of her robe.  When he was in front of her again, he reached for the ties, cocking an eyebrow when her hands convulsively flinched and undid them, letting the robe fall open.


“Remove it.”


Another deep breath found the robe fluttered to the floor and pooling at her feet, once again her arms at her sides.  It took a lot of willpower on Tahlia’s part not to cover her breasts, which were nearly exposed completely through the mesh crochet material.  The dark areolas of her breasts could clearly be seen, her pale skin making the teddy stand out.  Tahlia didn’t believe in tanning beds and had been pale all her life, preferring her skin to stay that way instead of roasting under a hot sun.  Granted, she’d had a few sunburns in her days, but usually they never lasted and always turned into a tan.  Watching his finger twirl, Tahlia slowly did a completely turn for him to let him get the full vision of her both front and back, amber eyes finally locking on smoldering dark green.


It took everything in him not to throw her down on the bed and ravage her.  He knew his lust was displayed in his eyes, written across his face and he did not care.  Seeing her in this outfit, something he knew she wouldn’t have bought under any circumstances save pleasing him aroused something quite primal in him.  Taker began circling her again, letting one single finger trace the outfit -if it could even be called that- rather enjoying the way she tremored under the slightest of touch.  Finally coming to a halt behind her, he snaked his arm around her waist, pulling her back until her back was aligned against his chest.


“The things I’m going to do to you tonight...” It was a dark promise.


He was pleased with her selection and that alone made Tahlia breathe a silent breath of relief, her head lulling back against his muscular chest.  She enjoyed feeling his arm around her and his touch…hell, everything about this man turned her on.  His voice, the way he carried himself and exuded confidence and cockiness.  Normally, that would’ve been a turn off, but on Taker it…fit.


“You approve then.” It wasn’t a question and her voice was warm, soft and seductive all wrapped in one.  Tahlia felt her own confidence in the way she looked rise, knowing it was because of the man standing behind her, holding her and caressing her stomach through the mesh material of her lingerie. “Mmm I look forward to finding out what you plan on doing to me, Taker…”

If he would have been any other man, Taker would have right then and there felt just the tiniest bit of remorse for what he was planning for her, but... he didn’t.  At all.  He would do what he promised, ravage her and leave her reeling, senseless, and then... then he would put into action the plan he had been musing on for quite some time.  Women, he had learned, were much more receptive to suggestions after they had been made to see stars.  Growling, he stooped and scooped Tahlia into his arms, lowering his head to meet hers in a greedy kiss.


Stars, a white blinding light and hours of foreplay followed by possibly the best sex of her life left Tahlia a heavy breathing, sweaty and satisfied mess.  The lingerie she wore was in tatters on the floor while she lay on top of Taker, his own sweat mixing with hers.  It was a delicious feeling and one she never wanted to pull away from.  Taker had made good on his promise and shown her passion beyond imagination, pushing her body to the absolute limit.  Every part of her quivered and pulsated in both pain and pleasure – another exquisite feeling.  If Tahlia wasn’t careful, she would fall in love with this man and that could not happen; she had to keep reminding herself this was sex between them and nothing more, even though it felt like so much more.  Rolling off of him, Tahlia landed on the back to stare up at the ceiling and felt her breathing slowly regulate again along with her heartbeat, her thighs still trembling.


It always felt like more, that was about the only downside to sex, especially when it came to women who were more than a onetime deal.  He knew to just let the feeling dissipate on its own, it always did.  Taker also knew better than to let her come down without a chat first, relying on those chemicals to assist him along.  He rolled over so he was hovering over Tahlia, his black hair forming a curtain around them.

“Tahlia...” He whispered, his lips brushing hers.


It was time.

She sighed softly against his mouth, enjoying the soft touch of his lips against hers and reached up to caress his face with her hand, getting lost in those emerald gems.  They were acidic when he was all business, but being with him alone like this…they were just emerald stones glittering back at her.  When he was turned on, they were a dark forest green that was completely mesmerizing and Tahlia was sure this man would get away with murder by using just his eyes.  That’s how captivating they were.


“Taker…” She could see something brewing in his eyes and could tell he wanted to talk to her instead of going another round. “What’s on your mind, my Lord?”


Considering her, Taker finally nodded and traced her lips with his tongue before pulling back.  He made himself comfortable, sitting on the bed crisscross style and reached for her, pulling her into his lap. “I have a task for you, Tahlia.” He said after a moment, draping his arms loosely around her waist, hands clasping just behind the small of her back. “You know who Shane McMahon is?” At her somewhat confused nod, he mentally sighed.  Now or never. “I need you to get close to him.”


Tahlia looked up at him, the confusion still registering in her amber eyes and nodded, remembering her vow to him. “Alright…” Whatever Taker wanted, she would do.  Having a specific task bestowed upon her by the master showed he had enough faith in her to pull off what needed to be done.  It was an honor…or so she thought. “Close how exactly?” If she wanted to do this right, everything had to be laid out for her and she could tell Taker was struggling with words, reaching up to glide her thumb across his lips. “Whatever it is, you know I’ll do it, Taker.  I won’t let you or the Ministry down.”


“I need an inside to the McMahon’s.” He said slowly, explaining to her as much as he was able, or willing, to be more honest. “And Vince would have you crucified if you approached him.  Shane would be more receptive.  Shane is rumored to have an eye for beautiful women.” Tahlia was beautiful; his own gaze took her in appreciatively. “A weakness for them, if you will.”


It took a moment to let that sink in fully, to comprehend what Taker was asking her to do.  An eye for beautiful women…Tahlia felt the hard ball form in the pit of her stomach and took a deep breath.  Getting close to Shane intimately is what he’d meant.  She wasn’t stupid and could read between the lines.


“I understand.”


How the hell was she supposed to pull this off with Vince lurking in the shadows though?  It would have to be done secretively, almost in a stalking sort of way.  Could Tahlia really do that?  Was she capable of performing this task?  Second guessing wasn’t an option and Tahlia had to come to terms with this order; there was no choice.


“I will do my best and…I’ll be honest, I’ve never done something like this before.  I’m going to need some instruction moving forward so I know exactly what you want, Taker.”

He felt his lips curving upwards into a slight smirk.  How like Tahlia, asking for a written map for a task she was ideally suited for. “Make yourself visible to him, Tahlia, and let him do the rest.” Because he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, once Shane had seen her, properly seen her, and not in passing, Shane would begin casting out his nets to pull her in. “Be my eyes...” Taker ran his finger down the side of her face, not missing the look in those beautiful amber eyes of hers. “My ears...” His lips brushed her forehead. “And do whatever is necessary to ensure he does not suspect your true intentions.” Then he’d join Vince in stringing her up and Taker liked his toys to not be broken by the people he loaned them to.


Doing this would mean she wouldn’t be able to travel with the Ministry for a while, not until Taker’s plan regarding Shane was completed.  Be his eyes and ears…the Lord of Darkness…Undertaker had a lot of faith in her to pull this off.  Then again, there was no one else to do this; Tahlia was the only woman in the Ministry.  This also meant they wouldn’t be together like this for a while either and the thought saddened her greatly.  She had to look away from him and instead lowered her eyes to her lap, clasping her hands together.  She would miss being with the Ministry, but if this was to be pulled off correctly; she had to disassociate herself for the time being.


“When do I leave?” It was a quiet question full of resignation and a hint of despair. 


“In a day or so.  You’ve already been scheduled for a match at the next house show; none of us will be there.”


Paul had already arranged everything for her; this had been in the cards and Taker knew once Tahlia was alone with time to think and not be distracted by him or his presence, she would begin to question everything, including their sexual relationship.  He wasn't stupid enough to believe she wouldn’t eventually realize this was the plan all along, one of the reasons he had recruited her.


“If something happens, if you believe you are in any danger from them...” He hesitated, frowning and wondered if what he was about to say would jeopardize everything. “I will come for you.” He would protect her.


As much as those words felt good to hear, Tahlia knew it was only because she was his property he would come for her.  Not because he cared about her.  The man didn’t care; she was out of her mind to think otherwise.  The kindness and compassion he had shown her was just a front, a smokescreen, for what he’d brought her into the Ministry for.  Tahlia didn’t need days to figure it out, she knew the moment Taker gave her the task with Shane McMahon.


“Don’t worry about me.  If I can’t handle myself with little ol’ Shane-O-Mac, then I don’t belong in the Ministry.”


Extracting herself from his arms, Tahlia needed some space and air to breathe without Taker, pulling her robe on, tying it tightly around her waist since she had nothing on beneath.  Without realizing it, Tahlia had dismissed him.  Whether she knew it or not was beyond him and Taker wasn’t about to delve into the inner workings of her mind, not right now.  Rising from the bed, he stretched and turned to retrieve his clothing.  He dressed in silence, trying to envision how this would all go down, how his little game would play out.


“Paul has your plane ticket and motel room reservation.  Transportation will be arranged.” After that, she was in theory on her own.


Nodding, Tahlia walked out of the room and closed the door behind her, trying to stay strong as much as she could.  Maybe with her gone, Mideon would calm down and finally be the minion Taker needed him to be.  Hell, why was she even concerned about that idiot?  Tahlia hadn’t meant to dismiss him or show disrespect, but she honestly needed some time to mull over things.  After stopping by Paul’s room to grab her plane ticket and reservation, Tahlia went to her own room to start packing.  How the hell was she supposed to gain Shane McMahon’s attention?  Asking for guidance from Taker was pointless because all he’d said was ‘show yourself to him’.  What the hell did that mean?  Everyone in the company knew she was with the Ministry, so she’d have to put on one HELL of an act to pull this off.


“What a nightmare.” She whispered, zipping her bag up after changing into a pair of pajama pants and long-sleeved shirt with undergarments, after showering. 


Did Taker really bring her into the Ministry to do this one task? 


Did her wrestling ability and performance in the ring not matter? 


Apparently not.

Chapter 18


The house show came and went with her facing Ivory again, beating her in record time.  The woman truly was a pushover in the ring and Tahlia was simply on another level than her.  Before Raw came, Tahlia went back to New York City to her crummy apartment and immediately began looking for a new place to live.  While home for 2 days, she also went shopping and bought all new clothes since she was no longer with the Ministry.  That meant she could wear whatever colors she wanted. 


Blue, orange, yellow, red, pink, green…anything she wanted, even purple and black if she desired. 


Even though this was just a rouse to get closer to the McMahons and the Corporation, Tahlia had to go full throttle with it.  She couldn’t give any assumption she was with the Ministry.  So she also went to a top of the line hair stylist to color her hair pure black like it once had been, ridding the purple streaks for the time being.  Her hair was healthy enough to withstand the process and wouldn’t fall out. 


By the time Raw rolled around, Tahlia was a new woman and stepped out of her rental vehicle in a mini pink skirt with a long sleeved black and pink striped top, her hair currently up in a beehive bun on top of her head.  Her makeup was simple foundation, black liner and clear gloss, the gothic image completely gone and she even had pink hoops in her ears.  2-inch black knee-high boots completed the image.  Grabbing her bag, Tahlia headed inside the arena to prepare for her match that night.


“That’s disturbing as hell.” Bradshaw muttered when he spotted Tahlia entering the building, shaking his head at the pink earrings.  


They knew she was ‘out’ of the Ministry, but that was about it.  They had strict orders to treat her as they would any other outsider and it had been stressed with a ‘for her own protection’.  Their boss also implied if they didn’t listen, it would be their asses he took it out of.


“The hell she do to her hair?  Damn.” Ron shook his head and snorted, turning to walk away, roughly shouldering people out of his way.


“Tahlia, is that you?” Ryan Shamrock asked hesitantly, slowly approaching the completely transformed woman and blinked at the curt nod she received. “Sorry, you just look…”

“Different, yes I know.” Ryan had been a friend of hers, of sorts, before joining the Ministry. “I left my current post and now I’m back to being…me.” That was a flat lie, but surprisingly Tahlia pulled it off.

“I was under the impression nobody left the Ministry…unless they were cast out?”

“I honestly don’t know.  Wasn’t with them long enough to really tell.  I’ll talk to you later, Ryan.” Tahlia left the woman standing there staring after her with a slacked jaw and inwardly jumped for joy, knowing the transformation was bound to turn a few heads.  Hopefully, she would gain Shane’s attention and start her task tonight.


“What the hell you doing back in here?” Luna Vachon asked when Tahlia stepped into the women’s locker room, taking in Tahlia’s new appearance.  She had started getting used to the gothic version, so this was a definite shock.

Sable popped her head out from behind the locker door.  She had not been pleased with the fact that she had to share tonight due to limited spacing, but... gossip was gossip.


“Does it matter?” Tahlia retorted, rolling her eyes at Luna and began pulling her gear out, which was still the same. 


She hadn’t changed it, not even when she joined the Ministry.  The color for tonight was a deep sky blue, she figured that would gain Shane’s attention if nothing else.  Tahlia also made sure to put a few more holes in a few places that still left plenty to the imagination, but it also would make the gears in men’s head start to turn.  Taking her hair down out of the bun, she began to undress and suddenly wondered who she was wrestling tonight.


“Well, yeah.”


Luna wasn’t put off at all.  She was a member of the Vachon family and came from wrestling stock.  She knew the business inside and out.  Also, the fact that a woman had been recruited by the Undertaker, of all people, was something that had raised a lot of eyebrows and questions.