Truth

 

Chapter 1

 

Working for the WWE was definitely something Rajani never thought she would do, especially the job she currently had: Stephanie McMahon's personal assistant/mole.  Anything the woman needed, Rajani did without question.  Stephanie was easy enough to get along with, but for some odd reason her husband, Paul Levesque -Fans knew him worldwide as Triple H- didn't care for her.  He didn't cause her too many problems, only when the situation really called for it.  Rajani took it with a grain of salt and had started her internship just over six months ago, only butting heads with Paul 3 times.  Stephanie had intervened the last time they didn't see eye to eye, making her husband promise to let her handle her mole and not get involved.  Other than that, Rajani didn't have any problems with anyone in the WWE, mostly keeping to herself and just doing her job, which fluctuated on a nightly basis.  Stephanie had informed Paul behind closed doors that if he didn't stop messing with her assistant, she was going to mess with HIM and not in a way he would like.  She liked Rajani because the woman was a smart hard worker, who was also easy to get along with.  Those were qualities she had found lacking in previous assistants.

 

“I'm sensing tonight is going to be a headache.” Stephanie said aloud, after reviewing the script, wondering if it would really be a bad thing for her to just return to the hotel.  She was the boss; she could do that, right?  No, of course not, someone had to make sure things didn't get completely out of hand. “What else is on the agenda?” She sighed, glancing at Rajani.

 

“Umm besides the battling between Cena and Kane, that's the only thing you should have to worry about.” Rajani bluntly answered, glancing down at her notes and nodded firmly.

 

Stephanie currently had her helping out with the scripts because, since it was WrestleMania time, everything was more hectic.  The writers were pressured a lot more, which meant the bosses had even MORE to worry about.  She smiled weakly when Stephanie let out a groan, actually having sympathy because the ratings had been fluctuating as of late.  They had to do something to bring the ratings back up, especially during the first few months of the year, because it was considered their highest grossing time due to WrestleMania.  Being this was Rajani's first Road to WrestleMania, she was being extra careful and critical when it came to her job.  Nodding when Stephanie pointed something else out on the sheet she held, Rajani changed it.

 

“No, he hasn't.” Stephanie growled, her blue eyes narrowing slightly.

 

She had been pressing him to make a decision about it for weeks now and Paul still wouldn’t give her a definite answer.  That was one major headache, the ratings were another, and the third was the Kane/Cena feud.  This was actually great for both men's careers, except for the fact that since Glen or 'Kane' had decided now would be a great time to totally go mental and live what was supposed to be a gimmick, everyone backstage was on edge.

 

“Alright…” She took a deep breath and pushed herself away from her makeshift desk. “Let's go make the attempt to lay down some ground rules.”

 

Rajani did NOT like the sound of that at all, knowing exactly what Stephanie was planning on doing.  Had she completely lost her mind?  Maybe the pressure of everything had finally gotten to her.  Rajani could only follow Stephanie out of her office, both of them heading down the hallway toward one of the two men's locker rooms.  Kane refused to use locker rooms, enjoying being in the bowels of the arena, so they went to John Cena's dressing room first.

 

Wearing an off the shoulder long sleeved black shirt with black dress pants, Rajani had a silver chain around her waist for style.  She had dangling silver earrings that had a weird design and matched the necklace.  Her long ravenous hair was pulled back in a French braid, a few tendrils framing her face.  Black eyeliner brought out her deep dark brown eyes that looked nearly black, which went well with her tanned complexion.  2 inch black knee high boots finished her outfit off and Rajani had to admit she looked good tonight, always looking professional whenever she worked.  She tapped her acrylic nails against the clipboard she always carried with her nervously while Stephanie knocked on John Cena's dressing room door, hoping this went well.

 

John opened the door wearing nothing except his shorts, fresh out of the shower and in the process of getting dressed.  He wore his trainers, but hadn't laced them up yet.  His blue eyes narrowed when he spotted Stephanie, knowing she rarely made visits unless it was important.  John had a feeling he knew what this was about, folding his arms in front of his still drying muscular chest.

 

“What's up, Stephy?” He greeted, the corners of his mouth curving upwards into the barest hint of a smile, his gaze straying to her gopher and nodded.

 

“Kane.” Stephanie said flatly.

 

John rolled his eyes heavenward. “Stephanie-”

 

“Script, Cena, we follow the script.”

 

Rajani nodded back at him politely, immediately adverting her gaze from his, while Stephanie started going into the whole speech about why following the script was important for business.  The whole time Stephanie was giving him the third degree, Rajani couldn't help noticing John looked thoroughly amused and just nodded his head, agreeing with whatever the boss said.  Though, she knew that John would end up doing whatever he wanted because that's just how Cena worked.  If Kane provoked him, he would fight back, it was pretty simple.

 

John just let Stephanie say her piece, figuring she needed to feel in control of the situation when the truth was: She had no control.  He did like Stephanie, for the most part, so he let her have her moment.  Though, when he noticed her assistant, Rajani, was looking anywhere except at him, his little half-grin turned into a half-smirk.  He leaned against the door frame.

 

It took Stephanie a full minute to realize John was no longer paying any attention to her, following his gaze and scowled.  From day one, ever since Rajani started her internship as Stephanie's assistant, things between her and John had been...interesting.  He asked her out the first night he saw her and she shot him down because Rajani fully believed in not mixing business with pleasure.  She was single and enjoyed it, not wanting any drama in her life.  Ever since she shot him down, John had done everything in his power, short of actually forcing himself on her, to get her to change her mind.  This was just another night on the job and Rajani knew how to handle this situation, smiling at Stephanie.

 

“I think we should go find Kane now so Mr. Cena can finish getting ready…” Not to mention Rajani had to fight everything inside of her NOT to watch the water rivulets slowly slide down his perfectly sculpted chest.

 

“I think-”


“You should go out with me after the show, Rajani.” John interrupted, his eyes glimmering with wicked intentions that only intensified when Stephanie sighed in sheer exasperation.


“Really John?”


“She could try to convince me to follow the script more often.”

 

Stephanie arched an eyebrow at that, glancing back at Rajani thoughtfully, considering what John said.

 

Rajani remained calm, cool and collected, one of the many reasons why Stephanie had given her the internship. “I'm not interested, but thanks for the offer, Mr. Cena.”

 

She knew John HATED formality and smiled sweetly, not letting him ruffle her feathers, especially in front of her boss.  Though, the look that Stephanie was giving Rajani made her a little nervous, wondering if the woman would actually order her to go on a date with an employer.  Being a boss that would be bad for business, so Rajani hoped Stephanie was smarter than that.

 

“Do you have to call me Mr. Cena?” John ignored the warning look Stephanie shot him, stepping away from the doorway and towards Rajani, returning her smile though no one in their right mind would call his sweet.  Mischievous maybe, but not sweet. “You can call me John you know, your boss does.”

 

Low blow Cena, Stephanie thought, knowing that Rajani was all about being professional and John was taunting her. “I mean it John, one toe out of line tonight and I'll fine you to hell and back.”

 

John saluted her, still never taking his eyes off Rajani. “Sure you won't rethink dinner, hmm?”

 

“Hold on one sec.” Rajani stood there pretending to think it over, tapping her chin thoughtfully, before locking her eyes on his. “Nope, I'm just not interested enough to reconsider it.  But thank you anyway, Mr. Cena.”

 

Stepping away from him, Rajani knew she would definitely need a new change of panties once she got back to the hotel tonight, standing beside her boss patiently.  Why Stephanie thought she could control John Cena was beyond her, but Rajani would stay along for the ride, writing something else down on her clipboard.  She always kept notes and was vigilant when it came to her job, not missing a step, which she knew Stephanie very much appreciated.

 

“Taking notes?  Writing down the things you'd like to do to me?” John teased, holding his hands up when Stephanie actually growled at him, stepping back into his dressing room, obviously trying not to laugh. “Alright, take the rookie and go see Kane.” For a brief second, concern flashed through his eyes. “Actually, I wouldn't go see him.”


“Even Kane knows better not to touch us.” Stephanie said calmly, though she did make a mental note to take along security, just in case. “Remember, one toe...”


“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

 

Rajani ignored him for the most part, simply yawning right in his direction with the same sweet smile on her face. “Wouldn't you like to know?” She shot back over her shoulder before walking away with Stephanie, smirking when her boss merely smirked, shaking her head. “Sorry, I hope that wasn't out of line...”


“I was wondering when you were going to stand up to him.  You can't let the guys intimidate you, no matter how big they are, remember that.  Or they will walk all over you.”

 

Rajani decided against telling Stephanie that John had overstepped his boundaries on more than one occasion and Rajani had stood up for herself the best she could.

 

“And to think, John used to be such a sweetheart too.”

 

Stephanie shook her head, gesturing for security to fall into step with them.  Deciding there was no way she was going to venture down into the bowels of the arena to see Kane without protection.  Technically, the guy worked for her company, but...she doubted that would stop him if he decided to go mental on her.

 

“This whole line has...changed him or maybe just reverted him.  He was cocky back when he first started, but he mellowed out.  Maybe he's just following Mark's example and 'being in character'.  Now if only I could get him to stop hitting on you...”

 

“Believe me, it would be heavenly working here if he got the hint and took a hike.”

 

There were other more personal reasons why Rajani refused to go out with John.  She was the adoptive sister of a very famous WWE alumni superstar, but nobody in the company knew about it besides her bosses.  In her contract, Rajani made sure they had to vow never to mention or utter a peep about it unless she decided to come out with the truth.  If John knew who she was related to, he probably would take the flirtation one step further and Rajani wasn't taking the chance of that happening.  Stephanie was right, he had changed and some backstage didn't think it was for the best.  Stephanie prayed every night that John never found out about Rajani's associations because she knew exactly what he'd do.  He'd use it to his advantage.  She never thought she'd think that about John, but...these days, who the hell knew.

 

“Glen?” Stephanie called as they entered his 'territory', scowling when he corrected her. “Fine…Kane?”


“And what...” He stepped out of the shadows, towering over everyone present, behind the mask his eyes were scanning them all, finally landing on Rajani before flickering back to Stephanie. “Do I owe the honor, Prin-cess?”

 

Rajani immediately lowered her eyes from Kane, this man crept her out in more ways than she cared to think about.  She simply stood there and had to really talk herself into not showing fear.  Kane fed off of it; he was the main reasoning for John's change in attitude lately and everyone knew it.  Why he specifically targeted John nobody understood, only that it had something to do with him always being happy and comfortable in his own skin.  Kane didn't like that apparently.  Rajani just let Stephanie do the talking, not even daring to write notes on her clipboard and hoped they had enough security.  Kane was just like John in the aspect that he wasn't listening to a word Stephanie was saying, though he did catch the general gist of it.  He was more focused on Rajani, who was looking at the floor like it was the most interesting thing in the world.  He found that amusing.

 

“Do I scare you, Rajani?” He asked, effectively cutting Stephanie off, his voice low and husky in a rasping sort of way.


“Kane...”

 

He continued ignoring the boss.

 

“Sorry?”

 

Rajani made the mistake of looking up when she heard her name, completely missing what Kane asked her.  She swallowed when he repeated the question, tightening her grip a little on the clipboard that was pressed against her chest.  What kind of question was that?  Of course he scared her!  He scared a lot of people!  But Rajani was smart enough to know what answer to give Kane and managed a small smile.

 

“Not at all, Mr. Jacobs.” Rajani immediately backed up against the nearest security guard, when he let out a growl, knowing that was out of line, but she had to stand up for herself somehow against this behemoth.

 

Stephanie was all for Rajani standing up for herself to the boys, but...perhaps not right now with Glen being in his other state of mind opposed to the sane one. “Alright, let's just calm down here.” She said, trying to refocus his attention back on her. “I want you to follow the script.”

 

He snorted at that.


“Which means no crossing any lines and-” Stephanie swallowed hard when he finally gave her his full focus. “And sticking to the script, word for word.  I've warned Cena, I'm warning you.”


“And what did he have to say?”


“That's neither here nor there, we're talking about you.”

 

His lips curved into an evil smile. “I'd rather talk about your assistant.”

 

Why the hell was so much attention suddenly directed on her?  Rajani couldn't figure it out and clearly shot Stephanie a 'what the hell' look, watching her boss shrug.  There was nothing really to discuss about her, Rajani wondered if maybe staying in the office would've been a better idea while Stephanie handled this business.  But she was Stephanie's assistant, which meant she had to follow wherever her boss went.  The internship had certain qualifications and that was definitely one of them.  She didn't dare open her mouth while Stephanie tried gaining Kane's attention again.  Unlike John, Rajani knew for a fact this man could squash her like a bug if he wanted to.  Stephanie knew she wasn't getting anywhere with Kane, just like she hadn't with John, but she had felt obligated to try.  She also felt obligated to go drink away this migraine.  Sighing, she gestured for Rajani to follow her, more than ready to get the hell out of this dank room.

 

Kane watched them walk away, one hand moving up to stroke his chin thoughtfully, eyes narrowing under the mask.

 

Chapter 2

 

“Why did I bother?”

 

“You're just trying to restore order and I don't blame you.” Rajani said and could feel Kane's eyes boring into her back as they all retreated hastily out of the bowels of the arena.

 

Once they were back in light and around other Superstars, Rajani let out a full body shiver, hoping Stephanie ignored her.  She couldn't help it.  She was chilled to the bone and wondered why the hell Kane suddenly had an interest in her.  That thought did NOT bode well with her at all, especially since Eve had to have an on-the-road fulltime psychiatrist in order to get through this storyline with Kane.  He had scared her that much.  Stephanie imitated Rajani a moment later by doing a full body shudder, not caring who saw her.  One of the perks to being the boss, they couldn't say shit and she didn't really care what anyone thought.  Kane gave her the creepy crawlies.

 

“Something like that.” Stephanie said dryly, reaching up to massage her temples with her fingertips. “Why don't you go inform the writers to be ready to start any changes regarding the Cena/Kane line?  Then inform the EMT’s that they'll probably be used for real tonight.”

 

Stephanie was just getting a feeling that tonight was going to be one of those nights.  Rajani nodded and headed down the hallway without a word, having the same feeling Stephanie did regarding tonight.  John seemed to be in his cocky state of mind while Glen/Kane was in his psychotic mindset.  Tonight wasn't going to be good at ALL.  Sighing wearily, Rajani headed to the writer's office first and knocked on the door before entering.

 

Felicia looked up when the door opened, smiling at the sight of Rajani. “Hey girl, what's up?”

 

She was the lead script writer for the Raw roster and one of Rajani's closer friends.  Because of her job and what she did, Rajani didn't have a lot of friends, but then again neither did Felicia.  They had the hardest jobs, in her mind, of the company because if they screwed up it caused massive chaos.


“Do I even have to say it?” Rajani remarked with a sigh, causing Felicia to laugh, and headed over to sit down in a chair to take a small breather.


“Stephanie sent you in here to tell us about changes that may or may not happen with the Cena/Kane feud.” Felicia rolled her eyes when Rajani nodded, snorting. “I swear, why do we have to change the scripts just because these guys constantly have their thumbs up their asses?” Felicia spoke her mind and sometimes it got her in trouble, but she was also respected by a lot of the superstars and Divas of the roster. “What else is new?”


“Besides wanting to castrate a certain rapper wanna-be who refuses to leave me alone, nothing.”

 

“I would prefer you to not castrate me and, for the record, I haven't been a rapper wanna-be in quite some time.” John said as he walked in, obviously having heard that last bit of Rajani's sentence.  He flashed a smirk before looking to Felicia, now fully dressed and ready for the night. “I'm here for my script.”

 

As if she didn't already know.  Apparently Stephanie had sent his original one back earlier in the day for revisions.  John had to admit, he wondered why she even bothered sometimes.  Felicia felt sorry for her friend and didn't say a word, simply sifting through the scripts in her hand and handed it over, wondering what Rajani was thinking.

 

“You really do have a huge ego, don't you?” Rajani shot back, though there was no malice in her voice, just sheer amusement. “What makes you think I was talking about you, Cena?  I have better things to do with my time, honestly.” Another reason why Rajani had been hired was her ability to lie smoothly, which Stephanie admired.

 

Rajani definitely had a fire about her, there was no doubt about that. “She has a point, Cena.” Felicia added, draping an arm around her friend's shoulders. “So if you don't need anything else, you can exit the way you entered my office.  Thanks.”

 

Just shaking his head, John took the script, laughing openly on his way out the door.  He had no idea who these women thought they were fooling, but it wasn't him.  John might have acted stupid on occasion, however he was anything but.  The laughter faded when he spotted Kane, or Glen, whoever the hell the man thought he was at the moment, emerging from the stairwell.  Kane just stared right back at John, slowly tilting his head to one side as a slow, evil smile spread across his lips, his new mask revealing his lower face.

 

“Girl, you've lost your mind talking to him like that!” Felicia whispered, after poking her head out the door to make sure John was out of earshot this time, staring back at Rajani with wide eyes. “What are you thinking?”


“I'm sticking up for myself.  I'm not going to let him intimidate me.  He doesn't scare me.” If anyone scared her, it was Kane and a few others on the roster who were bigger and badder than John Cena. “I should go, gotta go inform the EMT squad on possible changes tonight.”


“Tell Michael I said hi and be careful.” Felicia had no idea what John was capable of and hoped Rajani knew what she was doing.


“Will do, talk to you later honey.” Rajani walked out and headed toward the back of the arena, where they always had an ambulance on standby, in case something went wrong or a Superstar botched a move.

 

“No, not happening, back off both of you!” Stephanie ordered, having been informed through her walkie-talkie that Kane and John had come face to face in the hallway, hauling her ass and security's to the scene. “I will SUSPEND you both.”


“Bullshit.” John challenged in a growl.


“For once, I agree with Cena.” Kane sneered, not backing or looking away from the other man.

 

Flashing a disarming smile, John threw his hands up and stepped back, his eyes pure ice.

 

She was going gray, Stephanie just knew it, wondering if Rajani would be opposed to going out and buying her a box of hair dye, just in case.

 

Luckily, Rajani had gone in the opposite direction of the Kane/John confrontation, doing what Stephanie instructed by going to check on the ambulance for tonight’s show. “Hey Raja, what's crackin'?” Michael greeted with a smile, seeing the look of annoyance on her face and chuckled.  Rajani’s short nickname was pronounced just like the tiger’s name off of the Disney movie Aladdin. “Let me take a wild guess...”

 

“You would probably nail it.” Rajani muttered, hopping up to sit beside Michael in the back of the ambulance, her legs dangling freely. “Stephanie...”

 

“I already know and I wish those guys would get a grip.” Michael snorted, running a hand through his cropped black hair.  He went to say something else when the walkie-talkie went off, informing him that Eve, one of the WWE Divas, was on her way to talk to him about that night's script. “Duty calls, I already know Stephanie is sending you to warn us about possible changes.”


“Thanks Mike, talk to you later.” Hopping down from the ambulance, Rajani reluctantly headed back inside the arena, passing by Eve on the way. “He's waiting for you.”

 

Eve didn't look happy and simply nodded, murmuring a 'thank you' in response.

 

“Rajani, there you are...” Stephanie said, walking towards her assistant, then halted, frowning. “I sent you out, didn't I?”

 

She was actually flustered and felt like she was losing her mind.  WrestleMania time was always hectic and she had seen more than one person have to take a 'break' due to stress, she had never figured on being one of those people.  Rajani simply nodded, frowning at her boss and hoped Stephanie didn’t have a breakdown.

 

“God, between Cena and Jacobs, I am losing my mind.  Talk to Felicia?” She wasn't surprised at the nod and nodded in return. “Good.  I feel so bad for the writers, I really do.” Dirt sheets would criticize the writing, but what they didn't seem to realize was that the writers had to work around insanity, literally.

 

“Luckily though, you have a brilliant lead script writer who works with the insanity that surrounds us daily.”

 

Rajani knew Stephanie had to hear something positive and managed to get a small smile out of her boss.  It was better than nothing.  She decided against telling Stephanie about her encounter with Cena in the writer's office.  She had so much on her plate already, Rajani wasn't going to pile it on further.  She would deal with John Cena on her own without anyone's help, he was harmless, or had been so far.

 

“This is true.” Stephanie didn't bother bringing up John and Glen's little encounter in the hallway, knowing there wasn't anything Rajani could do about it so...why tell her? “Let's just get through tonight and hope,” She crossed her fingers, flashing another small smile, pausing briefly. “Things don't go completely...”


“Apeshit insane.” Alex said as he walked by, a box of bandages and wraps in his arms, just in case.

 

“Yes that, thank you.”

 

They headed back to Stephanie's office, where they would be out of the crossfire and Rajani got to work on some papers that Stephanie simply didn't have time to go through filling out.  She sat down and began the tedious work, knowing her wrist was going to ache from writing so much after tonight, but this job was worth it.  Honestly, Rajani couldn’t see herself doing anything else with her life and career choice, owing Stephanie McMahon-Levesque a lot for giving her this opportunity.

 

“Hey I'm gonna run down to the cafeteria really fast and get something to eat, do you want anything?” Rajani was starving and all the running around she'd done had increased her appetite, sighing when Stephanie shook her head. “Not even a fruit cup?  You need to keep your strength up, boss.”

 

“I will eat like a hog when I get back to the hotel room.” Stephanie promised with a wan smile, also sorting through paperwork, looking up from the desk. “Right now though, I don't think eating would be a great idea.”

 

Considering her stomach was doing back flips and sideways rotations, eating would probably be a really bad idea, especially if something went wrong.  She did, however, promise herself that, as soon as Rajani was out of the room, she was going to pop a Tums or two.  Hopefully that would help her tumbling stomach, waving her assistant off.

 

“Go on, go get something to eat.”

 

“If you're sure...”

 

Rajani was worried about her boss and knew there was a ton of pressure because it was WrestleMania time.  Every show counted.  Every rating mattered.  That was just the way it was, Rajani knew Stephanie was probably thinking her father was some force of nature that managed to balance all of this out, without losing his mind.  That didn't mean Vince didn't have his moments where he lost it on his fellow employees, but for the most part he glued everything together.  Rajani felt her phone vibrate and ignored it, already knowing who it was, deciding answering any texts or phone calls at work was strictly prohibited.

 

“Hey Raji.”

 

Phil -Most knew him as simply CM Punk- called out from behind Rajani, smirking when he seen her shoulders do a slight shrug that indicated she rolled her eyes at him.  He couldn't help it, he loved her name and thought it was amusing.  He curbed his inner mirth, remembering what he wanted to ask Stephanie's gopher.

 

“Is Steph in a decent mood tonight or should I tread cautiously?” He asked, falling into step with her.

 

“You know I hate it when you call me that, Philip.” She smirked when the smirk fell from his lips, knowing he hated having his full name used. “Stephanie is in a great mood so you might want to catch her before it goes away.” She suggested with a sweet smile, knowing Stephanie was anything BUT in a decent mood, but Phil could find that out for himself.

 

Phil did have a reputation as a loud mouth, occasionally opinionated jerk, but...only with people he disagreed with, like the higher-ups, minus Stephanie when she wasn't in 'Vince Mode'.  He did get along with others, however, most of the time.  He genuinely liked Rajani, in a purely platonic sense, because she was so far a straight forward type of person which he respected.

 

“Now you know, Raji-” He paused, circling her once. “I'm just picking on you.  You're my favorite gopher.”

 

Before she could whack him or something, Phil took off, really hoping Stephanie was in a good mood.  Rajani laughed softly because Phil either didn't care that half his ass was hanging out due to his tights riding up his crack or he simply didn't care.  Phil was definitely one of a kind with a quick wit and mouth that most couldn't stand up to.  She liked him, but just as a friend, not thinking he was that attractive.  Of course she would never tell him that, Rajani wanted to keep the peace between them and didn't want to damage Phil's pride.  That didn't mean she wouldn't feed him to the proverbial wolves if he deserved it, like now.

 

“What a character.” She chuckled, heading on her way to the cafeteria and sighed when a headache suddenly came on.  The French braid her hair was in would have to be taken out immediately or the headache would turn into a full blown migraine.

 

Sometimes it sucked having long thick hair.

 

“Nose down, Cena.” Randy Orton instructed, smacking his best friend upside the back of his head when John looked up.

 

It reminded him of a bloodhound, not exactly something he would have ever attributed to his friend until this line with Kane had started.  He wasn't sure if it was the line, or maybe John was finally cracking under all the pressure on his shoulders on top of the fans less than nice attitude towards him, maybe both.  It was like John just knew whenever Rajani was around and, sure enough, the moment she walked into the cafeteria, he had noticed it.

 

“Seriously man, leave her alone, she's not your type.”

 

John disagreed, but didn't move from his perch on top of the table.

 

“Hey Raja.” Beth greeted with a friendly smile, busy piling some food on her plate. “How's it going?”

 

Beth was a sweetheart off camera and Rajani couldn't help befriending her either. “Going okay, Stephanie is just under a lot of pressure and I'm trying my best to try to take some of the pressure off her shoulders.  It's not easy by any means.” She grabbed a wrapped sandwich along with a green apple, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully. “God my stomach feels like it's in knots right now and my head is pounding, would you mind doing me a favor?”

 

Beth frowned, nodding. “Sure, what is it?”


“Please help me undo this French braid.  I really don't care if my hair is all over the place right now, it’s better than getting a migraine.”


“No problem.” They sat down and Beth pulled the band out of Rajani’s hair before beginning the unraveling of her ravenous locks. “Damn, I wish I had hair like this.  You have incredible hair, Raja.”


“Thanks, I'm glad one of us thinks so.  I'm seriously considering cutting it off.”

 

All Randy could do was shake his head, wondering if John realized his observation of Beth taking Rajani's head down looked like borderline stalking.  Intense, was the word that came to his mind. “You're embarrassing yourself, and me.”

“You're the only one who's noticing me noticing her.” John replied with a smirk, turning his head to glance at his friend before looking back at Rajani. “Damn her hair is thick...” He could imagine wrapping it around his fist, tilting her head back and...and he really needed a vacation, and a cold shower. “Fuck...”

 

“You are my lifesaver, thanks Beth.”

 

Rajani groaned in relief and ran her fingers through her hair, knowing it was really wavy due to being up in the French braid all day.  It went to her waist, but when it was straightened, it went past her ass.  As much as Rajani complained about her long hair, she was attached to it, which is why she hadn't chopped it yet.

 

Chapter 3

 

“No problem...” Beth glanced over at the table where Randy and John Cena were sitting, groaning softly. “Don't look now, but I think you have an admirer.”

 

“What?”

 

Rajani made the grave mistake of turning her head wherever Beth was looking, instantly regretting it.  Sighing, Rajani turned back to open up her sandwich.  Ignoring John was the best thing she could do at the moment and she would do it, no matter how hard it was.  John wondered how heavy her hair was and if Beth was planning on stopping shooting him 'fuck off' looks anytime soon.  He waved exaggeratedly at her, smirking when she scowled and turned to sit down on the bench, aware Randy was doing the same.


“What are you thinking, John?”


“I'm thinking Rajani really needs to relax and have fun.  Look at her, that woman is stressed and tense.”

 

“I don't think you'd really help relieve those situations so much as make them worse...” Randy sighed, knowing he wasn't getting through to his friend so instead began occupying himself with his food.

 

“No, I'd relieve them...frequently.”

 

Randy groaned, pushing away the tray.

 

“Christ, he has a fucking staring problem.” Beth growled, not amused in the slightest and couldn't help getting perturbed by the way John was looking at Rajani. “How do you put up with that?”


“Put up with what?” Rajani asked, looking at Beth with a raised eyebrow and then looked over her shoulder at John again, shrugging. “Him?  He's not that hard to ignore contrary to what people believe.”


“You have one hell of a thick skin on you, girl.” Beth commended, taking a bite out of her pasta salad.


“Yeah I suppose I do.” Rajani began eating with gusto, knowing Stephanie would want her back at the office.

 

When John got up and strolled out of the cafeteria, Randy didn't know whether to let out a breath of relief or feel worried.  Hell, forget that, John was his best friend, but he was definitely glad that he was on Smackdown! for the most part these days.  He did not need to put up with his friend’s drama.  Shaking his head, Kane slinked back from his rather concealed place, stowing away everything he had just observed.  Chuckling darkly, he headed back to his locker room to prepare for the night’s festivities.

 

Once Rajani finished eating and promised to meet up with Beth tomorrow for lunch in the next town, she headed out of the cafeteria toward Stephanie's office, feeling a little better.  Though, Rajani made a quick stop in the women's bathroom to check over her hair to make sure it didn't look too wild.  Luckily, her hair was thick, but it didn't frizz often, so at that moment it had loose wavy curls throughout it, which actually gave it style.  Rajani fixed the part in her hair so it was angled before heading back out, feeling a little better and made sure to drape it over her shoulder.  It was official.  She was having Janet cut it to the middle of her back as soon as possible, even if she had to be strapped down to the chair.  Stephanie blinked when Rajani walked back into the office, taking note of the change in hairstyle, arching an eyebrow.  She had always been aware that Rajani had extremely long hair, but she was very used to seeing it pulled back.

 

“That is...different.” She said after a moment, flicking her own shorter hair, behind her shoulder as an unconscious afterthought. “You feel better now that you've eaten?” She glanced at her wristwatch, aware the show was getting ready to kick off soon. “Because game time is in ten.”

 

“Shit, sorry Stephanie.  I ran into Beth and got this horrible headache from having my hair pulled back...”

 

She hoped Stephanie didn't mind because there was no way Rajani was putting it back up, not unless it was in a low ponytail.  Her headache was slowly diminishing.  Rajani wanted to keep it that way since they still had the show to get through.  It wasn't wild looking so it would suffice for the time being.


“It's fine.” Stephanie waved her off absentmindedly, too busy looking over paperwork, not caring what Rajani’s hair looked like at the moment.  “I need you to look this over and figure out how much we owe that vendor while I take care of a few last minute details for tonight.”


“Gotcha.”

 

Rajani took a seat and began her work, slipping in some earplugs and kept her IPOD on low so she could clearly hear everything that was going on around her.  Music helped her configure numbers and that's what Stephanie currently had her doing, so Rajani needed to zone out.  It was the only way for her to do so as she began using a calculator, fingers flying over the keys as the music blasted in her ears.

 

Kane listened as the show kicked off, busy reviewing his 'script', mentally making changes to it.  He smirked slightly at the segment with Eve, knowing that would just make her night totally complete.  Skimming the part at the end of the show with Ryder, Kane read and then reread that part.  Make sure he goes down the ramp...nah that was too boring.  Off the stage, now that...that would much more interesting and lord knew Stephanie was constantly getting her ass grilled about the ratings.  Well, he would just have to help her out on that now, wouldn’t he?

 

Surprisingly enough, the show went smoothly...up until the segment that involved Eve and Kane.  Rajani felt bad for the Diva having to work with that lunatic, but at the same time, ratings had picked up extensively since they began this whole Cena/Ryder/Eve/Kane angle.  Her eyes widened slightly when Eve jumped out of the ambulance and planted a mean lip lock on John.  He'd just saved her from nearly being carted away in the ambulance by Kane, but Rajani never recalled Eve kissing John being in the script.  She glanced over at Stephanie, who looked surprised and knew her suspicions had been confirmed.  Eve had jumped script and added even more fuel to the fire with this feud, as if it needed anymore.  The show continued as it should've...right up until the end when Kane came out and attacked Ryder once again, unscripted.  Pushing him off the stage in his wheelchair with the crowd gasping in shock, her dark eyes widened as Stephanie cursed and immediately rushed out of the office.  Leaving Rajani sitting there looking stunned at the monitor, her heart instantly went out to the injured Zack Ryder.

 

Kane was smart enough to retreat, knowing that John would eventually come out of his shock and guilt and be looking for a fight.  Not to mention Stephanie would probably be ready to fine him to hell and back.  Not that either one of those situations mattered, but...he had other plans to make.  Being detained in a fight, one he knew he could and would win, or by a McMahon shrew, just wasn't in the cards, not tonight.  John's blue eyes were wide and wracked with guilt when he made it backstage, alongside the stretcher Zack lay on.

 

“Bro, I am so sorry...” He whispered, knowing Zack couldn't hear him at the moment.  He heard Stephanie's heels clacking rapidly and looked up at her, all traces of arrogance and cockiness gone.

 

“You're not to blame for this, John.” Stephanie stated, knowing tonight it was all Kane's fault, though she did glare at an approaching Eve. “What the HELL were you thinking jumping script like that Torres?!”

 

Eve lowered her eyes to the floor, swallowing hard. “H-He said if I didn't do it...I would regret it...” She whispered, trembling slightly and looked up when John placed a hand on her shoulder, looking up into his eyes. “I didn't want to do it...”

 

Stephanie rubbed her temples, knowing Kane had been responsible for that fiery kiss Eve gave John, scowling. “Alright fine, you're off the hook.  Does anyone know where the hell Kane went?” Everyone shook their heads.  Stephanie rushed off, ready to fine Glen Jacobs to hell and back for the stunts he pulled tonight. “Mother fucker...”

 

“He's gone, he left already...” John muttered, unable to do anything but watch as Zak was wheeled towards the waiting ambulance.

 

Groaning in frustration, he turned and ran his hands over his head, feeling his short, damp hair.  A second later John had hauled off and slammed his fist into the steel post that was used to help support the Titan tron.  Of course Kane would be gone by now!  It wasn't his style to stay around and watch the carnage; Kane would already know what was happening.  Eve was already backing away, not wanting to be around as it looked like John was ready to start tearing the set apart.

 

“Is he...”


“He'll live.” Stephanie muttered, brushing past her assistant to gather up her things, having quite enough for one evening. “Time to pack up, Johnson.”

 

There was no way Rajani could stay in the office and not try to do something to help her boss, noticing that John had lost his temper once again.  Rajani could only nod, knowing when Stephanie called her by her last name it was not a time to question the boss...at all.  She helped Stephanie gather her own things so she could get out of the arena.  Packing up her own things, Rajani was not in as much of a hurry as Stephanie.  Once she was packed up, Rajani locked up Stephanie's office and headed out of the arena, letting a yawn escape.  Tonight had been tiring to say the least and it would only get worse the closer WrestleMania came.

 

John sat near the employee exit, which led to the underground parking lot they all used.  He was sitting on a folding table, still wearing the same clothes he had wrestled in, his bag sitting on the floor at his feet.  He saw Stephanie on her way out and gotten a clipped 'we'll let you know' about his questions concerning Zack.  It was technically scripted that Ryder get 'hurt' every night Cena didn't 'give into the hatred', but it was supposed to be SCRIPTED, not real.  This was all real.  He was pretty sure he was feeling the hate right about now, but it was mostly directed at himself.

 

When her cell phone vibrated against her side for the millionth time, Rajani finally pulled it out to answer the text message, rolling her eyes.  She answered it and knew the person wouldn't appreciate her attitude, but Rajani was too tired to give a damn at the moment.  Rajani pushed open the door to the underground parking lot and jumped nearly a foot in the air when a crash echoed throughout it.  It sounded like a damn gun had just been fired!  Rajani's dark eyes widened slightly when she looked to her right and saw Cena, who had just thrown a chair against the wall.  The chair was now bent and dented, there would be no fixing it.  John picked the chair up again, preparing to hurl it and whirled around, stopping himself before letting it fly.  It registered that someone was standing right there looking at him like he had lost his mind, which he probably had.  Then it hit who he had almost thrown the chair at.

 

“Rajani.” He said, sounding hoarse and dropped the chair.  The twisted steel hitting the floor sounded louder than what it was and John looked down at it.  Knowing he could have seriously injured her, John met her eyes, his own wide as saucers. “I'm sorry...”

 

“No problem.” She quickly replied, keeping her distance from him because honestly Rajani had no idea just how unstable John was at the moment, not wanting to find out. “I'm just gonna go dislodge my heart from my throat now.  Good evening.”

 

She began walking away from him toward her car, trying not to seem like she was in a rush to get out of there, when it reality, that had scared the living hell out of her.  Rajani had no idea John had a temper of that magnitude and tried getting her heart rate to slow down before it leapt right out of her chest.  Cursing under his breath, John snatched up his bag and chased after her.

 

“Rajani, wait!” John called, groaning when she didn't stop and ran ahead of her, blocking her path.

 

In any other situation he probably would have grabbed her wrist.  At the moment, he was hyper-aware of his actions and of the fact that she would probably both scream bloody murder and give him a brutal knee shot to the balls.  That wasn’t about to happen, so John was being a little more cautious just for tonight.  Not to mention, he honestly felt terrible for scaring the hell out of her with that steel chair.

 

“I'm sorry, I- I didn't mean to scare you.”

 

Rajani had to stop herself from smacking into John because of how fast she was walking, almost on the verge of jogging. “It's fine.”

 

She instinctively backed away from him, barely stopping herself from colliding into his body.  Under normal circumstances, this would've been the time for Rajani to tell John to get out of her way, but she didn't want to fire up his temper any more than what it was.  The character he portrayed on television wasn’t always the fun loving John Cena behind closed doors and Rajani knew better than to push his buttons right now, not after what happened with Kane.

 

“No reason for you to apologize.  Excuse me.” Rajani went to step around him, sighing when he stepped in her way, stopping her. “Something you need, Cena?”

 

John realized he was still standing there, staring at her like an idiot and swallowed, smiling weakly. “Um, yeah, actually...” He looked around the mostly empty lot, knowing the stage hands and the rest had parked at the loading entrances with the semis. “Randy left without me, could I hitch a ride with you?” He must have really irritated Randy for him to just leave him like this, of all nights. “I promise not to be annoying.” John held up a hand, doing a very poor imitation of a Boy Scout.

 

Did he really just ask her for a ride back to the hotel?  Rajani wondered if she'd heard him right, tilting her head slightly.  He had harassed her right in front of Stephanie and now he was asking her for a ride?  This man was definitely unstable and...hot as hell.  Rajani wanted to slap herself for that last second thought, not believing she actually found a man of his caliber attractive.  Of course she would never admit that to anyone, not even Felicia.  Truth was, Rajani had a crush on John Cena ever since the night he asked her out, her first night on the job, and she turned him down for one very important reason.  If he found out…no, that wasn’t going to happen ever.

 

“I suppose I have no choice, but if you mention one syllable regarding me going out to dinner with you, I'm ditching you on the side of the road.  We clear?” When John nodded, Rajani couldn't believe she was actually doing this and guided him toward her rental car, a black Lexus with tinted windows.

 

The idea of taking Rajani out to dinner was honestly the last thing on his mind at the moment.  John quietly got into the car, adjusted the seat back to accommodate his large, long frame and stared out the window.  Of course, at a later time, when he wasn't feeling totally guilty over a co-worker being hospitalized because of him, he would probably use this against her somehow, but...not tonight.  Or at least, not until the car was parked and he was sure he wouldn't be hoofing it.


“Now that,” Kane murmured, pausing and stepped out from behind a pillar he had been leaning against, his own ride parked in the back with the stage crew. “Is interesting...”

 

Chapter 4

 

The silence was deafening, so Rajani turned the radio on, smiling at the country station.  She was a country bumpkin at heart, loved everything about the genre of music, though Rajani also had other musical interests.  Right now however, she was in a country mood and currently her favorite, Jason Aldean, was playing through the radio, mouthing the words while cracking her window to get some air into the vehicle.  She was surprised John wasn't talking to her, but Rajani wasn't complaining, knowing he probably had a lot on his mind after what happened tonight.

 

John was gradually pulled from his admittedly disturbing thoughts -they involved him, Kane, and a lot of weapons at his disposal, such as a chain- when he realized there was background noise and it was...god awful... “What the hell is that? “ He demanded, staring down at the radio like it was diseased.  When John got a clipped 'Jason Aldean' he frowned, having come to the conclusion that this was Satan's favorite brand of music: country.

 

“If you don't like it, plug your ears with your fingers.” Rajani suggested sweetly, glancing over at him briefly and stopped at a red light before reaching over and pulling John's visor down.

 

She tapped her chin 3 times before pulling out a CD, deciding she needed more Jason Aldean instead of a mixture.  Popping it in, Rajani pushed the visor back up just as the light turned green and continued driving.  So John didn't like country music eh?  Rajani was going to use this to her full advantage.  It was her way of getting some kind of retribution on him for what he did to her earlier in the night and blasted it as loud as she could stand it.  Wasn't her fault if he didn't like her choice in music, maybe it would make him stop asking her out to dinner every night.  Rajani could only hope that happened, especially under her circumstances.  She had to figure out SOMEWAY to get him to back off before WrestleMania arrived or else everything she'd worked for these past six months was going to blow sky high.

 

Now this was just petty, she was doing this on purpose and thoughts of Zack and Kane were slowly being pushed aside in favor of plotting revenge.  Revenge would have to wait, obviously; John wasn't about to walk back to the hotel.  One, it was cold.  Two, he'd wind up mugged by crazy fan girls or by haters; seriously not something he was in the mood for tonight.  Gritting his teeth, John looked back out the window, really hoping this crap didn't get stuck in his head; he could imagine no worse fate.  Actually, if the cosmos had a sick sense of humor, this would get stuck in his head and he'd find himself singing it later.  Perfect way to cap his evening off.

 

“Before leaving, did Steph have an update on Zack?” John asked, already having asked Steph directly, but figured this might be a good way to distract him from the mental warfare she was playing against him.

 

Rajani wasn't making it easy on John to talk to her and merely shook her head in response, tapping her fingers against the steering wheel to the music.  She knew John LOATHED country music, but that wasn't her problem.  Though she had to figure out what else made the man tick...and fast.  Even going so far as to make him hate her would suffice.  It wasn't going to be an easy task, but Rajani had to at least try...and time was not on her side.  Why she even agreed to give this man a ride back to the hotel in the first place was beyond her and it wouldn't happen again...ever.  When they reached the hotel, John turned in his seat and smiled at her.

 

“Thanks for the ride, Rajani.” He said sincerely, then his smile turned into his infamous smirk. “If you'd let me, I'd like to repay you...with dinner.” She had to of known it was coming, it just wouldn't be normal if he didn't. “Or possibly...dessert...” His eyes roamed her hair, narrowing slightly as he considered it. “How do you wash it?”

 

“Excuse me?” That last question came out of left field and Rajani hadn't expected it, her dark eyes narrowing slightly at him when he gestured to her long hair. “It takes a lot of time, effort and patience.” She answered in a clipped voice, cutting the ignition and opened the door to step out. “And for the millionth time, I'm not interested in dinner...or anything you have to offer, Cena.” Rajani added, shutting the driver's door and opened the back one to gather her things.

 

Would this man ever get the hint and just leave her alone?  No matter how much she may have wanted to, Rajani couldn't do anything with this man.  He was not making it easy for her to turn him down either, but Rajani refused to let her willpower break.

 

“Doesn't it get really heavy?” John asked, easily keeping up with her.

 

Focusing on her was much easier, and less stressful, then the other thoughts that were currently circling.  All of them threatening to overwhelm him with darkness and hatred, just like Kane wanted.  He almost reached out to test just how heavy her hair actually was and then settled on visually gauging it, determining that when wet, she was probably risking snapping her neck.

 

“I mean, when it's wet...”

 

“You get used to it.” John had invaded her personal space and Rajani could already feel her heart accelerating with him being this close to her. “And I really don't need you visualizing anything about me, that's just gross.” Rajani shut the door after pulling her bag over her shoulder along with her purse, pressing the remote on her keys to lock the vehicle. “Good evening, Mr. Cena.”

 

Turning, Rajani started for the hotel, needing to put distance between her and John before something happened she'd definitely regret.  How the hell did she even know he was visualizing anything?  It wasn't like he had come out and said 'Yo, I wanna touch your hair, but you might rearrange my genitals, so I'm going to imagine it instead'.  Frowning, John followed her towards the door and reached out to place a hand on her shoulder stopping her.  He then let go and backed up a couple of steps, just in case.

 

“Other than my constant asking you out, is there any other reason why you don't like me, Rajani?” He demanded, his mood doing a 180 again.

 

Rajani had tensed up the moment he touched her, feeling her shoulder turn to liquid fire and slowly rush down her arm. “If you know what's good for you, John,” She paused, her voice neutral instead of sugary sweet like normal. “You will stay away from me and just leave me alone.”

 

Maybe simply telling him flat out to leave her alone would work, but Rajani highly doubted it.  If anything, it would only pique John's interest, which was the last thing she wanted to do.  Shaking his head, he hoisted his bag back up onto his shoulder, looking up at the night sky for a moment before back at her.

 

“Highly unlikely.” John said flatly, arching an eyebrow at the look on her face, which seemed mostly indifferent. “You never answered me.” He reminded, not really expecting her too and started towards the building. “Have a good night, Rajani.”

 

“Yes I did, you just don't listen.  Night.” Rajani remarked coolly.

 

Shaking her head, Rajani watched him walk inside the building before doing the same thing.   She didn't want to follow him right away, using the cool night air to calm her racing heart and body temperature.  Sighing when her cell phone rang, Rajani flipped it open, pressing it to her ear.

 

“You're very persistent, you know that?”


“Maybe if you'd answer your phone and texts, I wouldn't have to bug you, Raja.”

 

“Funny.” She snorted, heading inside the building. “What do you want?  I've had a long night and want to go to bed.”


“Just letting you know your dear big brother is joining up with you sooner than expected.”

 

That stopped Rajani dead in her tracks, dark eyes wide. “How soon?” She tried keeping calm, but it was extremely hard to do.

 

He smirked, feeling his sister's tension through the phone. “In a week.”

 

THAT was not good.

 

Why hadn't he caught it sooner?  It was right there in front of his face and he had been focusing on the wrong woman.  Granted, Eve was only Ryder's kayfabe girlfriend, but he had thought there was a spark between her and Cena, which worked out quite well for him, until now.  He had also known that Cena and Ryder were actual friends off-screen as well as on, hence the...additional rough treatment.  Now Kane had a new target and she was quite the delicious one if he did say so himself. 

 

After a quick shower, Rajani lay in her hotel room staring at the ceiling, unable to get any sleep.  How the hell could she with these new turn of events?  Her brother was coming on the road with the company sooner than she wanted, which meant she was more than likely out of time.  This was going to be one colossal disaster, Rajani simply knew it.  Standing up from bed, she walked over to stare out the window and suddenly stepped out on her balcony, needing some fresh air.

 

“I am so fucked...”

 

Kane watched Rajani from his own balcony, two floors down and across the courtyard.  He was fresh out of the shower, wearing nothing except a towel wrapped around his waist, contemplating his next course of action.  From where he was, it looked like Rajani was having a sleepless night and he wondered how often that occurred.  Well, that didn't matter, he knew how many sleepless nights were coming up.

 

~!~

 

A grueling 6 hour drive later and Rajani was in the next city, ready to start another day, running on only an hour of sleep with a load of coffee.  She met up with Beth for a late lunch and then headed to the arena, always arriving early like Stephanie did.  This was the Smackdown! taping that happened every Tuesday, so it was once again going to be a hectic night.  Smackdown! and Raw were separate brand shows, but Raw had recently changed into being called a Super show.  That meant all the Superstars from BOTH rosters were allowed to compete on it...and to extend feuds.  Pulling into the underground parking garage, Rajani couldn't help wondering what was in store for them tonight before stepping out, heading inside.

 

“Ryder won't be back for two weeks, John.” Stephanie said the moment John stepped into her office, not surprised to find him here this early.

 

John had always been one to arrive early.  Even now with his bi-polar mood swings, he was still one of the earliest to arrive.  She already knew what he would ask about Zack’s condition.

 

“He's suffered a broken collarbone, severely bruised ribs and the obvious concussion.”

 

“I want Kane.”


“I'm sure you do.”

 

Knocking once on the door, Rajani stepped inside and stopped at the sight of John Cena, knowing she had just walked into a rather heated conversation between him and the boss. “Oh, didn't realize someone was in here.  Stephanie, the vendors are here waiting for their payments.  Should I cut the checks for you while you finish up with Mr. Cena?” Rajani avoided eye contact with John, smiling when Stephanie merely handed over the company checkbook.


“Thank you, Rajani.  Also on your way back, please stop and get me some coffee.”


“Of course.” She nodded once and bowed out of the office, heading down the hallway to run her errands.

 

“So...you're more worried about your damn gopher getting you coffee than Kane?  Which even I can see is a total waste of her talents; get her a personal assistant of her own to handle that bullshit.” John demanded, blue eyes flashing angrily. “You know as well as I do that Kane is going to do something tonight and I want him before he-”


“You work for me John, not the other way around.” Stephanie said coldly, standing up and bracing her hands on the desk, leaning towards him. “And you are this close to finding your ass on the first flight back home where you are very likely to remain until after WrestleMania, got me Cena?”

 

His eyes were nothing but icy slits at this point. “Yeah.” He said finally. “Yeah, I got you.”

 

After cutting 3 checks for amounts of money that made Rajani's head slightly spin, she headed to get Stephanie and herself some coffee.  She was Stephanie's assistant and did whatever she was told...within reason.  Rajani did have standards and given who her big brother was, she knew the McMahon princess wouldn't overstep boundaries.  Rajani had that much power at least, which wasn't much because nobody knew who she was related to.  She hoped when big brother came on the road he would keep it that way or else she would probably end up forfeiting her internship with the company.  Her deep thoughts suddenly crashed when Rajani turned the corner and smacked right into a brick wall...or so she thought...and landed flat on her ass, grunting.

 

Kane regarded the woman who was now sitting in a rather ungainly position in front of him and grunted, bending down to look in her face.  Not saying a word, he reached out and gripped Rajani by the waist and pulled her upright onto her feet. “You should really watch where you're going, Rajani.” He said in his low, dark voice. “You might run into the...wrong person next time.”

 

“S-Sorry Mr. Jac-I mean Kane.” Rajani corrected, knowing the man loathed being called by his birth name for whatever reason.

 

Her chest felt like it was going to cave in and Rajani knew she would have several bruises.  She'd been walking rather fast when she rounded the corner.  These deep thought sessions had to end because Kane had a point...she would end up running into someone who wouldn't take it line down.

 

“Have a...good night.” She quickly walked around him, never taking her guarded eyes away and hauled ass down the hall away from him as fast as she could, rubbing her sore chest. “Damn that hurt...”

 

Kane, despite his size, was a very quiet man for his rather large size.  He followed Rajani, watching as she rubbed her chest.  He had, obviously, felt how hard she had walked right into him, it just didn't bother him because he was conditioned to take bumps and bruises.  To him, her colliding into him the way she had didn't qualify as either a bump or a bruise.

 

“You should go see the trainer.” He suggested from behind, hiding a smile when she jumped, though his amusement showed in his eyes, already wearing his contact.

 

“I'm fine, nothing they can really do for bruising.”

 

Rajani didn't like the fact Kane/Glen was following her, finally stopping.  She slowly turned to face him, not surprised when he stopped with her.  This felt like stalking and Rajani suddenly felt her hair standing on ends, leaning back against the wall.

 

“I'm still walking and talking without trouble, I'm fine.” She insisted, staring at him with a raised eyebrow and wondered if he would keep following her until she did go see the trainer.

 

“Well if you insist.” Kane said, uncertainty inflecting his tone. “I'll go let Stephanie know about it however, just in case.”

 

Because Stephanie would make her go see the trainer and probably also throw in a lecture about her being more careful backstage with the guys or she’d get ran down.  It was a simple fact that all women had to abide by because there were just some cocksuckers, like him, in this company that didn’t care who they mowed down.  Not exactly something an intern really wanted to be told when it was pretty much palpable in this business.

 

“Whatever makes you feel better.”

 

Rajani walked away from him, already knowing Stephanie would be giving her a third degree about keeping injuries secret.  She would have to fill out a worker's comp sheet, even though Rajani would never sue the WWE.  There was too much family history involved when it came to this business and, more importantly, this particular company.

 

“Christ on a bike...” Rajani muttered, walking into the cafeteria and stood in line for coffee behind Randy Orton.

 

As if Kane would say anything to Stephanie, rather finding the little gopher amusing and idly wondered if she would be bruised.  He could just imagine what parts of Rajani would be bruised and didn't have to imagine very hard how said body parts would look...black, blue, and then a lovely shade of purple.  Smirking slightly, he continued on his way.  Kane had been right, this was going to be fun; he was already tingling with anticipation.

 

Chapter 5

 

Rajani got 2 cups of coffee, along with a shot of espresso since there was an espresso machine and headed right back out with a donut hanging out of her mouth.  She grabbed Stephanie a bagel with cream cheese because the woman inhaled so much coffee, Rajani was afraid a hole would burn right through her abdomen.  Rajani sighed with relief when she arrived back at the office, Stephanie nowhere to be found.  Setting the coffee down with the bagel on her desk, Rajani got started on her daily duties.

 

“Raja, where's the boss?” Phil demanded, walking in with a smirk, having seen her strolling into the office with that donut hanging out her mouth.  He wouldn't lie; he was tempted to crack off a joke, or several, but managed to restrain himself, storing it away for another time. “I didn't see anything in the line-up for myself, so…You know, it's odd that Stephanie's not here, but you are…you two are normally attached at the hip...” He scratched his beard, frowning. “She's not sick, is she?”

 

“I don't know.  She was arguing with Cena when I arrived and asked me to run a few errands for her.”

 

Rajani figured Stephanie was probably on the warpath trying to track Kane down since she hadn't been able to find the man...yet Rajani had...since the night before.  Ryder was out of commission for two weeks.  That much Rajani had overheard before walking in on her boss's argument with John.

 

“Let me look at the script and see if I can help you out.” She set her paperwork down and walked over to look down at Stephanie's desk, finding tonight's line-up a few seconds later. “Ah, you have a promo with Jericho and that's gonna end with you giving the GTS to him.” She handed over the paper without looking back at Phil.

 

“That's freaking awesome!” Phil cheered, really liking it when he got the last word in, so to speak.


“Rajani, we got a problem.  Stephanie was found in a chair, out cold.” Alex announced, poking his head in the room, frowning. “They're saying stress shut her down so...”

 

Phil cottoned on rather quickly, his eyes widening. “Wait, you mean...no way, no way!”


“She knows Steph's plans inside and out and Vince is dealing with issues on the pay-per-view so no one can contact him.”

 

Phil didn't know whether to grin at how interesting this was going to be or feel bad for Rajani, settling for grinning.

 

“She's...I'm sorry what?” Rajani blinked, her mouth suddenly forming the shape of an O when Alex nodded at her. “You mean I'm...”

“In charge for the night, yes.  Stephanie is being carted back to the hotel by her husband so he's also out of commission.”


“I uh...Thanks Alex...” Rajani was in shock as she slowly sank down in Stephanie's chair, swallowing hard, trying really hard to keep her composure. “Okay...alright...” This was what the internship was about, learning everything about this type of company behind the scenes. “I can do this.  How hard can it be...right?”

 

Everything was laid out for her, all Rajani had to do was settle problems that came up and Stephanie was pretty consistent when it came to them.  Phil walked out with an extra kick in his step, knowing Chris wasn't going to be happy with tonight's script.  News about Stephanie having a 'personal issue' spread throughout the locker room very quickly and, when John heard, he began smirking.  Technically, Rajani was de facto in charge, which meant any decisions she made only applied to this night and she would probably follow whatever schedule Stephanie had already laid out.  Whistling, and in such a better mood than he had been only minutes ago, John picked up a metal folding chair and headed down the hallway.

 

Rajani's head snapped up when Alex came rushing into the office an hour later, announcing that John had been spotted with a steel folding chair. “Seriously?” She groaned when Alex nodded. “Fine, I...”

 

A scream echoed moments later down the hallway.

 

Rajani raced out of the office past Alex, running as fast as her two inch heels would allow and stopped short at the sight of a crying Eve. “What happened?”

 

“K-Kane...” Eve couldn't even speak, pointing over to where an unconscious Beth lay prone with a dented steel chair beside her.


“She's in shock.  Alex, call the EMT's down here and take Eve to see Larry please.” Rajani ordered, scowling when the Superstars began circling around to witness what was going on. “There is a show to go on so everyone needs to clear out of here NOW.” She ordered, taking charge while slowly helping Eve up from her crouched position.

 

Stephanie picked the WORST night to be out of commission.  Once the crowd slowly dispersed, Rajani watched Alex cart Eve down the hallway to Larry's.  Then she went on the hunt for John Cena, knowing Kane would stay in the shadows for a while.  John didn't make it easy for anyone to find him, too busy staying the hell out of the way while he stalked Kane, who also seemed to be doing the same thing he was: stalking and staying out of sight.  He heard about Beth, wondering what the hell the reasoning behind that attack was.  Now if it had been Eve, it would have made sense.  Beth, however...that just didn't add up.  To Kane it made perfect sense.  Beth was Rajani's friend.  She was gone now just like Stephanie.

 

Both men were nowhere to be found and Rajani had searched the entire arena for both, mainly John.  He had the steel chair so he was the number one suspect in Beth's attack.  She finally trudged back to the office; feeling exhausted and suddenly knew what Stephanie must've felt like on a nightly basis.  Was this really the type of business she wanted to get involved in?  Rajani shook her head and sank down in the chair, planting her head forehead first on the desk, closing her eyes.  If she survived this night, it would be a miracle.

 

“What am I supposed to do about this?” She whispered, trying to make sense of everything and knew Stephanie wouldn't take Beth's attack lightly when she returned. “Writing both of them up is pointless because they don't listen!  What am I supposed to do?” Rajani was very tempted to call her older brother, but decided she had to figure this out on her own, slowly looking up when a knock sounded at her office door. “Come in.”

 

“I heard about Beth.” John said, finally coming out of his stalking mode since Kane was being a total cock-knocker and refused to show his ugly ass. “Is she going to be alright?”

 

He seen the look on Rajani’s face, right before irritation with his presence flashed across her features.  He almost felt bad for her, getting stuck with all this shit.  Almost.  John had his own agenda to worry about.

 

“Cut to the damn chase, Cena, what do you want?  I have countless problems going on without you being in here up my ass.  Oh wait...you ARE one of those problems, so what the hell do you want?” She ignored the question about Beth, practically snarling her words as she slammed papers down on the desk, taking a few deep breaths. “My apologies, I didn't mean to snap at you like that.  Beth was found unconscious with a steel chair beside her and I was told you were stalking around this building with one.  If you attacked her, Stephanie is not going to take it line down and you know that.  So just tell me the truth, did you attack her?  Eve isn't speaking and she was the only witness.  All she said was Kane, but he was nowhere to be found and you were the one with the chair...”

 

“First you bite my head off and then you ask me that?  Dear lord woman, when the hell is Stephanie coming back because you are obviously not suited for this job.” John shot back.

 

Many things John was, but a woman attacker, hell no.  This woman obviously hadn't bothered with brushing up on 'sports entertainer' profiles.  Not bothering to state the obvious, he didn't do it, John walked right back out.  He was going to find Kane and beat the truth out of the monster.

 

“Well, speaking of the very son of a bitch I was looking for…”


“Congratulations boy, you found me.”

 

When Rajani heard fighting going on outside of her office, she stood up and let out a small scream when John came CRASHING right back through her door. “What the hell?!  Kane, no!!” She hopped over the desk, after pressing the security button that was underneath the desk, and shoved her hands against Kane's rock hard chest. “ENOUGH!!  Both of you have to stop this!!” Rajani shouted, having a hard time breathing because Kane was crushing her trying to get to John, who had already gotten to his feet. “You guys can't...” Rajani grunted out, only to end up being sandwiched between them, her sides aching from the pressure.

 

As much fun as tormenting Rajani was turning out to be, the last thing Kane wanted was for her to wind up hurt, yet.  He wasn't finished with her, just getting started.  Kane stepped back long enough to pull her out of the way and was just barely able to catch John's fist before it connected with his jaw.

 

“Almost hurt your girlfriend, Cena.” Kane whispered, watching in amusement as John's eyes widened.

 

The minute John looked at Rajani to undoubtedly make sure she was alright, big mistake on his part, Kane lowered his shoulder and drove John across the room, crashing into the wall.  John let out a groan of pain, but didn't stop swinging his fists, pretty sure he was going to be feeling that to come for a few nights.  Rajani was too busy holding her side to hear what Kane said, tears stinging her eyes while they continued fighting and damaging the office.

 

“Stop...it...” She wheezed out, scooting away from them just as security burst in to separate the two Superstars.


“Whoa Rajani, you alright?!” Alex rushed to her side, having heard on the walkie-talkie that there was a problem down in her office.

 

She nodded, not trusting her voice at the moment and knew she would undoubtedly have bruised ribs, hoping nothing was cracked.  If her brother found out about this... “Alex...we have to keep this...between us...” Rajani held her hand up when he went to help her up, doing it on her own slowly.  Kane had been shoved out of the office by ten security guards, while the others checked on John, who was down for the count at the moment. “Please...”

 

John had slumped down against the wall, helping the EMT’s remove his shirt and trying not to wince as he stretched his undoubtedly bruised back, looking at Rajani.  What made the fact that he had been instrumental in hurting her was that Kane had been the one to move her out of further harm's way.  Kane.  Kane had been the one to do that, when it should have been him. He was the good one, right?

 

“She's going to be alright?”

 

Why did it seem like John was constantly asking that these days?

 

“I'm fine, let them inspect you, John.”

 

There was no malice in Rajani's tone, just pure concern, knowing the show had to still go on and already chaos had started.  She brushed the medics off when they tried looking her over, pointing over to John while she made it to her chair, fighting back the pain.  Nothing two Tylenol 3's couldn't take care of later at the hotel.  She sighed when they said John had a minor concussion and bruised ribs, which meant one thing.


“He can't compete tonight.”


“I'll have someone replace him in the tag match then.”


“He also needs to go to the hospital for x-rays to make sure his ribs aren't cracked.”

 

Rajani sighed when John growled an affirmative 'NO!'

 

“I'm not going to the damn hospital and I'm not being replaced.” John insisted, pushing away everyone who was trying to help him up. “Wrap my ribs, I'll keep my damn shirt on.” John wasn't going anywhere except to the ring, knowing the minute he was to go to the hospital Kane would take that as a sign of even more weakness.  That was not something he needed on his plate right now. “Just tend to her.” He growled, holding out his arms and trying not to wince when they began wrapping bandages around them.

 

“Would you stop being stubborn and just do as they say, Cena?” Rajani growled, not in the mood to be checked over as she waved the EMT’s away. “You could have cracked ribs and WrestleMania is around the corner!  You can't afford a serious injury.  Now go to the damn hospital, you're being replaced tonight.  I've already got it taken care of.” She'd sent Alex to inform Phil he was going to be in the tag match because Chris was being added to it, replacing Paul Wight AKA Big Show. “You're not on the show tonight so if you don't want to go to the hospital, then just go back to the hotel and rest.”

 

“No, I've worked through worse than this, if you knew anything about me then you'd already know that.” John said, more heat in his tone then he had intended. “I'll be fine for WrestleMania, but you're not replacing me.” When she opened her mouth to tell him off no doubt, he shook his head. “That's the job, Rajani, we get hurt; we still go out there and put on a show.  If any of us took the night off because of a slight concussion or hurt ribs, there would be no WWE because this shit happens.” Rajani either accepted that fact now or...well, he'd just have to make sure Phil didn't make it to the ring.

 

“And what YOU need to understand, Cena, is that I'm doing what I feel is in the best interest for this company and what I feel Stephanie would do.  You know damn well if you have cracked ribs or any kind of injury of that caliber, she would NOT allow you to compete tonight.  So don't give me that high and mighty attitude about how shit happens.” Rajani refused to back down from him, her dark eyes flashing with hidden anger. “Now if you insist on not going to the hospital as directed, then get the hell out of my office.  I have more important things to worry about, like Beth's attack that I still don't know if you did or not.”

 

Rajani was fighting back pain and the anger she currently felt was a perfect mask as Rajani sat back down in her chair, daring John to defy her.  He would regret it if he did.  She would make sure Stephanie saw to it.

 

“You are a damn idiot Rajani.” John informed her, shaking his head and wondered if she really thought for a second Stephanie would send him home because of bruised ribs and a concussion.

 

Yes, Stephanie could be a sweet woman, but when it came to the business she was Vince's daughter through and through.  Which meant working through the injuries.  Snorting, he walked out of the room, having no intention of leaving the building and thanking God she was 'in charge' for only one night.  Rajani took that with a grain of salt, too busy trying to breathe because the anger had diminished along with her adrenaline.

 

“I'm fine.” She whispered when Alex asked if she needed anything, slowly shaking her head. “Thanks for your help, but I got it from here.”

 

When Alex nodded and walked out, closing the door behind him, Rajani finally leaned back against the chair and turned around, letting the tears spill down her cheeks.  Her side was absolutely killing her.  Pulling her shirt up, Rajani could already see the deep bruising forming, the color of her tanned skin turning into purple mixed with blue.  Pulling her shirt down, Rajani took a couple deep breaths before slowly turning back around, knowing she had to finish paperwork.  Stephanie wasn't going to walk into a mess when she returned.  Rajani couldn't let it happen.

 

Chapter 6

 

“Cena, heard you've been replaced...by me.  Kane beat your ass?”

 

John stopped, contemplating Phil and his options.  He could walk out with his tail tucked between his legs.  Or he could beat the shit out of this idiot, take the fine and then go out to the ring anyway.


“Nothing to say, champ?”

 

John was pretty sure there was a temple throbbing in his forehead.

 

~!~

 

“Rajani, come quick!!  Punk is down!!”

 

Her eyes closed because Rajani knew exactly who did it, sighing. “Damn you John.” She whispered, standing up from the chair and hurried out as fast as she could after him, which was slower than usual.

 

She arrived on the scene, the EMT's already looking over Phil and Rajani knew there was no way he could compete.  What was she supposed to do now, Rajani thought, wishing this night from pure hell would end.  Why was John making this harder for her?  First Beth and now Phil...Stephanie was going to terminate her on the spot and Rajani wouldn't blame her.


“What do you wanna do now, Rajani?  The main event needs someone else...”


“Just...give me a minute to think please.”

 

“What about Kane?” Alex suggested, shrugging when she looked at him.  Kane was scheduled to do a promo aimed at John, but since John had yet again gone M.I.A. and was apparently on a 'taking people out' streak… “Sorry Rajani, it was just a suggestion and he's another big name.” He groaned, running a hand down his face, really glad he wasn't in her spot.  That would royally suck. “Just…any decision you make, don't let anyone but that person know, just in case Cena decides to swing another chair or something.”

 

“Right.” The only wrestler she could think of that Rajani knew John wouldn't attack with a chair...at least she hoped anyway...was Kane, but he was nowhere to be found and had probably already left the arena by now. “Big name, need a big name...” She suddenly snapped her fingers, knowing Mark Henry was in the heel tag team of the main event and there was someone who had unfinished business with him that would fit the build. “Undertaker.  It makes sense, have him replace Phil.”

 

“Y-You want me to...” Alex grew a pale white, the color draining out of his face.

 

Sighing, Rajani knew she would have to deliver the news on her own and headed down the hallway toward the Undertaker's dressing room while Phil was taken to the hospital to be looked over.  Taker sat in his dressing room, having a moment of 'catching up' with Glen/Kane.  When he heard the knock on his door, he rumbled out a 'come in', both men looking up when the 'boss/gopher' walked in.

 

Kane had to turn his head to hide his smirk.

 

Taker didn't bother hiding his. “Can I help you, darlin'?” He asked in a low, husky voice.

 

So this is where Kane/Glen hung out on his downtime...Rajani would have to remember that for the future and nodded. “Actually, I need to speak with Kane for a second.”

 

Screw it, Kane made more sense instead of Taker, he would have to suffice for the main event that night.  Alex had a great idea.  Rajani would make sure to give praise to Stephanie about him at a later date.

 

“It's regarding the main event for tonight.” Rajani felt her stomach tightening slightly and immediately swallowed it, smiling tentatively. “Please?”

 

“Need a replacement for Cena?” Kane asked, bored.

 

Though everyone in the room already knew the answer.  Word traveled fast and Taker always kept his ear to the ground, so did Kane for that matter.  When she simply nodded, he nodded as well.  Taker suddenly arched an eyebrow, looking over at his friend.

 

“What exactly happened to Cena?”


“Probably a broken rib.”


“Your doing?” Taker shook his head when Kane simply shrugged, his hair falling down into his face, which hid the amused look in his eyes.

 

“Actually, he refused to be examined by the doctors so I took him out of the main event to prevent further injury.  WrestleMania is coming up, can't take any chances.” Rajani quickly explained, refusing to have her feathers ruffled considering Kane had attacked John earlier by tossing him through her office door, which had already been replaced. “The main event is in 30 minutes, Kane.” Her eyes moved to Taker, keeping the smile on her face, though it didn't reach her eyes. “Have a good night, gentlemen.” Turning, Rajani walked away from the door, breathing in and out evenly.  She handled that better than originally planned.

 

“You're a sick bastard, you know that right?”


“I did learn it from you.  Besides, if I'm sick, you're sick as well for knowing what you do and not speaking up.”


“Hey, I openly admit I'm twisted and, besides, it's amusing.” Taker leaned back in his chair, flicking his hair back out of his face. “So...Cena has taken out Stephanie, Beth and Phil...Surprised the boss didn't bother mentioning that...”


“The official story is he has bruised or cracked ribs.” Kane smirked, shaking his head. “What a crying shame...”

 

No sooner had Rajani stepped out of Taker’s dressing room, she was approached. “Rajani?”

 

She turned to see Eve coming toward her, blinking when the woman practically shoved her into the nearest dressing room, shutting the door behind her. “Eve, I really don't have time for this...”


“Yes you do.” Her shock was gone and Eve refused to let another one of her friends get hurt. “It was Kane.”


“Sorry?” Her head was beginning to pound from everything that happened tonight.


“Tonight.  Beth's attacker.  It was Kane.” Eve hoped she didn't regret telling Rajani this information, tears in her eyes. “Please don't say...”


“Thank you and don't worry, you won't be mentioned with this.”

 

Rajani hugged Eve and walked out of the room, wondering what the hell Kane was plotting.  Would he hurt someone else just on a whim or was there a motive for each one of his moves?  John was innocent and Rajani couldn't help feel a sense of huge relief wash over her as she headed back to her office.  Maybe replacing John with Kane for the main event was a bad idea.

 

Eve figured she should start writing her will, knowing if Kane ever found out, -he probably would, the creep- he would send her to the hospital next.  So, with that thought in mind, she point blank refused to leave the Diva's dressing room and had already made arrangements to leave with the other girls just so she wouldn't be alone.  Maybe she was being paranoid, but...maybe she wasn't.

 

Kane was too busy prepping for his match to worry about anything, except John Cena showing his face at the last minute.  He knew the boy hadn't left like he had been ordered too but instead locked himself in his room.  He fully expected Cena to crash the tag match.  Kane couldn’t have been more right.  When John found out that Kane, of all people was taking HIS place in the match, he was livid.  When he next heard that he was being blamed for Phil…well, he wasn't really surprised, because he had insinuated he would do it. Talk about fucking himself over.

 

“Hell...” He cursed, locked in his dressing room, examining his sides and wondering when all this craziness was going to just stop. “Not tonight, that's for damn sure.”

 

~!~

 

“Beth has a grade A concussion and they've put her in an induced coma to let her brain heal.  It was a massive blow to the head, according to the doctor.  Whoever attacked her meant to do some serious damage and put her out for a while.” Alex frowned, hoping John Cena wouldn't be capable of this type of cruelty.


“Jesus...” Beth was the WWE Women's Champion right now and she'd been brutally and viciously attacked by a lunatic...all on Rajani's watch. “D-Did the doctors say when they would wake her up?”


“They don't know right now, her brain has swelled a lot though.  It's just going to depend on when the swelling goes down...”

 

Beth was one of her good friends.  Rajani rushed past Alex into her private bathroom to empty the contents of her stomach and bit back a cry of pain as a ripple raced up her side.  Throwing up was definitely not professional, but Rajani couldn't help it, the amount of pressure and stress she felt completely overwhelming.  Alex made sure she was alright before leaving, having other duties to do before he could head back to the hotel for the night.  Rajani had the monitor on so she could listen to the main event while getting back to the mountain of paperwork stacked on her desk.  She contemplated what to do about what Eve told her, trying to figure out what Stephanie would do.  Sighing, Rajani closed her eyes before beginning to write Kane up for abusing a fellow employee, which was against regulations in the company.  Phil's attacker still hadn't been revealed and until that happened, she wasn't writing John up until either someone stepped forward or she spoke directly to Phil.

 

Alex had sort of taken it upon himself to be Rajani's gopher throughout the night, which was kind of funny when he thought about it.  Gopher for the gopher, he'd have to remember to chuckle about it later.  He could not recall Vince, Stephanie or even Shane having a night like this before.  Two people down to backstage attacks that WEREN'T scripted, a boss who stressed herself into a fainting spell or something…Rajani was having the night from hell.

 

“Cena, you-” Alex stepped into the man's now open dressing room, having been heading for his area to finish up his own work and then spotted the open door.  Cena wasn't in there. “Oh...damn it...”

 

Mark Henry was currently in the ring, moving slower than a turtle while Kane pounded on him with his huge fists.  This man had really lost his mind since returning to the company.  Mark Henry had been partially responsible for putting him out of commission, so he knew Kane had a lot of pent-up aggression in his system.

 

“Damn it...” He grunted when Kane booted him in the face, dropping him and making the ring shake.

 

Randy's eyes widened when Sheamus hopped down, stopping Wade Barrett in his tracks, distracting the referee. “What the...?”

 

One second Henry was in the air with Kane's leather glove wrapped around his throat, the next he was on top of Kane for the pin, thanks to a chair shot to Kane's skull from...Cena. “COME ON REF!!” He bellowed out.

 

Randy and Sheamus both cheered when they got the pin, Mark Henry's hand raised in victory.


“GODDAMN IT, CENA!!” Rajani roared from the back, completely livid with his actions.

 

Honestly, who thought for one second, that John wasn't going to do this?  If Rajani had really wanted to stop him then she should have either one, made sure he had been escorted from the building and two, kept security posted along all access points to the ring for when he managed to get back into the building.  That or she was just too trusting, or probably a bit preoccupied with all the backstage attacks, that he was probably suspect number one for.  Ignoring the celebrating Randy and Sheamus, he continued his assault on Kane, finally throwing away the chair when it literally broke over the other man's back.

 

Kane shielded his throbbing head and laughed through the pain at the same time.  Security rushed out to the ring to stop the carnage, pulling John off of Kane while Randy and Sheamus just looked on in bewilderment.  Rajani as pacing back and forth backstage, chewing her thumbnail and knew she was screwed if Kane was injured badly.  That would be three Superstars who were down for the count while she was in charge.  Did she quit now or try putting her two week notice?  There was no way in hell she would be keeping her job after a night like this.

 

“Escort him out of the building.” Rajani ordered as soon as John came backstage, security surrounding him. “Where's Kane?”

 

“He shoved us away and went another route to get back here.” The security guard answered.


“Christ, he needs to be checked out after those brutal shots...” Rajani muttered, not really caring, but had to remain professional and unbiased.

 

“I'm sure he'll get himself checked out.” Taker said from behind, having emerged in order to watch Cena be brought backstage, his brilliant emerald green eyes narrowed to half slits.  He was considered a locker room leader, his more...brutal sicker tendencies...not as well-known. “You fucked up, Cena.”


“Yeah, piss off Calaway; I didn't see you telling him he fucked up when he went after Ryder!”

 

Taker arched an eyebrow and took a threatening step forward, freshly showered and in his street clothes.  Black skintight jeans and a long sleeved black thermal shirt with black steel toed boots, perfect clothing to deliver an ass kicking in.  Rajani’s eyes enlarged and she shook her head, knowing this couldn’t happen, not with everything else that had gone down tonight.

 

“PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF FUCKING GOD JUST STOP THE FIGHTING!!” Rajani erupted, not caring who heard her because, at this point, Rajani was at the breaking point. “ENOUGH!!  You are NOT fighting, not after everything else that has happened tonight!!  Beth and Punk have already been sent to the damn hospital, Kane is off god knows where with a bleeding head and you are at each other's throats now?!  WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH EVERYONE?  This is NOT good for the company or for business!!  Cena, you and Kane have stressed Stephanie out so much that she literally COULD NOT do her goddamn job because you and Kane SENT HER OVER THE EDGE!!  Just like you're sending ME over the edge!!  There cannot be any more casualties tonight, especially with 2 of the top stars in this company who should be setting examples for others instead of trying to rip each other's throats out.  Think before you act, you're supposed to be locker room leaders, not acting like 5 year old children!!” Rajani stormed away from all of them, knowing security would take care of John while Taker just stood there silent and still as a statue.

 

After a second, Taker shrugged and threw the punch anyway, catching Cena in the mouth. “Mind yourself.” He warned, watching as John felt his now bleeding lip.  It took weeks for Stephanie to lose her mind and only hours for Rajani, Cena and Kane had really upped their game tonight. “Now get the hell out of here and go have those ribs checked.”

 

John simply nodded stiffly and walked away, the tips of his ears burning red.

 

“Did she really scream 'fucking god' or was I hearing things?”


“Nope, not hearing things, she screamed it.” Alex informed him evenly.

 

Taker started laughing.

 

“I'm quitting, I can't handle this type of business.  What the hell was he thinking getting me into this?!” Rajani mumbled while stalking back to the office, needing some aspirin and refused to let the tears that filled her eyes fall.

 

She couldn't handle it, these men didn't give a damn about authority or anything of the nature.  No wonder Vince had finally handed over the reins to his daughter and son-in-law, Paul Levesque.  If anyone could handle what happened tonight, it was him.  She was going to kill her big brother when he came on the road with the company for convincing Rajani it was the best internship for her to take.  He'd lost his damn mind!

 

This was a night Taker doubted he would ever forget.  He could not remember a night in recent history where things had been so...messed up.  He knew back in the Attitude Era, a lot of screwed up things had gone down backstage when the cameras weren't rolling, but...that was then and this was now.  It was interesting to say the least.  Dear Princess Stephanie was going to have a heart attack when she came back and found out about all this...and he grinned wickedly at the thought.  Knowing that even if she been there, she probably wouldn't have been able to prevent it.  Whistling, Taker walked down the hall towards the exit.

 

Chapter 7

 

Stephanie was stunned when she found out everything that happened to Rajani, not believing how many attacks had gone down and they were all at the hands of Kane and John Cena.  She wasn't surprised to find out that Rajani took the night off from the house show, honestly not blaming the woman.  Though, when she tried faxing over her resignation, Stephanie decided she had to speak with Rajani, which ended her up standing outside of her intern's hotel room door.  Rajani was not a quitter and, with everything that transpired at the Smackdown! taping, Stephanie honestly thought Rajani handled it the best she could.

 

Rajani looked up when a knock sounded at her door, busy packing her bags while trying to stop crying, wondering who it could be.  She had to hurry up or she would miss her flight back to Miami.  Sighing, Rajani zipped one of her bags up and walked over, looking through the peephole and blinked at the sight of Stephanie McMahon-Levesque staring back at her.  She unlocked the door and opened it, not bothering to plaster on a smile, the dark circles under her eyes telling the entire story.

 

“You're not quitting or resigning, I refuse to let you.” Stephanie informed her, taking in Rajani’s appearance with a frown. “You can, however, take a few days off to rest because you look like the living dead.  May I come in?” When Rajani pushed open the door, she stepped inside, eyes narrowing in on the luggage that was being packed. “I will be fining the hell out of Cena and Jacobs for this, Rajani, and after WrestleMania, they're both facing suspension.  With WrestleMania looming, I can't suspend them right now.”

 

At least that's what her father said.  If they pulled another night like the one Rajani had suffered through, she'd do her best to see that those idiots didn't make it to the biggest event of the year.  Rajani understood that because Kane and John were two of the company’s top stars, there was no way WrestleMania could go on without them.  It was all about business right now.

 

“Stephanie, will all due respect, I'm not sure sticking around here is in my best interest, especially after last night.  3 superstars ended up injured, 2 hospitalized and I ended up hurt too.” Rajani slowly sat down on the bed, her eyes adverted to the floor. “The show was a complete disaster, I'm just not sure I'm cut out for this type of work...” Not to mention Rajani hadn't slept a wink due to having nightmares about Beth and Phil being murdered by Kane and Cena. “I let you down Stephanie, I'm sorry...”

 

“No, you didn't let me down, Rajani.  You shouldn’t have been put in that position to begin with, there were others who could have taken over for the night.”

 

However, there was no precedent for something like this happening so...everyone had panicked and gone to Rajani.  Which made sense, she spent a lot of time with Stephanie and was learning quickly, not to mention her...background.  She knew this business pretty well.  Knowing and then running it, however, were two separate ballgames.

 

“The injured superstars are not your fault, it would have happened on my watch too.” Stephanie smiled gently, reaching out to place a hand on Rajani’s shoulder. “At the very least, stay until after WrestleMania.”

 

Stephanie was overwhelmed and Rajani knew it, how could she leave this woman alone with WrestleMania just weeks away? “Alright, after WrestleMania I will reassess the situation and make my ultimate decision if I want to stay on, fair enough?” When Stephanie beamed, Rajani cracked a very small smile that did not reach her tired eyes. “I'll have to call and cancel my flight, do you mind if I do my work from my hotel room for the next few days, just until I can get my mind back on track?  Whatever you need, any errands, I'll run them for you.  I just need to be away from the arenas, if that's alright.”

 

“No, that's fine.  I'll have Alex do any on the spot errands or work for me at the arenas.  You definitely need a few days away, I can see that.”

 

Stephanie was seriously considering suggesting that Rajani fill out a statement, just based on how she looked.  However, there had already been enough paperwork filed on the situations and she was pretty sure the board wouldn't appreciate anything more.  She still had to handle Cena and Jacobs yet, and possibly speak to Taker about getting Kane back in his right frame of mind, since the man knew Kane better than anyone else in the company.

 

“I know you and Alex both mentioned Mark being there at the end of the show, could you go over that one more time?”

 

Stephanie knew Taker had punched John.  John had needed stitches on the inside of his lip from where it had cut on his teeth.  Rajani visibly paled as the memory swept over her, screaming at the Undertaker of all people and John Cena, refusing to meet Stephanie's eyes.

 

“I uh...I sort of lost my temper with both of them.  Undertaker walked up and said something to Cena about what Cena did to Kane, which I'm assuming you already know what he did.  I umm...” Rajani blushed furiously, completely embarrassed. “It was very unprofessional of me with what I said.”


“What did you say to them exactly?”


“Please for the love of fucking god just stop the fighting.  What the fuck is going on with everyone?  This is not good for the company or business and you are supposed to be locker room leaders, 2 of the top stars who should be setting examples for others instead of acting like 5 year old children.” If Stephanie didn't want to fire her earlier, she would probably want to now. “I'm really sorry, I don't know what came over me...”

 

Stephanie was quiet for a full minute, just staring at Rajani before finally slowly blinking. “Is that, word for word, what you said?” She asked curiously, arching a perfectly groomed eyebrow when Rajani nodded sheepishly and could not, for the life of her, keep the amused smile from spreading across her lips. “How on earth did you manage to remember all that?” She demanded then began giggling, trying to picture Rajani screaming that at the Undertaker of all people.  Trying to fight back the giggles, Stephanie managed to get out. “I can just IMAGINE Mark's reaction...oh my god, Raja...I really wish I had been there...”

 

Her dark eyes shot open when Stephanie began openly laughing at her, wondering if her boss was in the right mind frame “He just stood there...and didn't move a muscle...I stormed away and didn't give either man a chance to speak because I was fed up with everything else that had happened.” Now that Rajani thought about it, she couldn't help letting small laughter echo along with Stephanie's. “I don't even want to think about what he did after finally moving, but...I guess maybe I shocked him into silence a little bit?” Both women laughed harder at the thought of Mark Calaway, the almighty Undertaker, speechless.

 

“God, that would have made a great YouTube clip...” Stephanie wiped away the tears of mirth, staring at Rajani with a silly grin on her face. “Of course, it would have completely ruined the Undertaker's credibility, but damn...I'm sure if it pissed him off I'll hear all about it.  Mark's not one to just sit back and keep his mouth shut, never was.” Sometimes that was a good thing, most of the time actually, and at others...well, not so good.

 

“That doesn't sound promising...” When Stephanie waved her off and assured that everything would be fine, Rajani could only hope for the best and trust her boss. “I really didn't mean to say what I did, but...” Rajani decided to change the subject. “So what all needs to get done or what all can I do in the hotel?  Oh and by the way, Alex deserves a lot of praise for what he did for me last night.  He did my running around and was really helpful.  He put up with a lot, I wasn't the only one.  I just thought you should know.”

 

“I just have forms you can look over, you can do this in your sleep.” Stephanie said automatically, reaching down into her rather large purse and pulling out a folder, extending it. “I'm more concerned with you resting then working.”

 

The forms were mundane things like requests for time off, performance reports, things that were easy to go over, but also tended to be boring because of the lack of much brain power required.  Not that she was trying to insult Rajani, she just figured rest was more important than work.  Those circles under Rajani's eyes were rather alarming.

 

“And yes, I know Alex is great.  That's why I'm making him my assistant at the arena while you're here and, when you come back, he'll be YOUR assistant.  He can get the coffee and donuts while we sit in the office.”

 

“Really?” Working alongside Alex would be great, but Rajani didn't want him to be her gopher.  She would treat him well, especially after all the help he'd given her the previous night. “Thank you Steph, for convincing me to stay and checking up on me.  Not a lot of bosses would do that.”

 

She took the paperwork from Stephanie and set it aside, both of them discussing a few other things that were going down in the upcoming meeting with every employee of the company.  It happened twice a month.  Rajani had to be informed of everything going on being Stephanie's assistant and whatnot.  Stephanie stayed for a few more minutes and then left Rajani to rest, making her promise to get rid of the bags under her eyes.  Hopefully that would be easy to do.

 

Stephanie almost popped off a quip about how the WWE was one big family, but refrained.  Sure, one big family, if one's definition of family meant: dysfunctional, violent, drama to the max... “I'm not just your boss, Rajani.” She said sincerely. “I hope I'm also your friend.  I think you can really go far in this business.  Not to mention you are a total lifesaver for me when things get hairy, so of course I'm going to talk you into staying.  But as your friend, if you really think you need to step back and out of the WWE, then I would accept your decision.”

 

“Like I said, let's see how things progress on the road to WrestleMania and after the pay-per-view, I'll make my decision.  I don't want to leave, last night was just...horrible.  I thought you were gonna fire me because of the injuries and everything else.” When Stephanie shook her head, Rajani smiled, hugging her boss. “I consider you my friend too, Stephanie.  Thanks again for...understanding and hearing me out.  Means a lot.”

 

“That's what I'm here for, and to sign paychecks.” Stephanie joked, her eyes catching the bedside clock on the nightstand and groaned. “I have to go.  I have fines to go personally deliver along with threats of castration.  Get some rest and, if you need anything, anything at all, don't hesitate to call.” Stephanie met Rajani’s eyes. “I mean it, call.  Just don't call me asking for more work or something, because that's all I have for you.” She gestured to the folder, already backing towards the door. “Rest!”

 

“I will, you have my word.” Rajani chuckled when Stephanie gave her a look that clearly said if she didn't follow orders, there would be hell to pay. “Enjoy giving away those fines and threats.”

 

They both laughed before Rajani shut the door, letting a sigh of relief escape her.  Now that she decided to stay, Rajani had unpacking to do because they weren't leaving for the next town for two days...appearances and whatnot happening.  After she unpacked, Rajani jumped in the shower, refusing to take a chance falling asleep in the tub.  Just as she walked out of the bathroom, wrapping herself in a robe, a knock sounded at Rajani’s door.  Who the hell was it now?  She went to investigate, thinking it was Stephanie once again checking on her to make sure she was resting.

 

It was a bellhop with a tray of food.

 

“Mrs. Levesque ordered for you.” The bellhop called through the door, stepping back so she could see the cart through the peephole.  Stephanie had ordered a little of everything, so the top of the tray as well as the second shelf were full.  When she opened the door, he carefully pushed the trolley into the room. “When you're finished, just place it outside your door and someone will collect it, miss.”

 

Taker arched an eyebrow when the bellhop jumped upon turning around, leaning in the open door with his arms folded over his bare chest.  He wasn't scheduled for the night so he had seen no reason to dress in anything but his jeans. “Hungry, darlin'?”

 

Rajani was shocked by the amount of food Stephanie ordered her and couldn't help jumping slightly at the sight of Taker outside her hotel room door. “T-Thank you...” She handed over some money to the bellhop, sighing when he said it'd already been taken care of and took his leave. “I guess I am...”

 

She didn't meet Taker's eyes, pushing the tray into her room a little further and was glad she'd tied her robe tightly because she was completely naked underneath, her long hair wet and hanging over her shoulder.  Rajani knew Taker hadn't forgotten about what she did the previous night.  Wondering if it would be smart to apologize to him now or just leave it alone, Rajani suddenly just wanted him out of her room, period.

 

“My apologies for my outburst last night...Taker.  I was completely unprofessional and shouldn't have said what I did.  I hope you're not too upset with me over it?”

 

Taker had to step inside the room in order for the bellhop to get past him.  Aware the other man was pulling the door shut behind them, it left him standing in Rajani’s room with just her.  It took him exactly .001 seconds to note that one: she had obviously just gotten out of the shower.  Two: that robe might've been a color that wasn't see-through, but it was also made out of a fabric that reminded him a lot of silk.  Three: she had very luscious curves, the silk clinging to her damp skin.  Four: she was either cold or completely unaware.  Taker felt the corners of his lips turning upwards.

 

“No, I'm not upset.  Steph asked me to come talk to you about last night, darlin'.  If I'd of know you were...occupied, I would've waited a bit longer.” His voice had dropped from its normal pitch to a low rumbling baritone.

 

Taker was in her room instead of the doorway.  Rajani hadn't even noticed because the smell of food had distracted her.  Now she was regretting that distraction and turned around to face him, her throat going slightly dry.

 

“S-She did?”

 

Why hadn't Stephanie told her about that when she visited earlier?  Something wasn't right here.  Rajani was highly intelligent, but decided to just play the game Taker was for the time being.

 

“She came to see me earlier, didn't mention it.  Have a seat, I need to finish up and then we can talk.”

 

Grabbing her bag, Rajani began walking past him toward the bathroom, surprised at how composed she was.  Taker settled himself comfortably in one of the armchairs; they were built sturdy so they held his weight.  As far as he was concerned, she could have remained in the robe, but...rolling his eyes, he began keeping track of the time, wondering how long she would bar herself up in the bathroom.  He did a cursory sweep of the room; it looked like...nothing.  It was plain, which meant she was either the type of person who didn't personalize their hotel room and unpack their things or she had been packed to leave.

 

Chapter 8

 

10 minutes later, Rajani walked out of the bathroom, wearing a pair of Hello Kitty fleece pajama pants with a matching tank top.  It was black with the white kitty embroidered on the front.  Her hair was pulled back in a low tail, teeth brushed...she felt refreshed.

 

“Sorry about that, you caught me at an awkward time.” Rajani set the bag down and padded over to where Taker sat, taking a seat on the bed since he took the only other chair in the room, sitting Indian style. “So, what did you want to talk about, Taker?”

 

She knew better than to call him anything else.  This man did NOT condone being called Mr. Calaway or Mark.  She found that out the hard way her first night on the job with the WWE.  She had gone from unintentionally sexy to...little girl and it was still somewhat...sexy, so Taker decided he was going to schedule himself a cat-scan in the morning.  Clearing his throat, Taker leaned back in the chair, folding his hands behind his head as he surveyed her, muscles flexing with every movement.

 

“Stephanie wanted to make sure I wasn't pissed off at you for screaming at me...” His eyes narrowed, having distinctly heard her snickering over the damn phone. “And then wanted me to reassure you personally since you apparently seemed worried...”

 

“Yes well...” Rajani cleared her throat and leaned over to pull something out of the dresser drawer by her bed, a bottle of lotion.  She had really dry skin after getting out of the shower. “Like I said, it was unprofessional and I've never...snapped like that.” She poured some in her hands and began running it up her arm, trying to avoid contact with this man at all costs. “I'm not worried anymore though, now that you've accepted my apology.  We can move on and pretend it never happened.” That's what she hoped for anyway. “And I wasn't just screaming at you, Cena was just as much to blame as you were for my outburst.” The only difference between Taker and John was that Rajani wasn't apologizing to John, only Taker, because she respected the man a hell of a lot more.

 

“You have never, from my understandin’, been in that position before, so...” Taker shrugged his massive shoulders, watching her applying the lotion with an arched eyebrow. “And technically, I didn't accept your apology.” He informed her, unable to resist himself, an impish smile spreading across his sensual lips. “I'm just here to reassure you and Steph that I'm not mad.  Amused, though.  Every time I look at you, I'll probably see you standin' there screaming 'for the love of fucking god'.”

 

Rajani felt her cheeks burning a deep crimson red and it was noticeable even through her tanned skin.  She definitely couldn't look him in the eye now and the fact he hadn't accepted her apology unnerved her to say the least.  She wasn't going to let him know that it bothered her though, finishing with the lotion.

 

“I'm glad you find my humiliation so amusing, Taker.” Her voice dripped with sarcasm as Rajani rolled the tray of food over next, not caring if she had company or not.  She was starving, eyes widening when she lifted the lids to see what Stephanie had ordered her. “Holy cow!”

 

Holy cow was right, and holy chicken, and holy seafood.  This woman must've had one hell of an appetite because this was more food than even HE ordered when he was starving.  It looked like Rajani had the entire menu right there on the trolley, his green eyes moved down to the second tray at the bottom and arched an eyebrow.

 

“How the hell do you stay thin?”

 

“I didn't order this.  I could never eat...You actually thought I could eat all of this?” Rajani couldn't help laughing at the bewildered look on Taker's face, raising an eyebrow of her own. “This is Stephanie overreacting and making sure I'm eating and taking care of myself.” She took a plate off the trolley and extended it to him with a soft smile. “I could never eat all of this by myself and you look like you have quite the appetite.  Mind helping me polish most of this off?”

 

Maybe he would accept her apology if she fed him well.  Taker considered it, finally shrugging and took the plate, gesturing for her to take what she wanted first.  He wasn't a total jerk after all; he could occasionally be a gentleman.

 

“Stephanie reminds me of Linda, overreacting and motherin'...with a hefty dash of Vince thrown in for good measure.” It was like an angel and Satan had had sex and Stephanie was the outcome.

 

“She means well and I'm definitely not complaining.”

 

How could she?  The woman had ordered her mostly seafood with a huge steak, lobster and shrimp with some oysters.  Living in Miami, Rajani had a love of seafood because that's what her parents mostly ate throughout her childhood.  Rajani finished piling her plate and then pushed the trolley over to where Taker sat, which wasn't far away, letting him have whatever he wanted.

 

“I also think she's trying to put me in food comatose, so I'm forced to get a good night's sleep.”

 

“This is definitely a great way to go about doin' that.” Taker conceded, now fixing his own plate.

 

Having noted that she seemed to really have a thing for seafood, which worked out great for him because Taker was a steak and chicken kind of guy.  Leaning back, he rested the plate on his knee and took stock of her.  Noting that while she looked a little rejuvenated, Rajani still had circles under her eyes and looked tired, not surprising.

 

“You quittin' or takin' a few days off to recover?”

 

“I was going to quit and actually sent my resignation in.” There was no reason to keep it a secret from the man, it was a legitimate question. “But Stephanie convinced me to stay on until after WrestleMania.  I was shocked, I thought she would've been thrilled to be rid of me since I let her down last night...” No matter what Stephanie or anyone said, that's how Rajani felt and nothing would change it. “Anyway, I'm staying on until after WrestleMania and then I'll make a decision if I want to stay or not.”

 

Taker snorted, swallowing the bite he had taken before saying anything. “Last night could have happened to anybody and there wouldn't have been anyone who could have prevented it, except maybe Vince, emphasis on maybe.  Definitely not Stephanie.  You coulda had one or both of them thrown out of the building and they still would've found a way back in, darlin'.  It's not your fault.”

 

“Thanks, that's what Stephanie said.” Rajani smiled, tilting her head slightly while eating a piece of lobster, chewing thoughtfully. “You know,” She paused briefly, swallowing first before speaking, not having bad manners. “You're not as bad as people make you out to be.” Rajani was always one to speak her mind, she got that from her big brother and sometimes it came back to bite her in the ass.  Rajani hoped this wasn't one of the cases. “Is the chicken good?”

 

“It's delicious, darlin'.” Taker replied, hiding the amusement that coursed through him at her 'not as bad' comment.  She obviously didn't know him very well, which was probably a good thing or she would have rang for security by now. “I'm as bad as I need to be.” He said after a moment. “Usually when the boys get a little too...rowdy or their egos inflate past the point it should be, then I sometimes step in.  Not very popular during those times.”

 

“You do what's best and right for business though and that's what matters.  You don't let your own ego run away with you like a lot of others do.”

 

John suddenly popped into Rajani's mind and she stabbed a piece of shrimp with her fork.  Dark eyes flashed momentarily before Rajani pushed him in the far recesses of her mind.  Even when she was trying to relax and enjoy a meal, John intervened and it annoyed her to say the least.

 

“I'm glad you're enjoying the meal, I really didn't want all of this food going to waste.”

 

Taker had a feeling some of it was going to go to waste because neither of them would be able to eat all of this.  They hadn't even made it to the halfway mark.  Stephanie had really pulled overkill on this food thing.

 

“You looked annoyed for a minute there, somethin' on your mind?” He asked, totally ignoring the ego thing.

 

Taker didn't have to worry about his ego.  He knew his worth and the weight he carried, it was simply a fact.  That and he didn't need to stir up the pot with that ego crap.  He preferred his more subtle, sneaky ways of handling things.

 

“Nothing worth discussing.”

 

There was no way Rajani could tell Taker about her annoyance with John.  She had to keep everything about John a secret, or as much as possible.  Everyone knew that John had been harassing Rajani ever since she came into the company six months ago and it didn't take long to spread like wildfire of their encounters.  There were other encounters though that nobody knew about, ones that she didn't want to think about, because she knew that train of thought would only lead her to trouble.

 

“Can I ask you something, Taker?” When he just stared at her, Rajani knew that was stupid to ask, but she was hesitant about asking this. “Is umm...Kane alright?  He was bleeding pretty badly from Cena's attack last night and I just...I wanted to make sure he got it taken care of...”

 

One black eyebrow slowly raised at that. “Is he alright?” He echoed, pretty sure no one who didn't have an interest in Kane financially had asked that one recently.  About his physical health at any rate, everyone was always asking what the hell had happened mentally. “He's fine, got stitched up and took off a few days; he's at his place in Tennessee, I think.” Double emphasis on think, because Kane had made an insinuation he might hang around for an odd reason or two.

 

“Oh good.” Rajani breathed a sigh of relief as far as Kane getting himself stitched up went, not meaning to ask about how he was mentally.  She didn't want to know what he was thinking because the man was scary enough with his recent attacks on everyone. “Tennessee is a beautiful state, Nashville especially.  Home of country music and all that.”

 

Taker snorted at that, preferring classic rock over country, and his opinion of Tennessee wasn't that high either.  Then again, a lot of places didn't compare to his home state of Texas. “Texas is better.” He grunted, smiling slightly. “Where is it you're from?  I'm sure Steph probably mentioned it, but...” He tapped the side of his head with his knuckles. “Old age.”

 

“Miami, Florida.” There was no harm in telling him where she lived because a lot of people, Superstars included, lived there. “Not a big fan of it, but I guess I can't complain either considering it's constantly warm.” Rajani pushed her plate away, which was only halfway eaten and leaned back against the headboard, needing a breather.  She felt more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey. “And Texas is a beautiful state, though it's a little too dry for my liking.”

 

“And Florida is a bit too humid for mine.” Taker shot back playfully, also storing the Miami fact away for a later time.

 

He had a side business involving real estate.  Not to mention Taker also had a few part-time residences in Florida and had been browsing new properties, looking to expand said business.  He couldn't wrestle forever; he needed something to fall back on, sort of.

 

“Finally full?” Taker had emptied his plate a while ago, but wasn't in the mood to give the still rather full trolley another tackle.

 

“That's probably the only thing I don't like about it is the humidity.  I know Texas is just plain dry, don't like that either.  Someday, I'm hoping to move to one of the Carolinas.”

 

Rajani didn't bother answering his question about being full because just the look on her face told him she was.  She also looked more tired, it was the food induced comatose setting in.  Stephanie was an evil genius, sneaky too.

 

“Feel free to eat more if you want, there's no way I can eat another bite.”

 

Rajani hadn't even bothered looking at the dessert, deciding to save whatever Taker didn't eat for later...if she could.  Shaking his head, Taker stood up and set the now empty plate down on a clear space of the trolley.  Not that there was much in the way of free space.  Rajani was going to fall asleep with him right there if he didn't get the hell out.  This woman was ready for some serious sleeping.

 

“No, but thanks.  I should probably be leavin', you look ready to pass out and sleep for 7 years or more.” Food induced coma, he had experienced a few of those and Stephanie was a devious woman. “Thank you for the meal.”

 

“Thanks for keeping me company and helping me at least put a dent into it.” Rajani smiled weakly up at him and slipped under the comforter, not even caring if he was standing in the room still.  Rajani's body was shutting down quickly, her eyes drooping. “Good night, Taker.” She whispered, rolling over on her side curling up a little and closed her eyes.

 

Her black hair was still damp and pooled around her, the pillow covered with it.  Stephanie's plan had worked like a charm.  Rajani was out for the count before Taker could turn the light off for her and leave.  Taker took the trolley with him when he went; knowing the chances of Rajani waking up in time to start eating more of this stuff before it began going bad was rather slim.  He headed down the hallway towards his own room, knowing he had a lot of new interesting information to sort through and decide just what he was going to do with it.

 

There were so many options and all of them promised to be entertaining.

 

Chapter 9

 

After sleeping for 12 hours straight, Rajani finally woke up sometime in the late afternoon the following day.  She glanced over at the clock and couldn't believe it read four PM.  She was more tired than she thought that was for damn sure.  Yawning loudly, Rajani pulled herself up from the bed and padded into the bathroom, needing to do her business before deciding a shower was in order.  It definitely woke her up.  She dressed in just a pair of black cotton shorts with a white and black tank top, pulling her hair back in a braid that went to the middle of her back.  She ordered something to eat, starved and then got to work on the small folder that Stephanie gave her.  It wouldn't take her long; Rajani decided she would have to go hunting for a Laundromat since the hotel they were currently at didn't provide that type of service.

 

Information was a valuable asset and, even though it was from a friend, it was still expensive.  Over a decade of friendship or not, Taker rarely gave out anything for free, not even to him.  In this case, he had demanded a favor that he could call in at any time.  Kane added that to his list of favors he owed to Taker.  The information had been something he could have figured out on his own, but came with the confirmation of Taker knowing it personally.  Rajani hadn't quit, she was just sticking to the hotels. 

 

After a quick bite to eat and getting 90% of the work completed, Rajani changed into a pair of blue jeans that had a maroon flower design embroidered on the right thigh.  Her top was off the shoulder maroon and had flowing see-through sleeves.  She grabbed a bag full of laundry and headed out along with her laptop, wearing her favorite pair of tennis shoes she always brought with her on the road.

 

“I hate laundry.” She grunted, stepping on the elevator and then decided to opt for the stairs, heading toward the parking garage.

 

John had been told, by Vince McMahon no less, he was to take the week off until Raw to get his head on straight.  He still followed the circuit though, just in case.  In case meaning: he was called back to work and in case he seen Kane out in the street.  All bets were off then.  Since he had this time off, John figured catching up on his laundry would be a great idea, since he was wearing his last pair of clean boxers and a pair of shorts he had worn the day before.

 

“Fuck!” He grunted out, not watching where he was going.

 

Peering around the double stacked baskets in his arms, John suddenly ran into someone.  The basket of Rajani's clothes went flying as they sprawled out everywhere.  Rajani also ended up on her rear again.  Remembering briefly when she'd run into Kane at the arena, Rajani hoped he hadn't run into her this time.  It felt like a brick wall just slammed right into her back, so knowing her luck, it was someone from the company.  When she looked up, after clearing the cobwebs, Rajani wondered if fate was out to really screw with her as she locked eyes with John.

 

“Watch it!” She growled, not amused that he hadn't been paying attention to where and what he was doing.

 

“This is the universe having a laugh at my expense.” John muttered when he seen who he had knocked over, his own laundry safe and sound in his arms.  Sighing, he set the baskets down and began picking up her clothes. “Sorry Rajani.” He apologized, wondering how many times this week he was going to say those words.  John quickly stuffed what looked like a black pair of panties into the bag, knowing she would not appreciate him ogling her panties at the moment.

 

“Of course it would be you.” Rajani grunted and stood up from the dirty parking garage, dusting herself off the best she could.

 

Rajani had gone an entire day without seeing John and it had been one of the most peaceful times of her life.  Of course, she also slept halfway through it.  She noticed John was going to do his laundry as well, wondering what kind of message the universe was sending them, besides having a laugh at his expense.

 

“I think that's everything.” She picked up her basket again and walked away from him toward her car.

 

John cocked his head to the side, watching her walk away and his attention was pulled from her, gently swaying hips, to the pair of white panties that were clinging to just over her ass and partly on her shirt.  Contemplating what to do, he followed her, managing to balance his baskets in one arm.  Watching as the panties did a half fold down, over her ass, John reached out and swiped them away.

 

“Uh, you forgot these…”

 

Turning around, Rajani's dark eyes shot open at the sight of John holding her white lace panties, immediately snatching them away from him.

 

“Thanks...” Her voice was laced with malice and Rajani tried not gritting her teeth, but it was incredibly hard.

 

The man had just touched her panties for Christ sakes!!

 

With a reddened face, Rajani shoved the panties back into her basket, avoiding eye contact with John.  He had caught that undercurrent of malice and wondered idly if he should be worried.  John could have just let her walk around with the garment attached to her ass looking like a retard, but he hadn't.  He hadn't even ogled her for more than a few seconds; didn't that earn him any brownie points?

 

“You're, uh, welcome.” John said finally, knowing she probably didn't mean the polite gesture with ‘thanks’, but...he'd take it.

 

Rajani went to say something when the door to the hotel opened, her eyes widening at the sight of Taker stepping out. “You know, I think we need to discuss this further.” She took John's arm and looped it through hers, thankfully their baskets hiding who they were for the most part, at least face wise. “Just keep walking and do what I say.” She ordered in a whisper.

 

Knowing if John saw Taker there, he would end up attacking, no questions asked.  Taker had punched him in the mouth.  Stephanie had informed Rajani of the events that happened after she both called them five year old children and told them to stop fighting.

 

“So laundry day, eh?  Me too.”

 

Rajani practically shoved him toward her car, going as fast as she could, given the circumstances.  It would be the understatement of the year to say that John was totally lost.  Either she was bipolar or…John tried to turn his head, only to find her demanding his attention.

 

“What the hell, Raja?” He demanded in an undertone, wondering who she had seen to make her change from 'bye' to 'let's roll'.  His blue eyes narrowed when he realized she was now trying to get him to put his laundry in her car. “Are you-” John nearly dropped both baskets when she stomped on his foot, more surprised than anything.

 

“Oops sorry!  I didn't see your foot there.” Even though he had HUGE feet, they were almost impossible to miss, but Rajani had to do something to keep his attention on her. “Now come on, we don't have time.” She took one of his baskets and shoved it in the back of her car along with hers; noticing Taker had walked over to his Titan and was ready to fire it up. “John, if you don't stop screwing around, we'll never get this done!” This wasn't good, John's attention wasn't on her anymore and Rajani had to do something...anything. “Fuck it.”

 

Suddenly, Rajani grabbed his face none too gently and pressed her lips against his, knowing she had his undivided attention now.  Kissing John Cena wasn't a smart thing to do, but Rajani was desperate and knew she would ultimately regret this.  But if it meant keeping John from getting into another fist fight with one of the Superstars, she would do whatever necessary...within reason.

 

John's poor brain did try to stay on the 'what the hell?' track, but this woman, the woman he had been hounding for a while now to no success, was kissing him.  His brain finally just shut the hell up with the 'what is she doing?  She hates me' bit and focused on the moment.  He recovered from being startled rather quickly and took over the kiss, turning so her back was against the car, his massive body bent over hers as his lips unfroze.  What started out as just a simple distracting kiss exploded into something so raw, powerful and indescribable, it stole Rajani's breath away.  Every nerve-end of her body suddenly sparked, ignited and it all lead up to explode into an amazing inferno that enveloped her entire body.  From the top of her head, to the tips of her toes, Rajani felt desire course through every inch of her due to this man's lips on hers.

 

It was so wrong to feel what she currently did, but Rajani couldn't help it.  She'd had a secret crush on this man ever since she came into the company and knew it was forbidden.  Maybe that's why it was so enticing, Rajani had pushed him away and declined him so many times she'd lost track.  All because any contact with him was forbidden...and she'd never been more attracted to a man in her entire life.  When neither of them could breathe, Rajani released her grip on John's jersey, not even realizing she'd taken hold of it in two huge fistfuls and broke the kiss.  Her lips were swollen and somehow, in the middle of that heated moment, John had taken her braid out so her hair was now over her shoulders and down her back in raven waves.

 

John kept his eyes closed for a moment longer, rolling his forehead against hers.  He didn't remember taking her hair out, but…he had fantasized about it enough to not be surprised that he had.  He had been right; it was thick and heavy, silken to the touch.  After a moment, John pulled away and opened his eyes, knowing they were probably darker than normal, but that couldn't be helped.  All he could do was stare down into her slightly flushed face, taking in the way her own eyes had darkened and her swollen lips.  Mentally jolting herself back to reality, Rajani looked over John's shoulder and sighed with relief that Taker had left.  Her plan to distract John had worked like a charm.  But now she had a bigger problem to deal with and she knew it.

 

“Sorry about that.” Rajani cleared her throat, trying to get her voice to stop shaking due to the aftershocks of that intense kiss. “You're uh...You're a very hard man to distract, you know that?” She didn't dare touch her swollen lips in front of him, not wanting to give him any more ammunition than what she just did.

 

That instantly snapped him out of the after kiss haze he was experiencing. “Distract me?” He repeated, arching an eyebrow down at her.  That had to be the most ego deflating thing John ever heard. “And just what was it you were distracting me from, hmm?”

 

John bent down so they were face to face, watching her eyes dart to his lips and fought back a smirk, trying to not let anger overtake him.  When she opened her mouth but didn't say anything, he kissed her.  Distraction?  He was going to show her the meaning of distraction.  Rajani reacted instinctively and pushed her hands against his chest, shoving him back as hard as she could, which wasn't far, but it did break the kiss.

 

“No.” This could not happen, what the hell had Rajani been thinking using kissing as a distraction tool?  Especially with John Cena of all people? “Someone walked out and I didn't want you getting into another scuffle.  So I...I did the only thing I could think of since stomping on your foot wasn't good enough apparently.” Rajani said in a rush.

 

Trying to slow her racing heart, Rajani attempted to duck under John's arm, only for him to block her in.  If he didn't step back and give her space, Rajani would have to take drastic measures to force him and she really didn't want to stoop to that level.  Because he now no longer trusted her on any level at all, John took the precaution of making sure she couldn't knee him in the jewels.  He did this by pressing his body quite firmly against hers, his legs entangling with hers.

 

“So your immediate answer is to kiss me?” John demanded, all signs of arousal gone and replaced with something cold, his tone pure ice. “To keep me from getting into a fight...you throw yourself at me?  What are you, a prostitute?”

 

There was the asshole Rajani had grown to despise over the past 6 months.  Rajani's dark eyes flared, not believing he just called her a prostitute! “I did NOT throw myself at you by ANY means, Cena.  It was a kiss to distract you, don't read too much into it.  Now if you don't mind, I was on my way to do laundry before you nearly plowed me over because you're too wrapped up in yourself to actually watch where the hell you're going.” When he didn't move away from her, Rajani suddenly took her hand and, with the heel of it, plowed it full force into his nose, forcing him to stumble back several feet away from her. “You're so ungrateful, if anything you should be thanking me because, had I not distracted you, you would've ended up in jail more than likely.  Arrogant prick!”

 

“Sounds like a hooker to me.” John taunted, sounding a bit nasally as he checked to make sure his nose wasn't broken, not believing what a self-righteous bitch she was being. “You hooked yourself out on that kiss to keep me from jail time?  I'm not your pimp, Raja, I don't need your 'get out of jail free' services.”

 

In the back of his mind, John knew this was a line that there would be no coming back from, but damn if he could stop himself.  Well, one thing he had going for him, he hadn't smacked her.  Not that he wasn't tempted, especially now.

 

“Believe me, you would have to be the last man on the planet before I'd be your hooker, asshole.” Rajani replied coolly, the heated moment with him completely forgotten and she regretted kissing him. “Don't worry, I won't be offering my services to you again, ever.”

 

Opening the car door, Rajani proceeded to toss both of his baskets right at him, one clocking him right in the face, knocking him on his ass.  Smirking viciously, she stepped into her car, locked the doors and started it up before peeling out of there.  Leaving him there with his clothes strewn all over the pavement, Rajani floored it to the nearest Laundromat, berating herself for what she did with John.

 

“That went well, didn't it, idiot?”

 

Of all the people to witness THAT, Kane was the last one John would have wanted. “Piss off, Jacobs.” He growled warningly, shoving the dirty clothes off of himself, the tips of his ears burning.

 

Clucking his tongue, Kane stepped out from behind his truck, leaning against the hood. “That was the most painful thing I've seen all year, Cena.”


“Seriously, you need to step off.” John was pushing himself to his feet, knowing that the only thing that could make this night worse would be either Taker showing up or Rajani coming back.

 

If she did, it would probably be to run him over.

 

Chapter 10

 

Eve still couldn't believe she was still alive, especially after outing Kane the way she did to Rajani.  She couldn't let the man get away with what he did to Beth though.  She was their friend and, as terrified as Eve was of Kane, women of the WWE had to stick together, especially the Divas  Mildly surprised at finding a distraught looking Rajani at the local Laundromat, Eve ventured over to her, carrying a bag of clothes herself.

 

“Hey.”

 

Rajani looked up, finishing sorting her clothes. “Oh hey Eve.” She couldn't even muster up a smile, hoping her lips weren't still swollen from the kiss with John. “Laundry for you too eh?”


“Yeah...” She began sorting her own clothes at the table right next to Rajani's, frowning. “Everything okay?”


“Far from it, but thanks for asking.”

 

Eve was not normally a timid woman, but all this stuff happening with Kane had her on edge and acting more reticent than usual.  She figured the only reason she was still alive was because Kane was just biding his time.  What she was hoping was that he had bigger fish to fry and she was a little minnow who managed to escape his radar.  That would be fantastic.  She had been traveling with the other Divas for the most part and, the only reason she had come here by herself, was the fact that it was well populated.  Public places were good.  They were safe, at least that's what PSA's said.

 

“Um, is there anything I can do to help?” She offered softly.

 

“Besides killing a certain rapper wanna-be who claims he's a thug?  No.” Rajani shot back, staring down at the pair of white panties he pulled off of her clothes and gritted her teeth.


“Uh oh...Cena again?”


“Ding, ding, ding.”

 

Eve chuckled softly. “What did he do to you now?” She asked, tossing a pair of jeans to the side. “Or do I even want to know?”

 

Rajani waved her off dismissively, having more important things on her mind. “Never mind, have you heard anything about Beth's condition?”

 

The smile fell from her face as Eve shook her head, both of them worried for their friend. “No, as far as I know she's still in that induced coma.”

 

Rajani made a mental note to ask Stephanie about Beth.  Silence reigned as they finished sorting their respective laundry and then put it in washing machines.  Eve returned to her table and hoisted herself up on it, dangling her feet and kicking them back and forth almost nervously.  She watched the machines going in circles, deep in her thoughts and decided to talk to Rajani about what she was thinking.

 

“There's a rumor going around...” She said slowly, glancing at Rajani before back to the machine, chewing on her lower lip nervously. “That Stephanie's body didn't shut down on her, but...that someone, well…knocked her out or something.” That speculation had started after people had begun coming up knocked out.

 

The only problem was, there was no sign of injury to Stephanie.

 

“That rumor is null and void, I spoke with Stephanie in person yesterday.  I was going to quit after everything that happened and she paid me a visit, convinced me to stay.” Rajani explained, not surprised that the rumor mill had already started regarding what exactly happened to Stephanie. “She didn't have one mark on her that I could see unless she hid it really well, which I doubt.  She was under too much stress and pressure, which forced her body to completely shut down and, after those events, I don't see how she's back so soon.”

 

She was also very thankful to her boss and friend for returning quickly because Rajani wasn't sure if she could handle another night in charge.  Eve didn't mention the second part of the speculation.  Gossip was continuous in the WWE; they could literally do a gossip magazine a week based on some of the stuff that tended to go around.  She supposed it was a normal part of any workplace, just amped to the max for them.  When the fact that there had been no obvious sign of injury to Stephanie, there had been a few meekly voiced suggestions about chemicals, or things like ether.  That had made everyone automatically think of the Taker, who had been quite notorious for that sort of thing back in the day.  Shoving it out of mind, she idled towards the vending machines, her throat suddenly parched.

 

“You look troubled.” Rajani pointed out, following Eve with concerned eyes. “What's on your mind?  Is there something else?”


“No, just thirsty is all.” Eve lied, trying to keep the shakiness out of her voice and decided on some water. “I'm fine Raja, really.”

 

Of course Rajani could read between the lines and knew Eve was anything but, however she wasn't going to push her for answers.  It wouldn't be fair to do so, but Rajani would end up doing her own investigating to find out what else had gone around the company.  Whatever it was had Eve standing on edge, which wasn't normal for the woman.  Nothing had ever shaken Eve like this.  This storyline had transcended past 'script' and right into reality, and her worst nightmares.  Every horrible rumor about messed up things in the WWE, or the Attitude Era, seemed to come rushing back to her.  A lot of things were being repeated now as everyone speculated on what might come next.

 

John wasn't as sick in the head as Kane was, which was a small relief, but the fact of the matter was John wasn't acting like John either.  She flashed Rajani what she hoped was a reassuring 'I'm fine' smile before collecting her bottle of water and skirting around the other woman, heading back to the table.  For the first time ever, Eve was not looking forward to returning to work.  Once laundry was finished, Rajani parted ways with Eve and headed back to the hotel, hoping she had no more run-ins with John.  She still could not believe she kissed John...big brother would have a FIELD day if he ever found out!  Rajani groaned, knowing she had royally screwed herself and had no idea how she was going to fix this.

 

She had a feeling she would never be rid of John now, not after that explosive moment between them.  Surely he knew she felt something from it just from the way they kissed alone.  Trudging into the hotel with her basket of clean clothes, Rajani suddenly felt sick and wasn't sure if staying on as Stephanie's intern was a good idea.  When Rajani finally made it up to her room, there were roses in all shades scattered about the room.  Vases covered every available surface, loose stems on the bed and chair.  In her bathroom, the sink and bathtub had been filled to literally overflowing with petals.  There was no card, no note, nothing to indicate who had sent them.

 

“Oh my...”

 

The smell of roses permeated the air as Rajani stared from the doorway in shock, the basket of clothes slipping from her grasp.  It looked like a giant rainbow of roses exploded in her room!  Rajani slowly made her way further into the room, looking around wearily while the door closed gently behind her.

 

“Who could've done this?” She wondered aloud, wrapping her arms around herself and briefly wondered if this was John's doing.

 

He was the only one who had pursued her relentlessly for the past six months, but was he slick enough to pull something like this off?  Whoever had done it had probably cost a small fortune and a hefty tip to get the staff to do this, not to mention the price of silence.  But there were also other ways to obtain someone's silence.  The rainbow effect gave no indication of who had done this.  No specific colors stood out, though all the roses were thorn less.  Eventually, Rajani would find out who had sent them, but...not tonight.

 

Roses weren't Rajani's ultimate favorite flower, but they definitely gave off an incredible scent.  She slowly ran her fingers over the rose petals on the bed before jumping down on it.  A few of them fluttered in the air before slowly coming down again on top of her.  If Rajani was in a relationship with someone, this would definitely be the most romantic gesture she'd ever experienced.  But she wasn't in a relationship and that's what unnerved her about this entire situation.  Laundry had drained her and, pretty soon, Rajani fell asleep on the rose petals.  The aroma was intoxicating, inviting and relaxing all wrapped up in one marvelous feeling.

 

~!~

 

Stephanie didn't know whether to question the fact that Kane was voluntarily agreeing to stop his real life feud with John or just be happy for it.  Of course, she didn't trust him, but...at the same time, there was that small chance he was serious.  If she didn't take it, she might regret it.

 

“No tricks?” Stephanie demanded, staring up at him out of narrowed blue eyes.


“No tricks.” Kane promised in a gruff voice.

 

Letting out a shaky breath, Stephanie just nodded.

 

~!~

 

A few nights later, refreshed and no longer had sleep deprivation, Rajani walked into the arena with a smile...and with a new haircut.  It wasn't that massive of a change, but something Rajani desperately needed done.  Her hair now went to the middle of her back, still long, but not impossible to maintain anymore and she could keep it down without it looking crazy.  The lady put a few layers into it for style as well; it looked incredibly healthy and soft to the touch.  She also had her bangs angled, loving that look and knew Stephanie was going to freak out when she saw it.  Rajani wore a simple black skirt that went to her knees along with a soft pink, almost white, halter top that went around her neck and left her back bare along with her arms.  2 inch black open toed heels were on her feet, knowing her boots wouldn't look good with the outfit, as Rajani walked down the hallway, waving to a few people on her way to Stephanie's office.

 

“I am so glad you're back, I didn't realize fetching coffee and editing scripts was such a pain in the ass.” Alex greeted her, emerging from the cafeteria, carrying a...cup of coffee.  He was capable of the job, obviously, but Stephanie did drink a shitload of java. “Is it healthy for her to live on this stuff?” He was personally a green tea sort of guy.

 

All the energy without any of the ulcers.

 

Rajani laughed softly and leaned over to kiss Alex's cheek, taking the coffee he handed her. “Believe me; I've tried telling her that since I started here and all she told me was caffeine is the only thing keeping her sane.”

 

Alex touched his cheek, eyes widened slightly. “What was that for?”


“If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have made it out alive the night I was in charge.  You really helped me out and I appreciate it. “Rajani took a sip of the coffee. “And I promise, I won't give you meaningless jobs to do.  Not that Stephanie gives them to me, but I know how some people are with assistants.”

 

“Oh yeah, I'm YOUR gopher now.” Alex joked, pushing his hair out of his eyes.  His hair was brown and he wore the front a bit long, cheeks tinged pink. “Stephanie said the assistant needed assistance.  And I'm glad I could help you out, that was just a bad night all around.  I can't imagine someone dealing with it alone.” Especially someone who had never even ran the show on a normal night, Alex looked at her and blinked. “Did you do something to your hair?”

 

Beaming, Rajani nodded as she ran a hand through it, loving the feel of it because it no longer felt like she was carrying dead weight on her head. “Yeah, I had it cut while I was...recuperating.  I had a lot of dead-ends and got a few layers put into it.  My hair stylist wanted to streak it, but I refuse to ruin my hair with dye.” Rajani had always kept her hair its natural color and would never change it, not seeing the point in doing so. “Do you like it?”

 

Sometimes Rajani wondered if Alex was gay or straight.  She could never tell because he had both mannerisms, enjoying style and fashion too.  Alex was aware that some people were confused over his sexual preference, which he never disclosed because he didn't think his love or personal life had any business being in the workplace.  He dressed well, loved fashion and usually kept his own hair styled in ways that wasn't considered typical male.

 

“Yeah, I like it.” Alex said honestly, tapping his chin. “You know, if you wanted to change the color without dying it, you could just do some colored extensions.  They have the clip-in kinds that'll blend right in.” He suggested helpfully.

 

“Why are we talking about hair clips?”

 

“Because Alex was asking me about my new haircut.” Rajani answered, turning to face Stephanie and smiled when the woman embraced her.  She laughed when Stephanie said it was great having her back and a lot had to get done. “Good to be back and, as for the extensions, I'll think about it.  Never really thought about my hair being different colors cause I've always been attached to it.”


“I love what you did to it.  I was starting to wonder when you were going to have it cut because you kept complaining of headaches whenever you pulled it up.”

 

“Yeah, not anymore.”

 

Rajani grinned, walking with the boss and listened as Stephanie filled her in for the night's events.  It was once again Monday night Raw, Rajani had exactly five days off due to Stephanie's orders.  Alex followed behind the women, carrying a clipboard and jotting down notes when Stephanie began giving Rajani a list of what needed to be done.  He was taking notes on the notes, considering them reminders, just in case she forgot or something, which she wouldn't.

 

“Um Steph?”


“Yes?

“Here comes Cena.”

 

Stephanie looked down the hallway, arching an eyebrow when she spotted him. “Good, I have something to tell him anyway.”

 

Oh great, Rajani thought, as soon as they spotted John, really not wanting to see him, even after 4 days of no contact.

 

It was very strange...and somewhat nice.  Rajani decided pretending the kiss never happened was her best option, hoping John didn't push the issue.  She hadn't seen him in the past days so she safely assumed the hotel room full of roses hadn't come from him.  He would've followed that up with something, she was almost sure of it.  As soon as they were face to face with John, Rajani kept silence, not even greeting him while Stephanie took care of business.  John listened as Stephanie informed him that Kane had come to her offering to end the feud they had going, the real life aspect of it at any rate.  There was no way they were going to call off the WrestleMania storyline, not this close to the event, that he had set up a year prior with Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

 

Chapter 11

 

“So...let me get this straight,” John began slowly, aware of Rajani's presence though, for the moment, he ignored her. “Kane said he wanted to call off all this bullshit?  What's the catch, Steph?”

 

Alex had been wondering that himself, though he wisely didn't voice it.

 

“There is no catch, John.  I asked Glen and he simply said that after what happened at Tuesday's Smackdown! taping, it's in the best interest for the company to end the feud.” Stephanie stated, though in the back of her mind she wondered if Kane truly meant what he said. “All we can do is take his word for it and see what happens.  I hope he means it because we cannot have another disastrous night, not this close to WrestleMania.”

 

Rajani couldn't stop herself from doubting everything Stephanie said about Kane.  Wondering if this was just another mind game he was playing with everyone, though like Alex, Rajani didn’t voice her opinion, keeping her mouth shut.  John was pretty much thinking the same thing Rajani was, only he wasn't shy about saying it out loud.

 

“Kane's probably messing with your head, you know that right?” John snorted, shaking his own head, remembering the other night when Kane had appeared after he had been literally knocked down by Raja's palm to his nose.


“Cena, until he does something that contradicts what he said, I want you to leave him alone, unless it is directly related to the storyline.  Do you understand me?” Stephanie demanded icily.

 

When John nodded stiffly, Rajani couldn't help feeling somewhat relieved because that meant he wouldn't end up going through another door or wall.  Why she suddenly cared about his wellbeing after calling her a prostitute was beyond her.  Just because the man was a dickhead didn't mean her crush went away apparently.  Rajani hated her feelings and wished she could just lock them up tight to where they could never escape.  She didn't look at John the whole time they stood there, busy having her nose in the clipboard along with Alex.  Both pretended to jot notes down when in actuality they were simply waiting for Stephanie to finish.

 

John finally turned his attention onto Rajani, who was looking at that clipboard like it was the most interesting thing she had ever seen. “Hello Raja.” He said, watching her shoulders tense for the briefest of seconds. “Did you get all your laundry finished?”

 

Idly wondering if she was wearing those white panties tonight, John knew voicing that one aloud would get him another palm thrust to the face.  He really wanted to do this in front of Stephanie and Alex.  Rajani simply plastered on a smile before looking up at him, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Of course I did.  Did you?” When Stephanie and Alex were looking back and forth between them, Rajani wanted to hit John in the nose again, pressing the clipboard against her chest. “Or were you simply looking for another...prostitute...to plow over and aggravate?” She couldn't help tossing that word in the mix, eyes darkening with anger.

 

“Only if she decides to come at me like a bitch in heat.” John snorted, knowing that Alex and Stephanie were looking back and forth between him and Rajani.

 

“Alright, I'm so glad to see that you two have apparently reached a new level of-”


“What the fuck?”


“Yes, that.  Cena, go see the writers for your script.” Stephanie ordered, not entirely sure she wanted to know and just shot Rajani a questioning look.

 

John stared at her a second longer before snorting and walking away.

 

“Such class, Cena.  Now I know why Stephanie took the title away from you, a champion has to have CLASS.” Rajani smirked when John froze in his tracks before turning on her own heel, stalking away.


“What the fuck?” Alex couldn't help saying it again. “Did she just...?”

 

Stephanie's curiosity was burning as she pointed at John to go in the opposite direction while she followed her Rajani.  Rajani was busy calling John every name in the book mentally, knowing her professionalism with the man had effectively been tossed out the window.  Now if John wanted to show her some low class, he could have informed the wrong people of what had happened, just to see them try pulling some messed up scenario to get her to kiss them.  But...John wouldn't, mainly because he knew this little love/hate/off the wall sexual chemistry thing they had going was just getting started.  He came to a halt when he seen Kane leaning against the hallway wall.  That was...not normal.  Kane had his arms folded over his chest, wearing his mask as usual, watching Cena approach with a half-smirk.

 

When Stephanie finally cornered Rajani in the office, while Alex was out running errands that she normally did, she had no choice except to tell Stephanie what happened.  The run-in with John, which followed her spotting Taker coming out of the building and distracting John.  Of course...she didn't mention the kiss, nobody could ever find out about that happening and there had been no witnesses, to Rajani's knowledge.  Rajani didn't know how to stop this chemistry from building between her and John, it was almost like a force that was too powerful to overcome.

 

“He had the nerve to call me a prostitute all because he thought I was throwing myself at him!  Can you believe that?” Rajani was angry and currently unleashed it at her boss. “I wouldn't throw myself at that asshole if he was the last man on the planet, in the universe!  I'm just glad my brother isn't on the road with us yet, Steph.  He needs to leave me alone before things get really bad...”

 

Stephanie decided to not say anything, decided not to ask how Rajani had managed to distract John and decided that those two had serious issues. “You need a boyfriend.” She said out of the blue, smiling sweetly when Rajani stopped pacing in order to stare at her with an open mouth. “Just listen...if you had a boyfriend, then John would know you're not...available.” Or for hire, whatever. “And he would probably stop bothering you so much.  So...who do you want?  Alex?  It could be Alex.  I'm pretty sure he's metrosexual...”

 

“I am not getting a boyfriend just to make a guy leave me alone, Stephanie.  If I get a boyfriend, it will be on my terms.” Stephanie had gone off the deep-end officially if she thought for a second that would work. “If he doesn't leave me alone by the time my brother comes on the road, then I'll have him deal with Cena.” She stated simply, hating to use her big brother for...protection, but Rajani would do it if it meant not crossing the line with John.  That kiss would forever be etched in her memory and that was the only memory she would ever have with him. “Can we talk about something work-related now, please?  And for the record, I don't think Alex would want to date me.”

 

“Uh, what?” Alex asked, having obviously walked in at a very bad time, holding out a stack of papers. “Medical forms, everyone signed so...” He cleared his throat.


“Would you date Rajani?”


“Uh...” He looked at her, obviously not enjoying being put on the spot like that. “Sure, I guess...maybe...why?”

 

Stephanie then explained her theory to him, ignoring his suddenly shrewd look.  Yes, sometimes, she did enjoy arranging matches.  Matches referring to hookups.  That quality she got straight from her mother.

 

“Everyone thinks I'm gay, I don't think that would work too well.”


“Are you gay?”

 

Alex just shrugged. “I think Raja can handle Cena on her own without a...um, boyfriend.”

 

“Thank you, Alex.” Rajani smiled at him, knowing she really owed him for everything he had done for her. “Though that's not going to stop me from taking this man out for a drink at a later time.  As JUST friends.” She made that point crystal clear to Stephanie, eyes telling the woman this idea was officially null and void. “Now, back to business...”

 

Before Stephanie could press the issue further, Alex began passing out the forms he had just gathered. “Everything is filled out and signed, so they need to be processed.” Annual physicals, the Superstars always loved the accompanying paperwork they and their private physicians had to fill out.

 

Stephanie decided to let it slide for now. “One more question...” As soon as she got this out of the way. “Metrosexual?”

 

Alex simply shrugged again.

 

The majority of the night, surprisingly, went without any problems and zero attacks.  Rajani kept waiting for the storm to hit, but nothing happened and they were already halfway through the program.  Rajani finished all tasks Stephanie gave her and they made small chatter regarding the upcoming shows, including meetings and whatnot.  Her thoughts had drifted from John to the room of roses again, the smell still fresh in her memory, wondering who had sent them to her.  Rajani couldn't tell anyone about that, especially Stephanie.

 

“Taker's been attacked Steph!”

 

Stephanie had actually managed to relax once it appeared the show would go off without a hitch and the night without a problem.  So much for that. “Taker has been attacked...” She repeated, wondering who the hell had been ballsy enough to do that. “Where's he now?”

 

“Right fuckin' here...” Taker growled, ignoring the official who dodged out of his way as he managed to make it into the office without dropping, a hand on his head.


“Sit down!” Larry ordered, following behind with a medical kit.  He arched an eyebrow when Taker just sat on the floor, his long legs splayed out in front of him. “Okay then...”

 

Who would attack Taker of all people? “Stephanie, it wasn't...Kane, was it?” Rajani really hated asking that question in front of Taker, but given the current and recent events, he was the number one suspect. “I'm sorry, but after what happened to Beth and Phil...”


“No, it's fine.” Stephanie held her hand up, knowing Rajani had valid points. “But I don't think Glen would do this to Mark.” Her blue eyes focused back on the injured, looking at Larry worriedly. “What happened Mark?  Do you remember anything?”

 

Rajani nearly jumped out of her skin when Kane's voice boomed throughout the small office, paling slightly. ‘Oh shit.’ She thought, hoping he didn't overhear her accusation.

 

“Sure, I remember walkin' and then hearing someone coming up behind me.  Before I could turn…WHAT THE HELL, LARRY?”

 

Larry flinched at that.  Taker had a high pain tolerance level, but getting a needle where he had just stuck it had to hurt, no matter if he was the Deadman. “Sorry, it's to numb your head before I fix this...”


“Who did it?” Kane demanded angrily.


“When I find out, you'll be the first to know.” Taker growled, acid green meeting his best friend's eyes as Kane crouched down in front of him.


“I was wondering why you didn't make it...”


“Some-”


“Um...we found this, Mrs. Levesque...” Another official walked in, carrying a pipe with a smear of blood on it.

 

“I'm sorry...” Rajani whispered, lowering her eyes from everyone in the room. “I didn't mean...”


“Don't worry about it, Raja.” Stephanie murmured, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and gave a gentle squeeze. “Why don't you go get some fresh air?  You look pale.”


“Are you sure?”

 

Stephanie nodded, gesturing toward the door. “Take a break, you deserve it.” She also wanted to speak with both gentlemen alone. “Go on, don't make me force you.”

 

Nodding, Rajani took one last glance at Taker before exiting the room, hoping he was going to be alright and headed outside for some needed fresh air.

 

So much for a peaceful night.

 

“What the fuck was she apologizin' for?” Taker demanded the moment she left. “Unless she clobbered me from behind...”


“How amusing that would be though.” Kane commented with a smirk.


“Shut it.” Taker ordered, not amused.

 

John was sitting outside, sort of.  He was perched on the overhang that jutted out from over the door, keeping an eye on who was coming in and who was going out.  He had come out here after hearing Eve screaming something about Taker being attacked, not wanting to stick around for that one.

 

The door opened as Rajani stepped out, the cool night air instantly enveloping her.  What the hell was going on?  First Beth, then Phil and now Taker?  Who was doing this and what was their motive?  It all had to be linked somehow and the only person who had been attacking randomly lately was Kane.  But why would Kane attack Taker and then come check on him?  It didn't make any sense.  Nothing did.  Rajani didn't see she wasn't alone outside, her brain running wild with all the possibilities of who could've attacked Taker, looking up at the starry night sky.

 

John spotted her, but didn't say anything.  Even though she had gone total bitch-mode on him earlier and he may have...gone a bit...prick on her; he wasn't in the mood to continue it.  Actually, he was in the mood to go home and wait for someone else to get attacked at work.  He would be gone when it occurred so then obviously...he wouldn't be guilty.  Beth, Phil and now Taker...that kind of eliminated Kane since the two were practically brothers.

 

“Fuck...” John cursed, running a hand over his head.

 

Rajani jumped when she heard someone behind her and bit back a groan at the sight of John Cena, immediately turning back around.  He looked...agitated and Rajani knew it was partially her fault, but didn't care.  He had no right calling her a prostitute and a bitch in heat.  Who the hell did he think he was?  He had no appreciation, Rajani wished she'd never kissed him and let Taker beat the hell out of him.  Maybe it would've knocked some sense into John's tiny egomaniac brain.  Considering that she had seen him and not started screaming for help, John assumed that maybe he wasn't the prime suspect.

 

“They find out who clobbered Taker?” He asked gruffly from his perch, staring down at her.

 

Of course, odds were quite high that she wouldn't answer him, but...maybe she would.  He'd rather know what he was walking back inside too eventually.  Sooner than later because it was a bit nippy out here and he wasn't wearing a shirt.  When she didn't even look his way again, John lowered himself over the ledge and dropped down, landing just behind her.  His body heat radiated right against her bare back and Rajani couldn't help doing a full body shiver, wrapping her arms around herself.  She'd heard his sneakers hit the pavement and knew he wouldn't leave her alone until she answered his question.

 

Chapter 12

 

“They don't know yet.  It's not Kane...People are saying it might be...you.” She slowly turned around to face him, staring into icy blue eyes. “Did you?” If he wanted to snap at her or call her more names, Rajani could handle it. “Because everyone thought you attacked Beth and Phil.  And we both know you've been...violent lately and Taker did punch you in the mouth after I snapped on both of you.  So did you attack him?”

 

“No.” John said firmly. “Yes, he punched me in the mouth, but I didn't attack him.  I didn't attack Phil either and I would never attack a woman, let alone Beth, who I happen to get along with rather well.”

 

That was in a strictly platonic sense.  The ice faded for a moment, being briefly replaced with worry.  Worry for the people who were being taken out without any rhyme or reason.  Worry for himself too because he was suspect number one.

 

“The only person I've been violent towards is Kane.”

 

Rajani searched his eyes for a minute, trying to decide if he was telling the truth and couldn't find any deceit in them. “Alright, I believe you.”

 

She didn't know why, but somewhere deep inside Rajani knew John wasn't capable of attacking people like this.  Suddenly, Rajani realized how close they were standing together and swallowed hard, knowing there was no way for her to put space between them due to a safety railing.  So instead, she turned around so her back was facing him, draping her arms over the railing and tried to learn how to breathe again.  John was tempted to place a hand on her shoulder and apologize.  Apologize for everything that was happening, for being a total dick, for everything, but...chances were, sometime sooner rather than later, they would be back at each other's throats.  So...he'd rather not make an empty apology.

 

“Thank you.” He said instead, his voice lowering almost gruffly as he stuffed his hands in his shorts pockets. “For believing me.”

 

“No need to thank me, I just hope I have a good judge of character.” She replied in a soft voice instead of the sickly sweet tone she normally used with him.  Then she wondered if John was capable of filling her hotel room with those roses, frowning and suddenly turned back around to face him. “Did you pay the hotel to fill my room with colorful roses?” Rajani could tell that question COMPLETELY caught John off guard, immediately regretting asking it and decided it was time to head back inside. “Never mind, I have to go.”

 

She walked away from him, feeling as though she was losing her mind now.  All John could do was watch her walk away, wondering what the hell that was about.  Did he pay to have her hotel room filled with colorful roses?  Shaking his head, he gave her time to get inside and away from him before following.  He wasn't surprised when security instantly spotted him and mockingly raised his hands over his head.

 

“Alright boys, you caught me.”


“Let's go Cena, you need to see Stephanie.”


“And Taker.”

 

Well, that checked John off the list of possible people who could've sent her all those roses. ‘Did I envision it?’ Rajani thought, wondering if maybe her exhaustion had taken its toll and she actually dreamt up those roses.  The smell was so real, everything was real...Rajani sighed as she arrived back in Stephanie's office, where Taker sat alone, Kane nowhere to be found nor the boss. “Where's Stephanie at?” She asked, trying not to cringe when Taker turned to face her with his bandaged forehead.

 

“No idea.  She got a text and took off.” Taker replied, shrugging one massive shoulder, bare from the waist up since he shoved the straps of his tights down, a habit of his. “You look like you're havin' issues.” He observed, his head tilting to the side. “What exactly...did you apologize for earlier, before you took off for some fresh air?”

 

That had piqued his curiosity.  Did she think this was her fault?  How in the hell would she have reached that conclusion anyway?

 

“You caught that huh?” Rajani heaved a sigh when he nodded and walked over to take one of the available chairs. “I made the mistake of...suggesting to Stephanie that it could've been Kane that attacked you.” There was no reason to lie to this man when he was bound to find out eventually, someway. “I didn't mean to accuse him.  I just...after Beth and then Phil and now you...and with the way he's been acting lately...I don't know.  But Stephanie assured me that he wouldn't and I trust her, so...” She had just signed her death warrant by rattling all of that off to The Undertaker.  It was the truth though! “And yeah I am having issues, but nothing I can't handle.  How's your head?”

 

“Pleasantly numb.” Taker replied, considering everything she had just said. “All things considered, it's sort of a logical conclusion.  On Kane's behalf: you're forgiven.” He said, rather imperiously. “But...what would be his motivation for taking out Beth?” He asked, considering it. “And motivation for Phil?” In Beth's case, her brains had literally been scrambled.  As for Phil, well...sadly, the little bastard would live to mouth off another day.

 

“See that's what I'm trying to figure out and there is no reason for him to attack her, but I know for a fact he did...”

 

Rajani immediately regretted saying that when Taker's eyebrow slowly rose, lowering her eyes from his.  Eve was going to kill her!  Rajani sometimes let her mouth run away with her, like now, but Taker was so trustworthy that it was hard not to confide in the man.

 

“Someone told me that they saw Kane do it.  As far as Phil goes, that's still up in the air and Phil said he was attacked from behind.” Rajani wondered if maybe she was in the wrong line of work, playing detective gave her quite the adrenaline rush. “And now Kane told Stephanie that his feud with John was finished.  So I have no idea what's going on.  You're his best friend, do you honestly think he's capable of attacking...a woman?”

 

“Someone told you that Kane attacked Beth?” He echoed, letting skepticism seep through his tone.  Leaning his head back against the leather couch comfortably, Taker sprawled out on it in a sort of upright, semi-slumped position. “Are you sure they saw what they thought they saw, darlin'?  Because I have a hard time believing something like that.  Yeah, the man's off his rocker these days, but...to attack a woman for no reason...” He trailed off, green eyes narrowing thoughtfully. “Of course he's capable of attackin' a woman, so am I.  Doesn't mean he did it though.”

 

“I don't know then.  I'm just reiterating what I was told.”

 

Maybe Eve was hallucinating and thought she saw Kane do it.  Lord knows the woman had been having issues with him lately due to the on and off-screen feud with John.  She looked really scared and paranoid at the Laundromat, so there was a chance she wasn't in her right frame of mind.  Rajani actually moved to sit down on the couch beside him, finding it more comfortable than the chair.  She normally sat on the couch to do her work so it was kind of her spot so to speak.

 

“Maybe you're right.  I ran into Cena outside during my break and he said he didn't attack you.  Just thought I'd let you know.”

 

“Hmm.” He murmured, not saying on the Cena score, still busy working on his own theories on that account. “So, you've told me what everyone else has said but you haven't said what you think.” Taker pointed out after a quiet moment, turning his head slightly in order to look at her, taking in the obvious change to her hair.  He hadn't noticed it earlier because he had been a bit blinded from pain. “What are your thoughts on all these things?  Do you believe Cena?”

 

“Honestly?  Because of who told me it was Kane that attacked Beth, I do believe he did it.  I'm just not sure why he would though.  As far as Cena goes...” Rajani looked down at her lap, clasping her hands together. “I believe he wouldn't attack you.  I asked him straight out if he did and he said no.  All you can really do is take a person's word and hope they're not lying, right?” When Taker asked who the person was that told her it was Kane that attacked Beth, Rajani decided to trust him. “It was Eve.  She was there and witnessed the whole thing apparently, but she was in too much of a shock to say anything until later on that night.  I believe her, there's no reason for her to lie about it and Beth is our friend.”

 

“Hmm...” Taker stroked his chin, tilting his head back again. “Eve's been under a lot of stress lately with this angle.” And the fact that it had gone from angle to actual day to day life. “Stephanie should probably send her home for a few days to get herself back together.  She's going to make a mistake out in the ring or on camera eventually if things keep going the way they have.  Not to mention she's probably going to worry herself into an early grave.” That part, he did mean literally.

 

“I agree, I did laundry with her during my few days off and she didn't look good at all.” Rajani couldn't deny it even if she wanted to.  Poor Eve looked like death warmed over, or possibly worse, and no amount of makeup would cover that up. “Hopefully Kane meant what he said regarding this feud with Cena being over with so Eve can move on to something else.” She knew that would definitely ease some of Eve's fears.  Rajani frowned and looked at the clock, wondering what was taking Stephanie so long and glanced over at Taker. “What kind of person would fill a hotel room up with colorful roses?” She asked out of left field, looking thoughtful and staring straight ahead now, sighing heavily. “Do you think it's something to worry about?”

 

“Someone who wanted to send a romantic gesture I would assume.” Taker said, taking that left field comment in stride without missing a beat. “And no, I doubt it's something to worry about.  Sounds like you have a secret admirer.  Was there a note?” When she shook her head, he arched a black eyebrow. “Well, did you call down to the front desk and ask them?  They obviously had to let someone in the room, so...logically, they would know who had done it and be obligated to tell you.”

 

“Of course I did and all they told me was that a note had been left with instructions that all roses were to be delivered to my room and placed everywhere.  Even the manager didn't know.  It's so frustrating not knowing who did it.” Rajani grumbled that last sentence, unable to stop herself and rubbed her forehead with her fingers. “I think it's pretty cowardly.  You know, I made the mistake of just blurting out to Cena if he did it and he looked at me like I'd grown a second head.  So he definitely didn't do it.  It's almost as if this person doesn't want me ever finding out and it's not fair.”

 

“Well how do you figure it's not fair?” Taker asked, sounding more than just a hint amused, openly flashing a broad grin when she just shot him a look. “It wouldn't be a secret admirer or whatever he or she is if they had left a note or a message or something.  Sounds like you're just going to have to wait it out and see.  Why do you think it would be Cena?  That idiot’s idea of romance usually involves a ‘You wanna catch some dinner or just go to the dessert?’.” He snorted derisively.

 

Rajani heard that and bellowed out in laughter, not believing Taker just mocked John like that.  She could barely breathe she was laughing so hard, wrapping her arms around her stomach and doubled over.  That just made it worse, tears beginning to run down her face.  It took her a good 10 minutes before Rajani finally calmed down enough to sit up straight again, wiping the tears away from her cheeks, though she still giggled.

 

“You definitely don't talk...street...very well.” That was the only word Rajani could think of to describe how John talked, even though the man was from West Newbury, Massachusetts. “And I thought it was him because he's been pursuing me ever since I started working for this company and I've turned him down every single time.  He just doesn't get it...so of course he would be the only suspect.”

 

The very idea of him, Mark Undertaker Calaway, having anything to do with 'street', let alone being able to talk it well, was enough to make him laugh, though not as hard or as long as she had.  The woman had had a fit for 10 minutes.  She definitely wasn't right in the head either.

 

“Yeah...even with him chasin' your tail, I don't think he'd be smart enough to figure out how to seduce a woman properly.  You've probably got more fans back here then you know.” Taker closed his eyes, the pain medicine Larry had given him finally wearing off. “Where the hell is Stephanie?”

 

“I don't know, I'm starting to get worried.” Rajani stood up from the couch, knowing Taker was right as far as the roses went. “Well whoever it was, I wish I could properly thank them because they were spectacular.”

 

She had a picture of them on her phone.  Having snapped several, including the bathroom, Rajani wanted to make sure she hadn't dreamt it up.  She'd remember taking them on her walk back to Stephanie's office.

 

“I'm gonna go look around and see if I can find her.  You stay put, you look like you're in pain again.” Before Taker could say anything, Rajani was out the door and went on the hunt to find Stephanie, hoping she was alright.

 

Shaking his head, Taker clucked his tongue, closing his eyes once again.

 

~!~

 

“Who else would knock him upside the head with a pipe John?”


“Anyone but me.” John had been standing in his dressing room arguing with her about this all this time.  What wasn't going in his favor was the fact that the pipe had apparently been found in his damn duffel bag.


“You're on probation John.” Stephanie sighed, wanting to believe him, but...the evidence, as well as his own attitude lately, were against him. “I'm not going to suspend you, but until I can get to the bottom of these attacks...”

 

When Rajani couldn't find Stephanie anywhere, she resorted to asking around, which lead her to John's locker room.  Fate was really out to bite her in the ass, Rajani simply knew it.  Staring at the door, she brought her hand up and knocked, hearing Stephanie and John both call 'come in' at the same time.

 

“Hey Steph, Taker was asking for you.  I think he's ready to leave to go back to the hotel.”


“Alright.” She stared at John, seeing how angry he was, but being the boss definitely wasn't easy. “If I find out that you didn't do this, I will lift the probation, John.  Just...watch yourself and be on your best behavior.” She walked out past Rajani, heading back to her office.

 

Rajani barely shut the door to follow Stephanie before something crashed against it, causing her to jump back slightly.  John was livid.  Rajani made a mental note to stay out of his way for the next few days, hoping she could achieve that and headed back to the office.

 

“He says he didn't do it, which was what I was expecting.” Stephanie said as they walked down the hallway, sighing wearily. “Even if he did do it, he wouldn't confess, no one would.” It was the Undertaker.  When he was recovered and knew who did it, Taker was going to make that person really wish they hadn't been born. “But the thing is, that pipe with the blood on it was found in his duffel bag.  Of course, there is always the chance that someone planted it there, but...other than Glen who would do it?  And I don't think it was Glen, Mark vouches for him for one.  Two: he said he was done with the feud and, three: nobody recalls seeing Glen in that part of the building when the attack happened.”

 

“Something definitely isn't right about this, Stephanie.  It's almost as if someone else is behind closed doors wanting to frame Cena and make him fight Kane at every turn.” Rajani couldn't stop going back to those roses, wondering if they really were from a secret admirer or maybe they were for a completely different reason.


“That's a good point too.  I have no idea, but all I know is we only have one suspect and it's John unfortunately.”


“Are you going to tell Taker about the pipe being planted in Cena's bag?” Rajani almost felt sorry for John and cringed when Stephanie nodded. “Do you mind if I head back to the hotel and leave you to handle that?”


“Not at all, try to get some more rest, Raja.” She smiled tentatively before walking inside the office, closing the door behind her.


“Night.” Rajani whispered, heading off toward the exit with a million thoughts swirling around in her head.

 

Chapter 13

 

“Leaving us so soon?” Kane asked when he seen her heading for the exit, leaning in Taker's locker room doorway, using his friend's room for the moment. “Did they find out who knocked Taker out or is Cena still suspect number one?” He might've called off their little feud, but...that didn't stop him from finding this all amusing and showing it with a mocking smile, his eyes raking over her from behind his mask.  When Rajani stepped away, he stepped forward. “Do I scare you, Rajani?” He asked, tilting his head to the side, the question sounding almost innocent.

 

“Of course not and, as far as I know, yes he is.” What she really wanted to say was she knew he was the one that attacked Beth, but that wouldn't be very smart. “Taker is in Stephanie's office, as I'm sure you know, so whatever questions you have can be directed to him.  Have a good evening, Kane.” Before she could walk away, Kane moved to stand in front of her, causing Rajani to frown slightly. “What do you want?” Rajani asked immediately, knowing showing fear would only fuel him.

 

Suddenly, she wished her big brother was on the road with the company because this wouldn't happen if he was.

 

“To talk.  You never really talk to me, why is that?” He wondered, his tone still sounding casual, innocent.  Though his mismatched eyes, thanks to the one contact he wore to change one of them, were darkly amused. “You talk to everyone else, even Cena.” Though that probably didn't count since, from his understanding, she did nothing except cut Cena's genitals off verbally, like...earlier tonight.  Kane wondered if security cameras had picked that up and if he could get a copy.

 

“But never me.  You don't like me, do you?”

 

“I wasn't aware you wanted to talk to anyone besides the Undertaker.” Rajani stated truthfully, feeling her heart accelerating slightly, hoping she made it out of the arena with her head still attached to her shoulders. “Cena and I have issues that are between us and will be settled in due time.” She left it at that, refusing to go into detail because of recent history between him and John. “And I'm not sure how to answer that question.  I don't really know you, Kane...” Her dark eyes narrowed slightly, maintaining her composure for the most part against this...monster of a man. “What is this really about?  I don't peg you as the 'talking' type.”

 

“I didn't ask about your issues with Cena.” Kane pointed out, wondering why she was volunteering that information to him of all people.

 

He HATED Cena.  Everyone knew that and, considering she worked with management, she should have known that better than most.  He filed that away, wondering if she had Mr. Cena on the mind right now.

 

“And you're wrong about the 'talking' type.  Just because you see the persona doesn't mean the man,” He removed the mask, revealing his face with long dark curly hair. “Doesn't like to talk every now and then.”

 

“The only problem with what you just said is that you and your persona are one in the same.  You can't fool me, Kane - Glen, whoever you are right now.  I have enough problems in my life right now than dealing with your bipolar ways.” Once again, Rajani was letting her mouth write checks her ass couldn't cash, but couldn't help it. “So why don't you come clean about hurting my friend, since you want to talk so badly?” Rajani suggested coolly, raising an eyebrow. “There, I think our conversation is over.  Now please move out of my way.”

 

“Now that was just plain out rude, Rajani.” Kane rumbled, shaking a finger at her. “Even you are not dumb enough to think that anyone's persona is one and the same, as you so eloquently put it.  And, as for hurting your friend, be a bit more specific because I have hurt a lot of people over the years.”

 

His eyes were narrowing dangerously.  When she went to move around him, he dodged forward, using his forearm to pin her back against the wall and didn't bat an eye when an automatic knee came up to his groin.  Kane wore a cup; he was not a total idiot.

 

“The next time I make the effort to be nice to you, Raja, I suggest you play nice back.” He informed her, bending down so his mouth was right next to her ear, his breath hot against her skin. “Understand?”

 

“Let go of me, Kane.” She hissed out, struggling against his forearm and closed her eyes to keep the tears in, breathing extremely hard. “I refuse to play nice with anyone who hurts people I care about.” Rajani coughed when his forearm applied more pressure, knowing she had probably crossed several lines with Kane.  Rajani wasn't backing down though, a fighter at heart and always had been. “If you know what's good for you, you will let go of me.” She merely whispered, having gripped his forearm with her hands to try to alleviate some pressure, but it wasn't working.

 

“Why?” Kane asked conversationally, acting like he wasn't slowly but surely choking the life out of her. Though...he did let up, letting her breathe properly.  His face was right in front of hers a second later, his nose brushing against hers. “As far as I know, I haven't hurt anyone you care about, I would check your facts before throwing them at people who are obviously not operating at full mental capacity.  You'll live longer.” His lips were almost brushing against hers, almost.  Suddenly, Kane pushed away from her, laughing and mockingly stepped away while bowing towards the door. “Your escape, my lady.”

 

“You hurt Beth and you can deny it all you want, but I know the truth.” Rajani flat out refused to answer his question, though she trembled slightly, her hand instantly going to her throat. “Stay away from me, Kane.” She ordered before fleeing away from him as fast as her heels could carry her, not stopping until she made it to her car and all the doors were locked. “Oh god...”

 

Her vision was blurred by tears that she refused to let fall as Rajani searched through her purse shakily, pulling the keys out.  Cursing when she dropped them on the floor board, Rajani reached down to retrieve them.  She screamed out when a tap sounded at her window, her head snapping up, the keys once again in her hand.  Because the Universe hated them both, it was John, who had seen her running through the parking lot like a bat out of hell.  With his new probation status had also come the order that he wasn’t working tonight, mainly because it was the night of the attack.  He was suspect number one and people didn't want to work with him now apparently.  His reputation was in shambles and, when he found out who was behind it all, there was going to really be hell to pay.  His suspect number one was Kane.  He didn't care WHO vouched for him.  John held up her cell phone, which must have slipped from wherever she had it while she was running.  He frowned when he seen the tears streaming down her face, his eyes then landing on her throat, which was all red and looked like it might possibly be bruising.

 

“Rajani?  What happened?”

 

Rajani had never been happier to see John's face than at that moment, tears rushing down her cheeks in two rapid streams.  Her eyes landed on her cell phone he held and immediately Rajani unlocked the door, opening it.  She didn't step out because Rajani was sure her legs weren't working at the moment, the tears not stopping.  When John bent down to be eye level with her, Rajani just cried harder, burying her face in her hands and managed to take the cell phone from him when he extended it to her, tossing it in the passenger seat.

 

“I-I have to get out of h-here...” She shakily whispered, reaching for her seatbelt while still holding the keys, which were rattling from her quaking. “Damn it, not now!!” She cursed when her cell phone began vibrating, knowing it was her big brother and reached over to press the ignore button.

 

It was more than obvious that she wasn't able to even work her car, much less try to drive it in this condition, and John reached out gently plucking the keys from her trembling hand. “Raja, you can't drive like this.” He said gently, wondering what had happened to scare her so badly. “What happened? Who did this to you?”

 

He used his free hand to gently trace what was definitely becoming a bruise.  Rajani shook her head, knowing she couldn't tell anyone about her run-in with Kane.  It would just create more problems and issues, especially with John.  Her hand reached up to grab at her throat, trying to cover up the bruising and hoped there was a way to cover them up before Stephanie noticed them.

 

“I-I'm fine...I just need to g-get out of here...” She tried to speak normally, but Rajani was still too shook up. “I-I need my keys...I need my keys...”

 

John wasn't handing over the keys though; she was still just too shaken up.  Though, he fully expected that when she recovered, she was going to kick him in the nuts or bash him in the nose again for withholding the keys. “Raja, you can't drive like this.” He repeated patiently. “And you need to report this, you can't let whoever did this get away with it or it could happen again.”

 

John watched as her eyes widened at that, his own darting back down to the bruising.  It was like a car accident; he just couldn't keep from staring, even though the sight of it disgusted him, filled him with an anger he was admirably containing.  When her cell phone began vibrating again, Rajani reached over and shut it completely off before tossing it in her purse, the tears never stopping.

 

“No, I-I'm not reporting anything!” Rajani practically cried out, wincing since her throat was still very tender from Kane's forearm.

 

If she told John who attacked her, there would be no stopping him from breaking his probation.  Once again, Rajani was protecting him the only way she knew how, even after all the nasty things he called her.  Her eyes slowly moved to where his hand held her keys and all Rajani did was reach hers out, staring into his blue concern-filled blue eyes while slowly calming down.

 

“I'm fine now, really.  I can drive and I need to get back to the hotel, John.  Please.” That last word was a mere whisper, her other hand never moving from her neck.

 

John hesitated, wondering just why the hell she wouldn't report this.  He knew the woman had brass balls.  Look at how she talked to him in front of people!  Not to mention the other night and everything that had happened -the kiss, the jacking of his nose-, so he knew she wasn't a chicken shit, but whoever had done this had her scared beyond...well, John didn't know because he had never seen her this way.

 

“How about I drive you instead?” He offered softly.

 

“No, I don't need to be driven.  I can do it myself.  I had a momentary freak-out, but I'm fine now.” Rajani plucked the keys away from him while he was still fixated on her neck, slowly pulling her hand away and slipped them in the ignition, firing the car up. “Forget everything you saw tonight.  This never happened because, if you breathe a word to anyone, I will deny it.  And given what's happened tonight, nobody will believe you.  Now please move so I can get the hell out of here.” Glancing in her rearview mirror to make sure Kane wasn't coming to finish the job, Rajani did a full body shiver of dread. “I have to go, John.” If he would only move, Rajani could shut the driver's door and peel out of there.

 

“And there's the bitch I know and love so well.” John muttered, suddenly thinking of two morals: The road to hell was paved with good Samaritans -no idea why he thought of THAT one- and no good deed goes unpunished.

 

Talk about a low blow, John was genuinely concerned for her and she had pulled an underhanded card on him.  Apparently she was scared enough of someone to mess up his already tarnished reputation even more.  Sighing, he stepped away from the car and went to retrieve his bag, half expecting her to run him over just to make sure he kept his mouth shut or something.  Rajani put the car in reverse and pulled out of the parking spot, making sure she didn't hit John, before hammering on the gas speeding out of there.  The entire ride back to the hotel, all Rajani could think about was her encounter with Kane, once again touching her bruised throat.  What was she supposed to do?  Was she on Kane's radar now?  The mere thought made the trembling start up again.  Then something occurred to her and Rajani nearly hit the brake, her dark eyes widening.  Had John really said the L word regarding her?!

 

“Oh my god...”

 

Poor Rajani wasn't aware that she had been on Kane's radar for a while now and things were only going to get more...entertaining.

 

John had decided now would be a great time to vacate the parking lot and head to the hotel, where he had every intention of enjoying some malt liquor, before he got blamed for something else he hadn't done.  Not to mention, he needed to do some serious thinking about what had just happened and who might've done that to Rajani.  Kane automatically came to mind, but then again, John knew he had a serious problem in that he assigned Kane as the guilty party whenever any bad things went down.  Though...with good reason.

 

Rajani was about to find her room covered in flowers again and perhaps a surprise or two.

 

“I'm fine, I promise.  My cell phone died, what was I supposed to do, bro?”


“How about keep it charged?”

 

Rajani rolled her eyes, wondering what possessed her to call her big brother back and chalked it up to needing to hear his voice after what she endured. “Well I'm so sorry I'm not perfect like you.” She snorted, heading inside the hotel and pulled her hotel keycard out, just wanting to get to her room. “I'm at the hotel now and I just want to crawl in bed.  It's been a stressful night.”

 

“Everything alright?” He became concerned for his little sister, frowning. “Raja, if something's happened, you know you can tell me...”


“Nothing's happened, I'm just tired.  I love you and I'll see you in a few weeks.”

 

They ended the call just as Rajani stepped into her hotel room, the door closing behind her.  As soon as she flipped the light on, the phone slipped from her grasp as dark eyes could only stare straight ahead, trying to keep from hyperventilating.  What in the hell was going on?  If Rajani had thought the scent of roses had been almost overwhelming, then that was nothing compared to what she had just walked into.  Lilacs came in shades of purple and sometimes a purple so pale it was white, but those shades were what greeted her, along with the scent.  Lilacs had a beautiful soft scent, but in this volume...it was overpowering.  As before, they were everywhere.  Only this time they had also been spread on the floor, creating a lilac carpet for her to walk on.  The last time this had happened, it had only been roses in her room.  Now, sitting in the center of her lilac coated bed was a cream colored envelope.  Inside of it was a cream colored, unlined, single sheet of paper with the word SOON printed on it in bold lettering.

 

This was starting to get scary.

 

Rajani no longer found this romantic, not after what happened with Kane.  There was also no way she was staying in this hotel room tonight, the smell of lilacs doing absolutely nothing to calm her down.  If anything, she was on high alert more than ever, deciding she would be getting a can of mace and a few other weapons to carry with her daily.  Rajani packed all of her things and managed to find her phone that was dropped in the carpet of lilacs petals.  Before she left though, Rajani paid a visit to the hotel manager, who told her the same thing as the other had with the roses.  They had no idea who was doing this.

 

There were advantages to doing everything from a computer screen or a telephone.  The wonders of modern technology had the ability to turn a person from a telephone into either a man or a woman, voice changing technology at its finest.  All management knew was that someone must have paid one of the staff members to do this and promised to look into the situation.  But it would lead them nowhere because the staff members who did these things for the mysterious person had never actually met that person.  They were just promised a great payday and did as they were told, all without knowing who was actually doing the telling.

 

With no answers to who was doing this, Rajani headed to another hotel in the city, trying to keep from shaking.  Her throat was killing her and Rajani knew she would have to ice it to bring the swelling down when she finally got settled in.  It took her about an hour, but Rajani finally found a small motel that looked deserted for the most part.  She checked in with her own credit card and made sure to lock up everything with her rental.  Grabbing her bags and purse, Rajani headed up to her room, kicking the door shut behind her.  She locked the door and made sure the windows were secure as well, keeping the shades drawn before finally kicking her heels off, tears spilling down her cheeks.

 

“If this keeps up, I'm definitely not staying after WrestleMania.” She whispered, collapsing on the bed after getting some ice for her throat and fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

 

Chapter 14

 

Stephanie had gone into full-blown 'mother' mode when she had tried calling Rajani and it had gone directly to voice mail.  Then, 'mother' mode had been pushed into 'seriously panic' when she went to Rajani's hotel room the next morning to take her friend out for breakfast, knowing how stressful things were on her intern right now.  Panic mode had been initiated when she was informed that Rajani had checked out the night before and that the hotel staff had no idea where she had gone.  So...she spent the better part of her morning blowing Rajani's cell phone up and leaving at least a solid dozen voicemails.

 

“You call me as soon as you get this!  Why did you check into a different hotel?  Why aren't you answering the phone?  Raja, are you alright?  Call me!”

 

Rajani woke up around noon, but didn't check her voicemail until after a shower.  Her throat was heavily bruised, a mix of purple and black.  She wasn't sure if she could cover it up with makeup, opting to wear a turtleneck shirt for the next few days.  When she heard Stephanie's panicked voice, Rajani sighed as she dialed Stephanie's number, waiting for the woman to answer.

 

“I'm fine...”


“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?  DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRIED I'VE BEEN?  WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM?”

 

Rajani cleared her throat, her attire a sleeveless black turtleneck shirt along with a cream skirt that went to her knees, black pumps on her feet.  Her hair was pulled back by two black clips with cream roses on each.  Luckily, the only bruised area of her body was the neck and that was easily covered up, but Rajani hadn't realized she'd sound somewhat hoarse.

 

“I'm fine, Stephanie, calm down.  Everything is fine.  I met up with a friend that lives around here last night and fell asleep at their place.” Rajani lied smoothly, hoping Stephanie believed her and looked in the mirror one final time. “I'm on my way to the arena right now and, fair warning, I think I'm coming down with a small cold.  That's why I sound a little hoarse, my throat hurts a bit.”

 

Stephanie was quiet for a long moment, considering all that and when she replied, she sounded just a little bit suspicious. “I'm going to send Mark for you.  He's not supposed to be driving today because of his concussion, but he's been ignoring it.  He might let you drive instead and has a truck.  Or at least, you can keep an eye on him.” That was partially true. “I'm going to call him right now, give him your number and have him call you.  Don't ignore his call.” Stephanie ordered, hanging up.

 

5 minutes later, her cell rang again.

 

Knowing who that was, Rajani contemplated not answering it and ignoring Stephanie's order, but knew that wouldn't bode well with her boss/friend. “Hello Taker.” She greeted in a soft voice, fixing the collar of her shirt a little, nodding when he asked where she was.

 

Rajani gave him the directions and ended the call, noting how gruff Taker sounded.  Why would Stephanie send him of all people to retrieve her?  Shaking her head, Rajani waited outside in her rental car, having already checked out of the room.  Suddenly, her thoughts reverted back to last night with John and what he said, a frown marring her face.  Was she reading too much into that or did John actually mean it?  When a huge Chevy Silverado black truck pulled up, Rajani stepped out of her rental car with bags and purse in hand.  Busy looking down at a text message she received from her brother, Rajani didn’t realize who else was in the truck.

 

Taker found it just a little bit amusing that Stephanie had told him that Rajani had told her she was staying with a friend, but Rajani had given him the address of a different hotel then what most of the superstars and WWE folks were staying at.  Apparently, Rajani had lied and he was sure she had her reasons, not that Taker would say anything to either woman.  He just found it amusing was all.  He opened the door and peered down at her through black shades.

 

“Climb on up, you're drivin', my head is killing me.” Taker scooted across the seat, watching as she set her bag in first before climbing into the cab. Once she had settled herself in the seat, he took her bag and deposited in the seat behind them, extended cab, ignoring the soft growl. “Shut the fuck up and go back to sleep.”


“What the hell is this?”


“What's it look like?”


“You're such a damn comedian...” Kane's voice was low, husky from sleep and a soft drawl had seeped into it.

 

He was doing a rather comfortable if not physically awkward hunch in that back seat, trying to sleep.  Rajani's eyes shot open when she heard Kane in the backseat, freezing behind the wheel.  Every part of her body filled with fear.  Rajani could only stare straight ahead, slowly moving her hand to the collar of her turtleneck again.  Buckling up, Rajani put her cell phone in her purse and nodded when Taker asked if she was alright, even managing a smile.

 

‘You can do this.  You can't let anyone find out what happened.  Now get it together before Taker starts noticing!’ She mentally coached herself and took a deep breath, knowing Kane wouldn't do anything to her while Taker was in the truck...she hoped anyway. “Never better.”

 

She put the truck in reverse and pulled out on the road, trying not to think about anything except getting to the next destination.  The next destination was going to take a while because they were in the mid-afternoon rush hour and traffic sucked.  Taker settled back as comfortable as possible in his seat, draping one arm along the back of the seat, his fingers right behind Rajani’s neck.  Kane had given up trying to sleep and sat upright; stretching his arms the best he could and then smoothed down the unruly curls his hair was naturally cursed with.  Growing it out had seemed like such a good idea at the time.

 

“Best call Steph and let her know we're going to get caught in a jam.” Kane suggested in a rumble, stifling a yawn.


“Sure, get right on it.”

 

The universe was against her, Rajani simply knew it as she finally came to a dead halt on the highway.  What had she done to be caught in a situation like this?  Rajani didn't dare look in her rearview mirror because Kane would be staring right back at her.  Her throat was really stiff so, while they were at a standstill, Rajani reached into her purse for some ibuprofen, popping three of them.  It would get rid of the swelling and that in turn would deteriorate the pain.  The silence in the truck was deafening; Rajani needed a distraction and reached over to turn the radio on, keeping it very soft because she knew Taker's head was killing him.  She decided on a mix station, thankful that the traffic was slowly starting to move again.

 

Taker and Kane both recoiled when the alternative rock song went to something that was by Celine Dion. “What the hell?”

 

Kane leaned forward over the seat, his shoulder brushing against Rajani's as he changed the station. “Classic country?”


“Anything but the other...”


“You cold, Raja?” Kane drawled as he slowly moved back. “You got goose bumps on your arms.”

 

Taker arched an eyebrow. “Steph said you were comin' down with something...so...why are you wearing a sleeveless turtleneck, kinda defeats the purpose don't it?”

 

“No, I'm fine.  I told her I thought I was coming down with something because my throat was a little scratchy this morning.” Rajani really hated lying, but thankfully Rajani did it well enough when she needed to. “I have a cardigan I can slip on if I need to.”

 

The way Kane brushed against her made Rajani's skin crawl and she felt sick to her stomach, hoping she could make it through this without losing her nerve.  When Jason Aldean came on the radio, she decided to focus on that.  Beginning to mouth the words, Rajani tapped her fingers against the steering wheel lightly.  Obviously Kane knew the reason behind the turtleneck and the scratchy throat; he had been the one to give her those conditions.  Smiling a little, he adjusted himself on the seat.  The only way he could really sit without attempting to break his long legs was with his back pressed against the cab wall and his legs stretched out on the rest of the seat.  Kane sat behind Rajani, draping his arm on the front seat, forcing Taker to move his own hand.  At this point, Taker didn't care; his eyes closed and let his hand drop to the seat between him and Rajani.

 

“Wake me when we get there.” He murmured softly, drifting off.

 

“Of course.”

 

If Kane touched her again, Rajani was going to pull the truck over and walk the rest of the way to the arena.  The hairs on the back of her neck stood up on end and it took all of Rajani's willpower not to freak out.  Why had she returned Stephanie's call?  Maybe she should report what happened with Kane because he was simply taking pleasure in her discomfort now.  If he thought for a second she was talking to him, Kane had more screws loose than she thought.  There was no way she was uttering a word to him, not wanting to end up dead in a ditch somewhere.  Kane was a bit surprised she hadn't reported him, so far, but that was always subject to change.  One simply never knew with women, they capricious beings.

 

“So...Rajani,” Kane drawled, not touching her, but he was watching her, monitoring her profile for facial changes, knowing she was probably listening to him and really hating him about now. “Why didn't you stay with the rest of the WWE?” That was a bit odd considering he knew for a fact she generally did stay at whatever hotel the majority of the WWE was.

 

He was not going to make this easy and just leave her alone. “Stayed with a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while and drove to the hotel to meet up with you guys.” Rajani answered in a low voice, not wanting to disturb Taker and kept her eyes straight ahead.

 

That explained why she was at the hotel, even though it was a complete lie.  She didn't know if Taker was fully asleep yet and didn't want to take the chance to say something to Kane that would get her in trouble.  She was lying through her teeth and he knew it.  Kane just knew when people were lying to him, probably because he relied on body language to provide him with information.  Glancing at his friend out of the corner of his eye, he leaned forward.

 

“Liar.” Kane whispered, his face brushing against her hair before sitting back again.

 

Taker's eyes FLEW open when the truck suddenly did a halt and lurch. “What the HELL?” He roared, glaring at Rajani before noting the stopped car in front of them. “Damn...” He growled, rubbing his head, which was now un-bandaged though the lovely stitches were there for all to see.

 

“Nice driving, jackass!” Rajani growled angrily, really wanting to just haul off and backhand Kane for doing that, gritting her teeth. “Sorry Taker, that jackass decided to swerve right in front of me thinking he had room.  Asshole.” She was directing that at Kane, but couldn't exactly look at him in order to say it.   When her cell phone went off, Rajani answered it, slipping her Bluetooth in. “What do you want bro?”


“Geez, someone is cranky.  Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”


“Something like that.  Look, I really can't talk right now.  I'm...driving with a few of the guys from the company and...”


“Who?” He demanded, eyes narrowing.


“That is for me to know and you to find out.  You don't need to know, stop being overprotective.” When he began ranting at her, Rajani rolled her eyes and ripped her Bluetooth out, ending the call.

 

Now it was both Taker and Kane who were interested opposed to just Kane, both men looking at her with unhidden curiosity. “Brother huh?” Taker drawled, a mischievous glint entering his green eyes. “You should call him back and let me talk to him, sounds like he's a bit...protective of you.” He did have a devious streak and laughed softly when her cheeks flushed a light shade of pink.

 

“Quit it, you're making the poor thing blush.”


“Mmmhmm... looks good on her, don't it?”

 

“I don't think that would be a very good idea.”

 

Actually, that would be catastrophic considering who Rajani was related to.  Rajani moved her seat up a little more since the chair didn't feel right, nodding when she was satisfied.  She was also trying not to turn into a cherry in front of Taker and...Kane.

 

“And he can be protective all he wants of me, but I can take care of myself.”

 

Rajani had put up a hell of a fight with Kane and popped John in the face.  She wouldn't hesitate to hurt anyone, Taker included, if it meant her wellbeing.  She was from Miami and had a brother, who was probably older than her.  That assumption was based on the way she had spoken to him.  Thoughtfully, Taker looked her over; storing that information with all the rest he was accumulating.

 

“Why wouldn't it be a good idea, darlin'?  Afraid he'd shoot off at the mouth?” Taker teased gently.


“You might.”


“Probably.”

 

Shaking his head, Kane bit back a smirk at how arrogant Taker sounded.

 

“Something like that.” Rajani flashed him a quick smile before returning her eyes back to the road.

 

They could pry all they wanted; Rajani wasn't telling them anything else regarding her brother.  What Taker didn't know...Rajani almost found it amusing because her brother would do MORE than just shoot off at the mouth if he found out who she was currently chauffeuring.  Her thoughts suddenly went back to the previous night with those lilacs and the note that had 'SOON' written on it in black lettering.  What the hell was going on?  Who was doing this to her and what was the point?  If someone liked her that badly, why not just come forward instead of being a coward?  When she finally did find out who it was, Rajani was going to beat the hell out of them and began to bob her head gently as another great song came on.

 

Chapter 15

 

Taker and Kane both lapsed into silence after that, Taker drifting back off while Kane played with his cell phone.  Kane figured playing with the cell phone was a bit safer at the moment then bothering her because he knew she hadn't hit the brakes earlier on account of another vehicle.  It was because of him.  While Kane liked torturing other people, that didn't mean he was in any hurry to die at the hands of a pissed off woman behind the wheel of a truck.  Smirking slightly, Kane scrolled to the Angry Birds application, clicking it.  When Kane left her alone, Rajani became suspicious, wondering what he planned on doing next.  Needing coffee and a bathroom break, Rajani glanced over at Taker, knowing he wouldn't be happy to be woken up.

 

“Taker?” She called out, blinking when Kane popped him in the shoulder and cringed when Taker growled. “Uhh do either of you need to go to the bathroom or want refreshments?” When they both nodded, Taker glaring at Kane, Rajani took the oasis exit, parking the truck a few minutes later. “We're going to need gas too.” She pointed out, not realizing they were nearly on empty before slipping out and stretched her arms in the air.

 

“You're shorter, you can have the back seat.” Kane informed his friend, throwing his fists up the moment he got out of the truck and Taker took a swing at him. “Prick!”


“Payback's a bitch, son.” Taker chuckled, his own fists up, weaving around Kane before sending another jab his way, connecting with Kane's shoulder.  He didn't lighten the blow.

 

Snorting, Kane rubbed the spot, peeling off his t-shirt to examine the spot, nodding at the bruise that was already forming. “Good hit.”


“I know.  I need coffee...” Taker yawned, glancing at Rajani who was looking at them like they were crazy. “What?”

 

“Nothing, I'll be back…”

 

Rajani hurried away from them, after reaching into the cab to grab her bag, wanting to change her shoes and check her neck.  She had some cream that was supposed to help make the bruising go away faster.  Once Rajani was in the bathroom, she locked the door and pulled down the collar of her turtleneck, carefully running her fingertips over it, sighing.

 

“Please get me to the arena and far away from him.” She softly prayed, knowing she was completely alone and ran the cream around the bruised area.

 

She followed that up with pulling a pair of black flats out of her bag, slipping them on and put her pumps back in the bag.  Relieving herself after that, Rajani washed her hands and took one last look at her throat before heading out.  Making sure it was covered completely, Rajani went to get herself a cup of coffee and something quick to eat.  Both men had used the restroom and gotten cups of coffee, though now Kane was debating on if he was hungry, whereas Taker was debating on punching him again for dicking around.

 

Probably doing it on purpose because he was just annoying that way.

“There you are, wondered if you mighta ran off without us.” Taker commented when he seen Rajani coming.


“Which would suck to be you, Deadman.” Kane snickered, having watched as one fan already tried literally climbing Taker like some crazy monkey.


“Shut it.” Taker hadn't found that amusing and had almost tombstoned the rather hefty broad on sheer principal.  She had launched herself at his back with a squeal.

 

“I thought about it, but I know Stephanie wouldn't appreciate me ditching my job.”

 

Smiling sweetly, though it didn't reach her eyes, Rajani walked past them to toss her bag in the cab again while sipping her coffee.  Rajani didn't want to know what happened while she was taking care of business.  She read the text messages from her brother and rolled her eyes, deleting them.  He was angry at her for hanging up on him and not telling him who she was currently traveling with.

 

“You going to get somethin' to eat?”

 

“Nah, I'll wait for fast food or vending machine options...”


“We need an Outback...” Taker glanced down at Rajani, wondering just how pissed off Stephanie would be if he kidnapped her little intern for the rest of the night.  It wasn't a televised show, so...he smirked slightly. “You like steak, darlin'?” He asked innocently enough.

 

Kane had to turn away, his shoulders hunching as he snorted.

 

Rajani's dark eyes narrowed slightly, knowing what that reference meant and rolled her eyes as she pulled herself up into the driver's seat. “You already know the answer to that question, Taker.  We did share a meal together or did that shot to your head give you temporary amnesia?”

 

She didn't wait for him to answer and shut the door, buckling up.  What kind of question was that?  If Rajani didn't know any better, she knew they were purposefully screwing with her and it was getting old already.  Snorting, Taker climbed in the cab, getting into the backseat.

 

“I seem to recall you eating mostly seafood, darlin'.” Taker drawled, his green eyes still shining with humor, not being able to resist.

 

Shaking his head, Kane took the front seat, turning to look back. “You're a jackass.”

 

Taker simply nodded, leaning forward, resting his arms on the seat and placed his chin on his wrist, staring at Rajani. “Come on now darlin', it was a joke.  I promise to behave.”


“You're also a liar.”

 

Why was Kane in the front seat suddenly?  Rajani didn't want to sit next to him!  It was bad enough she had to deal with him messing with her earlier by brushing her hair and whispering in her ear!  Looking back at Taker, Rajani eyeballed him suspiciously and finally nodded.  They were halfway to their destination and Rajani already knew she was going to be very late, sighing.

 

“Alright, you're forgiven.”

 

Smirking, Rajani turned her eyes back to the road, pulling out of there and heading back on the highway.  They had switched because Kane was a bit taller than Taker.  He purposefully stretched his long, denim clad legs out in front of him, laughing when Taker simply growled and folded his hands behind his head.

 

“How's that concussion?”


“Why don't I give you one and we'll compare?”


“Hmm, tempting but no.  Some of us actually have to work.”

 

“If not for Jani bein' right there boy, I'd fuck you up.  You know that right?”

 

Kane glanced over at Rajani contemplatively. “Hmm, my personal protector, I like that.”

 

“Don't drag me into your bromance fighting, please.” Rajani requested, not looking at either of them and wished she could blast the radio so she didn't have to hear them, especially Kane.

 

Somehow, Rajani knew Kane hadn't told Taker about what happened and she wondered how long that would last.  Would he tell Taker or simply keep it to himself?  Rajani suddenly wished John was here with her and immediately blinked, wondering where that thought came from.  It was simple really.  He'd be better company than these two Neanderthals and Rajani wouldn't constantly have to swallow down fear because she wasn't afraid of John in any capacity.

 

“What the-”


“Fuck, did you just say?”

 

“Bromance.” Kane echoed, thoroughly disgusted.

 

He knew what that term meant and she was the very first person to EVER apply it to him and Taker.  Or, at least, the first person to ever say it to their faces.  Both of them, at the same time...this woman had a death wish.

 

“Stephanie should put you on TV, you got brass balls...” Taker growled, leaning back in his seat.

 

Not knowing what came over her, Rajani started busting out laughing, leaning back against her seat and ignored her aching throat for the time being.  It was so nice to finally shut them both up.  Rajani couldn't stop laughing for a good ten minutes, the expressions on their faces one she would never forget.

 

“Don't worry,” She rasped out, stopping since they were once again in rush hour traffic. “I won't...ruin...your images...Your faces...”

 

Rajani started laughing again and drinking more of her coffee, trying to get her mind on something else before they both decided to kill her.  Both men weren’t amused and it showed as they glowered at her.  Taker scooted down until he was sitting directly behind her, once again leaning forward and rested his head on her shoulder.

 

“Now Jani, you're going to make me change my mind about not doin' something evil to you.” Taker warned her in a whisper.

 

Watching as she stopped drinking the coffee, Taker thought she did it to keep from swallowing wrong, spilling it or spewing.  He tilted his face, just a little, his nose brushing against her cheek.  It was better than having Kane do it so Rajani didn't mind it as much, even though Taker still unnerved her a little.

 

“Just remember who is driving and who isn't, Taker.” Rajani remarked, looking at him out of the corner of her eye, wondering if he would try doing something to her like Kane had. “I had to say something because the two of you were going at it like...lovers.” She bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing again, her cheeks tingeing red. “It was annoying, you shouldn't annoy your driver.”

 

“Well darlin',” Taker said, green eyes flashing at that lover's remark, though he had other ways of getting her back, his breath hot against her cheek. “You could always switch spots with Kane and come back here with me, then you won't have to worry about distractions, would ya?” His drawl had gotten rather deep.

 

More importantly, the husky note to it was unmistakable.  Taker wasn't too concerned about the implied threat of an accident.  He was in the back seat; they'd go flying before he did.  Rajani pulled her face away from him, though his hot breath on her neck sending shivers down her spine.

 

“Nope, Stephanie told me I have to drive you to the arena.  Gotta follow orders.  And I'm going to say the same thing to you I've told Cena countless times: not interested.” Rajani wasn't sure it was fear either, what the hell was wrong with her? “Not to mention, I don't think your lover over here would appreciate you cheating on him.  That would just be plain mean, Taker.”

 

Taker growled softly and then buried his face in the crook of her neck.  The only thing protecting her was that damn turtleneck.  It was probably a good thing it was there or else Taker would have made her really regret that 'lover' crack.

 

“If you change your mind...he can drive...” Taker murmured, moving his lips up to her ear for a moment before moving away and leaning back against the cab wall, piercing green eyes regarding her intently.

 

All that got stored away for later, though Kane simply kept his face averted to the window, watching the scenery.  Rajani really had to fight back the pain from her throat when Taker did that, knowing Kane had noticed.  She was surprised no tears had stung her eyes because that had really hurt.  It was still incredibly tender, the ibuprofen not really doing anything besides getting rid of the swelling.  Rajani didn't respond to Taker and rubbed her ear against her shoulder, feeling disgusted after he licked it.  The rest of the drive was made in silence besides the radio and Rajani wanted to scream out when the arena came into view, pulling into the parking lot.

 

“Well this has been LOADS of fun, see you guys later.”

 

Darting inside with her bag and purse before they could think to stop her, Rajani choosing to wear flats definitely had perks.  John caught Rajani before she could plow into him, though he did stumble backwards into the wall, holding her away from him so she didn't jar or anything.  Taking in the turtleneck sleeveless top she wore, John knew exactly what was underneath it.  It must have bruised pretty badly for her to be wearing that.

 

“Nice to see you too.” He greeted flatly.  Frowning, John reached out and ignored her hand slapping at his before pulling the material away from her neck, just enough to see the bruising. “Damn.” He muttered, letting her fix the shirt. “Change your mind about telling Steph?”

 

“Who the hell do you think you are?  I swear, you men just don't lay off, do you?” Ripping away from him, Rajani stormed past him, the tears in her eyes slowly beginning to seep out and stopped to turn facing him. “No, I'm not telling her or anyone.  I swear to god Cena, you better keep your mouth shut about this.  I don't need your help.  Just back off and forget about what you saw.” She whispered in a hushed voice, quickly fixing the collar of her shirt. “Worry about your own problems and let me handle mine.  Go find Eve; she's the damsel in distress type, not me.” When Taker and Kane walked inside, Rajani made herself scarce, heading to Stephanie's office.

 

“Bothering her again Cena?” Kane demanded.


“Fuck off Jacobs.”


“Alright boys, let's play nicely.” Taker ordered, eyes narrowed.

 

John rolled his eyes when Taker stepped between them, holding his hands up. “Hey, no problems here, right Glenie?”

 

Kane's eyes narrowed, a low growl escaping his throat as John walked away without waiting for a reply. “You know I'm going to kill him, right?”


“Yes.” His own green eyes were narrowed from that crack.

 

Chapter 16

 

“Finally!” Stephanie breathed a huge sigh of relief when Rajani stepped inside her office, smiling. “I take it the drive wasn't pleasant?”


“You could say that.” Rajani wasn't going into details, grunting when Alex hugged her before handing over a cup of coffee. “Thanks Alex, I really need this.  Only can you spike it?”

 

Alex blinked. “With...what?”


“Anything with a high volume of alcohol.”

 

Alex turned to look at Stephanie worriedly. “Are you alright, Raja?”


“Never better, just had to deal with the company of Taker and Kane for the past 8 hours, then ran into Cena as soon as I walked through the door.  I need a drink.”

 

Stephanie's eyes narrowed. “Glen was with Mark during your drive?” Why hadn't Taker mentioned that to her?


“Yeah, it was a gas, lemme tell ya.  Remind me to never ride with them again.  I need a nice blow to the head to give me amnesia, so I can forget about it.”

 

“Wait, Kane AND Taker?  What'd they do?” Alex asked curiously, unable to help himself.

 

He knew they were both broody bastards and that it could get annoying.  However, how did brooding cause someone to want to drink or take a blow to the head?  Stephanie knew the two could be bastards when they wanted to be and just shook her head.

 

“Let me guess, they were obnoxious and overbearing?”

 

“They were acting like lovers.” Rajani said bluntly, blinking when Alex and Stephanie both spewed their coffee out at the same time.  Thankfully not all over her.  That would've just been icing on the messed up cake. “I finally shut them up by saying they needed to keep me out of their bromance fighting.” Luckily, Stephanie was still cleaning herself up while Alex did the same, otherwise they would've spewed again. “And then Taker tried intimidating me by inviting me into the backseat with him so Kane could drive.  Told him I wasn't interested.  Men around here just don't back off, besides Alex of course.” Rajani rubbed her throat a little, wincing slightly. “I'm surprised they didn't kill me for some of the shit I said to them, but hey it was better than hearing them bickering back and forth about who was going to fuck who up.”

 

“Do you mean intimidating or seducing?”


“It's Mark, she meant seducing.” Stephanie muttered, retrieving more Kleenex and daubing at her shirt. “So they were being typical Mark and Glen when not acting like their alter egos?”

 

Alex snorted at that and instantly regretted it, having already done a spit/snort of coffee only moments ago. “You really told them they had a bromance going on?” He then asked, rather easily able to picture their faces and could not keep the grin off of his face. “I would have KILLED to be a fly on the wall for that moment...”

 

“It was epic if I do say so myself and pretty much shut them both up.” Rajani wasn't sure what to think about what Stephanie said, sighing tiredly. “It was a very long day and I'm ready to do my work and get some sleep at the hotel.”

 

She still hadn't told Stephanie about the flowers, figuring the woman believe her story about staying with her friend.  Rajani was thankful for that and immediately got to work.  Alex and Stephanie continued asking her a few more questions about the drive with Taker and Kane.

 

“Promise me I never have to do that again.”


Stephanie nodded directly. “I thought it was just going to be Mark.  I'm sorry, Raja.”

 

Rajani just nodded and began going through paperwork, knowing she would have to ice her throat again when she was alone.

 

Alex studied Rajani thoughtfully. “Why don't you put her on TV?”


“I'm sorry, what?”


“Well, think about it, the woman has no fear and the shit she says...could you imagine her saying bromance and lovers fight about the Undertaker and Kane in front of a live audience?”

 

Rajani's head snapped up so hard, she actually cried out in pain, completely forgetting about her bruised throat. “Alex, I really like you, but I will cut your tongue out if you say that again.” She promised darkly, nodding when Stephanie asked if she was alright. “Pulled muscle.” Rajani lied, going back to her paperwork again.  Stephanie knew better than to even THINK about putting her on television for one very important reason: Her brother. “I think Stephanie prefers me back here instead of out there dressed as a bimbo.”

 

“Who said you had to dress like a bimbo?” Alex demanded, sounding offending. “Lillian doesn't, Stephanie doesn't...anymore.” He added under his breath, smirking when Stephanie sent a playful glare his way.


“Sometimes, as a woman...in a male dominated business, I have to use...my advantages.” Stephanie said smoothly, giggling outright when he just scoffed. “Just get to work and stop.  Rajani is too valuable to be sent out to the ring, she'd become famous out there and then I'd be up to my ears in paperwork.”

 

That's what Rajani loved about Stephanie, the woman knew when not to push an issue.  Taker had said the same thing about Stephanie putting her on television, but Rajani ignored it.  It took nearly three hours to catch up on the paperwork before they finally began tonight's work load.  Alex was even helping because there was so much to do and not enough time, especially with Rajani being over an hour late.  By the time Rajani left the arena, the show was long over with and she opted to stay behind since she came in late while Stephanie and Alex left.  Not only that, but Rajani was actually somewhat scared to go back to her hotel room, not wanting another attack of flowers and message.  Taker was waiting for her minus Kane, leaning against the truck, looking much more awake then he had earlier.

 

“I thought you might need a ride, darlin'.” Taker drawled when she slowed down at the sight of him. “Since you left your rental back at your hotel.” Because it had been her hotel, not a place Rajani had just met them at, not that Taker cared, but he wasn't feeding her lie either since it was just the two of them. “Unless you want to call a cab or maybe hoof it?” John Cena was still in the building he had also noted, spotting the other man's rental and had been mildly curious just what was keeping that idiot so late.

 

“Why so you can play some more games with me?” Rajani couldn't help looking around, waiting for Kane to jump out at her or something, absentmindedly grabbing her throat as she fingered the collar. “Or was that seducing me?  Because according to Stephanie, that's what you were doing when you invited me in the backseat earlier.” Rajani still looked around, her free hand wrapped around the can of mace she promised to grab before Taker and Kane picked her up. “I'm not in the mood for games tonight.  I've had enough games being played with me lately, Taker, and I really need a break.”

 

“Games?  Woman, I was teasin' you earlier and maybe givin' a piss poor attempt at seduction.” Taker snorted, noting the way she kept playing with the neck of her shirt, frowning slightly. “You were doing that earlier, something wrong with your neck?” She looked like she was losing her mind. “Rajani, I apologize if I really upset you and what the hell are you lookin' for?”

 

“Nothing, no my neck is fine.” Rajani lied, not caring if it sounded smooth or not, she just didn't care right now.

 

She was exhausted both mentally and physically.  Someone was screwing with her and Kane didn't help by attacking her the previous night either.  And then she had to endure that grueling eight hour drive with the man who attacked her and this man who she somehow...befriended...if that was even the word to use.

 

“No I'm sorry, I've been on edge and you didn't deserve that, Taker.” She really was losing her mind and slowly slipped the can into her purse, walking toward him. “You actually stayed behind until you knew if I needed a ride or not?”

 

“Yes.” Taker flashed a slight half-smirk. “Like I said, you didn't have a rental and I didn't know if you had called for one or somethin'.  In case you haven't noticed lately, the locker rooms haven't been the safest lately.” Rajani looked like a scared rabbit or something and he wondered where the woman with the brass balls from earlier had gone off to. “So, if you need that ride...”

 

Opening the door to the truck, this time Taker was driving and there would be no Kane.  Rajani physically relaxed when she noticed it was just the two of them, no Kane, really not wanting to be near that man after everything that happened.  She smiled and hopped up into the truck, being mindful that she wore a skirt as Taker shut the door.  Just to make sure this wasn't a trap, Rajani looked behind her in the back, sighing with relief and buckled up as Taker slid into the driver's side.

 

“Thank you, I didn't even think about the fact I wouldn’t have my own rental when I decided to stay late tonight.”

 

“I can tell.”

 

Taker chuckled, hardly believing Stephanie had actually left Rajani by herself at the arena, especially with everything that was going on.  That did not seem like the mother-hen he knew and occasionally adored.  As they pulled out of the parking garage, he glimpsed in the rearview mirror.  Spotting Cena coming out, another half-smi