Tear Me Down

~Sequel to Break Me Down~


Chapter 1

“Whoa, wait a minute… are you serious?”

Mark Calaway smiled, his green eyes crinkling at the corners and nodded down at his date; Raine Evans. Of course to people around the world they were more often known as the Undertaker –no explanation needed-  and Raine Michaels, the daughter of the famous HBK Shawn Michaels. “Yeah, I’m serious.”

“You’ve been married… three times.” Raine whistled, shaking her head then laughed at his sheepish expression. “You don’t have luck with women, do you?”

“Well now darlin’, the first one was straight outta high school and lasted maybe… three months.” Mark admitted, now feeling a bit foolish because she was outright laughing at him. “The second two were… mistakes.”

“How long did these uh, mistakes, last?”

“Total of five years, both of them included in that count.”

Raine nodded, trying to keep a serious expression on her face. “Well, so… yeh know what ya gotta do, don’t you?”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t get married again, dumbass.”

Growling, he bent down to press his nose against hers. “Are you taunting the Undertaker?” He demanded, trying to hide his own amusement when her green eyes sparkled in the street lights they were walking under.

“I am.” Raine nodded, stopping and jabbed a finger in his chest. “And if ‘Taker is smart, he’ll back off a’fore I whoop his ass, again.”

“That’s a low blow, darlin’.” He grumbled, but he did back off. To his eternal shame, Raine had WHOOPED his ass the night before at a house show. Thank God it hadn’t been televised, he would NEVER have lived it down.

As it was, the locker room was enjoying ribbing him about it and he didn’t see the jokes stopping anytime soon. Unless of course, he made an example of someone.

Namely Glenn, who was the main instigator.

“You never woulda done it if I hadn’t had my back to you.”

She nodded in agreement, knowing that was the truth but at the same time, a victory over the Undertaker… she’d take it however it happened.  “Well, all in all, this was a fun night.” She said, tactfully changing the subject, knowing how sore Mark was over that loss.

He was a proud man and she had definitely wounded his pride.

“Yeah, it was.” He agreed quietly; reaching out to take her hand. It had been eight months since she win over David as well as announcing she wasn’t retiring and within the past two they had started going out. Nothing major. Just a movie here and there when they could manage it, sometimes dinner. A lot of boxing matches as Raine was still interested in learning the sport. He had even once taken her to a horse race though she hadn’t really liked it.

The miracle was: he was actually taking things slow. He had too. She had too. They had both messed up in the past and he wasn’t going to rush her into anything. Then he’d be making the mistakes Shane had, as well as committing his own trespasses again.

This hand holding stuff was a recent development and to Mark it felt like a milestone, knowing Raine was comfortable around him enough to let people see small displays of public affection between them.

“Alright Calaway, yeh best be getting me home before I turn into a pumpkin.” She teased, breaking the silence as she glanced down at her wristwatch. “Glenn and I have a photo shoot tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah… I forgot about that.” Actually, he hadn’t because Glenn wasn’t letting him. Glenn had been teasing Mark incessantly about the fact that he was Raine’s tag team partner, and how they now held gold when all Mark held was his own dick.

Stephanie had had to scrap the man/woman tag team division because there wasn’t really any interest in it not to mention the Divas had basically told Stephanie if she thought they were going up against the likes of Kane or Triple H, she was out of her mind.

So Raine had moved from the semi-Diva category into straight wrestler. While she and Mark had sexual chemistry on screen, she and Glenn just had chemistry. They worked well together and even when they were heels, they were fan favorites.

Stephanie had left that formula alone.

Once back at the hotel, Mark walked Raine to her room, watching as she unlocked the door and stepped back; knowing damn well she wouldn’t invite him in. “Have fun with that shoot tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah,” She pulled a face. “Tons of fun, you know?”

Smirking, he reached out to finger a lock of her longer hair. Thankfully she had grown out that pixie cut so now the ends brushed her shoulders, and she had gone back to her natural brown. Which in his opinion, suited her much better than the black. “Just try not to have TOO much fun, darlin’.”

“Ya know, I think I’m gonna whoop you again, old man.” Raine said thoughtfully, her eyes way too innocent.

“Rai, what the hell are ya doin’ girl, close the damn door!”


“Yeah, he flew in tonight and forgot about makin’ arrangements so I’m letting him crash on the couch.” She rolled her eyes and closed the door partially, leaning towards him. “Personally, I think Pops is tryin’ to babysit me, you know how it goes.”

Oh yes indeed he did. Shawn was notoriously overprotective when it came to the daughter he had adopted when she was only ten years old, to the point of being obsessed. But on the other hand, Raine had made a lot of bad decisions the last year before finally seeming to grow up. Grudgingly, Mark had to also factor in her young years, knowing that young people DID make a lot of mistakes.

“Have fun with that.” He rolled his eyes towards the door meaningfully.

“I’ll try.”


They both sighed, smiles quirking both their mouths.

“Night, Mark.”

“Night, darlin’.”


“Given that I’ll be twenty-three within like, less than six months, don’tcha think you oughta lighten up, pops?” Raine asked the next morning over breakfast, yawning into her cup of coffee.

“I’m ALSO your trainer.”

“Because I still need one how?”

Shawn rolled his eyes and shook his head, tearing off a piece of his muffin and popped it in his mouth. “You’re never that good where you can’t use some advice.”

“Even you?”

“Even me.”

Raine smirked. “Then I suggest you lay off the butter before you get fat, pops.”

He looked down at his heavily buttered muffin, scowling. “Oh ha ha ha.”

“Besides, Mark and Glenn have been helping me.” She didn’t miss the way his face fell and suddenly knew this went beyond him being overprotective. Raine blinked as the realization struck her full force. Shawn was feeling left out of her life.

Squirming guiltily in her chair, she cleared her throat awkwardly; occupying herself by devouring her scrambled eggs.

Truth be told, since she and Glenn had started working their way through the tag team division she had sort of moved away from Shawn. When he went home for his days off, she didn’t go with him; instead she stayed and worked the circuit with Glenn. She had even lessened her in gym hours in favor of boxing with Mark.

“You know, dad…” She began, seeing him perk up at the use of ‘dad’, usually she called him ‘pops’ or just Shawn. “I was thinking about learning some new aerial attacks, what do you think?”

Shawn studied her thoughtfully, his eyes raking in her long; lithe form then nodded. “Probably be a good idea. Not like you’re bulking up, might as well.”

“Aww… did you want me to get all muscular and stuff?” She teased, raising an arm and flexed.

“You ARE muscular, but you’ve also kind of streamlined yourself too.”

“I know…”

“So you’d probably do pretty good with aerials.” He nodded again, then began smiling again. “And I know the perfect person to help us with that.”

“You’re not going to teach me?”

“Oh, I will, but I know someone who can REALLY show you some stuff.”

Raine was fairly curious at this point, forgetting all about her breakfast. “Who?”

“Oscar.” He said simply.

Now she was at a complete loss and it showed.

Rolling his eyes, Shawn sighed dramatically. “Rey freaking Mysterio.”

“Ooohhh… Rey Rey.”

“Rey Rey?”

“Yeah, Rey Rey.” Raine shrugged. “You’re gonna ask him to help out?”

“Why not? He’s a lucha libre.”

And that was that.


“Ah there’s my woman.”

Raine tossed her bag at Glenn, snorting. “You could only WISH, sugar.” She laughed when he rubbed his stomach. “Toughen up, ya big baby.”

“Be nice Rai, or I’ll have to show you how wicked the Big Red Machine is.” Glenn shot back playfully, dropping her bag next to his before rubbing his hands together. “Wait until you meet the guy who’s doing the shoot. He’s a freaking NUT.”

“That bad?”

“Oh… you have NO idea.” His brow furrowed, looking over his shoulder. “He has these ‘ideas’ and I keep having to tell him that you know, we’re like… the BAD guys and stuff. Just… you’ll see.”

That sounded way too ominous for Raine’s liking.


“Well, it could have been worse.” Glenn offered, smirking as Raine dressed behind the curtain. He groaned when the black leather pants she had been wearing came flying over the screen and hit him square in the face. “What was that for?”

“Shut up, Glenn, or I’m going to hurt you.” She threatened, next throwing a deep red halter top over. “I don’t even want to THINK about how that layout is going to look. Honestly, what was the guy thinking? So one more word outta yer mouth and I kill you, got me?”

Glenn caught the halter top, it had chains dangling across the chest and he wasn’t getting smacked with those. “Considering you’re like, naked, back there, do you really think you should be making threats at the moment?” He asked conversationally.

“I’m in my bra and panties.”

“Really?” He perked up.

Raine started laughing when his head poked around the screen. “Son, you best git to steppin’ right quick before I do hurt you!” She shook her head when he just flashed his broad grin, planting her hands on her hips. “So, since you’re oglin’ me, what do I get in return?”


“You heard me.”

“What do you mean, in return?”

Raine arched an eyebrow, gesturing at his own fully clothed body. “Get naked, jackass.” She watched curiously as he turned his back to her, seeing his hands going around his front and knew he was going to do it. Stifling sniggers, she quickly and silently pulled back on her normal clothes: jeans and a tank top.

She was beginning to think hanging out with him was getting to her because Glenn was always cracking jokes and playing pranks on people. Now she was starting to do it.

“Okay, I’m not taking off the boxers-“ Glenn turned to find her standing there, fully dressed with her cell phone out. “RAINE!”

Giggling, she snapped a picture. “Nice boxers Glenn, I didn’t know they still made them that style.”


Still giggling, she bolted.


“You’re in an exceptionally good mood tonight.” Stephanie commented when Raine fell into step with her. “Photo shoot go alright?”

“It went GREAT.” Raine was still having a giggling issue over that. Smirking, she pulled out her cell phone and navigated the menu to her camera album. A second later, she was passing the phone over to Stephanie.

Stephanie froze mid-step, staring down at the picture. “Glenn?”


“Are those… white… and, I didn’t know they made these kinds anymore.” She commented. “Hmm… ever seen Best Little Whorehouse In Texas?”

“With Dolly Parton?”

“Yeah, these boxers, remind me of the ones that guy was wearing.”

“Burt Reynolds.”


“What are we looking at ladies- WHAT THE HELL?”

Stephanie and Raine started laughing at the expression on Paul’s face.

“Stephanie, WHY do you have a picture of Glenn almost naked on your cell phone?” He demanded, his face turning a splotchy color.

“It’s uh, my phone, actually.” Raine said through her laughter.

“Oh… Okay then, why do YOU have a picture of Glenn almost naked?”

“Who’s got a picture of Glenn almost naked?”

They all looked at Mark, two smirks and one confused look greeting him.


He stared down at Raine, arching an eyebrow. “Why?”

Raine instantly took offense to his tone of voice. “Because I can.”

Glenn came charging up next, instantly making for her. “Gimme the phone!”

“NO! It’s going on Myspace!”

Stephanie watched as Raine took off running down the hallway, Glenn in hot pursuit. “Well damn, I wanted to know how she got that picture.”

Mark stared after them, his mouth a thinly compressed line.


For the most part, Raine did a great job of keeping out of Glenn’s clutches. Though she knew she was going to have to face the music sooner or later, especially since she was one half of the tag team champions.

She hid out in the Diva’s locker room for the majority of the night, chatting easily with Beth –who she had grown to like- and Michelle. Even though she and Michelle had a shady past, they both had come to a shaky friendship.

“So Glenn came around the curtain to get himself a peek and you tricked him into stripping?” Beth echoed, shaking her head with a snort. Honestly, how retarded could a guy be?

“And then while he was strippin’, I got dressed and as soon as he turned around, I snapped a pic.” Raine finished with a triumphant grin. “Serves him right for perving on me.”

“No doubt.” Michelle agreed, running a brush through her blond hair then arched an eyebrow. “I’m surprised he didn’t crush that phone.”

“It’s not for a lack of trying.” Raine admitted, bending down to lace up her boots. “He’s been huntin’ my ass down all night.”

“Except in here.” Beth pointed out.

“Probably cause Stephanie said something to him.”

“Oh she did.” Mickie James announced, slipping through the door. “Glenn’s waiting out there for you, Rai.”

Raine groaned.

“She told him he couldn’t bother you in here cause of the rest of us but once you’re out in the hallway, it’s open season.”

“Is it worth it?” Michelle asked, laughing when she seen the grin on Raine’s face. “Kid, you are something else.”

“I know, but I’m entertaining.”

“This is true.”


Shawn was getting around for the night as well, knowing the show would be kicking off soon. He had talked to ‘Rey Rey’, so Raine would be starting her training next week after Rey’s days off. That would be interesting. He had heard about the ‘picture’ thing with Glenn and had found that amusing to no end. She definitely had a prankster side to her.

Though, he didn’t think pranking her tag team partner was all that smart either. But that was just him.

Not counting the fact that he and Paul pranked each other all the time. But they’d been friends for years, practically family. So there was a difference there.

“Hey, pops.”

Startled, Shawn spun around expecting to see Raine. “Uh…” He scratched the top of his head, not finding anyone.

“Up here, Shawn.”

Frowning, he looked up. “Are you in the vent?”


“Why?” He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. Somehow, he already knew the answer. “Just delete the damn picture and call it square with him.”

“He’s not going to hurt me and no, I won’t. He perved on me, this is payback.” She said cheerfully, stretched out comfortably in a duct.

“What do you mean by ‘perved’?” Shawn knew he was going to regret asking, he really did but asked anyway. He set down on a bench, not bothering to look up when he heard a panel shifting. A second later, Raine’s wrestling boots swung into his line of vision; followed by the rest of her dropping to the floor.

“I was changing and he came behind the curtain.” She shrugged, rifling through his cooler and swiped a bottle of water. “Man, it is dusty up there.”

“He came behind the curtain while you were changing?”

“Well, I was in my underwear and stuff but yeah. So I told him to get naked and let me get a peek since he got one on me. I dressed while he was strippin’, then when he turned around…” She mimed snapping a picture.

Shawn’s first instinct was to go find Glenn and rip him a new asshole for even thinking about seeing his daughter undressed. But… he pushed aside the over protective parental drama and focused on the funny side.

Raine watched as Shawn’s face went from pissed off, mildly irritated and then finally amused.

“Nice one, honey.”


“Okay Rai, jokes over, delete the picture.”

Raine smiled sweetly up at her tag team partner, ready for their upcoming match –which wouldn’t be for their titles- with her belt over her shoulder. “You know, everyone’s already seen it so what’s the big deal, honey?”

Glenn groaned, covering his face with his hands. “You’re such a wench.”

“Well, you’re the one who decided to take a peek at me.” She reminded, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “So consider this payback.”

Sighing, Glenn resigned himself to the inevitable. “You know, for such a sweet looking little thing, you can be such a mega bitch.”

“I know.”

“You and Mark going out again?”

“I don’t know, probably.” She shifted from one foot to the other, shrugging. “You know how it is.”

“Nah, he stopped telling me all the gory details.”

“Oh, did he now?” She smirked slightly, wondering what that was about. “Maybe cause there’s nothin’ to report, ever think about that, bald boy?”

The look on Glenn’s face told her he hadn’t.

“So, besides going out, NOTHING is happening?”

“If you mean nothing by not having wild, voracious sex, then yeah.”

He was quiet for a minute.

So was she.

“Remind me to give you ten bucks, Raine.”

Curiously, she looked up at him. “What for?”

“You used the word voracious.”

“Yeah, so?” Now she was confused.

“That’s a ten dollar word.” Glenn shrugged, smiling and clearing the awkwardness that had suddenly sprung up between them.

Raine just started laughing.


Mark watched Glenn and Raine from the back; trying not to be amused. Shawn had filled him and Paul in completely on how the picture thing had come about. That girl was something else. Though the fact that Glenn had been trying to get himself a little view… that wasn’t so good. He made a mental note to smack Glenn around later.

Even he couldn’t deny they were great out in the ring together, stroking his chin thoughtfully as he watched the pair. They worked together in harmony, and if he cared to admit it, they flowed in a way he and Glenn hadn’t.



“Tag me, tag me, tag me…” Raine muttered under her breath as she stretched her arm out as far as it would go; her green eyes narrowed intently. When Glenn glanced back at her, she smirked; wiggling her fingertips.

An evil smirk crossed his face as he jerked on Carlito’s fro, dragging him backwards towards Raine and slapped her hand.

Eagerly, she slipped through the ropes; mentally rolling her eyes when he patted her ass as he moved to the apron. Focus returned to the task on hand, winning this match. Carlito was so much fun to work with, providing she wasn’t on the receiving end of his Backstabber; those hurt like a bitch and she still took them badly.

Carlito decided right then and there he was shaving his fro when Raine literally grabbed two handfuls and flung him across the ring; feeling like his scalp was on fire. Making a pained face, he gingerly rubbed the top of his head and got onto his knees, staring at her.

Raine just grinned at him.


“Hey darlin’, you did great out there.” Mark greeted when Raine and Glenn came through the curtains, waiting for his own match. “Though if you ever yank MY hair like that…”

“Sure, sure, old man.” She agreed playfully, winking at Glenn when he walked by. “Smack my butt again and I’ll slit yer throat!”

“Whatever.” He shot back over his shoulder.

Mark followed Glenn’s retreating back, frowning slightly. He was recalled to earth by Raine drumming her fingers on his chest. “What darlin’?”

“Pay attention space cadet, I was askin’ if you wanted to go get somethin’ to eat after the show.”

“Oh yeah, sure. If you don’t already have plans?”

Raine scratched the top of her head, looking confused. “If I did, why would I ask you?”

“I don’t know.”

Now she was really confused, Mark normally wasn’t indecisive. If anything, he usually made snap decisions and she was the one double thinking everything. “You alright, man?”

Mark nodded, glancing down at her then smiled, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Yeah, I’m fine, just getting old, darlin’.”

“I’ve been telling you that for awhile, honey.”


They both groaned and turned to face Stephanie, Raine clapping her hands over her ears. “Could you screech any louder?” She muttered, wondering what she had done now. “I didn’t do it.”

“No, it’s not that.” Stephanie was out of breath, clutching at a stitch in her side. “It’s Shane…”

Mark and Raine both stared at her like she was out of her mind.

“What about him?” Raine asked indifferently.

“He was in a car accident and-“ Stephanie almost fell except for her husband appearing on the scene and catching her, holding her gently but firmly against him. “And…” Stephanie couldn’t finish, obviously trying not to cry.

Mark snorted, not really caring. Apparently Shane was alive as Stephanie wasn’t in hysterics and as far as he was concerned, that was a crying shame. Given the way Shane had treated Raine, it took a lot of balls for Stephanie to even MENTION the man’s name in front of Raine.

Paul sighed, staring at Raine apologetically. He wasn’t even going to LOOK at Mark because Mark would likely punch him or something for what he was about to say. “Shane was in a car accident, some drunk plowed into him.”

Raine’s face hadn’t changed though her green eyes were softening. “Yeah?”

“He’s asking for you.”

“He’s askin’ for her?” Mark said skeptically. “So he’s fine and not in any immediate danger of dyin’?” He did manage to keep the hope from his tone.

“He’s got a concussion; cut from head to toe, three broken ribs on his right side…” Paul scrunched his face as if trying to remember. “Broken arm, collarbone…”

“And internal bleeding.” Stephanie hiccupped.

“Why is he askin’ for HER?”

“’Taker, you’re up!”

“In a fuckin’ minute!” Mark looked down at Raine. “Are you going?”

“Huh?” She blinked, shaking her head clear and glanced at him; beginning to chew on her lower lip nervously.

“Raine, are you going?” He demanded.


Mark couldn’t ignore the tech any longer when his theme song blared from the speakers, finally tearing his eyes from Raine, grunting. Not saying another word or sparing a look for anyone, he headed for the ring.

That didn’t make Raine’s already knotted stomach feel any better. Groaning, she looked helplessly at Stephanie who wasn’t in any way to help out. She then glanced at Paul who could only shrug, busy holding his wife.


“She went, didn’t she?”

Shawn just nodded, not too happy with the situation himself but he hadn’t been able to talk his daughter out of it either. Part of him grudgingly understood and the other half was hoping she went all postal on Shane’s ass. Hell, he’d pay the bail and court fees involved.

Mark cracked his neck, his eyes closing. They were just casually dating, it’s not like they were actually a couple; he didn’t have that claim on her. Even if he did, he knew telling her what she could and could not do, who she could and could not see would just be a recipe for disaster and send her straight into doing it anyway.


Raine had absolutely no idea why she was freaking here. She had caught a flight with Stephanie –Paul had begged off, saying he had to stay and keep working the show. Which was a crock of shit since he could have oh so easily taken a few nights off considering who he was married too.

She stood out in the hallway while Stephanie went inside Shane’s private room, staring down at the tiled floor; Paul standing across from her. She was still in her wrestling gear, which was a little weird though Paul had lent her one of his button up dress shirts to cover her shorts and halter top. Though with the knee high wrestling boots… she didn’t even want to know the picture she painted at the moment.

Stephanie had paid for her plane ticket and had promised to cover the hotel room, since Raine’s stuff was currently back in Los Angeles with Shawn and they were now in Manhattan. What the hell had she been thinking?

Stephanie walked out, smiling though her nose was still red and her eyes puffy. “He’s awake.” She said softly, the door closing behind her. “He’s refusing to take the pain medication Raine, and he’s hurting, badly. If you could maybe talk him into it…?”

Raine really did not like her friend right now and just sighed, nodding. What was she even doing here anyway?

Stephanie patted her shoulder as she walked by and into the room.

Inwardly steeling herself, Raine let herself inside, quietly closing the door behind her. She looked up hesitantly, biting her lip when she met Shane’s pained brown eyes. “Take the meds.” She said softly.

“No.” He murmured, smiling somewhat. It was an uncertain smile, like he didn’t know what to say or do. “I didn’t think you were going to come.” He admitted finally.

Raine rolled her eyes, walking over to sit on the edge of the hospital bed. She couldn’t help but note that it wasn’t the usual, standard bed; the tiny singles. This could fit Shane plus another comfortably, money had perks. “I did it for Stephanie.” She said, making that clear right away. “She was practically faintin’ on me.”

Shane nodded slowly, his usually pale face paler than what was normal.

Raine studied him thoughtfully. She could see the way his jaw was clenched, knowing he was probably wishing for relief and couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t take the medicine. “Why won’t you let them give you something for the pain?” She asked quietly.

“Because…” He hesitated, looking down at the thin blankets that covered his legs. “I don’t like the helpless feeling, Raine.”

She understood that and wondered idly why she hadn’t thought of it. Shane did not like feeling like he wasn’t in control, period. Her eyes strayed over him clinically, taking in the way he sat stiff like a poker, knowing he was probably wrapped underneath the loose, button up pajama top he wore. His face was covered in thin, shallow looking cuts except for a mean looking gash that stood out quite vividly on his cheekbone. Of course it was stitched and clean, it just looked horrible.

His right arm was in a cast; resting propped on several pillows and she remembered his collarbone was broken as well. She could only imagine what he looked like under the clothes, Stephanie had said he had been cut up all over.

“Take the medication, Shane. You’ll feel better and you’ll heal faster.” She said finally. “If you’re in pain, you’ll be a bear and then nobody is going to want to be your physician.”

He had to crack a smile at that.


Shane looked like he would say no, a fear of being pulled under by the pain medicine showing in his eyes. “Will you,” He hesitated. “Will you stay with me?”

“If it’ll get you to take them and shut Stephanie up, sure.”


“You’re kiddin’ me?” Shawn stared at Paul like he wasn’t sure if he had heard right. Just to be on the safe side, he popped a finger in his ear and twisted it back and forth a few times. “Say that again?”

Paul did not like being the one who had to tell this news, but Raine had stayed true to her word and hadn’t left Shane’s side. Which was probably a good thing in the long run. He had been given an drip through his IV and as soon as he started to sink into unconsciousness, Shane had started fighting the medicine. Raine had been the one who calmed him down, after Stephanie and Linda both tried and failed.

When Paul didn’t say anything, Shawn deflated and shook his head. “I don’t understand. After the way he treated her, the way he talked to her… why?”

“Because she’s a good person.” Paul said after a moment’s consideration. “Which means, you raised her wrong.

Shawn arched an eyebrow, not in the mood for Paul’s idiocy. “Bein’ a good person don’t mean having to go outta your way to deal with slime like Shane McMahon.”

“He was in a car accident Shawn, give the guy a break.”

“I’ll give him a break alright, break his spine right in two.” Shawn mimed his words, a satisfied look on his face.

“Um, aren’t you a Christian?” Paul asked curiously, watching the conflict now play on Shawn’s already rugged, worn face. “So, shouldn’t you be all about forgiveness and shit?”

“Are you tryin’ to SELL me on Shane fucking McMahon?”

“No, just a bit curious about where the black and white line ended and shades of grey came into place.” Paul stepped back when it seemed like he was going to get jacked in the jaw. “Look man, I don’t like Shane anymore than you do. BUT, he’s my WIFE’S brother and if she’s miserable, I’m miserable.”

“You’re a damn pussy is what you are.”

“That too.”


“What the hell do you mean you’re in MAN-FUCKING-HATTAN?”

Raine cringed, holding the phone away from her ear, glad she was in a phone booth outside the hospital. Sighing, she leaned back against the glass panel doors, wondering if it were possible to reach through the line and slap Mark.


But she could dream.

“I mean, I am IN Man-fucking-hattan. Mind not yellin’, sugar? My ears are ringing now.”

Mark took a deep breath that was very audible to her. “Rai, why are you there? What the HELL does that… scum, need YOU for?”

“Mark, I’m only doin’ it as a favor to Stephanie.” She said patiently. “I’ll be back in a few days. Glenn’s being taken off road too, they’re gonna say we’re lettin’ rookies have a chance at getting on the ladder or somethin’.”

“I don’t CARE about any of that.”

She could practically FEEL his anger searing her, glad there was so many miles separating them. “Mark…”


“Come on, lighten up, big guy. I’m comin’ back, by MYSELF. I’m just here as a favor to Steph, nothin’ more, okay?” When he didn’t say anything, Raine sighed, leaning forward until her head was resting on the glass. “Mark…?”


“Don’t be jealous when there’s nothin’ to be jealous about.”

He hung up on her.

Raine started laughing.


Stephanie looked up from the magazine she was flicking through when Raine walked back into the hospital lobby, rising from her chair. “Thank you.” She said, moving over to hug the younger woman. “I know my brother has done a lot of shitty things to you, Rai. I don’t agree with what he did and I haven’t forgiven him but he IS my brother.”

“I know, I know. Just… gimme a bonus or somethin’.” Raine joked, reaching back to tighten her ponytail. “Is he still asleep?”

“Yes. How’s Mark?” Stephanie asked, linking arms with Raine as they headed towards the elevators.

“Pretty pissed off, I’d imagine him and Shawn will be getting together soon to come here and drag me back. You know, the whole ‘I’m a young, ignorant kid’ thing.”

Stephanie rolled her eyes. “They need to decide one way or the other. Either you’re a kid or you’re an adult.”

“I know.”

“Especially Mark.” Stephanie grinned slyly. “I know this is probably bad timing, but how’s that going?”

“Well, it WAS going good but he’s kinda pissed off at me right now.”

“He’s jealous.”

Raine shrugged, not commenting. Honestly, she had to wonder how she and Mark had even gotten to the dating stage of their friendship/relationship. If she looked back on their history together, it was so damn strange.

He loved her, he had never made any bones about it and she still to this day couldn’t understand HOW he loved, or how he could fall in love that fast considering he had barely known her. He had gone out of his way to pursue her, than had belittled her when she had point blank told him to back off.

Though on the other hand, when he wasn’t trying to either get down her pants or get her into a relationship she didn’t want; he was a great friend. Friendship had never really appeared to be enough for Mark though.

Not that he wasn’t a gentleman now, because he was. As far as she knew, he wasn’t taking anyone to bed –not that she could say anything if he did because they were just dating, not actually together in a mutually exclusive relationship. He didn’t even try to make a move on her, he hadn’t in quite some time actually. He wasn’t pressuring her into anything.

But now, his jealousy was rearing its ugly head and Raine knew plenty when it came to Mark’s jealousy. Well, if they were going to walk down THAT road again, she’d whoop his ass.


She came out of her stupor when they walked into Shane’s room, instantly hesitating at the sight of Linda McMahon. She didn’t have a problem with Linda though she had no idea if Linda had one with her. After all, she had a major role in Shane’s divorce from Marissa, their disastrous relationship and all the rest.

Linda smiled when she seen Raine. She had yet to officially meet Shawn’s adopted daughter though she had heard quite a bit about her. Most of it positive and the negative had come from Shane after their break-up. However, Linda knew her son and ignored most of it. “Hello.”


Raine nodded at Linda, her attention turning to Shane, then scowled at Stephanie. “You said he was asleep.”

“He was!”

“Well, I’m awake now, and groggy.” Shane grumbled, though he sounded much better than he had the night before. He smiled at his mother, though his eyes remained on Raine; apparently still having a hard time believing she was here.

“Raine, dear, where are you staying?” Linda asked after a moment, catching the guilty look on Stephanie’s face and narrowed her blue eyes. She hadn’t missed the fact that Raine looked like she had come directly from the ring to the hospital.

“I um, Steph?”

“I’ve checked her into the hotel I’m at.”

Linda nodded, though her expression remained thoughtful. “You came here directly from the airport?”

“Yeah.” Raine looked down at herself, blushing slightly. Usually she didn’t care two shits what anyone thought of her but there was something about Linda that made her feel self-conscious. Linda was just so easily stunning in her would be casual slack suit. “I should probably um, go get a shower and stuff.” She shot Stephanie another look, knowing she had absolutely no clothes besides Paul’s shirt and her ring attire.

Which sadly, she was still wearing.

Shane spoke up, sounding hesitant. “I have some of your things at my loft, Raine.” He volunteered, looking abashed when he got three pairs of female eyes on him, two sets looking amused while Raine was somewhat puzzled.

“My things?” She echoed.

“Stuff you left at my old house in Connecticut.” He explained, now wishing he had never said anything; especially when Linda and Stephanie exchanged knowing looks. “When the movers took everything, they took the box of your stuff too. I think some jeans and tee shirts?”

It was a tad bit weird to know that Shane had some of her clothes, still. She had forgotten all about them. It was during her time off for a broken rib, he had taken her back to Connecticut and practically bought her a new wardrobe, a lot of stuff she had hated wearing.

Dresses. Raine hated dresses with a passion.

So when they had returned on the road, she had left the things she had taken at his place and instead took the clothing he had provided.

Kind of ironic that now he was offering her her old clothes back, the clothes he had ‘hated’.

“Unless of course, you want me to buy you some new things.” Stephanie said hastily, wondering what was on Raine’s mind at the moment. “I did promise after all, since I kinda…”

“Fainted on me?”

“Yes, that.”

“You fainted on Raine?” Linda asked, sounding appalled.

Stephanie blushed to the roots of her hair. “I was scared for Shane and-“

“It’s okay, really.” Raine interrupted, tugging on her frizzing hair. “It’s fine.” She glanced at Shane. “I would LOVE some fresh clothes.”

“I’ll have someone go retrieve them then.” Linda nodded, rifling through her clutch for her cell phone. “Shane, where are they?”

“I’d prefer one of you to go get them, I don’t want a stranger in my house, mom.” Shane said gently.

“I will.” Stephanie volunteered.

Linda pursed her lips. “Why doesn’t Raine just go? Then she could also use the bathroom to freshen up?” She suggested. “If you don’t mind of course, Shane.”

“No… It’s up to her though. She might not be comfortable with that.” He said evenly, knowing better than to even look at Raine right now. Then as if thinking of something, he made a face. “Actually, I think Stephanie ought to go.”

Despite herself, Raine was curious now. “Got somethin’ you don’t want me seeing?” She teased, knowing she had hit the mark when his pale cheeks tinged pink. “I’ll go.”


Raine had been let in by the doorman thanks to Shane calling ahead and describing her. Then she had been led up the penthouse and had marred the marble floor when her jaw hit it. She closed the door behind her, staring around. She had always known Shane had taste but this…


It was sparsely furnished, everything black. It was the penthouse itself. It was huge! She had a feeling if the two story, modest house Shawn had was laid out flat, the penthouse would eat it alive. No wonder they hadn’t made it for more than a few months as a couple; they were two completely different people.

Shane was wealthy, rich and his children’s children would be wealthy and rich. She had her own money but it wasn’t like a fortune. Thanks to Shawn’s influence and how he had raised her, she never took anything for granted, especially money. She saved a specific percentage of her paychecks, allotted so much for travel and expenses and then came spending money for whatever. She had tried to help her adopted father with house bills and expenses but Shawn would never let her, even though she still lived at home.

Which was maybe only a weekend and some odd days out of the month as she preferred being on the road, but still.

Even though Shawn was comfortably set and could retire if he chose too, he was still a frugal man. Not the point of being obsessive but he didn’t rush out and replace a broken item right away. If it could be fixed and was worth the time and effort to make the repair, he’d repair it. He saw no reason to live in a big fancy house when he wasn’t there enough to enjoy it so he stayed where he was at.

And he had raised Raine to be that way as well.

Being here was a rude reminder just how different she and Shane really were.

“Okay, bedroom, bedroom.” Raine muttered under her breath, stopping her ogling of the place and headed down a wide hallway, not bothering to look in the other rooms. Straight to the back Shane had told her, the master bathroom was connected, she couldn’t miss it.

Somehow, she wasn’t surprised to find the bedroom immaculate. A maid, no doubt. More black, accented with a deep blue. Trying not to be nosy, she looked around and headed for what hopefully was the closet.

She did however glance at the king sized bed, trying to keep focused on the task at hand. She was so damn tired it looked pretty inviting right about now. But she’d wait. She’d wait until tonight and then crash in the bed at the hotel.

“Closet my ass… this is a fucking dressing room…” She grumbled when she opened the door, a light automatically coming on. Her eyes quickly scanned the clothes that were hanging up. Expensive looking suits, some casual wear… a damn shoe rack.

What a vain man.

In the back resting between two trunks was a plastic tote with RAINE neatly printed  in a top corner. She retrieved it and carried it out of the closet, resting the tote on the bed and opened it. She let out a shriek of delight when she seen her old favorite pair of jeans in there, quickly pulling them out. Something clattering against the side of the tote got her attention as she set the pants aside.

Frowning, she dug through the clothes; tossing out some undergarments she found as well as a tank top; her fingers finally brushing on a small; velvet covered box. Her stomach doing flip flops, she pulled it out. It was a jewelry box.

And it wasn’t hers.

Knowing she was probably going to regret this, she hesitantly flipped the lid and gasped.

Resting inside was a gold ring with what she knew was a diamond mounted on it, a princess cut. The diamond was nestled between two stones, sapphires. Her favorite.

Raine stared at the ring for a long moment before hesitantly pulling it out. She didn’t try it on, she knew it would be a perfect fit, even though she WAS tempted too. Instead she examined it, some engraving on the inside of the band catching her eye. Holding it up to the sunlight that came in through the patio doors, she read it.

I love you, Raine.

And really wished she hadn’t opened the damn box.

CHAPTER 5         

When Raine got back to the hospital, she felt like a whole new person. Well, at least a clean one. She hadn’t had any of her own toiletries so she had used Shane’s, which was uncomfortable because it implied an intimacy they didn’t share. But, it was either suck it up or go smelly and with snarled hair.

On the plus side, his shampoo smelled really good. If somewhat masculine.

She hesitated outside the door, seeing Stephanie’s toe holding it open and sighed.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, Shane.” Stephanie was saying in a soothing tone of voice, obviously paying the door and whoever could be outside of it no attention whatsoever. “She’s probably not even going to realize it’s there.”

“You should have put it in a safer spot.” Linda scolded, sounding amused. “Or maybe gotten rid of it as she did the smart thing and left you.”

“Thank you mom, as if I don’t have to live with that fact every day of my life. I wasn’t exactly expecting her to get her things herself.” Shane grumbled. “You should have gone Stephanie.”

“You should have given her the ring.”

“We broke up before I could!”

Stephanie snorted. “I WONDER why, moron.”

“Now Steph…” Linda chided gently.

“Stephanie, I’m the one who lives with what I did to her, I don’t need you throwing it in my face.”

Raine was mildly shocked to hear the sadness in his tone.

Sucked to be him, he should have seen the light BEFORE trying to turn her into his life sized Barbie Doll.

“I’m back.” She announced, opening the door then froze when she heard Stephanie shriek; watching wide eyed as Steph started hopping on one foot. “What happened?”

“My foot was there!”

“I’m sorry.” Raine apologized, catching Shane shaking his head and could swear he was trying to hide a grin. Of course, he would know if she was lying, the bastard.


Raine groaned, rolling out of her not so comfortable hotel bed when there was a knocking on the door. “I swear to God, if Stephanie is buggin’ me, I’ll kill her…” She muttered, looking around for her robe tiredly. Then she flicked on the bedside light, figuring that might help her blindness issues some. “I’M COMIN’!”

Unless Shane was dying, Raine had left orders that she wasn’t to be bugged for a solid twenty four hours, she had gone to bed dead on her feet.

Growling, she all but tore the door off its hinges. “YOU DICK!” She shouted when she seen who it was; green eyes narrowing.

Mark was laughing his ass off at the expression on her face. He had intended on dragging her sorry carcass back on the circuit but… at the moment, she was looking pretty cute; if not slightly exhausted and peeved.

She wasn’t so cute when she launched herself at him however, obviously ready to do him a lot of bodily harm.

Grunting, Mark stumbled back, catching her wrists and dragged her with him. “C’mon now, darlin’, I came all the way to see ya and this is how you treat me?”

“I’m going to murder you.” She said, but without the fire, offering a tired smile. “Come on in, big man. You can watch me sleep.”

“Oh joy, what fun.


“Raine? Open the door!” Stephanie sighed when she didn’t get an answer, fingering the key card in her hand. “It’s been OVER twenty four hours, what are you DOING in there?” She balled her fist and banged on the door.

Just as suddenly, the door flew open and her fist was caught before it could land.

Stephanie’s eyes about fell out of their sockets when she seen Mark standing there with just a sheet wrapped around his waist; his long hair tousled and a Cheshire cat like grin on his face. “What the-“ She stammered.

“Hell do ya want, Steph?”

“Mark, be nice to her!” Raine called from inside the room.

Rolling his eyes, he stepped aside; gesturing Stephanie in. Moving around her, he walked back over to the bed and dropped down; glancing at Raine who was also wrapped in a sheet, browsing a local paper. “Anythin’ good in there, darlin’?”

“Um… nope.” She tossed it aside, smiling up at Stephanie. “Yes?”

“Um…” Stephanie didn’t even know what to say at this point. It didn’t help when Mark reached down to pull Raine from the foot of the bed where she had been comfortably sprawled out, up so she was now laying on his chest. “Um… I thought you two were dating without the sex?” She finally blurted out, unable to stop herself.

Raine and Mark exchanged looks, both of them sharing a quizzical shrug before turning their heads back towards Stephanie.

“Who said anything about sex?” Raine drawled with a slow smile, leaning back against Mark; sighing contentedly when he wrapped his arms around her.

“Um… lemme see… sheets, in the same bed…”

“We slept together, just SLEPT, not goin’ at it like jackrabbits.” Mark said, sounding even more amused when she turned three shades of red. Stephanie was entertaining to watch. What she didn’t know was that underneath the sheet, he was wearing boxers and Raine had on a pair of panties. At Stephanie’s first knock, they had basically stripped from their clothing and wrapped up.

All just to mess with her.

Childish, yes but as it was funny, that was all that mattered.

“Okay… I’m going to head to the hospital.” Stephanie said after a moment. “Are you going to be there today, Raine?”

“Yes, eventually.” Raine gestured behind her to Mark. “As soon as I take care of him.” She winked lavasciously.

Mark grinned.

Groaning, Stephanie vacated.

As soon as the door closed behind Stephanie, Mark wasted no time in rolling so Raine was on her back and he was hovering over her, staring down at her impishly. “So… you’re going to take care of me, hmm?”

“Oh don’t you wish.” Raine snorted, shaking her head and braced her hands on his chest; pushing herself away. Or at least tried too, Mark wasn’t so keen on letting her up. “C’mon honey, I got to get a shower.”

“Or maybe you could stay in bed with me awhile longer.” He murmured, gently catching her wrists and holding them between their bodies.

Honestly, it was quite comfortable where she was so Raine didn’t protest too much. Making a big show of sighing, she settled back into him. “Happy now?”


They were both quiet for a few minutes, just relaxing there. Mark knew he eventually was going to have to get around for the reason he had come there in the first place but he also knew that would only break the friendly vibe they had going. When she was so willingly curled up against him, it was hard to believe he had been jealous in the first place.

What was there to be jealous over? A boy like Shane McMahon? Granted, Shane and Rai had a history but their relationship had ended badly. In fact, Mark could still hear Shane calling her a ‘low down hick’, along with a fair few other comments that hadn’t been so PG.

Raine broke the moment with a sigh. “I really do have to get up, I need a shower.”

“You smell fine to me.” Mark teased, bending down to sniff her hair, than frowned. “Actually, you smell like a guy, darlin’.”

“Shane’s shampoo.” She said automatically, wincing when his grip on her tightened to the point of actually hurting. “Um, Mark, honey, my ribs?”

“Why would you smell like Shane?”

“Because I used his shower.” She said, dead pan.

His grip tightened even more.

“I’m going to hurt you if you don’t stop that.”

“Why did you use his shower?” His voice was oddly calm.

“Because I was here for twenty four hours in my wrestlin’ gear, didn’t have any cash on me and he told me he still had some of my clothes from when I stayed with him. So I went and got them and used his shower at the same time.” Granted, she was editing and not filling him on how Stephanie was going to pay for her stuff and whatnot, or the fact that she had been curious enough to go there simply because Shane hadn’t wanted her too. But considering Mark was obviously about to have a fit of jealousy on her, she wasn’t obligated to explain jack shit to him.

That and telling him she found what she was assuming to be an engagement ring obviously meant for her –cause how many Raine’s did Shane know?- wasn’t high on her list of things to do until she was ready to be crushed to death.

“Mark, you’re really startin’ to hurt me!”


“What the HELL happened to him?” Stephanie asked curiously, watching as Mark stormed down the hallway. Raine had called asking for a ride and of course, she had come. Though seeing Mark coming out of Raine’s hotel room with a grim face and a black eye wasn’t something she had been expecting.

“I punched him.” Raine said flatly, turning to watch Mark go, her face lightly bruised.

“He HIT you!”

“AFTER I punched him.”

“I don’t care! He shouldn’t be putting his hands on you, ever!”

Raine couldn’t help but be amused, slightly. “Considering that I’m ‘one of the guys’ and I fight the guys, that’s a little um, retarded, Steph. Really. He only smacked me, I don’t think he even meant to do it, it was a gut reaction to the punch.”

“I don’t care.”

“I’m sure, but chill out.”

But Stephanie wasn’t even paying Raine any attention any more. “Oh just wait…” She growled as they walked towards the elevator. “When you get back to work I’m going to stick his ass in a handicap match against you and Glenn. A no holds barred handicap match.”

Raine was trying not to grin.

“No, wait. A no holds barred handicap, HELL IN A FUCKING CELL match…”

“Um Steph, anything goes in Hell in a Cell…”



“Well Mr. McMahon… Your ribs will be healed within the next eight weeks, your collar bone four to eight and your arm… We’ll see, a month or so perhaps as it was a fracture. Time will tell, of course you’ll help speed your recovery by not doing anything strenuous.”

Shane listened, staring at his doctor with pursed lips. It was obvious he wasn’t happy with that but at the same time, there was nothing he could do about it either. When he looked over at Raine and seen her shrug, he sighed. She’d dealt with a broken rib, he could deal with…


He was being released, finally. After spending two weeks in this damn hospital room he was free to go, feeling sort of like a prisoner being paroled. He was grateful that he was going to be just fine, but he was also anxious to get out of here.

The first three days had been the worse and he honestly didn’t know how he would have gotten through them if not for Raine.


She was being nicer to him than he deserved. After everything he had put her through, how he had tried to change her, the way he had treated her… And yet, she had still come to help him. He knew it wasn’t because of any lingering feelings of love or even like but as a favor to Stephanie, she had made that quite clear.

After the first three days, she had started flying back for the shows, the televised ones anyway but she always came back. He had a feeling that was Stephanie’s doing. It never failed to amaze him when Raine would walk into the room. The blue jeans and tank tops he had thought he hated he found he loved on her. He even loved it when she’d come in with her cowboy hat on, complete with worn down boots.

How could he have tried changing her?

She was caring, smart, beautiful and strong. She didn’t need anyone telling her she was anything less than what she was.

Like he had done.

Of course the smartest thing Raine had ever done was get rid of him before he could turn her into someone she wasn’t.

Though that didn’t stop him from wishing it had been otherwise and he had done things different.


Raine had indeed been doing the televised shows, and was more than tempted to knock Mark’s ass down a few times. He had been ignoring her. Of course it didn’t help that Stephanie had been true to her word about making Mark pay.

But then again, Raine still stood firm that she had probably deserved it. Shawn had raised her to believe that if you could hit like a man then you had best be able to take it like a man. And honestly, she could usually take it with the best of them.

The dishing it went without say.

You going back?” Glenn asked, passing her a bottle of water from their cooler. They had started sharing a dressing room, with a bathroom so they could change in respective privacy.

“He’s being released tomorrow, what the hell for?” Raine snorted and shook her head, opening it and downed the water in three long swallows; wiping her chin afterwards with a smirk. “I know, how ladylike huh?”

“Oh very. Now if only you were wearing a white tee shirt.”

“You’re a pig sometimes Glenn, ya know that, sugar?”

“Oink oink.” His smile faded when he seen she wasn’t really laughing anymore. “What’s wrong? Is it Mark?”

“Fuck him.” She snorted instantly.

Which told him it was.

“Aw hell, Rai, you know him. He’s a jealous fool.”

“Yeah, I suppose. But when he sees what Stephanie’s going to have us do, he’ll be a pissed off jealous fool.”

Glenn rubbed the top of his bald head thoughtfully, his eyes twinkling impishly. “So you really did give him that shiner?”

Raine grinned in spite of herself. “Yeah, I did.”

Glenn knew the rest of the story. Mark had struck back and Stephanie had gone nuts. Glenn figured it probably wasn’t right of Mark to smack Raine considering one good blow could have probably done some real damage even if she was a tough son of a bitch but at the same time…

She was right. She hit first, she deserved it.

So now they would be facing the newly merged tag team of the Undertaker and Triple H of all people. Vince had been the one to insist Paul be stuck in there as a way to keep Mark from completely getting his ass handed to him.

And they’d feud. Now this was sort of a sticky situation. The chemistry between Raine and Mark in the ring was astonishing, the tension was definitely of a sexual nature. Which was slightly confusing because when they were backstage, unless you were watching them like a hawk, it was barely noticeable.

At least on Raine’s part.

So most likely, whatever happened in that ring to start this feud was going to be something that occurred between Mark and Raine.

Glenn perked, having a sudden though. “I’mma go piss.” He grunted, getting up and heading for the door.

“Uh Glenn, we have a bathroom?”

“Nah, you might need it. Do your make-up or something.”

Raine scowled as he passed by.


“Hey, let’s talk, sweetie!”

Raine groaned and picked up the pace; her wrestling boots pounding on the floor as she literally started running.


“Go AWAY, Kaleigh!” She shouted over her shoulder. The last person she wanted to talk to right now was Mark’s sweet if not overbearing, nosy sister. “Seriously! I have a match soon and don’t need your drama!”

“Darlin’, it’s not MY drama, it’s MARK’S!”


Gritting her teeth, Kaleigh all but did a flying leap, tackling Raine to the floor. One way or another, this was going to have to be settled because she was sick and tired of seeing Mark moping about over this freaking kid.

Now Raine was pissed.


Mark stared at Kaleigh, trying to process her black eye. “Did Matt…” He trailed off ominously, prepared to go kill her boyfriend, Matt Hardy if he so much as looked at her wrong.

Wincing, Kaleigh shook her head and moved the bag of ice back over her swollen, bruised eye. “Raine.”

“You too, huh?”

She just nodded.


Raine had a migraine, a fucking migraine and she was fully blaming it on Kaleigh. And Rey Rey. He had found her while she was on her way to the gorilla position to let her know they could start training in the morning. How fun.

“You look upset.” Glenn commented, wrapping an arm around his kayfabe girlfriend. “Anything I can-“


“Oh snap…” Raine hadn’t heard Shawn that pissed off in awhile. Cringing, she turned and peered under Glenn’s arm, blinking when she seen Shawn was carrying a magazine. “Um, what the hell?”

“Hey that’s the issue with our photo shoot, lemme see.” Completely oblivious, Glenn took the magazine and flipped through it. “Wow… I forgot how hot you looked.”

Raine was busy cowering –literally cowering- from her father’s piercing stare. “Um, what’d I do?” She asked meekly.

Shawn snatched back the magazine and opened it to the poster, unfolding it for her and Glenn to both see.

Glenn smirked, patting the top of her head. “I totally forget about the chain link top… You’re pale.”

“I… Oh, oh! Dad… it’s just a little skin…”

“It’s just a… Are you kiddin’ me?!”

Glenn was finding this amusing, watching as Shawn went on a rampage and tried to imagine how he would react if the situations were reversed. It was especially funny seeing Raine actually backing away from her adopted dad. Then the situation did reverse but not in a pleasant way. The next thing Glenn knew, he was actually on his ass, rubbing his chin; fairly certain he had just been on the receiving end of a softened superkick.

“And you… you pervert!” Shawn pointed to the photo, more specifically to where Glenn’s hand had been resting, right over her crotch, or near it anyway. “What the HELL is this?”

Raine was glad for the reprieve, not so happy for Glenn who was stammering through an explanation of how it was JUST for a damn shoot. After all, on screen they were a couple so what was the deal? She shook her head and leaned back against a metal crate, the magazine now discarded on the floor.

At least she was glad until Mark and Paul ambled up, Mark curiously scooping the magazine up while Paul tried to stop Shawn from busting a vein in his forehead.

Mark stared down at the magazine, flicking through the pictures. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t a tad bit jealous of Glenn or a bit curious about how Raine appeared. He knew she had never been one for flashing a lot of skin but she looked downright diva-ish, in a somewhat evil way.

Of course it didn’t help to see the way she and Glenn posed with each other, or the settings. One in particular featured chains and it was hard to view picture Raine wrapped in a chain as if it was a snake and then reconcile her with the actual Raine who was staring at him.

“Say one word and I’ll-“

“Show time!”

Glenn pushed Shawn away, still rubbing his chin. “Back off, Michaels.”

“Pops, really, it’s-“

“You and me, girl are going to-“

“Gotta go!” She waved, darting off with Glenn as his theme music cued them, shouldering her title.

“Your dad is a freakin’ sociopath or something.” Glenn muttered.

“I noticed.”

They were working now, no time to even fret over Shawn’s apparent parental meltdown. Never mind the fact that she was legally an adult who was capable of making her own decisions. Not to mention it was HER career and so what if she had actually came across as a woman, wasn’t she one? Just because she rolled around with the guys didn’t mean she wasn’t female.

Raine was going to give herself a complex if she didn’t snap out of her less than happy thoughts.

“Focus, Rai.” Glenn growled softly in her ear, an evil smirk on his face as they were now in the ring.

Nodding, she flashed him a grin.

It was odd how their characters meshed so well but were so damn different. Kane was evil, sadistic. He was a ‘monster’, whereas she was basically a more extreme version of herself. She was ambiguous. She went either way.

And despite their differences, they worked together so effortlessly.

The bells tolled.

“This’ll be fun. Kane and Taker against each other with me and Trips on the side.” She grinned. “Ya know, Vince probably should of rethought that one. Trips and I were kayfabin’ it up as a couple and now we’re facing each other. He’s taggin’ with the guy that kissed me and all that jazz.”

“Oh yeah…”


They shared amused smirks. This was going to be fun.


Mark was also running Raine’s old storyline from when she had debuted in his mind as he made his way down the ramp. Apparently in her haste to dole him out some punishment, Stephanie had completely forgotten several things.

Scattered brained wench.

He watched blank faced as Glenn and Raine conversed quietly in their corner of the ring, seeing they both were grinning and didn’t even want to know. Though… he did want to know how this match was supposed to go. He had mentioned it to Stephanie and all she had done was flip him off with a smile.

“I’m kicking this off.” Paul muttered to him once they were both in the ring, glancing over his shoulder in time to see Glen and Raine all but pressed to each other, their hands tucked between them.

“What the hell are they doing?” Mark muttered back, trying his damndest not to break character.

“Thumb war to see who goes first.” Paul explained, trying not to grin. “They can’t have people seeing them do it though, goes against the whole ‘Kane’ thing.”

Mark was going to murder those two.


“Okay, so the game plan is…”

“To get Mark to break character.”

Glenn grinned, nodding. “Yep.”

“Stephanie is gonna KILL me, if my daddy don’t first.” Raine moaned, though she was grinning as well.

“Actually, Steph is probably going to find this amusing since she’s pissed with him. So it’s your dad and Mark we’re going to have to worry about. I’ll kick this off.” He leaned down so his mouth was by her ear. “We’re leaving through the crowd by the way, just in case.”

She nodded, her attention now on Paul who was waiting with a bored expression on his face.

As the match kicked off, Mark stayed focus. As it progressed, he realized that Raine was bouncing up and down, literally bouncing. What the hell had gotten into her? He almost frowned when she leaned over the ropes, her hand out for a tag, all but begging for it.

Raine damn near let out a war cry when Glenn finally tagged her in, inwardly rolling her eyes when he caressed her forearm. He was out to really fuck this night all to hell for Mark. She outwardly rolled her eyes when Paul went to tag in Mark.

Oh yes, feed the flame.

They circled each other, Mark of course with his fists up. Smirking, she mimicked him. How she bet he wished he had never trained her in boxing.

Especially when she ducked a jab aimed for her face and retaliated with one of her own.


Shawn watched with an open mouth, Stephanie with a smirk as Raine danced around Mark. Granted, she looked graceful doing it but at the same time… it was totally ridiculous. Wrestlers did not dance. It didn’t help that every time Mark got somewhat close to snatching her ass up, she leaned into him; or did something else equally distracting.

With anyone else, this would have earned them an instant ass kicking. As it was, Mark had always had control issues when it came to Raine. Control issues meaning he had a hard time controlling himself around her.

“He’s getting frustrated.” Shawn said, his voice a low growl. He couldn’t for the life of him figure out what the hell Raine was doing.

“Yeah, he is.” Stephanie agreed cheerfully, watching as Raine exchanged a deliberate look with Glenn, something Mark didn’t miss apparently. Whatever happened tonight was just the cake, the icing was coming up at the next Pay-Per-View when her HIAC match took place.


Frustrated was an understatement. Mark was getting pissed off. Every time he set Raine up for a move, she pressed her body into his. Or when he threw a punch, she’d dodge it and throw one back only to be in his arms the next second.

And the part that was messed up the most, if you weren’t a wrestler or someone who was intimately familiar with the business, all you would think is that she was going for either a power move he was blocking or trying a bear hug of all things.

“Damn it!” He snarled under his breath when he felt her against him, wanting to both rip her apart and finish what she was starting. For a man who hadn’t been with anyone in quite some time, more than half a year, this wasn’t fun.

The reason he hadn’t been with anyone intimately was standing right there in his arms. He was completely devoted to Raine, even if all she was ready for was the dating phase. Though at the moment, she seemed ready for a bit more.

Teasing wench that she was.

“Rai, tag me!” Glenn’s voice sounded, interrupting the staring contest the pair had engaged in.

Mark’s automatic response was to wrap his arms around her, tightening his hold bit by bit.

Raine’s green eyes narrowed, realizing her game was up and stood on her toes; leaning her head forward.

Mark had seen this one before. She’d start slow and then suddenly head butt her opponent out of nowhere. There was no way in hell she’d be pulling that move on him. He had taken a beating from her at a house show, he wasn’t going to suffer one during a televised match.

Not even hesitating, he bent his own head down; their lips meeting.

Paul groaned, trying not to shake his head. He sincerely hoped his wife was getting a kick out of this because if the way Raine’s face was turning red was any indication, Mark was about to be eating his balls.


Of course, Glenn had to interrupt this because Raine was ‘his’ girlfriend and all but damned if Mark breaking character wasn’t funny as hell. He could hear the mixed reactions coming from the fans, wondering if Stephanie had seriously gone off her nut.

He could so remember when Raine had broke script, several times, and heads had all but flown.

So when had policy changed?

Oh yes, when Stephanie broke a gear after Mark smacked Raine, after Raine punched Mark.

It was a never ending vicious cycle.

Privately, Raine thought it was a good thing Glenn broke the kiss because she wasn’t sure she could have. Her lips were swollen as she reeled away from Mark, their eyes meeting just before Glenn whirled him around for a big right hand.

Hearing Paul behind her, she spun around and elbowed him in the face; watching as he fell backwards to the mats below.

“Out of the ring, Kane!” The referee shouted, exasperated with the situation already. All he knew was ‘Raine was going to be acting odd and to go with it’, damn them McMahons.



Stephanie for her part did not wet her pants when Mark bellowed that, directly in her face no less. She gestured Raine to make a run for it, not wanting her to be the one suffering Mark’s wrath. “Consider it punishment.”

“Punishment for WHAT?”

“Smacking Raine.”

Mark’s face went three shades red, a few tones of purple then finally back to just a pink. “You mean to tell me, all that shit she and Kane just pulled out there was a PUNISHMENT because I slapped her AFTER she sucker punched me?”

Glenn was ushering Raine off down the hallway as quickly as they could go without attracting Mark’s attention.

“Yes, I did. I don’t care WHAT she did, hitting a woman is WRONG!”

“That WOMAN fights the MEN!”

“In the RING! Outside of it is a different story!” Stephanie bellowed back, jabbing his chest with the tip of her finger. “And tonight was just the beginning, Calaway! In exactly ONE month, you will be facing Raine and Glen in a handicap Hell in a Cell!”

Mark glowered at her. HIAC? Hadn’t he already done one of those with Raine and Shawn? And now Stephanie wanted a repeat? So she wanted to see Raine with another fucking concussion? Snorting, he pushed Stephanie out of his way and stormed down the hallway.


Raine stared at the cell phone like it was going to bite her.

Shane McMahon was flashing across the screen.

She was going to KILL Stephanie because she knew she had deleted his number a very long time ago. Sighing, she answered it, trying not to sound bitchy. “Yes, Shane?”

There was a pause.


“Sorry.” He coughed. “I figured you would say ‘hello’.”

“Well, someone apparently programmed yer ass back into my cell.” She replied, walking over to her bed and dropped down on it, fresh from the shower and yet to dress. She had figured this would have been Stephanie calling to let her know if Mark was on the warpath or not and had rushed from the bathroom.

Obviously, she could have taken her time.

“If this is a bad time…”

“Shane, what do you want?”

“To say thank you.” Shane whispered softly, hesitant. “Look, maybe I’m out of line, Raine. But you left before I could say it and I didn’t know how else to get a hold of you.”


“So… thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“You didn’t have to come, even for Stephanie.”

“I know. But I did and that is the ONLY reason.” She said, making sure he knew exactly where she stood.

It sounded like he sighed quietly. “I know, Raine. But thank you anyways. Night.”

Raine heard the dial tone, blinking. Well that was odd. She was going to take it at face value. He had called to apologize and nothing more. She tossed the phone down onto her pillow and pushed herself up, preparing to go finish getting into her pajamas.

Or that was the game plan until there was a knock on the hotel door.

“I can’t get a damn break tonight!” She grumbled angrily, storming over to open it. When she seen Mark’s way too calm face, she automatically tried shutting the door, groaning when he blocked it with a boot. “Go away, I’m tryin’ to go to bed.”

“We gotta talk, darlin’.”

“Not tonight, now get out.”

“No.” He pushed his way into the room and closed the door behind him, freezing as his eyes roamed over her, taking in the plush towel. “Am I interruptin’ something?”

“No, you’re just in time for yer ass kickin’. Get the hell out, Mark.”

Mark wasn’t paying her too much attention at this point. He was more intent on watching the water still running from her wet hair, leaving slick trails down her shoulders, disappearing where the towel covered her chest.

“Sugar, my eyes are up here.” Raine gestured, snapping her fingers to get his attention.

“I know, gimme a second.”

Sighing, she purposely folded her arms over her chest, obscuring the view. “You had somethin’ to say?”

“I forgot.”

“Typical man.”

Mark rolled his eyes. “Sore about that kiss, darlin’? Is that why you have a cob up your ass?”

“You called THAT a kiss?”

Considering she had just given him an opening, Mark didn’t waste it. Smirking, he reached out to pull her into him, bending down. “Let’s try it again, then.”


“Not a word.”

Mark grinned, watching from the bed where he lay propped up in the tangled sheets as she dressed.

Raine shook her head, tucking her tank top into her jeans. In spite of herself, she was smiling. She wanted to be mad, of course, but it was kind of hard when she had just had the night of her life. Damn him.

And he looked so pleased with himself, that didn’t help any. Like he KNEW just how great for her that had been. Arrogant bastard.

“Come back to bed, darlin’.” Mark coaxed, patting the space next to him, obviously in no hurry to leave just yet.

Raine just shook her head, her brow furrowing. Last night hadn’t been a mistake, it had just been too fast. Not to fast as in rushed; a wham bam thank you ma’am, but as far as their relationship went it had come too damn soon.

For her at least.

With anyone but Mark, this might have come sooner as it was, it WAS Mark and that made all the difference. From day one, it felt like he was constantly pushing her; pressuring her into a relationship she hadn’t wanted. She had liked Mark well enough, she just hadn’t wanted to be with him.

The more he pushed and pressured, the more she had backed away from him.

Skipping all the drama and bullshit, fast forwarding to when they had started dating and that had been enough for her. She had wanted to take things slow simply because if they didn’t, who the hell knew where they’d be at this point.

Probably married with a kid on the way or something.

She shuddered, wondering if her imagination was going into overdrive.

“Back. To. Bed.”

“I can’t.” She finally growled, more irritated with herself now than him. In all honesty, Raine wanted nothing more than to dive under the sheets with him but she had other engagements that she was committed too.

“Why?” Mark frowned, finally swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, the sheet that he was precariously wrapped in bunching around his hips.

“See No Evil premiers tonight.”

“So?” He had completely forgotten his best friend’s movie, not that he would ever let Glenn know that.

“I’m going.” Raine sounded exasperated with him now, dropping down in a chair to pull on her boots. “I’m going as ‘Kane’s’ date, I told you this awhile ago, sugar.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Yeah, cause yeh got a selective hearin’ issue.” She said dryly, starting to pack her bag next.

Mark thought back, almost smacking his face when it finally hit him. Yeah, she had told him, he remembered, vaguely. “Alright, alright, I know what yer talkin’ bout.” He said finally. “Glenn’s date?”

“Kane’s date.” She corrected with an amused smirk. “Glenn is my friend, and only my friend and- my friend has a key to my room?” She looked confused when Glenn walked right in, eyeballing the key in his hand.

“Shawn.” He said by way of greeting, studying Mark thoughtfully. “I’m not asking.”


Mark just shrugged.

“Why did Shawn give you my key?”

“Cause you were supposed to meet me twenty minutes ago bonehead.” He next eyeballed her. “We ready? Big day coming up.”

“Yes, if I must.” Raine looked very put out, especially when he began to grin. “Please, tell me it’s somethin’ I’ll be able to stomach?”

“It’s red and sparkly.”

Mark scratched the top of his head, having no idea what they were talking about and not to keen on being left in the dark. The expression on Raine’s face wasn’t helping his burning curiosity problem either. “Uh, what am I missing?” He interrupted, garnering both their attention.

“Stephanie,” Glenn said with obvious relish. “Took on the lovely task of making sure Raine has the appropriate attire for tonight. She’s even gone as far as to have a make-up artist waiting so Raine dazzles them on the red carpet.”

“It’s not actually a red carpet.” Raine muttered, disappearing into the bathroom to grab her toiletries. Considering the major favor Stephanie had just gotten out of her, she had a lot of balls to be tormenting Raine this way. Looking into the mirror, she groaned and tried to envision a happy place, preferably one that didn’t involve being tortured with dresses and make-up.

“Rai, we gotta go.” Glenn called, still sounding amused.

Muttering a curse under her breath, she walked out.


“I hate you.” Raine muttered later that night, sitting in front of a vanity while her hair was being ‘done up’. Behind her perched on the hotel bed was Stephanie, looking very beautiful and very pleased with herself.

“You look fabulous, so shut up. It’s one night only.” Stephanie reminded with a teasing grin. “Besides, you have to make Glenn look good.” She took a sip of her wine, surveying Raine thoughtfully. She had selected a thigh high, red dress that shimmered under the light; figuring it would suit Raine perfectly. Oh how right she had been.

Especially with Raine’s hair now back to its natural brown color with natural, sun kissed red high lights streaking it. Though at the moment, Raine’s hair was being pulled up onto the top of her head in some elaborate hairstyle that was making Raine grimace. If only the kid would show more interest in make-up and how she dressed, she would be a knock out.

Stephanie tilted her head to the side, smiling slightly. Not that Raine wasn’t pretty, because she was. But she only wore make-up when she had too –out in the ring and for public appearances- and her idea of dressing up was a denim skirt and a nice blouse.

Country through and through.

Stephanie blamed Shawn.

“There, she’s done.”

“Thank you so much, Vanessa.” Stephanie said, getting to her feet; the folds of her black party dress swirling around her thighs as she walked over to study the finished product. “You look gorgeous.”

“I feel like if I smile, my face will crack.” Raine said, staring at herself with wide eyes. She did not recognize this person who was staring back and it bothered her. The only feature that she knew for a fact was hers were the green eyes, even if they were rimmed in black kohl. After a moment, she stuck out her tongue, grinning. There she was.

“Very mature.”

“I know.”

They both jumped at the rap on the door.

“That must be Glenn.” Stephanie laughed, shaking her head at how silly they were and walked over to open it. She squealed excitedly, tossing her arms around her brother’s neck. “Shane!”

“Steph, my arm!” He grimaced, though he was smiling as well. He was tightly wrapped up so his ribs weren’t hurting too much and he wore a sling to keep his arm level, though his collar bone was still healing. “You look gorgeous, sis.”

“Thank you. You look fairly dashing yourself.” Stephanie gushed, taking in his black tux, and the sling. Her smile turned into a frown when she seen he had a cane. “What’s that for?”

“Apparently when they got me up and walking, we all found out I have a limp.” Shane smiled somewhat. “I’m just glad they weren’t scraping me off the side of the-“ He trailed off, finally noticing Raine and losing his ability to speak at the same time.

Raine actually blushed under his stare, fidgeting. She did however make a mental note that when she finally snapped and killed Stephanie to do it slowly and as painfully as possible.

Stephanie seen the murderous look Raine shot her and knew she was running on borrowed time. “Why are you here?” She demanded, anxious to make it known that she hadn’t been aware Shane was coming.

“Mom thought it would be good for me to get out if I was ‘up to it’.” Shane said finally, clearing his throat and turning his attention back to his sister. “That and Paul’s flight got delayed.”

Her face fell. “Did it?”

“Yes, sorry.”

“Hey am I, what the fuck are you doing here?”

Glenn had arrived.

“He’s Stephanie’s date. Let’s go.” Raine breezed past them and took Glenn’s arm, glad that he had been distracted enough not to comment on her outfit.

 “By the way, you looking delicious.”

And then again…


All in all, it could have been worse. She and Glenn arrived, posed for some pictures and then got to sit through the movie. That was when Stephanie broke the news that they had an after party to go too.

So it got worse.

“I can’t believe I’m doin’ this.” She grumbled, watching as Glenn fought to keep himself from dancing. “Oh go on already. Just go. People know yer not really Kane.”

“This is true. Want to dance?”

“Hell no.”

Sighing, he rolled his eyes and walked off.

Raine snorted, wondering if he had gone mental. Like she was about to dance? Hell no, it took all her concentration to walk around in these stilettos Stephanie had her in, dancing would definitely mean her death.

“You look like you want to kill someone.”

She snapped out of her murderous thoughts, focusing on Shane. Of course, he couldn’t dance either, go figure. “Your sister comes to mind.” She admitted, sipping her flute of champagne; wishing for something a bit stronger but knew better.

She had had way too many problems with alcohol in the past, no need to start that all over again.

“Yeah, I figured as much.” Shane smiled awkwardly. He started to say something when a photographer appeared, frowning.

“Can I get a picture of you two? It’s all promotional for the film.”

Raine rolled her eyes heavenward but stepped into Shane, feeling him wrap his good arm around her waist, wondering where the cane went too then felt it leaning against her, smiling in spite of herself. She wrapped her arm around him, both of them looking into the camera.

“Thanks.” And the photographer was off, snapping more pictures.

Shane immediately stepped away, giving her her space. “Sorry.”

“Not your fault, it’s business.” She said brusquely. “Where’d my date get off too?”

“Over there.”


Shane watched her go, shoving aside the sadness he felt as Raine started laughing at something Glenn said upon seeing her. And to think, she used to love him until he had tried destroying who she was.


Raine managed to hide for most of the night, out on the balcony behind a potted tree. She had settled herself in an iron chair and was sipping water, watching the teeming nightlife going on down in the city streets. She wanted nothing more than to go back to the hotel, wash this shit out of her hair and off her face and burn the dress.

That was her agenda for later on.

But she couldn’t leave yet because Glenn was apparently having the time of his life and he was her date after all. She snorted at that one, date, yeah right.

Her mind strayed to Mark, trying not to smile a little but it wasn’t happening. Even though she felt that had come too soon, at least she was sober for it this time.

“Stephanie, leave me alone already.”

She didn’t move at the familiar voice though she couldn’t help resenting the intrusion as her thoughts were taking a decidedly pleasant turn and watched as Shane limped out onto the balcony followed closely by Stephanie. It was hard to miss the limp, or the fact that he relied on that cane heavily; feeling a momentary twinge of pity.

“Shane, why are you doing this?” Stephanie demanded. “You don’t have to be here tonight and I know you didn’t come just to escort me. You came because of her.”

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who ‘her’ was.

Shane kept his back to his sister, staring over the railing. “Stephanie, let it be.” His voice was so soft it was almost impossible to here.

“You are such a moron, Shane! You had her, she LOVED you and you totally screwed it up!” Stephanie hissed angrily, trying desperately to keep her voice down though it was getting shriller and shriller with each word that fell from her red painted lips.

His shoulders tensed but otherwise, he didn’t move.

“You tried making her into something she’s not, you almost made her give up her dream and-“

“And you think I don’t know that?” His own tone was angry now, but the anger wasn’t directed at Stephanie but himself. “Do you think I don’t realize what I did? It took me awhile to stop being angry at her, Stephanie, a long time. And then I realized it wasn’t her I was even angry at but myself. I live with it every day, knowing that I tried changing all the things I love about… about Raine.”

Raine really wished she wasn’t hearing this, tempted to let them know she was there but at the same time, that would be really awkward and Raine wasn’t good with awkward.

“So now what?” Stephanie demanded, a bitter; sarcastic edge to her tone. “You’re going to try getting her back? Shane, I love you but you screwed up. Raine is my friend and I’m not going to let you hurt her again.”

“I’m not trying to win her back.” He said, softly once more. “She’s happy, that’s all that matters to me. She’s made it clear time and time again she doesn’t want anything to do with me. Hell, the only reason she came to the hospital was because you asked her too not out of any lingering feelings for me, not even pity.”

“Then why are you here tonight?”

He didn’t answer right away, physically the picture of defeat. “I was going to tell her that I still loved her but…”

“But?” Stephanie prompted gently.

“But she’s happy again. She’s with Mark and he makes her happy. She feels awkward around me and I don’t blame her. I’m not ruining that for her.”

Stephanie didn’t know what to say. Silently, she moved forward to rest her hand on her brother’s back.

Neither noticed Raine creeping along the wall until she could slide back inside.


“Pay attention, Rai!’

“Sorry, Rey…”

Rey stared at her, well actually he stared up at her, a frown on his face. “What’s wrong with you? Last week you were nailing these perfect, this week you suck, chica.”

“Off day.”  She muttered, cracking her neck. He was right though, she was sucking majorly. She had damn near injured them both with a very poorly executed moonsault.

“Look, my time is being wasted if your head isn’t in the game.” He said gently but firmly. “So let’s call it a day and try again next week, okay?”

She nodded, feeling color infusing her cheeks.

Patting her back, Rey exited the ring.

Groaning, Raine waited until he had disappeared behind the curtain and started throwing herself off the ropes. Yeah, her head was definitely not on work today. Good thing the show wouldn’t start for another few hours because she would need that time just to focus.

“You alright, honey?”

She looked up to find Shawn standing at the top of the steel steps, offering a smile that he didn’t return. “I’m fine, pops.”

“Oscar said you were outta it.”

She shrugged, resuming her bouncing from rope to rope. “Just one of those days, I guess.”

“You never have ‘just one of them days’, especially when it comes to wrestlin’.” Shawn countered sternly, slipping through the ropes to join her. “Not anymore. How bout tellin’ me the truth?”

“I’m just…” Raine didn’t even know where to begin and shook her head. “I’ll let ya know when I figure it out, Pops. Until then, drop it, okay?”

Shawn studied his adopted daughter thoughtfully, finally nodding. “Fair enough, kid. Now,” He raised his fists. “How we have us a round or two?”

Laughing, she raised her own fists.


“Will you QUIT smiling?” Glenn growled, shaking his head at Mark. “Seriously man, I can’t go anywhere with you like this.”

“Like what?” Mark demanded, arching an eyebrow.

“Like… happy and shit.” His friend grumbled. “It’s not normal for you. You’re the brooding one and I’m the cheerful guy, ya know… that’s how this friendship works.”

“Oh ha ha.”

“Seriously Mark, I’m glad for you. About time you two hooked up and I mean that in the most sexual way possible.”

Rolling his eyes, Mark dropped his duffel bag on the bench; joining it a moment later. “Keep your mind outta the gutter, son.” He drawled warningly. “She’s off limits.”

“No shit?” Glenn drawled back, only his was sarcasm.

Relaxing somewhat, Mark leaned back until he was resting against the cool, metal lockers; closing his eyes. “How was the party?”

“Raine didn’t tell you?’

“Haven’t seen her since yesterday mornin’.”

“So you’re walking around with a grin just because you got your dick wet?” Glenn was luckily facing Mark which meant he seen the bag coming at his head and ducked. “Whoa!”


“Raine, Raine!”

Raine almost started running when she heard Stephanie’s voice behind her but resigned herself to the fact that eventually, sometime tonight, she would have to deal with her boss. Sighing, she turned around and waited for it, her eyes narrowing in the rolled newspaper in Stephanie’s hands.

“Look.” Stephanie unfurled it with a flourish. “It’s you!”

Raine did not want to look but she did anyways, instantly regretting it. It was the entertainment section or something of the local newspaper from last night’s movie premiere and there she was with Glenn, posing on the ‘red’ carpet. “What the… HELL!?” She snatched the paper away.

“Okay, look, that part, don’t read, okay?” Stephanie tried snatching it right back, shrieking when she got pushed backwards. “Raine!’

Beneath the picture of her and Glenn was the one of her and Shane, with a caption that read: Shane McMahon and his longtime girlfriend Raine Evans take a break from their kayfabe world to share a pose.


“Me?” Stephanie yelped, backing up with her hands out cautiously. “That is NOT my fault, Raine!”

“I am NOT Shane’s girlfriend! Who the FUCK told them that?”

“Nobody!” Stephanie looked ready to burst into tears. “Raine, face it. Since that incident with…”

“Bitchtista.” Raine spat.

“You’re an object of interest to the media.”

“I am NEVER doin’ ANYTHIN’ like this again!” Raine hurled the newspaper away from her.

Stephanie watched with wide eyes as Raine stalked off, letting out a sigh of relief that she still had her head intact.


“What the hell is this?”

“Where did you get that?”

“John Cena so sweetly pointed it out to me.”

Stephanie groaned, knowing she’d have to find a replacement for him for tonight’s main event no doubt. “Look, it’s not like that-“

“They are POSIN’ together, Stephanie. What the HELL is it supposed to look like?”

Mark was not a pleasant person when he was pissed off and Stephanie had to remind herself that he was the employee, she was the boss. She had the upper hand in this, right?

Well, in theory.

“Look, all they did was do a quick pose and then whoever put that in there got caption happy, okay? They’re not dating and you of all people should know this. If you’re with her, then trust her.”

Mark couldn’t argue with that one, even if his jealousy was telling him otherwise. Inhaling deeply, he nodded. “You’re right.”

“See?” She smiled.

“For once.”

The smile slid off her face, blue eyes narrowing.

“If your brother don’t want to wind up back in the hospital, you best tell him to keep away from her.”

Now her eyes were nothing but icy slits.


“Hey partner, you about ready to do this?”

Raine nodded, wondering just why it was necessary for them to go out at the beginning of the show. Talk about being jipped.

Glenn frowned at the silence, having been expecting some smartass quip. “You know, you shoulda worn that dress tonight, you looked smoking-“

“Shut the hell up a’fore I knock yer damn teeth out.” She growled.

“There’s my lovely ray of sunshine.” He sang.

Before Raine could make good on her threat, they were being cued. Promising him with looks that a painful death was coming, she followed Glenn out onto the stage. She focused on making it through this without exploding, her temper at an all time high thanks to that goddamn newspaper.

She was nudged out of her plotting –all plots involving shoving someone’s head onto a printing press and letting it get squashed- by Glenn.

“Raine, pay attention!” He barked, startling her into looking up at him.

She was shocked to see the worry on his face. “What the-“

He pointed towards the stage.

Frowning, she followed his arm then bared her teeth.

David Bautista had returned.

She wasn’t as worried as Glenn seemingly was. She had beaten this jackass before –several times- and could do it again. Not even caring about whatever script she was about to break, she slid out of the ring and headed up the ramp.

He met her halfway.


All Shawn could do was stare at the monitor, watching with wide eyes as Raine literally dived for David, just as he literally dived for her. He was frozen in shock, several thoughts racing around his mind but none sticking for more than a brief second.

Who had reinstated Batista? When had he been reinstated? Why hadn’t anyone said anything about this? Why were they sending him out there when Raine was out there? Who was footing the inevitable hospital bill?

“Shit!” He yelped when the grappling pair fell off the stage, regaining his mobility and hauling ass towards the entranceway.

“Shawn, no!”

“Fuck off, Stephanie!” He shouted over his shoulder.

“Michaels, go out there and you’re fired.”

He skidded to a halt at Vince’s voice, wondering just when Satan had decided to pay them a visit; throwing his boss a dirty look. “This is YOUR doing, isn’t it?”

Vince looked pleased with himself but just shrugged. “It’s good for ratings. People like seeing those two go at it.”


Paul intercepted before Shawn ‘s fist could land. “It’s not worth losing your job over.”

“Hell if it ain’t!”

“Shawn…” Paul sighed, then whirled around and punched Vince in the jaw. “There, see?” He glowered down at his father-in-law. “Go ahead, fire me.”

Stephanie shot her father a ‘don’t you dare’ look.


Raine was in a lot of pain. Landing on cables with a near three hundred pound man directly on top of you wasn’t something easily walked off, no matter who the hell you were. But she sucked it up. “Get off me!”

“Fuck you…” He grunted, reeling from that himself.

Her response was to punch him in his face.


Now Glenn was coming, this was about to get fun. Groaning, Raine let Dave pull her up, by her hair no less and when she was vertical; lashed out with a boot. Screw going for his stomach, she went for his nuts.

A few less David’s in the world wouldn’t be a bad thing after all.

But he intercepted that kick, grabbing her leg and spun her right around; following up with a push.

Raine felt blood gushing into her mouth, wondering just what she had bit. A stinging pain later told her it was her lip.

“Now…” David bent over to grab a handful of her hair again; jerking her upright. “Time to retire you.”

Her mind was going ‘what?’ at this point, than she felt him ‘lining’ her up, glancing straight ahead to see a very real, very steel crate.

Oh shit.


“Get Raine out of there!”

Stephanie, Paul, Shawn and the bleeding Vince all looked up to see Shane limping as fast as he could down the hallway.

Vince was red with anger, and some humiliation. “What the hell are you doing here?” He barked.

Shane ignored Vince, looking directly at Shawn. “Bautista’s contract is contingent on the fact that Raine doesn’t walk out of here.”

This time Paul stepped aside so Shawn could have the honors.


David was just about ready to launch Raine when he felt a hand on each of his shoulders. Growling, he dropped her and shook free; spinning around.

To find a very pissed off Mark Calaway looming over him.

Glenn was already on his way to get Raine out of there, groaning when she automatically tried to go after David again. “Oh no honey, time to go get cleaned up. Let the big boys play.”

“I’mma kill you Glenn!”

“You can try, AFTER you get your face looked at.”

“It’s just a busted lip!”

“Well Mark’s busy busting Dave so relax.” He physically had to cart her backstage, his eyes narrowing when he seen Shane McMahon’s back. It took a minute to realize that Shane was watching Paul and Stephanie restraining Shawn.

And Vince was currently unconscious.

Raine calmed down, astonishment all over her face. She knew Shawn had a temper but it was hard to make him explode. Well, in an extremely violent manner at least. “What happened?”

Shane slowly turned around, looking hesitant.

Raine let out a yelp when Shawn pulled her into his arms. “Pops!”

“Are you okay? Is anything broken?”

“Well if it is, her mouth is running overtime to make up for it.” Glenn grunted, ducking the backward kick she threw at him.

Raine suffered in silence as Shawn held her out at arm’s length, letting him go through his inspection before just tapping her lip. “This is it.”

Shawn frowned, seeing it was still bleeding. A second later he was pulling her bottom lip out, ignoring her undignified squeals and examining the bite. “You’re going to need stitches.”

Her response was to hock a wad of blood on the still unconscious Vince’s pants, finally looking at Shane and sighed, resigned to the fact that something was up. “Okay, what’s goin’ on?”

“Why don’t you go see the trainer first?” He suggested, worry in his eyes as he took the blood streaking down her chin and onto her wrestling top. When she shot him a ‘look’, he did smile. “I’ll come with you and explain.”

“We’ll all come with as we’d all like an explanation.”

Glenn was torn between tagging along to find out what the hell he was missing and waiting for Mark to explain what he knew of the situation so Mark didn’t put anyone else into the hospital. Groaning, he kept his feet right where they were.


Alex grinned when he seen Raine, though there was no humor in his eyes. “At least it’s not for broken ribs, eh?” He teased, watching as she plopped herself in a chair and decided not to test out her patience, she looked ready to snap.

So did her pappy for that matter.

“Her lip.” Shawn grunted, settling himself against the wall beside her, too tense to sit; clenching and unclenching his fists.

“Bit it?”

Raine nodded, her green eyes fastened on Shane.

Stephanie was also staring at her brother, aware her husband had gone over to keep close to the still near the surface of exploding –again- Shawn. “What’s going on?” She asked softly, wishing he’d just sit down because she knew his knee had to be hurting after that hurried pace he had been using.

“Dad resigned Bautista for one night only.” Shane said quietly, wishing he had brought the contract. His receptionist had been going over a current list of contracts being tentatively offered, developmental contracts when she had said Dave’s name. At first Shane had thought there was some mistake, at least until he started reading the fine print.

The wording was incredible, just this side of legal but there it had been, once you deciphered all the unneeded phrases and whatnot.

“And?” Stephanie prompted, snapping him out of his thoughts.

“And he would get a new contract, a proper contract, if he managed to retire Raine.” Shane had to give it to Vince. Using the term ‘retire’ had been a good call, because generally when people thought of the word retire, it meant heading off to Florida to enjoy white beaches and constant sunshine.

Not going to the damn hospital on a gurney with some career ending injury.

Since everyone present was in a business where that was the general way of ‘retiring’, they all understood the true implications of that one little word.

“You couldn’t have just called?” Paul snapped, hazel eyes flashing. Not for the first time, he wondered just what sort of family he had married into.

“I tried. But for some reason, nobody seemed to be answering.” Shane said dryly.

Stephanie reluctantly procured her cell phone from its clip at her waist, groaning softly. She had missed calls from early this morning. “Did you try calling anyone else?” She asked finally.


Raine couldn’t talk at the moment, shooting them all annoyed looks.

“I have Raine’s cell so calling her didn’t do much good.” Mark announced, stepping into the room, looking angry. “Security pulled me off him before I could actually do anythin’ good.”

“You sent him to the E.R.” Glenn chided from right behind his friend.

“With a concussion, big hairy.” His green eyes studied Shane, having heard enough to know that either Shane was a really good actor or he was trying to do something right, for once. Mark moved around Shawn to kneel besides Raine’s chair, watching Alex tend her lip. “How bad?”

“Not too bad, not as bad as it could have been. If she’d of bit down any harder, she’d of gone clean through.”


Raine snorted.

Mark glanced over his shoulder, catching the look on Shane’s face and inwardly rolled his eyes. He was surprised Shawn hadn’t kicked the bastard’s legs out from under him or something, tempted to do it himself but that might upset Raine.


“What’s wrong with you?” Paul asked as he and Shawn walked down to the hotel’s gym. It was much later in the night, or was it early AM now? Mark had taken Raine back to his hotel room and nobody was questioning it since Raine couldn’t talk anyways thanks to Alex injecting her with a painkiller that had left her unable to work her jaw without drooling and slurring.

“Shane.” Shawn said softly, his temper having ran its course, for the moment.

“What about him?”

“I’m tryin’ to figure out what his game is.”

Paul had known that was coming.

“I mean, is he out to win her back or is he actually doing whatever it is he’s doin’ out of the kindness of his heart?”


“That’s not helpful.”

Paul sighed, glad his kids weren’t that age yet and made a mental note to keep them under house arrest until they were at least thirty. “Man, she’s with Mark and everyone knows it.”

“They’re just datin’.”

“Sure… keep telling yourself that, old man.”


“How’re you feelin’, darlin’?”

“Fine.” Raine lied, her lip felt funny, but then again she had damn near put her teeth all the way through it so she guessed that was to be expected. gingerly, she tongued the stitches, pulling a face. “Ew.”

Mark tried not to laugh, honestly he did but the expression on her face made it damn near impossible. “Honey, don’t… Alex said they’ll dissolve in time…”

“In my mouth?”

“Yes.” To his credit he didn’t laugh but a smile was on his face now. “You have the night off by the way, Stephanie called this morning while you were sleeping.”

“Oh gee, how nice.” Raine grumbled, needing to get up and pee but she was too lazy and too comfortable. It didn’t help that Mark was nice and warm either. “I don’t want a night off.”

“Well you got it.” Mark replied calmly. He didn’t bother telling her he had taken the night off, she’d probably blow a gasket or something; thinking he was trying to babysit her no doubt. “So just shut up and enjoy it.”

“When ya put it that way…” Raine snuggled against him even more, wondering how they had gone from just dating to this. She didn’t know what to think of it. For awhile people had just assumed she and Mark were going to get together since she no longer had Shane in her life and Dave had disappeared after his loss to her but they hadn’t.

From day one, Raine had made mistake after mistake since signing with the Fed. Not to mention all the shit that had happened along the way, she still shuddered whenever she thought of the involuntary ‘porno’ she had made . So she hadn’t been planning on making another mistake by jumping into a relationship with Mark, even if they had slept together before.

Funny how things never seemed to work out the way she planned them.

She was brought down to earth by her cell phone ringing, the infamous cell phone. Sighing, Raine pulled away reluctantly from Mark and rolled over to locate her cell. “Hello?” She yawned upon answering.

“Have you forgotten what today is?”

“Michelle? Yer callin’ me to ask me a question about today? It’s Tuesday, bye.”

“Don’t you even think about it. It’s Beth’s birthday.”

Raine about rolled right out of bed. “Aww hell…”

“Aww hell is right you dumbass. We’re supposed to be keeping her distracted while the girls set up for her party.”

Raine would still never figure out just how she had made friends with the majority of the Divas but it had happened. With the exception of Melina, who still did not like her. But somehow it had happened, miracles were constantly amazing her.

“Hello, are you there?”

“Sometimes, Michelle, I hate you.”

“Sweetie, get over it. Get your ass up. Mickie and I are on our way to snag you.” Michelle hung up.

Mark could see his plans of having Raine all to himself for once and just relaxing were rapidly flying out the window and couldn’t keep the frown from his face. “What’s going on?” He asked, trying to keep his disapproval that she still hung out with Michelle from coloring his tone.

And as far as he was concerned, he had good reason for not liking it. Michelle had actively done things to basically sabotage Raine all so the skank could get back with him. Harmful things at that.

Maybe that was wrong of him to hold a grudge, considering Michelle did change her mind and sprout some morals when David had filmed him and Raine… Mark threw up a little in his mouth at the thought. And considering he had dated her AGAIN for like two days, only for her to break up with him.

Logically, Mark knew he was being a moron –that dating her thing really was an ass biter- but he couldn’t help it.

You takin’ off then?”

Raine nodded, groaning and half-heartedly pulled herself out of bed. “Yeah… The girls are throwin’ Beth a  birthday party… I volunteered to help distract her.”

“What kind of party?”

“The kind that men are not invited too.” She grinned impishly, than winced; touching her lip. “Ow.”

That sounded bad and he had to wonder if she meant men in general or just non-stripping men.

Mark watched in silence from the bed as she dressed, wondering if maybe he was out of his mind for wanting to be with her. Sometimes he forgot that she was actually young enough to be his daughter or something and young people tended to be all over the place.

Like she was. It was damn near impossible to get time with Raine unless she had been injured or something, he had to take a fucking number and wait in line.

He was going to have to fix this little problem.


“You guys are so… bad!” Beth was still blushing that night, well, the next morning; around 2 A.M., letting Michelle and Raine help her into her hotel room. “Who’s idea was it to get Cody to be a stripper?”

“Mickie’s.” They said instantly.

“And John…?”

“Okay, that was mine.” Raine grinned.

Michelle snickered. “Not like he needed any encouragement, now did he?”

“Nope.” Raine accepted the key card Beth managed to procure. “Where is Mr. Coddles anyways?”

“He’s helping Cena clean up the bar.” Michelle reminded her. “It was pretty trashed.”

“I never want to see Barbie gyrating on a pole again, never ever.”

“Me either.” Beth sighed, hiccupping and stumbled through the doorway, not even aware Michelle and Raine were herding her towards the bed. “I still can’t believe Stephanie was there.”

“I can’t believe she got drunk.”

“I can’t believe I have to go down to the cab and get her, think Mickie is alright babysittin’?”

“I’ve got, Beth.” Michelle laughed. “You go get Steph.”


“D’ya think Paulie’s gonna be mad that I gots a lil drunk?”

Raine wished she had a camcorder or something just so she could cherish this moment forever. Stephanie McMahon –okay, Levesque- was drunk off her ass. This was the first time Raine had ever seen Stephanie like this and as long as she didn’t start crying or something, it was funny as hell.

“No sugar, I’m sure he’ll be alright.” He’d probably die laughing actually.

Stephanie nodded, her hair tumbling from the once elegant coif she had done it up in. “Yeh, you’re so right, Rai Rai.”

Raine wrinkled her nose when Stephanie patted her face with light open handed taps.

“You’re sucha  good kid.”

Now she was about to drop Stephanie and let her crawl.

“It’s too bad ‘bout you and Shane.” Stephanie sighed, sounding melancholy now. “I was really hoping to have you as a sishter-in-law. He really loves you… the fuckwad…”

Overlooking the ‘sishter’, Raine frowned. “Stephanie, how bout we get you up to your room and Paul can tuck you in.”

“Yeah… Paulie… I love Paulie… he’s such a… a… bastard.”

“Why is Paulie a bastard?”

“Because he wouldn’t be a stripper!”

“What the- How much did she drink?”


Raine let go to let Stephanie launch herself into her surprised husband’s arms, grinning from ear to ear. “She’s ALL yours.”

Paul had to stop Stephanie from raping him, reddening when her hand slipped down the front of his pajama bottoms. “Uh, wait until we get in the room, honey.” He coughed, shooting Raine a look. “How come YOU’RE not smashed?”

“Michelle, Mickie and I were DD’s.”

“Smart girl…”


He really blushed now.

“Yeah PAULIE, get yer wife to bed.”

“Night Rai Rai, I love you!”

“I love you too, sugar.” Raine had to walk away before she collapsed right there in a giggling fit. She got around the corner before leaning against the wall, tears streaking down her face as she laughed.


She let out a shriek, wincing when the damn stitches stretched –which was becoming a nuisance- and tried to run. She really tried but it was hard to out run a hyper as hell, somewhat buzzed John Cena. A second later she was laying on the hallway floor with him sprawled apparently comfortably on top of her. “Yes, John?” She sighed.

“You owe me.” He reminded her.

“Are you kiddin’ me?”

“Nope, now pay up.” He tapped his lips.

Raine had sadly lost a bet in a game of cards and had been given two choices: either go join the men stripping or kiss John. She had agreed to the kiss just because she wasn’t stripping in front of a bunch of drunk co-workers. For the majority of the night she had evaded paying up by playing duck and dodge, so much for dumb luck holding out.

“Are you for real?” She grumbled, making a mental note to ask for a match against him when he shot her a smirk. “Yeh do know I’m datin’ Mark right?” She figured she’d have to give him fair warning since he’d probably be on the receiving end of one of Mark’s right fists.


“And you still want me to kiss you?”


“It’s yer funeral.”

“Raine, stop stallin’ and just kiss me.” John ordered, his blue eyes sparkling. “You lost, now time to pay the fiddler.”

“Yer so dead, Cena.”

“So gimme a slice of Heaven, honey.”

She was going to kill him. Groaning and protesting under her breath, Raine raised her head up, watching as he pursed his lips ever so slightly.

John blinked, realizing she had just pecked him. “Oh that was bullshit!”

It was her turn to blink when he bent down to kiss her and not just a peck but a full out kiss; smelling the beer on his breath as he ran his tongue over her upper lip. He was so going to die and she was going to knock her own self out for not insisting the kiss was done standing up. When she was flat on her back, she was at a disadvantage when it came to stronger people, usually men given her profession.

So now, she was laying on a floor, in a hallway of a very nice hotel; with John ‘I don’t care if I die’ Cena laying on top of her; kissing her like they were lovers and now moving his hands underneath her shirt. Her own hands flew down to stop him, tempted to bite his lip but she didn’t need his blood in her mouth or polluting her stitches or something, yuck.

“Hey, I knew you liked me.” He mumbled against her lips when her legs locked around his waist.

“If you don’t stop, I’mma have to break your ribs.” She flexed her muscles threateningly, watching as comprehension dawned on John’s face.

“Like that time with Bitchtista?”

She nodded.

“Okay, I’m done, bet’s over, I win. I’ll just be-“

“Going nowhere.”

They both paled. Raine tilted her head back to look up into the eyes of her pissed of boyfriend while John raised his own head, swallowing hard.

This looked so bad.


“This is not what it looks like Mark!” John said in a strangely high pitched voice; his face draining of all color as he stared up at the Phenom. Didn’t Raine say something about Mark? Yeah, she had warned him. Of course, he hadn’t listened.

Aw man, he was going to die.

“Mark, watch yer temper.” Raine cautioned, her hands pushing at John’s shoulders. “John… get off of me.”

John was having a problem moving though. “Um… um… um…”

Rolling his eyes, Mark bent down and grabbed Cena by the back of his neck; literally hurtling him away from Raine.

“Damn it, Mark!” Raine growled, already getting to her feet. She let out a very undignified yelp when it was her neck being grabbed. “Don’t you dare!

His response was to drop to one knee, placing her over it.

“MARK WILLIAM CALAWAY, I’LL-“ Her face went beet red when he actually started paddling her backside. For a brief moment she was reliving her last birthday when Paul had actually given her birthday spankings. Only this was worse, much worse.

It felt like her bottom was on fire and each smack made it worse.

And in a very weird way that she didn’t understand at all, it was turning her on.

 John watched this with his head throbbing, half of him wanting to help her out but the other half was achingly reminding him that pain was no fun, not unless you were getting paid for it and then it was only tolerable. “Mark, c’mon man…” He groaned, pulling himself into a half sitting position; his head swimming.

Mark grunted, feeling Raine wiggling in an effort to get away from him and finally stopped. “You done?”

“I didn’t even start it, yeh jackass!” She whimpered, ashamed for a few reasons, one of them being the fact that she was crying.

“Dude…” John got vertical, staring down at them. “Rai, you okay?”

Mark very literally growled at him.

John backed off, shaking his head and decided to retreat. Live to fight another day and all that.

“Jackass…” Mark snorted, pulling himself up and taking Raine with him. He turned her so he could see her face, not surprised by the tears. Though the fact that she wasn’t hollering curses or trying to kick his ass was surprising. That wasn’t normal for Raine. Frowning, he tilted her head back; blinking in surprise when she wouldn’t meet his gaze.

She was tempted to knock his balls up to his throat but couldn’t bring herself to do it, she was more focused on holding her throbbing ass. Her stare remained firmly locked on his neck; point blank refusing to look in his face.

It took Mark’s way too educated mind only a few short seconds to realize what the deal was, helped along when he stooped so she had no choice but to meet his eyes. She had blushed.

“You liked it.”

There was no surprise, no humor, just a simple fact of life.

Now she was really blushing.

Mark was rethinking his earlier assessment of her being too young. Apparently her youth was a good thing as she wasn’t completely corrupted yet and he could be the one to corrupt her. He would almost swear that a little devil was talking in his ear; filling him with a bunch of ideas and all of them were guaranteed to make her blush.

Now that she was looking at him, Raine could not tear her eyes away. Only moments ago she had been ready to stomp a mudhole in his ass and walk it dry but now… now she was completely out of it. The expression on his face could only be described as evil.

Ignoring her startled gasp, Mark scooped her up into his arms and headed back towards their room.

John Cena was forgotten for the moment.


Mark smirked wickedly, surveying his handiwork. If Shawn could see his precious daughter right now, he’d probably keel over. He tilted his head to the side; content for the moment to just study her nude, muscular body.

From his vantage point, he got a particularly good view of her from behind. He made a mental note to invest in silk scarves, though his plethora of bandanas had done the job just as well. The two poster bed was an unexpected blessing; one that he was putting to good use.

Raine was currently on her knees, her arms tethered to the posts by the bandanas; her knees braced apart giving him a delicious view of her firm ass and exposed nether regions. Her ass was a beautiful shade of red, a little tender looking but as he had discovered earlier: she liked it.

The proof was glistening on her inner thighs.

“Mark?” Raine’s usually confident drawl was now a soft; hesitant whisper.

“Mmm.” He rumbled, not done quite yet with his visual feast.

She shifted; nervousness in every slight movement. After a moment, Raine turned her head and looked at him over her shoulder; cheeks flushing when she seen how he was looking at her. She was obviously not a virgin, but apparently she had been innocent.

Because he was corrupting her.

Deciding he had made her squirm long enough, Mark approached the bed; watching as her arms flexed; instinctively trying to free herself. “Don’t…” He murmured huskily; reaching out to place his palm on the small of her back.

After a moment, she calmed down; head down with her brown hair hanging on either side of her face.

He could see her deep breaths, smiling slightly. Reality always crashed down on a person at the most awkward of times.

He’d have to remedy that for her.


It wasn’t surprising in the least that Raine wasn’t in bed with him when he woke up; smiling as he folded his hands beneath his hands and shut his eyes once more. No doubt she was already on a plane or working out, for her sake he hoped it wasn’t the latter as her muscles would be protesting it.

After the few minutes he allotted himself to remember the night before, Mark  reluctantly pulled his own protesting body out of the comfortable, warm bed. Scratching at his badly needing trimmed jaw line, he turned around to study the posts; smirking when he seen the bandanas were still there.

First things first, he needed a shower.

And the smirk surgically removed from his face.


Raine cocked her head when she heard the shower going, setting down the two Styrofoam cups of coffee and had brought back on a side table. Mark probably thought she’d left, no doubt from a fit of after kinky sex embarrassment.

Which she had seriously contemplated, she had debated on whether it might just be easier –on her- to catch a morning flight far, far away from his knowing eyes and deliciously evil smirk.


Wearing a smirk of her own, she quickly shed her clothes and crept into the bathroom; stifling a snicker when she heard Mark humming some decidedly country song.  Shaking her head, she slipped into the shower behind him; letting out a low whistle.

“SON OF A BITCH!” Mark roared, whirling around; the bottle of conditioner in his hands going flying and ricocheted off the shower wall, onto the bathtub floor and back up into his knee.

Raine folded her arms over her chest; arching an eyebrow up at him.

“You little wench…”

“Darlin’, it’s MY turn.”

Mark actually felt a hint of panic at the devious gleam in her jade green eyes.


“What the hell is HIS problem?” Glenn grumbled, a hand cupped over his mouth as he trudged over to an amused looking Raine.

Raine shrugged, taking a swig of her tea and leaned back against the hallway wall; watching as Mark limped down the hall, away from her. “No idea.”

“Looks like something crawled up his ass and died, literally. He’s limping…”

“What happened to yer mouth, honey?” She asked, changing the subject.

“Mark’s fist.”

Raine didn’t ask.

Glenn didn’t volunteer.


She glanced up to find John coming, worry etched on his face. “What?”

“You’re ALIVE!” He gripped her upper arms and shook her. “Thank God, I was going to go all crazy white boy on him and stuff but you know, I was reeling from drinking and-“

“And bein’ hurled.”

“That too.”

“Who hurled you?” Glenn interrupted.

“Mark.” They answered in unison.


“I kissed her.”

“Yeah, what he said.”

Glenn shook his head. “Damn kids…”


“What the hell did you let my wife drink?” Paul demanded when he came across Raine, who was holding ice to her still sore mouth; having forgotten during moments of ecstasy that stretching her lips wasn’t the brightest thing.

“Lemme see…” Raine drawled, removing the ice for a moment as she thought about it. “She started off with wine coolers, moved onto rum and coke, then finished the night with shots of tequila.”

Paul’s eyes widened, wondering if she was for real. He had to take her word for it though because Stephanie was currently back at the hotel still sleeping off what had been a hellacious hang over. Still. “You let her drink all that?”

“Hey, it was gold liquor on top of gold liquor not counting the wine coolers.” Raine smirked slightly, remembering just how drunk Stephanie had been. “Besides, Paulie,” The smirk widened painfully for a moment at his visible flinch of the nickname. “From the way she jumped yer ass, you should be glad and deal with it.”

He couldn’t argue the jumping part, though he did scowl anyway. “And you didn’t touch a drop?”


“Good girl.”

Awww, thanks Uncle Paulie!”

“I take that back.”

“We need to talk.”

They looked at Mark, two pairs of eyes widening in unison.

“Me?” Paul pointed at himself innocently, already knowing Raine’s ass was probably in a sling.

“Don’t be a retard or I’ll kill ya.” Mark snorted, staring down at Raine. “I’m hearing things about a bet.”

She rolled her eyes exasperatedly. NOW he wanted to talk about that. “You moron, if yeh would have let me or John explain last night, you’d of known all about it by now.”

“Well you can explain now, can’t you?”

Paul excused himself.

“Not in the mood.”

“You were this morning.” He taunted, changing tracks.

She shrugged, looking decidedly evil. “Darlin’, if I remember rightly, this morning it was you screamin’ my name, not the other way around.”

Mark regretted going there, especially when she cleared her throat and opened her  mouth; clamping his hand over it to prevent her from saying whatever it was she had just thought. And if it was on the track they currently were on, he did not need her making that information available to the public.


“Super Cena!”

Mark let out a surprised grunt when he was caught from behind; throwing out his hands to prevent himself from going face first into the wall. Raine had already removed herself from harm’s way. “Cena, you’re going to die, son.” He cautioned, no longer amused.

“Not today!” John laughed, snatching Raine up and tossing her over his shoulder. Ignoring her squeals of protest, he took off; humming ‘da da da duh!’ loudly.

Raine was torn between cussing him out and laughing her ass off, the expression on Mark’s face forever burnt in her mind. Simply priceless.

She closed her eyes to block out the floor moving rapidly below her; deciding to wait until John set her down before knocking his thick head off. As soon as her foot touched floor; she balled her fist.

John caught her before the blow could land, looking hurt. “Hey, I just rescued you and this is the thanks I get?”

“How do you figured ya rescued me?”

“Wasn’t Mark going to kill you?”


“Oh okay…” John shrugged, smiling nonchalantly and waved if off; apparently forgetting only the night before Mark was more than ready to kill him. No doubt also ignoring the fact that Mark would probably be feeling that way tonight as well. “My bad. I thought he knew Shane was here tonight.”

“What has that got to do with him tryin’ to kill me?” She demanded, disregarding the Shane part for the moment.

“Because Shane is putting you in a match against Batista?” Now it was John who was confused.


John watched with wide eyes as Raine stormed off, biting his lower lip. “Oops…”



Shane looked up from the couch where he was reviewing the night’s matches, frowning at the pissed off look on Raine’s face. He was going to murder someone himself providing his ex-girlfriend left him alive long enough to do so. “I’m not ‘sticking’ you in a match, you were already scheduled for one.” He said calmly, holding out a paper.

Snarling, she snatched it from him; scanning it quickly. “Stephanie?”

“I’m here representing her since she’s um… incapacitated.”

“Hung over.”

“That doesn’t sound very professional.”

Raine snorted. Professional and McMahon simply did not mix, everyone knew that.

“Look, she approved the matches and sent them on to me. If this is a problem, we’ll change it.”

“I thought his contract depended on my roster status.” She said after a moment of silence, eyes narrowed venomously.

Now it was Shane’s turn to snort. “Rai, you of all people should know how this business works. The ratings are dropping and the writer’s think another feud between you and Dave will help boost them.”

“And your dad doesn’t like me.”

“That too.”

Sighing, she dropped down on the opposite end of the couch; resting her head back and closed her eyes. “What about the tag team championships? I’m not droppin’ or losin’ just because your ol’ man is an asshole.”

“You’ll face him tonight, Glenn will do a run in and Dave will be teamed up with someone else.”

“Oh jeez, isn’t this original?” Raine drawled sarcastically.

Sighing, Shane ran his left hand through his hair; his right still in the sling. “I’ll cancel this if you want me too.” He said finally.

She was quiet for a moment, considering that. “No, because then Vince will be even more pissed off and just do something even more idiotic.”

Not to mention it would look really bad if Shane started pulling strings for her.

No wonder John thought Mark was going to kill her. Everywhere she turned it seemed like Shane was popping up.

Shane nodded, personally agreeing with her but not voicing it. “If there’s nothing else?”

It took her a moment to realize she was being dismissed, almost shocked but stood up. “Nope.”

He shook his head as she walked out.


“Okay, just tell me, why are you walking funny?” Glenn asked for the umpteenth time, groaning when Mark shot him a look. “Please, I promise not to tell anyone.”

“Go fuck yourself.”

“What fun would that be?”

“Glenn, go away.” Mark growled. He was not having a good night. He had found Cena -and put him through a partition, but had yet to see Raine again. Her tag team partner however was making a general nuisance of himself.

“She whooped your ass again, didn’t she?”

As Glenn was perilously close to the truth, Mark didn’t say a word; his brows furrowing in agitation.

Glenn was a very observant man though and knew Mark better than most people so he also knew he had hit a sore spot with that comment. Arching an eyebrow; he stroked his jaw speculatively. “What did she do?”

“None of your fuckin’ business and if you like living, you’ll walk away right now.”

Glenn was silent, mulling things over. Mark was walking a bit funny, mentioning either whooping or ass was a tender subject…

His eyes brightened.

Mark shook his head warningly.

“She did one of these,” Glenn jabbed a finger upward and made a popping noise. “On you, didn’t she?”


“What the hell do you mean I’m out a tag partner?” Raine demanded, staring at Shane who was looking a bit peeved himself. He had just located her to inform her Glenn was currently not available to do the run in during her match with Bautista.

“He’s on his way to the hospital.” Shane said dryly, leaning heavily on his cane. “Apparently he was found in the men’s showers with a um…” He hesitated, actually turning red in the face.

“A what?” She sighed impatiently, not interested in his beating around the bush issues.

“With a bottle of Brute shoved up his…”

“Ohhhh….” Raine’s green eyes widened, then her jaw dropped; realizing what must have happened.

Shane arched an eyebrow when she actually began giggling. “May I ask what’s so damn funny?”

She shook her head, clamping her hands over her mouth. The giggling fit only got worse when Mark appeared just behind Shane. The expression on his face warned her now was not the time to be laughing but damned if she could help it.

“Raine…” He growled.

Shane didn’t even bother turning around, wishing he could pinch his nose but as one arm was in a sling and the other gripping the head of his cane, he settled for closing his eyes and sighing softly. “I’m not asking.”

“You told him?”

“Told him what?” Raine finally managed to stop laughing long enough to ask, enjoying this a little too much.

Mark’s face was turning an angry shade of red.

“So,” She focused her attention back on Shane before her boyfriend beat her ass, trying to keep a straight face though it was almost impossible. “Who are you replacing him with?”

“Mark.” Shane said promptly.

Raine had another giggling fit.


Raine was in the process of getting dressed for her match, the levity over as she thought about facing Bautista again. On one hand it would be good to beat his ass once more, on the other getting into yet another feud with him wasn’t on her top ten list of things to do.

Especially since he took it so personally and tended to bring the drama outside of the ring.

“Busy, get out.” She ordered when she heard the locker room door open, not bothering to look over her shoulder.

A second later she was being push head first over the couch, a hand firmly placed between her shoulder blades, another looping just underneath her breasts.

“Mark, I’mma kill you!” She growled, recognizing his tattooed sleeved arms. She was really going to kill him when she realized he was working her wrestling shorts down; letting out a shrill scream as he removed his hand from her back. “Mark!”

“My turn.” He rumbled darkly.


Shawn watched with raised brows as Raine limped down the hallway, seeing her shake her head and didn’t ask. He didn’t WANT to know, especially when Mark appeared behind her looking way to smug. He tugged on his low hanging ponytail and sighed, wondering where he had gone wrong; raising a depraved daughter.

“Pops.” Raine muttered, nodding as she passed him.

Paul stepped out behind Shawn, arching an eyebrow. He smirked at the look on Mark’s face. “I know that look. It’s the ‘I just got some’ look.”

Shawn elbowed his best friend.

“Fuck…” Paul groaned, hunching a little.

“That is my DAUGHTER, you twit!”

“She’s-“ Paul bit back his comment at the dangerously parental look in Shawn’s flashing eyes.

Mark was still grinning when he passed them, catching up with his poor girlfriend and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “You’ll live.”

“Fuck you.”

“I just DID.”

She blushed three shades of red. “That’s not even funny, Calaway.”

“You did it to me.” He reminded her none too gently, his green eyes flashing wickedly.

“Not like that!”

This was true, but it still didn’t matter.

He stopped her, gently turning Raine so she was facing him and ignored her childish pouting. “Darlin’, get over it.”

Raine looked up at him, eyes narrowing at his callous tone. “You’re a son of a bitch, yeh know that?”

Mark shrugged, not looking too perturbed. “And you liked it. So what does that make you besides extremely fuckin’ kinky?”

He should have been expecting the punch that clipped his jaw, really he should have.

But he hadn’t been which made it hurt even more.


Raine snorted, flicking her brown hair over her shoulder and continued on her way; trying to walk like she hadn’t just been… Her train of thought was interrupted by a hand clamping down on her shoulder; whirling her back around.

Mark was more than tempted to knock her damn head off her damn shoulders but managed to keep his temper in check. “What the fuck was that for?”

“What do you think, moron?”

“Because you’re a stuck up little bitch who’s ashamed that she likes her ass pounded!”

You could almost hear traffic in the hallway screeching to a sudden halt, all eyes on the pair that were currently toe to toe, identical expressions on anger on their oh so different faces.

“Damn Raine, I didn’t know you liked it put down like THAT!” Matt Hardy teased.

“FUCK OFF, HARDY!” Both Mark and Raine shouted.

He cowered back into the hallway wall.

At this point, Paul and Shawn were making their way towards the screaming, neither one of them surprised to see Mark and Raine at the center of the ruckus, the couple had too much attitude between the pair of them.

Raine was shaking from head to toe, pissed beyond belief; every inch of her red. Mark had just blurted that out carelessly and it wasn’t going to be him dealing with the smart ass comments. Or paying the fines that would result in people going to the hospital for those comments. She wanted nothing more than to beat the shit out of him but there were too many witnesses.

“She’s going to snap.” Paul said thoughtfully, folding his arms over his chest. “What’d we miss?” He bent down to ask Maria.

“Um…” She chuckled nervously, wringing her hands together and shot Shawn a look. “Um… something about her um, backside… and um, pounding.”

Shawn was now turning red himself.

Paul let out a low whistle, giving Raine an appreciative once over before slipping back into his ‘Uncle’ mode. He WAS a man after all.

Shawn had caught that and snapped. Grabbing Paul by the back of his neck, he flung him towards the wall.

Paul was reeling.

Shane was on his way, his face draining of color at the scene going on in his hallway. Mark and Raine were about to exchange blows and Shawn had just taken out his tag team partner. “What’s going on here?” He bellowed.

Nobody even spared him a look, all eyes focused on Mark and Raine who had finally begun swinging at each other.

“Damn it, you two, stop!” Shawn ordered, wading it to grab Raine and pull her back.

“Lemme go!” She ordered, kicking out with her feet at her boyfriend who was laughing at her.

“Girl, you cool yer ass right now before-“

Mark started laughing even harder.

Growling, Raine broke free of her adopted dad and lunged; spearing Mark to the floor.

Mark threw his hands up to shield his face, still laughing. “Wanna go cool your ass?” He taunted.

“I’m gonna cram a baseball bat up yers!”

He didn’t take that threat lightly considering she had done something akin to that to him only this morning, of course not with a bat…

Shane watched with wide eyes as Mark pushed Raine off of him, wincing when she flew backwards onto the floor and had to stop himself from rushing to her side. Like he would be any help? He was a damn gimp, that and she was much tougher than he ever gave her credit for.

Though when he seen Mark getting up and dodging a blow from her foot aimed at his knees, he began panicking. The look on Mark’s face was dark and stormy. Limping forward as fast as he could, Shane moved to stand between the pair.

“Son, you best get the hell out of my way.” Mark ordered gravely, looking over Shane at his girlfriend. “This is between us.”

“You two need to take your bullshit outside of my building.” Shane said flatly, glancing behind him at Raine who seemed surprised to find him there. “If you want to fight, fine, but do it on your time, not mine.”

“Boy, move.”


Shawn watched wide eyed as Mark took aim for Shane’s face, knowing damn well Mark didn’t like Shane anymore than he himself did, the part that made his eyes widen was the fact that Raine had stepped in to intercept the blow.

Shane dropped the cane to grab her by the upper arm when she spun around to face him, seeing her eyes clench shut when the punch landed on her left shoulder blade.

In all honesty, when Raine stepped in, Mark had tried to pull out of the punch but it didn’t happen, though the blow was lighter than intended. “Shit…” He cursed.

Raine let out a ragged breath.


“Are you okay?”

Raine nodded, wincing as Paul pressed an ice pack to her shoulder. Just down the hall in Shane’s office she could hear shouting, knowing Shane was fining both Mark and Shawn to Hell and back for their respective behavior earlier. Mark taking a swing at Shane –that she incidentally had stepped into- and for Shawn attacking Paul.

Paul brushed his fingers over her bare shoulder gently, watching her muscles tense and knew that was as close as her admitting it hurt that he’d see. The area was slightly raised and still red, though he could see bruising already beginning.

Shane had removed Mark from the line-up, replacing him with Paul.

So Paul and Raine were in hiding from their respective partners, the door locked just in case either Mark or Shawn’s both equally infamous tempers got the better of them.

“You know,” Paul said, his tone teasing; trying to bring back her usual good humor. “With us tagging, they might want to put us back together.”

Raine considered that for a moment, smiling despite of herself. “I’m assuming by back together you don’t mean DX.”

“Nah, you know what I mean.”

She turned in her chair, studying him over her shoulder. “I’mma tell yer wife, Paulie.”

Paul groaned, getting up from the bench and shook his head. “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”

“Hell no, minding passin’ me my shirt?”

Rolling his eyes, he reached for her discarded top and threw it at her, watching as she pulled it back on.

Raine arched an eyebrow when she realized he was watching her, shifting uncomfortably under the intense look on his face. She had practically grown up calling Paul ‘uncle’, sometimes even acknowledging him as her second father because that’s just how he was.

Or had been.

Ever since joining the company her experience with men had been… interesting to put it mildly. And she had learned to recognize specific looks. This one in particular.

“Not you too, Paul.” She groaned, shaking her head.

The look vanished, replaced with confusion. “What?”

“You’re looking at me as a WOMAN.”

Now it was his turn to arch an eyebrow, trying his hardest not to laugh at her though he did chuckle once or twice. “Raine, honey, I don’t know how to break it to you but you ARE a woman.”

“Well I know this but you’re giving me THAT look.”

“Sorry. Even the King of Kings slips.”

“Oh ha ha, funny funny.”


First it was Raine and Glenn, the Raine and Mark and now it was Raine and Paul? David shook his head as he was informed of the final change, right before the damn match. Mark was brutal enough in the fact that he’d straight up beat you down. Paul had a thing for systematically dismantling people.

On the bright side, at least Paul was only doing a run in.

Shane was pacing off to the side, wanting to be there along with security just in case something happened, something that WASN’T in the script; which was entirely possible considering this was David and Raine. He was on the phone with the bitchy, hung over Stephanie; talking rapidly, trying to convince her everything was under control.

When he got off the phone and turned, Raine was standing there, looking none too worse for wear. He managed a weak smile. “How’s your shoulder?”

“I’ll live.” She shrugged, not needing him questioning her motives for saving his ass. It was simple: Mark had been about to take his head off and as he was already fairly damaged, he didn’t need a concussion. That and Raine hadn’t wanted to see Mark suspended.

Nothing more, nothing less.

“Alright, look you two,” He said to them both, his expression stern. “I don’t want any bullshit out there.” He looked directly at David. “And if your hand so much as taps her backside, I will suspend you, understand me?”

David rolled his eyes.

“Raine, kindly try not to break his ribs this time.” Shane added after a moment, though his lips were curving upward into the barest hint of a smile.

“I’ll TRY.” She said straight faced.

“Good.” He patted her shoulder, looking up as Salvia blared from the speakers. “Good luck out there.”

Raine flashed him a grin, all her teeth in it. “Save the luck for David, he’s the one who needs it.”


Truer words had never been spoken. The year he was gone, Raine had improved her game, a lot. She had trained with Mark, Shawn as well as Paul who knew just about every aspect to the wrestling business.

And she was using it all tonight, on David, just because he was the one person she really; truly hated.

When Triple H’s music announced his arrival, David was actually relieved. He wasn’t out of hot water yet but at least the end was near. He seriously considered just resigning himself back to the shelf. Raine must have picked up a bit on Paul’s style, not only did the moves look good and painful, but they were painful.

Not to mention the punches she threw, which he knew damned well she had learnt from her boyfriend.

It was a tragedy that she could fight this well but wasn’t a man, a real crying shame as there honestly wasn’t a place for a woman in the business, not for what she wanted to do, the places she wanted to reach.

Raine just hadn’t realized it yet.

Of course, Raine had to give Paul a reason to come down, like be on the losing end. Which meant she eventually let David get the upper hand; hating every second of it.

And David being David took full advantage.

After being speared, Batista bombed and then just plain out smacked; Raine was reeling. She also welcomed Paul’s music, needing a quick breather and possibly popping her shoulder back in place.


Mark watched as Paul ‘saved the day’, rolling his eyes when Batista slid from the ring before he could get his ass handed to him. He snorted when Paul started pacing around Raine protectively, every inch of him tensed as if for a fight.

“Oh dear Christ on the cross.” He muttered exasperatedly, seeing Raine holding her shoulder; incidentally the same he had accidentally pinched as she got to her feet. Leave it to her to sell the injury on TV, trying to make him feel bad no doubt.

Well it wasn’t working.


“Are you okay?” Paul asked, placing one hand on the small of her back, bending down to say it in her ear as they were still in the middle of the ring, the fans screaming loud enough to make one’s own thoughts hard to hear.

“I think my arm is out of its socket.” She groaned, leaning into him when his arm went around her waist; feeling him brushing his lips against her temple. “Oh fuck, it hurts…”

“Alright whiner, let’s get you backstage. Man it up.”

“But I’m not a man, sugar, remember?” She managed to drawl, even attempting a half smile.

Paul didn’t return it, keeping his expression angry for the cameras. He tossed his wet hair back over his shoulders, eyes turning to the stage where David was still standing.

David made a ‘come on’ gesture, laughing when Raine gripped Paul’s hand to keep him in place.


Neither Raine or Paul were surprised to find themselves in a phone conference with Stephanie when they got backstage.

“What we’re going to do is put you two back together as an on-screen couple.” Stephanie said, ignoring the sounds of whimpers reaching her through the phone.

“What about Kane?” Paul grunted, trying to get Raine to hold still long enough to put her arm back in its socket. “Considering you’ve had broken ribs, fractured your entire hand… You didn’t fuss this damn much for those.”

“I was practically unconscious for ‘em too!”

Stephanie blew into the phone. “Just what the hell are you two doing?”

“Hold on.”

Stephanie winced when she heard Raine let out a shrill scream.



“Anyways,” Stephanie’s voice was stern, reminding them they were conducting business. “Glenn needs some time off to recharge anyways, not to mention heal his…”

“Ass.” Raine supplied with a snicker.

“That too.”

“So you two will be back together.”

Paul shook his head, sharing an amused look with Raine. His wife was something else, that was for sure. When it came to her precious family business there was no line she wouldn’t cross, no road she wouldn’t take to reach the destination she wanted.

Even pairing her husband up with another woman.


“You really sold that arm injury and I didn’t even punch you that damn hard.”

Raine rolled her eyes, wondering why she had even bothered coming back to the hotel room she was sharing with Mark; knowing damn well they were probably going to fight. Oh yeah, because they were dating and she was trying to get along.

Stupid of her, really.

“For yer information, jackass, David wrenched it outta it’s socket.” Raine said, sounding calm despite her choice in words. Snorting at him, she threw her duffel bag down onto the bed and crossed the room to slip into the bathroom; beginning to peel off her wrestling gear.

Mark sat on the bed in silence, inwardly groaning. After a moment he got up and followed her, placing his hands gently on her hips. “I’m sorry, Rai.” He apologized.

She looked at him through the mirror, her green eyes searching his; finally nodding. “Apology accepted.” Raine leaned back into him for a moment, enjoying him just holding her though the mood died when she felt Mark’s lips on her neck; his mustache tickling her skin. “Not tonight, honey.”


“Lemme get a shower-“

“I’ll join you.”

“And then we can watch a movie or somethin’.” Raine said firmly, twisting away from him.

Mark studied her for a moment, finally nodding.

Once he was out of the bathroom, Raine closed the door; groaning softly at the twinge in her shoulder. He hadn’t punched her that hard? Bullshit. That, factored with Dave having purposely taken advantage of her sore arm… She wasn’t in the mood for sex, or anything besides some light cuddling and that might have been pushing it.


“Shane fined me a grand.” Mark yawned after their movie, which he personally had boring as hell but didn’t voice it. He turned down the blanket, watching Raine crawl underneath it and shook his head. The woman was strange, she had to be covered with a blanket no matter how hot it was.

“Did he now? I’m surprised he didn’t try firin’ yer ass.” She teased, resting her head on the pillows after flattening them as much as possible. “Considerin’ you WERE swinging at him.”

“Yeah, and it would have GOTTEN him if you hadn’t stepped in.” Mark growled softly.

“Can’t have him firin’ you.”

“Like his old man would allow that to happen?”

“Maybe.” Raine yawned, closing her eyes. “Stephanie is puttin’ Paul and me back together on-screen.”

Mark froze in sliding off his sweat pants, staring at her. “What do you mean? Like stickin’ you back with DX or…”

“Couple.” She murmured without opening her eyes.

“What the fuck for? You’re on camera with Glenn.”

“He’s takin’ time off to heal up some.”

“I didn’t fuck him up THAT bad.”

“Yer a moron.” She said flatly, popping one eye open to glare at him. “He’s been workin’ hurt, Mark. Or didn’t you know?”

“He didn’t mention it.”


Ignoring her, he slipped into the bed beside her; automatically reaching out for her. “So what about the tag titles?”

“Paul gets to wear gold.” She murmured, resting her head on his chest.

“And DX?”

“Shawn’ll go solo, end of story.”

Mark had a feeling it wasn’t.


“What the hell do you mean you and Paul are going to be tagging for the rest of this line?”

Raine had known Shawn was going to be upset and had even told Paul so. What she hadn’t counted on was Paul NOT telling Shawn. The dirty bastard had left it up to her. Scowling, she speared a slice of bacon and studied it, watching as grease drizzled down the fork’s tines. She was going to kill her tag team partner before they even made it to their first match.

“Because Mark tried takin’ Shane’s head off.” Raine said flatly. “He got pulled from the match and Stephanie liked the way Paul and I work together so she put us together.”

Shawn shook his head, rubbing his temples with a sigh. “No wonder Paul didn’t want to have breakfast with me. He was afraid of getting his head knocked clean off.”

“Nobody ever said he was the bravest, just the brightest.”


“That is not nice.”

They both looked up to find Paul standing there, Stephanie right behind him with a cell phone glued to her ear. She flashed them both a quick smile before dropping down.

Shaking his head, Paul seated himself in the last chair, across from his wife and between Raine and Shawn. “So what are we having?”

“Your head.” Shawn informed him.

Raine smirked. “On a silver platter.”

When the waitress appeared, Stephanie paused from her conversation long enough to order a plain bagel and a cup of coffee.

Paul stared at his wife, rolling his eyes and ordered himself something a lot more substantial, studying Raine’s own healthy sized plate. “Now THAT is a serving.”

Stephanie flipped him off.

“She’s on a diet.” He confided in a loud whisper, watching his wife narrow her blue eyes at him. “I don’t know WHY since she’s scrawny enough as it is. Steph, eat-“ He scowled when she held up a hand to shush him, rolling his eyes.

Raine and Shawn exchanged looks, both of them immediately returning to their own food.

“Alright Shawn,” Stephanie said cheerfully when she hung up, smiling at the server who brought her coffee. “Thank you. We’re going to put you in a feud with John Cena, get you back in the title running. Paul will take Glenn’s place as one half of the tag team champions, which-“ She held up a hand before anyone could point out the obvious. “We’re having Glenn do a segment with him relinquishing the belt.”

“And you’re doing all of this WHY?” Shawn sighed, cupping his chin in the palm of his hand and stared at his boss like she was crazy.

“Because Glenn needs the time off, Raine needs something new and so do you and Paul. DX has been together for over a year. Raine and Glenn are approaching the year mark, it’s time to spice things up.” Stephanie replied briskly. “We were going to do her and Mark together but…”

“But?” Raine prompted, immediately wishing she hadn’t when Stephanie shot her a knowing look.

“But I don’t think you two will be able to separate your personal lives from your professional.”

“Well,” Paul said after a moment. “She has a point.”

Shawn and Raine both punched him.


 Mark watched as Raine and Rey went back and forth in the ring, shaking his head. She was taller than him, hell, everyone was taller than Rey but it was just amusing seeing Rey going at it with a woman, who was taller than him.

Of course, that was before Rey did one of his mind boggling quick moves that sent Raine flying out of the ring and onto the mats below.

Mark had to keep himself from rushing to see if she was okay, knowing damn well she’d probably smack the shit out of him for it.

Actually, she’d punched. Raine usually didn’t smack.

So he stayed in his seat in the bleachers.

His green eyes narrowed when he Shane limping down the ramp to the ring. What the hell was that little shit doing here? Shouldn’t he be back home recovering or something?


“Okay Oscar, let the girl catch a breather.” Shane laughed, watching as Raine climbed back into the ring; noting the way she rubbed her shoulder and felt bad for that one. Granted, he hadn’t asked her to step in and take it for him, but he felt bad regardless.

“Hey, she wants to fly high, she’s got to learn.” Rey laughed, patting Raine on her back. He had noticed that she was favoring her left arm and shook his head. “We’re done for the day, kid, I got to go call the wifey.”

“You do that short stuff.” She replied, lightly patting the top of his head.

Growling, Rey pushed her gently away, though he was still smiling. “Go see Alex about your arm.” He advised as he slid out under the bottom rope.

Rolling her eyes, Raine slid out after him, halting in front of Shane. “It’s that noticeable?” She asked quietly.

“You’ve been using your right hand and arm more.” He said gently, wishing he wasn’t wearing the damn sling so he could reach out and at least touch her arm. “You need to see Alex, I’m not letting you fight until you do.”

Her green eyes narrowed.

“Hate me all you want, but you’re not wrestling with an injured arm.”

Raine groaned, nodding. She had wrestled David the night before at a house show and he had gone out of his way to aggravate what had merely been a sore shoulder, now it felt like it was on fire. “I’m afraid he’ll tell me somethin’ is torn.” She whispered.

Shane seen the pain in her eyes and knew it wasn’t physical pain but pain from the thought of being forced on the shelf, recalling with a twinge of regret how he had tried to force her to retire. “That’s a possibility,” He said finally. “But if it’s something that can be healed with just a few weeks of rest, that’s better than being out for a year because you had to have surgery.”

“Well… when yeh put it that way.”



“How can a muscle be stressed?”

Alex pinched the bridge of his nose, looking to Shane for help. Lord knew this wasn’t the first time he had had Raine as patient but she was just like her father, a pain in his ass. “If you don’t take a few days off and let your arm rest… if you keep wrestling like you have been…”

“It’ll tear.” Raine finished.

“Yes, finally, you comprehend!”

“I still don’t get how a muscle can be stressed.”

Alex was going to strangle her, looking around for something to demonstrate ‘stressed’ before he did attempt going for her throat. She was a big woman, he wasn’t getting his ass handed to him. He finally held up putty, making sure her all too innocent green eyes were fastened on it. “Watch.”

Raine watched, completely bored, as Alex stretched the putty, yawning into her hand when  he stopped.

Alex set it down on the counter between them. “Now, it’s all stretched out, right?”

She nodded.

“Because I STRESSED it.”


“Whatever.” He took a deep breath. “In a few days, it’ll go back to its usual state. Same principal with your shoulder.”

“So just a few days?” Raine asked hesitantly, hardly daring to get her hopes up. “I’ll be good to go for RAW.”

“Yes, yes, come Monday you’ll be able to send one of the boys to me.” Alex rolled his eyes, trying not to smile. As she moved to leave, he stopped her. “Oh by the way…”

Raine stormed out of the office several minutes later wearing a sling.

Shane fell into step beside her, having been waiting in the hallway. “Why are you-“

“Because if I can’t move my arm then I can’t move my shoulder!” She growled, waiting until they were far enough down the hall from Alex to rip the sling away and toss it in a trash can.

Shane just shook his head.


“Shane gave me a few days off.”

Raine looked at Mark with wide eyes, wondering if he was for real.

Mark looked just as astonished as her considering the other day the little shit had fined him a thousand dollars. “To ‘make sure she don’t do anymore damage to her shoulder’, direct quote.”

Now she was scowling.

Mark just shrugged.


So instead of just going back to the small house she was still sharing with Shawn –because she was too lazy to apartment hunt on her days off-  like she had been planning on, Raine found herself heading to Mark’s place.

Which would be interesting to say the least as she had never been to Mark’s house, at all. Not even for a barbecue or something, he always joked saying his place was a bachelor pad and unsuitable for guests.

The liar.

The outside of what was not a house but a ranch showed Raine that Mark took pride in his home, smiling slightly. It was inside that had her curious, arching an eyebrow as she shifted in the truck to look at him. “How long have yeh lived here?”

Mark shot her a look, obviously trying not to smirk. “How old are you again?”

“Almost twenty-three, you cradle robber.” She shot back with an arrogant flip of her hair. When he just made a ‘well, there you have it’ face, she shook her head. “Bullshit.”

“Okay, about fifteen.”

“You ARE old…”

“Not that damn old.”

Raine fell silent for a moment, really studying the landscape. Now unless Mark was a flowers kind of guy… “Did your wives live here with you?” She asked curiously.

Now that was an uncomfortable question. Raine’s life was fair game, an open book between them as so much tended to happen to her. Hell, her life was pretty much open to the public, especially since you could still find ‘adult’ entertainment online of her and Batista.

Which, just thinking about it, made his blood simmer.

His life –his life off of the road- was iffy. Yeah, he had told her he’d been married and divorced three times, told her some stuff from when he was a kid; talked a little about his family. But for the most part, it was just understood that his personal life was off topic.

He supposed that was going to have to change if he wanted to have a relationship with her, and he did, for quite some time now. “Yeah, they did.”

“All three of ‘em?”

He nodded.

Raine looked thoughtful.


At first Mark thought Raine had dropped the wife issue, at least until he was showing her around and proudly showed off his bedroom. Complete with his extremely comfortable, very large bed. Proudly because he had made the wooden bed frame himself.

When she had innocently questioned him about when he’d of had time to make it, he had answered without even thinking.

Raine stared at the bed with pursed lips after his answer. This damn thing was ten years old, the frame at least. She sincerely hoped he had swapped out mattresses or something. The thought of sleeping in his marriage bed was enough to turn her stomach, his marriage bed… three times.

Mark looked at her, noting how she was eyeing the bed like it had done her a personal wrong; arching an eyebrow. It took a moment to understand what was going through her mind but when it finally struck him, he began to grin.

Women were such interesting if not idiotic creatures.

“New mattress, darlin’.” He said offhandedly, seeing her slight nod followed by a smile.”Ain’t broke it in yet.” Not that it mattered seeing as how the mattress was identical to his old one, only new.

“Yer not likely to break it in either, Calaway if you keep givin’ me that look.” Raine said, facing him with narrowed eyes. “Yes, I’m picky. I don’t want to be sleepin’ in none of your exes leftovers.”

Mark had to bite his tongue to keep from saying anything.

As if reading his mind, Raine smiled sweetly.


“So how’s it going?”

Raine almost shrugged but then stopped herself, mentally slapping her face. Shawn wasn’t there to see it. Instead she sighed into the cell phone, looking around the empty pasture she was strolling in. She could hear Mark’s music blaring from his garage where he was tinkering with one of his motorcycles while she explored the property. He had explained how when he moved in the place had originally been used for horses, but since he was on the road for most of the year there just wasn’t any point in him owning them.


“It’s alright, pops. I’m goin’ to die though, he ain’t got internet.”

“So you can’t use your laptop.” Shawn sounded amused. “It ain’t the end of the world, honey. Just enjoy the time off.”

“Yer encouragin’ me to enjoy myself at Mark’s house?” She asked suspiciously. “Since when? Usually it’s ‘when ya going to be home?’, ‘are you really serious about him’? What gives, dad?”

“You’re a grown woman and there ain’t nothing I can do to change it.”


“Don’t mean I’m happy about it.” Shawn informed her, just in case she got any ideas. “I mean honey,” He hastened to say before Raine could take that wrong and explode. “I’m happy you two are happy but… he’s just…”


“Yes.” Shawn said firmly. “Raine, this ain’t the best time but I was thinking.”

“Oh Lord…”

“Don’t you ‘oh lord’ me, girl. You’re only going to be twenty-three.”

“I’ve been tellin’ you that for MONTHS, pops.”

Shawn made a noise, sounding like he’d like to throttle her or something. “Raine, what I’m trying to say is… He’s not going to be wrestling too many more years. He’s going to want to settle down.”

“Again.” She interjected.

“Yes, again.”

“Dad, it’s not like that.”

“He’s been hounding you for how long now?”


“Okay, lemme rephrase that. He was hounding you for months before you finally started dating him.”


“And he’s…”

“Mature.” Raine said defensively. “Pops, I know what you’re tryin’ to say.”

“Which is?”

“That he’s gonna want a family and a home life, all that shit.”


Raine rolled her eyes.

“And can you give him all that?” He asked quietly. “Can you stay at home with a bunch of rugrats, Raine?”

She was silent.

“Sweetheart, I’m glad he makes you happy. Just… make sure you know where this relationship is headin’ before you really give him your heart.” Shawn said softly, hoping she hadn’t already. The last thing he wanted was for his baby girl to suffer a heartbreak, especially if it could be avoided. “Mark’s a good man and I do like him, I just know you, Raine. You gotta make sure this is what you want, ALL of it.”

“Bye, dad.” She whispered before hanging up.


Mark watched as Raine silently dressed for bed. He frowned; arching an eyebrow as she buttoned the shirt she usually slept in. “What’s on your mind, darlin’?” He asked finally, having noticed how quiet she had been since coming in from her walk.

“What are you lookin’ to get out of this?” She asked bluntly, staring at him.

Hiding his shock, he cleared his throat. “I’m not sure I’m following you, darlin’.”

“Where do you see us,” She gestured to him then herself. “Going?”

Stroking his goatee, he settled himself down on the bed; wondering just why she was asking this. He had a feeling it had to do with the conversation she had had on her cell earlier, wondering who the caller had been. He also had a feeling this was a loaded question.

Raine waited patiently, not taking her eyes from him.



Shawn looked up in time to see a fist coming at his nose. Cursing, he did a backwards somersault off the bench he had been sitting on. “Son of a bitch, Calaway!” He grunted, opening his eyes to stare at the ceiling, feeling his nose. “What the fuck was that for?”

“What the hell did you say to her?”

Shawn raised his head off the floor, staring at Mark out of watery eyes. “Who?”

“Don’t fuck with me, Michaels. What did you say to Raine?” Mark growled; clenching his fists in tight balls, ready to swing again. “What did you say to her?”

Shawn groaned, getting to his feet and backtracking just in case another punch came his way. “Father daughter chat, why?”

“Because she LEFT me.”

Shawn blinked, really putting distance between them now. “She wasn’t WITH you to begin with.” He countered, knowing he was pushing his luck but unable to stop himself. “She was DATING you.”

“Yeah, well she wanted to know what I was wanting from our relationship and apparently, she didn’t like the answer.” Mark was honestly baffled by that one. What woman didn’t want marriage and possibly a kid or two?

The answer was there in the back of his mind, pushing through everything else to be heard: Raine.

Shawn fixed Mark with a piercing stare. “She’s only twenty-two man, she has her whole life and career ahead of her, not stayin’ at home with a bunch of kids.”

“So you DID say something to her!”


“Hey…” What would have been an enthusiastic greeting faded from Paul’s lips when he seen Raine. “What’s wrong?”

“Mark and I broke up.”

“Aw sweetheart, I’m sorry.” He was assuming she was upset with it, wondering what that moron had done to her now.

“He wants to have kids and get married.”

Paul blinked. “Huh?”

Raine nodded, brushing her fingers through her loose hair. “We had a talk.”

Paul winced, those were never good.

“And he plans on retiring in a few years and settlin’ down.”

“What’s so bad about that?”

“Settlin’ down with me.”

“Oh shit…” Paul groaned, shaking his head and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. Was Mark out of his mind? She was only going to be twenty-three, at the start of what was a promising career and he knew marriage and kids weren’t in the works for her anytime soon.

Not if he knew Raine and he knew her almost as well as Shawn did.

“Well honey, that’s still a few years off.” He said after a moment. “Don’t mean you can’t-“

“I’m not datin’ him period. It was a mistake to even think I could.” Raine shook her head, dropping her duffel bag next to his; turning her back on him. “Mark and I are two different people and we both want very different things.”


Mark spent a lot of the night stewing. He hadn’t been able to plant his foot up Shawn’s ass as the chicken shit had taken of running. So instead he wandered the hallway, telling himself he was just aimlessly walking when he knew the truth. He was actually hunting down Raine.

He found her standing outside of Stephanie and Shane’s office, Shane having been officially put on the show as lead creative writer while Stephanie went home to spend time with her daughters and recharge.

“Ain’t happenin’.” He could hear her saying, gritting his teeth when he heard her starting to laugh.

“C’mon Raine, it won’t kill you.” Shane wheedled from inside the office.

“It might.” She countered.

“Only if you trip.”

“I’m not wearing them.”



“Pretty please.”

“Hell no. Boy, what is it with you and seein’ me in strappy heels?”

“Because it looks sexy.” Shane admitted bluntly. “That and since you’re cutting a segment with Paul, it wouldn’t kill you to you know, BE sexy.”

Raine shook her head, snorting. “Where’d you get them?”

“Wardrobe.” He said promptly. “They’re brand new, never been worn.”

“I can see the damn tag.”


“We need to talk.”

Raine turned, not surprised to find Mark there and sighed. “What about?”

“In private.”

Shane walked towards the door, moving slowly and without his cane though the limp was still noticeable and still wearing the sling.

Though in his free hand, Mark could see a pair of high heels, or some kind of heeled sandals, black and ‘strappy’ as Raine had put it. His eyes darkened angrily. The punk was already moving in on her, trying to wheedle his way back into her life with expensive gifts.

What a crock of shit.

“Now, Raine.”

She grimaced as he all but dragged her off, shooting Shane a ‘it’s okay’ look over her shoulder. She allowed him to drag her to an empty room, waiting patiently for him to say whatever was on his mind; studying him calmly.

“You were going to give it all up for Shane.”

Her jaw dropped, green eyes widening.

Mark had no idea where that one had come, honestly. He had just blurted it out and regretted it the minute he did, seeing the astonishment on her face.

“Don’t you DARE throw that at me.” Raine hissed. “That was different.”

“How?” He challenged, regret fading at the anger taking over astonishment; so easily read in her stare. “Because it’s Shane? Your first love?”

“Mark…” Her tone was cautioning.

“Well I don’t understand, Raine! Goddamn!” He threw his hands up exasperatedly. “You were all set to retire and move off to Shangri-fucking-la with him! You would’ve married his ass, taken in HIS kids and gave him a few more, and don’t bother to deny it!”

“You’re right,” She said in a deceptively calm tone of voice. “I would have.”

“Then why not for me?”

“Because you’re the one who told me not to give up my dreams.”


“Uh, don’t go in there.” Mickie cautioned.

Shawn turned to look at her, wondering why she and Beth both looked smug and giggly all at once. “I was told Raine’s in there.” He said, sounding confused.

“She is.” Mickie said sweetly.

“With Mark.” Beth added.

Shawn backed away when he heard a thud against the door followed by a very feminine gasp and a very masculine growl.

And not in the bad, I’m getting my ass beat, way.

Shaking his head, he kept walking away. Raine and Mark were going to have to figure their shit out before they wound up hurting each other because from what he could see, their relationship wasn’t all that healthy.

For either of them.


“You didn’t…”

Raine ignored Paul as she began lacing up her corset boots, having refused to wear a pair of heels Shane had picked out for her. Flattering, maybe. But she was not tempted to even go down that path.

Paul groaned, running his fingers through his damp hair as he watched her finally stand up; smoothing down her black mini skirt and figured he might as well keep on looking; arching an eyebrow at the HHH jersey.

“Wardrobe.” She explained flatly.

“Wow… They even um…”

“Made it so you can see the side of my chest.” She turned, revealing the jersey indeed was ‘sideless’, the only thing stopping the fabric from fluttering open completely were two tiny ties on either side of her. “Don’t say ONE word, Paulie, I swear to God I’ll knock you on yer ass.”

Paul stared at her raised fist, wondering how someone so gorgeous looking could actually pack a lethal punch; deciding not to test his fate. Clearing his throat, he looked away. “What’s going on with you and Mark?” He asked finally.

She didn’t answer.

“Shawn told me that, um… Well, you two were in a room, doing the nasty.” He said.

“Because I can so see how it’s any of ya’ll’s business.” She scowled, looking at him angrily. “We’re done, okay?”

“And you call fucking him at work what? Break-up sex?”

“Yer fixin’ to get that punch, Levesque.”


“Well, don’t we look scrumptious.

Raine rolled her eyes, ignoring David’s leers and just looped her arm firmly through Paul’s. “He’s not even worth it.” She told him.

Actually, if she had been in flat shoes and pants or something, she’d of knocked Bitchtista’s ass right through a wall.

“You just remember, you touch her and you’re fired.” Paul reminded the other man coldly.

“So you say. Where’s the little woman?” David asked, his own tone friendly; as if they didn’t all hate each other. As if he wasn’t on everyone’s shit list. When Paul didn’t answer, his brown eyes narrowed; taking Raine in again. “I see…”

“Why you-“

Raine grabbed Paul by his arms, pulling them behind his back to restrain him. “No!”

“Let me go!”

“He’s not worth a fine!’

“I’m rich, I’ll pay it!”

“You mean your wife is rich.” David corrected, looking thoroughly amused.

Raine let Paul go at that one.


“David can’t compete.” Shane said, trying to sound stern but he was failing miserably. He had heard David’s side of the story, somewhat as it had all come out mumbled through a bloody mouth and then he had heard Paul and Raine’s. “So now I have nothing for you two to do tonight.”

“We could take the night off.” Paul suggested with a wry grin, not looking sorry in the least that he had sent Bitchtista to the hospital for stitches.

“You could, but then I’d have to fine you.”

Raine was trying not to giggle.

“So…” Shane tapped his chin thoughtfully, looking them over.

“Paul will face Mark and Raine can valet.”

They all looked up as Vince strolled into the room, Raine barely hiding her groan. Vince did not like her, he never had and probably never would.

“I don’t think so.” Shane countered, narrowing his eyes. “This is my show, I’ll run-“

“You’re catching a flight back to Manhattan.” Vince interrupted smoothly, staring at Raine and Paul. “You’re going to Japan to help promote the WWE in the afternoon, so…” He pointedly looked down at his wrist. “I suggest you get going.”

Shane looked at his father helplessly, wondering if he was for real. When Vince cleared his throat and tapped his watch, Shane knew he was. He shot Raine an apologetic look.

She just shook her head, managing a tight smile.

“This is bullshit, Vince.” Paul said flatly. “You’re-“

“The boss.”


Shawn was both amused and annoyed as he watched the match. Amused that Raine was being forced to valet –something she hated- and annoyed that Vince was purposely out to make her life a living hell. The man needed to pull the stick out of his ass.

He winced, watching as Raine interceded on Paul’s behalf only to be jerked into the ring by her hair courtesy of the Undertaker. Would he do it? Would Mark actually hurt her out there as some sort of revenge for her ending it with him?

Then again, they HAD… He shivered, trying not to think about that. Break-up sex? He shook his head again, wondering where he had gone wrong. For the most part, Raine was a good kid, she usually had her head on her shoulders.

Except when it came to men.

Then all bets were off.

She had just the knack for picking the ones that were the worst for her.

He wondered if maybe she should’ve started batting for the other team.


Mark would have been lying if he said he wasn’t enjoying this a little bit. They had agreed to be just friends –after the sex of course- and maybe try again in the future. Raine had flat out told him that things had been going at a nice pace and then everything started leaping when Shane had been in his accident and she’d gone to help him.

Mark had reluctantly admitted that her going to her ex-boyfriend’s bedside had been the underlying motivation on his part to speed things up.

She had been right however on the retirement front. He didn’t want to do this forever. He wasn’t saying he was ready to retire right this very minute but in a year or two, he’d like to step out of the ring and just settle down.

Really settle down.

That was what had bombed his first three marriages, wrestling. If he ever walked down that road again, he wanted to do it right; without leaving his wife at home by herself most of the time. By the same token, he didn’t want a wife who’d be out there on the road all the time either while he was sitting at home.

Which at the moment was definitely not Raine, he knew better than most that she had one hell of a career starting. He had told her time and time again if she wanted to wrestle than to go for it.

So could he ask her to quit in a few years?

Hell, who knew what they’d even being doing this time next year, let alone two. Maybe they were both jumping the gun and he sure as hell should have cococked Shawn a bit harder for putting ideas into her head.

But Raine had always been hesitant on dating him, even he had recognized that. He had been the one to pursue her time and time again, and time and time again she had knocked him down.

Like she’d just done earlier.


Somehow Raine was not surprised when his grip on her hair loosened, knowing damn well Mark was going to fuck this all to Hell if he couldn’t keep professional and personal separate.

She did what he wouldn’t. She took advantage.

Paul winced when Mark got physically hurled out of the ring, wondering how she managed that without snapping the heels off her boots.

Turning to look over the turnbuckle, Raine really wished she wasn’t in the constricting skirt. Then again…

Paul’s eyes nearly shot out of their sockets when Raine shimmied out of her skirt, glad she was wearing boy cut underwear underneath or else it would have looked… interesting to say the least. On the bright side, her underwear were black so they kind of went with the rest of her gear.

Raine measured the distance as she scaled the turnbuckle, cursing the damn corset boots under her breath. She waited until Mark was back on his feet before launching herself.

Paul hurried forward, noting that her training with Rey was apparently going quite well because Mark looked rather dazed while she looked pleased with herself.

At this point, the match was ruled a DQ.

“Cover your ass up.” He ordered as she slid back into the ring.

“Nah.” Raine laughed, sparing Mark a quick glance before wrapping her arm around Paul’s waist. “Think he’ll be alright?”

“Hmmm…” Paul considered it, making a show of twirling her around; a broad grin on his face. “The only thing hurting on that man is his ego.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“Anytime, kiddo, anytime.”


Mark’s ego was bruised to be sure but his knees and hips were killing him by the time he made it backstage. He wasn’t surprised to find Raine flanked by Paul and Shawn, the trio laughing at something. Growling under his breath, he headed around them, needing ice.


Next time, he’d choke slam the bitch and be done with it.


Three months later…

“It’s been DONE.” Raine said flatly, folding her arms over her chest and shared a look with Paul. They had been tagging together, portraying an on-screen couple for the past three months and while they were great at drawing in ratings and getting the fans going; they were both beginning to get bored.

Paul had started bringing her along to the creative writing meetings, much to Stephanie and Vince’s chagrin. Stephanie adored Raine, she always had, but the younger woman wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion and her opinion usually collided against Vince’s.

Which led to arguing.

And the worst part was, Paul usually sided with Raine, as did Shawn.

Vince made a soft; disgusted noise and stared at her from behind his wire rimmed glasses. “So we make it fresh.” He said in a tone that hinted severe consequences if she continued on this course.

Raine rolled her eyes, looking beside him at Stephanie who was giving her a pleading look and then to Shane who just seemed amused. She could hear Shawn and Paul both laughing under their breath, Michael Hayes was cursing under his and the rest of the team just seemed to be waiting for it.

“The Batista/Raine thing is overdone.” She said, reiterating her earlier words. “How many times are ya going to stick us in the damn ring together?”

“How many times are you going to let her whoop his ass is more like it.” Shawn said cockily, leaning back in his chair so it stood on two legs.

“She’s not supposed to always win.” Michael spoke up, sounding just as annoyed as Vince. “She keeps breaking script and-“

“And do you blame her?” Paul interrupted. “You guys keep putting her in the ring with the man who took advantage of her; turned her into a fucking porn star and then BROKE her ribs; not to mention all the other assaults he’s committed against her and her friends. I wouldn’t be lying down for his punk ass either.”

“Paul.” Stephanie’s voice held the ring of command, he was currently an employee and not her husband. “If you can’t be respectful then you need to leave.”

He shot her a ‘and who’s going to make me’ look.

Shane held out his hands pleadingly. “Why don’t we try something else.” He offered. “Maybe set them against some new talent?”

Truth be told, he was tired of the HHH/Raine vs Batista/whoever they stuck with him matches, or the one on ones where Batista usually got the shit knocked out of him. Dave was getting pretty sick of it too and was threatening to sue for medical insurance if they didn’t stop pitting him against Raine.

Of course it wasn’t always against David, they fought other opponents too but come PPV time, you could usually bank on seeing Raine facing Batista in some sort of match.

Most recent had been a stretcher match that had sent them both to the hospital along with violating the ‘no blood’ rule and the PG guidelines.

Paul and Raine exchanged another set of looks.

“Like what?” Vince asked stiffly.

“Glenn’s coming back.” One of the junior writer’s voiced meekly.

“Your point?”

“Brothers of Destruction against DX?”

Shawn cleared his throat, shaking his head.

Raine shifted in her seat to stare at the writer, a woman with apple red cheeks and a look on her face that suggested she wanted to just die. “Shawn’s doin’ singles competin’ only.” She reminded, trying not to come across as a bitch.

“I meant DX as in you and Hunter.”

Stephanie arched an eyebrow. “A new DX?” She twirled the pencil in her fingers idly, contemplating it. “Hell, why not?”

“You’re seriously considering putting Raine in DX?” Vince sounded appalled.

“Might I remind you, Vinnie,” Shawn began slowly. “That DX started out as my idea, with me and Paul as the originals, what better way to usher in the new era then with my daughter? No offense to you Paul, but we’re getting old.”

“Hey now!” Paul laughed.

“Well, we are. We’re from the old school and Raine isn’t, she’s up and coming and I can’t think of any better way than to start bridging that gap then by stickin’ her in DX. When it’s time for you two to part ways, someone else can step in to take your place.”

“Fresh talent.” Stephanie nodded, looking pleased and glanced at her dad.

Vince was beet red.

“I’ll still be a part of DX,” Shawn added after a moment; knowing they couldn’t just toss Raine and Paul out there at the fans as the new clique. “Only they’re the taggers, I’m solo.”

“Gee, thanks, pops.” Raine teased.

He winked at her.

“I like it.” Shane voiced, surveying the writers. “Get to work on it.” He ordered gently. “Start spinning ideas, let’s see what we can do to make this something…”

“Fresh.” Raine laughed.


“Earth to Mark.” Glenn waved his hand in front of Mark’s  face, pulling a face when his hand was caught in a tight grip. “I’m not really into holding hands with other guys.” He said with a straight face. “But since it’s you, I’ll make an exception.”

Rolling his eyes, Mark let go and turned his attention to his friend. “First night back and already you’re being a pain in my ass.” He grunted.

“I know, it’s like… my thing, you know?”

“Go fuck yourself.”

“What fun would that be?” Glenn shifted in his seat to see what Mark had been staring at, shaking his head at the sight of Raine, Paul and Shawn sitting across the cafeteria at a table; the three of them laughing about something. “Move on.”

“I have.”

“Sure, sure.”

Mark growled softly, looking down at the food he wasn’t even pretending to eat. He had gotten word earlier in the night that he and Glenn would be teaming up against DX in the months to come, the writer’s just needed time to build up to it.

How fun.

And now Raine was officially a part of DX.

Even more fun.


“Hey, mind if we join you?”

Shawn looked up to find Matt and Jeff Hardy standing on either side of Raine and shrugged, smirking when she rolled her eyes when the brothers dropped down beside her. “What’s up?”

“How do you want to do our match tonight?” Matt asked, flashing Raine a grin.

“Preferably without any of us getting stitches.” Jeff added teasingly, a reference to her last PPV fight against Bautista.

Raine reached up to feel the fine scar on her forehead, scowling for a moment. “Oh ha ha, fellas.”

“You’re still gorgeous, chill out.” Matt chided, patting her thigh.

Raine arched an eyebrow, glancing at Paul who looked mildly amused with the whole exchange while Shawn was still snickering. “Fuckers.”

“Watch your mouth, missy.” Shawn laughed. “Ain’t ladylike, talking that way.”

Raine smiled ever so sweetly before letting loose with a string of curse words.

Jeff stuffed his fingers in his ears.

Raine promptly pulled his hands from his head. “I’ve heard you go off worse, Hardy, don’t even play me.”

“Back to business.” He coughed, trying and failing to look innocent.


“Yer kiddin’ me, right?” Raine looked back and forth between Matt and Jeff, wondering if they were serious. When they both just shook their heads, she was actually at a loss for words; something that rarely happened to her.

In fact, the last time she could remember being speechless was when Shawn had given her the ‘talk’ and the only reason for the lack of verbal skills was the fact that her hysterical laughter had rendered her incapable of doing anything but rolling on the floor.

“Why not?” Matt asked, staring at her and wondered why she had to be almost his height; it was almost nerve wracking. Especially when her green eyes seemed to be sizing him up, very unsettling coming from a woman.

Jeff reached out to take Raine’s hand, half expecting his head to be knocked off his shoulder. After all, she ran with the ‘big dogs’, always had since joining the company. Sure, she had joked around with Matt during her first couple of days but their careers had taken them on separate roads so chances to get to know each other outside the ring had been few and far between.

“We’ll behave.” He promised.

Matt nodded.

“You two are for real.” She finally said, sounding awed. “Look, I have to think about it, okay?”

“Sure.” They in unison, their heads bobbing.

Wondering if she was tripping, Raine walked away. She had a segment with Shawn to cut and the Hardy brothers had just sent her for a loop. They wanted to take her out, on a fucking date, all three of them.

The only reason she hadn’t come out with a direct ‘no’ was her shock. A date, a freaking date, with the pair of them; at once.

Though, the wicked side Mark had coaxed out, did wonder about the possibilities.

Raine squashed that quickly.


“Have a minute?”

Raine was standing with her back to the door, rifling through her black duffel bag that rested on the table in front of her. She glanced over her shoulder quickly, nodding before turning back to the bag.

Rolling his eyes, Shawn reached out to tap her shoulder.

“Dad…” She groaned, turning. “I’m trying to-“ She blinked; staring at the tee shirt he was holding out. “Um, it’s a DX shirt.” She said slowly, obviously wondering if he had gone mental.

“I know, I want you to wear it tonight.”

“What for?”

Shaking his head, Shawn grinned. “Just wear it. After all, this is nice.” He gestured to the top she was wearing. “But… it’s not really you know, appropriate.”

Raine arched an eyebrow, looking down at herself. “Are you kidding me?”

“For a degenerate.” He corrected.

After a moment, she was returning his devious grin.


“That had to be the shittiest segment ever.” Raine muttered after cut was called, taking the tee shirt and pulled it over her tank top.

“Considering the writers are working on such short notice… be nice.” Shawn said, patting her shoulder and glanced at the clock. “Tonight, we’re going to be facing the Hardy brothers. Well, you and Paul, I’ll just be there.”

“Wait, we’re facin’ them?” She halted in pulling her hair back.


“Those cock-“

“Watch your mouth, Raine.”

Raine nodded, waiting until Shawn had turned before finishing uttering the rest of the curse in silence.


“Rai, honestly, it wasn’t a joke.” Matt said, holding his jaw. He groaned and ducked the next punch; wrapping both arms around her waist and delivered a belly to belly suplex. Not his usual wrestling style but as she was out for his blood; he had to put her down somehow. “We were serious.” He managed to whisper in her ear. “Well, I was. Jeff’s more interested in company, he’s got a girlfriend.”

Raine was going to murder them both for being assholes.

Paul watched from the apron as Raine’s face went beet red, knowing she was about to do something completely stupid and wondered just what Matt was saying to piss her off. Their first night as the ‘new’ Degeneration X and she was going to murder someone. Sometimes, he seriously questioned Shawn’s methods of raising girls.

Shawn was curious himself what the hell was going on in there. Raine had gone for punches, not normal. She normally preferred her new aerial attacks. Of course on Matt and Jeff Hardy, that might not have been the best way to go but still…

He felt relief coursing through him when Raine countered Matt’s next move with a swinging neck breaker before diving towards Paul. Of course Paul wasn’t having any of Matt’s bullshit and automatically started breaking the kid down.

Raine rested against the turnbuckle, wiping sweat off her brow as she surveyed the match. Technically, DX was ‘heel’, always had been. So... she knew Jeff wouldn’t get involved in this unless she or Shawn did first.

As if answering her prayers, Shawn reached out and grabbed Matt by the ankle; tripping him. When the referee turned to admonish him, he threw up his hands with an innocent expression on his face. “Didn’t touch him.” He winked at Raine.

Right on the money, she thought; watching with narrowed eyes as Jeff mounted the opposite turnbuckle. She quickly mimicked him.

Jeff stared at her from across the ring, almost grinning. She was fairly crazy, he admired that.

Paul and Matt both looked up from their respective places on the canvas –they had clotheslined each other-, both of them groaning when they seen what was happening.

Shawn was fighting every instinct to stop her, or chew on his fingers. He had to force himself to keep his eyes open, knowing whatever they were about to do was going to be bad. Entertaining for the fans no doubt, but bad for their bodies.

Sure enough…




The ref watched with an open mouth as Raine and Jeff both launched themselves from their posts, each flying towards the other. They collided mid air, their bodies crashing sideways into each other and dropped.

He automatically ended the match.

Matt slid to Jeff while Paul and Shawn gathered around Raine.

“Kid, open your damn eyes.” Paul ordered gruffly, glancing at Shawn who was preparing to wave down medics. When Shawn didn’t say it, he did. “Suck it up.”

“That’s HIS line.” She groaned, not opening her eyes; curling her arms around her torso. “I hoped that looked good cause it hurt like hell.”

“No shit…” Shawn sighed, relief in his every pore, contradicting his words. “You are in so much trouble, missy.”

“Aw hell, pops…”


“You two are both FINED.”

Jeff and Raine both looked up in shock, staring at Stephanie like she was crazy. Vince and Shane were right behind her, Shane looking worried as he took in Raine; visually reassuring himself that she wasn’t dead or something. Vince looked like Christmas had come early.

“That was BEAUTIFUL.” He breathed, waving a hand dismissively at Stephanie’s sputtering of ‘immature, foolhardy and reckless’. “No fine, that was GREAT.”

“Ain’t happenin’ again.” Raine said instantly, nudging Shawn’s hand off her shoulder; staring at her boss darkly.

“Why’d we do it?” Jeff groaned, one hand on his stomach; the other wrapped around Matt’s neck. “Oh yeah…”

She smirked.

Vince scowled.


“Ouch…” Raine hissed, glad Shawn wasn’t around to hear that, he was apparently getting older or something because he spent a lot of time worrying about her lately. She leaned into Paul, grunting when he all but lifted her off her feet. “Careful man! I’m bruised!”

“Shut up.” Paul growled, taking her keycard and unlocked her door, setting her down once they were in the room. “Take off the shirt.”


“You didn’t let Alex look, so take off the shirt.” Paul repeated, folding his arms over his massive chest; arching an eyebrow when she just continued staring at him like he was daft. “Raine, I don’t have all night.”

Muttering under her breath, she peeled off the shirt; hissing slightly. She sincerely hoped Jeff was in as much pain as she was.

Paul wasn’t surprised by the bruises that marred her torso, gesturing for her to stand by the bed. He walked into the bathroom and returned a moment later with a roll of ace bandages.

“It’s bruised, not broken.”

He held out the other hand, holding a tube of topical pain reliever.

“Oops.” Raine stood there, watching as he settled himself on the edge of her bed; trying not to squirm when she felt the coldness of the cream touch her skin.

“Cold?” Paul laughed, gently rubbing the cream over her bruised skin; shaking his head. “That was a real stupid move, Rai.”

“I know.”

“Then why’d you do it?”

She shrugged, not entirely sure anymore. “Just seemed like a good idea at the time, I reckon.”

He smiled at the country drawl, knowing in time she’d probably lose it; just as Shawn’s had faded up until he had started staying home more and more. Of course, that had been back when she was a kid and Shawn had had to take care of her.  “Honey, in this business, stunts like that will burn you out quicker than anything you see us ‘bigger’…”

“Men.” She supplied dryly.

“Doing.” Paul finished; studying her stomach instead of looking up; knowing she was probably giving him one of her patented looks. “Don’t go taking stupid risks out there just because you’re letting some emotion get in the way.” When she tensed, he did glance up; knowing something personal had happened in the ring tonight just by the expression on her face. “They were fucking with you, weren’t they?”

“Sort of, but not really.” She rolled her eyes. “They asked me out.”


“Yeah, at first. Then in the ring Matt said it was mostly for him.”

“Jeff has a girlfriend.”

“That’s what Matt said.”

Paul rolled his eyes. “They’re morons. Jeff’s going to wind up killing himself if he don’t tone it down and Matt… he’s just weird.”

“Well gee, it’s like I’m talkin’ to Shawn.” Raine teased, wincing when Paul stood up to wrap the bandage around her. “I can do this, you know.”

“Yeah, but probably not as well as I can.”

“Lots of practice?”

“Tons.” He grinned.


“How’s she doing?” Stephanie asked when Paul walked into their hotel room, peering at him over the rims of her glasses for a moment before glancing down at the paperwork scattered about her; on their bed. “She really has to stop doing that kind of stuff in the ring, Paul. First that bloody mess at the last PPV and now flying across the ring into other people?”

“Jeff is just as guilty of it as she was.” Paul yawned, shooting the bed a longing stare before settling himself on the couch; easing into a comfortable position. “As for the blood issue, who’s brilliant idea was it to stick her and Bautista in a stretcher match?”

Stephanie looked up, frowning as he kicked off his boots; watching them fall to the carpeted floor. “Mine. But I didn’t mean for her to go out and bust him up either.”

Paul didn’t even bother pointing out that David had drawn first blood by banging her face first into a steel crate. He had learned some time ago there simply was no arguing with his wife, it had to be the McMahon in her.

“Though… I’m still not too sure about putting DX against the B.O.D.”

He could hear her tapping her pen against her chin.

“I mean, Mark and Raine have way to many personal issues between them. I don’t know if they’ll be able to work together and keep it professional.” Then Stephanie laughed. “Of course, this is Raine we’re talking about. I mean, I love the girl, but she has to be the most unprofessional-“

“You can shut up any minute now.”

She dropped the pen.


“Dad, go away!” Raine yelled, hurling a pillow at the door. When there was a pause in the gentle knocks, she sat up in bed; frowning. Shawn would have probably kept on knocking as well as shout some encouraging words. Like ‘get your ass outta bed and come answer the door’. Mildly curious, she flicked on the bedside lamp and walked over; peering out the peekhole.

Mildly surprised, she unlocked the door and opened it. “Is… um…” She took in the duffel bag over Paul’s shoulder and the pillow under his arm. “Everythin’ alright?”

“Stephanie threw me out.” He said gruffly, obviously not wanting to talk about it. “Can I crash on your floor?”

“Sure.” Still surprised, she held the door open; letting him in.

Paul was a little uncomfortable with this. Especially considering Stephanie had given him the third degree on his involvement with Raine. When she had flat out asked if the two were having sex, he had started laughing at her.

That’s when she had thrown him out.

He probably should have gone to Shawn, but Shawn would want to know what happened and then when Paul eventually spilled his guts, Shawn would have gone on a rampage. Raine wouldn’t ask anything and he didn’t need anyone on the roster knowing he had been tossed out of his own damn room.

“I’ll get you a blanket.” Raine said after a moment, recovering from her shock. She hurried to the wardrobe, pulling out a few extra coverlets and held them out to him. “Here.”


Raine bit her lower lip, looking like she wanted to say something but refrained. “G’night, Paul.”

Paul managed a smile. “Night.”


“No, yer not listenin’ to me.” Raine protested the next morning as she brushed her hair, studying herself in the mirror. Beside her, Paul was pulling his own long locks back into a ponytail. “I’m not workin’ out with you. I’ve seen your training regime, hell no!”

He grinned at her through the mirror, passing over her make-up bag when she gestured for it. He half expected her to tell him to get out, something Stephanie did whenever she put on her ‘face’, something to do with the funny expressions she made.

Raine felt no embarrassment, aware he was watching her every move and was a bit curious what the hell he found so damn fascinating. He seen women getting their make-up done in the halls of arenas all the time, of course that was usually by a make-up artist opposed to her doing it herself.

Turning her attention back to the mirror, she applied a light foundation; smoothing the liquid over her cheekbones and then up and out. “You know, when I first started wearing make-up, I’d always have a mask line where I put on foundation.” She commented with a grin, tilting her head back and then sideways; just to be safe.


“Who was goin’ to teach me how to put it on?” Raine asked, shaking her head; the smile fading. “Shawn?”

Paul felt a bit like an ass now. Her parents had died in a car wreck. Shawn had been her godfather and instead of letting the state step in and send her to a foster home; he had taken her in. Sacrificing a lot to raise her, but at the same time, Paul knew better than anyone that Raine had become Shawn’s life. The daughter he had never had.

“Well…” He said, squinting critically, trying to lighten the mood. “It doesn’t look TOO bad.”

“Could be worse.” She agreed, next swiping her eyelashes with a light coat of clear mascara followed by clear lipgloss.

“What about that shit that goes around your eyes?”

“Eyeshadow?” Raine grinned, pulling out a brand new compact, waving it at him. “Don’t wear it unless it’s for work.”

“Then you have that why?”

“Michelle bought it for me.”

He shook his head, he’d never understand women. Though he noticed she did wear eyeliner, watching as she applied it. “Your eyes are really green.” He commented.

“Nah, just the liner. It’s jade.” She replied, tossing the pencil into the bag before zipping it up. “I’m done.”


“Um, nope. I put on body spray after my shower.” She moved so she was standing in front of him.

Paul frowned. “What?”

“Smell me, duh.”

“Oh.” Feeling a bit foolish, he bent down and inhaled hesitantly. “Mmm, what is that? It smells familiar.”

“Cotton candy.”

“You really are a kid, aren’t you?”

“I can be.”


“She’s training already?” Shawn asked when he spotted Raine busy throwing her fists at a punching bag, noting the earbuds and knew she probably had her MP3 player cranked.

Paul nodded, adding more weight to his bar. “Yep.”

“And at the same time as you…” Shawn stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Hmm. Why?”

“You know, for an old man, you’re very perceptive.”

“It’s the daddy senses, they’re tingling.” Shawn said seriously, hoping she wasn’t overdoing it. He was getting soft. When she started out in the business, he always told her to suck it up. A year and some odd months later; multiple accidents and he felt like he was turning into a mommy. Always worrying. “I think… after we get you two squared away as the new DX, I’m taking some time off.” He said softly, sitting down besides Paul, watching him lift weights.

“Why’s that?” Paul grunted, wondering if Shawn was trying to kill him. He wasn’t keen on talking and pressing at the same time. It required multi-tasking first thing in the morning, and after his night, not something he wanted to do.

“Because, I’m worrying about her to the point of almost jumping script over nothing.”

“Yeah, time for a vacay, old man.” Paul agreed, raising his head up to look at Raine. “Look, she’s a good kid, Shawn. She’s just got a bit of a temper, like her old man.”

Shawn pulled a face.

“At the end of the day, she’s going to do the right thing. You did a good job raising her, now stop sweating it.

“Wish I could, but that girl has given me more grief than my entire career, and that’s saying something.”


“The shit with Shane. The shit with Bautista. With Michelle. With Mark. All her matches turn into a personal fight it seems. She’s good but sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have stuck her in MMA instead of our rings.”

Paul considered that one.


“Raine, can I-“ Matt threw up his hands when she whirled around, taking note of the coffee in her hand and sincerely hoped she didn’t pour it over his head; especially since he could see the steam rising from the popped Styrofoam tab. “Apologize?”

Raine considered him, turning back to the counter and finished adding sugar to Shawn’s coffee, wondering what he was talking to Paul about that was so damn important that he had sent her off for java when she had ambled over.

Sighing, Matt stepped up to the counter beside her, fixing himself a coffee, toying with getting Jeff one. “Look, we worded that wrong last night.”

She made a noise.

“I should have asked you out, one on one, but I was nervous.” He admitted. What was the worst that could happen? Not being shot down, no, that’d be alright. Being physically harmed was another story, he’d seen what she’d done to Bitchtista.

“You were nervous.” Raine echoed, turning to face him after a moment, looking skeptical. “That’s bull, Hardy. When I first started out, you were always flirtin’ with me.”

“Yeah, when you were just Raine.” He said defensively. “Now you’re Raine Michaels, you’ve been in this company for less than two years but you main event, you run with the big dogs, you are-“

Raine’s green eyes had widened.

“Look, all that’s intimidating.” Matt finished, knowing he was sinking her. “Couple in the fact that you can beat up most of the male roster and…”

Now she just sighed.


“So are you going too?”

Raine sighed, glancing across the seat at Paul who was driving. She was glad Shawn was sleeping; sprawled out in the backseat and adjusted her Stetson. “I don’t know…” She almost regretted telling him about Matt rephrasing his dinner proposal, omitting Jeff. But on the other hand, it was easy to talk to Paul. “Why ain’t you ridin’ with-“

“Uh uh, we’re talking about you, sweet cheeks.” He interrupted, not even about to go into his marital issues. “So, are you going to go out with-“ Paul groaned when her cell went off, trying to ignore the country tune. “Hick.” He muttered.

“Suck me.” She shot back, glancing at the caller ID; green eyes widening. “Hello?” She answered hesitantly. “Um… what? I can’t understand a damn word yer sayin’.”

Paul looked at her curiously, trying to focus his attention on the road but it was hard. Especially when she all but shouted ‘goddammit Kaleigh!’ and sighed. He had been wondering when her ending it with Mark was going to come back and bite her in the ass.

“I don’t CARE what he’s doin’!” Raine growled heatedly, listening to Mark’s sister with a scowl on her face. “Fuck you too, yeh need to learn to mind yer own goddamn business.”

He had to admit that her accent was pretty interesting when she got pissed off.

Shawn was waking up, groaning at the string of curses flying out of his daughter’s mouth.

“I ain’t fuckin’ Shane, so you can stop runnin’ your mouth!” Raine snarled, then she started laughing her ass off. “Oh go to hell, Kaleigh, it ain’t my fault Matt broke up with you for havin’ a loud; obnoxious and overly opinionated mouth. Mebbe if you learned how to mind yer own business instead of poking into everyone else’s, he’d still be with you instead of hittin’ me up.”

Whatever else Kaleigh started to say was cut off when Raine snapped the phone shut.

“Do I even want to know?” Shawn yawned, sitting up and leaning forward to rest his chin on her shoulder.

“She’s pissed cause she found out Matt asked me out the other night.”

“What’d she say about Mark?” Paul asked.

“That he’s out runnin’ round like a man-whore.”

“He IS a man-whore though.” Shawn said with a frown. “I mean, he WAS, before he started chasing after you, honey.”

“I could care less, he ain’t my problem anymore.” Raine said, folding her arms resolutely over her chest. “And I’m not letting her make me feel bad about breakin’ up with him just because she’s pissed over Matt.”

“So…” Paul cleared his throat, trying not to grin. “You going to go out with him or what?”


Raine just groaned.



Mark slowly turned around, staring through his sunglasses as Raine stormed up to him. “Hello to you too, darlin’.” He greeted, arching an eyebrow when she halted in front of him; taking in her angry expression. “What?”

“Tell your sister if she wants to keep her head on, to back the fuck off.”

He didn’t even want to know what Kaleigh had said now, pinching the bridge of his nose with a sigh. “Alright.”

Raine nodded, running out of steam and just stood there, not sure what else to say. “Thanks.” That sounded so lame, even to her.

Peering over the top of his shades, he stared down at her. “How’re you?” He asked softly.

“Fine, you?”

Mark wondered if she was for real. She was going to stand there and hold a mundane, polite conversation with him simply because it was rude to walk off on someone. “Peachy, darlin’. Want to walk to the caf with me?”

“No, I’m-“

“Rai, let’s go!”

“Supposed to go work out with Paul in the ring.” She made a face. “I think he’s worse than you.”

“How so?” He asked, sounding amused and nodded at Paul as the other man walked up, sliding the sunglasses back into place.

“Because you just hurt me up top and my head when we sparred, he hurts everythin’.” She whimpered, glancing back when she felt Paul’s hand on her shoulder. “Do I have too?” It was a pleading whine and she knew it but sparring with Paul wasn’t fun.

At all.

Shawn hadn’t gone easy on her but there was fun in that. Mark, that had been entertaining too. They’d wind up tormenting each other as they fought. Paul was all business and that was boring.


“Aw man…”

Mark started laughing when she actually hung her head, patting her arm. “Have fun with that, darlin’.” Still laughing, he walked away.

“Fuck you!” She shouted after him. Raine actually blushed when he looked back over his shoulder and winked at her. “What a-“

“Raine, stop thinking with your…”

“Say it and die.”


“How come Shawn ain’t out here?” Raine asked an hour later when they took a break, sitting Indian style on the canvas, draining a bottle of water. She could feel her muscles screaming in protest, Paul wasn’t a good sparring partner, he was going to kill her before she could actually wrestle.

On the bright side, it was a house show so she wouldn’t have to worry about looking like a complete asshole on camera.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, why ain’t he out here? Normally he’s trying to bust my ass with a session and lately, he’s been lettin’ everyone else do it.”

Paul considered that, reaching back to let his hair down; sighing in relief. “I don’t know.” He said after awhile. “Maybe because he’s trying to give you space.”

“What the hell for?”

“Because, Raine, if you haven’t noticed; Shawn tends to think of you as a little girl still. He’s trying not to do that.”

“So he thinks by giving me space, he won’t treat me like a kid.”

“Pretty much.”

“Well that’s shit.”

Paul nodded, agreeing with her. Shawn was too damn protective and ‘parental’, he needed to realize Raine was an adult and didn’t need him looking over her shoulder anymore.

“So now I’m stuck with you?”

He grinned. “Yep.”

She made a face, looking horrified. “I can’t take it…” Groaning, she fell back onto the canvas.

“Break’s over, kid, get up.”


“Now, Raine.”

“Hell no. I can’t feel my spine.”

“You don’t HAVE a spine.” He goaded, mildly shocked she didn’t take the bait and jump up. Instead he got her middle finger, sighed and got to his feet.

Raine opened her eyes, looking up and then to either side of her head at Paul’s boots. “You realize I can see up yer shorts?” She asked after a moment, tilting her head and blatantly looking.

Paul blushed to the roots of his hair.

“Damn, you got red.”

“Are you done?”

“You’re STILL standing there!” She reached up to grip his calf, grinning wickedly.

“Raine, you’re sick in the head, you know that?” Paul stepped back, looking disgruntled. Sometimes he tended to forget that her sense of humor wasn’t exactly ‘normal’.

“Yeah, I know.” She shrugged, still not getting up and folded her arms under her head. “You win, I give up.” She tapped the heel of her own boot against the canvas.

Groaning, he dropped back down, laying beside her. “Remind me why I bother wasting my time with you?”



“Because you like me.”

He made a disagreeing noise in the back of his throat, trying not to laugh. “I don’t think it’s that. Maybe I feel bad for Shawn.” He teased.

“That’s mean.” Raine pouted, rolling onto her side to look at him. “I’m not that bad, am I?” She asked, looking serious.

“If you mean by the shit you get up too, the trouble you’re always in… the fact that all the men you attract are clinically insane. Let’s see…” Paul was ticking them off on his fingers, grinning.

Raine wasn’t finding this that amusing anymore.

“The numerous fines you’ve accumulated, you’re always arguing with the boss.”

“He’s a dick though!”

“Yeah, I’ll give you that. Scratch the arguing with the boss.” Paul assented.

When she seen his jaw twitch, Raine hauled off and punched him. “You asshole!”

Holding his arm, he rolled away before she could follow up with the attack.

One second Raine was poised to knock his head off and the next she was lying face down on the mat with Paul straddling her and holding her arms behind her back; forcing her to arch in a very uncomfortable position.

“Tell me who’s the best and I’ll let you go.”

“I’m the best!” She yelped, giggling and groaning at the same time. “Fine, fine, you’re the best! PAUL, YOU’RE THE-“

“What the HELL is going on out here?”

They both looked at Stephanie with wide eyes.


“You need to calm down.”

“Calm down? Don’t even TELL me that, Shane! You of all people know better than that. Raine SLEEPS with MARRIED men!” Stephanie screeched, not seeing Shane flinch as if he had been scalded with hot water. “OLDER, married men at that!”

“First off, she’s not interested in Paul. Secondly, Paul is for some ungodly reason, devoted to you completely.” Shane said calmly, watching her pace back and forth; wondering what put this idea in her head. “Stephanie, calm down. They’re FRIENDS. He’s like her uncle or something, an older brother.”

“You should have SEEN them.”

“You’re being jealous and irrational.”

“I am NOT!”

“You sound like a child.”

“I do NOT!”

Shane gave her a ‘point made’ look.


Raine didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she was told she had a singles match. It wasn’t the singles part that really bothered her, it was her opponent. The Big Show, Paul Wight. While she didn’t have a problem with Wight, she had never faced him either.

There was a good reason behind it too.

He could very easily squish her.

Not that Vince hadn’t tried throwing her in the ring with Wight. Vince’s logic was: if she can fight the likes of the Undertaker and Batista, she can face the Big Show. Shawn, Paul, Mark and Shane had all argued with him on it.

Which had never made that much sense to Raine until now. She could lift Mark enough to suplex him or something, if she had too. It wasn’t like she was Wonder Woman or something. She relied on her quickness, her agility to win matches. Yeah, she could wrestle. Yes, she could also toss the guys around.

But Wight was not one of the ‘average’ guys.

“I’m going to die.” She muttered, for once using her knee and elbow pads; knowing all the protection in the world wasn’t going to save her. “I’m going to fuckin’ die.”

“No, you’re not.” Paul said, rolling his eyes. “Stop being so dramatic. He’s a professional, he’s not going to hurt you.”

“Yes he is, he’s going to professionally hurt me.” Raine countered. “And he’ll do it on Stephanie’s orders.”

Paul reluctantly had to give her that one. He had tried talking his wife out of it which in turn had led Stephanie to start shrieking at him. Cursing him up and down for defending his lover. “I’ll be out there.” He told her gently. “Nothing’s going to happen and if he so much as throws one heavy punch, I’ll be in that ring.”

“Did you tell her there ain’t nothin’-“


“And she didn’t believe you?”


Raine groaned, burying her face in her hands. “I’m so dead.”


“Are you OUT of your mind?”

Shane winced at Shawn’s soft and sweet tone of voice. Actually, Shawn had bellowed that but considering he had been listening to his sister screeching like a damn banshee for the better part of the night, anything sounded beautiful in comparison. “I didn’t make the match.”

“You didn’t try to stop it either!”

“What do you want me to do, Shawn? I already warned Wight to take it easy on her but I can’t just override Stephanie either.”

“The HELL if you can’t!”

“No, I can’t.” Shane said grimly. “As of thirty minutes ago, I’m not allowed to book matches for Raine. Direct orders from Vince, Stephanie’s in charge when it comes to her.”

“That is BULLSHIT!”

Shane frowned, running a hand through his hair and nodded.


Raine could not recall ever feeling fear when stepping into a ring. Apprehension, excitement, nausea. But never fear.

She was frightened now. One of Wight’s hands was as big as both her fists combined. One actual punch –not some fake jab- and he could knock her head clean off her shoulders.

Not good.

Paul was circling the ring, watching anxiously but what good was that? Him interfering wasn’t about to save her if her head was already on the canvas while her body was busy flailing around.

Wight had his orders. Bonus check if he managed to give Raine some sort of lingering injury without actually hurting her too bad. All Stephanie wanted was to send a message that Raine could fuck anyone she wanted, except Paul.


“Why’s Raine fighting Show?” Mark asked curiously.

Shawn didn’t look up from the monitor. “Stephanie.” He said tensely.

Mark was a little surprised by that. “Why would Stephanie put Rai in the ring against him?”

“She thinks Raine and Paul are sleeping together.”

“Is she nuts?”


They both flinched when Raine went flying over the top rope; smashing into the barricade.

“Shit, shit, shit…” Shawn groaned, turning his back to the monitor. He looked up at Mark. “I can’t go out there. Stephanie will suspend Raine if I do.”

“That’s bullshit.” Mark said flatly. “Fuck, if Paul don’t stop this, I’ll go out there.”

Shawn was kind of hoping Mark would say that.


“Raine, Rai, come on, get up.” Paul urged, not wanting to move her too much but she needed to get up. He could hear the referee counting her out and was aware Wight was already starting to move towards them. “Sweetheart, get your ass up.”

“God, my head hurts.” She groaned softly.

“You got one hell of a lump.” He informed her, fingers gently probing the spot. “Let’s call it a day, Raine. You might have a concussion.” Actually, considering how hard she had hit the railing, she probably had a concussion, not might, had.

“I’m not losin’.”

And that was one hundred percent Shawn coming out in her. The damn stubborn, proud streak.

“Sweetheart, you’re-“ Paul didn’t get to finish his sentence, feeling a beefy hand clamping down on his shoulder.

A moment later, he joined her with a concussion of his own.

Raine was scrambling to her feet at this point; sparing a quick glance down to assess Paul’s damage. He’d survive. She turned her attention back to the giant towering over her, feeling something akin to a bug, which was unusual as she was a fairly tall woman. “Look-“

“Kid, it’s nothing personal.” Wight said in his deep, rumbling voice. “Just business.”

“Hell if it ain’t!” Raine snapped, drop kicking him in the knee.

Wight hissed through clenched teeth but didn’t go down.

“Aw hell…”


“That’s it, I’m going out there.” Mark snarled, having watched enough of this shit. Raine had gotten back up to fight –which was both brave and incredibly stupid in his opinion- only to wind up getting the shit knocked out of her inside the ring.

Shawn was literally chewing on his fingernails, eyes glued to the monitor. He was fighting everything in him to not go out there, knowing Raine would never forgive him if he cost her her job. But on the other hand, at least she’d be alive, right?

Mark hesitated when Shawn let out a ‘what the hell?’, turning to look and raised both eyebrows.

Running to the ring as fast as he could was Shane McMahon. Now Shane no longer had to wear a sling, or use his cane for short distances. But the accident had left his knee in less than top shape, so a lot of walking or in this case, running; made his slight limp quite noticeable. So seeing him actually running was a little impressive.

Shane slid into the ring and started shouting at Wight.

All Mark could think was it was a damn good thing this wasn’t a televised event or Shane’s ass would be in a sling with his dad and the board.

Whatever he was saying seemed to work though because Wight –who had gone very red in the face- was vacating the ring.

Raine was dizzy as hell, knowing she had a concussion. She cursed under her breath, tempted to cry but held it in. She wrapped an arm around her ribs; wondering if Wight punched her full strength or not. She was going to venture out on a guess and say not but it still felt like she had just been plowed with a train.

Her eyes widened in shock when she realized she was being helped back to her feet; recognizing the person simply by his cologne.

“Here.” Shane guided her arm around his shoulder; easing her towards the ring apron where Paul was back on his feet; waiting. “Damn Rai…”

Wedged between both men, she made it backstage on her own two feet; sort of. Shane held one arm while Paul had the other, so… At least she was vertical.

Shawn instantly took over the second she was behind the curtain, trying to pull her to him only to find her not being let go. “What the hell?”

“She needs to see Alex.” Shane said patiently; looking at Mark. “Paul does too, could you…?”

Nodding, Mark picked her up.

Raine looked ready to start cussing him out for it too, only to turn green; the world doing a tilt a whirl and just closed her eyes instead; focusing on not hurling.


“Well WHY does she think I’m sleepin’ with him?” Raine demanded later in the night, staring at Shane like he had lost his mind.

Shane sighed inwardly, wishing Mark had stayed to hold her down as it looked like she was about to rip him a new asshole. As it was, she was leaning back against her pillows; staring at him like he was the enemy.

Which, as he was a McMahon, he supposed he technically was.

“I don’t know, because he’s been spending a lot of time with you lately.”

“Well that’s retarded, she’s the one who stuck us together.”

“I know, I know…” Shane sighed, passing her an ice pack for her head; glancing at the clock. “I have to run but someone else is-“

“You guys are babysitting me on rotatin’ shifts?”

“Well… sort of. Shawn’s keeping Paul from doing something horrible to his wife, Mark is dealing with Wight and I have to go have it out with Vince.”

“So who’s comin’?” She asked suspiciously.

“Matt.” Shane admitted, cringing when her face went purple. “Look, he volunteered to sit with you and Alex said you needed someone to wake you up every hour just to be on the safe side.”

Raine deflated and nodded, knowing he was right.

Seeing she wasn’t going to explode, Shane smiled and reached out to affectionately ruffle her hair. “For what it’s worth honey, you did great out there.”

“I got my ass handed to me.”

“Well, yeah, but you didn’t stop fighting back either.” He pointed out. “Knowing he basically was there to injure you.”

Raine waited, knowing he wasn’t finished.

Shane took a deep breath. “Which was stupid. You knew he was out there to hurt you, possibly take you out, and you still went on with the match.”

She had been so right and just stared patiently at him.

“Your career could have ended tonight, Raine. You’re going to have to start picking and choosing your battles more carefully if you want to last in this game.” He fixed her with a stern glare. “There’s going to come a time when nobody’s around to save your ass.” When she opened her mouth to probably bite his head off, he held up a hand. “No, listen to me.”

This was the Shane she knew and it took a lot of willpower to sit there and listen; her green eyes flashing.

“Shawn’s already pulling back from you when it comes to business, which he’s needed too for awhile now. But now he has no choice, Vince has banned him from ringside when it comes to you. Paul, well, he can only help so long as you two are partners and eventually, that’ll stop. If he doesn’t already just to appease Stephanie and save his marriage. And then there’s Mark…”

She didn’t miss the spasm of pain that flickered briefly across his face.

“He’s planning retiring next year, Raine.” Shane said quietly. “We’re putting together a tour with him as the headliner. When it comes right down to it, he just can’t keep up anymore. A match once a week leaves him hurting for days, there’s no way he can even think about doing house shows anymore.”

She nodded, remembering all the times she had watched Mark limp around; frowning.

“But its Mark, even though his body is saying enough, he’s mentally not ready just to disappear. So one more run, one more year, then he’s done.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because you need to know. You need to start realizing that it’s YOU, not you and everyone else. They can’t always be there to save you, Raine. Not even me.”

The moment ended when there was a knock on the door. Breaking eye contact, Shane got up from the bed and walked over to answer it.

“Hi Matt.” Raine called when he stepped in, trying to smile as if Shane hadn’t just given her a lot to think about.

“Hi, bad timing?” He asked, returning the smile with a hesitant one of his own.

“No, perfect timing.” Shane was sliding his shoes back on, glancing over his shoulder at Raine. “Mad at me?”

“No, just annoyed with you, like always.” She managed to tease.

Shane nodded, next pulling back on his jacket. “Like always.”

Matt stepped aside so Shane could pass, arching an eyebrow. “That was… interesting. You’re not back with him, are you?” He asked, closing the door.

“Hell no!”

“Just checking.”


“Alright, tell me something?”

Raine rolled onto her side to stare at Matt who was lying beside her on the bed. “Hmm?” He would let her doze for awhile only to wake her up just as she was actually beginning to fall asleep. Damn concussion.

“Don’t take this wrong, okay?”

“I can’t promise anythin’.”

“Well, just… don’t attack me or something.” Matt laughed softly. “But… you don’t hang out with anyone but guys, why is that?”

“I hang out with Mickie, Beth and Michelle.” She protested.

“How often?”


“See what I mean?” Matt wasn’t trying to be a jackass but he was curious. “You only associate with the guys, and the head guys at that.”

“I never really thought about it I guess.” She replied after a moment, looking thoughtful. “I mean, I’ve known Paul since Shawn adopted me, and then Stephanie when she and Paul got married… Shane…”

“So how’d you meet Mark?”

“He came out to the ring while Shawn and Paul were trainin’ me.”

“And you guys…”

Raine could already tell this was going to lead in a lengthy discussion about Mark, not something she was keen on at all. If Matt was really interested in her, then this was not the way to win her affection. “Nothing at first.”

“You got with Shane, after the um,” Matt looked like he regretted trailing down this path, turning red.

“After the Bitchtista incident, yeah, I dated Shane. It’s complicated and it’s also off limits.” She informed him, not about to discuss her history with Shane with ANYONE. The only people besides her and Shane who knew about their past was Mark and she trusted him not to blab it to everyone.

Matt nodded, resting his head on the pillow and studied her thoughtfully. “Then Mark…?”

“Then Mark.” She sighed, reaching out to pull a strand of hair out of his eyes.

“But?” He prompted.

“But things didn’t work out. We fight too much when we’re together… We’re both stubborn, arrogant jackasses.” She admitted with a sheepish grin. “He has a jealous streak, I have an independence issue. He wants things I don’t… we’re just not good together. Okay, enough about me, your turn.”

“What do you mean?”

“Tell me about yourself.”

Matt smiled slightly.


“Well… that’s… different.” Shawn commented, watching as Raine and Matt walked into the diner together.

Paul turned in his seat, nodding at the pair and huffed when they sat at their own table. “Jeez, how nice.” He joked, facing Shawn again and brought his mug of coffee to his lips.

“Shane said Matt stayed with her last night, since everyone else was a bit busy.”

“You’re not going to tell her what Mark did, are you?”

“You think I’d tell my daughter that her ex-boyfriend spent his night in jail?” Shawn’s eyes widened innocently. “No…”

“You would just to make sure she didn’t get back with him.” Paul pointed out, not fooled for even a second. “Which she won’t, trust me.”

“How the hell would you know?”

“I spend enough time with the kid to know her.”

Shawn’s eyes narrowed.

“NOT like THAT. Goddamn, what is WRONG with you people?”

“Just kiddin’, man.” Shawn grinned, snorting into his eggs. “Lighten up. Maybe Steph’s pregnant and hormonal.”

“If that were the case, she wouldn’t have taken it out on Raine, just me.” Paul shook his head, pushing his plate away; no longer hungry. “She honestly thinks I’m sleepin’ with Raine.”

“Which you’re not, because then I’d have to kill you for touchin’ my baby.”

“Shawn, no offense, but I wouldn’t be the first guy to touch your baby.”

A second later, Paul was wearing Shawn’s scrambled eggs.


“Matt Hardy?”

Raine didn’t even look up from the paperwork she was filling out, sighing when Mark placed a hand over the forms. “C’mon, move yer hand. I have to have this turned in at the end of the night.”

“Matt fucking Hardy? He dumped my sister.”

“I don’t blame him, she’s a loud mouth; nosy as hell bitch.” Raine said evenly, tilting her head back to look up at him. “We’re just friends.”

“He wants to be more than that.”

“So did you.”

He frowned, dropping down into a crouch, staring at her intently. “He better be good to you.” He finally said with a sigh. Out of all the damn women in this world, why the Hell did he have to fall in love with one who didn’t love him?

He supposed it was karma. How many times had he left someone in the same situation Raine had left him? Hell, she hadn’t even DONE anything but been honest with him. And he had sadly learned that her honesty was usually brutal.

Her jade green eyes softened. “Damn you, Mark.” She whispered.


“Don’t drop it!’

Shawn shook his head, listening as Raine started shrieking while Matt began laughing his ass off. He stood outside the house he had raised her in, a cold beer in hand; letting the two youngsters do the hard work. His job was to cheer them on.

“I can’t believe she’s moving out.” He sighed, adjusting his hat; trying not to look too moody.

“Eh, you should happy. This means you can date again.” Paul teased. “And that I can move in.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe you oughta go kiss your wife’s ass so she’ll let you in the house again.” Shawn snorted. Paul and Stephanie had gotten back together after Raine herself had gone and spoke to Steph.

Only for Stephanie to announce during a group dinner that night that she was –as Shawn had said- pregnant. Paul’s oh so dumb ass had automatically said: It’s not mine. He had been joking but… Stephanie had booted him right on out without him actually ever getting the chance to move his stuff back home.

Paul shook his head, knowing sooner or later –and it would have to be more on the sooner side- he would have to go make things right with Stephanie but… He had only been joking! And she had BLOWN up, in front of all their friends! He still could hear her screeching at him.

It was funny how in the course of one week, things could change.

Mark and Raine had apparently had a lengthy discussion that no one was privy too except Shawn. And try as he might, Paul hadn’t been able to wheedle it out of his friend. Shawn had told him it was a ‘father-daughter’ thing, the jackass.

Then Raine had gone and set Stephanie straight. THEN Shane had announced he was pulling the DX vs Brother’s of Destruction line and setting Mark on a singles path to recapturing the gold. DX was now fixing to go at with the Hardy Boys, and Raine was apparently now dating the eldest Hardy.

Oh, and she had also decided to move out of the house she had lived in with Shawn since she was ten and into an apartment just ten miles down the road, in town.

And that all happened in just one damn week.

Pops, get the door, please!” Raine hollered from behind the screen door; laughing at something Matt said.

Grinning, Shawn hustled up the steps and held it open for them, watching as the pair moved her dresser out onto the porch; down the steps and into Raine’s pick-up truck. “You don’t own that much, do you gal?” He asked teasingly.

She wiped sweat off of her forehead, glancing into the bed of the pick-up. So far they had brought down her bookcase, dresser, nightstand and bed frame. Yet to go were about a dozen boxes, some garbage bags of clothes, her mattresses and she was fairly certain that was it. “Yeah, I know. But these are the bare essentials.”

“You don’t spend much time at home, do you, babe?” Matt asked, shaking his head as he looped an arm around her waist; smiling when she leaned back into him.

“Nah, not really.”

“We can change that.”

Raine started laughing, turning to look up at him and shook her head. “Oh really now?”

“Alright you two, take it elsewhere.” Shawn chuckled good-naturedly. “You think I wanna see this?”

“I might.” Paul teased, groaning when Shawn poured his beer over him. “Man, you suck!”

“You know what?” Raine interrupted before they could have a full fledged beer fight. “I think we should have a barbecue.”

“Oh yeah, that’ll be fun.” Paul shook his head, remembering their last one. Had it really been that long ago? Mark and Glenn, Stephanie… they had been there for it. “I don’t think so, kid.”

“Well hey,” Matt spoke up when he seen the expression on Raine’s face. “Why don’t you come back to North Carolina with me? You can meet the rest of the crew, and we do these big cookouts and bonfires, it’ll be fun.”

Raine chewed on her lower lip, apparently thinking it over.

Shawn was hesitant himself. He had heard about how Matt, Jeff and their friends got up to some wild shit. He usually tried not to listen to the gossip backstage but… since Raine was apparently going to date the guy…

Paul seen that Shawn was about to open his mouth and clapped his friend on the back. “How bout you show me the pond?”

“You’ve seen-“


Shawn grimaced as he was dragged off.

“He’s overprotective, isn’t he?” Matt laughed, shaking his head as Shawn was carted away and looked down at Raine; reaching out to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. “I promise everyone will be on their best behavior.”

“Alright, sounds like fun.” She agreed finally, smiling at him.

Matt returned the smile.


Raine watched with wide eyes as Jeff went running and then flying over a damn fire, the backs of his sneakers catching fire. All he did was laugh his ass off as he put out the flames. “Holy shit…” She croaked, taking a swig of her beer.

Beside her, Shannon started laughing. “They do this all the time.” He informed her. “Usually we tape it for the Hardy Show but Matt said no taping while you’re here.”

She really appreciated that one. She didn’t want any more home videos of her circulating, even if they weren’t pornographic in nature. Though she snapped out of it when she seen Matt gearing up to go jumping the fire next, her grip on the can tightening.

Matt flashed her a grin before taking off, leaping the fire the same way Jeff had, and walking away unscathed.

At least until he reached her.

“WHAT THE HELL?” He roared when he got a slap to the face.

“Are you outta yer ever lovin’ mind?” She demanded, aware the party had stopped and all eyes were on them. “What the-“

“Rai, how bout you and I go for a walk?” Jeff suggested, nodding at his girlfriend who instantly moved to drag a seething Matt away. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder, he guided her into the woods. “Breathe.” He advised, trying not to let his beer breath hit her face as they strolled.

“Ya’all are a bunch of fucking lunatics.” She informed him angrily, looking around and finally spotted the dim glow from the blaze through the trees.

“Well, yeah, but you already knew that, sweets.”

“Yer jumpin’ fires.”

“It’s kind of a tradition around here.”

Raine slapped her own face.

Jeff grinned at the sound, able to guess what she had just done. “I don’t expect you to understand, Raine. It’s just us. But you were wrong to slap Matt like that.”

She didn’t say a word.

“And he was wrong for not letting you know what goes on out here.”

Still nothing.

“Hey,” He tilted her chin up, fumbling for a moment and hoped he was looking at her face. “I know, I know, you’re a proud; stubborn woman. But you’re wrong, face it, move on.”

“You are the weirdest person I know, Jeff, and I know a lotta people.”

“Yeah, a lot of old people.”

“That’s… Okay, that’s true.” Raine admitted, reluctantly. Maybe she did spend too much time with people who were past the forty mark.

“Matt likes you.” Jeff continued, still holding her chin. “So you wait here and I’ll go get him. He’s got a temper but then again, so do you. You two can chat it out.”

She stood there, slack jawed as he took off running; leaving her standing in the middle of some unfamiliar woods with only a dim glow to guide her back to the clearing. She could hear laughter followed by whistling. A crunch and a crack later, she then heard Matt.

“Where you at, babygirl?”

“Um, good question.”

Chuckling under his breath, Matt held out his hands, finally catching hers and squeezed. “Jeff said he gave you a talking too.”

“Yeah, he sort of did.” Raine said, sounding puzzled. “I kinda figured you were the one who’d do that.”

“Nah, Jeff’s actually really level headed. When he wants to be. Though Beth did ream me a new hole for not letting you know what we um… do… out here.”

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have hit yeh, darlin’.”

“I should have told you so you weren’t freaking out.”

Raine shifted awkwardly. She could not recall apologizing all that often before but lately, she was starting to see things a bit more clearly. Damn Shane and his talk. She liked being oblivious.

“Rai, let’s just… work past this.” Matt said finally, knowing it sounded dumb as it was something so small to even be fighting about but he genuinely liked her, cared for her. “We’re morons, can you deal with that?”

“I can try too.”

“And not hit me again? Unless I deserve it?”

“I can do that.” She laughed, fumbling in the dark to slide her arms around his neck and sighed contentedly when he stepped towards her, filling the void between their bodies.

They had just gotten started on what was promising to be a really good make-out session when they heard:

“Yo, ya mother fucking biotches, get yo’ asses back out here! This par-tay is just getting’ started for real, yo!”

“Is that… JEFF?”


“Oh… mah… gawd…”


“Let’s go to the beach.”

Raine groaned, rolling over so she was facing Matt. “What?”

He grinned, running his fingers down her bare back. “Let’s go to the beach. We can go to Daytona.”


“Duh.” Matt rolled his eyes, catching her hand before she could fwap him. “You are not a morning person, are you, babe?”

“Not really.” She chuckled huskily, wiping ‘sleep’ from her eyes. “And on my days off…” She growled playfully. “I usually murder people who wake me too damn early.”

“Well, you can-“

“Good morning, sunshine!”

“JEFF!” They both shrieked, both scrambling for the sheets.

Jeff bounced on the end of the bed, grinning from ear to ear. “Raine, if I wasn’t happily taken, I’d jump you right now.” He told her deviously. “Anyways, Beth has got grits and eggs on and she said to tell ya’all if you want some, then get your asses up and downstairs.”

“Did he even pause for a breath?” Raine asked incredulously as Jeff zoomed out, wondering where the guy from last night had gone.

“No, and I don’t think he’s been to bed because he’s hyper.” Matt groaned, sitting up and ran a hand through his very tangled hair, wincing and mentally cursed. “So… how’s Florida sounding?”

“Let’s go.”


“What do you mean you’re in Florida?” Shawn asked, waving a hand at Paul who shot him a quizzical look. “You were supposed to be in… Oh… okay. Well… are you having fun?” He grinned at something she said, then held the phone away from his ear, grimacing.

Paul could hear shrieking, laughter.

When it didn’t stop, Shawn hung up, knowing she’d call back eventually.

“Sounds like she’s having a good time.” Paul ventured.

Shawn nodded. “Yeah, it does. It’s been awhile since I heard her laughing like that.” He confessed. “Maybe Matt is good for her.”


“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” Matt cursed, running down the hallway; Raine’s hand in his as she flew along with him. They were LATE! They were supposed to have been at the arena twenty damn minutes ago for a meeting with the writing team but thanks to a delayed flight…

He skidded to a stop in the doorway, smiling nervously when every head turned to stare at him; not missing the stern expression on Shawn’s face. A second later Raine plowed into him, both of them going flying to the floor.

Which broke the tension, everyone laughing as the pair untangled themselves.

“Kids…” Paul shook his head, chancing a look at his wife; who was looking anywhere BUT him and sighed, burying his face in his hands. The way this was going, he was going to have to hogtie her and force her to listen as he apologized for being a moron.

“Sorry we’re late.” Raine apologized, brushing her hands off on the back of her jeans with a grin. “Did we miss anythin’?”

“Just the usual bullshit.” Mark drawled from the corner of the room, winking when she looked at him.

“Oh good, so we can leave.” She teased, already dropping down at one of the small tables. “Fuck you, Calaway.” She called over her shoulder when he made a comment, winking when Matt dropped down beside her.

Mark cleared his throat, coughing ‘been there, done that’.

Matt draped an arm over Raine’s shoulders, glancing back at Mark and winked.

Mark arched an eyebrow.

“Behave.” Raine nudged her boyfriend in the ribs.

“Just staking my claim.”

“Kids…” Shawn rolled his eyes.

“If we could get down to business…” Vince sounded annoyed, wondering how in the hell he hadn’t been able to get rid of this thorn in his side. He had never forgiven her for splitting up Shane and Marissa’s marriage. Or the fact that she was constantly challenging him. Usually when it came to his ideas.

What really pissed him off was the fact that everyone backed her. She didn’t write the damn paychecks!

If he hadn’t been blinded by his hate, he might’ve noticed ratings were improving now that the writer’s were beginning to get more comfortable voicing their opinions and use their own ideas, which had Shane and Stephanie’s full backing.

The way Shane saw it, Raine was fresh. She was young and connected with the fans. That and she recognized bullshit and wasn’t afraid to call on it. Much like Shawn as a matter of fact. And Mark. So, regardless of his personal feelings towards the two men, he did respect them and was glad for their influence on her.

Raine listened as Hayes went over what they had been discussing, arching an eyebrow and sharing a look with Matt when the possibility of a TLC match being held between DX (which was now officially her and Paul, Shawn just a cameo usually) against the Hardyz.

“There is NO way you are getting my ass in a TLC match.” Paul said point blank. “I’d kill myself.”

“Mark did a ladder match.” Hayes pointed out.

“And about killed myself.” Mark snorted, shaking his head; recalling that only too well. Never again, ever. “That match is not for the bigger guys.”

“How bout Raine and Jeff have one?”

“How bout they don’t?”Matt said through gritted teeth. Raine and Jeff, when in the ring together, tended to spur each other on when it came to doing crazy shit. He had noticed her wrestling style was evolving, changing, expanding. Which was scary since she had first started out with a style similar to Mark’s with a hint of Shawn. Now it was just all over.

“Tag team cage match?”

Raine and Paul glanced at each other, both having been in several of those.

“As long as they’re not leapin’ at each other from the top of the cage…” Shawn put in, already envisioning it and groaned, lowering his head down to rest on the table. He had taught her to wrestle smart, then she had started training with Rey and learned how to fly high.

He had regretted suggesting that ever since.


“How are we going to do this?” Jeff asked cheerfully, sitting on top of the cage and glanced over at Raine who was sitting kitty corner from him, Matt and Paul down on the mat staring up at them.

“Someone is going to get hurt, you know that, right?” Matt groaned, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Probably both of them.” Paul agreed, his eyes narrowing when the up top pair began laughing at something. “What?”

Raine shook her head, stuffing a fist in her mouth.

Jeff’s green eyes twinkled wickedly as he stared down at Paul. “I told her she needs to Swanton off the top, right onto you.”

“I KNOW you’re joking because she’s MY tag partner and that would just be retarded.” Paul growled, then mock smacked his forehead. “Oh that’s right, I’m talking to Jeff Hardy, master of the retarded!”

“Now that was mean.” Jeff said, jutting out his lower lip in a pout.

“It’s the truth, kid. Look, we’re keeping this clean. A straight forward match. Keep your flying inside the cage, both of you.” He looked first to Jeff, then to Raine. “Understand me?”

They both nodded, crossing their hearts.

Matt buried his face in his hands, trying not to laugh.


“Tell me why they’re sticking you four in a cage match?”

Raine damn near jumped out of her skin when she heard Mark behind her, whirling around to glare at him. “Most people knock.” She said crossly, pushing her arms through the sleeves of her wrestling top.

“I’m not most people, darlin’. Answer me.”


“Why am I not surprised?” Mark shook his head. Usually, matches like this were built up too, not just tossed out there. “Don’t go doin’ anything stupid tonight, Raine.” He added warningly, remembering the last match she was in with the Hardyz. She and Jeff had flown at each other, basically doing cross bodies on each other and wound up dropping like sacks of potatoes.

On screen it was a beautiful thing to watch, since he was a wrestler though; he knew how damn bad that must’ve hurt.

“Wasn’t plannin’ on it, Mark.” She replied evenly, slipping behind a screen to change into her bottoms, glancing over the top to make sure he stayed put. “You came in here to tell me not to be stupid?”


“Message clear.”

He knew she was dismissing him and snorted, walking around the screen and outright laughed when she looked up and fell backwards on her ass. He bent down and helped her up, gingerly kneeling and pulled her shorts up over her legs.

This was not good. Raine watched with narrowed eyes as he finally adjusted the waistband, tapping his shoulder. “Thanks, now, um…”

“Sorry, darlin’, old habits die hard.” He apologized, letting her help him off the floor. “Shit, Rai, I’m getting old.”

She just nodded, looking solemn.


Shawn wasn’t feeling too good about this match, not at all. He paced the hallway, listening to the monitor, unable to watch. He kept telling himself it would be fine. Paul was professional, so was Matt. And there was no way Matt was going to let his girlfriend do something stupid out there.

But then again, it WAS Raine.

Not to mention Jeff…

“Damn it…”

His heart rose and fell with each passing moment, with each ‘oohh’ and ‘ahhh’ from the crowd. Finally he halted, hearing J.R. all but shouting and moved towards the screen where Mark, Glenn and Mickie all stood, watching.

Mickie shook her head, covering her eyes with her hand. “Please… tell me she’s okay…” She pleaded, gasping when she was pushed aside. “Shawn!”

“Shawn…” Mark placed a warning hand on the smaller man’s shoulder, his face pale beneath his tan. “Shawn, don’t-, don’t look, okay?”

The pain in Mark’s voice was enough to alert him that something was seriously wrong. “What… what happened?” He demanded hoarsely, hearing EMT’s running and shouting, confusion breaking out as wrestlers, divas and staff all began pooling towards the gorilla.

“The cage…” Mark said hoarsely, blinking back moisture. “She was up top, getting ready to go down the side and...” He shook his head.

“And it just… buckled…” Glenn whispered, unable to stop watching as Paul, Matt and Jeff were dug out from under the heavy metal; the ring collapsed around them. “She hit her head on the guardrail…” It wasn’t Glenn’s voice but a monotone, like he wasn’t even there with them.

Shawn flew out behind the black curtain, his heart pounding in his chest.


She had an intracranial injury, trauma to the brain. Shawn could only sit there and stare at the doctor’s blinding white coat; listening in silence. Each word that came from the man’s lips felt like a tiny dart flying straight into his heart.

“We won’t know anything until she wakes up, if she wakes up.”

Shawn shook his head, not understanding. “What do you mean?” He asked hoarsely, not bothering to wipe away the tears that had glazed his cheeks.

“With this sort of trauma,” Dr. Cass inhaled deeply, feeling pity for the man hunched before him. “The impact from the fall, she’s lucky her head didn’t split right open.”

Shawn flinched, all too easily envisioning that.

“She’s in a coma right now.”

He inhaled raggedly.

“There was swelling, obviously.” Dr. Cass coughed, unsure what to say; it was like Mr. Hickenbottom wasn’t even listening to him anymore. “But thankfully…”

Shawn didn’t even hear the rest.


“Christ that hurts…” Matt groaned, blinking and immediately closed his eyes when bright lights assaulted him.

“Just lay still, Mr. Hardy.” Came a voice he didn’t recognize.

As he couldn’t exactly feel his legs at the moment, that wasn’t a problem. He felt panic cresting in him, remembering looking up in time to see the startled look on Raine’s face as she fell back, the cage coming down… “Raine, where is she?”


“Evans, Raine Evans.” He murmured, feeling groggy and looked to his left; seeing a nurse injecting something into the IV bag, guessing it was connected to him. But where he wasn’t sure, his body wasn’t really cooperating with him right now.

“ICU, now…”


Vince looked up when the door to his study flew open. Gripping the tumbler in his hand, he shot down the rest of his scotch, pulling a face and then cleared his throat. “How are they?” He rasped, still unable to believe the… carnage, that had occurred in his ring. He had never seen anything like it.

Sure, they had had malfunctions but since 2000 there had been so many guidelines and safety restrictions passed that accidents from something besides the actual fighting were few and far between.

Shane was LIVID. “Jeff and Paul are being discharged in the morning, both have concussions. Matt’s being kept a few days for observation…”

Vince licked his dry lips, seeing the rage and the pain on his son’s face. He himself had despised Raine, but it was hard to deny that Shane loved her. Especially right now. “And Raine?” He whispered, feeling ill when Shane closed his eyes; his stomach threatening to heave back the alcohol when a tear appeared on his son’s pale face.

“She’s in a coma, Vince.”


“Go home, Shawn.”

Shawn shook his head, not even tearing his eyes away from Raine; gripping one of her limp hands in both of his.

Sighing, Mark pulled his sunglasses from his face, looking directly at the ceiling. Glenn had visited her the day before and told him that he hadn’t been able to stay more than a few minutes, simply because that was NOT Raine.

The silence was overbearing, he wondered if Shawn could feel the guilt trickling from him. He had known something was wrong, he had even said something to Raine about it. But since it had just been a ‘feeling’, Raine had laughed it off and gone out to do what she did best.

Entertain people.

“Shawn, you need to sleep.” He said, trying to keep his voice calm and level. According the nurse’s, Shawn hadn’t budged; dozing for minutes at a time.

“No.” Shawn muttered.

“You stubborn ass, go sleep. I’ll sit with her.”

Shawn shook his head.

Cursing silently, Mark walked over to place a hand on the other man’s shoulder. “Man, go sleep, if there’s any change, you’ll be the first to know. You have to sleep, you ain’t doin’ her no good like this.”

With the aid of a nurse, Mark finally convinced Shawn to go lay down; in the staff room no less as the nurses were all very sympathetic. Indeed, Shawn was a topic among them on their breaks. How sweet and sad it was, seeing him sitting there day in and day out with his daughter; refusing to leave her side.

Which left Mark alone with her. He hesitantly took Shawn’s seat, still trying not to look at her. He could hear the beeping of the machines that surrounded her, knowing she had suffered brain trauma as a result of her fall.

He could still see it. The startled expression on her face when she realized what was happening, how she tried clinging to the cage just before it gave; the odd crack and clang as it violently bent forward. She had lost her grip on the links and just… fell backwards.

The back of her head had hit the guardrail, the sound deafening the already silent arena. Some fans had tried swarming when she landed, trying to get a good glimpse of her prone body on the mats; some had held people off; letting the medics do their jobs.

Finally, when he couldn’t stand it any longer, he looked.

And regretted it.

The first thing he noticed were the tubes in her nose; for oxygen he supposed. Then how pale her face was, the white bandage around her head; a few strands of her brown hair peeking from beneath.

“Christ…” He exhaled, reaching out to take her hand. Instantly he was repelled. Her flesh felt cold and clammy, like she was dead already but the rising and falling of her chest told him otherwise. “Come back to me, darlin’.” He whispered, bringing her hand up; pressing his lips to her palm. “Raine, come back to me.”


“How’s she doing?” Matt asked hesitantly, peeking into the hospital room.

Mark looked up, not even realizing he had fallen asleep and blinked; straightening himself in the chair. “Same.” He muttered, coughing to clear his throat and then winced as it sounded abnormally loud.

Nodding, Matt walked over to stare down at her, sighing heavily.

Mark looked Matt up and down, noting the kid looked banged up but… he was moving.

“She loves you, you know.” Matt said softly, gripping the rails of the bed. “We started out just as friends, she flat out told me she wasn’t interested in anyone. Because of you, she never said THAT but I knew. It was the look she’d get when she’d see you, like the whole damn world just kinda stopped.”


“No, just, lemme finish.” Matt swallowed hard, blinking rapidly; his long black eyelashes brushing his cheeks and destroying what might have been a tear. “I knew it and I still started dating her. I didn’t love her, I don’t love her, but I care for her, you know?”

Mark nodded, sighing quietly.

Matt shook his head, reaching out to run a finger down her arm; flinching away at the coldness then looked to the IV in her arm, that explained it.  “I don’t understand it, man.” He laughed softly. “There isn’t a damn thing special about her when you first look at her. I mean, she’s pretty… but she’s no stunner, you know?”

Mark arched an eyebrow.

“But when you talk to her… When you get past the image she shows people at work, wow…” He chuckled under his breath; tearing his eyes away from Raine to look at Mark; seeing the warning in those piercing green eyes. “She’s stubborn, headstrong… a complete and total brat. Trouble ALWAYS followed her, but she’s so easy to… love, I guess. You know what I mean?”

If Mark was honest, Matt had just described Raine perfectly. She could be selfish, she was blind when it came to men; had a temper and a mouth on her. But once you got to the woman… “Yeah, she is.” He whispered.

Matt closed his eyes, exhaling through his mouth; the breath coming out shaky. “Just thought you should know that, man.” He said at last. “That she did love you.”

Mark just nodded.


For the first few months, Raine had a steady stream of visitors that she wasn’t even aware of. Shawn was there always, Mark almost as much. Both men had just walked away from the wrestling scene. Glenn dropped in often, as did Michelle and Beth. Paul came, usually with Stephanie, every few weeks; unable to see Raine in that condition. And it tended to upset the pregnant Stephanie so…

At the six month mark, the visitors slowed down. The regulars were Mark and Shawn. Matt called to check on her condition but Shawn had gently told the younger man not to wait around for her. Which had had to be the hardest thing Shawn had ever said as it was acknowledging his daughter might not ever wake up.

There was one person who had yet to appear…


“I was wondering if you were ever going to come see her.”

Shane looked up from his perch on the edge of Raine’s hospital bed when he heard Shawn’s voice; his eyes widening. He didn’t let go of her hand however, just stared at the other man. “I didn’t think I could handle seeing her this way.” He admitted. “I always worried that something would happen to her.”

Shawn remembered that. Shane had even tried forcing her to retire on the grounds he couldn’t bear to see her harmed. Now he honestly wished Raine would have. He wished Raine would have retired and married Shane. She’d be safe and sound somewhere, no doubt with a few babies to love.

Shane looked startled when Shawn began to openly cry.


“She’s really in a coma?”

Mark stirred from the half sleeping, half waking state he had been in; fully alert and stood up so fast his chair flew backwards into the wall. “What the hell are you doin’ here?” He demanded, trying to keep his voice down; making his words come out a low growl.

David Bautista stood there in the doorway, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans; looking uncomfortable. “I don’t know.” He muttered, his eyes on Raine. “I didn’t believe she was really in a coma.”

“Because people are goin’ to lie about somethin’ like that. Get the fuck out right now before you join her.”

Instead of getting out, Dave moved to the bed; arching an eyebrow as he took her in. “Wow…” He was having a hard time believing this was the woman who had repeatedly handed him his ass. She looked so frail, so fragile right now. “Wow…”

Mark was damn near the breaking point. Six months he had been here, switching days with Shawn and this son of a bitch had the BALLS to come here? Shane he tolerated, Shane he understood. He didn’t like the man, but he did have some grudging respect for him.

David… none. He wouldn’t of pissed on Dave’s teeth if his gums were on fire.

“She looks… hideous.” David blurted out, flinching uncharacteristically. He was walking right into an ass beating and he knew it but he couldn’t stop himself.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Mark demanded angrily, again. “You hate her.”

“I didn’t want to see her like this.”


They engaged in a stare down, sizing each other up. It was broken when there was a low; muffled moan from the bed.

Mark instantly forgot about Dave, crouching down and took Raine’s hand in his, his eyes searching her face intently. “Get a doctor.” He ordered without looking up.

David hauled ass from the room.

“Raine?” He murmured, reaching out to brush his fingers along her forehead. “Raine?”

“Mmm…” Her brow puckered.

“What? What is-“ The on-call doctor, Dr. Verne, blinked when she seen Raine and walked over to check her pupils, flashing her pen light in her patients eyes. She glanced at the monitor beside the bed, arching an eyebrow. “We need to call her father.”


Shawn arrived within hours, walking into the room slowly; almost afraid of what he’d find. He was glad –more than glad- that Raine had apparently woken up. Now he was scared that she wouldn’t be his Raine anymore. Dr. Cass had told them time and time again that she could very likely be mentally and/or physically disabled if she ever came round. There just wasn’t any way of knowing until she pulled out of the coma.

He froze in the doorway, blinking back the instant tears. “Oh thank you, Lord.” He whispered, dropping to his knees right there.

Raine had just been staring at Mark, but when she heard her father she turned her head. “Dad.” She murmured, the word coming out mumbled, trying to raise her hand.

Mark smiled tenderly, reaching out to help her lift herself. Verne had explained that since she hadn’t been mobile in six months, she was going to have to rebuild her muscles and learn how to use her limbs again. Of course nurses had come in every day and moved her, just to keep full deterioration from setting in.

After finishing his prayer, Shawn moved to her other side; nodding at Mark as he gently pulled her upright; enfolding his arms around her. “Hey, babygirl.” He whispered, burying his face in her hair.


Now that Raine was out of the coma, came the testing. Physical and mental. Physically, she was fine except for the fact that she couldn’t walk or move without help for the first few weeks. Afterwards relying on a walker to get her around as she regained her mobility.

Then it was the mental that had everyone worried.

Raine wasn’t giving anything away. She just allowed them to do the tests, whatever was going on behind her green eyes… well, she wasn’t saying.

Truth be told, she was frustrated. She KNEW what was going on around her, she KNEW how to respond to the tests but it wasn’t coming out right! She was going to explode, or implode. She hated this helpless feeling. She hated relying on people to help her do the most basic of things, like going to the damn bathroom or just getting to her feet.

She had been told point blank she’d  probably never wrestle again, just because the doctors were already determining that even with her physical rehabilitation, she would get around as far as ‘normal’ went but as for mixing it up in a ring, or flying off a turnbuckle… no.

That had broken her heart.

She had missed out on six months of her life, scared the shit out of everyone who loved her only to wake up and find her world was all shot to hell. Well, the professional aspect of it at least.

In the end, she was told what she already knew. Her mental faculties were fine. She just wouldn’t be blurting shit out anymore, which was probably a perk. Though, the fact that she had to stop and organize what she wanted to say in her head (unless she wanted it to come out jumbled), made her feel a little… retarded.


“It’s not the end of the world.” Shawn consoled a few months later, watching as Raine finally got around to setting up her apartment. Seeing as how she would be actually living there, unable to wrestle anymore…. He sighed when she pulled out a picture of her standing on top of a cage, preparing to dive off and onto Batista; shot from her first ever cage match. When he seen the tears on her cheeks, he walked over to hug her.

Raine buried her face in his chest, crying openly. “I really loved wrestling, daddy.” She said after a moment.

“I know you did, babygirl, I know.” He murmured, stroking her hair soothingly.


“I’ve got to find something for her to do.” Shawn groaned, burying his face in his hands. Once finding out Raine was going to be alright, he had started working matches again. Just the televised and PPV’s, wanting to be near her. Which he knew irritated her, she had repeatedly told him to live his life; she was fine.

Shawn knew that she was scared. She had grown up in the wrestling business, it was all she really knew. Now she had to find something else, an actual job eventually. Granted, she was getting a monthly check from the WWE –at Shane’s insistence- for the accident even though there was waiver in everyone’s contracts just to prevent the settlement issue, and could comfortably live off of it for years if she wanted too. When it came right down to it, Raine was an active person who needed to be doing something.

Besides sink into depression. Thanks to Dr. Cass’ preparation, he knew that depression was normal. Her life wasn’t ever going to be the same, she had to give up her love of wrestling; etc etc etc.

“I have an idea…” Paul said finally, slapping his friend’s back.


“Girl, get your lazy ass up outta that bed.”

Raine raised her head off the pillow and groaned. “Go away, Mark.”

When she pulled the pillow over her head, Mark rolled his eyes. Walking around the bed, he brought his hand down on her ass; smirking when she shrieked. “I said get up.”

“What the HELL?”

“Hurt?” He smacked the other side.

Groaning, Raine rolled out of bed and just stood there, staring at him. The look in her green eyes clearly said: go away.

But he wasn’t going anywhere. For some ungodly reason, he loved this infuriating wench who had destroyed him completely for any other woman; stolen his heart and damn near killed him when she had almost died.

She was stuck with him, whether she liked it or not.

Raine arched an eyebrow when Mark just smiled at her.


“I miss it.”

Mark looked up when she spoke, following her gaze to the television; which was muted. He watched as Shawn super kicked Paul, shaking his head before looking back to Raine. “You could wrestle again, darlin’.” He said softly.

Raine snorted, running a hand through her brown hair and shook her own head. “The doctor-“

“Said PROBABLY. When it comes right down to it,” He placed a hand over her heart. “It’s up to you. Remember what I said?”

Raine remembered very clearly. He had told her a long time ago that in order to make it in the business, you had to have the heart. She smiled wistfully, wishing it was that easy but her body probably wouldn’t cooperate with her wishes.

Sometimes, dreams had to be forgotten and you had to move on.

Having Mark around wasn’t as bothersome as she had originally thought. When he had first moved in, she had ranted and raved. All he had done was listen to her with an amused grin on his face. He had slept on her couch for the first month. He had also forced her to start doing more than just laying around moping in bed.

He made her get outside. He forced her to go shopping, which was a sacrifice on his part since he hated it as much as she did. He took her to MMA and UFC events, he had even started teaching her how to ride a motorcycle by herself.

Which had annoyed the shit out of Shawn who wasn’t prepared to lose her for real this time around.

And which had also earned Shawn a slap upside his head by Mark when he actually voiced it.

Mark had made her live again, nobody could deny that.

“Darlin’, if you really want to wrestle again, we’ll get you back in that ring.” He promised, smiling when she tossed her arms around him and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Come hell or high water, darlin’, you’ll wrestle again.”


“One more, just one more darlin’ and then you can stop.” Mark said soothingly, smirking as Raine struggled to pull her chin up over the steel bar. Since that night in her apartment when he had promised to help her wrestle again, they had been working non-stop. It helped that he had plenty of time on his hands since he was retired.

Raine gritted her teeth, her arms visibly shaking as she tried doing one more chin up. As soon as her chin hit the bar level, she dropped; groaning when she landed on her ass.

It wasn’t all that funny but he laughed anyway, knowing the minute he showed her pity, she was going to start wallowing and he’d be damned if that happened again. Not on his watch. They had been doing this for three months now, he wasn’t letting her slip back into a funk, hell no.

First thing they had to do was get her ass back in shape. She had gone soft. Not that he was bitching because… Raine looked very, very good soft. Before she had had a muscular physique, albeit a feminine one. Now she was just curvy and luscious without the muscle tone.

And for some reason, it was sexy.

“You are a jellyfish.” He commented, raising her arm off the floor and let go; watching it drop with raised eyebrows.

“I have no vertebrae.” She agreed with a low moan. “I don’t remember it being this hard,” Raine paused, frowning and rolled her eyes at herself. “Before, getting in shape.”

“Darlin’, you haven’t even been out of that coma for a year yet and you’re already bustin’ ass. Give it time.” He said gently, then straightened up; pulling her with him. “Now…”

Raine groaned, her eyes begging for mercy.

But none was coming.


“I’m NOT eating that.” Paul said flatly, staring at the macaroni salad Stephanie placed on the picnic table and shook his head. “Hell no, not after last time.”

“Last time I couldn’t cook.” Stephanie chided, her blue eyes sparkling as she brushed a strand of brown hair out of her face. “I’ve been watching the food network channel, I did this right.” Sniffing, she peeled the plastic wrap off the bowl. “See, it LOOKS good.”

“Yeah, so did your last batch but it made everyone turn green.” He retorted.

Raine shook her head, leaning back into Mark who had one arm wrapped around her, the other extended over the grill where he was flipping steaks. “I watched her make it.” She confided in a whisper.


“And she put horseradish in it.”

He made a face.

Raine nodded, agreeing with him whole heartedly. She smiled when she seen Shawn coming up the path; his arms loaded down with platters and bowls. Just behind him was a woman she had never guessed he’d of been interested in.

The woman’s name was Elise and she was a member of the writing team. In fact, she was the one who had originally suggested pitting DX against the Brother’s of Destruction. How things worked out never failed to both amaze or amuse her.

Elise caught Raine’s stare and blushed, but smiled tentatively.

Raine returned it. Hey, the woman was nice AND she kept Shawn from constantly stressing out over his daughter, in Raine’s book; that was awesome.

“Alright darlin’, I got to get these bad boys off the grill.” Mark gently pushed her away, laughing when she instantly wrapped her arms around his neck and bent down to kiss her. “Clingy wench.”

“You like it.” She teased, kissing him again before backing off.

“None of that you two.” Shawn called from the table, snatching the bowl of macaroni salad from Stephanie before she could dump it over Paul’s head. “Now, Stephy…”

“Just ONCE, I’d like him to NOT criticize my cooking!”

“Here, I’ll take the first bite and show you it’s not bad.” Shawn said with a  long suffering sigh, accepting the fork Stephanie smugly passed him.

Paul made a ‘have at it’ gesture before folding his arms over his chest, a skeptical expression on his face.

Manning it up because Elise was staring at him with an amused grin, Shawn took a healthy spoonful and plunged it into his mouth. “Mmm…” He nodded his head, taking another.

Paul watched with narrowed eyes as Shawn swallowed both bites. “Bullshit. Give that here.”

Raine and Mark just stood there, shaking their heads.

Stephanie poured half the bowl over Shawn’s head and then Paul’s a second later. Paul was scraping his fingers along his tongue trying to get the taste out while Shawn was downing a beer. “You LYING SON OF A BITCH!”

“Some things never change, do they?” Raine asked, laughing her ass off when Paul snatched his wife up and carted her off to the pond; watching as he dived in and took the screaming Stephanie with him. Even though Stephanie was hollering, she was also smiling so they knew everything was alright on that front.

“No, they don’t, darlin’.” Laughing, he kissed the top of her head again before carrying the platter of steaks over to the picnic table. “Mite cold to be swimmin’ ain’t it?”

Shawn shrugged, sitting on the bench while Elise helped picked macaroni out of his hair.

All Raine could do was shake her head; smiling when Shawn pulled Elise down onto his lap and kissed her, macaroni falling onto her face and all.


“Raine, are you-“ Shane hesitated, looking at Mark who didn’t say a word before back at her. “You look wonderful.”

Raine smiled; feeling Mark’s arm tighten around her waist and leaned into him. “Thank you.”

“Are you, are you back to um,” He trailed off when she shook her head. “Just visiting then?”

Mark nodded, looking around as people scurried about. He wouldn’t lie, he missed this for some ungodly reason but then again… he also enjoyed his retirement. “Just here to catch the PPV.”

“Shawn invited us.” Raine added, wondering if her now scatterbrained father had forgotten to inform Shane of that. Since beginning to date Elise, Shawn didn’t have too much on his mind these days besides her. It was fairly adorable in an odd sort of way.

“I had heard that you were training again.” Shane said, trying not to press and be rude but… he was mildly curious to see if she could do it.

“Oh, I was.”


She shrugged, her green eyes twinkling as she looked up at Mark. “Being retired kinda suits us both. I’m just working on getting back into shape and we’ll see where it goes.”

“Where she’s going next is right down the aisle.”

Shane almost choked on his own tongue, coughed and slapped his hand against his chest; well aware he was getting an amused look from Mark while Raine looked concerned. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. As soon as she stops pussyfootin’ me, we’re getting married.”

“Mark, I don’t think this is the time for that.”

“Darlin’,” He turned and stared down at her. “We live together, we love each other and you already know yer with me for the long run. Why not?”


Shane was already giving them space, still coughing.

Raine pinched the bridge of her nose. “Darlin’, I don’t think that was very nice of you; saying all that in front of him.”

“I’ll say it in front of whoever the hell I got too, Rai. Stop giving me the damn runaround already and just say yes.”

This was beginning to become a weekly thing. Raine lost count of how many times he had proposed, and she always told him no. She didn’t know WHY she kept turning him down, she just did. She loved him, no doubt about that, and for some ungodly reason known only to Mark; he still loved her.

Even if she had been, still was and very likely would always be a pain in his ass.

“Hell, I’ll go out there and interrupt the show,” Mark grinned, though his emerald orbs were dead serious. When she just arched an eyebrow, he turned and headed for the stage.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Raine grabbed hold of his hand, whipping him back around. “Like hell if you will!”

“Well then?”

She realized what he was doing and folded her arms over her chest; pursing her lips together.

“Don’t pout.” He rapped his knuckles against her forehead. “C’mon now, I’m not getting any younger, Raine.”

“I’m aware of that.”



“Pardon?” He cupped his ear, bending down. “Didn’t catch that?”


Activity in the hallway stopped as people turned to stare. Raine was blushing bright red while Mark was grinning from ear to ear. Before she could go off on him, he gathered her up into his arms and kissed her.

“Hey Shawn!” Glenn called out when Shawn poked his head out of his dressing room to see what all the hubbub was about.


How’s it feel having Mark has a future son-in-law?”

Raine and Mark both slapped their faces when Shawn just slammed the door shut.


By the end of the night, Mark was actually regretting getting his answer right then and there. When Stephanie had found out Raine had finally agreed to ‘walk down the goddamn aisle’, she had gone into full blown chic mode and started preplanning.

Which led to Michelle, Mickie and Beth joining in; with Glenn’s encouragement.

Mark and Raine were both in Hell.

“RUN!” She shrieked, darting into the hotel room right behind him. She leaned back against the wall as Mark dead bolted the door; shooting him a look. “Smooth.”

“Let us in!” Glenn rasped, dragging his fingernails down the door.

Ignoring him and Stephanie… and Mickie… and Paul, they retreated to the bathroom together.

“Darlin,” Mark began, watching as she tugged her shirt over her head. “I think we should elope.”

“Quick and mostly painless?” She teased, tossing the shirt at him. Raine smirked when he growled; allowing him to pull her into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Besides the harpies at our door, are you happy?”

“I’ll be happier when you have a ring on your finger and a bun in the oven.” He teased softly, caressing her back. “As long as you don’t leave me at the altar or somethin’.”

“I wouldn’t do that to you. I might leave you waitin’ for ten or twenty minutes, but I wouldn’t leave you there.”  She rested her head against his chest; feeling him lowering his head on top of hers. Even with the background music of Glenn calling through the door while the others laughed, the moment was actually… perfect.

When she had started out in the WWE, she had never thought that she would walk the path she had taken. Raine had had a plan, she had had a goal and Mark never fit into any of it. Shane hadn’t either, nor had David.

But life never seemed to work out the way she planned. Instead, it threw everything it could at her; and she’d stumble and fall. Usually, someone was there to pick her back up.

That someone was usually Mark.

How could she not love him? Not want to marry him?

Even after all this time, everything that had happened; their stormy history, he had still been there.

He had even been the first person she seen after coming out of her coma.

“Okay, enough fluff, let’s go murder them sonbitches.” Mark grunted after a moment.

Stepping back, she nodded.


“Shawn…” Elise began, slowing her step as they walked through the back parking lot towards the hotel; finally stopping altogether. “What is that?”

He followed her finger, his eyes widening when he seen what had caught her attention.

Hanging from a balcony was: Glenn, Paul, Stephanie and Mickie. White and pink party crepe was wound around them, along with pink and white paper wedding bells; the kind you found in craft stores.

“Um,” He rubbed the back of his neck, shaking his head; having a feeling he knew what had happened. “My guess would be… Mark and Raine.”

She blinked.

He sighed.

Some things just never changed.