Chapter 1


“Mark, how many times do I have to tell you it’s not my fault Vince books too many signings for you?!” Ryan Timbers rubbed her temples with her French manicured nails, already feeling a headache coming on. “If you have a problem with it, talk to your damn boss.”


A low, deep growl resonated around the room as Mark stood right behind her, towering over her, his massive tattooed arms crossed in front of his chest. “No, ya need to talk to Vince ‘cause yer supposed to be my personal assistant, remember?” He shot back, his mouth right by her ear, and Ryan couldn’t help shivering involuntarily.


She would never admit this, but this man intimidated Ryan and at times made her very uncomfortable.  She spun around to face him with narrowed sky blue eyes, long chestnut locks flowing down her back and over her shoulders in loose waves that went to the middle of it.  Ryan was petite and stood at five eight, weighing a little over a hundred pounds, and looked like an ant compared to her current job.


Mark Calaway worked for the World Wrestling Entertainment –most referred to it as the WWE-, which was professional wrestling.  Ryan had been a fan of it when she was little, though when puberty hit, she suddenly had other distractions in life.  Mark’s wrestling persona was known as The Undertaker; it sounded morbid to her, but Ryan was here to do a job to the best of her ability.  She was just as tough as Mark, if not more, because she had a lot to deal with when it came to him. 


He was an overbearing bear, especially when he didn’t get his way, and generally tried stepping on everyone in his path…including Ryan.  She didn’t allow that to happen, even though she knew full well that Mark could knock her out with one slap to the face.  Surprisingly enough, he hadn’t stepped over that boundary line and Ryan was very grateful for it because she would hate to have to take Vince McMahon –he was both of their boss and the owner of the WWE- to court for employee abuse.


Standing at six foot ten and a half inches, Mark Calaway had the most incredible emerald green eyes that turned acid whenever he got angry.  They were the prime reason why he could pull off his wrestling persona, not to mention he had that morbid aura about him.  He had long beautiful, dark red hair that looked black whenever it was drenched and tattoos that covered his muscular arms from wrist to shoulder.


Mark was over twice her age, nearing the fifty year mark and Ryan was only twenty-two years old.  He aged like fine wine, looking better the older he got because Mark definitely didn’t look his age.  He actually looked better now than he did when he was in his twenties, though that was something Ryan kept to herself.  She’d done research on him after finding out she acquired the job, wanting to know some background information on her job.


“No, my job is to do your schedules as efficiently as possible and it’s YOUR job to do as your schedule says.  I’m not going to confront Vince because, quite frankly, he’s our boss and whatever he says goes.” Ryan stated evenly, sighing when he took a strand of her honey chestnut hair, twirling it around his finger slowly and immediately smacked his hand away. “I’m not changing my mind, Calaway.”


“Darlin’, two signings in one day is too much for me.” Mark said huskily, watching his beautiful personal assistant walk away from him. “Can’t ya try gettin’ me out of it?”


“No, deal with it.  I’m going to bed; we have an early flight in the morning.” She walked through the connecting door of their suites, always having her own room, closing the door behind her.


Ryan had to learn how to breathe again as she pressed her back against the door, closing her eyes.  The man made her head spin and heart pound, knowing it was very wrong considering their age difference.  She couldn’t deny her attraction to him or the fact they slept together repeatedly ever since she first became his personal assistant.  Sleeping with her job was wrong and Ryan could deny Mark when it came to business, but pleasure she simply couldn’t.


Deciding a shower was in order, Ryan peeled out of her pinstriped skirt suit she wore to the arena earlier that night for the Smackdown! taping.  Smackdown! was one of the WWE shows that aired on a weekly basis, Friday nights, while Raw took over Mondays, ECW on Tuesdays and Superstars on Thursdays.  Once or twice a month, the WWE had pay-per-views that brought all three brands together, which was a crazy time though Ryan loved pandemonium.


A half an hour later, Ryan stepped out of the shower, wrapping a big white towel around her body, tucking it between her breasts.  She brushed her teeth and hair, did her nightly lotion ritual, and walked out of the bathroom with a gentle sigh.  Her headache had diminished and Ryan was ready to call it a night.  She slipped on a black nightgown with matching garments, head snapping to the side when a knock sounded on the connecting door.


“Come in Mark.” She called over her shoulder, turning to head away from the door when it opened, walking over to sit on the bed. “Look I really don’t want to argue with you anymore tonight.”


“I’m not here to argue.” He assured, closing the door quietly behind him, instantly taking in what Ryan wore.  Black was such a beautiful color on her and it didn’t help the material clung to every curve of her body, showing off part of those creamy thighs. “Ryan…”


Her name rolled of his tongue in a smooth caress, causing Ryan to slowly look up at him, which was a big mistake.  His chest was bare, hair wet, fresh out of a shower, cascading over his very broad muscular shoulders.  He had on skintight black jeans that looked as if they were painted on, feet bare.  He looked absolutely delicious and dripped pure wicked sexuality.


Ryan suddenly lost her breath, those emerald orbs drawing her in.


He crossed the room in two long strides, standing right in front of her, and watched those beautiful sky blue eyes trail up his body until they locked on his again. “Come here…” He murmured, taking her hand in his, pulling her up to stand in front of him.


“Mark…” She breathed, feeling the pad of his thumb run across her soft lips, and snaked her pink tongue out to gently run across it. 


That emanated a deep groan from Mark as he wrapped a huge arm around her waist, pressing their bodies together, and grabbed her chin very gently between two fingers as their lips met.  Ryan did a full body shiver, feeling her knees instantly weaken, and slid her hands up his chest until her arms wrapped around his neck, moaning deeply.  No matter what kind of argument they had, Mark could always light Ryan’s body completely on fire, feeling her feet leave the carpeted floor as Mark lifted her up to be eye level with him, kissing her passionately. 


Ryan felt her back connect with the wall, her legs instinctively wrapping around his waist, running her nails up his back as the muscles rippled beneath her touch. “You know this is wrong.” She moaned out, his lips traveling down her jaw line to her neck, clinging to him when they sealed to her the spot just below her ear.


“Who cares?” Mark growled huskily in her ear, running those large hands up her legs to her thighs, caressing them gently because he didn’t want to hurt her. “Do you want me, darlin’?”


“Yes.” Ryan couldn’t deny it, he was simply too irresistible as she felt him pull her away from the wall, her back meeting the bed next. 


She removed her nightgown while Mark removed her panties and reached behind to unclip her bra, Ryan reaching over to unsnap his jeans with a flick of her wrist.  The sound of his zipper sliding down made her pussy tingle with anticipation, licking her suddenly dry lips.  Mark smirked and Ryan’s heart rate sped up, watching him push those jeans down to free his painfully throbbing erection.  No matter how many times Ryan saw it, she still couldn’t believe how truly big he was, swallowing nervously as always, thighs trembling with eagerness.


Grabbing her outer thighs, Mark pulled her legs around his waist, hovering over her as his lips descended on hers, loving the feel of her writhing beneath him.  His lips went to her jaw line again to her neck, this time traveling lower until he reached her beautifully shaped breasts, taking the right nipple in his mouth.  Ryan moaned from deep within, her fingers instantly burying in his silky soft dark red hair, arching her body against his mouth and touch. 


He absolutely lit her on fire as it spread throughout her body, nipples instantly hardening, only for his long tongue to smooth them back down again.  He moved to her left nipple, growling against her soft skin, running his tongue down the valley of her breasts to her stomach.  He nipped and licked every inch of her body, driving her near the brink of insanity, before moving lower to what he really craved.


Spreading her thighs apart, Mark sucked and nipped her inner thighs, watching her squirm, her moans pure music to his ears. “Oh Mark…” She gripped the bedding so she didn’t rip his hair out of his skull, begging for him to end her torment.


Mark wasn’t giving in that easily though, wanting to make this last as long as possible, her tiny hands ignoring every spark within his huge body.  He loved the feeling of them against his heated skin and how silky soft her legs were against his fingers.  He was the most sensual lover Ryan ever had and honestly didn’t regret a single moment she spent with Mark.  Ryan draped her legs over his muscular shoulders, arching her body as he suddenly took her to heights only he was capable of.


Mark ran his tongue up the length of her hot wet sex, causing louder moans to erupt from her sweet lips, while he completely devoured her completely.  He slid his tongue in and out of her slowly at first, picking up the pace, and Ryan lost herself helplessly against him.  In no time she came, the sweet juices flowing from her body into his hungry mouth.  Ryan collapsed back on the bed, breathing heavily, her body coated in a fine sheen of sweat while Mark pressed soft kisses up her body until their lips met, tasting herself on his tongue.


No words needed to be spoken as Ryan stared into those dark forest green eyes that smoldered down at her, her hands running up and down his chest.  Mark knew what she wanted and gripped her hips, sliding inside of her hot wet sex moments later.  Ryan instantly melted against him, locking her ankles around his waist, only for him to pull out moments later.  Blinking, Ryan was whipped around as she bent over spread eagle on the bed, gripping the sheets as Mark’s tongue ran down directly the middle of her spine.


“You’ve been a naughty girl, Ryan.” He whispered huskily in her ear, smirking when she trembled against him, and brought his hand down on her juicy ass as the sound resonated around the room.


“You know I hate it when you do that.” Ryan muttered, gasping when his hand reached in front of her to cup her wet sex, his middle finger sliding up and down her clit.


“But ya love it when I touch ya.” He contradicted in a deep growl, smirking when she trembled against him, pushing her face down on the bed as he slapped her rear again. “Tell me ya want me to fuck ya.”


Ryan bit her bottom lip, her legs spreading apart wider, his finger sliding inside of her in and out teasingly. “Mark, please…” She whimpered, closing her eyes as the unbridled ecstasy began consuming her mind, body and soul.


“Please what?”


“Fuck me, Mark…oh fuck me…” She begged with absolutely no shame, needing him inside of her desperately.


“That’s my girl.” Mark smirked, flicking her earlobe with his tongue, and never stopped his administrations with her clit as he slid deep inside of her. 


Ryan cried out against him, nodding her head repeatedly as he began pounding inside of her at a hard, fast rate.  She always fell completely apart in his arms and couldn’t stop herself from doing so on this night as he planted the palm of his hand against her hip, the sounds of flesh smacking flesh echoing around the room.  Her cries suddenly turned to shrieks as his cock thrust in and out of her, nails digging into the bedding, gasping when his hand buried in her hair to yank her up, back pressed against his chest.


The pain mixed with pleasure turned Ryan on even further until his hand wrapped around her throat, closing her eyes as he thrust even harder, faster and deeper to the point where tears stung her eyes.  Mark was too far gone in the passion and ecstasy to realize what he was doing, though Ryan wasn’t going to stop him.  He growled in her ear, trembling against her, and Ryan couldn’t help doing the same thing as they both climaxed together.


Mark released Ryan as she collapsed on the bed, gasping for air as she held her throat, though she pretended to act like it was from releasing so hard.  She watched Mark try to regain his breathing, pulling the comforter up over her body, trembling slightly because he’d never grabbed her throat while having sex.  It scared her because she knew he could snap her like a twig at any given moment. 


“We can’t do this anymore.” She stated once her breathing came back to normal, watching him pull his jeans back on.


“And why’s that?” Mark demanded gruffly, having felt something was wrong this time around with Ryan, raising a slow eyebrow at her. “What’s going on, Ryan?”


“Look as much as I love it when we do this, we can’t anymore.  You’re my job…” Ryan sighed when he plopped on the bed beside her, pressing a finger to her lips, and suddenly noticed the bruises already forming on her throat.


“Fuck.” He cursed, immediately pulling away from her and walking into his room, knowing what he did.  Mark returned seconds later with a jar of salve, sitting back on the bed, and ordered Ryan to lay down so he could examine them closer. “Jesus, why didn’t ya tell me I was grabbin’ ya like this Ryan?”


“I don’t know…” Ryan blinked, biting her bottom lip, and felt him apply the salve with a heavy sigh. “I’m sorry…”


“No, I’m sorry.  Fuck, I didn’t mean to do that.” Mark felt terrible, he never wanted to hurt Ryan, not in a million years, staring down at her with worried green eyes. “Are you okay?”


“I’m fine Mark, relax.” She sat up and touched his hand, sighing when he pulled away from her. “You know I have to try putting up a fight with you.”


Mark nodded, not understanding what it was about this chestnut haired beauty who was more than twice his age…that lit a fire beneath him, honestly having given up after the first year of her being his assistant. “Don’t think I don’t try puttin’ up a fight with you either, darlin’.” He stated, causing her to nod, and leaned forward as his lips softly caressed hers.


Just one kiss is all it took and they were on their way to round two.


Chapter 2


The alarm blared at four o’clock in the morning as Ryan’s eyes slowly fluttered open, feeling an arm tighten around her waist, followed by a soft growl.  She reached over and slammed the snooze button, a loud yawn escaping her, stretching her arms in the air as Mark nuzzled her ear, sighing in contentment.  They ended up spending most of the night having sex, Ryan lost count after the fifth encounter, and Mark was gentler than she ever remembered.


“Time to get up.” Ryan mumbled, trying to extract herself from his massive tattooed arms, only for Mark to turn her on her back. “Mark…”


“I’m not ready to get up yet.” He whispered against her lips, running his hands up and down her curvaceous sides, emerald green mixing with sky blue.


Ryan sighed as Mark kissed her softly, loving how frazzled his hair was first thing in the morning. “We have two hours to catch our flight.” She giggled as his goatee brushed against her soft neck, lightly tickling her.


“I know,” Mark paused as his hand slid down beneath the sheets, Ryan instantly parting her thighs for him as they kissed heatedly. “That means we have time for a quickie.”


“Mmm why do you say that?” Ryan moaned out, running her hands up and down his arms and chest, loving every inch of him.


“Because it only takes us a half an hour, hour tops to shower and fifteen minutes to dress afterwards.  And I know yer already packed, darlin’, and so am I.  So stop fightin’ me.” He growled, his mouth right by her ear, already running the tip of his erection up and down her slit.


“Several good points.” Ryan couldn’t come up with any comeback and finally gave into the temptation, knowing once they left the hotel room, they had to go back to being just entertainer and personal assistant.


After half an hour quickie and an hour shower, Mark and Ryan ended up rushing around the hotel room like chickens with their heads cut off.  She knew this would happen, slipping on her two inch black pumps, wearing black dress pants with a lavender dress shirt, folding her collar.  She put her hair up in a French twist, a few tendrils framing her face delicately, having just put on black eyeliner and clear gloss.


“You are an asshole.” She stated angrily, both of them rushing out of the hotel room, rolling her luggage behind her.


“Ya knew that goin’ into this.” Mark countered swiftly, knowing they were running late for the airport, but that happened nearly all the time. “What, yer gonna be a bitch now?”


“Yes because I set the damn alarm for two hours for a REASON.” Ryan stated, walking ahead of him as her pumps clicked against the floor at a fast pace. “You think the world revolves around your ass and it doesn’t, Mark, no matter how big of a superstar you are in this business.”


“Listen here, short shit, ya weren’t complainin’ when I was fuckin’ ya earlier.” Mark growled, low enough to where only she could hear, watching those sky blue eyes narrow to slits back at him. “You know I’m right.”


“And you know I set the alarm at a certain time so this shit doesn’t happen, you dead ass!” Ryan shot back angrily, stepping on the elevator, rolling her eyes as he stepped on, taking up nearly the entire space as the doors closed. “Don’t even think about it.”


Mark smirked and pushed her back gently against the elevator wall. “Don’t think about what?” Before she could retort, his lips instantly descending on hers, devouring them as his tongue delved in her mouth tasting her. 


Ryan gripped his sleeveless black shirt he wore, trying to push him away, but ended up pulling him closer, knowing they were risking being caught.  She’d been his personal assistant for three years and they’d been screwing each other for two of them secretly.  If anyone ever found out, it would be scandalous because of their age difference; not to mention Ryan knew Mark didn’t feel the same way about her as she did him.


She was in love with him.


“I hate you so much.” She muttered as soon as he broke the kiss, pressing her forehead against his, and shoved him away gently just as the doors opened. “Let’s go before we miss the damn plane.”


Mark chuckled  and followed her, both of them sliding into the waiting limo Ryan had waiting for them.  He was grateful to her because driving through downtown Los Angeles on a Wednesday morning would be frightening.  Both of them remained on their sides of the limo, Ryan staring out the window, trying to get the previous night out of her head.  The bruises on her throat that Mark left, from their first intense encounter, were gone thanks to the mystery salve he always carried with him.


Ryan remembered the first time they had sex…Mark had gone to the annual Christmas Eve party Vince McMahon threw for the entire company and she’d been his personal assistant a little over a year.  Their eyes locked while she was being swept across the dance floor in the arms of John Cena, who became a dear friend of hers.  Mark saw her walk out on the veranda and followed, having a few Jack Daniels in him, and had black skintight jeans with a long sleeved black thermal shirt.  He flat out refused to wear a monkey suit and they ended up in Mark’s hotel room that night, having mind blowing sex.


Two years later and absolutely nothing had changed.


They arrived at the airport twenty minutes later, rushing inside to go through security.  Luckily, the airport wasn’t that packed so it only took ten minutes to get through security and they barely made it on the plane.  Ryan sat down, breathing heavily as her chest rose and fell rapidly, running a hand through her chestnut hair.  She was going to maim Mark if he made them late for one more flight again, scowling deeply.


“What’s wrong now?” He asked quietly, raising an eyebrow when she just shot him a deadly glare. “So what if we were late?  We made it now relax.”


“Go fuck yourself.” She muttered and turned her head to stare out the window, pursing her lips tightly together, knowing he wouldn’t make a move on her while they were around people.


Mark snorted, folding his arms in front of his chest, stretching his long legs out in first class. “Do ya mind if I ask ya a question, shorty?” He smirked when she glowered, taking her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. “Come on darlin’, we’re on the plane and ya don’t need to give me the cold shoulder.”


“Yes I do.” She pulled her hand out of his, clasping them together in her lap, trying to stay angry at him. “What do you want, Mark?”


“I want ya to stop bein’ a bitch.” He muttered, causing her to finally look at him with a raised eyebrow.


Ryan was dying to slap the taste out of his mouth, tightening her jaw to keep from making a scene. “Fine, Mr. Calaway, what do you want?” She asked sweetly, though it did not reach her eyes, which were full of icicle daggers.


“What’s on the agenda first?” Mark asked evenly, staring straight ahead, folding his arms behind his head.


“You have a signing and then a photo shoot afterwards.” She answered, pulling out the paperwork to make sure she had that correct, even though Ryan was always on top of her job…literally. “The photo shoot will last probably two hours because they’re bringing your motorcycle in for the pictures.”


“Ah that’s right.” Mark nodded, his memory finally jogged, and looked her over while licking his lips hungrily. “Do ya have any idea how great ya look today?”


Ryan rolled her eyes, knowing what he was trying to do, and it wasn’t going to work. “I look the same as I do every other day, Mark.” She retorted swiftly, sighing when he fingered her chin to turn her face back to meet his. “No touching.” She smacked his hand away before staring out the window again.


Mark decided to give up for now, knowing she would have nowhere else to go later on that night in their hotel room connecting suites.  They didn’t have just one room because that would be a dead giveaway to the rest of the co-workers.  Mark had gone through two failed marriages and a bitter relationship with fellow WWE Diva Michelle McCool, enjoying this secretive fling he had going with his personal assistant.


The plane landed and Ryan walked through the terminal with Mark, still somewhat irritated with him, though she couldn’t help thinking how handsome he looked.  They walked out of the airport, already feeling the heat Phoenix, Arizona was famous for.  They were doing the photo shoot for the upcoming WrestleMania XVI, which Mark would be facing off against Michael Hickenbottom –Shawn Michaels the fans knew him as- and Mark was currently the Smackdown! World Heavyweight Champion.


Sliding into another waiting limo, Mark waited until the partition window went up before yanking Ryan to straddle his lap.  Before she could protest, his lips burned hers instantly, his hands running up her sides and back, feeling her break the kiss with a groan.  Ryan stared down at him, her hands resting on his shoulders, swallowing past a lump in her throat that formed.


“What’s going on with you?” She asked breathlessly, feeling his lips caressing hers gently. “Mark…” His lips moved to her neck, instantly melting against him, wrapping her arms around his neck.


“There’s nobody else here right now and I just had to sit beside ya, smelling yer scent, for the past two hours.” He stated huskily, feeling her pull back again, taking a strand of chestnut hair as he twirled it around his finger. “Ryan, just stop fightin’ this.”


“You’re just trying to get me not to be mad at you.” She contradicted, staring into those emerald green eyes, and sighed as her forehead pressed against his.


“Yer right, I don’t want ya bein’ mad at me anymore, darlin’, but that’s not the only reason why I wanna kiss ya.” Mark stated, not one to sugarcoat anything, sometimes border lining blunt at times. “We’ve been doin’ this for two years, ya realize that?”


Ryan nodded, not believing it either, and kissed him this time to show him she wasn’t mad at him anymore.  Mark reluctantly released her as the limo pulled up in front of the building and he stepped out first, extending his hand, and Ryan followed him inside.  She’d made sure her makeup and everything was straight, not wanting anyone to be suspicious.


The photo shoot started out with one of Mark’s prized motorcycles, which was pure purple with a graveyard painted on it and chrome detail.  Ryan was absolutely enthralled with motorcycles, one of her secret loves, though Mark knew about it.  Hell, he knew everything about her.  He watched the makeup artist walk over timidly toward him and smirked, standing off to the side to watch.  She rolled her eyes when Mark growled at the makeup lady, seeing the woman was about to piss herself, and Ryan decided it was time to step in.


Walking over, Ryan took the black eyeliner away from her and proceeded to do it, Mark physically relaxing against her touch.  Ryan had to do this at the arenas too, Mark just didn’t want anyone else doing it, and the same went for his hair.  She had to wet it down after she was finished with the makeup, rolling her eyes when he just smirked at her knowingly.  Even though he could be an overbearing bear at times, Ryan loved it when his playful side came out like right now, the makeup and hair artists both looking extremely put out.


 “You are unbelievable.” Ryan muttered when she was finished with the last of his hair, loving how silky smooth it was running through her fingers. “Happy now, Deadman?”


“It’s part of my charm, darlin’, and yes I am.” Mark replied smugly, winking, and laughed when she slapped his arm before apologizing profusely to the makeup and hair artists.


Ryan sat down and proceeded to watch as Mark was ordered to pose in certain ways, nearly losing her breath.  There was one shot where he was sitting astride the motorcycle, his hands gripping the handlebars, wet hair draped over his shoulders and down his back.  The black eyeliner brought out those intense emerald green eyes, which had turned acidic because he was in character for the shoot.  He had this menacing look on his handsome rugged face and Ryan had to use the bathroom suddenly to splash cold water on her face before she overheated.


‘Dear lord…’ She thought, leaning over the sink, trying to learn how to breathe again and knew Mark didn’t notice her leave the set…or so she thought. 


Ryan knew she was slowly getting to the point of crossing that line between her and Mark, which had already been crossed when she decided to start sleeping with him.  If she didn’t stop this soon, something bad was going to happen and Ryan was going to end up with a broken heart.  Hell, her heart already did belong to Mark because every time they did have sex, it was making love in her eyes, no matter how hard, fast, deep, rough, smooth it was.


Three hours later, the photo shoot finally ended as Ryan and Mark headed to his signing, where thousands of screaming fans waited to meet their dark side hero.  Ryan once again stood off to the side, folding her arms in front of her chest, watching as he shook hands with fans and rolled his eyes in the back of his head repeatedly.  She wondered how he didn’t get migraines from doing that, biting back a giggle at the thought of Mark carrying around a suitcase full of aspirin.


The signing lasted three hours, Mark never left until every one of his fans were happy, refusing to listen to the limit security made. “I have ice waiting for you at the hotel.” Ryan stated as soon as Mark was near enough to where he could hear her, watching him nod once.  His hand must’ve killed him because usually a signing only lasted two hours for him, but being champion made more fans come out of the woodwork.


They arrived at the hotel and Ryan instantly got the ice ready, handing it over, and bit her bottom lip as he groaned. “Feel better?” She asked softly, causing him to nod, having already ordered them dinner from room service. “You look bushed.”


“Yeah, ya can say that.” Mark grunted, clearly exhausted from his busy day, not believing it was only the early evening. “What did ya order me?”


“The usual steak dinner with all the trimmings.” She replied, Vince always making sure his employees stayed in the finest hotels. “Lift your feet.” She untied his boots and pulled them off, setting them by the door, having already kicked her heels off because her feet were killing her. “Just relax, do you need anything else?”


“No, not right now.”


Dinner arrived and they both ate in silence, Ryan deciding to eat with Mark because she was worried about him.  Just before she could wheel the tray back out the door, Ryan blinked when Mark pulled her to lie beside him.  He wrapped his arm around her waist, feeling his goatee brush against the spot on her neck that made her melt.


“Mmm this is what you want?” She whispered, closing her eyes as his body heat completely enveloped her, snuggling further against him.


“Yeah, just lay here with me, Ryan.” He murmured huskily in her ear, enjoying having her in his arms and both instantly fell asleep together.


Chapter 3


“So what’s been up with you?” John Cena asked, walking down the hallway of the Allstate Arena, eating a bowl of ice cream with Ryan. “I know you’ve been busy with Calaway and shit.”


“Well yeah I am his PA.” Ryan reminded him, causing John to wave her off dismissively.


“Of course I know that, Ry.  Granted, I tried getting you away from him, but instead Vince gave me Valerie.” He snorted, rolling his eyes, and chuckled when Ryan elbowed him. “A woman with absolutely NO personality.”


“Hey, any woman who has to put up with your hyper ass has to have the patience of a saint.” Ryan retorted and John laughed, throwing his arm around her shoulders in a pure friendly way. “Val can’t be that bad.”


John snorted, rolling his eyes, and took a bite out of his ice cream. “She doesn’t joke, she doesn’t laugh, and she doesn’t talk unless it’s asking me a question.  The woman has no sense of humor or personality like I said.”


“Hey, I’m the same way with Calaway.” She couldn’t call him by his first name, sighing at the thought of Mark.


For the past several weeks, they’d been doing nothing but arguing, the sex having dwindled between the two.  It was almost as if every little thing that used to not bother Mark did and Ryan didn’t understand where the anger came from.  She was getting frustrated and had to end up getting a separate hotel room from him because of how bad the arguments had gotten.  He called her every name in the book and blew little things out of proportion, making it sound like she’d committed murder whenever he had two signings in one day.


“Oh come on, I don’t believe that.  You have more personality in your pinky than Valerie has in her entire body.” John argued, refusing to compare Ryan to Valerie because they were total opposites. “So how is it personal assisting the Deadman?”


Ryan shrugged, taking a bite out of her strawberry ice cream, buying time to think up something to say. “He’s fine, not as bad as everyone thinks.  He’s easy to get along with as long as he doesn’t have too much to do in one day.”


Ryan was lying through her teeth, but what she supposed to say to John?  Mark was a big bear and treated her like absolute garbage when they weren’t having sex?  That wouldn’t go over well and Ryan wasn’t in the mood to talk about it, especially since nobody knew about her and Mark’s secret sexual encounters.  This was getting harder to hide, but Ryan knew she had no other choice, refusing to destroy Mark’s reputation as well as her own.


“Well he’s lucky to have an assistant like you.” John stopped suddenly and turned to face Ryan, seeing something in those sky blue eyes of hers, reading the trouble beneath. “Ryan, you know if there’s something going on, you can tell me about it right?”


“Yeah I know that.”


Ryan nodded with a soft smile, reaching up to swipe ice cream from John’s lip, remembering how attractive she’d been toward him when she first came to the WWE.  How fast time flew by and changed because now they were best friends, though Ryan had a pretty good idea how John really felt about her.  Soon after she was hired to become Mark’s personal assistant, John fought tooth and nail with Vince to swap her and Valerie, but Vince wouldn’t budge.


“So what’s going on, baby girl?” John asked in a lower voice, both of them throwing their ice cream cups in the trash, heading outside for some air. 


Ryan was in a pinstriped black and white skirt suit that went two inches above the knee, legs tanned enough so she didn’t need nylons, with black matching two inch pumps.  Her long chestnut hair was pulled back in a bun with black chopsticks holding it in place, a white silk dress shirt beneath the cardigan.  Her natural beauty always stunned John and anyone in the company, some actual thought she should become a Diva, but Ryan didn’t think so.


“I don’t know, Calaway and I have been fighting a lot more lately than usual and I don’t know what’s going on.  I mean, we have arguments because he has a temper, but nothing like recently…” Ryan stopped as she took the chopsticks out of her hair, running a hand through her somewhat damp curly hair. “I’m just so frustrated with him.”


“Well who pissed in his cheerios?” John demanded, sounding a little irritated, wondering what Mark’s problem was, especially since he had a gorgeous personal assistant.


Ryan couldn’t help laughing, shaking her head, and nudged John gently. “That is not funny.” She giggled when John wiggled his eyebrows, hugging him around the neck tightly. “Thanks for trying to make me feel better.”


“No problem, baby girl.” John rubbed her back up and down, enjoying the feeling of her in his arms. “I’m always here for you.”


Neither of them saw the acid green eyes watching their every move, disappearing around the corner.


John and Ryan parted ways, promising to hang out more often, even though they were on separate brands.  Tonight was a pay-per-view event, which brought all three brands together, so Ryan was taking advantage of trying to see all of her friends from Raw.  Though she tried in vain to avoid her ex-boyfriend from the Raw roster, not wanting to run into him.  That was until he grabbed her and pulled her into the nearest locker room, swallowing hard, staring up into his blue eyes.


“What do you want Ted?” She demanded, folding her arms in front of her chest, eyes narrowed slightly.


“I just wanted to talk to you, baby.” Ted DiBiase stated, his eyes slowly devouring his ex-girlfriend’s body, remembering how good it was when he first came into the WWE. 


Ryan tried having a relationship with him during the year her and Mark didn’t have sex, when she didn’t know Mark desired her as much as he did.  Then after their first encounter, Ryan instantly broke things off with Ted, knowing it could never work between them.  He was on the Raw roster, she worked on Smackdown! with Mark Calaway.  There was no way it could ever work, even though she still found Ted extremely gorgeous.


 He wasn’t Mark though.


“You know I hate being called that.” Ryan muttered, lowering her eyes from his, feeling his finger run down her cheek as she pressed back more against the door. “Ted, stop…” She brushed his hand away, finally locking eyes with him again.


“Why?” He demanded in a soft voice, having never been one to manhandle or hurt her, his thumb running across her cheek before pressing his arm just above her head. “You miss me and I miss you, why can’t we work?”


“You ask me this every time we see each other and every time it’s the same answer.  Do I really need to say it?” Ryan sighed when sorrow entered his blue eyes, knowing she hurt him badly those two years ago when she called things off between them. “We can’t work because we’re on different brands.”


“So come to the Raw roster and leave Calaway.  I’m sure you can convince Vince you want to work for me more than him.” Ted stated, causing Ryan to chew her bottom lip, slowly shaking her head in response. “What’s really going on between you two, Ryan?”


“Nothing, there’s nothing going on between me and Calaway.” Ryan stated a little too quickly, feeling as though her heart might burst out of her chest, and knew she had to get out of there. “I have to go.”


“No.” Ted stopped her by fanning his fingers on her other side in the crease of the door. “You’re lying to me and I want to know why.”


“I’m not lying to you about anything.” She hissed, becoming increasingly upset, turning around only for Ted to wrap an arm around her waist, pressing her back against his chest. “What do you want from me, Ted?”


“The truth.” He murmured huskily, his mouth right by her ear, and buried his face in her neck to inhale her intoxicating scent. “I miss you so much, Ryan.”


Ryan could feel the tears burning her eyes as she pressed her forehead to the door, feeling him slowly turn her around until their eyes met. “I’m sorry Ted, I don’t miss you.  I have to go.” She gasped when he yanked her into his strong arms, gripping them for leverage, and his lips instantly descended on hers.


Ted wasn’t letting her go that easily, not with at least getting a kiss and pressed her back against the door as his tongue searched hers, tasting her, loving the sounds of her moans.  He couldn’t help it, there was something about Ryan that totally turned him on to the point where he could barely function.  He knew she was in the same building as him and, try as he may, Ted ended up tracking her down and waited until she was alone before yanking her in here.


Ryan slowly broke the kiss, needing air to breathe, and ran the pad of her thumb across his soft red lips. “I have to go.” She whispered, feeling him release her, and walked out of the room on shaky legs.  Even though Ted didn’t make her feel the same way Mark did, he was still a damn good kisser and she couldn’t deny that.


After stopping at the restroom to freshen up, Ryan headed down to Mark’s dressing room, her hair up in the chopsticks.  He always loved taking them out right before stealing a kiss from her before his big match.  This was the pay-per-view right before professional wrestling’s super bowl, WrestleMania, which Ryan was excited about because of all the mayhem they encountered.


Because of how loud it was, Ryan couldn’t hear anything besides the pounding in her ears.  She sighed, trying not to bump into anyone, and finally arrived at his dressing room as she pushed it open.  What she saw made her physically sick to her stomach, all the color draining out of her face, covering her mouth with her hand.


“Oh yeah…oh ya like that darlin’?”


“Yes, oh yes Mark!  Fuck me harder!!”


Mark had Michelle McCool bent over a bench, her hands splayed against the lockers with him driving himself in and out of her at a hard, fast pace.  He buried his hand in her bleach blonde hair, yanking it up as his thrusts grew harder, the sounds of flesh smacking flesh echoing off of the walls of the dressing room.  His back was turned to the door along with Michelle’s, so neither saw the sickened look on Ryan’s face or her running down the hallway out of the arena.


Ryan blinked as huge tears slid down her face, having taken the waiting limo, deciding Mark could find his own way to the hotel.  She buried her face in her hands, knowing she would never get that image of Mark buried deep within Michelle McCool out of her head.  No matter how hard she tried, Ryan couldn’t stop crying throughout the entire ride to the hotel, deciding to get her own room under a false identity for the night.


Not like Mark would hunt her down because he was too busy with the bleach blonde bimbo.


After getting her new room and going upstairs to grab her luggage from the connecting hotel suite, Ryan ordered a bottle of wine from room service.  She didn’t drink often, but tonight called for it, especially since she was alone and vulnerable.  She had a hot soothing bubble bath, but it didn’t do anything for her broken heart, knowing she had nobody to blame except herself.


Ryan was in love with an unavailable man.


Halfway through her bottle of White Zinfandel, Ryan decided she needed some company and whipped her cell phone open.  She chewed her bottom lip, taking a very long swig before pressing the send button, closing her eyes as the deep voice answered.  Ryan honestly didn’t care about the consequences at that moment, taking a deep breath, feeling as though her heart might fly out of her chest.


“It’s me, I need you.” Ryan murmured softly, blinking as a few more tears slid down her cheeks. “Please.”


“I’ll be right over, don’t move Ryan.” He ordered, hanging up moments later after receiving her room number, hoping she was alright.


Ryan pressed the end button and tossed her cell phone in her purse, after putting it on silent, running a hand through her dry chestnut locks.  She finished her fourth glass of wine and poured a fifth when a knock sounded at the door, head snapping up.  Sliding from the bed, Ryan padded to the door and opened it, wearing a simple pale blue nightgown that brought out her eyes, along with a black silk robe, staring into the deep blue orbs of Ted.


“Ted.” She whispered, grabbing the front of his shirt as she yanked him inside, hearing him kick the door closed behind him as their lips instantly met.


“Wait…” Ted pulled back, Ryan having already removed her robe, stopping her from going further as he took her hands in his. “Ryan wait, what’s wrong?”


Ryan stopped, tears shining in her eyes and tried pulling away from him, but Ted wasn’t letting her go that easily. “Are you here to question me or to fuck me?” She demanded hoarsely, not wanting to talk about what happened because honestly it was nobody’s business.


“What?” Ted blinked when she pulled his lips down to hers again, wrapping his arms around her body, and could taste the wine on her tongue.  He immediately pulled back again, shaking his head. “No, you’re drunk.”


“What the fuck is your point?” Ryan snapped, angry tears sliding down her cheeks, and growled in frustration when he pulled away from her. “Fine, leave.  I didn’t want you here anyway.” She took her glass of wine and downed half of it, just wanting to forget the pain.


Ted wasn’t leaving and walked over, taking the glass away from her, and wrapped his arms around her from behind as he buried his face in her neck. “Ryan, please don’t do this.  You called me here for a reason, what’s wrong?” He felt her body tremble against him, slowly turning her around until their eyes met again, wiping her tears away with his thumb. “What happened?”


“I didn’t call you to talk about it, Ted.” She whispered, burying her face in his chest, more tears falling as she looked back up into his eyes. “I just want you to make me feel wanted and like a real woman.  If you can’t do that, then…”


Ted cut her off as he captured her lips with his, pulling back enough to remove his shirt, muscles rippling beneath her touch as he guided her down on the bed.  Ryan kissed him hungrily, moaning in his mouth as his hands slid up her legs to her thighs, caressing them.  She reached between them to unsnap his jeans, shoving them down his muscular legs with her feet, along with his boxers, their lips never leaving one another.  Ryan felt Ted pull her up as he removed her nightgown and bra, instantly attacking her breasts with his mouth and tongue, wanting to completely consume her, to bury himself into her.


When it was over, Ryan proceeded to cry herself to sleep in Ted’s arms, hoping he didn’t hate her for using him like Mark had used her.


Chapter 4


Ryan looked up at Ted while he got dressed, knees drawn up with the comforter, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully. “Thank you for last night.” She murmured softly, surprised her head wasn’t pounding considering she’d consumed a third of a bottle of White Zinfandel.


“The pleasure was all mine, Ryan.” He assured her with a smile, clipping his silver Rolex on, walking over to sit down on the bed beside her. “Are you alright?”


“Yeah I’m okay.” She sighed when he placed his hand on her hand, different shades of blues meeting, noticing the worry in his. “I used you and you’re not mad at me.  Why?”


Ted chuckled softly, leaning forward to brush his lips against hers, staring deep into her eyes. “You’re not the only one who used someone last night, Ryan.” He stated with a smile, causing her eyebrow to rise questioningly. “If you ever need me, don’t hesitate to call alright?”


Ryan could only nod, tears shining in her eyes, knowing she would never do that.  She wanted to stop him from walking out the door, to give him a real shot, but knew her heart truly belonged to Mark.  Sighing gently, Ryan slid from bed after Ted left, needing a shower and to make a couple of phone calls.  Deep down, she knew what had to be done and, even though it was the hardest thing in the world to do, Ryan felt it was the right decision.


She knew Mark didn’t see her walk in on him screwing Michelle McCool the previous night, which was a good thing.  Ryan would keep it to herself, knowing the last thing she needed to happen was create more tension between her and Mark than there already was.  When the time was right, Ryan would confront him, but in the meantime she would pretend like everything was fine.


That didn’t mean Ryan had to keep the fact she’d spent the night with someone else instead of him a secret.


Sighing gently, Ryan stepped out of the shower and changed into a pair of simple blue jeans with a black short sleeved top that hung off the shoulders.  She walked over and picked her cell phone out of her purse, smirking at how many times Mark called.  He was probably wondering where his nightly screw was and Ryan wasn’t going to be that any longer.  As much as Ryan loved Mark, there was only so much she could take and what she saw last night clearly told her it was time to take her heart off the market.


Ryan checked out of her room and waited down in the lobby, having a cup of coffee, knowing Mark would be livid.  She didn’t care though and started on his schedule for the following week, raising an eyebrow at her phone.  It was another call from Mark, Ryan had listened to all of his voicemails, most of them demanding that she either be dead in a ditch somewhere or having a damn good reason to make him worry like this.  It actually made her do a small jump for joy inside because it showed Mark did care about her as far as her wellbeing went.


“You’d better have a DAMN good fuckin’ reason for not bein’ dead in a ditch somewhere, Ryan Timbers!” Mark growled from behind, looking extremely pissed off and gorgeous all at the same time in skintight blue jeans with an Affliction black t-shirt.  A black bandana was wrapped around his head, dark red hair pulled back in a tight braid with black sunglasses on top of his head.


Ryan had to learn how to breathe again as she turned right back around, chomping on her bagel. “Well obviously I’m not dead or how would you ever manage your schedule?” She retorted coolly, setting the bagel down as she sipped her coffee.


“What the fuck is yer problem?” Mark demanded angrily, grabbing her arm and spinning her around to face him, eyes narrowed to slits. “Do ya have ANY idea how worried I was about ya last night?!  Where were ya?”


“It’s none of your fucking business where I was, Calaway.” She hissed, yanking her arm hastily out of his grasp, and slid from the stool as she stormed away from him.


“Little girl, don’t you dare walk away from me when I’m talkin’ to ya!”


“Fuck you, I’m not a little girl, you old dead bastard!” She shouted over her shoulder, storming toward the elevator and ended up going to the staircase, just needing to get away from him so she could clear her head.


Mark could not believe she actually shouted that at him, blinking, and immediately took off after him. “Hey, don’t walk away when I’m talkin’ to you!” He grabbed her arm again in the staircase and ended up getting slapped, the sound echoing throughout the stairwell.


“Don’t you DARE touch me, Calaway!” Ryan snapped, stumbling back because she shocked herself by slapping him.  She couldn’t get that image of him screwing Michelle out of her mind and that’s probably what prompted it, though Ryan didn’t regret doing it. “You have no right or obligation to put your hands on me!”


Mark was getting angry fast and it showed, his face turning a deep red, rubbing his blazing cheek. “What the hell is wrong with ya?” He demanded, watching her take a few steps away from him, knowing she scared herself, but Mark could never hurt her. “Ryan, just calm down for a minute and talk to me…”


“Oh, you want to talk now?  After weeks of berating me and calling me every name in the book, including a whore, a slut, a cunt, you want to TALK like a human being?” Ryan gripped her hair, having left it down for once, tears stinging her eyes because of how angry she was. “Let me tell you something, you stupid asshole, if you would’ve tried talking to me weeks ago, instead of constantly snapping on me like an old grouchy bastard, we wouldn’t be in this situation!”


“I’m not THAT old so stop saying it.” Mark ordered gruffly, seeing how badly Ryan was trembling, and reached out for her only for her to stumble away from him.


“Don’t touch me.” Ryan growled, deciding she couldn’t hold it in any longer because the pain in her heart was too much to bear. “I don’t want those filthy, disgusting hands on me after you touched that blonde whore last night.”


“What the hell are ya talkin’ about?” Mark tried playing stupid, wondering how Ryan knew about that, then remembered Michelle saying something about hearing the door open the previous night while they were still screwing. “Ryan…”


“No don’t, don’t you dare apologize to me because we’re not together.  You can screw whoever you want and I can do the same thing.  I’m not limited to your dead ass and that’s where I was last night, if you wanted to know so damn badly.  I was getting laid by someone who actually wanted to be with me instead of some diseased pussy.” Ryan folded her arms in front of her chest, seeing the guilt completely wash over Mark’s face, then it was quickly replaced by angry resentment.


“Oh so you and Cena had a great time last night, eh?” Mark snorted, causing Ryan’s sky blue eyes to nearly shoot out of their sockets, staring at him as if he’d grown a second head. “Don’t pretend to act so damn surprised that I know you’ve been fuckin’ him and me, Ryan.”


Ryan wondered if Mark was just plain stupid or seriously deluded, seeing he was dead serious and wasn’t messing with her. “You think I was screwing John?” When he nodded emphatically, Ryan couldn’t help it as she started laughing as hard as she could.  “Wow…”


“What the hell is so damn funny?” Mark grunted, clearly not looking amused, watching her slowly regain her composure. “I know that’s who ya were fuckin’ and that’s why when Michelle offered me a quickie, I said why the hell not.”


Ryan stopped laughing at once, pursing her lips tightly together, tilting her head slightly to the side. “Number one, Mark, I haven’t until last night fucked anyone except you.  Let’s just get that fact straight right now.  I actually broke up with Ted DiBiase after the first time we fucked because I knew it would keep happening and I’m not a cheater.  Secondly, John and I are best friends and I think of him as a big brother so it would be like incest to have sex with him.  So the fact that you fucked Michelle McCool, because you THOUGHT I was screwing John, was YOUR mistake, not mine.” Ryan could not believe he was actually trying to blame her for what he did with the blonde whore, knowing she would end up kicking him below the belt if he came near her right now.


“You didn’t fuck John?” Mark was shocked, seeing the hurtful truth shining in Ryan’s eyes, and knew he’d let his jealousy overtake rational thinking the previous night with Michelle. “Darlin’…”


“No, the name is Ryan to you or Timbers.  It’s not little girl, darlin’, short shit, or any of those other pet names of endearment you like calling me.” Ryan took a deep breath, knowing she couldn’t reveal what else she had up her sleeve, a few tears sliding down her cheeks. “You have nothing to apologize for because I was just another notch on your belt and I knew that.  I knew it for the past two years and was stupid to think we could ever be more.  Hell, you even said yourself the age difference bothered you, so whatever.  We are STRICTLY, from this second forward, professional with each other.  There will be no hotel suites connected so you can have your way with me because it’s not happening anymore.  I refuse to be screwed by someone with a diseased cock.”


“Now hold on a minute…”


“No YOU hold on a minute, Mark!” Ryan snapped, cutting him off effectively, more tears burning her eyes. “You probably already knew this, but I loved you.  I loved you so much and I thought you were only screwing me, but surprise I was sadly mistaken.  I’ve finally come to the realization that you will never love me like I do you.  I can’t keep putting my heart on the line so I’m taking it away from you before you can damage it anymore.  From here on out, we are no longer screwing, it’s strictly professional.  Just to make sure it stays that way, I’ve already arranged us to have separate hotel rooms for the next month.  Your fun with me is finished and we can forget the past two years ever existed.”


“Ryan, ya don’t understand…”


“No I understand perfectly, Mark.  I’m twenty-two years old and you’re nearing fifty.  I’m over twice your age and you don’t see yourself having a future with me, but that’s fine.  I’ve accepted it and I know you enjoy blondes anyway.  So you’ll have your own private room to do as you please and I’ll be able to screw whoever I want.” Ryan refused to acknowledge the fact that she wasn’t going to do what he did, that she wasn’t going to whore around her body like Mark did, because honestly she had too much respect for herself to do something like that. “Now turn around and walk out that door.  We have a flight to catch.”


Mark couldn’t even think of a word to say as he watched his personal assistant storm past him and out the door, knowing he had royally messed up.  He didn’t know it’d been her to walk in on them, but should’ve known better because Ryan rarely left his side at the pay-per-views.  He just assumed when he saw her with John Cena that they were having a fling and decided if Ryan could screw around with someone else, then so could he.  Damn, he really misjudged that one and knew he’d have to think up of something to make it up to her.


After a five hour flight from Chicago to Connecticut, which was much colder than the Windy City, Mark had a signing at the Mohegan Sun Casino while Ryan decided to head back to the hotel.  She’d given specific instructions she was not to have her number given out to anyone, including Mark Calaway, which is why she’d came back to the hotel before him.  She technically didn’t have to be at all of his signings and whatnot, she just had to make sure he made it there with all limbs and his head attached.


Ryan smiled when she arrived in her hotel room and saw her phone ringing, flipping it open. “Hey girl, I thought you’d never call.”


“Bitch, you think I’d honestly not return my best friend’s hysterical phone call?” Lyla Tyler replied with a smirk, running a hand through her deep black hair, grey eyes narrowed slightly. “Now what’s this about that bastard hurting you?”


“I really don’t want to get into that whole mess, but I did have a question for you.” Ryan laughed when Lyla promised to castrate Calaway if he did remotely anything to her, rolling her eyes. “No, but I did do something really bad last night…”


“Oh lord, do I even wanna know?” Lyla demanded, walking away from the camera man in her beautiful dark blue Victorian style dress that went two inches above the knee and had frills on the bottom, resting right on her mid-thigh, desperately needing a drink after the near twelve hour shoot for a magazine spread she would be in.  Lyla Tyler was a TNA Knockout for the WWE’s rivalry company, Total Nonstop Action, even though she secretly despised it.  She currently was a valet for Allen Jones, though most fans knew him as The Phenomenal AJ Styles. “What did you do that was so bad?” She demanded, refusing to let Ryan escape without details.


“I sort of…slept with Ted.” She waited for the explosion and held the phone away from her ear when Lyla did indeed begin yelling.




“Are you done?” Ryan asked once she was sure it was safe to put the phone back to her ear, hearing Lyla breathing heavily on the other end. “Look, I feel guilty enough, but he was fine with it and everything’s fine.  I just need to know if what you offered me a month ago is still on the table.  Have they found anyone yet?”


“Nope, I’ve actually been waiting for your call.” Lyla cleared her throat guiltily, having pulled a few strings for her best friend, knowing what kind of situation she was in. “Are you saying you’re ready to join the land of Total Nonstop Action, that you’re ready for a new start?”


Ryan couldn’t help it and started crying, Lyla instantly turning on the soothing charm, burying her face in her hands while clutching the phone tightly. “Yes, I need to get out of here, Ly.” She whispered desperately, shoulders shaking, the pain overtaking every part of her body. “I know this is last minute so I’ll take anything that’s open.”


“You’ll be hearing from me first thing in the morning.  Make sure you put your two week notice into that company.  No matter what, you’ll have a job here somewhere.” Lyla promised, ending the call after telling Ryan to keep her chin up, immediately making a few phone calls.


Ryan fell back against the bed and closed her eyes, knowing she could always depend on her best friend, wondering if TNA was ready for her.


“They’d better be because I’m getting the hell out of this place.” She muttered to herself and sat back up; deciding another bottle of wine alone was in order.


Ryan could only hope and pray Lyla Jane came through for her.


Chapter 5


Ryan paced outside of Mark’s hotel room, chewing her thumbnail nervously, not quite sure how to go about doing this.  She knew he wouldn’t be happy, but Ryan was doing what she thought was best for her.  She was putting herself first and he couldn’t fault her for that…nobody could, not even Vince McMahon.


Lyla called her at exactly five o’clock that morning and told her to get on the first redeye flight to Vancouver.  Ryan knew Lyla since they were little; having grown up together, so she knew who Lyla’s father was.  It didn’t bother her or make her think differently of Lyla because the woman achieved her success by working hard and being dedicated.  She couldn’t believe, even after all these years, Lyla was still helping her and had come through again.


Now Ryan had to break the news of her departure to Mark.


Her heart already bled for him, but Ryan knew it was time to leave the sport of pro-wrestling and try her talents out elsewhere.  She had a load of experience in the personal assistant department.  Her flight was at noon and it was going on nine o’clock, Ryan didn’t have much time, even though her luggage was already packed and ready to go.


No matter what he said to her, Ryan was leaving and not coming back.  She couldn’t take the heartbreak anymore, especially since she’d tried so hard for the past two years not to love this man.  The sex was amazing, but Ryan needed more than that and knew Mark could never give her anything remotely close to what she desired.  He’d been through two failed marriages, had four kids he barely saw, and multiple failed relationships with other women…the man had every right to be skeptical when it came to love.


This was going to be a big step for both of them and Ryan was ready to take it, knowing Vince was already on the hunt for a new personal assistant for Mark.  She’d asked Vince if she should put her two week notice into the company, but all he said was she could leave without it.  There would be no hard feelings; he understood why she was leaving and what it meant to have a new start.  Of course she didn’t mention her unbridled sexual encounters with his superstar, that would’ve been career suicide on her part, but Ryan did tell him she was tired of all the traveling and needed a job where she was more grounded.


Vince bought it hook, line and sinker.


Telling Vince was the easy part; Ryan was absolutely terrified to tell Mark she was actually leaving him.  Vince offered to do it for her, but Ryan wasn’t a coward and refused to let anyone scare her off…including Mark Calaway.  She loved being his personal assistant and what transpired between them behind closed doors for the past two years, but it was time for a change.  A new beginning was on the horizon for both of them and, deep down; Ryan knew this was going to benefit both of them in the end.


Taking another deep shaky breath, Ryan brought her hand up to the door and knocked, already knowing Mark was awake.  The door opened a few seconds later and Mark stood in the doorway, leaning against it bare from the waist up, his hair slicked back fresh out of a shower.  Skintight black jeans hugged every part of his lower body; those tattooed covered arms folded in front of his chest, piercing green eyes staring down at her almost pompously.


Ryan had to learn how to breathe again.


“I need to talk to you.” She stated, once she knew her voice wouldn’t crack, and walked past him inside after Mark allowed entrance. “I won’t take up much of your time.”


Mark arched an eyebrow, the door closing behind him, watching her instantly turn around with a smirk. “Well of course ya won’t take up much of my time since we have a flight to catch darlin’.” He retorted, walking over to grab his Rolex, slipping it on. “What’s goin’ on?”


How did she do this without completely breaking down? 


Ryan could already feel the tears building in her eyes and tried in vain to blink them back, clasping her hands in front of her. “Mark, I’m not going with you to Florida today.” She stated, causing him to slowly turn his head to stare at her piercingly and Ryan couldn’t meet his gaze.


“What do you mean?” He demanded slowly, giving her his undivided attention, watching her entire body tense with every step he took towards her. “What the fuck is goin’ on, Ryan?”


“Mark, I’m no longer your personal assistant.” Ryan said, taking a step back from him, wishing she’d been smart and stood closer to the door…her only escape. “Vince is on the hunt for someone else to replace me immediately.”


“WHAT?!” Mark roared, knowing every person on that floor probably heard him, and honestly didn’t care, his eyes never leaving Ryan’s. “What do ya mean yer leavin’?!”


“I received a new job offer with better pay and benefits and I’m taking it.” Ryan was trying so hard not to let her voice shake, but Mark was honestly scaring her, swallowing past a lump in her throat, only for another to form. “I no longer work for the WWE.”


Mark could not believe this and began pacing back and forth in front of her, raking a hand through his hair. “This is about us isn’t it?” He growled, suddenly stopping as he stalked toward her, watching her back up until her back met the wall. “Ryan, yer leavin’ because ya love me and I can’t love ya back.” He wasn’t stupid, he knew and watched as she blinked, watched as the huge tears cascaded down her cheeks. “Darlin’, I love ya, ya know I do…”


“No you don’t…” She whimpered, shaking her head, knowing he was simply lying to her because he didn’t want her to leave. “You don’t love me, Mark, and you never have.  I’m doing this for me, for my benefit, because I can’t keep doing this.  I can’t keep screwing you secretly and hoping for a future that simply won’t ever exist.” Mark was so close to her right now that Ryan could feel the heat from his skin, her eyes never leaving his, and closed them when he brought his hands up to cup her face delicately.



“Darlin’, please don’t do this…” Mark was panicking, wiping her tears away with the pad of his thumbs, pressing his forehead to hers. “Don’t leave and destroy what we have, Ryan.”


“We have nothing.” She whispered, her heart shattering in her chest because that was the hard bitter truth she had to swallow. “Mark…”


He didn’t waste a second, knowing there was only one way to make her stay, and captured her lips with his in a passionate kiss.  Ryan whimpered against him, wrapping her arms around his neck, his hands sliding down to her sides as he lifted her up to plant her against the wall.  Ryan knew what he was trying to do, deciding to let him have his way with her one last time, feeling him rip her blouse open to massage her breasts and bury his face within them. 


Every nerve ending of her body lit completely on fire as he reached beneath the skirt she wore, ripping her panties right off of her.  Their lips never left one another as Mark felt her reach down to unsnap his jeans, shoving them down his muscular hips, needing him to bury himself inside of her.  Mark lips instantly found her neck, holding her captive against the wall, refusing to let her leave without a fight.  Somehow, he knew no matter what he did or how hard he screwed her against this wall, Ryan was still leaving.


No words were spoken as both allowed the desire to for each other consume them, a final goodbye because Ryan knew she’d never see Mark again.  She couldn’t, it wouldn’t benefit her or this situation that kept increasing with every day she spent as his assistant.  With every thrust, Ryan burned it in her memory, the feeling of him driving in and out of her, his sweet fierce kisses, the way his goatee scratched her soft skin and his hands lovingly caressed her body while making love to her.  Every single second of this moment Ryan would forever cherish as Mark brought her to her final climax, driving himself deeper and harder inside of her, penetrating her receptive body, staking his final claim on her.


Ryan belonged to him and that would never change.


Her moans were sweet sorrowful music to his ears, knowing they were full of pain and heartache, along with his groans, giving both of them exactly what they craved.  He didn’t want to think about what would happen after this, only to keep her with him as long as he possibly could.  He loved how her nails dug into his shoulders and raked down his chest lightly, not wanting to leave marks on him, though Mark honestly wouldn’t mind.  He knew he loved her and their age difference was a mere excuse to keep him from being with her fully.  Mark didn’t fear a lot, but he absolutely refused to hurt Ryan and already knew he had when he decided to screw Michelle at the pay-per-view.


When they both finally climaxed together, Ryan clung to him for dear life as she felt the tears flow down her cheeks, every part of her body trembling.  Mark simply pulled her away from the wall and sat on the bed, holding her close to him as she sobbed her heart out.  He couldn’t believe he was still hard, knowing it was determination to make her stay with him, and proceeded to take her for his own again as he kissed her tears away while making slow passionate love to her.  Ryan never felt anything like it in her life, embracing it with open arms, her body instantly responding to him as she met him for every thrust.


“I love you.” She whispered in his ear, moving in time with him as their lips met in another scorching kiss, moaning softly against them.


“I love ya too.” He murmured and Ryan knew that was a lie, running her hand up his back to bury in his dark red locks, arching her back against him.


When it was finally over and Ryan had dressed, she looked over her shoulder at Mark leaning against the headboard, biting her bottom lip.  She wanted to go to him when he crooked his finger, but Ryan knew she had to break all ties with him in order to move on with her life.  This was the only way and Ryan was actually excited about her new job in TNA, whatever Lyla had in store for her.  She was finally ready to kick her addiction with Mark Calaway and knew he had to do the same thing.


“I’m leaving.” She stated, buttoning up the rest of her blouse, glad they were clips that couldn’t be broken easily even by him. “I’m going to TNA.”


“I know.” Mark replied gruffly, standing up from the bed naked, not ashamed in the slightest as he walked over to stand in front of him. “Darlin’, if ya ever need me for anythin’, ya know how to reach me.” He kissed the top of her head, allowing his lips to linger on her forehead, knowing he couldn’t make her stay.


“Why are you being so sweet to me?” She whispered, bringing her hand up to cup his face, closing her eyes as more tears slid down her cheeks.


Mark chuckled ruefully, no humor or amusement whatsoever in it, closing his eyes to relish the feeling of her hand against his face. “Would ya rather I call ya every name in the book and throw ya out?” He demanded gruffly, knowing he could never do that, and stopped her before she walked out. “Here, I wanna give this to ya.” He walked over to the nightstand and pulled a box out, walking back over to hand it to her. “A little reminder so ya don’t forget me, Ryan, 'cause I sure as hell won’t forget you.  Open it.”


When Ryan did, she bit her bottom lip and pulled out the black necklace with his symbol hanging from it, dangling it in front of her.  Mark took it and clipped it around her neck, allowing it to hang as she fingered it.  The symbol was a purple T with two spikes going through the bottom of it in an X, outlined in silver.  She knew it was real and looked up at him with tears streaming down her face, knowing she would cherish it always.


“I love you, Mark.” She leaned up and kissed him one final time before rushing out the door, knowing if she didn’t leave now she wouldn’t.


Mark stood there for about ten seconds and then immediately dressed, knowing he had to go after her.  He wasn’t letting Ryan get away from him that easily, cursing because he hadn’t packed yet.  He didn’t care and rushed out the door, knowing Ryan had a room that was under a false identity, immediately going to the front desk demanding to know where she was.  When they told him she’d already checked out, Mark cursed, heading for the parking garage, mounting his bike firing it up and peeled out of there.


Ryan arrived at the airport, having left right after kissing Mark goodbye, her luggage and everything already in the waiting limo.  She walked through the airport toward her terminal, knowing Mark didn’t know where she was going because she didn’t tell him.  Wiping her tears away, Ryan sat down and fingered the necklace around her neck, knowing she would end up taking it off before arriving in Vancouver.  She had no idea what Mark was doing at that moment, looking out the window at the planes, wishing she was on hers and far away from here right now.  Her heart was broken and Ryan couldn’t believe she let Mark take advantage of her, but had a feeling it would happen since he didn’t explode and take half of the state with him.


Mark stopped his bike at the security gate, throwing them a couple hundred dollar bills, and rushed inside as he went on the hunt for Ryan.  He went to the front desk and demanded that she be paged, groaning because they wouldn’t do it unless an emergency.  Mark knew he had to race through the airport to find her and took off; breathing heavily, though his adrenaline was flowing.  He shoved people out of his way, towering over most of them, which was a plus because he could see her. 


“Flight 827 boarding for Nashville, Tennessee.” The announcement rang throughout the airport and Mark had a sinking feeling that’s the plane she was going to board.


Ryan sighed when she heard that, taking her carry-on bag, and walked over to the terminal to hand over her plane ticket.  She thanked the flight attendant when he handed her piece of it back over and walked through the small hallway that lead her to the plane, taking a deep breath.  The plane was loud, knowing Lyla got her first class, which was a good thing because Ryan would need a few drinks after the emotional goodbye she gave Mark earlier.


“RYAN!!” Mark roared when he saw her walk through the terminal, cursing as he jumped over the seats, shoving more people out of his way. “RYAN!!”


“Sir, I’m sorry you can’t go in there.  The plane is already boarded and getting ready to take off!” Security instantly stopped Mark, all ten of them barely able to restrain a screeching giant as the plane began pulling away from the airport.


“RYAN!!” Mark roared as loud as he could, hoping he heard her, but it was no use as he slumped to the floor, tears shining in his emerald green eyes. “Ryan…”


Ryan stared out the window and never noticed Mark had come after her, finally looking straight ahead as silent tears slid down her face. “Goodbye Mark.” She whispered, knowing she was doing the right thing and took the necklace off he gave her, placing it in her bag before leaning back as the plane took off into the air.


Chapter 6


The plane landed in Nashville later that night as Ryan’s eyes slowly fluttered open, the flight attendant waking her so she could buckle up.  Ryan looked at the empty seat beside her, expecting to see Mark, and tears instantly filled her eyes when the harsh reality crashed over her.  She’d left him and her job with the WWE to pursue this new one Lyla had gotten for her.  Touching the seat beside her, Ryan sighed deeply as she blinked the tears away, looking out the window as the plane descended on the runway.


Ryan stepped off of the plane about twenty minutes later, the weather dreary and wet, glad she’d changed on the plane in the tiny bathroom.  She wore a pair of black dress pants with an off the shoulder dark pink sweater that hugged her hips.  Two inch knee high black leather boots were on her feet, since it was much colder than the atmosphere she was used to, not sure what to expect in Nashville. 


She’d done her makeup as well, which was black eyeliner with pinkish tan eye shadow, mascara and deep pink gloss.  Her eyebrows were plucked, skin looking fresh faced, and she had a silver necklace with a black onyx teardrop hanging from it.  Loosely curled chestnut locks hung down her back and over her shoulders in shiny waves, deciding to leave it down as it went to the middle of her back.


No man was going to make Ryan feel bad about herself ever again; this was a new beginning for her.  She smiled widely at the flight attendant, knowing Lyla was too busy in TNA with her Knockout duties to come pick her up at the airport.  She would end up having to go to the arena and Ryan wasn’t at all surprised when a sign with her name splayed on it came into view. 




She’d already picked her luggage up, wheeling it behind her, and headed over to the older man with the sign. “Are you Ryan Timbers?” The older man with graying black hair asked, a soft smile on his lips, already lowering the sign.


“Yes, do you need to see an ID?” She asked, already pulling it out of her purse, and handed it over before he could answer.


“Well if that’s fake, you got a hell of a deal lady.” The man replied with a wink, already reaching for her luggage. “The car is just outside, Miss Timbers.”


“Please just call me Ryan.” She gently requested, causing the man to nod once, and followed him out to the long stretch black limo. 


The driver placed her luggage into the trunk, including her carry-on bag, and opened the door for her as Ryan slid inside.  The door closed moments later and Ryan looked around, chewing her bottom lip, groaning as she whipped her compact out to redo her lip gloss.  She wanted to look absolutely perfect when she met her new client, not to mention she hadn’t seen Lyla in nearly a year.  Moments later, the limo pulled away toward the airport and Ryan assumed the driver knew where he was going, simply looking out the window at the beautiful scenery Nashville had.


About a half an hour later, the limo pulled to a stop as Ryan slowly opened her eyes, having dozed off again.  She immediately checked her appearance, making sure nothing was out of place, and fluffed her hair one final time as the door opened.  Ryan smiled up at the driver and took his hand, slipping out of the limo shouldering her purse.


“Thank you.” She murmured, releasing the driver’s hand, and decided to pull her long black sweater on because of how chilly it was. 


Ryan headed toward the arena, eyes instantly landing on her when she walked in and squared her shoulders as she ran a hand through her hair, feeling very confident. “There’s my bitch!!” She heard from behind, immediately smirking widely and turned around, grunting when she was tackled by a raven haired beauty.


“Dear lord woman, have you gained weight?” Ryan laughed when Lyla smacked her arm lightly, both of them embracing tightly, tears swelling in their eyes and pulled back at the same time. “Don’t you dare cry and mess up your makeup!”


“I can’t help it!” Lyla blinked as a few tears slid down her cheeks, immediately wiping them away. “It’s so great to see you again, Ry!”


“Believe me; I’m glad to be here too.” Ryan felt her bottom lip tremble and blinked, huge tears sliding down her face. 


Lyla knew she was in pain and immediately pulled her into her arms, holding her close. “It’s alright sweetie, you’re here now and everything’s going to be fine.” She crooned soothingly, glad the camera man called for a much needed break. “You should’ve come here sooner.”


“I know.” Ryan whispered, immediately wiping her tears away, sighing heavily. “I’ve had my ass kicked emotionally for the past two years.  I just want a new fresh start and pretend like it never happened.”


“I know you do and that’s exactly what you’re going to get.” Lyla promised, wrapping her arm around Ryan’s shoulders, both them walking down the hallway with curious eyes still pondering. “But before that happens, you need to tell me what happened to get it out of your system.”


How did Lyla know exactly what Ryan needed?  No wonder they’d been best friends practically all of their lives.  They walked a little ways and sat down in the arena cafeteria, ignoring all the prying eyes.  Ryan clasped her hands together, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully, and Lyla waited patiently.


“I walked in on Mark screwing one of the Divas in his dressing room.” She said, refusing to meet Lyla’s gaze, taking a deep shaky breath. “It was Michelle, his ex-girlfriend.  I know what you’re going to say and I know I shouldn’t be heartbroken over it, but I can’t help it.  I thought I was the only one he was fucking, but apparently I was wrong…” Ryan blinked as more tears fell; feeling Lyla grab her hand, knowing her makeup was being ruined. “I don’t even know why I’m shocked considering we never made anything official.  I was screwing an unavailable man and I knew that, Ly.  I did this to myself and I have nobody to blame, not even Mark.”


“Ryan, look at me,” When she did, Lyla squeezed her hand with a nonjudgmental smile, which is what she needed at the moment. “You didn’t do anything wrong either.  You had sex and there’s nothing wrong with that, even though you knew he wasn’t available.”



“But he was my job, Lyla Jane!  He was my freaking JOB and I just…” Ryan lowered her head, burying her face in her hands, trembling slightly from both the amount of emotion flowing through her as well as the cold weather. “I feel so alone and confused.  I love him, but I had to get away before he completely tore me apart.  I slept with him again before I left this morning…”


Lyla winced when she heard that, chewing her bottom lip. “You had sex with him this morning before you left?” She asked, wanting to clarify what her friend said.


“After I told him I was leaving.” Ryan admitted openly, sighing gently, though Lyla never once released her hand and that’s what made her a true friend. “He kissed me and I just let it happen.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but he did say he loved me...”


“You know he was just saying that to make you stay right?” Lyla sighed with relief when her friend nodded, running a hand through her black hair, which was currently in a thousand spiral curls that cascaded down her back. “Wait, you fucked Ted last night right?”


“I’m a whore.” Ryan whispered brokenly, knowing that’s exactly what it sounded like, trying to keep the tears at bay. “I called him because I was so upset about seeing Mark and Michelle together.  I ordered a bottle of White Zinfandel and you know what a light weight I am.”


“You’re not a whore, so stop saying that.  And yes I remember the last time we got drunk together.  You had three shots of Tequila and I thought you were going to pass out.” Lyla cracked a smile, watching Ryan try not to do the same thing, squeezing her hand again. “Sweetie, you did nothing wrong, especially if Ted wasn’t mad at you and Mark initiated the goodbye sex.”


“Why do you keep talking like I’m the victim here?” Ryan argued, causing Lyla to roll her eyes, removing her hand from hers. “It’s just as much my fault as it is theirs, LJ.”


“Because I’m your best friend and I’m always on your side.  Mark put you through hell and you reacted on instinct.  That’s just the way it is.” Lyla stated with finality, moving to sit beside Ryan, wrapping her arm around her shoulders. “Did you want to talk about anything else or are you ready to let the past go?”


“Yeah, I’m just glad to be away from everything that company offered.” Ryan watched Lyla bite her bottom lip, rolling her eyes because she knew what she was thinking. “I meant the guys, not you, honey.”


Lyla knew she had a point, even if she didn’t want to admit it. “Sorry that you had to meet me on the set.  We’re trying to keep it tight lipped about the storylines.”


“The upcoming pay-per-view?” Ryan bit her bottom lip, clearly not with the times because for the past three years, her entire life had revolved around the WWE.


Lyla giggled softly, nodding, folding her arms in front of her chest. “You haven’t heard much about TNA, right?” When Ryan shook her head, Lyla laughed wholeheartedly, taking her friend’s hand. “Girl, you really have been living under a rock.”


“Nope, more like under a rock of the WWE.  Between booking hotel reservations and flights, catching them, going from arena to arena, I haven’t watched any decent TV in about three years.”


Ryan sighed gently, knowing she probably sounded insane, but it was the truth and she wasn’t ashamed of it.  She would never regret a single second she spent in the WWE because it taught her several lessons, starting with not wearing her heart on her sleeve and sleeping with her job.  Not to mention she had a lot of experience in the personal assistance department under her belt, which was a very good thing.  Ryan hoped she wasn’t getting confused as Lyla explained to her what TNA was about as opposed to the WWE.  There honestly wasn’t that many differences, it was just another wrestling promotion, but it wasn’t the WWE and that’s what mattered to Ryan.


“You’re lucky I have the next few days off.”


“Well, what about my so called job?” Ryan contradicted, tilting her head slightly when Lyla chewed her bottom lip. “Oh my god, do NOT tell me I left my job with the WWE just to come here and be jobless?”


“No, no I didn’t say that.” Lyla stood up from the table and pulled Ryan up with her, both of them heading back to the set. “You’re having the weekend off and I don’t want to hear anything about it.  You’ll meet your job come Monday morning.  Now chill out and relax; if I have to send you back to the hotel to do so, I will.”


“Lord, what the hell am I going to do with days off?”


She hadn’t been off of work in around a year, remembering she’d stayed at Mark’s ranch in Houston, Texas the last time she’d had a day off because of a surgery he needed.  Ryan actually had a few weeks off, but she still did her job and helped Mark in any way she could, refusing to leave him alone.  Of course there was a lot of sex involved, though Ryan didn’t want to think about or remember that part, shoving it back in the recesses of her mind.


“You’re going to relax.  You are going to clear your mind and do whatever you want.  Shop, swim because the hotel has an indoor heated pool and hot tub, and work out if that’s your thing, whatever.  You’re not going to do any work until Monday.” Lyla ordered, refusing to back down, and Ryan knew she was officially in hell.


“That is so not fair.” Ryan grumbled, causing Lyla to laugh, and watched as she went back to shooting a few more pictures for an upcoming magazine.  Lyla made sure to give her a VIP pass so she didn’t get thrown out or was mistaken for the nosey media, which Ryan really appreciated.


Sometime later that night, Ryan finally made it back to the hotel in the same limo with Lyla, both of them laughing about the past.  Ryan ended up staying in Lyla’s hotel suite that had two beds, both of them in their pajamas, watching some movies and catching up with things.  What they’d been doing and Ryan was surprised to hear that Lyla was still single, not interesting in any of the hunky wrestlers TNA had to offer.


“Okay, I have a confession to make.” Lyla was grinning from ear to ear, looking like a cat that ate the canary, forcing Ryan’s light blue eyes to turn suspicious.


“What did you do?” Ryan demanded, sipping her glass of wine, though Lyla was cutting her off at two because of how little it took to get her tipsy. “Lyla Jane…”


“Do you how I told you we got a new acquisition into the company recently?” Lyla asked coyly, sipping her own glass of wine, raising an eyebrow.


“Yeah, what about it?”


“Well, this isn’t just an ordinary acquisition, Ryan.  You know this guy, I think, from the Raw roster and…” Lyla smirked wickedly, grey eyes gleaming, wondering if she had to say anymore and laughed when Ryan’s eyes grew as wide as saucers.


Ryan was wracking her brain, trying to figure out who could possibly be the newest acquisition to TNA. “What are you trying to tell me exactly, Lyla Jane?”


“Ken Anderson, the guy who used to be Mr. Kennedy in the WWE, is now Mr. Anderson in TNA and your new job.  Cheers sweetie!”


Chapter 7


The weekend was as Lyla promised it would be, full of relaxation with minimal distractions.  Lyla booked her on a full day at the local spa, where Ryan was plucked, waxed, rubbed, mudded and everything in between.  Ryan had to admit it was really nice, but she was bored out of her mind from being so used to working all the time.  After the day at the spa with Lyla, the girls spent practically all weekend shopping, swimming, reminiscence about the good times and caught up on some much needed sleep Ryan didn’t even know she missed.


Of course, the bomb Lyla dropped on Ryan was still going through her spinning mind, not believing who her new job was.  She remembered Ken Anderson and also couldn’t believe this was happening; she was basically going from one egomaniac to another.  Ryan really wanted to strangle her best friend for putting her in this predicament, but maybe this is exactly what she needed.  Ryan hoped and prayed Ken didn’t remember her because that would just add more complication to her life and that’s the last thing Ryan needed.


Of course, Ryan had to admit he had a beautiful body.  Ryan couldn’t even fathom sleeping with another wrestler, especially from TNA, and that’s exactly what she needed.  She could deal with ego; lord knows Mark had plenty of that to last her a lifetime and a half.  Hell, after Mark, Ryan knew she could handle anything this rookie threw at her and more.


When Monday rolled around, Ryan couldn’t have been happier to get back on the saddle so to speak.  She convinced herself this wouldn’t be as bad as she originally thought, especially after watching a few of Ken’s interviews on the internet.  He seemed like a well mannered down to earth guy, not to mention incredibly modest, though he could’ve just been putting on a show.  Still, Ryan had to keep reminding herself it was better than being around a man who ripped her apart little by little.


This was her new beginning.


Staring in the full length mirror, Ryan decided on a pair of black dress pants with her two inch black boots.  Her top was a light blue buttoned up dress shirt that hugged her waist and had a small collar to it, bringing out her beautiful eyes.  She had thin black eyeliner with natural eye shadow and clear gloss, a black dressy trench coat that tied around her waist, going to her knees.


Ryan slipped her keycard, Blackberry Storm and wallet inside her black petite purse before walking out of her room, heading downstairs.  As usual, a black limo was waiting for her as Ryan’s boots clicked against the marble flooring of the hotel the TNA roster stayed in.  She nodded once at the front desk clerk, heading outside in the rain before slipping inside the limo.  Lyla told her she was meeting Ken at the arena, thinking it was more professional than a coffee shop or elsewhere. 


It was lightly drizzling when Ryan arrived, wearing her VIP badge around her neck, and clearly letting security know she was meant to be here.  Ryan hadn’t met anyone when she first arrived; still not believing Lyla forced her into having the past few days off, though secretly she enjoyed them.  The limo pulled up a half an hour later, traffic being somewhat chaotic on the way, and Ryan stepped out as she fluffed her chestnut hair out to pool over her shoulders and down her back.


It was time to get down to business.


Ryan walked past security, flashing her badge with squared shoulders, knowing she couldn’t be intimidated in the slightest.  She had to keep her head held high, remembering how she’d done the same thing the first time she met Mark.  Ken Anderson was nowhere near as big as Mark, but he was one of the biggest acquisitions in TNA history.  She walked past a few of the Knockouts and wrestlers, smiling over at Lyla when she waved, diamond studs in her ears glittering.


Ken was not the first person Ryan met, though she was secretly glad, knowing he was probably busy with other things. “You must be the lovely Ryan Timbers.  I’m the brains behind this function, Jeff Jarrett.” He extended his hand and Ryan took it with a calm smile, shaking it briefly.


“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Jarrett.”


“Oh please call me Jeff.  We’re not formal here, Miss Timbers.” Jeff smiled, winking as he sat back down in his director’s chair.


“Only if you call me Ryan or Ry.  I don’t care which one it is.” She replied and Jeff agreed, causing them both to have a small chuckle. “Jeff, do you know where Mr. Anderson is?”


“The name is Ken and I’m right here.” A deep voice sounded from behind, causing Ryan to turn around, staring into a pair of profound light brown eyes.


He stood there in just a pair of black cut off shorts, bare from the waist up, his body glistening from a shower after the intense workout he put himself through.  Ken was currently towel drying his hair, black sneakers on his feet, his short cropped bleach blonde hair sopping wet.  His body was even better in person than on DVD, though Ryan would never say or admit that out loud.


Extending her hand, Ryan flashed him a professional smile. “Ryan Timbers, your new personal assistant.” She announced adeptly, feeling his warm hand take hers, practically swallowing it whole.  No matter what, Ryan was small compared to most men, standing only at five foot eight.


“Nice to finally meet you, Ryan.  I’ve heard a lot about you.” Ken replied, shaking her hand, and could tell she was already putting up her guard with him.


“Let me guess, LJ?”


Ken chuckled, releasing her hand as he continued drying his hair. “Yeah, she didn’t want me to be surprised, though all she said was you were very experienced.” He cracked a hesitant smile, glad she wasn’t angry Lyla talked about her with him briefly.


“Well she would be right as far as my experience goes.” Ryan couldn’t help feeling comfortable around Ken already and they just met, knowing she couldn’t trust him right away. “So, with that being said, I think it’s time for me to look over your schedule while you do what you do best.”


“Oh right of course!” Ken smiled apologetically, wrapping the white towel around his neck, groaning since some water got in his ears from the rain. “I’ll be right back with it, Ryan, unless you want to follow me?”


“Yeah sure, I’ll have to get used to doing that anyway.”


“Good point.”


Ryan followed Ken, shouldering her purse, heading toward his dressing room, a big star on the door with his name on it.  She stepped inside, closing the door behind her, looking around with a subtle nod.  Ken looked for his schedule, sighing when he couldn’t find it, running a hand through his wet hair.


“I have it around here somewhere…”


Ryan glanced over at a pile of paperwork and walked over, picking up the first piece of paper, swinging it gently back and forth.  Ken looked over his shoulder, smiling softly, for the first time realizing how badly he needed a personal assistant.  Ryan didn’t say a word as she sat down on the couch, looking over the schedule pursing her lips thoughtfully, Ken sitting beside her.


“Okay, well, you are unorganized, but we’ll fix that and you’ll be good to go.” Ryan assured him, keeping her eyes locked on the paper and pulled out a pen from her purse, making marks to it that she would be changing.


“Good, I’m giving you free reign.” Ken stated, moving his head back and forth, not believing how much excess water was still in his hair.


Ryan couldn’t help looking at him in somewhat shock, blinking, wondering if she’d heard him right. “You’re giving me free reign over your schedule?” She questioned, causing Ken to chuckle in reply.


“Sure, if Lyla trusts you enough to personal recommend you as my assistant then I trust you.” Ken simply said, tossing the towel aside, noticing he’d caught Ryan off guard. “Unless you want my input on some things?”


“Only if you have a suggestion that I haven’t yet thought of.” Ryan replied smoothly, cracking a smile to assure him everything was fine, and went back to marking the page. “Who did your scheduling before I got here, if you don’t mind me asking?”


Ken sighed, sitting down on the couch again, feeling restless already. “Well, her name was Carla and I’ll put it this way, I was more organized than her.” Both of them laughed and it felt nice to Ryan, knowing they were already off to a good start.


“Well I assure you I am almost overbearingly organized.  I’ll probably drive you crazy.” Ryan stated with confidence, sky blue eyes moving further down the paper, biting back groans. “Wow, she didn’t know hardly anything.”


“Yeah, I definitely agree.  The woman couldn’t even spell my last name.  It was always A-D-E-R-S-O-N, always missing the N.  It drove ME crazy so as long as you don’t do that we’ll be fine.” Ken stated with a grimace, glad to be rid of his old assistant, having a feeling Ryan was much better.


“Well I’ll be bringing this with me to the hotel and rearranging everything.” She informed him evenly, looking up at him briefly before back down at the paper. “You have an appearance for the upcoming pay-per-view in two weeks.”


“Yeah, they want me to do some appearances to promote it as well, like on radio talk shows and whatnot.” Ken replied, causing Ryan to nod knowingly. “I suppose I should give you my personal phone number…”


“No, your phone no longer exists.” Ryan stated, standing up from the couch as she set the scheduling aside. “From now on, your calls all go through me.  The only thing I want you to worry about is doing what you do best.  You will no longer have to worry about wondering who’s calling you.”


“Actually Ryan, with all due respect, I’m keeping my personal cell phone that only a handful of people know about.  You don’t have to do everything for me; I can manage a few phone calls from my family.” Ken said gently but firmly, flat out refusing to lose some of his independence.


“Very well, you’re the boss, but all of your business phone calls come through me.” They exchanged phone numbers, though Ryan was going to be answering his personal phone to screen calls, knowing unimportant people could still get a hold of him.


“I’m nobody’s boss.” Ken argued promptly, his voice remaining calm and sweet, which was somewhat unnerving to Ryan. “You’re my assistant; I’m not the type to ask you to do anything though so…”


Ryan held her hand up to stop him from talking, understanding where he was coming from. “Relax, Ken, its fine.  I have the experience and I know how to do my job.  Just remember, if you need anything, ask me because that’s what I’m here for.” She stated, flashing him a quick reassuring smile.


Ken nodded, looking a little nervous, and took a long swig of his water bottle as the air conditioner cranked on, which didn’t make him thrilled.  No matter the temperature, Ken suddenly felt a chill run through his body.  He walked over and wrapped a blanket around his upper body, having already pulled a white tank top on.  He hated being shirtless when he didn’t have to be as ridiculous as that sounded being a pro-wrestler.


“Hey Ken; come on man, time to start our segment for tonight!” A voice sounded through the trailer door before it opened, in stepping none other than Allen Jones, who was also known as AJ Styles, smiling from ear to ear. “Oh hello there, you must be the famous Ryan we’ve all heard so much about.”


“Lyla’s spoken about me I take it?” Ryan asked, taking Allen’s extended hand, giving it a firm shake before pulling back.


“Yeah, she always talks about you, even before getting you this gig to be Kenny’s personal assistant.” Allen was very informative and Ryan wondered how long she should wait before confronting Lyla about this. “Don’t worry; she didn’t say anything bad about you.”


“Alright then.  Ken, do you mind if I stay in your dressing room and work on this?” She didn’t wait for him to answer and sat back down on the couch, causing him to nod.


“Yeah sure, make yourself at home Ryan.” Ken replied, rolling his eyes when Allen raised his eyebrows suggestively, and tossed the towel aside before following his friend out the door.


“Damn she’s quite a beauty.” Allen commented, walking with Ken down the hallway, both of them taking their tank tops off. “Though Lyla has nothing on her.”


“To you maybe.” Ken argued, sighing when Allen smirked and nudged him. “Let’s get one thing straight, she’s my PA and I’m not ready to get into another relationship so soon.”


“Man, you’re absolutely insane if you don’t at least TRY hitting that.” Allen laughed when Ken groaned, knowing the rookie was in the final stages of his divorce and it would be finalized right before the upcoming pay-per-view. “How old is she anyway?”


“Like I really know that?” Ken snorted, rolling his eyes. “You don’t ask a woman how old she is without wanting to get socked in the face.  That’s a forbidden question.”


Allen raised an eyebrow and started laughing, shrugging his shoulders gently. “Lyla didn’t seem to mind when I asked her or Jeffy or Shantelle.” He grinned when Ken merely shook his head, not in the least embarrassed.


“What are you shaking your head for?” Lyla demanded, walking up to them, somewhat disappointed that she’d been left out of the loop, pouting.


“Nothing, I was just wondering how old your friend was.” Allen smirked when Lyla raised an eyebrow, trying not to groan as she snaked her tongue out to wet her lips. “Don’t worry; I’m not interested in her.”


“Good because she’s been through a lot and I don’t want any of you hitting on her.” Lyla stated in a firm tone, not worried about Ken in the slightest due to his modesty. “Don’t worry Ken; I’m not even going to threaten you.”


Ken chuckled softly, nodding. “Thanks Lyla, I appreciate that.” He tried not to grumble, but Allen caught on as he threw his arm around Lyla’s shoulders, walking away to begin filming again.


“You do realize you just castrated the man?” Allen pointed out, looking down at Lyla with smoldering blue eyes, very happy she was his valet.


“No I didn’t!  I just know he won’t pursue her.” Lyla stated confidently, both of them walking away from the trailer, parting ways after promising to hook up later for a late dinner.


Chapter 8


“So how are you doing, baby girl?”


Ryan held her cell phone between her ear and shoulder while painting her nails, leaning back against the headboard of her hotel room. “I’m fine John.” She assured him for the umpteenth time, knowing how worried her friend was, who had found out at one of the super shows of her departure from the WWE.  Apparently, Mark didn’t tell anyone about her leaving, which hurt Ryan even more because it seemed like he didn’t even care that she was gone. “I’m actually really happy here.”


“Why didn’t you tell me about you and Mark?” John couldn’t help asking, running a hand through his hair, pacing back and forth in his own hotel room. “I mean, don’t you think I could’ve found a way to help you out without you having to leave?  I miss you so much, Ry.  The pay-per-views aren’t the same without you.”


“I know I should’ve told you, but both Mark and I agreed that it was best for both of our reps if we kept it between us.” Ryan stated, finishing her right hand and moving to the left, deciding on a dark midnight blue. “I miss you too, John, but I did what I had to do.”


“What happened to make you leave so suddenly?” John knew he was probably crossing boundaries, but honestly didn’t care. “You can tell me, Ry.  I’m not gonna go run my mouth to everyone in the locker room.”


Ryan chewed her bottom lip, wondering if it was such a good idea to tell him about what transpired between her and Mark. “I walked in on him fucking Michelle McCool at the Royal Rumble.” She admitted, closing her eyes as a wave of pain washed over her, tears already stinging her eyes. “It really hurt because I thought he was only screwing me, even though we weren’t together…”


John clenched his teeth angrily, wanting to rip the Deadman’s head off for treating Ryan like that, trying in vain to keep the anger from his voice. “Is that right?” His voice had dropped an octave, which was a rarity for John.


It meant he was getting angry fast.


“John, please don’t do anything.” Ryan pleaded, already knowing what was going through her best guy friend’s head, a few tears slipping down her cheeks. “Please, it’s done and over with.  I have to move on and I have.  I’m happy here in Hollywood, really.  Just leave Mark alone, I’m begging you.”


John could hear the panic in her voice, taking a few deep breaths to calm down because he rarely got angry.  He was a free spirit, always had been.  Hell, the man would streak throughout arenas when he first came into the WWE just to make people laugh.  Of course, the veterans of the company thought it was stupid, but John didn’t care because this was who he was and he wasn’t going to change for anyone or anything.


“I’m not gonna do anything, Ry.” He promised finally, after a few moments of silence, knowing he had to get her mind off of what happened. “It sounds like you’re happy and that’s all I really care about, even though I miss the hell outta you.”


Ryan sniffled, hearing the sorrow enter John’s voice, and felt her heart give another painful tug at the heartstrings. “Well, if you’re ever in the same area I am, we need to get together and have lunch.” With how hectic John’s schedule was, there was no way he could ever come visit her unless he took time off, which wasn’t happening.


“Definitely, you got it baby girl.  I’ll come see you when I get the first chance, I promise.” John stated, refusing to break a promise to her, knowing she did what she had to do because he knew how much she loved Mark. 


Hell, a blind man could tell, though John never said anything because he didn’t want to upset her or draw attention to it.  John was a lot more observant than people gave him credit for, not to mention he did have another movie lined up with WWE Studios in the future.  There would be some way to see Ryan, though John had a feeling it wouldn’t be for a long time and there was no way she was coming to see him on the road with the company.  Not that he blamed her, especially after what Mark did.


‘Dumbass.’ He thought bitterly, knowing it was Mark’s fault that Ryan left the company, scowling.


“John, I know how you feel about me, but I want you to know how much I appreciate your friendship.”


Ryan smiled tearfully, knowing deep down how much it hurt John to be around her, especially after his confession he made when she first stepped in the WWE.  It happened before Vince’s Christmas party, John came up to her and told her one night at a pay-per-view backstage that he’d fallen in love with her.  Ryan had to let him down because she’d already started falling for Mark, while dating Ted DiBiase, and they didn’t talk for three months after that.  When they finally did again, John apologized and promised he would never mention what was said, that he wanted to be her friend.


“Don’t worry about it, Ry.  I still love you, but I understand I’m not the man for you and accepted it a long time ago.  I just wish you didn’t leave the WWE, you could’ve come to Raw you know.” John stated, causing her to sigh heavily on the other end, closing his eyes because he knew why she couldn’t be on Raw either. “Ted right?”


“Yes, even though I think we pretty much established an understanding when I left.” She refused to tell John what really happened, deciding there were just some things Ryan had to keep to quiet.


That was one of them.


A knock sounded at Ryan’s door as she raised an eyebrow, wondering who it could be at two o’clock in the morning, chewing her bottom lip. “John, someone’s at my door.  I have to let you go, but I’ll call soon.” She smiled when he promised he’d be calling her soon, both of them ending the call, clicking the lid of her cell phone shut.


Ryan slid from the bed, wearing a simple pair of blue cotton shorts with a matching tank top, her usual sleepwear, besides nightgowns, looking through the peephole.  She saw who it was and pulled open the door, staring in those soft brown eyes of her current job, Ken Anderson.  He looked as though he just came back from working out in the downstairs workout room, though Ryan wondered why he was at her door this late at night.


“What’s up Ken?” Ryan asked politely, having gotten along famously with him ever since she started the job. 


Though she wanted to strangle his former assistant, Carla, for the poor organization she put Ken’s schedule in.  The woman was so dense that she actually scheduled him to go to two different arenas in the same day, when they only had one show a day usually.  Honestly, Ryan wondered how the woman acquired the job and asked Lyla about it, who informed her that Carla had slept with someone higher up.  Unlike Carla, Ryan didn’t sleep her way to the top, even though there really wasn’t a step ladder for a personal assistant’s job besides gaining the respect and trust of clients.


Ken looked nervous, cracking a hesitant smile at his personal assistant, wearing a white tank top with gray shorts, a white towel wrapped around his neck. “I need to talk to you about something important, Ryan.  Mind if I come in for a minute?” He asked courteously, refusing to force his way inside her room, clearing his throat somewhat awkwardly.


“Sure.” Ryan still couldn’t believe how polite and modest Ken was, her earlier thoughts prior to meeting him flying out the window.  He was the most unselfish man she’d ever met in her life. “What can I do for you?”


Ken shut the door gently behind him and walked in, watching Ryan set back down on the bed, trying not to notice what she was wearing.  He’d only ever saw her wearing dress clothes that covered nearly every part of her body, though he didn’t blame her because Nashville was unseasonably cold.  Still, he couldn’t help noticing how soft and smooth her legs looked, which were longer than he originally thought, the shorts riding up just a bit on her thighs and her chestnut hair framed her face and pooled over her shoulders in beautiful waves.


Shaking himself mentally, Ken took the towel from around his neck and dabbed his forehead, still somewhat sweating from his workout. “Look, I know we haven’t known each other a lot and I’ll be fine if you decline my offer, but honestly it’s more of a favor than anything.”


No matter how hard she tried, Ryan couldn’t help thinking how cute Ken was with his rambling, a smirk forming on her soft red lips. “Ken, stop and take a deep breath before your brain explodes honey.” She advised sweetly, causing him to flush a bit, which was even cuter.


“Sorry.” He cracked another nervous smile, beginning to pace back and forth in front of her. “I just don’t know how to ask you this question without completely falling on my face.”


Ryan giggled gently, reaching over to grab his hand, stopping him from pacing. “Stop, you’re going to make me dizzy doing that.” She pulled him down to sit on the bed with her, never releasing his hand, deep blue eyes staring into anxious brown. “Now breathe with me.  Don’t speak, just inhale deeply.” She did it first, Ken following as instructed, and both exhaled at the same time five seconds later. “Now, there’s no reason for you to be nervous with me.  Hell, I’m the one who picks up your food and dry cleaning and anything else you need.  Now what do you want to ask me?”


Ken had temporarily lost his train of thoughts, not believing how easy it was to get lost in Ryan’s beautiful sky blue eyes, loving the color of them.  They were so soft and warm; full of light, and it made something stir inside of Ken hadn’t felt in quite awhile.  He also knew it was very wrong to even be thinking of how beautiful his personal assistant was, especially since she was four years older than him.  Ryan probably thought he was nothing more than a punk and Ken honestly didn’t blame her, even though he was brought up right and rarely stepped out of line.


Snapping out of his thoughts, Ken knew he had to get to the point before Ryan became aggravated, which isn’t what he wanted to happen. “Well first off, I’m sorry to bother you so late at night.  I know we both have a nine o’clock flight in the morning and I should be waiting to ask you this, but figured it wasn’t appropriate.”


“Stop apologizing, I was up anyway.  I was talking to a friend of mine from my old job.” Ryan informed him, trying to put Ken’s mind at ease, slowly releasing his hand because she was feeling electric shocks rushing through her body from the contact. “Just ask me, please.”


“Well, we’re heading to the location of the upcoming pay-per-view tomorrow and…well…” Ken cleared his throat again, trying hard not to flush, not believing he was about to ask Ryan something like this.


“Yes, what about it?” Ryan pried when Ken trailed off, frowning because of how incredibly nervous he was, arching a slow eyebrow. “Ken, whatever it is you can ask me.  I’m not that intimidating, at least I hope not.” Now it was her turn to crack a hesitant smile, knowing she’d been sort of distant from him ever since she acquired this job.


That was because she refused to get close to another client again.


“Okay fine, I’m just going to come right out and say it.” Ken took another deep breath, squaring his shoulders, trying to build up confidence.  It was too adorable and Ryan was trying so hard not to laugh at him because of how far his chest puffed out. “Ryan, I would really like it if you would accompany me to the ring at Genesis.”


Ryan blinked, having not expected him to ask her something that big, suddenly swallowing hard. “Oh wow…” She placed a hand over her suddenly rapidly beating heart, trying hard not to become emotional, but Ryan knew how important these events were and only the best were showcased. “Ken…”


“I want you to be my date.  I know this is last minute and everything, which I apologize for, and I’ll pay for anything you need.  Dress, heels, jewelry, anything you need, but I really would love it if you would accompany me.” Ken stated, a little intimidated, though Ken wasn’t going to admit that; he was modest enough and didn’t want to be squashed like a bug by anyone in the company. “Please?”


Ryan opened and closed her mouth several times, trying to form words, but nothing was coming out.  All those people staring at her, not to mention the millions watching on their televisions around the world…Ryan knew it was going to be a big deal because TNA was getting ready to go head to head with WWE on Monday nights shortly.  Not to mention, she knew about Ken’s impending divorce that was finishing up by the end of this week.  Being a personal assistant required knowing every single aspect of client’s lives both professional and private.


Ken’s eyes were full of hope and anxiety, which tugged at Ryan’s heartstrings, knowing she couldn’t possibly turn him down. “Sure, I’d love to do it, Ken.” It couldn’t hurt anything, especially since they weren’t in any way, shape or form romantically involved.  “And I don’t think I’ll need anything from you, I can buy my own dress and whatnot.  I’ll just have to go shopping and pick something out quickly.”


Big brown eyes widened with excitement as Ken pulled Ryan in his strong arms, hugging her close. “Thank you so much.” He whispered in her ear, pulling back to kiss her cheek softly. “You are the best personal assistant ever.”


Ryan couldn’t help it as roses formed in her cheeks, blooming to life for the first time in awhile. “Thanks.” She murmured, touching her cheek as Ken stood up from the bed, knowing he had to get a few hours of sleep before both of them had to get up to go to the airport.


“I’ll see you in a few hours.  Sweet dreams, Ryan.” His voice had dropped an octave, making it deeper as he smiled at her before walking out of her room, whistling the entire way back to his.


Ryan could only sit there and stare straight ahead, wondering if she made the right decision in agreeing to be his escort at Genesis. “I’m going to hell.” She muttered and reached over, clicking the lamp off, snuggling down in bed as the darkness instantly consumed her.


Chapter 9


Lyla was going to snap and take half of this country with her, tapping black painted fingernails on the table, staring daggers across the table.  Why did she let Christy talk her into coming on a blind date with her boyfriend, who traveled a far distance to see her?  She would’ve called for help, but knew most of the roster was out for the night having fun and Ryan had an early flight in the morning with Ken.  Hell, they all did for the Genesis pay-per-view.


“So, what’s your story?” The man named Harry asked, his ears bigger than his head, and he had a pointy nose that irritated Lyla to the fullest. “Have you had a colonoscopy?”


Not to mention this guy looked like he was twice her age, if not more, the graying in his black hair a dead giveaway.


Lyla nearly choked on her salad when he asked that, coughing a bit, and dropped her fork on the plate. “Excuse me?” She cleared her throat and blinked when he actually had the audacity to repeat the question. “No, I haven’t.” It took everything inside of Lyla not to shoot Christy a deadly glare, stabbing at her salad like it personally did her wrong.


“Believe me, it’s not as bad as people say it is.  What they do is…”


“I know what it is.” Lyla immediately cut him off with a sweet smile that didn’t reach her grey eyes.  As horrible as this was to do to someone, Lyla felt like she had absolutely no other alternative.  She picked her phone up, pretending it was vibrating, chewing her bottom lip. “I have to take this, it’s important.  I’ll be right back.” She stood up from the table and hurried away, flipping it open and pressed it to her ear, heading for the exit as fast as her two inch stiletto heels could take her.


There was NO way she was going back to that table; Christy would have to deal with it.


Christy noticed Lyla’s hasty retreat, smiling warmly over at Harry, who was too busy devouring down his steak to care that his date just ditched him.  She honestly didn’t blame Lyla and planned on apologizing, though all thoughts flew out the window when her boyfriend suggested they have a party of their own upstairs.  Harry simply waved them off when Bryan stood up, taking Christy’s hand and guided her away from the table with a smirk, not at all remorseful he was ditching his friend.


Lyla watched from the shadows as Christy was hoisted over her boyfriend’s shoulder, carting her to the elevator, and snorted inwardly.  That was definitely the last blind date she went on as long as her life depended on it.  Snapping the lid of her cell phone shut, Lyla headed up the back staircase of the hotel to her room, heels clicking furiously with every step she took.  She was tired of going on these dates, only to end up with losers, wondering when a real man would come her way.


“SHIT!” Lyla shouted when the heel of her stiletto broke, forcing her toe to stub into the carpeting, stumbling until she hit her knees. “OWW!”


Could this night possibly could get worse?




Yes it definitely did. 


“No it’s fucking the Easter Bunny.” Lyla snapped, clearly not amused, looking up into the beautiful brown eyes of Allen Jones. “Allen?”


“No it’s Santa Clause.” He smirked, folding his arms in front of his chest, standing there looking more delicious than ever. 


A crisp short sleeved blue shirt hugged his muscular arms and stretched across his chest nicely, making it look like it was going to bust off of him at any given moment.  He wore a pair of blue jeans with a black belt, his hair spiked up and smelled absolutely incredible.  Lyla suddenly forgot about the throbbing pain in her toe, getting lost in those deep brown orbs, blinking when his hand came into her vision.


This was very embarrassing and Lyla vowed to pay Christy back in some way for convincing her to go on this stupid blind date. “Thanks.” She muttered, the pain in her toe suddenly making it known, and collapsed against Allen. “Oh god…”


Allen frowned when he saw the pain in her deep grey eyes, having saw her fall, and looked down on the floor to spot the broken heel. “Come on klutz.” He smirked when she slapped him on the arm, raising an eyebrow, and lifted her in his strong arms princess style. “You know that doesn’t hurt right?”


“Shut up.” She mumbled, causing him to chuckle as he swooped down with ease, Lyla still in secure in his arms and picked the broken stiletto up as he began walking down the hallway. “This is so humiliating.”


Allen laughed softly, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. “Hey, anytime I can help a beautiful woman is fine with me.” He stated, causing her to snort, smirking when she rolled her eyes. 


He had to admit Lyla was incredibly gorgeous.  He loved how her raven locks cascaded over her shoulders in loose curls, knowing when it was straightened it went to the middle of her back, maybe more.  He wasn’t sure, though he also adored her adorable grey eyes, which went well with her character on television.  Allen admired her work, having had his eye on her for awhile and wanted to ask her out, but he wasn’t sure if Lyla even found him remotely attractive.


“Right.” Lyla chewed her bottom lip, trying not to let his smell enter her nostrils because it was incredibly intoxicating, not sure what to say to him.


“So where are we headed?” He asked, glancing down at her, finding it absolutely adorable the way she chewed her bottom lip whenever she was nervous. “LJ…”


“Room 340.” She answered softly, causing him to nod, and carried her down the hallway until they were standing in front of her door. 


Lyla pulled her keycard out and sighed when Allen took it from her with a wink.  Slipping it inside the slot, Allen pushed the door open with his foot and walked inside, kicking it shut as he walked over to set the raven haired beauty on the bed.  Allen instantly bent down in front of her, seeing she was trying to look at her toe, and frowned because it was already turning black and blue.


“Ouch, that looks painful.” He commented, very gently taking her foot in his strong hand, knowing if he made one wrong move she would probably end up breaking his nose. “You need to have this looked at, LJ.”


“You really think it’s that bad?” She asked hesitantly, not in the mood to visit the ER tonight, wondering why her heel decided to break just as this gorgeous man was walking off of the elevator. 


Fate really was out to bite her in the ass.


“It looks bad, but looks can be deceiving.” Allen said, rubbing his chin in thought, and looked up in those fearful grey eyes. “How about we put some ice on it and see if the swelling goes down?” He suggested, causing her to nod. “Can you bend your toe?”


Lyla was afraid to try, but knew if she didn’t Allen would cart her straight to the ER. “I think so…” She took a deep breath and moved it, a hiss of pain escaping her lips, and tried it again.  It wasn’t as bad as the first time, though it still hurt. “I think I just stubbed it really bad.”


“Yeah, if you can move it that means it’s not broken, but it could be fractured or sprained.” It was her big toe as Allen walked into the kitchen area of the suite to grab her some ice, putting some in a baggie. “You really need to be more careful with those damn heels.”


“Oh right, like I was supposed to know the damn thing would break just as you walked off of the elevator?” Lyla snorted, rolling her eyes, and bent down with a grunt to remove her other heel. 


“No, but you were walking pretty damn fast and these types of shoes aren’t meant for that.” He shot back promptly, walking back over, and pushed her back gently but firmly. “Stop before you hurt yourself more.”


“You know you can always leave.  I don’t need your help.” Lyla snapped, clearly fed up with every male on the planet right now, especially after her disastrous blind date. “The last thing I need to deal with after the night I’ve had is an overbearing pompous asshole who thinks he knows everything.”


Allen raised a very slow eyebrow, wondering if she was serious, and pulled back to just stare at her with unreadable brown eyes. “I don’t think I know everything, but I do know that if you don’t put ice on this immediately, it will swell to the point of you not being able to walk on it.  And that’s not good for you or the rest of the crew.  Now, are you ready to stop being a stubborn bitch or do I have to get mean?” He demanded, causing her eyes to widen slightly, and immediately pulled her ankle out of his grasp when he went to take it.


“Don’t touch me you asshole!” She hissed angrily, ignoring the throbbing pain in her toe, refusing to let him help her. “I don’t want your help, get out of my room!”


“Okay you really need to remove the stick from your ass and just let me help you.” Allen was getting irritated, grabbing her ankle, and groaned when she kicked him directly in the chest.  It hurt, but he didn’t let it on, simply staring back at her with those smoldering brown eyes. “That the best you’ve got?”


Lyla swallowed hard, feeling as though her heart might leap out of her chest, tears burning in her grey eyes. “Leave now.” She ordered shakily, though it wasn’t working because Allen merely smirked at her. “I mean it, Allen!”


“I don’t think you really do.” Allen countered, deciding he was in the mood for some fighting, especially after the night he had as well.  It sounded like both of them needed to release some aggression and Lyla was the perfect woman to do it with. “I think what you really want me to do is rip your clothes off and fuck you until we’re both practically blind.”


Lyla actually felt her jaw drop at his blunt words, blinking rapidly, seeing just how serious he was because of how dark his eyes became.  They were like two black holes full of smoldering desire and lust; suddenly Lyla couldn’t breathe, think or move an inch as he slowly crawled toward her on the bed.  The throbbing pain in her toe was the last thing on her mind as she slowly began moving away from him until her back hit the headboard.  Part of her filled with fear and the other part extremely angry because of what he said to her, eyes narrowing.


“I told you to leave; does that sound like I’m kidding?” She demanded, trying like hell to keep the nervousness out of her tone, and watched an evil smirk spread across Allen’s lips.  Oh lord, she was going to melt in a puddle before him and Lyla knew she was trapped. “Allen…”


His finger reached out, pressing it to her soft lips, and Lyla began trembling from head to toe as he moved closer.  His hot hand slid up her leg until he reached her thigh, causing Lyla to suck in a breath, not able to stop her eyes from closing because the contact felt so good.  She hadn’t been touched like this since her last relationship, which ended badly, and Lyla hadn’t been with a man since then. 


She actually swore off men until Christy came to her and begged for Lyla to go on the blind date, promising she’d have a good time.  Right now though, all Lyla could think about was the feeling of Allen’s hand nearly searing her soft skin, breathing becoming instantly erratic.  She wore a short black skirt that went two inches above the knee with a strapless black top that had red lace trim on the hems. 


Allen smirked as he wrapped his hand around her calve, gently pulling her toward him until she was beneath him, hovering over her.  His lips were mere inches from hers and Allen could hear her heart beating rapidly, knowing he was probably scaring her.  He didn’t want to do it this way, suddenly having second thoughts; swallowing hard because then he noticed the hint of fear in those grey eyes for the first time. 


Instead of getting off of her and leaving, Allen wasn’t going without making sure she would take care of that toe properly.  So he began kissing down her leg to that toe, pressing a very soft kiss to it, and then placed the ice on top of it that he had in his free hand.  He heard her give out a small yelp of pain, frowning, knowing it was the only way to get the swelling done.


As much as Allen was dying to have sex with Lyla, he knew tonight wasn’t the night or right time.


“You need to stay off of this toe for a few days.” He stated in a husky voice, causing her to stare up at him through widened grey eyes, knowing teasing her probably wasn’t the best thing to do. “I didn’t mean to scare you Lyla, I’m sorry.”


Lyla watched Allen slump his shoulders and grabbed his arm before he could move toward the door, their eyes meeting again. “You didn’t.” She lied, not wanting him to leave, watching that smirk spread across his lips again.


“Yes I did, nice try.  Besides, I thought you wanted me to leave?” He retorted, amusement shining in his brown eyes once more, watching the scowl spread on her red pouty lips.


“You are so not remotely funny, Jones.” She grunted, shaking her head, not believing she actually thought he wanted to have sex with her. “And yeah I do, you can leave now after making me all hot and bothered.”


She instantly regretted those words as soon as they came out of her mouth.


Allen couldn’t help it and began laughing; the sound low and husky, watching Lyla try to move from the bed.  He was over to her in a flash, quicker than most people realized, bending before her and staring in those cold grey eyes.  He didn’t know what was going on with Lyla; she was a complete mystery he slowly wanted to unfold little by little.


“Hot and bothered eh?” When she just scowled harder and turned her head away from him, Allen decided he wasn’t letting her get away that easily. “Hmmm I didn’t think I could have that effect on you.”


Lyla felt him grab her chin gently, standing over her now, and wondered what else he could do to humiliate her further. “Just leave.” She whispered, trying to turn her head away from him again, but once more Allen was being stubborn.


“I’ll leave after this.”


Before Lyla knew what was happening, Allen’s lips descended on hers, kissing her tenderly.  It made her heart nearly stop, the softest of moans escaping her lips as Lyla instantly melted against him.  She touched his face, cupping it gently, wishing he would go further with her because she desperately wanted him.  When he pulled back, Lyla was completely breathless and could only watch as Allen walked out the door, not before turning his head to wink at her over his shoulder.


Chapter 10


“I can’t believe I’m doing this.”


Ryan stared in the full length mirror, knowing Ken would be arriving any moment to escort her to the Genesis pay-per-view.  She’d been around Superstars before, so Ryan didn’t understand why she was so anxious.  To say she was nervous was an understatement; Ryan was petrified and hoped she looked at least halfway decent for the pay-per-view.


The dress she picked out was a deep royal blue with a V shaped neckline that had sequins around the bodice.  It had unique butterfly patterned straps across the back with keyholes on the side and an open back.  The dress flowed down to her ankles and was pure silk except for the sequin butterfly design.  It was truly breathtaking, though Ryan didn’t think she looked that good in it, sighing gently.


Her chestnut locks were down and curled at the ends, not really doing anything with it because Ryan honestly didn’t have the time or patience.  She had two inch silver open toed and her makeup was simply royal blue eyeliner –she’d surprisingly found it while searching for a dress and shoes- along with clear gloss, hoping it was enough to impress the TNA roster.


Highly unlikely.


Ryan began pacing back and forth, wondering if this was such a great idea after all to accompany her job on television. “I can’t back out now.” She muttered, stopping when a knock sounded at her hotel room door. “This is it.” Taking a deep breath, Ryan walked over and pulled it open, staring back into the dark eyes of Ken.


Ken blinked when he saw his assistant staring back at him, not believing how incredibly stunning she looked.  He had to learn how to breathe again, admiring every curve; every detail put in and smiled widely.  He wore a black suit with a royal blue shirt underneath, having found out what color of dress Ryan picked out, with a black tie and shiny black shoes, hair perfect as always.  Ryan was having a hard time breathing herself, though it was more from the nerves for his debut in TNA.


“You look gorgeous.” Ken finally found his voice, extending his hand to her with a bright beautiful smile, which nearly made Ryan weak in the knees. “Come on, a limo is outside waiting for us.”


Ryan could only nod, not trusting her voice at the moment, and slipped her hand into his as he guided her out of the room.  She had a small matching purse that had her keycard and phone in it, just in case she had to make a quick escape or didn’t feel comfortable.  Ryan moved her hand from Ken’s to link their arms together, smiling softly when he patted her hand in encouragement.  He knew she was scared and honestly didn’t blame her, but Ken wasn’t going to let anything happen to her.


The cameras were flashing every which way when the limo pulled up to the arena; Ryan instantly felt her heart begin to pound.  She looked over at Ken, who was very calm and collected, wondering how in the hell he managed doing it.  Then again, this was his element, not hers, and Ryan suddenly wondered if this was a huge mistake.  Before she could open her mouth to tell the driver to go back to the hotel, the door opened and cameras instantly flashed, Ken stepping out extending his hand to her.  Ryan had no choice and slipped her hand into his again, stepping out of the limo, keeping a smile on her face.


Dixie Carter had pulled out all the stops to make this huge, including hiring media and whatnot.


Ryan could only hope she didn’t look like a deer caught in the headlights.


The questions fired one after another and Ken handled it with style and modesty. “This lovely woman is Ryan Timbers; she’s a good friend of mine.” He answered, refusing to answer the other questions, keeping an arm locked around Ryan’s waist.


“Well she’s definitely a beauty.” The interviewer stated, causing Ryan’s cheeks to bloom with roses, chewing her bottom lip and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “How do you know each other?”


“We’re friends.” Ken answered before Ryan could, not wanting the media to know who she was yet. “Close friends.  I’m sorry we have to get going, thank you.” He guided her away from the interviewers, feeling her trembling slightly against him. “Don’t worry, that’s the worst of it.” He whispered in her ear, feeling Ryan nod, and guided her inside the arena with both of them smiling.


Ryan tried to breathe, though to the untrained eye she looked comfortable and completely levelheaded.  It helped Ken was being extremely comforting, trying to help her in any way he could to get her through this without Ryan falling flat on her face.  She took a deep breath when Steve Borden came walking up to them, though most wrestling fans knew him as simply Sting.


“Hello again Steve.” Ken greeted warmly, both men shaking hands before Ken turned to face Ryan. “This is Ryan Timbers, my new personal assistant.”


Steve smiled kindly, extending his hand to her, and Ryan wondered if she looked scared to death. “A pleasure to meet you, Ryan.” He kissed the back of her hand and released it just as his wife, Sue, came walking up in a beautiful glittering gold dress that hugged her curves.


“Hey sweetie.” She kissed Steve’s cheek, lacing her arm through his, smiling gently back at the woman on Ken’s arm. “And who is this?”


“This is Ryan Timbers, a close friend of mine…”


“Actually, I’m his personal assistant.” Ryan finally spoke up, voice purely professional, and shook Sue’s hand with a smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet both of you as well; I’m a huge fan of yours, Mr. Borden.”


“Thanks honey.” Steve grinned from ear to ear, walking away with Sue, waving at the fans and posing for flashing cameras.


Ken looked at Ryan, who simply smiled back at him, hoping he wasn’t angry with her.  Ryan refused to lie though; she barely knew Ken and didn’t want to be another pawn played in a chess game.  She’d been through enough of that with Mark and refused to do the same thing with Ken, walking with him down the red carpet.  He didn’t look angry with her; though Ryan knew he was more than likely putting up a front for the media.


“Hello Ken.” Shantelle –most TNA fans knew her as Taylor Wilde- greeted, wearing a pale blue strapless gown, smiling as they kissed each other’s cheeks. “How are you?”


“I’m fine.” Ken sighed heavily, glancing sideways at his personal assistant, not believing how calm she was being throughout this. “This is Ryan Timbers, a friend of mine and my new personal assistant.” He grinned when Ryan stared at him somewhat shocked, immediately taking Shantelle’s hand.


“It’s very nice to meet you.”


“Oh thanks!” Shantelle giggled softly, her blonde locks curled up to just below her ears. “It’s always nice meeting new people.”


The media started firing more questions left and right toward them.


“Unfortunately, they have to get inside for the show.  Thank you.” Ryan ushered Ken inside by the arm, trying not to look hasty, having noticed the warning signs.


“Have I told you how much I love that you’re my personal assistant lately?” Ken was very thankful for Ryan’s quick thinking, knowing she’d been very uncomfortable and timid. “Are you alright?”


“I’m fine; I was more worried about you.” Ryan reached up to straighten his tie, their eyes locking briefly, and immediately released him with a smile. “Are you okay?”


“Never better.” Ken grinned and took her hand, guiding her around the corner into the huge arena, heading for his dressing room. “I hope you enjoy the show and coming out there with me.”


“I’m sure I will.” Ryan replied, looking around the arena in wonder.


She’d made it this far and Ryan had to admit she was having fun, somewhat excited about seeing this movie.  They ended up sitting in Ken’s dressing room, which had a couch, treating him like the big Superstar he was.  She also wasn’t admitting that Ken made her heart skip a beat whenever he smiled at her, knowing she could not cross that line.


The pay-per-view started with applause from the fans and Ryan was completely enthralled with it.  She glanced over at Ken, seeing how proud he was to finally be back in an arena, remembering how he’d been let go from the WWE.  It was pretty low of Vince McMahon firing a talent like Ken, though Ryan couldn’t say anything and kept her thoughts to herself.  Ken still didn’t recognize her from the Raw roster, which was good because the last thing she needed was having her past drug up with the WWE.


Two hours later, Ryan walked out of the arena on Ken’s arm, feeling more confident this time around and looking absolutely stunning.  Her beautiful sky blue eyes popped because of the dress and Ryan lost count on how many compliments she received.  Ken was glad Ryan was relaxing, answering questions from the media, but he never once unwound his arm from around Ryan’s waist.  She was his date for the evening and he was treating her as such, acting like a perfect gentleman.


“Ken, is this your new girlfriend?”


“Ken, is Ryan Timbers more than just a personal assistant?”


For the first time in her life, Ryan felt like lashing out at the paparazzi, not believing how deep they delved into their personal lives.  She was glad Ken simply ignored their questions, guiding her toward the limo slowly, though they kept being stopped by different TNA stars.  Dixie Carter really wanted everyone to know that TNA was on the map and wasn’t backing down from Vince McMahon’s organization.


Once they were both finally inside the limo, Ryan finally turned to face Ken, eyes full of wonder. “I’m just going to flat out ask this, why did you ask me to come with you tonight?” She asked, causing Ken to smile, those light brown eyes calm and warm.  It made something stir inside of Ryan and she wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad thing.


“Honestly?  I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me and I wanted a beautiful woman on my arm when I debuted.” Ken lowered his head sheepishly, clasping his hands in front of him. “Since you’re my personal assistant, I figured you wouldn’t mind doing me a favor by accompanying me.  You were stunning out there and the crowd loved you.”


“No, I don’t mind at all.  I was just curious.” Ryan assured him with a smile, leaning back against the seat, dying to get these heels and dress off so she could fully relax. “I’ve never been around that many people…you didn’t seem the least bit intimidated.”


Ken chuckled softly, rubbing the back of his neck somewhat awkwardly. “You have no idea how nervous I actually was.” He admitted, brown eyes shining with truth, and Ryan blinked at him.


“You were so...calm though.” Ryan watched him shrug diffidently and turned to stare out the window, feeling him take her hand again.


“Thank you for coming with me tonight, Ryan.” His voice dropped an octave, causing her to turn as their eyes locked again, and Ryan knew she was in dangerous territory.


Slipping her hand out of his, Ryan folded her arms in front of her chest, nodding. “It’s part of my job to do what I can to make your life easier, Ken.  So no thanks are needed.”


The rest of the ride to the hotel was made in silence, knowing both of them had an early flight to Nashville in the morning.




“Oh my god did you see the TNA Genesis pay-per-view last night?!” Maria gasped, shaking her head while eating a sandwich, sitting in the cafeteria with Mickie James and a few other WWE Divas. “I mean seriously, I can’t believe Ryan is working for Ken Anderson!”


“She definitely hit the jackpot.  That man is gorgeous in every way.”


“And her dress was absolutely amazing!  Did you see how glamorous she looked?  It was almost as if she never worked for this company.”


“Most definitely and to think she left Calaway’s side after all this time to follow this eighteen year old hunk.  Not that I blame her honestly.  He’s younger and more fit…if you catch my drift.”


Mark heard every word the Divas said and scowled, walking away from the cafeteria in a stalk.  Ryan left him to be with a ROOKIE?  Mark couldn’t believe this and went to his dressing room, pulling out his laptop he rarely used, and fired it up.  He had to see this to believe it, not believing a word those wenches said in the cafeteria.  This damn thing was taking too long to start; he raked a hand through his dark red hair, venomous green eyes narrowed.


He groaned when he couldn’t find anything, not knowing a damn thing about using a laptop, and looked up when Ted DiBiase walked in. “What do you want, boy?  Shouldn’t you be on Raw?” He ordered gruffly, tapping buttons, trying not to toss the damn thing across the room against the wall.


“I need to talk to you about something.” Ted stated, walking over and taking the laptop, sitting down on the couch beside Mark. “Or rather show you.  I saw you in the cafeteria.” They were currently in Chicago for a super show, all three brands coming together on the road to WrestleMania.


Mark had a sinking feeling he knew what Ted wanted to show him, fighting the urge not to throw the boy out on his ass.  Those thoughts flew out the window when the screen popped up and there she was, the woman he’d had a two year fling with.  His old personal assistant, looking more glamorous than ever, on the arm of Ken Anderson, the biggest star currently in TNA.


“She left the company because of you.” Ted’s voice became low and lethal, looking over at Mark with icy blue eyes. “You drove her out of here because of your selfishness and inability to give her what she needed.  And now she’s with him and you have nobody to blame but yourself.”


“Who the hell do you-?”


“Fuck you Deadman.” Ted stood up from the couch, slamming the laptop so hard; it busted as buttons went flying, actually shocking Mark. “That’s not the only reason I came in here.  I want a match with you at WrestleMania.  Fuck Michaels, I want the shot because, after seeing that and knowing what you did to her, I want to show you what it means to be completely broken.”


Mark could only watch as the rookie stalked out of his dressing room, slamming the door so hard the hinges nearly broke off.


Chapter 11


Three months passed and Ryan was finally comfortable enough to come out of her shell.  She got along great with Ken, though they did have their little tiffs.  Ken could be very stubborn when he wanted to be, especially when it came to certain foods, all because he wanted to maintain his current body stature.  Ryan understood this, but at the same time, it wouldn’t hurt him to eat fast food at least once a week.


In her eyes at least.


Ken was very strict with his diet, though he was still much better and simpler to work for than Mark Calaway.  He was surprisingly organized, once Ryan arrived and corrected the mistakes Carla made, a complete gentleman on top of it.  He opened doors for her and always walked her to her hotel room.  It was mid May and it felt close to summer in Nashville.  Ryan was busy packing away everything, knowing they would be heading to Cancun early in the morning because Ken had a photo shoot to do for his debut with TNA.


A knock at Ryan’s door made her stop packing as she walked over and opened it, mouth dropping at the sight before her. “What are you doing here?” She demanded, immediately walking away from the door, which was a huge mistake as her unexpected visitor stepped inside.


“What do you think I’m doing here?” His deep voice, which had a slight southern accent to it, flowed throughout the room, a voice Ryan had honestly forgotten about until now. “Ryan…”


“No.” She held her hand up before he could continue, already knowing what he was going to say. “I can’t do this right now, Ted.”


Ted sighed, knowing it was a shot in the dark coming here to talk to Ryan, but he honestly couldn’t stay away any longer. “Ryan, I miss you and I’m not the only one.  You don’t belong here…” He watched as her head snapped up, raising an eyebrow. “As much as you wish you did, you know the WWE is the only true place for you.”


“Why?  So I can be screwed with even more by two men?  Because that’s all I’m really good for is a good lay in the sack?” Ryan snorted, becoming angrier by the second, and slammed her first suitcase shut with authority. “What gives you the right to come here and say something like that to me, Ted huh?”


Ryan knew the WWE had been in town for an event, but never in her wildest dreams did she think one of the guys would track her down.  Well maybe John, but definitely not Ted DiBiase and of course Mark didn’t care if she lived or died.  She hadn’t thought about him either or anyone in the company for the past three months, besides John, who flat out refused to leave her alone.


“Because I know the real reason why you left.” Ted slowly walked toward her, watching her take a step back with every step he took toward her. “And I’m telling you it’s a cheap copout to leave just because you can’t have the Deadman.”


Ryan felt a stab of pain enter her heart; eyes narrowed to slits, and folded her arms in front of her chest. “What makes you assume that’s the reason I left?” She demanded irritably, hating that Ted was right, though Ryan was still in denial about leaving over a man. “I left because I was offered a better job with better pay and benefits.  I left because it benefited ME and, for once, I was doing something for ME.”


“Why don’t I believe you?” Ted shot back, staring deep in those ice cold blue eyes he missed so much, his own deep blue orbs softening considerably. “Ryan, he used you for two years and I don’t blame you one bit for leaving, but you could’ve always came to Raw and we could’ve picked up where we left off…”


Staring deep into his eyes, Ryan thought she would feel something toward him, but surprisingly there was nothing.  She did love him at one time, until Mark Calaway came into her life, and then everything went to shambles.  The tears that filled her eyes right now were the pain of Ted coming here and assuming what she did and did not want out of life…that she came here because of Mark.  Part of that was true, but another big chunk of Ryan just had to get away from the wrestling business and pursue new experiences.


At least that’s what she kept telling herself.


“Ted, I did love you once.” Ryan admitted, feeling her back hit the wall, swallowing hard as he stood right in front of her, both of his hands on either side of her face, eyes never leaving his. “You are a beautiful man, there’s no doubt about that.”


“I loved you too, Ryan, and I still do.” Ted murmured huskily, seeing the distant in her eyes, and went to kiss her soft lips.  Ryan stopped him by placing her hands on his chest, their noses practically touching, but there was no contact to her lips. “What’s wrong?”


“What’s wrong is the fact that you still think I have the same feelings for you and I don’t.” Ryan stated, knowing she had nowhere to go because he was blocking her only way out. “Ted, I loved you once, but I don’t anymore.  You need to move on and find someone else.  I’m very happy where I am and I’m not leaving unless my client gets rid of me.”


Ted’s eyes narrowed slightly, not believing what he was hearing, and pulled away in a soft growl. “What the hell are you talking about, Ryan?” He demanded gruffly, facing her again with cold blue eyes this time. “He’s a PUNK and you’re choosing a PUNK over US?”


“There is no US, Ted.  You need to get that through your head right now.  I don’t love you anymore.  My love for you died when I met Mark and you know that…” As much as it killed Ryan to say that name, she knew it had to be done in order to get her point across. “I still love Mark and I don’t know if that’ll ever go away…”


“How can you stand there and spew that shit at me, Ryan?  You loved me and then met Calaway and then suddenly your love went to him?  That doesn’t just happen on a whim!  Christ, you have no idea how much I love you!  I want to marry you right now, I just want to go to Vegas and get this over and done with so the whole world knows you’re mine!  I want to take you back to where you belong, in the WWE, with all of your friends who miss you like crazy and to have you at my side for the rest of our lives!” Ted rambled, pacing back and forth in front of her, his voice growing louder with every sentence he said. 


It was actually starting to scare Ryan, but she didn’t show it.


“Ted, that’s never going to happen…”


“WHY THE HELL NOT?” He finally snapped, eyes narrowed to the point where she could barely see the blue beneath the lids. “Because of that punk?!  Because of what Calaway did?!  I know you love me or you wouldn’t have fucked me before you left!!  You called me, Ryan, you remember that?  You wouldn’t have called me unless you felt SOMETHING between us still, drunk or not!!”


“Will you STOP calling him a punk?!” Ryan finally couldn’t take it anymore, blinking as tears spilled down her cheeks, feeling as though her heart might fly out of her chest. “His name is Ken, not punk.  He has more respect in his pinky than you do right now!”


“Are you going to fuck him too?” Ted demanded nastily, watching her blue eyes widen in pure shock, a cold smirk forming on his lips. “Or have you already?  Is that it, Ryan?  You found a new cock to suck and now you can’t leave your TNA fuck!”


“Ted, just STOP it!  I needed someone that night and I knew you were the one I could count on, or so I thought!  I never thought you would just assume I still loved you just because I called you for a final romp!” Ryan couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of his mouth, her tears falling even harder. “Of course I’m not screwing him, you monster!  I’m here strictly for business and that’s IT and it feels nice!”


Ted snorted, not believing a word she said, folding his arms in front of his chest accusingly. “Then why did you call me that night and I’m not buying that whole you needed someone bullshit either.  Why did you call me that night?  Why wasn’t it John?” He demanded, not moving toward her because Ted didn’t want to do something he’d regret later.


“You can believe it or not, but that’s the truth.  I walked in on Mark and Michelle fucking and I needed someone to make me forget about it.  The wine wasn’t working so I improvised and John is like a brother to me so that wasn’t happening.  I called YOU because I knew you wanted me and I needed someone to make me feel beautiful and wanted again.” Ryan couldn’t fight anymore as she sank down on the bed, lowering her head in shame, the tears not stopping. “Mark used me for two years, Ted.  Two years I longed for him to tell me he wanted me and nobody else.  I was waiting for him to tell me he loved me as much as I loved him, regardless of our age difference, and he ended up ripping my heart out of my chest and stomping on it.  How do you think that made me feel, knowing he was screwing her and god knows how many other women besides me?  It tore me up to the point where I just needed someone I knew well and who I THOUGHT wouldn’t judge me to have sex with because I had to forget what a true monster Mark was.”


“Well don’t worry about Mark because I injured him good at WrestleMania.” Ted had gotten his match, over Michael surprisingly, because Vince wanted a rookie to try ending the Deadman’s winning streak. “I didn’t end his career, though I should’ve and I didn’t beat him, but I made him rethink his ways of treating a woman.” He gritted his teeth, hands clenched at his sides, hating to see Ryan cry because it twisted his heart violently.


“I’m sorry…” She whispered, burying her face in her hands, knowing she hadn’t told Ted the entire story about why she’d called him. 


Only that she needed someone to screw her and if he couldn’t get the job done, he could leave.  Those were her exact words and Ryan never thought Ted still felt as strongly as he currently claimed.  If she would’ve known, even through her drunken haze, Ryan would’ve never called him because she didn’t want him to feel the same pain she did…being rejected by the one person he supposedly loved more than life itself.


Ted sighed heavily and finally caved in, sitting down on the bed, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Sssshhhh it’s alright.” He crooned soothingly in her ear, feeling her tears sear through the thin blue shirt he currently wore, closing his eyes painfully shut. “I’m not mad at you Ryan…”


Ryan felt him cup her head in his strong hand, rubbing it comfortingly, and gripped his shirt in both hands as tightly as she could. “I’m so sorry…” She whispered, feeling Ted lift her from the bed on his lap sideways, her face burying in his strong chest, not believing he was actually comforting her.


“Stop apologizing, Ryan.  It’s not your fault.” Ted gruffly stated, pressing a soft kiss to her temple, wishing she didn’t love Mark because he didn’t deserve it.  He deserved to have his other leg fractured, though Ted wasn’t going into the details about what happened at WrestleMania.  Ryan didn’t watch it and he didn’t want to upset her anymore than she already was. “I didn’t mean to upset you sweetheart, please don’t cry.  I didn’t mean anything I said, I just wish I could stop loving you.”


Those words made Ryan feel even worse as she cried harder, the crying turning to heart wrenching sobs, having not shed a tear since she arrived in TNA.  Why couldn’t she love a great guy like Ted?  Why did she have to keep pining over a man who would never want or need her?  It didn’t make sense and Ryan felt so alone at that moment, her entire body trembling with the harsh reality that she might end up being alone for the rest of her life.


“I never meant to hurt you, Teddy.” She whimpered helplessly, feeling completely defeated as he held her closer, feeling his own body shaking. “I’m so sorry…”


“It’s alright.” Ted had to pull it together, blinking the tears out of his eyes, and stared down at the beautiful angel in his arms that would forever have his heart. “I need to leave, Ryan.”


Ryan knew why and nodded, slipping out of his lap and wiped her tears away as she walked him to the door, chewing her bottom lip. “Ted…”


“Can I ask you one more question before I leave?” He asked quietly, knowing his blowup probably severed what communication they had. “Just one and I promise to never bother you again.” When she nodded, Ted took a deep breath and cupped her face in his strong hands, staring in those bloodshot sky blue eyes. “What does he have that I don’t?”




“Please just answer, Ryan.” He never broke eye contact, running his thumb across her pouty red lips, inching to kiss the breath right out of her but resisted. “Please.”


“I don’t know.” She whispered, not sure how to answer that question, a few more tears spilling out of her eyes, placing her hands over his. “If I had the answer, I would tell you, I swear Ted.”


He nodded, sucking in a sharp breath and pressed a kiss to her forehead, allowing his lips to linger longer than needed. “I know you would.  Goodbye Ryan.” He whispered and walked away from her down the hallway, leaving her standing in the doorway with tears streaming down her face.


“Goodbye Teddy.” Ryan whispered and walked back into her hotel room, closing the door slowly as she pressed her back to it, sliding down until her rear hit the carpeted floor.


Ryan completely forgot that she was sharing a hotel room suite with Ken and didn’t realize he’d just heard every word of her heartbreaking conversation with Ted.


Chapter 12


The flight to Cancun was made in silence, mostly because Ryan was too busy sleeping, Ken sitting next to her.  He still couldn’t believe the conversation he’d overheard her having with another man.  Ken was honestly two seconds away from busting down her door and rescuing her because the volume of their argument/conversation escalated more than he would’ve liked.  As a matter of fact, Ken didn’t want anyone yelling at Ryan, having grown very fond of her as his assistant and friend over the past few months.



He knew she didn’t get a lot of sleep and who honestly could after having a heartbreaking argument/conversation like that?  It just wasn’t happening and Ken honestly didn’t blame her, wondering what kind of job she had prior to this.  Ken had poked his head out of his hotel room, after he heard Ryan’s close, and caught a glimpse of the man she’d been talking with. 


He called down and asked the receptionist who visited Ryan’s room, receiving the name Ted DiBiase in return.  After minimal research, Ken found him online through Google, not believing Ryan actually worked for the WWE.  He remembered hearing the name Mark in the conversation and researched him as well, his eyes nearly bugging out his skull when The Undertaker popped on the screen.  She was the personal assistant of the locker room leader of the WWE?!  He couldn’t help wondering what made Ryan leave such a prestigious job like that to come to TNA and start completely over.


“Mmm…” Ryan sighed, slowly fluttering her sky blue eyes open, and looked over at a thoughtful Ken. 


He looked troubled, which didn’t settle right with Ryan, and she wondered if he’d overheard her conversation with Ted the previous night.  Biting her bottom lip, Ryan decided against asking him about it and looked out the window, stretching her arms in the air.  Ken looked over at her and smiled, though the dark circles were still apparent under her eyes, refusing to show his concern.  He didn’t want to alarm her in any way, simply patting her hand gently with kind gentle brown eyes.


“How did you sleep?” He asked softly, leaning back against the seat, wearing a simple black long sleeved thermal shirt with blue jeans.


“Surprisingly peaceful.” She answered, smiling apologetically because she wasn’t supposed to show laziness in front of her client.  Very rarely did Ryan sleep on a plane ride because her client did, wanting to be the one her client could rely on if he needed anything. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep, it won’t happen again.”


“Don’t worry about it.  You looked exhausted.  Didn’t sleep well I take it?” Ken asked innocently and Ryan shrugged her shoulders, flat out refusing to talk about what happened with Ted.


“You could say that.” Ryan immediately pulled out his schedule, nodding as she tapped her chin in thought, trying to get Ted’s words out of her head.


Ken grinned from ear to ear, wondering what exciting things awaited them in Cancun.  He’d been here a couple of times with his family, honestly excited to get away from the honky-tonk Nashville seemed always seemed to have.  In Cancun, the sun mostly shined brightly and he knew it would be more relaxing for Ryan than Vancouver had been.  He hoped she took some time out for herself, deciding to do whatever it took to make her job as easy as possible so she could enjoy being in Cancun.


“Oh and you have a conference call with Jarrett after your photo shoot.”


Ken grinned, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and kissed her forehead softly. “Don’t worry so much about my schedule.  I just want you to enjoy yourself in Cancun.”


Ryan quirked an eyebrow, wondering if he was serious and immediately pulled away from the embrace with a kind smile. “As much as I would love to do that, I do have responsibilities and-” Ken pressed a finger to her lips, stopping Ryan from speaking further, sighing against them.


“I know you have responsibility, but you also need to get out and have some fun.  You don’t always have to be by my side, Ryan.  You can do whatever you want, the scheduling will get done, don’t put so much pressure on yourself.” Ken said softly, smirking when she simply folded her arms in front of her chest stubbornly. “Please don’t make me order it because I will if that’s what it takes to make you relax more while we’re in Cancun.”


In all her years of being a personal assistant, Ryan had never met anyone quite like Ken Anderson and wondered why he was being nice to her.  She waited until he pulled his finger away from her lips, trying to get her train of thought back in order.  Being a personal assistant required more than just scheduling on Ryan’s part, but she also hadn’t done anything remotely fun since she acquired this job.  Maybe Ken had a point, even though Ryan felt extremely uncomfortable having fun while her client fended for himself.


“I’ll be fine, I promise.” Ken assured her, reading her mind, and Ryan finally knew she couldn’t fight him on it any longer.


“Fine, I’ll take SOME time for myself, but not a lot.” Ryan smiled when they reached a compromise, shaking hands, and Ken chuckled before bringing her hand up to his lips.


“Good, now that THAT is taken care of, there’s something I want to talk to you about.” Ken suddenly wondered if this was the best time to talk to Ryan about this, chewing his bottom lip nervously. “Look Ryan-”


“Ladies and Gentlemen, flight 135 is approaching Cancun International Airport.  Please fasten your seatbelts for the landing.  Thank you for flying American Airlines, we hoped you enjoyed your flight and have a nice day.” The flight attendant ended the announcement, ruining the moment between Ken and Ryan.


“What were you going to say Ken?” Ryan asked, after doing what the flight attendant instructed, already feeling the plane descending as her eyes closed. 


This was the worst part of flying, though she’d get over it, especially after a good night sleep.  Of course, that wouldn’t happen for several hours because Ken had meetings to attend and Ryan had to be there in case there was anything she had to know.  Ryan had to suck it up, wishing she could’ve slept longer on the plane, not realizing she’d slept nearly the entire way from Nashville to Cancun, stifling a long yawn that Ken did not miss.


“Nothing, I was just going to suggest that you go to the hotel and get some more rest.  You don’t need to come to the shoot today.  I can handle it.” Ken assured her, lying through his teeth because that’s far from what he wanted to talk to her about. “It’s up to you, but I really think you’d benefit me more if you had more rest, Ryan.”


Ryan sighed heavily; running a hand through her hair, knowing Ken had a point. “Fine, you win this time.  I’ll go to the hotel.” When Ken nodded, assuring her everything was fine; Ryan wondered if this job was cut out for her. ‘Of course it is, you fool!  This is Ted’s fault for showing up uninvited last night!  It won’t be happening again!’ She berated herself mentally, the plane landing moments later.


“Don’t worry about it, Ryan.  You’re still an awesome PA.” Ken assured her once more, having read the hesitation in those sky blue eyes, smiling encouragingly, both of them walking through the airport terminal with passports in hand.


It took a half an hour to get through security, inspecting their bags and whatnot.  It didn’t matter that Ken was a huge TNA star, they were in Mexico and not taking any chances, checking over every speck they brought with.  It was rather annoying, though Ryan was used to it because the WWE had shows coming to Mexico all the time, even though Mark rarely went to those. 


It was mostly the new blood, the veterans remaining in the United States.


Once the security was done, a limo was waiting for them, much to Ryan’s relief as they both slipped inside while the driver placed their luggage in the trunk and took off toward the hotel.  Ryan would be lying if she said she still wasn’t tired, especially since she ended up dozing off during the twenty minute ride from the airport to the hotel, leaning against Ken and he didn’t mind it at all.  He simply wrapped his arm around her shoulders, her head resting against his chest, and rubbed her arm up and down, knowing he was starting to have feelings for his personal assistant.


Hell, who could honestly blame him?


She was absolutely breathtaking and he loved her long chestnut hair that pooled down her back near her waist.  It was beautiful and always shined, smelling constantly of lilacs, which intoxicated him more than words could say.  Over the past three months, Ken knew he’d slowly started falling for Ryan, but after the previous night’s conversation, he couldn’t just jump into asking her out.  Ken had a plan and would execute it flawlessly, deciding he would wait until the moment was right to talk to her about what he was thinking.


He just hoped she complied with him on it.


They arrived at the hotel and Ryan slowly jolted awake, the movement of the limo having lulled her to sleep along with Ken’s beating heart.  He’d pulled her against him as soon as they slid in the limo and Ryan couldn’t honestly fight it because of how tired she was.  The jetlag was kicking in full gear as she yawned repeatedly, slipping out of the limo with Ken rubbing her tired eyes.  It was a good thing she didn’t do her makeup or else she’d look a real mess at the moment. 


“Yeah, you’re definitely getting some rest.” Ken stated, keeping his arm wrapped around her shoulders so Ryan didn’t fall over, who just smiled up at him weakly.


“Sorry, I guess I’m more tired than I thought.” She murmured, honestly not sounding apologetic, though she wanted to maim DiBiase for his abrupt visit the previous night. 


Hopefully that would be the last of the visits she received from her previous job, honestly wanting to leave it in the past.  John wouldn’t let her forget him though, which Ryan didn’t mind because he was honestly her best guy friend she had.  She had a few other friends in the company, including Phil Brooks, though she knew Lyla would kill her if she knew they still spoke.  Lyla had a past with Phil that she never talked about, not even with Ryan, because she knew deep down the woman was still deeply in love with him.


Lyla would never admit it, but Ryan knew better.


Before Ryan began working for the WWE, Lyla had been there working as a personal assistant for Phil Brooks, which is how she’d gotten the job.  Of course, Ryan had never in her life been a personal assistant, but Lyla convinced Vince to give her a chance because of her strong work ethic.  Vince decided it couldn’t hurt and was very impressed with Ryan, immediately hiring her as Mark’s personal assistant. 


Lyla and Phil had dated previously in college, until he was sent away to a private schooling due to his overbearing parents.  After he was released, he immediately began training to become a professional wrestler.  Lyla was hired through the company, after sending her resume when the WWE was looking for a personal assistant, having worked for a law firm in Los Angeles, where she’d moved soon after Phil was sent to boarding school.


When she ended up becoming Phil’s personal assistant, which was purely coincidental, they instantly rekindled the passion they had back in their college days.  Everyone knew about it, unlike Ryan and Mark, with Phil practically shouting it out that Lyla meant everything to him and he loved her unconditionally.  Lyla thought she’d truly found her soul mate, especially with everything they’d gone through what with Phil being sent away and Lyla moving to Los Angeles to pursue her own career and dreams.  It was as if fate was forcing them together and Lyla knew she would end up marrying him because they were meant to be.


That was until Vince came to Lyla and told her she was being let go because he couldn’t trust her to get the job done with being so close to Phil romantically.  He demanded that she go to the Raw brand, Phil was on the Smackdown! brand at the time, to assist one of the other wrestlers.  Lyla declined and was fired, which was fine because she immediately went to TNA and began her true wrestling career.


Of course, before going to TNA, Lyla visited Phil at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, everyone greeting and welcoming her with open arms.  They were super pissed at Vince for being such a schmuck about her being personally involved with Phil, but it was a business decision and Lyla wasn’t angry at him anymore.  She walked to Phil’s dressing room and found him with a bleach bottled blonde bent over the couch with Phil screwing her from behind, growling animalistically and shattering Lyla’s heart.  Phil stopped her from running away, hastily explaining that this was his fiancée, Erika, his high school sweetheart.  Lyla couldn’t believe what she was hearing and slapped the taste out of his mouth before running out of the Staples Center in tears.


They hadn’t seen or spoke to one another since then.


Several months after Lyla’s departure, Ryan finally understood what happened and Lyla deserved much better than Phil.  He was too straight edged for her, not even consuming a drop of alcohol.  It was almost as if the WWE wasn’t where Lyla and Ryan were meant to be, so everything happened for a reason and worked out in the end.  Phil was now happily married to Erika, or so she thought, not realizing that he was about to come back into her best friend’s life and turn it topsy-turvy again.


Walking up to her hotel room, Ryan immediately collapsed on the bed and instantly fell asleep, hoping she didn’t miss anything important at the two meetings Ken had.


Chapter 13


“Get the hell away from me, Jones.” Lyla snapped, storming away from him down the hallway, shaking her head angrily. “I have nothing more to say to you.”


“Why are you so pissed at me?” Allen demanded, stopping her by grabbing her arm, turning her around to face him with deadly grey eyes. “LJ…”


“No!  You don’t get to call me that right now.  Thank you for taking me on the WORST date in history!” Lyla was already pulling her keycard out of her purse, pursing her lips tightly together, and ripped her arm out of Allen’s strong grasp.


Allen groaned, wondering what he did that was so wrong, following her toward her apartment in Los Angeles. “Look, I was nervous…” He was having trouble finding the right words, trying to stop her again. “Lyla please…”


“No, first you show up completely unannounced and ask me on a date, which I have to admit was pretty damn romantic.  Then you proceed to take me to a violent slasher movie, which you know I can’t stand.  Then you take me out dancing to this club that wouldn’t know good music if it bit them in the damn ass and then out to McDonald’s, where you squirt KETCHUP on my damn blouse that I have to have dry-cleaned!  Not exactly the evening I pictured for us, Jones, but whatever thank god it’s over.” She flipped her raven locks in his face, turning on her silver heels, still not believing how much she’d dressed up for this.


“Look I’ll pay for the dry-cleaning…” Allen mumbled, scuffing his shoe on the sidewalk, looking very sheepish. “I’m sorry about your shirt and stepping on your toe…”


“Yeah, and you reinjured my damn toe that I already injured on my blind date back in Vancouver!” Lyla growled, having honestly forgotten about it until he mentioned it, scowling darkly. “I’m going up to my condo ALONE to take a hot bubble bath and forget this night ever existed.  When you finally figure out how to put on a PROPER date, you’ll know where to find me.  Until then, go away Allen.” She stormed past the gate and up the stairs to her building, limping a little since her toe was still throbbing something fierce.


“Can’t I at least make sure you get upstairs safely?” He pleaded at the end of the steps, looking up at her through deep brown puppy dog eyes, but they weren’t fazing Lyla at the moment from how angry and disappointed she was.


“No, I’ll be just fine.  I’m a big girl and can take care of myself.  Go away Allen.” She ordered in a softer tone of voice and walked through the door, locking it behind her, heading to the elevator that would take her up to her condo. 


She lived on the top floor, which is what Lyla requested when she moved from her apartment on the other side of Los Angeles.  Sighing heavily, Lyla slipped her key into the door and pushed it open, grumbling under her breath.  Knowing she was a little hard on Allen, Lyla decided she would give him a call as soon as her temper simmered a little, knowing a bottle of wine with a bubble bath would do the trick.  Maybe she would even invite him over for a little nightcap if she felt up to it, growling at her throbbing toe.


Shaking her head, Lyla flipped the light on and took her heels off, looking down at her blouse with another scowl.  He was definitely paying for this as she took it off; knowing ketchup was one of the worst staining products out there.  He had meant to aim for her plate and instead squirted her shirt, to which Lyla stormed out on him with smoke coming out of her ears.


“Damn it.” Lyla mumbled, hoping the ketchup would come out of the thin silver fabric, removing her short black skirt next. 


Why she ever dressed up for a night of hell, Lyla would never know, honestly wanting to look nice for Allen.  He seemed like the type who had his head on straight and could take her out on a PROPER date, not some half assed attempt.  Granted, it was sweet the way he threw rocks at her window and held a single red rose, asking her out for everyone to hear.  Lyla’s heart fluttered, having honestly grown fond of Allen over the past few months, though he’d never gotten the courage to ask her out while on the road with TNA.


So before Lyla left to come back to Los Angeles for her much needed break –it was only a few days, but that was better than nothing-, she dragged Allen aside and told him flat out that if he didn’t have the balls to ask her out, then he wasn’t worth her time.  Apparently, that got Allen’s mind racing and he immediately went after her to ask her out on a proper date.  Before that, Allen had kept dragging Lyla off secretively to make out with her at the arenas and Lyla thought all he wanted was sex.  He proved her wrong, but the date was horrid and Lyla didn’t know what to feel for him at this point.


Sighing heavily, Lyla stripped out of her garments and started a hot soothing bubble, a bottle of wine in hand with a long stemmed glass.  She poured herself one and downed it in a few gulps, just needing a buzz before sinking into the hot water.  After two straight glasses, Lyla finally began relaxing as she carefully slipped beneath the bubbles, the hot water instantly engulfing her as her eyes closed, sighing in pure satisfaction.  Nothing besides sex beat this feeling of exhilaration and relaxation as she poured a third glass and leaned back against the tub, turning the jets on, and allowed the feeling to sweep her away.


After her bath, Lyla stepped out and wrapped a towel around her body, brushing her hair and teeth before walking into her bedroom.  The bathroom was attached as she walked over to her dresser, pulling out a deep red nightgown that went to her mid-thigh.  Grey eyes narrowed when Lyla heard her cell phone ringing, knowing it was probably Allen calling to apologize profusely.  Against her better judgment, Lyla decided to answer it, sitting on the bed with her nightgown and garments in hand.


“Allen, I really don’t want to talk to you right now.”


“Who is Allen?” A familiar low voice resonated through the phone, causing Lyla’s eyes to shoot nearly out of their sockets, suddenly extremely sober.


“What do you want, Phil?”


“Open the front door and find out.” He challenged, abruptly ending the call.


Lyla blinked as she pulled the cell from her ear, staring at it and slowly stood up from the bed, clutching the towel tightly to her body.  What the hell did Phil want, especially after all this time?  Sighing, Lyla walked down the hallway toward the front door, feeling as though her heart might leap out of her chest from how fast it was pounding.  Lyla hadn’t seen Phil in years, honestly having pushed him to the back recesses of her mind…until now.


Deep hazel eyes met grey when Lyla opened the door, heart nearly stopping at the sight of the former love of her life.  He was actually here, standing in front of her in her doorway, staring deep into her widened shock filled eyes with a smirk spreading across his lips.  He wore a simple black beater with dark blue jeans, white gym shoes, his black hair pulled back in a ponytail.


“Phil…” Lyla breathed, wishing she had slipped some clothes on before answering the door, eyes narrowing. “What are you doing here?”


“Is that any way to greet a guest?” Phil demanded, leaning against the door frame with his huge tattooed sleeved arms folded in front of his chest.


“You’re not a guest so, yes, that’s the way I treat someone uninvited.”


Phil chuckled ruefully, shaking his head. “Still the same spitfire you’ve always been.”


“Don’t make small talk with me, Brooks.” Lyla growled, clearly not amused by his appearance, folding her arms in front of her chest. “Don’t make me ask you again.  What are you doing here?”


“I need to talk to you.” Phil sighed, seeing she was going to put up an icy front, though he was used to it.  He knew Lyla inside and out, hell he nearly married her and would’ve if Erika hadn’t come into his life. “It’s important.”


Lyla didn’t know if she should trust him or not, glancing down at his left hand only to see a tanned line where his ring used to be, arching an eyebrow. “About what?” She asked in a softer voice, their eyes locking again, and her heart began pounding like a rapidly beating drum. “Phil…”


“Lyla...” Phil’s voice turned husky as he stepped toward her, watching her instinctively take a step back. 


He kept doing this until he was inside her condo and kicked the door closed behind him gently, the lock clicking resonating around the room.  Lyla kept backing away, tears shining in her eyes, not sure what Phil’s motives were for this visit and wished Allen was with her.  She didn’t want Phil here, he shattered her once and that was never going to happen again.


Lyla closed her eyes when her back hit the wall, Phil standing right in front of her, feeling her bottom lip begin to tremble. “Please don’t…” She whispered, blinking as a few tears slipped down her cheeks, clutching the towel tighter to her body as she began sliding down the wall.


“Please don’t what?” Phil smirked wickedly, his hazel eyes gleaming with evil intentions as he gripped her upper arms, forcing her to stand before him. “Lyla, I came here to talk to you about what happened between us.”


“And to rape me.” She spat, causing Phil’s eyes to flash, scaring her even more. “Phil, I don’t want anything to do with you.  You’re married and I’ve moved on.  Y-You need to leave NOW!”


“What makes you think I’m going to listen?” Phil snorted, pressing his chest against hers, dying to reach up and yank the towel away from her beautiful body. “Lyla, I made a mistake…”


“No you didn’t.” She whispered, trembling from head to toe, closing her grey eyes tightly shut as more tears poured down her cheeks. “Please don’t…”


Phil growled and did what he originally wanted, yanking the towel from her body and Lyla let out a small scream. “Shut up!” He barked, watching her try to cower away and cover herself up as much as she could. “You belong to me, you always have and you always will, Lyla Jane!”


“NO!!” Lyla screamed, trying to shove him away, but it was no use. 


The wine was making her sluggish and Phil was far too strong for her.  She could only watch helplessly as he removed his clothes in front of her, trying to find a way out of this predicament, but couldn’t find one.  He was going to do it.  He was going to rape her in her own condo without any remorse or regret; Lyla wouldn’t be able to stop him and that made her sick to her stomach.


Phil ignored her screams, gripping her hips and lifted her up against the wall, locking her in place. “It was hard tracking you down, baby, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up.  Now you have nowhere to go and it’s just us.” He groaned in her ear and Lyla could feel herself growing dizzy, trying to block out what was going to happen next.


Before Phil could fully penetrate her, the front door was kicked off its hinges, flying against the wall with a loud thud as Lyla’s eyes shot open.  Tears streaked her cheeks as Phil dropped her abruptly, forcing Lyla to slide down the wall, curling up in a tight ball on the carpeted floor.  She couldn’t see who it was because Lyla was too terrified to even look, hearing a few things break along with cussing and bellowing.


Allen had been sitting in his car across the street from Lyla’s apartment, trying to think of some way to apologize to her.  He knew their date was absolutely horrendous and he had to rectify it somehow.  Allen decided he wasn’t leaving that easily and began stepping out of his car, when he noticed another man walking up the front steps and walking inside Lyla’s building. 


Something didn’t settle right with Allen about him, so he decided to follow him to see where he went.  When he saw it was Lyla’s condo, Allen at first thought she was just brushing him off and started walking away angrily…that was until he heard her screams.  Then he knew instantly this wasn’t an invited guest, this was an intrusion and he wasn’t going to let anything happen to Lyla.


When he kicked open the door and saw what was happening, Allen instantly reacted on instinct and attacked Lyla’s intruder with his fists.  He couldn’t believe how huge the guy was, but Allen wasn’t a small man himself and could hold his own, punching relentlessly.  Thanks to becoming the champion, Allen had to step up his workout routine to build more muscle and right now it was showing the advantage.


Once the man was knocked out with a bloody nose, Allen instantly went to check on Lyla, sighing when she flinched. “Lyla, Lyla it’s me.  It’s Allen.” He murmured quietly, watching her head snap up, his heart breaking at the sight of her tears. 


He immediately took his coat off and wrapped it around her, trying not to look at her naked form.  Lifting her up in his strong arms, Allen carried her down the hall to her bedroom so she could dress privately.  He walked out and called the police, kicking the intruder in the stomach for added measure, backing away so he didn’t commit murder. 


The police arrived moments later and took a statement from the much shaken Lyla, Allen standing beside her the entire time, holding her hand.  She pressed charges against Phil, watching as the former love of her life was cuffed and dragged from the building, tears streaming down her face.  Allen hated it when Lyla cried, pulling her into his arms and held her tightly against him, murmuring soothing words in her ear.


Allen waited until Lyla cried herself to sleep before carrying her back to her room, gently extracting her from his arms.  Before he could walk out, however, Lyla’s hand shot out and grabbed his, tears already falling from her silent pleading grey eyes, begging him to stay.  With what she’d been through, Allen wasn’t sure this was the best idea, but Lyla was already pulling him into her bed.  He managed to remove his shoes and shirt, feeling her cling to him instantly as he lay on his back, her face burying in his neck.


“Don’t leave.” She whispered pleadingly, her entire body trembling against him, and Allen couldn’t even if a gun was pressed to his temple.


“I’m not going anywhere.” He assured her in a husky whisper, feeling her body instantly relax, and closed his eyes as he held her tightly against him.


Within moments, both of them were fast asleep, not believing the hellacious night that occurred.


Chapter 14


Cancun was absolutely breathtaking.


Ryan sighed as she walked along the beach, the ocean breeze blowing through her chestnut locks, wearing a blue sundress that had a halter neckline, along with a white shawl draped over her shoulders.  Her feet were bare because Ryan loved the feeling of the cool sand squishing between her toes, staying far enough away from the shore so the waves didn’t hit her.  Cancun had amazing sunsets and Ryan found herself watching them whenever she had a chance, having kept up on her job being Ken’s personal assistant.


She rarely saw Ken, except late at night after long tedious hours of the photo shoot.  He had a beautiful tan, which made Ryan’s heart skip a beat whenever she did see him.  Ryan knew she was in trouble, deep trouble, but had to push away all the adulterous thoughts swimming in her brain.  She refused to go down that road again, especially after what happened with Mark, which is why she spent most of her time on the beach whenever she had downtime.


Another day finished and Ken was exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally.  He just wanted to take a shower and call it a night, knowing he had to be up at the crack of dawn for more shooting.  Ken peeled his shirt off, tossing it to the side and walked out on his balcony as the ocean breeze blew through his short bleach blonde hair, closing his eyes momentarily.


When those light brown eyes opened, he saw her.


Beautiful golden chestnut locks cascaded around her face and over her shoulders, draping elegantly as the amber rays from the sun lit her up.  Ryan was absolutely enchanting to him and Ken was finding himself just wanting to be with her.  Before he knew it, Ken walked out of his room and the hotel, heading down on the beach toward his beautiful personal assistant.


“Ryan!” He called out, wearing just a pair of khaki shorts that went just below the knees, smiling when she turned around with those gorgeous sky blue orbs.


“Ken, hi.” Her voice had surprise in it, which made Ken smile even wider, those brown eyes making Ryan melt. “Did I forget to do something for you?”


Ken chuckled softly, shaking his head, standing right in front of her. “No, you’re doing a great job, Ryan.” He assured her, dying to reach out and brush away a strand of hair that blew across her face. “I spotted you from my balcony and wanted to come see you.”


“Oh.” Ryan didn’t know what else to say, turning away from him to stare out at the water, wrapping her arms around herself.


Ken frowned, noticing something different about Ryan and gently placed a hand on her shoulder, turning her around to face him. “Ryan, you know even though you’re my PA, I’m still here for you if you need to talk.  I’m a good listener and I don’t judge.” His heart broke at the tears shining in those sky blue eyes, seeing she was trying to stay strong in front of him. “Ryan…”


“Please don’t.” She pleaded in a whisper, blinking as a few tears slipped down her cheeks, taking a step back from him.


“Why not?” Ken wasn’t backing down, not this time, and gently but firmly grabbed her chin in his strong hand, forcing those broken eyes to meet his. “Ryan, what’s wrong?  Please talk to me.”


Ryan shook her head, trying to pull away from him, but Ken wasn’t allowing her to run away. “Ken, please…” She didn’t use her real voice for fear of it cracking, trying to look away from him, but those brown eyes were drawing her in. “What do you want from me?”


“I want you to talk to me.  I want you to stop ripping yourself apart like this.”


This wasn’t the first time Ken had caught Ryan crying by herself on the beach since they arrived in Cancun.  He lost count how many times and every time she tried pushing him away, assuring him she was fine.  Well she wasn’t and now that he knew that for sure, Ken wasn’t walking away this time.


“Why do you want to know so badly?  Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, I DON’T want to talk about it?” Ryan snapped, wiping her tears away hastily, more falling because of all the pent up emotion she’d kept hidden.


“And did it ever occur to you that if you keep on this road, you’ll end up falling apart?” Ken retorted, placing his strong hands on her shoulders, moving them briefly to brush the tears away from her face with his thumbs. “Ryan, you can trust me…” He sighed, knowing this probably wasn’t the best time to say this, but… “Does this have to do with your visitor you had in Nashville before we came here?”


Ryan’s eyes nearly shot out of their sockets when Ken asked her that, feeling as though her heart might lunge in her throat. “W-What are you…How do you…” She couldn’t even speak or form a full sentence, eyes narrowing slightly.


“Look, I overheard your conversation somewhat the night before we came here.  I wanted to tell you, but you looked so sleep deprived that I didn’t want to make it worse.  I was wrong for letting it go as much as I have.” Ken stopped her from walking away from him, grabbing her arm and pulling her against his muscular form, his eyes never leaving hers. “Stop running away from me, Ry.”


“I can’t believe you!” Ryan shouted, her cheeks flushing an angry deep red, clearly embarrassed that Ken had overheard her conversation with Ted. “Let go of me right now!  I don’t want to talk about this!”


“STOP!” Ken ordered, his voice booming throughout the air, the sun setting on the horizon as the tears glistened on Ryan’s cheeks.  Ryan jumped at the baritone, her eyes growing wide because this was the first time Ken raised his voice to her. “Ryan, you have to stop hiding.  You have to talk about this before it rips you apart inside and out.” He was trying to rationalize with her about this, but Ryan looked as though she was going to break down at any given moment. “Just give me a chance…let me help you, Ryan.”


Ryan felt her body slump against his, her knees hitting the sand as Ken went with her. “Why do you care so much?” She whispered brokenly, burying her face in her hands, feeling Ken’s arms wrap around her trembling body.


“Because I’ve grown fond of you over the past few months since you started working for me and I hate seeing you like this.” Ken stated, rubbing her back soothingly, trying to comfort Ryan the only way he knew how. “You look so lost and sad; I want you to be happy.”


“I’m sorry.” She whispered, finally giving in as her arms wrapped around his neck, Ken pulling her to sit sideways in his lap on the sand. “I just…I went through a really bad experience in my last job and I guess I can’t seem to let it go.”


Ever since Ted’s visit, Ryan could barely sleep or eat, all she could think about all the mistakes she made with Mark and why she hadn’t left him sooner.  She knew why; Ryan had fallen completely in love with a man she knew she could never have, Mark made sure of that.  He only cared about having sex with her and didn’t care how emotionally draining it was for Ryan.  If she hadn’t left when she did, Ryan knew she would’ve had a complete emotional meltdown.


Then there was Ted, who professed his love for her, and Ryan felt guilty because she didn’t feel the same way.  She knew it was out of her control, but Ryan also knew Ted was miserable because of her, which laid on the guilt even further.  He was a handsome man with incredible blue eyes and a big heart, Ryan would be lucky to have him as a lover, but as usual she was a blind idiot.


“There’s no reason for you to be sorry.” Ken murmured, knowing this is exactly what Ryan needed, running his fingers through her hair. “You can tell me anything, Ryan.  I swear I won’t think less of you.”


Ryan heaved a sigh, knowing Ken wouldn’t leave her alone until she did talk to him about what was bothering her. “Where do you want me to start?” She asked quietly, wiping stray tears from her eyes, knowing this was going to be a very emotional conversation.


“Tell me about the visitor.” Ken said helpfully, glad she trusted him, continuing to run his fingers through her hair. “Remember what I said, you can trust me with anything, Ryan.”


“I know.” She whispered, taking a few deep breaths to slow her racing heart, and turned away from him to stare out at the ocean. “The visitor’s name is Ted DiBiase.  He works for the WWE, the company I used to work for.  We dated briefly, but nothing ever came of it.  He came to tell me he missed me and wanted me to come back, that he still loved me.  I did love him at one point, but that quickly went away when I was transferred from Raw to Smackdown!.  Y-You were on Raw, but we barely saw each other.”


“I knew I recognized you from somewhere.” Ken smiled when she blinked, those beautiful sky blue eyes widening in surprise.


“Oh okay.  Well I was transferred from Raw to Smackdown! shortly after my arrival and that split me and Ted up.  I ended up being the PA of Mark Calaway…” Ryan trailed off, tears stinging her eyes at the mere memory, the mere thought, of her old job.  He was so much more than a job though and Ryan wondered if this pain would ever diminish.


“The Undertaker, right?” Ken sighed when he saw the tears on her cheeks, the sky lit all different colors, and the sun finally gone as nightfall slowly appeared.


“Yes, he’s also one of the most respected in the business, though you probably already know that.” Ryan wiped the tears away, sniffling a little, and heaved another sigh. “To make a long story short, I had a fling with him.  Nobody knew about us and it happened for two straight years.  I worked with him for three, the first year was just a lot of sexual tension and bickering.  He was very stubborn, absolutely nothing like you.  You’re so easy to work for while he wanted everything done at a certain time and way.  He was an absolute nightmare…” Ryan actually started laughing, remembering the last time she was with Mark, and how they’d been arguing over his scheduling. “I hated and loved him all at the same time, but the love overtook everything else.  I was completely, irrevocably in love with him and I knew he didn’t feel the same way about me.  He never did.  I basically allowed him to use me for his needs and allowed him to steal pieces of me until I was just a hollow shell of my former self.”


Ken had to take a few deep breaths to swallow the anger down, not believing how this man treated a beautiful angel like Ryan. “You didn’t deserve that and you still don’t.  No woman deserves to be treated like that.” He stated in a low voice, causing Ryan to slowly turn around as their eyes locked, Ken reaching out to wipe her tears away with the pad of his thumb.


“Anyway, even though I knew we weren’t together technically, I didn’t know he was screwing other people.  I walked in on him screwing his ex-girlfriend at one of the arenas and I couldn’t take it anymore.  So I called Lyla and she told me about this job, which ended up being your personal assistant.  Ted wanted me to come back; that’s why he visited me, so now you know.” Ryan bit her bottom lip, wondering what was going through Ken’s mind at that moment.


“You have no idea just how incredible you truly are, Ryan.  Calaway didn’t know what he had in front of him, but fortunately for you, I’m not that naïve or stupid.”


Ryan swallowed hard upon hearing those words, not able to help leaning into Ken’s warm touch, feeling her heart begin to pound. “What do you mean?” She asked softly, the hesitance clear as day in her voice.


“What I mean is this…” Ken trailed his words off as he pulled Ryan closer to his body, their eyes never leaving one another’s and bent his head as their lips softly touched, barely caressing one another. 


Ryan gasped in surprise, not expecting him to kiss her, but the moment their lips touched a spark flew between them that she simply couldn’t ignore.  Not thinking, Ryan pressed her hands against his chest and slid them up to wrap around his neck, moaning softly against him.  He was so loving and caring toward her that Ryan simply couldn’t ignore it; it felt too good with everything else she’d been through with men. 


She knew Ken was her job, but he had more maturity in his pinky than Mark ever thought about having in his entire lifetime.  Ken was a man with a big heart and beautiful spirit, age was simply a number and nothing more.  And the fact that he initiated the kiss told Ryan he felt something stronger for her other than friendship, which both scared and excited her all at the same time.


“No wait…” Ryan breathed against his mouth, pulling back as much as she could, but Ken had his arms locked around her waist as the moon began descending in the sky, stars sparkling one by one. “Ken…”


“Don’t run away from me, Ryan.” His voice was husky and the sound sent a shiver down Ryan’s spine, though she tried fighting it off. “Please, let me help you through this.”


“How can you possibly do that?” Ryan demanded, eyebrows drawn together in confusion, though she couldn’t stop herself from cupping his face with her hand. “Ken, what’s going through your mind?  Why do you insist on making our relationship complicated?”


“Because I really like you and I know you’re scared, but you like me too.” Ken stated, without any doubt in his voice, causing Ryan to mentally curse because he was right.


“You don’t know what I feel or what I want…”


“Oh really?” Ken raised an eyebrow, pulling her to straddle his lap, never unwinding his arms from her waist or breaking eye contact. “You want someone to love you for you and not use or treat you like a common piece of trash.  You want to be cared for and I can do that for you…if you give me the chance.” He brushed his lips against her cheek, hot breath caking her ear. “I know exactly how to help you with this, Ryan, to make you forget those men ever existed.”


Ryan was breathless at that moment, blinking as Ken’s lips moved from her cheek down to her neck, pressing a soft kiss to her pulse point. “Ken…” She pulled back again, shaking her head, trying to put space between them, but his arms were too strong for her to break the grip he had. “We can’t do this…”


Ken chuckled softly and stood up with Ryan in his arms, her legs instinctively wrapping around his waist, carrying her down the beach. “Do you trust me?” He asked, holding her with ease, every muscle in his body flexing and rippling against her. “Ryan, tell me you trust me.”


Ryan groaned, knowing she was going straight to hell for this and pulled back as their eyes locked, Ken stopping in the sand. “I trust you, but…” She moaned when he kissed her again, allowing her to slid from his arms as her feet touched the cool sand once more, Ken breaking the kiss this time.


“Then come with me.” He extended his hand, wanting her to do this willingly, his golden brown eyes boring into hers. “I promise you won’t regret it.”


Chewing her bottom lip, Ryan stood there for five straight minutes, hearing the gentle waves crashing against the shore behind her.  His dark eyes promised her so many things and Ryan was having a hard time fighting back temptation, tears shining in her eyes.  He wouldn’t hurt her, Ryan knew that, and finally slipped her hand into his as he guided her toward a destination unknown.


Chapter 15


“I…and you…and this…” Lyla was speechless and couldn’t form a single sentence, stumbling over her words, blinking in shock at her best friend. “Ryan, are you sure about this?” She finally asked, taking Ryan’s hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze.


Ryan nodded silently, chewing her bottom lip nervously, hoping Lyla bought it. “I mean at first it seemed like an insane idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was the right thing to do.  It will solve so many of my problems and hopefully help me move on.”


“Well, you know I support you with any decision you make and I’ll be there for you through anything.” Lyla felt tears swell in her eyes and stood up, releasing Ryan’s hand, needing a moment to recollect herself.


Ryan frowned, standing up as well and placed a hand on Lyla’s shoulder, feeling her eyes widen when she started to breakdown. “Lyla, Lyla what’s wrong?” Ryan demanded softly, turning her friend around as tearful grey eyes met worried sky blue. “What happened?”


Lyla knew there was only one person on the planet who knew what really transpired between her and Phil back in the day.  A deep dark secret that Lyla vowed never to tell anyone else, to take it to the grave when she passed on one day.  She was standing right in front of her and Lyla knew Ryan would never tell another living soul, not even Mark Calaway, which separated her from any other friends Lyla made over the years.


“I had a few days off while you were in Cancun with Ken and…I had a visitor…” Lyla pulled away from Ryan, wrapping her arms around herself, and walked over to sit back down on the couch in Allen’s dressing room. “That was after a disastrous date with Allen.”


“Whoa back up…” Ryan blinked, walking over to sit on the couch beside Lyla. “You had a date with Allen?  I thought you said you would never date someone you worked with again?”


“Believe me, if I could’ve resisted I would have, but he had a rose and threw a rock at my window.  He came all the way to LA just to ask me to go out on a date with him, how could I refuse something like that?” Lyla wished she had though, sighing heavily when Ryan demanded to know the details. 


Ryan just sat there stunned as Lyla described her horrid date with Allen, wondering what the hell went through the man’s mind.  It really was the date from hell; Ryan actually hugged Lyla out of sympathy and couldn’t even laugh because of the tears in Lyla’s eyes.  Something else happened with this visitor and Ryan knew Allen wasn’t who she’d referred to.


“Lyla, what happened after Allen dropped you off?” Ryan asked, trying not to sound demanding, but she was genuinely concerned for her best friend. “Honey, you can tell me anything, you know that.”


“I know.” Lyla whispered, lowered her head as she clasped her hands together, suddenly more interested in her freshly manicured nails.  Ryan wouldn’t drop this though and Lyla knew it would just tear her apart emotionally if she didn’t talk to someone. “Phil.”


Ryan’s eyes narrowed to slits, taking a deep breath, and grabbed both of Lyla’s hands as their eyes locked. “What happened and don’t you dare tell me anything because those tears are telling me the hidden truth.  What did he do to you?” She ordered, refusing to back down now, scooting closer on the couch and wiped a few stray tears away from Lyla’s cheeks.


The moment Ryan asked, Lyla completely broke down as she lowered her head, the tears streaming down her cheeks like two rapid streams.  Pain wracked her entire body, tearing her to shreds inside, and Ryan had to hold her tightly to keep Lyla from hyperventilating.  Whatever happened with Phil, Ryan knew it was bad and closed her eyes, trying to keep her own tears at bay.


Through broken sobs, Lyla told Ryan what happened, how Phil had forced his way inside her condo while she was heavily intoxicated and tried raping her.  Allen had been there to save her from whatever Phil had in mind, though she’d barely spoken three words to him since the ordeal.  Lyla was scared to death, though she refused to allow it to destroy her career, having worked incredibly hard to get here in TNA.


“I’m going to assume you pressed charges on that motherfucker, yes?” Ryan gritted her teeth when Lyla nodded, somewhat satisfied, though Phil deserved to be castrated for trying to attack her friend. “Sweetheart, the important thing is that nothing happened and you’re safe.”


“I know, but…I can’t even talk to Allen right now.” Lyla took the tissues Ryan handed her, wiping her tears away. “I know he’s getting frustrated with me, but he can’t find out my past with Phil.  I’m scared to death that Phil is going to come back and try to finish the job…”


Ryan couldn’t help agreeing with Lyla, knowing exactly what she was talking about. “Lyla, you know Allen would never tell anyone…”


“No!  He can’t find out, Ryan!” Lyla gasped when the door opened, staring up at Allen, swallowing past the lump that suddenly formed in her throat.


“Find out what exactly?” Allen asked gruffly, tossing his bags in the corner, wearing a pair of baggy blue jeans with a short sleeved white dress shirt that had a silver embroidered spiral designs all over the front.  The top two buttons were undone and his black hair was spiked up, smelling incredibly as the scent filtered the room.


“Nothing.” Lyla quickly said, looking over at Ryan with alarm in her grey eyes, wondering exactly how much Allen overheard. “We were just talking about Ryan’s Cancun trip with Ken and…”


“And now I have to get going.  I’ll talk to you later, sweetie.” She kissed Lyla’s cheek, closing her eyes briefly while squeezing her and. “Tell him.” She whispered in Lyla’s ear, her last attempt to get Lyla to open up to Allen, and walked out of the dressing room.


Lyla looked like a deer caught in the headlights, sitting on the couch with her ankles crossed, wearing a short black skirt with a deep blue halter top that had sparkles embroidered in a flame design near the hem.  Two inch black Stilettos were on her feet, her black hair swept up in tons of spiral curls on top of her head.  Black eyeliner made her frightened grey eyes pop, especially with the blue flamed eye shadow design the makeup artist did.  Her lips were painted in a clear gloss, making them shine, though how she looked was the last thing on Lyla’s mind.


“So, are you going to keep giving me the silent treatment or are you ready to talk to me?” Allen demanded somewhat irritably, watching Lyla’s eyes narrow, and knew that was the wrong thing to say.  He couldn’t help it though; this woman drove him absolutely crazy and, the fact she was barely speaking to him, hurt Allen more than words could say. “LJ…”


“No, I’m leaving.” She went to walk toward the door, but Allen blocked her only escape, his arms folded stubbornly over his chest, shaking his head.


“You’re not going anywhere until you talk to me.” Allen stated defiantly with narrowed brown eyes, daring her to try making him move. “It’s time to stop runnin’ from me, Lyla.  You know how I feel about ya and I’m not the one who attacked you.  I haven’t done anythin’ wrong so you’re gonna talk to me if ya want out of this room.” His southern accent seeped in his tone, though that wasn’t hard for Allen as it came natural.


Blinking, tears instantly began sliding down Lyla’s cheeks, seeing how worried Allen was for her and swallowed hard when he reached out to her. “Believe me, you don’t want to know.” She whispered, stepping back, feeling as though her heart might leap from her chest. “AJ…”


“Stop.” He whispered, pressing a finger to her glossy lips, deep brown eyes holding nothing but kindness and understanding. “Please don’t run away from me, Lyla.  You can trust me with anythin’ ya say, I’m not gonna go runnin’ my mouth to anyone and you know that.  But what happened in LA…”


“What happened in LA is none of your business.” She tried moving past him to get to the door, but Allen wasn’t letting her escape that easily. “What do you want from me?”


“The truth.  I want you to stop hidin’ from me and tell me what the hell made Phil Brooks attack ya in your own home.” Allen stated, having locked the door right after Ryan walked out, arching an eyebrow. “Don’t even try to tell me nothin’ either because it sure as hell didn’t look like nothin’ when I busted your door down and pulled that lowlife creep off of you.”


“It’s none of your fucking business why he was there!” Lyla snapped, shoving Allen a good foot away from her, snorting. “There are some things in my past that doesn’t need to be talked about and that’s one of them, Allen.  So the sooner you can accept that…”


“I’m not acceptin’ anything except the truth, Lyla Jane.  We can do this the easy way where you act like your age and tell me what that was about or you can stand there throwing a five  year old tantrum and I keep your little ass in here until ya decide to tell me the truth.  Either way, I’m done with the silent shit.  It’s time to stop runnin’ and hidin’ from me, Lyla, because I refuse to be in love with a woman with secrets!” Allen refused to back down an inch, having had a lot of time over the past week to think things through when it came to Lyla. “Now you might as well sit down and start talkin’ or this is gonna be a long night.”


“W-What?” Lyla blinked as more tears fell from her eyes, staring at Allen with an open mouth, covering it as her chest constricted. “Allen…” Did he just say he was in love with her?  Lyla actually had to sit down because her knees felt weak, seeing the seriousness and truth swimming in his eyes. “You…love me?”


“Yes, you stubborn, pain in the ass woman, I love you and I’m in love with you and there’s nothing you can do about it!” Allen growled, wanting to make it crystal clear he wasn’t going anywhere, and walked over to sit down on the couch beside her. “Lyla, I’ve been in love with you since you came to TNA.  I know you have demons and skeletons in the closet, but so do I.  Hell, I cheated on my ex-wife and I’m not proud of it, but I did and there’s nothing I can do to change that.  You can’t change the past, but talking about it does help you heal and move on…” He took her hands in his own, their eyes locking. “Whatever it is that you think ya can’t tell me, you can.  You’re just scared and, no matter how bad it is, I’m not gonna walk away from you.  I’m not goin’ anywhere.”


His words warmed her heart as Lyla stared back at him, feeling the walls around her heart begin to crumble, not having loved anyone since… “You’re not the only one who cheated on someone you thought you once loved.” She whispered, releasing his hands, and stood up from the couch as her eyes closed briefly. “God, how do I do this?”


“Start from the beginning and don’t stop until you tell me everythin’.” Allen stated helpfully, looking up at her, absolutely no judgment or resentment in his eyes.  Just pure understanding and that just made Lyla’s insides warm even more, deciding maybe Ryan was right.


Taking a deep shaky breath, Lyla began pacing back and forth in front of Allen, wrapping her arms around herself. “Phil and I were together in WWE and before that.” She admitted, going into the whole back story of how they’d dated in college and were split apart, only to reunite in the WWE with her as his personal assistant. “I’d never been so happy in my life and I thought he was the man I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with.  But of course, I was wrong.” She told him how she’d walked in on Phil screwing a blonde, who ended up being his high school sweetheart, and how Vince had given her an ultimatum to go to Raw. “I ended up going to Raw right after I caught Phil with her and…I had a one nightstand…” Lyla had to stop, trying to recollect her thoughts, placing a hand against the wall to keep from collapsing.


Allen didn’t say a word, knowing if he did she might not continue, but just his aura gave her the courage to continue.


“I ended up having sex with Randy Orton and…I ended up pregnant with his child…” Lyla couldn’t believe she was saying this, sliding down the wall as the tears began pouring down her face, the pain radiating from her body breaking Allen’s heart. “Phil found out naturally and paid me a visit at Raw.  H-He beat me nearly to death and…forced me to miscarry Randy’s baby…” Lyla would’ve rather been anywhere than that moment, not able to look up at Allen for fear of seeing the judgment in his brown eyes. “Randy knew about the baby and, when he found out what Phil did, he went to Smackdown! and sent Phil to the hospital on a stretcher.  After that attack, I knew I couldn’t stay in the WWE because I wasn’t safe; I didn’t feel I could continue my career unless I left and completely started over where nobody knew me.”


Allen honestly didn’t know what to say, not believing what that scumbag did to Lyla, and stood up from the couch to walk over to her. “Stand up.” He ordered in a soft low voice, extending his hands to Lyla. “Do not let anyone break your spirit, Lyla.  You are beautiful inside and out, no matter what happened to you.  You’re very brave for not giving up because most women would after something like that.  But you didn’t and that’s why I love you so much, your fiery spirit and attitude.” He smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear that fell from on top of her head. “Thank you for tellin’ me the truth, honey.”


Lyla could only nod and hugged him tightly around the neck, not believing how lucky she was to find a man who wanted to be there for her no matter what. “Thank you for listening.” She whispered, hearing him say he loved her again, and Lyla wanted to say it back but refused to do so.


It would merely be a lie if she said it right now; knowing it would take time to build her feelings up for Allen, knowing this revelation was a step in the right direction.


“No need to thank me, beautiful.” He whispered, lifting her chin and softly kissed her lips, knowing she wouldn’t say those three words back to him right now, which Allen was fine with.


He would give her all the time she needed, as long as she gave him a chance.




Meanwhile, Ryan walked down the hallway of the arena wearing a crisp white buttoned up blouse with a skirt that went to her knees, hugging her curves.  Her chestnut locks pooled down her back and over her shoulders, natural makeup on her face, her skin tanned from spending a week in Cancun.  Sighing happily, Ryan felt as though she was finally starting to feel like her old self again as she pushed open the door to Ken’s dressing room, stopping dead in her tracks at who stood in front of her.


“Hello darlin’.”


Ryan’s eyes narrowed as she stepped inside, closing the door behind her, never taking her eyes from him. “What are you doing here, Mark?” She demanded irritably, folding her arms in front of her chest.


Mark was about to say something when something caught his eye, arching a black eyebrow, his eyes instantly filling with acid.  The lights caught the sparkling rock on Ryan’s left ring finger as their eyes locked together, Ryan not even needing to say anything. “What the hell is THAT, Timbers?” He pointed with a shaking finger, trying to keep the anger out of his tone.


“That’s Anderson.” She corrected, refusing to back down from her former job, staring down at the beautiful three stoned diamond ring on her finger. “It’s called being married, Calaway.”


Chapter 16




Did she just say married?


Mark’s mind was reeling and it wasn’t easy to shock him, but Ryan had done just that, his eyes staring at the diamond rock on her finger in sheer bewilderment.  How the hell could she move on that quickly after being with him for three years?  Acid and fire erupted from his eyes, though Mark didn’t move toward his former personal assistant, not wanting to hurt her.  With how pissed off he was at the moment, that was very likely to happen if she was within arm’s reach.  Either that or he would kiss her breathless and force her to come to her senses.


Ken was a genius, as far as Ryan was concerned, keeping her distance away from Mark because he looked like he was going to explode.  Ryan wasn’t backing down either though, having done that so many times while she was with Mark in the past.  She was slowly piecing her life back together and finding a new home in TNA with Ken, even though Ryan missed the WWE a lot.


“What do you mean you’re married?” Mark demanded, doing everything in his power not to blow his top because that wouldn’t solve anything. “How is that possible, Ryan?”


“Did I stutter?” She shot back icily, rolling her eyes, and folded her arms in front of her chest. “How is that possible?  A man got down on one knee and proposed to me and I accepted.  That’s how it happened, Mark.  Would you like to know how the wedding happened or, perhaps, the wedding night?”


“No.” Mark growled, not believing how Ryan was talking to him right now, raking a hand through the top of his black hair. “Who is it?” He demanded finally, beginning to limp back and forth since he’d recently had knee surgery, thanks to Ted DiBiase JR.


“My last name is Anderson, I’m sure you can figure it out from there.” Ryan stated coldly, walking past him to sit on the couch, crossing one leg over the other. “Why are you even here?”


“How the fuck could ya marry someone when ya just left me?!” Mark shouted, seeing her eyes divert to clasped hands in her lap, knowing he was starting to scare her a little. “Did those two years mean absolutely NOTHING to you?!”


Ryan’s head snapped up when those words came from his mouth, her eyes pure ice, and stood up as tears quickly followed. “Yes they did, but they didn’t mean a DAMN to you!  You have NO right standing here in front of me demanding shit from me, Calaway!  I gave you everything, every piece of me, for TWO years and you completely shit all over it!  You took my heart and crushed it because you could.  You controlled and made me your little whore for two years and didn’t give a damn about my feelings or how much it was tearing me apart that you would never commit to me!  To be in love with someone I knew I could NEVER have!” Blinking, tears spilled down her cheeks as Ryan wiped them away hastily, the diamond ring glistening on her finger briefly coming into sight. “But that’s fine because I did find a man who wants to be with me and loves me unconditionally, who wants me as much as I want him and treats me like gold.  A real man who knows what he wants and doesn’t steal pieces of me…he pieced me back together and, even though I’m healing from your damage, I WILL heal fully and eventually forget you ever existed.”


Mark took a step forward, staring down in those ice blue eyes, absolutely no warmth or love swirling in them for him. “Ryan, you knew who I was when ya decided to get involved with me.  You knew I wasn’t lookin’ for a commitment and you were fine with it!  Now yer tellin’ me all this shit about how I destroyed you and tore ya apart, when ya never ONCE said anythin’ to me except that day at the hotel after ya caught me and Michelle together!  I’m not a damn mind reader, Ryan, what the hell do ya want from me?!” He shouted, though the regret instantly entered his eyes when more tears poured from her eyes, wondering exactly how much emotional damage he caused her. “Ryan…”




“Little girl…”


“NO!  DON’T YOU DARE CALL ME THAT!  I’M NOT A LITTLE GIRL THAT YOU CAN CONTROL OR MANIPULATE ANYMORE, MARK!” Ryan was fed up and shoved him again, crying out when he grabbed her by the arms, staring up in those green eyes. “Let go of me!”


“SHUT UP!” He practically roared, trembling against her because her words cut through him like a knife. “Just shut up for a minute.” His voice lowered, hating to yell at her, even though his temper was very volatile at times. “Ryan, I do love you, I wouldn’t have slept with you for two years straight if I didn’t.”


“You never proved it to me; it doesn’t even matter because I’m married and happy now!” Ryan cried out, feeling Mark guide her back against the wall, more tears falling from her eyes. “No, let go of me, Mark!”


“How can you be married to someone you barely even know?” Mark’s voice was gruff but still remained low, his eyes never leaving hers as she struggled against him. “Ryan, stop fightin’ me…”


“Why, so you can use me for your own selfish needs and destroy my happiness?!” She exclaimed, crying harder than ever, shaking her head repeatedly as she tried shoving him away from her.  That was like moving a brick wall and wasn’t happening. “I don’t love you anymore!”


“Bullshit.” Mark grunted, not believing that because of how much emotion Ryan was spewing at him right now. “You love me because, if you didn’t, ya wouldn’t be fighting this so damn hard!”


Ryan suddenly stopped fighting, sagging against him as she slid down the wall, Mark bending down with her. “Fine, I do love you.” She admitted reluctantly, moving the ring around her finger, leaning back against the wall. “I’ll always love you, Mark,” She paused to look into his eyes, sniffling as he wiped a few of her tears away. “But I’m not in love with you anymore.”


That was the truth.


That took Mark by surprise, actually making him move away a few inches from her. “What do you mean?  You love me, but yer not in love with me?  How is that possible?” He demanded, trying not to raise his voice, seeing the truth swimming in those sky blue eyes. “Ryan, I made mistakes…”


“You can say I love you to anyone, but it doesn’t have to be romantically.  I love my mom and dad, my family.  I love Lyla because she’s my sister and I love John because he’s like my big brother.  There are different levels of love, Mark.  I was in love with you and you broke my heart repeatedly without any remorse.  You forced me NOT to be in love with you anymore and for that kind of love to die.” Ryan explained, sniffling since the tears kept falling, slowly standing up and smoothing her skirt down her legs, staring down at him. “You wasted your time coming here, Mark, because even though I love you, I hate you more.”


“That’s bullshit and you know it.  You’re in love with me, Ryan, no matter what you say.” Mark had stood up when she did, folding his arms in front of his massive chest. “Keep lyin’ to yourself, darlin’.”


“I’m not lying to myself.  It’s not you I’m in love with anymore.” Ryan actually smiled, staring down at the ring, a soft smile spreading on her lips. “I’m in love with my husband.”


“This is fuckin’ ridiculous!  How can you be in love with a man you barely know?!” Mark snapped, taking a step toward her and grabbed her left hand, trying to rip the ring off of it. “This is NOT real!!  You’re lying, you’re not married!!”


“STOP IT!!” Ryan shouted angrily, trying to extract her hand from Mark’s iron grip, the ring slipping from her finger little by little. “NO!  I’m not lying to you!”


“LET GO OF HER!” Both Mark and Ryan turned to face an irate Ken, who stood there with narrowed brown eyes, gritting his teeth angrily. “I won’t say it again, Calaway, release my wife NOW!”


Mark actually felt his eyes widen, feeling Ryan’s hand slip from his grip, staring back at Ken Anderson –he used to be Mr. Kennedy in the WWE- in shock. “T-This is your HUSBAND?!” He exclaimed, wondering if he was dreaming, and watched Ryan instantly run into Ken’s arms.


“That’s right, I’m her husband and you just put your hands on MY wife, Calaway.” Ken was pissed, holding Ryan close to him, feeling her tears soak through the thin fabric of his gray tank top. “You need to leave now before I call security.”




“You heard what my husband said.” She whispered, trembling against Ken, fixing the ring on her finger so it wouldn’t slip off. “I have nothing more to say to you.  Goodbye.”


Ken glared hatefully at Mark, wanting to rip him to shreds for putting Ryan through more pain. “You have ten seconds – no scratch that, you have FIVE seconds and then I’m calling security to throw your ass out of here.” He threatened in a cold voice, refusing to release Ryan.


“Boy, you better watch what ya said to me.” Mark stated, clenching his fists at his sides, dying to yank Ryan away from this punk. “How could you do this, Ryan?  I came here to tell you that I made a mistake and I love you.  I came after you at the airport, I tried stopping the plane and it didn’t work!  It took me three months to realize what I’ve lost and I usually get what I want.  What I want is you Ryan Timbers.”


“Well I don’t want you, Mark Calaway.” She stated, sniffling and turned around, feeling Ken’s arms instantly encircle her waist as he kissed her temple softly. “I’m happily married to a wonderful man who will give me everything I need.  So you need to walk away with what dignity you have left and forget I ever existed.”


Mark seen the coldness and truth burning in her eyes, knowing there was nothing to salvage here. “Go to hell both of you!” He growled and stormed out past Ken, who moved out of the way with Ryan, both of them flinching as the door slammed so hard, the hinges nearly broke off.


Ryan instantly crumbled as her knees gave out, hitting the floor with Ken following, burying her face in her shaking hands.  It felt as though her heart was tearing to pieces, cracking down the middle.  Ken held her from behind, placing his hands over hers, trying to soothe her with his voice, knowing she needed time to heal from everything Calaway put her through.


“Are you alright?” He asked softly, once she calmed down, both of them standing up and walking over to the couch. “Ryan, talk to me please.”


“Yeah, just a little shook up.  I didn’t expect him to actually come here.” She whispered, leaning against Ken as he pulled her against him, rubbing her arm comfortingly.


“I didn’t either.” Allen came up to Ken in the hallway saying he heard screaming coming from Ken’s dressing room.  Ken didn’t waste a second, though he honestly didn’t expect to see Mark Calaway manhandling Ryan. “At least he knows now.”


“Yeah, though after tonight, everyone will know.” Ryan looked up into his brown eyes, shakily reaching up to cup his face in her hand. “Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”


Ken nodded without hesitation, pressing a soft kiss to her wrist, placing his hand over hers as their fingers laced together. “Yes anything to help you, Ryan.  I told you in Cancun to trust me and you have thus far.  Just don’t give up on me now.  This is going to work out for the best, I promise.”


Ryan could feel the guilt eating away at her insides and stood up from the couch, clasping her hands together, the tears threatening to start up again. “Ken, this is your life you’re putting on the line.  Your happiness…your chance at love.  Are you absolutely sure this is worth it?” She demanded, turning to look at him, and stared down at the beautiful ring on her finger. “Am I worth this much trouble?”


“I’m not giving anything up that I haven’t thought about, Ryan.” Ken assured, standing up and walking over to Ryan, wrapping his arms around her shoulders from behind. “I want to help you through this, Ryan, and this is the only way to keep them at bay.  Once everyone believes it, then the healing process will start and pretty soon you’ll be free to do whatever you want.”


“You are a great guy and any woman would be lucky to have you.” Ryan whispered, pressing a soft kiss to his cheek, and hugged him tightly around the neck. “Thank you for everything, Ken.”


“No need to thank me, honey.  I just want you to be happy again and, even though I know you don’t feel the same way about me as I do you, you’re still a great friend of mine.” Ken didn’t want her to feel any pressure, knowing already who her heart belonged to.  They had a long talk in Cancun, but Ryan believed it was too late for them, so she wanted to be rid of the past once and for all. “You don’t mind being ‘married’ to me, do you?”


She chuckled with watery eyes, shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly. “It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever done and I’m sure it won’t be the last.” She pulled away to stare in his kind brown eyes, heaving a gentle sigh. “I’ll never be able to repay you for what you’ve done for me.”


“No repayment necessary.  I just hope you made Lyla believe you.” Ken knew deceiving Lyla was extremely hard for Ryan, but it was for the best at the moment.  Nobody else knew the truth about Cancun or what happened. “If this all plays out right, which it will, then nobody will ever know that this is all a hoax.”


Ryan could only hope, knowing it would tear Lyla apart if she ever found out that this marriage to Ken wasn’t real.


Chapter 17


Soon, the news spread like wildfire about both Lyla’s attack at her home from Phil and Ryan’s marriage to Ken Anderson.  Not much was kept secret in the wrestling world, especially with the heinous words spewing from Mark’s mouth after his visit to TNA.  The Superstars and even some of the Divas could not believe it, though they bare witnessed it happening live on TNA Impact.  Ken revealed to the world that his newlywed bride would be accompanying him ringside from now on, the diamond ring on her left hand sparkling.


Ted just sat there, staring at the monitor, watching as Ryan walked down the ramp way on another TNA Impact, wondering what the hell was going on with her.  He’d heard about Calaway’s visit to TNA, wanting to rip the man’s ice cold heart out and stomp on it repeatedly.  He was the reason Ryan left and then he had the audacity to go try winning her back, once he removed his head from his ass? 


That wasn’t even the worst part of it though.  Ted couldn’t believe Ryan actually married someone she rarely knew, when not even a few weeks ago, he was begging her to run away with him to Vegas to get married!  Had she been dating this yahoo all along and just didn’t have the spine to tell him?


Scowling, Ted stood up just as Randy walked in, knowing they had a match coming up soon on Raw. “We ready to go man?” Ted asked, standing up from the steel folding chair, blue eyes focused.


“Not quite yet, we need to talk.” Randy stated, closing the door behind him, not wanting the little peon Cody to overhear their conversation. “It’s about Ryan…and Lyla.”


Ted raised a slow eyebrow, not recalling a Lyla, folding his arms in front of his muscular chest. “Who’s Lyla?” He asked, deciding to start there, seeing how disgruntled and agitated his partner looked.  His ears were turning red and Ted knew that was the moment he should’ve thrown Randy in the shower, but they had an upcoming match. “Look man, just talk about it before you end up exploding and taking half of this state with you.”


“Okay look, some odd years ago, there was this woman named Lyla Jane Tyler who worked for the Raw roster.  It was around the time I was in Evolution and we had a one night fling.  She was dating Phil Brooks…”


“Punk?” Ted blinked; not knowing that man even got laid let alone had a relationship, keeping that thought to himself. “You slept with his girl?”


“Yes and no…I guess Phil cheated on her or some shit.  I don’t remember all the details, but she was drunk in the hotel bar and so was I.  We were both plastered, but we knew what was going on.  You know me, I used to be on pussy patrol twenty-four, seven and she looked like she could use a good time.  I knew who she was because she was one of the best women wrestler’s on the roster, but I didn’t know she was dating Phil because I never really paid attention to backstage gossip.” Randy took a deep breath, continuing to pace in front of Ted, growling a little bit because he was becoming frustrated.


“Okay so what happened after you guys had your one night romp?” Ted asked, having a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, knowing he wasn’t going to like what Randy said next. “Randy…”


“Look, the bottom line is that she ended up pregnant with my kid. I knew about it and I was going to help her take care of it because I refused to let her get an abortion.  Her and Brooks weren’t together anymore, though apparently he thought they were.  He came to visit her on Raw and beat the holy fuck out of her, man…” Randy had to sit down, plopping on the bench, staring straight ahead with ice cold eyes. “He forced her to miscarry our baby…and she nearly died in the hospital because of how much damage he did to her.  She had a broken jaw, a broken arm and leg, her nose was crushed and she had to have emergency surgery on it, her eyes were both swollen shut from how many times he punched her in the face, she had bruises all over her body.  She was literally black and blue from head to fucking toe. 


Ted’s eyes were suddenly on fire, cracking his knuckles one by one, gritting his teeth angrily.  He didn’t care what the circumstances were; no woman should EVER be hit by a man for any reason.  Ted was a firm believer in that, having grown up in the deep south of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida, so he had southern values instilled in him since he was a little boy.  Hearing this right now, Ted wanted to go send Phil Brooks to the hospital and make sure he ate through a straw for the rest of his life.


“I’m goin’ to assume you did somethin’ because it sounds like you cared a lot for her.” Ted’s voice was eerily calm and quiet, which was never a good thing, though he was trying to keep his temper in check.


“What like I wouldn’t?” Randy snorted; standing up from the bench, raking a hand through his short black hair he was growing out again. “Of course I did something about it!  I went to Smackdown! and beat the fuck out of that piece of shit for touching her!  I sent him to the hospital and put him on the shelf for a very long time!  Lyla was the mother of my child, I don’t care if it was just a fucking one night stand, she STILL carried MY baby and he took it away!”


“How the fuck is that mother fucker still working here?” Ted demanded angrily, wanting to tear Phil’s head off with his bare hands. “He wasn’t fired or anything?”


“He was heavily fined, but Vince didn’t want to make a deal about it.  Believe me; I was pissed off because Lyla was brutally raped on top of having the fuck beat out of her.  He raped and beat her within an inch of her life AND THIS COMPANY SHOWED HER NO JUSTICE!!” Randy suddenly felt his anger boil over and took a chair, tossing it against the nearest wall.


Ted couldn’t believe Vince McMahon could be that heartless and cruel to a woman, wanting to beat some moral values in the man’s head. “That’s fucked up.” He growled, seeing how red Randy was getting, and knew it was going to be a long night in the ring, even though it was a tag-team match. “How long’s it been since you last seen her?”


“Fuck I don’t know…three years I think, something like that.  Maybe four…it’s been a long time and I just found out that prick broke into her home in LA and attacked her.” Randy’s tendons were stretching, every part of his body tensed, ready to attack. “I thought that mother fucker learned his lesson the FIRST time he laid his hands on her, but apparently not.  So tonight, I’m driving to Smackdown! to pay Brooks a visit…” His eyes flashed wickedly, a bad omen for Phil. “His career is over for screwing with Lyla Jane.”


“Mind if I tag along?” When Randy raised an eyebrow at Ted, the man simply smirked in return. “Hey someone is gonna need to bail your ass outta jail after the beating you give him.”


Randy actually smirked, the redness disappearing from his features, his ears turning back to normal slowly. “You know something, Rookie; I think that’s the best idea you’ve had in awhile.”


Ted groaned, hating that nickname. “Why do you have to call me that, Viper?” He grunted, causing Randy to snort.


“Because that’s what you are.” His eyes suddenly grew serious again, turning to face Ted. “Not a word to anyone about this conversation, especially Runnels.”


Ted snorted this time, rolling his eyes, wondering if Randy thought he was as stupid as everyone seemed to think. “Please, like I’d tell that puke anythin’ personal?” Cody had a habit of running his mouth and writing checks his ass couldn’t cash.  Ted and Randy lost count at how many times they had to bail him out of trouble, vowing not to do it anymore.


“I know you wouldn’t, but I want this under wraps.  I don’t want anyone from the roster knowing I’m paying him a visit tomorrow.” Randy had it all planned, knowing Phil was more than likely going to be working out, and he’d wait out in the parking lot for him. “Either way, tomorrow night is Phil’s last taping of Smackdown! because he’s going to be feeding and drinking through a straw for the rest of his life.”


They went out to do their tag-team match against MVP –Alvin Burke JR- and Mark Henry, winning after some outside interference on the part of Cody.  Randy and Ted instantly went backstage to shower and change, not letting Cody in on what was going on, though Elizabeth Carolan –the wrestling world knew her as The Glamazon Beth Phoenix- had already dragged him off for a date.  Ted dressed in a simple white t-shirt with a black design on it while Randy went with a beater, knowing the man was still steaming over what happened to this woman named Lyla Jane.  They both had jeans and black and white sneakers on, walking out of the arena with their bags in hand.  Randy tossed the bag in the backseat, ordering Ted to drive and whipped out a cigarette, desperately needing a nicotine fix.


“You do realize those are bad for you, right?” Ted asked deadpan, starting the Lincoln Navigator and pulling out of there, heading straight for the highway.


“Shut up and drive, Rookie.”


Halfway through the drive, Ted looked over at Randy, who was staring out the window in somewhat of a trance, frowning. “I had a really over the top idea if you’re interested…after we send Punk to the hospital, that is.”


Randy slowly looked over at Ted, wondering what the kid had in mind, turning the music down. “What’s on your mind, kid?” He asked gruffly, pinching the bridge of his nose, hoping it wasn’t lame or he might have to hurt him. “Out with it.” He ordered when Ted hesitated, blue eyes telling the kid not to mess with him.


“Well, it’s obvious you still care for Lyla and I was just wondering: why didn’t you go after her?” Ted asked in somewhat of a rush, hoping Randy didn’t smack him upside the head while he drove.


Randy sighed deeply, having asked himself that same question for the past few years, turning to look out the window again. “She wanted nothing to do with me when she left or anyone from the company.  Not that I blame her.  This company basically said it was fine that she was raped and brutally beaten by one of their Superstars.” He snorted, clenching his jaw tightly. “I thought about going after her, but I didn’t wanna cause her any more pain than what she was already in.”


Ted nodded, going silent for a little while, staring straight ahead as Ryan suddenly entered his mind, those deep sky blue eyes seared in his memory.  He knew Ryan loved him, she was just lying to herself and Ted was going to do what it took to get her back in his life.  He knew he said goodbye to her a few months ago, but Ted couldn’t get Ryan off his mind no matter how hard he tried.  He was irrevocably in love with her, knowing she was scared because of what Calaway did to her.  Ted would never hurt her that way; he wanted her more than the air he breathed.


“What if I suggested we go after them?” Ted asked after while, glancing over at Randy, who hadn’t moved an inch.


Truthfully, Randy was deeply in love with Lyla Jane and had been since that night they slept together.  He didn’t understand it, he hardly knew her, but they kept running into each other on the Raw roster prior to that one night stand.  It was almost as if fate was trying to push them together somehow, always bumping into each other or ending up in the cafeteria.  Hell, Randy would go out for his pre-match smoke and there she would be, sitting on a trunk with her beautiful raven locks pooled over her shoulders, always wearing color with her Zune blasting music through those ear buds.


“I’ll think it over, let’s just deal with taking Phil out of commission once and for all.”


Ted nodded, flooring the gas as they sped down the highway, ready to pound that little slime ball into oblivion.




Phil was all smiles as he walked out of the arena, popping a breath mint because he planned on meeting his flavor of the night for a few drinks.  There was no way he could go after Lyla, not right away at least, knowing she was under the protection of TNA.  He knew that company would eventually crumble and snorted, heading to his rental with his bag in hand.  Phil would never make it to his date because two figures stepped out from behind his rental car, his eyes instantly widening at the sight of Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase JR.


“Hey.” He greeted hesitantly, already knowing the rumor mill had spread rampant about him going to LA and breaking into Lyla’s home, swallowing hard. “What’s up guys?”


“You in about five seconds, you piece of shit.” Ted spat, blue eyes flashing, Randy remaining completely silent as they slowly began stalking toward Phil.


“Look, I know what you’ve heard…”


“Save it.” Randy stated quietly, his voice having a chilling edge to it, eyes narrowed to slits. “We don’t believe a word you say, Brooks.”


Phil paled, slowly backing up away from them, having dropped his bag and held his hands up pleadingly. “Look guys, you don’t understand…”


“Oh, we understand perfectly.  We understand you’re a lowdown dirty mother fucker who takes joy in causin’ women pain.” Ted snarled, the sounds of knuckles cracking throughout the parking lot of the arena, everyone else having left already. “I bet you didn’t expect us to come here and beat the living shit out of you for what you put that poor woman through, did you?”


“She asked for it!!” Phil cried out urgently, beginning to tremble slightly because Randy and Ted were advancing on him rapidly. “She wanted it!!  She wanted it, the cocksucking whore!”


Randy heard enough and plowed his fist right into Phil’s face, smirking in satisfaction as the sounds of bones crunching echoed throughout the parking lot.  Phil screamed out as he fell to the pavement, holding his now broken nose, blood streaming from it.  He pleaded with them to not do this, but Randy and Ted weren’t listening.  They proceeded to bring every one of his fingers with a baseball bat Ted had stopped at a local oasis to purchase, along with a knife.  By the time they were finished, Phil was a broken, bloody and beaten mess, his blood staining the pavement, every one of his arms, legs, fingers, toes, nose, jaw and possibly even his neck broken. 


Randy spat on him, sweating from the ass kicking they just delivered, bending down so his mouth was right by Phil’s ear. “This is your last warning, you go near Lyla again and I’ll kill you next time.  Enjoy the hospital.” He walked away without another word, Ted following suit, both of them peeling out of the parking lot moments later.


Chapter 18


Lyla sat in her hotel room, just staring at the television robotically, flipping through the channels without noticing them.  Her mind was on other things, such as Allen and the L word.  Lyla already knew she didn’t love him and he knew it too, but she did like him to an extent. 


He could be really annoying when he wanted to be and then other times a total sweetheart.  Guilt ate away at her insides because Lyla knew it wasn’t fair to Allen to keep that glimmer of hope of her falling in love with him when it was never going to happen.  She couldn’t magically make herself do it, knowing love didn’t work like that, no matter how much she wanted to make Allen happy.


It simply wasn’t happening.


“I have to end it with him.  I can’t keep leading him on thinking something is going to happen between us.” Lyla murmured to the silence that surrounded her, tears burning her eyes, hating that she would be hurting him, but it really was for the best.


Plucking at the hem of her silver nightgown that went to her knees, Lyla decided it was time to call in the reinforcements, whipping her cell phone.  If anyone could cheer her up and tell her what to do, it would be her best friend Ryan.  Lyla just hoped she wasn’t disturbing the newlywed couple, still not believing Ryan had gotten married to Ken Anderson while they were in Cancun.


Just as she was about to push the send button, a knock sounded at her hotel room door, knowing it had to be Allen.  Lyla sighed and flipped her cell phone shut, tossing it on the bed and stood up, going to see who it was.  She’d been hoping not to break the news to Allen so soon, but there was no point in waiting because Lyla only saw him as a friend and nothing more than that.


Imagine her shock to find Randy Orton standing on the other side as soon as Lyla opened the door.


Her grey eyes widened, wondering what the hell he was doing here, blinking several times as those blue eyes instantly pierced her.  Lyla opened and closed her mouth, but no words were coming out of her mouth, trying desperately to get her vocal cords working again.  She hadn’t seen this man in four long years and he still looked as breathtaking as the first time she bumped into him at Raw.  The white beater and light blue jeans he wore looked painted on, his muscle tone definitely defined and his hair was considerably shorter than she remembered.


“Randy…” She finally breathed out, tears forming in her eyes as the shock slowly wore off of him standing before her, beginning to tremble slightly.


Lyla also remembered the last time they saw each other, how she had broken the news about the miscarriage to him, while laying prone in a hospital bed nearly beaten to death.




Randy couldn’t believe how beautiful she looked standing before him, especially glad in a silver nightgown.  She was more stunning than ever, even in WWE, though Randy wasn’t sure that was possible.  He watched her blink and huge tears slid down her face, the guilt swirling around in her grey orbs, instantly breaking his heart.


Without a second thought, Randy pulled her into his arms, wrapping his strong tattooed sleeved arms around her waist, burying his face in her neck.  She still smelled the same, mango.  Randy felt her trembling against him as he ran his hand up and down her back soothingly.  He honestly wished she would stop crying because her tears were going to kill him, slowly pulling back enough to wipe them away with the pads of his thumbs.


“Don’t cry, Ly, please don’t cry.” He pleaded in a whisper, knowing she was probably wondering why he was here. “I need to talk to you, please.  It’s important.”


“W-What are you doing here?” She asked, voice cracking under the pressure of sobs threatening to take over her body.


Randy sighed, his hands gently running up and down her arms, trying to get her to calm down. “Let’s go inside and talk okay?” He didn’t want to have this conversation in the hallway of the hotel, watching her nod and followed her inside, kicking the door gently behind him. “I heard what happened to you in LA and I wanted to make sure you were okay.”


Lyla couldn’t even talk right now, simply nodding, burying her face in her hands as her shoulders shook.  That painful memory of nearly being raped in her own home caused her stomach to churn violently, though Lyla wasn’t surprised Randy had heard about it.  No matter what wrestling organization one was in, news and rumors spread throughout all of them like wild fire. 


Some of TNA wrestlers came from WWE, so they still had friends within the company.  Dixie Carter had just given them a better offer than Vince McMahon and that’s why they’d jumped ship, Lyla included.  Bewilderment shone in her grey eyes as Lyla looked up at Randy, still not believing he was actually standing before her, having thought of him quite frequently over the past few weeks.


Randy walked over and squatted in front of her, taking one of her hands in his, those grey orbs that had haunted his dreams day and night for the past four years searing him. “He’s gone, Lyla.” His voice was low and soft, running his thumb over her knuckles gently, trying to soothe her the best way he could. “He’ll never hurt you again.”


“W-What do you mean?” She somewhat stammered, wiping her tears away with her free hand, sniffling. “Randy…”


“He’s currently laid up in the hospital feeding and drinking through a tube.  I took a trip to Smackdown! and beat the fuck out of him again…only this time I had help…” He trailed off, watching her eyes widen, keeping her hand in his. “He’ll never lay a finger on you again, Ly, I swear it.”


Lyla swallowed hard, more tears swelling in her eyes, looking away from him in shame. “Why would you do that for me?” She whispered, feeling the bed dip beside her moments later, Randy fingering her chin and forcing her eyes to open to meet his.


“Because nobody is gonna hurt the woman I love without paying for it.” Randy stated with no hesitation, seeing more shock fill her eyes, and sighed when she stood up from the bed to get away from him. “Lyla…”


“What are you talking about, Randy?  I’m very confused right now.  I thought you hated me because of what happened, that you never wanted to see me again…” That was the main reason she had left the company, though being away from Phil was also another huge factor.  She could deal with seeing him though, but she’d fallen in love with Randy and didn’t think he could ever feel the same for her.


Randy stood up and walked over to where she stood, taking her hands in his, searching her eyes for a moment. “How could I ever hate you for something that was out of your control, Lyla?” He finally stated, running a single finger down her cheek, catching a fresh tear that slipped down. “It’s taken me four years to realize just how much I love you and how deeply in love I am with you, Lyla Jane.  I’m not walking away without a fight and I know you feel the same way about me or you wouldn’t be crying right now.”


“I thought…”


Randy pressed a finger to her lips, cutting her off, slowly shaking his head. “I could never hate you, Lyla, not even if my life depended on it.  It tore me up when you left the company, but I understood why and that’s why I didn’t come after you.  But then I heard about what that bastard did to you in LA and I immediately hopped on the first flight here, after pulverizing him, for you.  I’m not mad that you miscarried, I was never angry with you because it wasn’t your fault.  It was that prick’s fault and I swear on my life he’ll never touch you again as long as I’m breathing.” The fire erupted in Randy’s eyes as he thought about what could’ve possibly happened in LA, immediately shoving those thoughts aside. “I should’ve fuckin killed him.”


“No, death would be the easy way out for him.  I’ve already called a lawyer about it and I was going to take him to court, but I’m going to cancel that now.” Lyla said, knowing the beating Randy gave Phil would insure he’d never wrestle another day in his life again. “Thank you, Randy.”


“Do you love me or not?” He demanded, grabbing her arms and pulling her closer to him, the fresh tears filling her eyes, leaning down as his lips hovered over hers. “Don’t lie to me either.”


“I lost your child…how could you not hate me?” She sobbed out, burying her face in his chest, feeling him pull her back to stare in his eyes again. “Randy...”


“Do you love me or not, Lyla Jane?” He tried again, seeing her hesitating, growling from low in his throat and crushed his lips to hers in a passionate, toe curling kiss, pouring every ounce of feeling and love he could muster up into it. 


Lyla instantly melted against him, wrapping her arms around his neck, feeling her heart explode with the feelings she’d locked away four years ago when she left the WWE.  She never thought she’d see Randy again, having always thought he would never feel the same way she did for him.  In four years, Lyla still loved him as much as she always did and probably always would.


When Randy broke the kiss, both of them needing air to breathe, their breathing was incredibly ragged and lips swollen. “Tell me you don’t love me.” He challenged in a husky whisper, running his hand up to her beautiful raven hair. “I dare you to deny it.”


How could she possibly tell him she didn’t when the truth shimmered in her tearful grey eyes? “I can’t.” She whispered in pure defeat, sagging against him as the tears fell freely, crying harder. “I love you too, Randy.  I always have.” Lyla confessed, watching his blue eyes instantly darken, her mouth suddenly going dry.


“Good.” Randy cupped her face in his strong hands, passionately kissing her lips again, and pulled back to remove his white beater. “I’ve waited four long years to make love to you again, I’m not passing this up.” He smirked when she giggled, muscles flexing with every movement, and yanked her against him as their lips met again, both falling on the bed.


Lyla was in pure heaven as Randy slowly undressed her, not believing how much he had changed in four years.  The tattoos that sleeved his arms were breathtaking and she couldn’t help running her fingertips over them while he assaulted her neck.  She completely melted against him, reaching down to unsnap his jeans and shoved them down his legs with her feet, completely devouring his mouth with hers. 


Randy groaned as he tasted her for the first time in four years, not believing he’d waited this long to come after her, to make her his completely.  What the hell had he been thinking letting her go the first time?  Randy vowed as he slowly made love to her that he would do everything in his power to make her the happiest woman on this planet from here on out, their coming together completely explosive.


It was almost as if they’d never parted, even though they’d only had sex one time besides now, though Randy never thought of it that way.  He had one night with an angel who stole his heart like a thief in the night and he hadn’t even realized it until she was gone.  Randy hadn’t even looked at another woman since Lyla left the WWE because no other had grey eyes like hers or beautiful hair that felt like satin against his fingertips.  Her soft gentle touch and the way she moved in rhythm with him completely took his breath away, his face burying in her neck. 


One night stand or not, sometimes that was all it took to make a person fall in love.  Sometimes one night of passion could end up being a once in a lifetime love, which is exactly what Randy and Lyla had.  Her moans filled the room with his groans, sheer music to both of their ears, Lyla completely surrendering to him.  She was already planning on leaving TNA and traveling with him in the WWE, deciding her wrestling career wasn’t as important as being with Randy.


Hours later, Randy and Lyla lay in bed together, her head resting against his chest, leg draped over his, both of them completely content being naked.  Randy’s fingers dragged slowly up and down her bare back, stealing kisses from her every once in awhile.  They talked about what they’d been doing, Randy explaining his tattoos, groaning whenever she would explode them with her fingertips.  It completely lit his blood on fire and that just initiated another round with her, Randy not able to get enough of this woman.


Eventually they did fall asleep for a few hours, though Randy was up first just as the sun rose over the horizon, having done a lot of thinking lately.  He reached a decision before even coming here, refusing to lose Lyla again, and watched her sleep peacefully.  She looked like a dark haired angel with her raven locks fanning over her shoulders and above her head, splaying over the pillow.  Her lips were a healthy red, cheeks slightly flushed from all the intense love making no doubt.  He smirked, reaching over to lightly brush his lips against hers, feeling her instantly stir as her arms instinctively wrapped around his neck.


“Mmm morning…” She murmured, slowly fluttering her beautiful grey eyes open, wondering what he was doing up since they’d only got a few hours of sleep. “You’re not leaving are you?”


Randy sighed gently, shaking his head, having woke her up for a reason. “No baby, I’m not ever leaving you again.  You’re leaving with me though, I want you to quit TNA and come back to the WWE, where you belong.” He took a deep shaky breath, finally setting something on her smooth stomach.


When she looked down, Lyla saw possibly the most beautiful ring staring back at her, tears instantly coming to her eyes.  It was a simple three stoned diamond ring, the middle stone bigger than the side stones, sparkling back at her.  It was simple, elegant and would show the world that Lyla belonged to Randy and nobody else.  Lyla swallowed hard, slowly taking the ring between two fingers, looking back into Randy’s beautiful blue eyes, knowing what he was asking her.


“Will you marry me, Lyla Jane Tyler?”


Tears slid down her face and Lyla couldn’t even speak, nodding as Randy took the ring from her, sliding on her left ring finger. “I’d love to marry you, Randy.” She finally whispered, kissing him passionately, not believing everything she wanted was finally becoming a reality.


They ended up making love three more times, including once in the shower, before getting dressed to go meet Ted.


Chapter 19


“Are you sure you don’t need anything?”


Ryan smiled softly up at her ‘husband’, nodding gently, knowing he was worried about her after that visit from Mark.  It’d been a week since she last told Mark she wasn’t in love with him and, truth be told, Ryan meant it.  She would always love the man because he had a piece of her heart, but Ryan could no longer be in love with him.  It probably didn’t make sense to others, but to Ryan that was her story and she was sticking to it.


“I’ll be fine, Ken.  Go on and have fun.  I’ll call you if I need anything.” She closed her eyes when he bent down, kissing her forehead softly, and cupped his face in her hand briefly.


“You call me even if you’re bored and I’ll be right back here.” Ken stated, wanting to reassure her he wasn’t going anywhere, already knowing her heart wasn’t with him and probably never would be.  He accepted that and just wanted to help her through this pain Mark Calaway caused her.


“I will, promise.”


Ryan winked, watching him walk out of the door, and looked down at the ring on her left ring finger.  It was beautiful, though Ryan knew it meant nothing and she was fine with it, slowly sliding it from her finger to place it back in the ring box Ken bought it in.  She wondered briefly if she would ever feel love again, wrapping her arms around herself as she walked over to stare out the window.


For some strange reason lately, Ryan couldn’t stop thinking about Ted DiBiase and she wasn’t sure why.  She wasn’t in love with him…right?  Ryan had been lying to herself since day one, having been in love with two men at the same time, and just afraid to admit it.  She loved Mark more though, which is why she’d chosen him over Ted, only to have it blow up in her face.  Now Ryan was alone in a phony marriage with a man who pitied her and she felt more alone than ever.


Ryan’s thoughts broke when she heard a knock sound at her hotel room door, smiling, knowing Ken must’ve forgotten something.  He didn’t have a key to her room, only his, even though theirs were attached.  He wanted to give her the privacy she deserved and Ryan was very thankful for that, respecting the man even more.


“I told you I’d call you if I needed anything.” She giggled, opening the door, only to stare back into a pair of soft blue eyes instead of brown.  The giggling stopped instantly as Ryan stared back at Ted DiBiase, swallowing hard, feeling her heart begin pounding.


“I wasn’t aware we were talking.” Ted replied, not able to help himself, leaning in the doorway with his arms folded in front of his chest.  He wore a red t-shirt with some kind of black swirling design on it that stretched across his chest along with tight blue jeans that hugged him perfectly. “Hello Ryan.”


“What are you doing here?” She asked softly, remembering the last conversation they had before she went with Ken to Cancun.


“I need to talk to you.” Ted pushed away from the door frame, his eyes never leaving her for a second.


“I have nothing to say to you, DiBiase.” She was being stubborn and Ryan knew it, but she couldn’t help it.  Ryan tried slamming the door, only for Ted to catch it with his foot, groaning as he let himself in, closing the door behind him. “What the hell do you want NOW?  Haven’t you said enough to me?  I thought you said goodbye to me, Ted?”


Ted closed his eyes briefly, trying to mask the pain, knowing he’d hurt her by saying that, but he was frustrated. “I can’t say goodbye to you, Ryan.  I’ll never be able to do it, no matter if it comes from my mouth or not.  I came here to ask you what the hell you are thinking marrying someone like Ken that you barely know.”


“That’s none of your business.” Ryan stated, trying to inject anger into her tone, but she was so happy to see him and it clearly coursed through her eyes. “You need to leave.”


“I’m not leaving.” Ted watched her rake a hand through her hair, eyes narrowing slightly, taking a step toward her. “Ryan, you don’t love him, you love me.”


“STOP SAYING THAT!  No I don’t!  I don’t love you!” Ryan shouted, wishing he would get it through his head, knowing there was no future for them.  He worked for the WWE and she worked for TNA, no matter how much she did love this man, it would never work. ‘I can’t put myself through that again.’ She thought heartbrokenly, not even realizing she didn’t have her ring on. “I love Ken.”


“Bullshit, you’re lying to me and I don’t understand why.” Ted was calling her on the bluff, folding his arms in front of his chest, feeling her gasp when he reached out to wrap his hand around her left wrist. “If you love him so damn much, why aren’t you wearing your wedding ring?”


Ryan mentally cursed, remembering she’d taken it off as soon as Ken left her alone, silently wishing she would’ve made him stay with her. “Ted, please…” She finally whispered, tears stinging her eyes, trying to break the vise grip he had on her wrist. “You don’t understand…”


“I don’t understand what?  The fact that I’ve poured my heart out to you and time and time again you’ve been LYIN’ to me about how you feel?” Ted refused to let her go, refused to back down, knowing he had to fight for Ryan to make her see the truth. “I know you love me and you always have.  I know Calaway hurt you and you loved him too, but you can’t look me in the eyes and tell me you’ve never loved me, Ryan.”


“Loving you and being in love are two different things.” She whispered, gritting her teeth angrily, clenching her fist tightly as Ted pulled her closer to him. “I can’t love you, Teddy…”


“Why not?”


“Because…” She started crying again, burying her face in her free hand, shaking her head.


“Because why?” Ted urged, his voice dropping an octave, wishing she would just open up to him once. “Why can’t you love me, Ryan?”




This is the breakthrough Ted was waiting for, knowing the truth was finally going to come out. “Go through what?” His mouth was right by her ear now, wrapping one secure arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him while still holding her left wrist. “Tell me Ryan, tell me why.” No matter what she did or said, Ted wasn’t backing down or walking away from her again.  He’d done it three times already and wasn’t making the mistake for a fourth, not without making her his completely.


“The heartache and pain…” She could barely speak, his scent engulfing her, causing her mind to cloud in a passion haze. “Please let me go…”


“No.” He whispered huskily in her ear, feeling her sagging against him, knowing she was slowly caving in. “Not unless you can give me one damn good reason, besides trying to make me believe you’re actually married to a stranger, why I should.”


“Don’t you get it?  There is no future for us!” She snapped, trying to rip away from him, crying out when he simply backed her up until her back met the wall, refusing to look up into his eyes.  Ryan knew if she did it would be all over because those eyes completely captivated her. “Let go of me!!” She cried, struggling even harder against him, feeling him lift her up by the waist, forcing her legs around his waist and pining her to the wall. “Ted, stop it!”


“No!  You’re goin’ to talk to me whether you like it or not, Ryan!” He growled, noticing she refused to look at him, taking her chin gently between his forefinger and thumb, forcing those beautiful sky blue eyes to meet his. “Why wouldn’t there be a future for us?  Tell me Ryan, make me believe that we’re not meant to be together.


Ryan started sobbing against him, burying her face in her hands, feeling his lips brush against her tears to kiss them away. “Why are you doing this to me?” She asked in a soft whisper, Ted barely able to hear her, feeling the heat of his body completely surrounding her.


“Because I know that you love me, Ryan!  I’m so in love with you and I can’t stop it.  And I know you love me too or you wouldn’t be fighting me so hard.” He pressed his forehead against hers, pulling her hands away from her beautiful face, pressing both of them against his chest so she could feel his pounding heart. “This is yours and it’s always been, even when you chose Calaway over me.  I’ve never stopped loving you and I never will, no matter how much you say you don’t love me.”


“There would be no future for us, Teddy.  We work in different companies…even if I’m not really married.” There was no point in lying to him about that; she’d been caught red-handed and Ryan chewed her bottom lip while Ted kept her pinned. “What do you want from me?”


“You, I want you, Ryan.  How hard is that to understand?  I just fuckin want you.”


He ravaged her lips with his, feeling her hands grip the front of his shirt in two fistfuls, knowing she hadn’t been expecting this.  Ted didn’t care though, pulling her away from the wall, both of them landing on the bed with him hovering over her, settling between her thighs.  He groaned in her mouth, slipping his tongue between her sweet lips, tasting her for the first time in months.  Her heat emanated through her panties against his jean crotch, causing Ted to growl even deeper, his chest vibrating as he ran his hands up her arms to place them above her head.


“You want me too, admit it.” He had her dazed and locked in place, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide, his lips barely brushing her swollen ones. “Tell me you don’t want me, make me believe it, beautiful.” Ted challenged her, knowing she wouldn’t back down from it, his blue eyes two midnight orbs from how much desire and lust swirled through them.


“I can’t…” She whispered, the look in his eyes taking her breath away, squirming beneath him because Ryan was dying to touch him. “Ted…”


“Now tell me you love me and you can’t live without me.” He rubbed his nose against hers, his hot breath on her cheek as he ran just his nose down to her jaw, knowing he was driving her crazy. “Say it and I’ll give you anythin’ you want, Ryan.”


Tears poured down the side of her face, knowing she couldn’t deny the truth anymore, feeling his grip on her wrist slowly lessen. “I love you and…I can’t live without you, Ted.” She said through a thick voice, voice cracking from the emotion, feeling his soft lips brush away her tears. 


“I love you too, Ryan, and I can’t live without you either.”


Ted released her wrists and Ryan instantly wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling him leave her for a brief second to undress.  She could only watch with bated breath as he peeled his shirt over his head, muscles rippling and flexing, his arms being her absolute weakness.  She remembered the last time they had sex, remembered how she’d called him specifically after drinking White Zinfandel. 


Her body quivered with anticipation as the sound of his zipper going down echoed throughout the room, licking her lips hungrily, needing this man more than anything at that moment.  Ryan sat up and removed her nightgown, unclasping her bra, tossing them to the floor in the growing pile with his.  She felt him push her back, hooking his thumbs in the waistband of her panties, sliding them down her long tanned legs, gripping her left calve as he began trailing warm wet kisses up it.


“Ted, please…” Ryan whimpered, gasping when he suddenly pulled her up, wrapping her legs around his waist forcefully, their lips meeting in a hot searing kiss that made their worlds spin out of orbit.


There was no way Ted could deny her anything, he loved this stubborn woman and had for a very long time, glad she’d finally admitted how she truly felt for him.  Within moments, Ted was buried to the hilt inside of Ryan, filling her completely, both of them clinging to each other for dear life as he began working his hips against her.  Ryan was in sheer ecstasy as she gripped the back of his neck, pressing their foreheads together as he pounded in and out of her, moaning uncontrollably.


There was no way Ryan could run away from Ted anymore, knowing he’d always been the one she secretly longed for.  She did love Mark and had been in love with him, but Ryan had never truly forgotten about Ted DiBiase JR.  She never would either, meeting him thrust for thrust, completely giving herself to him in every way possible.  If he wanted to runaway with her to Vegas tomorrow, Ryan would do it in a heartbeat, knowing her and Ken weren’t really married. 


Hours later, they both laid in bed curled up against each other, Ted running his fingertips up and down Ryan’s side, enjoying the feeling of her against him. “Beautiful, I’m not gonna make you quit your job here if you really don’t want to.  Doesn’t mean we can’t be together, we just won’t see each other as often.” He pressed a soft kiss to her ear, nuzzling her neck, curling his arm around her waist as her back pressed against his chest.


“I’m quitting because I already know where I truly belong.  I only left because of Calaway…and my feelings for you.” She admitted, slowly turning around as her leg draped over his muscular thigh, feeling his hand run up and down her outer one while their lips caressed each others. “I’ve always loved you, Ted, I just fought it for so long because I was afraid.  I didn’t know what I wanted and it confused me.  But I know now, more than ever, that I want you.”


“Then prove it.” He challenged, causing her eyebrow to slowly raise, a gasp escaping her when Ted slipped a beautiful circular shaped diamond on her left ring finger.  It was more beautiful than the ring Ken bought for her in Cancun, her eyes looking up and meeting the hopeful ones of Ted. “I’m not askin’ you because I love you and you love me.  There’s no reason we shouldn’t get married if you truly mean what you just said.”


Ryan bit her bottom lip, fresh tears sliding down her face, nodding as she tackled him with passionate kisses. “Yes, yes to everything.”


She laughed as Ted pulled her from bed and spun her around in circles.  For the first time in months, Ryan felt truly complete in this man’s arms and laughed as he walked toward the shower, informing her they had to go meet Randy in a few hours with Lyla.  Ted explained to Ryan while washing her in the shower from head to toe, which followed another session between them, both of them finally stepping out to reluctantly get dressed.


“You do realize that once we get to Vegas and go on our honeymoon, I’m not letting you outta that hotel room until both of us can’t physically move anymore.” He growled in her ear, both of them walking down the hallway of the hotel, knowing a lot of explaining had to be done.


To Ryan, it was just another day in her complicated life, grinning at what Ted said, completely agreeing with him.


Chapter 20


It’d been three years.


Time had passed for Ryan; even though she’d been the happiest she’d ever been in her life.  She had a wonderful loving husband that treated her like a queen along with two amazing children.  A boy and girl, named Adam Keith and Dakota Jane DiBiase, each named after their godparents.


Adam had Ryan’s chestnut hair and his father’s incredible blue eyes while Dakota had dishwater blonde with her mother’s sky baby blues.  They were absolutely breathtaking and Ryan loved both of them with everything inside of her.  She’d gotten pregnant with Adam on their honeymoon in Hawaii, after having a double ceremony in Vegas with Randy and Lyla Jane.  Ted boasted and said he had excellent aim, to which Ryan slapped him upside the head, immediately deflating his ego.


They were the perfect match.


Randy and Lyla also had two beautiful twin girls named Alyssa and Alexia, each with Randy’s incredible blue eyes and their mother’s stunning black hair.  Lyla had gotten pregnant a month after Ryan did, both of them laughing about it because their children were around the same age.  Lyla had gone into labor before Ryan did because of the twins being too cramped up in her womb. 


They did an emergency C-Section and, even being premature, they were healthy as horses.  Ryan ended up having Adam in her eighth month of pregnancy, so he too was premature, but still beautiful as ever.  A year later, Ryan ended up pregnant with Dakota and carried her to full term, the little girl having been stubborn enough to wait three days AFTER Ryan’s due date before joining the world.


She never did go back on the road with the WWE, flat out refusing to work for a company who thought so little of their employees, especially after what happened to her best friend.  Ted understood it and came home whenever he could along with Randy, though they lived in separate states.  Randy and Lyla resided in St. Louis, Missouri while Ted and Ryan were in Tampa, Florida.


She couldn’t help remembering the last conversation she had with Mark, which was the night in Ken’s dressing room when he found out she was ‘married’.  The look in his eyes told the complete story, showed the heartache and pain, the hurt…Now he knew how she felt for the three years she was with him.  For awhile, after marrying Ted, Ryan was withdrawn and quiet because the guilt slowly ate away at her for choosing Mark over Ted to begin with.  


Finally one night, Ted sat down with her while being off the road with the WWE and demanded to know what was wrong.  Ryan tried pushing him away, but just like that night when he came after her, Ted forced her to tell him.  She finally broke down and cried her heart out for hours, apologizing for being such a fool to pick Mark over him; how she couldn’t believe he forgave her so easily, that she didn’t deserve his love.


Ted immediately stopped her, refusing to let her beat herself over the past, and told her that none of it mattered.  He married her because he loved her unconditionally and nothing would ever change that.  Of course, Ryan was also four months pregnant so her hormones were skyrocketed beyond control.  Ted just cradled her in his arms, ran his fingers through her hair, and assured her that everything was going to work out.


Ryan had to go on the road with Ted and it was for WrestleMania, the kids having come along and stayed with their nanny, Margaret, at the hotel.  Ryan walked arm in arm with her husband, wearing a simple elegant deep blue strapless dress that shimmered and flowed down her body.  Her hair was up in tons of spiral curls, a few framing her face, her makeup and nails done to perfection. 


Lyla was in a beautiful shimmering dark red spaghetti strapped dress that went two inches above the knee in the front and flowed down in the back.  Her raven locks now had red streaks throughout them, making her look even more breathtaking, making her grey eyes pop.  They were at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Ted had asked Ryan to attend it with him, while Randy had to practically beg Lyla, both men wanting to spend time with their wives.


Just as they were walking into the building, that’s when she saw him.


He looked absolutely amazing wearing a pair of nicely snug black dress pants with a hunter green dress shirt that was tucked in the waistband, the top three buttons undone.  His long black hair was pulled back in a low ponytail, his facial hair trimmed to perfection.  She noticed the blonde on his arm and knew it was Michelle McCool, which no longer bothered Ryan because she had who she wanted.


Mark had noticed her too, having heard about DiBiase going to TNA and sweeping Ryan off of her feet so to speak.  The marriage deal with Ken had been a hoax; he’d been lied to and betrayed by her, though Mark honestly didn’t blame her.  He grunted, feeling Michelle nudge him, staring down at her bright red dress that had frills wrapping around her ankles, wanting to shoot himself.


The Hall of Fame ceremony was boring, though Ryan managed to stay awake through most of it, thanks to Lyla nudging her constantly.  Both girls stifled giggles, whispering how good everyone looked tonight, though neither spoke of Mark.  Even after three years, it was still a huge blow to Ryan because she honestly did love the man at one point.  She just wanted to enjoy the evening with her husband, the beautiful ring glistening on her finger, smiling as he brought her hand to his lips to kiss the back of it several times throughout the ceremony.


Afterwards, Vince threw a celebratory party that all the wrestlers had to attend, it was mandatory.  Ted begged Ryan to stay with him, wanting to twirl her on the dance floor and have a few drinks, just spend some quality time with her.  Ryan couldn’t refuse anything her husband wanted and walked inside the beautiful banquet hall Vince had rented for the evening, the music blaring and everyone having a good time. 


“What do you want to drink, beautiful?” Ted asked in her ear, smiling when she said a Vodka martini, watching him walk off moments later to retrieve their beverages.


“Hello darlin’.” That rich deep southern accented voice sounded behind her, causing every part of Ryan’s body to tense, including her hands that were balled up in fists.


“Hello Mark.” Her voice was deceptively soft, wondering what he wanted, slowly looking up into those emerald gems of his.


Mark smiled down at her, knowing they had a history, but that was no reason they couldn’t get along right? “How’re you?” He asked, slowly walking towards her, her scent instantly filling his senses, though Mark knew he had to control himself. 


She was married after all.


“I’m happy.” Ryan replied truthfully, not able to help gazing down at her ring, it still bewildered her even after all this time. “And yourself?”


“I’ve been alright, thinkin’ bout retirin’ here soon.” He chuckled, knowing he’d never leave the WWE unless both of his legs were broken…and even then he wasn’t sure he could walk away. “Come outside with me for minute, I wanna talk to ya.”


Ryan bit her bottom lip when he extended his hand, wondering what he wanted to talk to her about, sighing gently. “Alright.” She slid her hand into his, feeling him pull her up from the chair, guiding her through the dance floor and out onto a nearby veranda that overlooked the beautiful city lights of Atlanta. “What did you want to talk about?”


Mark sighed, hearing the tenseness in her voice, knowing he deserved that and so much more for all the pain he caused her. “Why did ya lie to me that night when I came for ya in TNA?” He finally asked, watching her lean over the balcony ledge.  She’d taken her hair down from the clip it was in, so her curls were hanging loosely down her back in shiny waves.


Ryan had been expecting that question, a soft smile spreading on her glossy lips. “Because you weren’t the one I truly wanted and I wanted to be rid of you, Mark.” She didn’t turn around to face him, though she could feel his body as it stood right behind her. “I was so completely in love with you and, in two years, you managed to slowly make that love I had for you die piece by piece.  Every time you would hurt me, make me believe you loved me just to get me in bed, every lie that came out of your mouth…You finally chipped away too much and made the love turn into hate.”


Mark swallowed hard, not expecting her blunt honesty, rubbing his hands together as he tried getting his thought process under control. “Darlin’, I never realized how much I hurt ya until ya left me that day.  I went after you in the airport, but I was too late.  I wanted to stop ya and tell ya that I loved ya and I wanted to be with only you.” He wanted to place his hands on her bare shoulders, just to feel her soft skin once more, but knew that’d be asking for trouble.


“I didn’t know you came after me and, even if I did, I still would’ve gone to TNA because I was done with you, Mark.  I was done with the games, the heartache, the hurt, the pain, the degradation, everything.  I was done with it all.  I wasn’t in love with you anymore, but I did love you and I still do.  You will always hold a piece of me, but that doesn’t mean anything.  I’m in love with Ted and I’ve always been in love with him, my love for him never died, which is why I made love to him before I left to go to TNA.  He’s the one person I know in my life I can count on, the one person I know who will never leave me for another woman, because I’m enough for him.” Ryan could feel the tears brim her eyes, immediately blinking them away and slowly turned around to face him, her back pressed against the balcony. “He’s more of a man than you will ever be, at least in my eyes.”


“Oh really?  You wanna test that theory, Ryan?” Mark growled, not amused by anything she said, his emerald eyes slowly turning to acid. “I can show ya what a real man is all about, you just have to give me an open invitation.”


Ryan chuckled sourly, shaking her head. “Still the same ol’ Mark I’ve always known.  Nothing will ever change with you.” She said it almost wistfully, having accepted it a long time ago. “I’ve moved on, as you can plainly see, and I’m happy so I’m declining your offer…”


Mark raised an eyebrow, seeing the gears in her head turning, slowly stepping toward her. “Ryan…” Her voice was a soft growl that flowed off of his sensual lips in a seductive caress.


Ryan couldn’t help doing a full body shiver, knowing she would always harbor intense feelings for Mark, but Ted was her ultimate. “I’ll give you something to remember me by.” She pulled his face down to hers, passionately kissing his lips as her mouth opened, moaning as his tongue completely devoured hers, all the feeling and emotion pouring forth from each individual.  When Ryan couldn’t breathe, she slowly pulled away, seeing his eyes had smoldered over with desire and lust, but saw absolutely no love in them. “Goodbye Mark.” She walked away from him, for the final time, showing him exactly what he had lost when she left him to go to TNA.


It was her farewell to him.


Those intense forest green eyes watched her go and, no matter how much Mark wanted to go after her, he knew he couldn’t.  She was a happily married woman and he had destroyed enough marriages in his lifetime already.  He’d been with Michelle for three years so he had somewhat of a commitment to her…he guessed anyway.  Sighing, needing a glass of Jack Daniels on the rocks, Mark headed back inside, rolling his eyes inwardly when Michelle attached to his side.


After fixing herself up in the bathroom and shedding a few tears, Ryan walked out of the bathroom toward the table where her wonderful husband was.  He looked worried and she sighed, knowing she had disappeared on him.  Also knowing she couldn’t keep what just happened between her and Mark from him either.


Ted could tell something was bothering her, taking her hand as he ran the pad of his thumb over her knuckles, his blue eyes searing hers. “What’s wrong?” He asked softly, pulling her towards him, feeling her beginning to tremble.


“I kissed Mark.” She whispered, taking a few deep breaths, ready for Ted to completely lose his temper, swallowing hard. “I just wanted to make him see what he lost all those years ago…”


Ted sighed heavily; having a feeling she would have a run-in with Mark, simply pulling his wife into his arms as he kissed her forehead. “I’m not mad at you, beautiful.  You did what you had to do, just as long as it was a goodbye kiss.”


She pulled away from him, staring up into his eyes, and moaned as his lips softly caressed hers. “Oh it was definitely a goodbye kiss.” Ryan smiled as he ran the pad of his thumb across her lips, feeling his forehead press against hers. “Are you sure you’re not mad?”


“Not at all because I know, at the end of the night, you’ll be in my arms and you love me more than him.” Ted watched her nod emphatically, chuckling softly, running his hands up and down her back. “Have I told you how stunning you look tonight?”


“Only about a million times.” Ryan giggled, glancing over her shoulder as Randy and Lyla danced the night away in each other’s arms, completely lost.  Ted guided Ryan on the dance floor, her arms wrapping around his muscular neck, his arms encircling her waist as they began moving to the soft beat of the music. “You know what I figured out tonight?”


“Besides the fact I will love you forever?”


Ryan giggled softly, nodding, their lips touching. “My signs have always pointed to you.”


Ted smiled in return, nodding in agreement. “I’ve always known that and my signs will always lead me to you, beautiful.”


They were so in love and Ryan was happy for her friend, knowing they would grow old together in bliss.  Of course, there were rocky roads and obstacles she had to overcome, but in the end Ryan got what she always wanted.  Her signs had pointed her in all different directions, but the main one she had followed lead to Ted, and Ryan didn’t want it any other way.


The End.