Monday, July 2, 2012

Mr. Greybeard... (a little ficlet)

His eyes are the first thing you notice.
Cold and steely blue.
They have seen much during their lifetime, no doubt about that.
They can say so much, yet also so little.

His time ravaged, battle scared face is the next thing you see.
What emotionless emotions he must have seen?
How he must have lived?
You cannot help but wonder just what life had thrown at him.
What caused him to gain those scars in the first place?

There is quietness to him, like he has no voice.
Maybe he does not wish to speak; maybe life has dealt him one too many bad hands?
But without words he can portray a million and one things most men cannot.
While he may not show his emotions, or lack thereof; he can be very silent about them.
Something about him just tells you what he is trying to convey.

His beard and hair tell you that he has seen life, that he is older than he feels maybe.
They speak of a man who has known all that is good and all that is bad; wrong and evil with life and the human race.
Has he love and lost? Has he felt pain and sorrow? Has his heart known joy and happiness?
All questions I could answer, if I knew him.
Five years of a close working relationship; and yet I know nothing of the man stood in front of me.

The man that has just saved my life.
The man that is clearly my heron and saviour.
The one who is holding out his weatherworn hand for me to take, which of course I do.
Who is this man that I know, yet know nothing about at all?

© Nicky D Sarti 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anger Management ~ Lea's Story!

This story is just a little bit of fan fiction, all wrestling characters are © to WWE & Vince McMahon; Leanne’s character is © to herself. With love and thanks to Leanne Spooks for allowing me to post this little ficlet. I hope you enjoy!                                                                                               

Anger Management.

(Part 1 The Beginning)

When Randy Orton returns home, he is shocked to find his wife with another man. Coming to terms with the fallout of his marriage, he is forced to take classes for his anger issues. It is there that he finds an unlikely, life-changing friendship.

Randy walked through the door and stopped immediately, dropping his bags by his side and awaiting on the onslaught of hugs and kisses he had grown accustomed to upon returning from the road. After a few seconds of silence and realizing he was standing with his arms outstretched with no one before him to greet, he snickered to himself before retrieving the large case on the floor and looking around the spacious, neat home.

“Honey? I'm home!” he bellowed through the foyer, before removing his coat and hanging it on the hook nearby.

He threw his keys onto the desk and fished through the mail that lay nearby, almost anticipating his wife to ambush him at any moment. It was something that he looked forward to after returning home, and seeing as they were still newlyweds with an infant, everything was still exciting. At least for him it was.

He threw the mail back on the table and looked around once more, before walking down the short hallway to the living room. He peered inside and frowned at the emptiness before heading forward to the next room.

He knew he remembered to tell his wife he was returning a day early and the odd silence in the house unsettled him slightly. Usually the television would be blaring with Dora the Explorer or Little Einstein’s or the stereo system she had bought him the Christmas before would be blaring some sort of children's music.

After checking the dining room, the den and the kitchen and uncovering even more emptiness and silence, he shrugged his shoulder and retreated to the living room once more. He decided to space out on the couch for a few, thinking perhaps his wife had gone to the store or to his parent’s house for the afternoon. It would give him his last little bit of silence before tending to their daughter for the next few nights. Besides giving his wife, Samantha the much needed rest she was craving, it gave him those precious moments with his little Alanna, before returning to the road once more.

He hated being away from his new family for so long, but he knew if he hadn't, the life they had built for themselves wouldn't exist. And besides his wife and their daughter, wrestling was his passion. He knew it was something that was within his blood from the time he was little when his mom hesitantly agreed to allow him to attend his first Wrestlemania. Ever since that moment he was hooked.

He honestly couldn't see himself doing much else, anyway. He hadn't attended college anywhere and his stint in the US military hadn't gone the way he had pictured. Looking back on those days, he realized how incredibly naïve and immature he actually was then.

He exhausted a deep sigh as he allowed his eyes to close briefly, as he envisioned his shopping trip just days before. He had wanted to visit the large Toys 'R Us store in Arizona to look for something for his daughter. After dragging 2 of his best friends along with him and spending an hour and a half in the store, he finally found the perfect gift and bought it without a second thought.

Now, he couldn't wait to see the look on his daughters face when she saw the large play set he had purchased.

His eyes darted open when he heard the loud noise coming from upstairs. He was on his feet in a matter of seconds and flying up the stairs quicker than lightning. He knew he had called to his wife when he entered the door and his only thought was a bugler had entered his home through an opened window upstairs somewhere. He was certain Sam wasn't home, or else she would have called back and rushed towards him, like she always had before.

He eased his way into the long hallway at the top of the steps and walked silently towards his bedroom door. He pressed his ear against the door as another sound resonated and a series of whispers and muffled voices were heard within. He strained to hear what was being said, but the voices were too hushed to make anything out clearly. He stepped back and rubbed his hands together before turning the knob and busting through the door.

“What the he---” he yelled in a deep voice, before stopping quickly in his shoes.

Randy?!” Samantha exclaimed, covering her nearly naked form.

Sam? What's going on?” Randy asked, feeling his blood start to boil as his eyes feel over the other male in the room, scrambling to finish dressing.

“When did you get home, sweetheart?” she asked in a high-pitched voice.

“Who the hell are you?” Randy asked, stepping towards the male and ignoring his wife’s question.

“I'm, um-- Trent.” the man said, extending his hand.

Sam, who the hell is...” Randy began, giving the guy a once over, before returning his attention back to his wife. “..Trent?”

“I think it's best if I leave.” Trent responded, as he grabbed his shoes.

“No, really. I think it's best you stay.” Randy said calmly, slamming the door and blocking it. “Where the hell is Alanna?”

“Sh-- She's at your parent’s house. What are you doing home early, baby?” Sam asked, drawing closer to him.

“Don't---” Randy said, closing his eyes as his hand flew in the air, stopping her dead in her tracks. “--touch me.”

“Randy, it's really...”

“What, Sam? Not what it looks like?” Randy finished for her. “It looks to me that my wife is half naked in my bedroom with another man!”

Randy, please.” Sam urged, stepping closer.

“Who is he?” Randy asked, trying to keep his cool as he spoke through clenched teeth. “And how long has this been going on?”

Randy...” she sighed, looking over her shoulder at Trent. “I was going to tell you. I really was.”

“How long, Samantha?” he asked again, as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Almost 2 years.” she said, in barely a whisper.

“Did I hear you correctly? Did you say 2 years?!” he screamed, as his eyes narrowed on her.

“Yeah.” she spoke softly.

“Why, Sam?” he asked, lowering his voice slightly.

“Randy, it's just-- everything was too much to handle. You were on the road, I was alone and Trent was here.” she said, a few tears flowing from her eyes.

“Don't give me that bullshit, Sam. Just---” he stopped, clearing his head and allowing himself to collect himself before continuing. “--get your shit and get the fuck out.”

Randy, please...” she pleaded, her hands covering her mouth.

Sam, you heard me. I'm doing this as nicely as possible. Please, just leave.” he voiced.

Randy, I never...” she began, the tears stinging her eyes, the lump in her throat almost making it impossible to finish her sentence. “...I never meant to hurt you.”

Sam---” he warned.

Instead of continuing, he looked at her and pointed towards the door, as he slowly moved away from it. He hadn't planned on coming home to find his wife cheating. It was something he never thought she was capable off and considering his track record, everyone would have bet that it would've been Randy in her shoes.

“There's something else you have to know before I leave.” she said, wiping the tears from her eyes as Trent stood and stood beside her and grabbed her hand.

The gesture caused Randy to tense up. He rolled his neck around slowly, trying to relieve the tension forming. His suddenly felt sick to his stomach, but he wasn't fully prepared for the bombshell she was about to drop on him.

“Alanna....” she spoke softly, before Randy interrupted.

“What about my daughter?” he fumed, glaring at the other man.

“Randy, she may not be yours.” she whispered, as the tears fell down her face all over.

Randy closed his eyes and turned around, wondering if he had heard his wife correctly. The woman he thought bore his child was now telling him that she, in fact, might not even be his child at all. He rubbed the back of his neck, before he felt the tears stinging his own eyes. He turned around quickly, realizing the room was empty.

Something inside of him snapped, as he grabbed the closest thing and launched it at the large mirror above the dresser, shattering it into a million pieces. The frame flew back and came to rest at his feet, the picture starring up at him, like a reminder of what once was. He picked it up and stared at the photo of his wedding day. He felt the tears dripping from his eyes once more before the angered rage set in. He launched the frame once more, this time with more power, causing it to shatter amongst the broken glass lining the floor.

He continued his reckless raid upon his bedroom, smashing lamps and end tables, scattering the sheets and blankets onto the floor before ripping the seams from the pillows and throwing the stuffing aimlessly around the room. He moved from picture frame to picture frame, destroying the coloured memory in his wake, not caring about his actions.

He saw the large flat screen plasma television resting on the large bureau by the bathroom door. He remembered how she had wanted one so badly in their bedroom for their weekly movie nights while he was out of action on injury leave. Without another thought, he trampled towards the set and pushed it to the floor, the casing busting and the glass from within shattering and echoing throughout the house.

He continued by ripping the drawers open and throwing her undergarments from the opened window nearby. He watched as the pile of colourful fabric made a rainbow upon his backyard. He continued to the next door and the next, before the bureau was empty and the drawers lie dishevelled amongst the growing clutter.

He looked around the room before falling to his knees, the exhaustion and hurt setting in, as the tears fell from his eyes. He hadn't the faintest idea his wife was so cold, so frigid in allowing him to believe he fathered a child that in the end might not even be his. The tears stung his flustered, reddened checks, but he didn't care.

He just wanted everything to go back to normal, but he had no idea what that even was anymore. He knew things would never be the same; the happy family he had worked so hard in building came crumbling down in one day, without his doing at all.

He thought of his parents and the hurt they would undoubtedly feel after knowing their granddaughter might not be theirs after all. His brother and sister, who cared so deeply for their niece, might have their own world crash down on them after hearing the news.

His felt the soft touch on his shoulder when he spun around. He was met with the soft, blue eyes he was so familiar with and noticed the tears lining her eyes as well. He stood and shook his head slowly, a fresh set of tears forming in his eyes and falling down his swollen face.

“Baby, I'm sorry.” she whispered, shaking her own head.

She extended her arms then, not wanting another word to be said, knowing her son needed her now more than ever. He excepted the gesture and collapsed into her arms, sobbing uncontrollably as his father watched from the doorway.

(Part 2 Back at Work)

Randy slammed the car door, as the sound vibrated throughout the nearly empty parking garage. He sighed to himself, feeling the exhaustion set in as his shoulders hung and he began the short walk to the backstage area. It had been nearly a week since he had been on the road, and aside from not being alone anymore, he wasn't thrilled to be back.

He had cancelled all his prior commitments beforehand because of the turn of events that had happened, but knowing he couldn't put out off his job any longer, he had hesitantly boarded his plane and made it to the arena. He wasn't particularly happy about facing his co-workers, knowing they would've been informed about his deteriorating marriage before his return, but realizing there was no other way around things, he had to press forward.

His week had been filled with appointments to attorneys, doctor appointments, as well as tears and crushed hearts from his family, as well as himself. It was almost too much to bare every time he had to look at his parents, but it was something he knew they had to get through together. Had they not been there for him, he wasn't sure if he could live any longer, but he managed, with each passing day.

The hardest part for him by far was the DNA test he had supplied his physician just mere days before. He hadn't known his heart could beat so fast and crumble at the same time, but it was the hardest thing he ever had to do in his life and it was something he hoped he never had to do again.

He hoped and prayed above all else that Alanna was his child, but at the same time, it was too much for him to get his hopes up, in fear that his world would come crashing down once more. It was something he wasn't sure he could live through, no matter how many people was around him. It was hard enough knowing the results might not be back for 6 weeks. The only thing he had to look forward to was his weekend visitations with his daughter. Sam had agreed to let his family continue to see the baby while testing was decided.

He and Sam had agreed to wait until after the paternity was decided before they continued with the divorce proceedings. Even if she thought there could be some small hope of saving their marriage, Randy had completely given up on the thought. The mental picture of his wife, nude in their bedroom with another man was too much for him to begin getting over and he decided not even trying. Especially after she had told him the truth about her affair.

He entered the large backstage area and looked around before his good friend, John sauntered by his side. He gave a half-hearted smile before embracing the younger man and squeezing him tightly.

“If there's anything you need, dude...” John said, letting his words linger in the air.

“Thanks, man. I appreciate that.” Randy said, his focus falling towards the cement floor.

“How are you holding up?” John asked softly.

“I'm... here.” Randy said, pursing his lips together.

“I mean it. Anything...” John repeated, as he arched his brow.

“Thanks.” Randy said, letting a small smile escape. “I think I'm going to grab a shower before the show tonight. I'll catch ya later, alright?”

“Alright, dude. See ya later.” John replied, waving after him.

Randy continued on his journey, hoping to find an empty locker room so he could be alone with his thoughts. He wasn't ready to socialize above the norm with anyone, knowing everyone would offer their sympathies and sorrows towards his situation. He didn't want anyone’s pity. He wanted to continue living life as much as possibly and try in putting the entire mess behind him.

He finally found an empty room and threw his bag on the couch before shutting the door behind him. It had always been in his routine to get a shower before checking in with the creative team and grabbing a bite to eat before every show. His friends would often tease him about showering before a match, saying the procedure was backwards. Randy always fired back by saying he showered before and after his matches and he liked being clean. He saw nothing wrong with that, but his co-workers still dogged him for it.

As he unpacked his bag, grabbing the clothing he would need afterwards, his hand rubbed across something hard. He pulled it out slowly, his heart beating faster and faster. He knew almost immediately what it was, but had to see the object with his own eyes.

Her small blue eyes starred back at him as he pulled the frame from his bag. His heart seemed to stop as he ran a finger over the picture and closed his eyes, warding off the tears that were threatening to fall. He shook his head silently before opening them again, the picture looking back at him and breaking his heart in the process.

He slammed the frame on the leather couch beside him before releasing a scream from deep within. He grabbed the water bottle positioned on the table beside him and threw it at the door, the contents pouring out and splashing everywhere.

He wasn't aware of his own actions, as he moved around the room, grabbing random items and slamming them around, as the tears flowed freely and his heart breaking all over again.

“Why?!?” he screamed aloud, as he tore threw the large desk, emptying its contents on the floor and slamming the large, wooden drawer to the floor.

He didn't hear the door behind him open and he could care less in that moment. His only thoughts were on his daughter and the pain he was feeling. It seemed as if no matter what he tried doing, a reminder was always there of what once was and how bleak his life seemed now.

Randy! What the--” John screamed behind him.

Randy didn't bother turning around. He was lost in his own world, filled with anger, hate and resentment. He wanted nothing more to turn back time and erase every hurtful thing about Sam and her lover, Trent.

John reached out and grabbed Randy's arm, turning him around in the process. Randy glared at John, as if he was interrupting something important, and without realizing what he was doing, he drew back and his fist connected with John's mouth.

“What the hell is your problem, dude?” John yelled, bringing his hand up to his mouth checking for the blood he undoubtedly knew was there.

John, just get the fuck out of my face!” Randy seethed, as he wiped the wetness from his cheeks before turning around pushing the desk over.

John threw his hands in the air, knowing that reasoning with the younger man was not happening. Instead, he thought of bringing someone else that Randy might listen to. Sure, he and Randy were the best of friends, but he knew that Randy was aware of their closeness and John would protect him come hell or high water. If he brought in another force, Randy might break down and listen and bring him back to reality.

Hunter, man, I need your--” John said, before being cut off.

“What the hell happened to your lip?” Hunter asked, pointing at John's upper lip.

“It's Randy. He's going completely crazy. He's throwing shit around and he won't listen to me. The damn room is a mess, man.” John said, wiping more blood from his mouth.

“Where at?” Hunter asked, taking the lead down the hall.

John didn't have to answer, as they rounded the corner and immediately heard the screams. They quickened their pace as Hunter entered the room first, and stepped back slightly as he surveyed the room and the damage Randy had created. He shook his head before slowly walking towards Randy.

He touched his shoulder gently as Randy reeled around, his features softening instantly. He shook his head before bringing his hands up to his face.

“Randy, look, I know what's happening right now-- it sucks.” Hunter began.

“It sucks?” Randy spat out. “You don't know shit, man!”

Randy, just calm down and let's sit and talk about this.” Hunter urged.

“I don't wanna talk, Hunter.” Randy said calmly, before looking up at him. “I want my old life back.”

Randy pushed past Hunter as he made his way over towards the couch, his eyes locking with the picture frame that rested on the cushion. His anger instantly flared back up, as he picked the frame up and squeezed his hands around it.

“What the --” came a voice from the door.

Before anymore could be said, the frame shattered against the wall, missing Vince McMahon's head by just inches. Vince stared at the wall in shock before turning his attention to Randy. He wasn't sure of what to say and the other men in the room, were just as stunned as everyone's focus was on Randy.

“Look, I know you're going through a tough time right now, but it does not call for this... this -- destruction. I've went down this road with you before and we're not heading there again, Randy.” Vince said sternly before stepping further into the room.

“I.. I --” Randy stammered, trying to find words, as he looked around the room, realizing the shambles of demolition he had caused.

“I don't want to hear it. If you want to keep your job, you'll attend anger management classes immediately! I will not put up with your shit once more.” Vince explained, as Randy's face fell. “Randy, I'm sorry, but I refuse to go through this week after week. You need to go home and take care of yourself. After that, you know there's a place here for you, but until then, you need to sum things up on your end.”

“I'm sorry, Mr. McMahon.” Randy said softly.

“I know you are, but this is the only way, son.” Vince said, squeezing his shoulder.

Randy simply nodded his head as he picked his belongings up from the couch and packed his bag in silence. Vince stood over him as he watched the young man. He truly felt sorry about the hand he was dealt but knew there was no other alternative for him.

He had saw the destruction Randy has caused years ago right after he was brought up from OVW. He had wrecked hotel rooms from his anger and thought to himself them that classes would help. After Hunter and Ric had intervened, Randy had seemed to straightened his act and taken his career more seriously.

Knowing his anger was stemmed from another source this time, he knew things wouldn't be resolved unless he received help. He knew that life one the road weighed heavily enough on a person; the situation Randy was in now would have only made it worse.

“Come on, man. I'll walk you out.” John said, as he wiped his lip once more.

“I'm really sorry about--” Randy started.

“Don't.” John urged. “It's alright.”

“I didn't mean--” Randy began again.

“I know, dude. I just-- I'm worried about you.” John said, sighing. “Go home and get this shit taken care of so you can get back on the road and tear it up with me.”

“I will.” Randy agreed, although in the back of his mind, he wasn't even sure if everything could be fixed at this point.

John threw his bag into the back of his rental car and turned to face Randy before offering him a sympathetic smile. He hugged him once more and stepped back, as Randy looked around the empty parking lot and sighed.

“I guess I better be leaving.” Randy said, shoving his hands into his jeans.

“Alright. If you need me--” John repeated for the third time.

“I know. I know.” Randy said, releasing a smile for the first time in days. “I think Vince is right. I need to get things squared away back home and I don't need-- this...” he said, waving his hand in the air. “...weighing on my mind, too.”

“Yeah.” John agreed, shaking his head. “When you get back, we'll hit up the night clubs. It'll be like old times. How longs' it been since you were the 'Lady Killer', dude?” John snickered.

Randy laughed and rolled his eyes, trying to count in his head how many times he had turned woman down since he had gotten with Sam. It tugged on his heart knowing he had been able to turn so many girls down but she couldn't do the same, and her bad judgment had lead to him possibly losing the greatest thing in his life.

“We'll see, dude.” Randy said.

“You still got it in ya.” John urged.

“Yeah, somewhere. I'll have to find it, along with my sanity when I go back home.” Randy said, opening his car door. “Tell Vince I'll send him a check for the damages.”

“I'll let him know. Take care, man.” John said, as he watched the younger man slam the car door shut and fire the engine.

“You too.” Randy called out the window as he drove off into the unknown.


(Part 3 Alanna)

Randy sighed once more as he continued to stare out the window, watching the blocks of the sidewalks fade quickly behind him. He had silenced himself the entire drive, trying to keep his mind from thinking of the harsh reality that had surrounded him now.
His father shook his head silently, as he continued driving down the large 4-lane highway. He hated to see his son in such bad spirits, as if a black cloud was now looming over him; on the contrary, Randy was the exact opposite. Usually so carefree, full of life and always had a smile on his face, no matter what the situation was.

He understood the circumstances his son was now facing, and couldn't begin to grasp the amount of pain and sorrow he was feeling. He had three beautiful blessings of his own that he considered his life; he hadn't the faintest clue of what it would be like for one to be ripped from him, seemingly overnight. He knew he could survive the heartbreak of Sam cheating on him, but if Alanna turned out not being his, he didn't know how far his son would spiral downward.

“You know, you're doing the right thing.” Bob Orton said lightly, finally breaking the silence.

“Yeah, I know, Pops.” Randy agreed, giving him a brief look, before looking at his hands.

“Your mother and I-- we're proud of you.” his father stated, patting his leg, as he pulled into an empty parking space and cut the engine.

“I know, dad.” he said, shaking his head.

“It might not be as bad as it seems. I mean, it could teach you other things besides your anger control.” Bob said, shrugging his shoulders.

“So, you think I have an anger problem, too, huh?” Randy asked, his eyes glassing over as he looked up at his father.

“I didn't say that, son. I'm just trying to think from both sides of the fence here. Vince's hands were kind of tied in the matter.” Bob said.

“Perhaps, but I don't have anger issues. I know why I was pissed and I know why I wrecked--” Randy began, before his dad cut him off.

“Do you remember doing it, Randy?” Bob asked, turning in his seat to better face him.

Randy fell silent for a moment, taking in everything he had done over the past 2 weeks. He could remember his wife and her lover in their bedroom, he remembered his mother coming in afterwards and hugging him like there was no tomorrow, he remembered seeing Alanna here and there when Sam would drop her off and he could remember moving his stuff into his parents house for the time being.

He remembered just about everything he had done. From Vince telling him he had no choice but to enter an anger management class, to the plane ride, to the talk with his parents and his siblings. He could remember the sleepless nights, the tears, his broken heart longing for his daughter, the feeling of emptiness and pain. He remembered everything that seemed importantly to him, he thought.

“Alright. Do you remember the day this all started?” his dad asked him softly.

“Yeah, what about it.” Randy asked, his eyes narrowing.

“Well, do you remember what happened afterwards, Randal?” Bob questioned.

“When mom came in the room?” Randy asked in a state of confusion.

“Well, yeah, but right before that--” Bob sighed before continuing. “Randy, Sam left the house that day when you returned home and immediately came to the house to explain things to us. We weren't too happy to say the least, especially where Alanna was concerned, but we dealt with it. When you're mother and I drove to your house after Sam picked the baby up, your bedroom was in shambles. Do you remember what happened from the time Sam left and your mom walked in?”

“Dad, please don't mention her name.” Randy pleaded, as he tightened his fists.

“Alright, son.” Bob reasoned, sighing once more. “Look, I'll be here shortly after 3 to pick you up, alright?”

“Alright, dad.” Randy said, managing a weak smile before leaping from the SUV.

He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, as he walked slowly towards the large brick building before him. He wasn't happy to be taking part in anything that was voluntary on his behalf, but seeing as his hands were tied, he had no choice but to proceed forward.

He had no idea what his father was talking about either. It seemed as if his dad was pressing the issue, more than helping him, and it angered him almost immediately. He just wanted a strong support system around him, and every time he turned around, it seemed as if people were questioning his actions, almost as if no one trusted him anymore.

It was as if he was the one cheating on Sam, instead of it being the other way around.

He sighed and read the large, gold lettering on the door before him. He rolled his neck slightly, before pushing the doors open and stepping inside the cool, artificial air-conditioned room.

He saw a row of chairs lining the far right and left wall, a huge mirror lining the wall in front of him and a group of chairs forming a circle in the middle. A cluster of people were at the opposite end of the room, leaning against a stage, talking amongst themselves.

He decided to take a seat in the centre of the room by himself. He wasn't in the mood for talking at the moment, and knowing he would have to spill his life story in a matter of minutes, a moment alone could possibly do him some good.

Before he could collect his thoughts and focus on the next hour and a half, a tall, slender blond man entered the room and clapped his hands three times, drawing the crowd behind Randy to quiet down and take seats around him.

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Most of you know me, but for those of you who don't, I'm Andrew Burke. You can call me Andi.”

“Hello, Andi.” the group replied in a robotic tone.

“Alright, let's settle in and get down to business. I see we have a new face in class with us today, so first, I'll have him stand and introduce himself before we continue any further.” Andi said, before looking at Randy and motioning for him to stand. “Sir?”

Randy looked around and rubbed the back of his neck as he stood up and offered a weak smile towards the group. He was usually fine speaking in front of thousands of people, he didn't understand why his nerves were getting the best of him now.

“Um, well, my name's Randy.” he said, giving a wave to the class before taking his seat once more.

“It's nice to have you with us Randy.” Andi said, smiling at him before turning his attention to the rest of the class. “Last session, I had you guys all write down one word, be it a person, a place, a feeling, whatever. From that one word, you were to write down your thoughts and feelings, as well as why this word angered you the most. So, who would like to go first?”

“Cars.” a man seethed, as he spoke through clenched teeth, before standing up.

Randy sat back and watched a heavy-set man with glasses stand and read from a sheet of lined, notebook paper. He couldn't help but yawn slightly, realizing that if he did in fact have an anger problem, this class was the wrong place for him. It felt like he was in school all over again, and that was a place that he swore he would never return to again.

“Nice job, Kenneth. For those of you wondering, this exercise is to teach us to write about those moments where we feel anger the most, instead of acting on the rage. It's what is known as 'anger mode.' Whenever you feel like your bubble is about to explode, or your world is crashing down around you - which you all have apparently felt, or else you would be here right now - I want you to write about those feelings, that anger, and release it on paper instead of your normal venting method.” Andi said, smiling at the group of people.

“Alright, Leanne, would you like to go next?” Andi asked, as a well-toned, auburn woman stepped forward and looked up at the class.

He locked eyes with her briefly before she returned her attention to the paper and drew a deep breath in. Randy noticed her soft features and couldn't help but be intrigued by what she could possibly be angered by. She looked like the most gentle, beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on.

As soon as she spoke, Randy realized how wrong his perception of her was completely off.

“Alanna.” she said, looking up with reddened eyes.

This minute the name escaped her lips, Randy felt his heart quicken and blood start to boil. He tightened his fist, before releasing it, repeating the gesture over and over. He couldn't believe he had been so wrong about the woman who stood before the group now, but he instantly hated her as she started to read through her speech.

“She was so innocent, I was told. She wasn't to be blamed for the havoc that consumed my life, yet, I hated her from the minute I knew the truth. She wasn't the source of the problem, I was told again. It was all his fault, he wanted me to believe. Yet, I wouldn't listen to the attempts of reasoning. And yet, here I stand, today, and the name still makes me sick to my stomach.” she finished, as took her seat, a silent tear falling from her cheek.

Randy stood and kicked his chair backwards, as he began pacing the room. The loud noise startled those around him, as their eyes fell on the man who ran his fingers through his short, brown crew cut, not saying a word.

Randy, is there something you would like to share?” Andi asked, startled by the his sudden attitude turn.

Randy stopped pacing, as he looked up at the group, his eyes falling on Leanne's, the tears staining his own face. He shook his head with anger, as he continued to stare at her.

“Why is that name so sickening?” he asked through clenched teeth.

“I... I'd rather not talk about it.” she spoke softly, dropping her head silently.

“I wanna know why.” Randy asked again, stepping closer.

“I said--” she answered, looking up from her paper, as her eyes narrowed on Randy's. “I'd rather not talk about it.”

Randy, while we are allowed to ask questions, we can't push the recovery process, and we certainly don't want to risk the success that Leanne has made in class so far.” Andi said, trying to reason with the younger man. “But, why don't you tell us what angers you the most and tell us why.”

“Trent.” he spat out, glaring at Leanne.

Her face shot up and met Randy's icy, coloured eyes. He noticed her sudden change in reaction, but continued with his rant. She hung on his every word as she listened to him intently, watching his every moment, from the silent tears he shed to his saunter around the room.

“I had it all. My life was perfect, before you came into it, ruining the one thing I thought was most sacred. But, you had to take it a step further and now, I risk losing the only thing I thought I could hold onto the most. The one constant that I thought would be a part of me. The one person who had my heart from the beginning.”

“And who is this person you speak so lovingly of?” Andi asked, trying to break the daze Randy had entered.

“My daughter.” Randy said, dropping his head, before looking back up and narrowing his eyes on Leanne. “Alanna.”

“Okay, now I see the--” Andi smiled, before Leanne shot up from her seat. She made her steps quickly and in now time was face to face with Randy.

Trent?” she questioned, cocking her head to the side.

“Alanna.” Randy repeated, arching his brow.

“It couldn't be.” Leanne whispered, as she shook her head. “Could it?”

Randy gave her a confused look as Andi and the rest of the class watched the two intently. No one knew what was going to happen, instead, they feel silent, wanting to understand the confusion themselves.

“Could it what?” Randy asked, stepping back.

“Alanna is...” Leanne stopped, the lump forming in her throat not allowing her to continue.

“Is my daughter.” Randy said, breathing rapidly.

“It must be a coincidence.” Leanne stated, turning around.

“What's a coincidence?” Randy asked, grabbing her arm gently, wanting to understand her more than ever.

Trent is--” she said, before stopping once again, letting out a small breath.

“Is what?” he asked, shaking his head.

“Was my husband.” she corrected.

“And?” Randy asked, scrunching his brows.

“And, he cheated on me with another woman and they had a --” she stopped, the tears filling her eyes. “--bastard child together.” she finished, spitting out the last word as if it was poison on her tongue.

Randy released her arm, as his hand ran through his short hair once more. He pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling the headache starting to form as he close his eyes slowly.

“What is the child's name?” he asked silently.

Leanne didn't speak for a second, afraid of the reality that would crash around her once more. It was almost too much for her to take in the possibly of who Randy might actually be. Besides seeing him on the television from time to time, she didn't know a thing about his personal life, and didn't care to up until now.

“Alanna.” she whispered, closing her own eyes, waiting for the unexpected.

“You said your husband cheated on you?” Randy asked, wanting to get more facts before he jumped any further ahead of himself.

“Yeah, he did.” she answered, opening her eyes.

“What's her name?” he asked, knowing the answer before he even asked the question.

“Samantha.” she replied, sighing, as the tears fell down her cheeks.

Randy felt the room starting to spin as he looked around slowly. He felt as if the walls were closing in on him and what made it worse was the people that now stared at the two as if they were the last gossip in the newspaper.

“That's... that's impossible.” Randy said, finally able to make a sentence. “That's... that's...”

“You're wife.” she whispered.

(Part 4 The Change)

Randy turned around slowly, not sure of what to make of the current information he was presented with. He had no clue he would be coming to his anger management classes to have such a huge bomb dropped on him in the first day. It was almost too much for him to bare, and he was almost certain this was his last class.

“Alright everyone. We're going to do something special today. I think we've hounded everyone for the past couple of weeks with exercises and breakthroughs, so I'm going to dismiss class early.” Andi began, looking at the two people before him, before turning his attention to the rest of the class. “I'm going to ask that you have your 'anger mode' speeches ready for us the next time we meet and we'll continue from there.”

Everyone stood up and scurrying for their belongings, but Randy and Leanne didn't move. They simply looked at each other, both individuals not sure of their own feelings towards the other one. At one point Randy felt sorry for the girl before him, but he quickly dismissed the thought, realizing the actual reality between them.

It was unreal for Leanne, as she glared at Randy, not sure if she should be angry, sad, confused or hurt. How was she to know the speech she had prepared only a week before hand would be about the new guy in her anger management class?

She stepped back slowly before giving off a weak smile and turned to collect her own things. Randy watched her movements, before he shook his head. Andi stood in front of him a few seconds later, offering a smile of his own.

“Today was, well, something else. I don't think anyone, especially the two of you expected this. I don't suspect either one of you knew about the other, really.” Andi said.

“No. I didn't even think about Trent having a wife. I just thought my wife--” he started, before shaking his head and correcting himself. “Samantha was easy game for him.”

“Well, I usually ask that I sit down with anyone new to the class to go over their background information and their medical conditions, but seeing as your employer made that available to me, I don't think that will be necessary.” Andi stated.

“Thank you.” Randy said, shaking his head, as he watched Leanne walk through the double doors.

“But, I do want to ask, given the special circumstances between you and Leanne, that there not be anything harmful done to each other to compromise her progress, the classes, as well as your own. You had a breakthrough today, Mr. Orton. I've read your file that came from your boss. Apparently, the old Randy would have unleashed hell on the room.” Andi said with a laugh.

“Yeah, about that. Apparently there's some instances that I don't remember and I've often wondered since my outburst at work if I even need anger management.” Randy said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Well, seeing as you don't remember the damage you do when a heated situation happens, I'd say your the perfect candidate for these classes. It sounds as if you're experiencing black out spells when things get tough. I really think we can help you, Randy, and I hope you change your mind.” Andi replied, frowning.

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” Randy said, sighing.

“Look at it this way – right now, it's rooms and furniture that you've destroyed. I've heard you've actually punched your best friend. I don't want that getting any worse, because it could quite possibly be jail time for you. Who knows?” Andi responded, trying to reason with him.

“Yeah, I understand that.” Randy said, agreeing.

“Next week, we'll be doing some other exercises, as well as some group therapy, but I really want to sit down with you and Leanne afterwards. I'd like to see if maybe there’s some common ground between the two of you.” Andi asked, hopefully.

“I don't know, dude. I mean, that's touchy and...” Randy began.

“I understand that, but honestly, there's only one way to get past this all. And we've got to start by talking and healing.” Andi said, squeezing his shoulder lightly. “I'm going to give you my number. If you ever need to talk to someone...”

“Um, thanks.” Randy said, accepting the white card from his hand.

“I'll see you next week then?” Andi asked.

“Yeah, I'll be here.” Randy said softly, as he stuffed the number into his coat pocket and exited the room.

Once outside, he had decided to call his dad, letting him know that class had let out early. He wasn't sure how he would explain the weird turn of events that had taken place just moments before, but he was sure that the classes would be interesting from here on out.

“Mom, it's hard for me to admit this, but she looked just as hurt as I did.” Randy said, chewing his food slowly. “Confused, too.”

“Why is that hard for you to admit?” his mother asked, looking at him intently.

“Just the way she acted about the baby. I mean, it isn't her fault all this shit happened. Why would anyone want to blame Lanyi in all this?” he asked, pushing his plate back before placing his hands behind his head and slouching deeper into the dining chair.

“Randal, I'm not sure, but give her the benefit of the doubt. Her world was turned upside down, just like yours. Only she had to accept the fact that her husband possibly fathered a child out of this affair. You had a lot to take in, but so did this young lady.” Elaine explained.

“Yeah, I know, but still...” Randy said, trailing off.

“You know I would be the first to run to that little girls defence, but in this situation, everything is hard enough. There's no need to add more hurt and despair to someone else. Give her a chance.” she urged, standing and grabbing the leftover dishes from the table.

Randy grabbed a few dishes and followed his mom into the kitchen, lost in thought. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get Leanne out of his mind. There was something there deeper than an instant attraction. He couldn't even say for sure if that's what he was drawn to. He saw her cry, as if her heart was breaking on the spot, much like himself. They had so much that they had lost, and rather ironically, in the same manner, in the same situation.

Yet the minute she uttered Alanna's name, he was instantly sickened. And angered.

“You know, mom. It's strange.” he said, leaning against the counter and staring at the floor, collecting his thoughts.

“What's that, dear?” she asked, wiping her hand on a dish towel.

“I felt horrible for her when I saw her start to cry. I wanted to reach out to her and hug her, but at the same time, she pissed me off.” he said, shaking his head before looking at her.

“Randy, it means you have a heart.” his mother laughed. “You have anger issues. That doesn't mean you’re a cruel, heartless menace that doesn't care for people. You've always had a heart of gold.”

“Maybe.” he said, closing his eyes. “I just wish I hadn't punched John or wrecked my bedroom because of....”

“Because of your anger?” she filled in for him.

“I was going to say Sam, but you always have to be the voice of reason, don't you?” he asked, smiling lightly.

“That's my job. Well, besides putting band-aids on your scraped knees when you fall off your bike.” she said, winking at him as she rubbed his arm.

“Mom, I'm not 5 anymore.” he said, rolling his eyes.

“But, to me, you'll always be my baby. No matter how old you are.” she said, kissing his cheek before turning to leave.

“I know, mother.” he laughed.

“You know something, Randal?” she said, turning before she left the kitchen.

“What's that?” he asked, arching his brows.

“You've only went to one class, and I can see a change in you already. It's nothing dramatic, but you've actually talked more today than you have for the past 2 weeks.” she said, smiling.

“I'm trying, mom.” he said, shoving his hands into his jeans.

“I know, and I'm proud of you. That's all that matters, son.” she said, before winking at him once more. “Night.”

“Night, mom. Love you.” he called after her.

After the eventful day he had had, he only wanted to jump into a hot shower to relax his muscles and hit the sack. He had a feeling sleep would come easy for him, but he knew he had to do one thing before he relaxed.

He owed his best friend an apology.


(Part 5 Learning Tree)

Leanne felt the warmth from the sun beaming through her bay window and hitting her face. She forced her eyes shut tighter, trying to block the sun out. She only wanted to see darkness for at least three more hours. She hadn't been able to sleep well since she found out her husband was cheating on her, and even if she knew he wasn't there with her any longer, her heart still ached for him just the same.

She knew she would never take him back. She never was the type of person to forgive so easily especially given her circumstances. It just wasn't in her nature to be that forgiving. It probably stemmed from her childhood, but today was not the day to ponder on where it started.

She had yet another special class to attend that day and she couldn't wait to get it over with. She wasn't sure why the director had called to schedule an appointment, especially on her day off work, but she couldn't really complain about it. She was court ordered to attending all meetings, functions and exercises, unless she had damn good reason not to.

She had a feeling that wanting to lay in bed for the day was not a good enough reason.

She opened her eyes and flung the covers from her bare legs and groaned. She managed to get more sleep than usual the night before, and even she couldn't complain about that. She wasn't able to get Randy out of her mind, either.

That gave her a very unsettling feeling.

She knew exactly who he was the minute he entered the room almost a week before. She had saw him enough on the television. Granted, she wasn't necessarily drawn to Randy Orton, the wrestler, but she still felt drawn to Randy Orton, the individual.

She had to admit he was handsome, with his blue eyes that practically stared through her soul and his cocky smirk that he carried without even knowing it. It usually pissed her off to see a guy who was completely arrogant and cocky, but for some reason, it only made her weak in the knees.

She had saw the tears lining his eyes over the mere mention of his daughter's name. She knew he was obviously as hurt and upset over everything as she was, but she had truly felt sorry for him after reading her speech. How was she to know that he was 'the other man?'

She grabbed her clothes from the dresser and made her way into the bathroom, preparing for a nice, warm shower. Her thoughts were still on Randy as she entered the warm sprays, but she could feel her body release all tension, as the magical water began to take effect.

She couldn't understand the range of thoughts she was getting about Randy. She was sure it wasn't just the attraction factor. There seemed to be so much more to it. It could've been that they were at a similar crossroads in their life. Or that they both saw the hurt in each others eyes.

She wasn't sure, but she had to get her mind off it before she had her session in a few hours. She had to have her mind clear and focused on getting her anger issues about her soon-to-be-ex-husband out. She didn't want to complicate or risk her progression by thinking of the wrestler, Randy Orton.

She pulled her car into the empty parking spot and collected her belongings into her purse before cutting the engine and opening the door. She still had nearly 20 minutes to spare, but she wanted to arrive early, just to give the impression that she was giving an effort in her recovery.

She didn't think she had extreme anger problems; certainly not enough to be attending anger management classes, but seeing as it was court ordered and she didn't want to do jail time, she would touch it out through the next few months.

She opened the large double doors and walked inside, almost surprised to see Randy leaning against the wall. She slid her sunglass into her purse and offered him a small smile as she stepped in front of him.

“Hi.” she said, shuffling her feet.

“Hi.” he replied, just as soft.

“You got called for a meeting, too?” she asked, almost putting two and two together.

“Yeah. It seems that way. Andi said he'd be out in a minute.” Randy said, motioning towards the door.

“I guess they want to talk about....” she said, trailing off trying to find the right words.

“About our cheating exes?” he offered, smiling slightly.

“For lack of better words, yeah.” she replied, returning the smile.

“I guess it's a small world.” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Ironic, if you ask me.” she said, shifting her weight onto her other foot.

“Whys that?” he asked, scrunching his brow.

“You wouldn't call this ironic?” she asked, arching her own brow.

“Ironic, sure, but intrigued to hear what you had to say about it.” he replied.

“Whys that?” she asked, mocking him as she placed a hand on her hip.

“Just curious, I guess.” he shrugged.

“Well, I mean, your wife slept with my husband and-- and--” she said, trailing off, as she carefully thought of her next words. “...and I'm sorry for last week and my speech.”

“Well, I kind of blew up and I'm sorry. I mean, that's your feelings and yeah, I don't understand how you can blame a 4 month old baby over all this, I understand your hurt just like I am.” Randy offered.

“You wanna know why I blamed Alanna?” she asked, noticing he tensed up at the mention of the name.

“Yeah, I do.” he said, bringing his weight off the wall and standing up straight.

“Well, I was pissed to begin with because if anyone should have had a child with my husband...” she began.

“It's not proven yet.” Randy interrupted. “She could be mine.”

“Well, even so, there’s a possibility it may be his. That was something that was so... so...” she began, trailing off, not able to finish her sentence.

The tears lined her eyes and she shook her head a minute, before wiping the falling droplets with the back of her hand. Randy extended his hand for a minute, before stepping back. He hadn't meant to strike a cord with her. He hadn't meant to make her cry. He was only curious why she felt their situation was ironic. Why he was so intrigued was beyond him, but now he felt stupid for even feeling curious at all.

“I'm...” he said, shaking his own head.

“No, it's alright. You wanted to know why I hated her and I'm going to tell you.” she said, wiping her eyes once more. “That child should've been mine!”

“What?” he asked, confused.

“She should have been mine. Not, his and that... that...” she said, shaking her head again, as the tears fell. “That bitch!”

“She isn't his, alright?” Randy spoke up, finding himself yelling at her.

“You don't know that!” Leanne fired back, pointing her finger in his direction.

Randy was taken back by her anger, and felt his blood starting to boil at what she had spat at him. He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to relieve the tension. He didn't want to blow up, but everything the issue was mentioned about Alanna not being his, without failure, he was instantly pissed.

“If you would've keep your husband happy, none of this would have happened.” Randy seethed, as he talked through clenched teeth.

“What did you say to me?” she asked, snapping her head to face him.

They glared at one another, their eyes locked on one another, the hatred and anger rising to the surface. Randy didn't care how hurtful the comment was. To him, her uttering the fact that he might not be Alanna's father was the most hurtful thing she could have said.

“You heard me!” he screamed. “Goddamn it!” he said, turning around and punching the brick wall.

“You don't know shit about my marriage or what happened in it. Besides, I could say the same thing about you. Apparently you're not too satisfying, or else you're precious daughters paternity wouldn't be in question!” she yelled.

“Oh, believe me. It's not because my sexual prowess is questionable!” he said, arching his brow. “There have never been any complaints in that department, honey!”

“That you know of!” she huffed.

“You don't even know what you're talking about!?” Randy screamed.

“Doesn't matter! The fact that your wife went looking elsewhere speaks volumes!” she yelled.

“I actually work for a living. I was hardly ever home! You would know that if you even knew who the hell I was!” he screamed.

“I know who the fuck you are! Should I be impressed by that?” Leanne asked.

“I could care less if you're impressed or not. The fact remains that your husband had to find his piece of ass somewhere else! I'm just sorry that it was with my wife!” he screamed.

She shook her head, the tears flowing from her eyes, as she wiped them angrily before throwing her hands into the air.

“This isn't even worth it!” she said through her tears before she ran through the doors.

Randy sighed as he watched her running out. He didn't know why, but in a matter of seconds he felt his feet giving chase, as he, too ran outside.

He stopped as soon as he felt the sunlight, realizing she hadn't gotten farther than the sidewalk. She had fallen to her knees, her body shaking violently from her sobs that ripped through her body. He saw her look up, and instantly, he felt regret for all the bad things he had said just moments earlier.

He rushed over to the grassy area and stopped by her side, before kneeling down beside Leanne. He wasn't sure if words were needed at the moment, as he had probably said plenty already.

“I'm... I'm...” he stuttered, as her eyes met his.

She sniffled and wiped her cheeks, as a fresh set of tears began to fall. She grabbed his shirt, letting a cry escape from her lips before collapsing on his chest, letting the tears come freely. He wrapped his arms around her back, bringing her closer to his body, as he rocked her slowly in an effort to calm her.

“I can't have children.” she mumbled into his shirt.

“What?” Randy asked softly, pulling her back slightly to look at her.

He brushed her auburn hair from her face, tucking it behind her ears before wiping the forgotten tears that lined her cheeks.

“He slept with your wife because I can't have kids.” she repeated, as new tears formed.

Randy was speechless as he did the only natural thing that came to mind. He simply brought her close to his chest, allowing her to cry all over again.


(Part 6 Meeting of the Minds)

“Mom?” Randy called, his voice echoing off the silent house. “Mom!”

“Randal Keith, what the hell is your problem?” Elaine asked in a hushed voice, as she came barrelling down the stairs.

“We have to talk.” Randy said, grabbing his mother's hand and ushering her towards a nearby chair.

“Is everything alright? Randy, what is it?” she asked as her hand covered her heart.

“Nothing bad. Well, I hope not anyway.” he said, biting his lip.

“Alright, what do you want?” she asked, sitting down before rolling her eyes and smirking.

“How do you know I want something?” he asked, placing his hands on his hips.

“You always bite your lips when you want something, so spill.” she ordered, waving her finger towards him.

“Well, remember how I was telling you about Leanne?” he asked, kneeling in front of her.

“Yeah, why?” she asked, clearly confused.

“Well, we had a little bit of a falling out earlier. Mostly on my behalf.” he admitted, bringing his hand to the back of his neck.

“Randal, what did you do?” she asked, crossing her legs. “Rather, what did you say?”

“I said some very mean things, which I know I shouldn't have. But, that's just it!” he said, smiling brightly.

“What on Earth do you have to be proud of?” she asked, noticing his beaming face.

“I was wrong!” he stated, as he stood and began pacing the floor.

“Wrong about what?” she asked, confused once more. “Randy, you're gonna have to dumb it down for me or something. I don't get what you're trying to say.”

“Mom, I do have anger issues.” he said, throwing his hands into the air.

“That's what everyone has been trying to tell you for years, Randy.” she said, not impressed.

“Mom, I can admit it now. It took me seeing the tears in her eyes and the hurt that was written all over her face to make me see it. I didn't realize what....” he tried continuing before she jumped up from the chair, shaking her head.

“What did you do to her Randy? Would could you've possibly said to upset her?” Elaine asked, almost badgering him.

“Mom...” he said sighing, knowing she would not relent unless he told her to full argument that ensued between them.

He continued explaining everything that had happened, his mother completely appalled at his behaviour and words. Randy explained the remainder of the story, finally able to calm his mother down. She was satisfied knowing Randy was able to admit he had anger issues. She only hoped he would commit fully to his classes.

“But, anyway, I couldn't leave her alone, so that's where you come in.” he finished.

“What do I have to do with anything?” she asked, her confusion setting in once more.

“Well, I drove her here thinking maybe she could have dinner with us?” he said, biting his lip again.

“Well, Randy, that's a good idea. Where on Earth is she?” she asked, looking around.

“I left her right outside while I asked.” he said, walking towards the door.

“I swear you are so dense. It amazes me how you get so many women swooning over you.” she said, tapping the back of his head.

“Mother!” he growled before smiling at her lovingly as she opened the door.

“My God, get in here.” Elaine stated, ushering Leanne into the house.

“I'm not intruding, am I?” she asked, looking at Randy as he rubbed the spot where his mother had hit him.

“No, dear, not at all.” Elaine said, showing her into the living room with Randy close behind.

“I know this must be weird for you.” Leanne stated, looking at Elaine.

“Dear, none of this is your fault. Please, don't think that.” Elaine said, giving her a warm smile.

“Thank you for having me.” Leanne said, looking at Randy. “You can sit beside me. I don't bite.” she smiled as she patted the cushion beside her.

“Well, I'm going to go check on supper. Please make yourself at home.” Elaine said, as she winked at her son before disappearing into the kitchen.

“Lovely woman.” Leanne stated plainly, smiling.

“Yeah, that's my mom. I don't think she has a mean bone in her body. Neither does my dad. Don't know where I get the anger problems.” Randy said, shrugging his shoulders and smiling lightly.

“Something you were born with apparently.” she replied.

“So, why are you in anger management anyway?” he asked.

“You really wanna hear?” she laughed nervously. “Last time, you blew up at me.”

“No, I wanna know. What does that--” he was about to ask before she held up a finger.

“It has to do with--” she stopped, swallowing the lump that was forming in her throat before continuing. “Sam.” she finished in barely a whisper.

Sam?” he questioned, arching his brow.

“Yeah. You sure you wanna hear it now?” she asked.

“Yeah. I'd love to.” he said, smiling sarcastically, as he leaned back into the arm of the couch, resting his hands on the back of his neck.

“Well, the day I found out about Trent and her, I went ballistic, to say the least. She actually had to nerve to come to my house to pick him up. I had all his shit packed, so he was carrying his suitcase to the car, I followed and as soon as I saw her, I blacked out.” she said, shaking her head.

“When I came to, I had her by the back of her hair, screaming and yelling. Trent grabbed my arm and jerked me off her. By that time the cops came and put me in handcuffs. I know she was pretty bad off, though. Too bad I don't remember it.” she finished, shrugging her shoulders. “I'm sorry.”

“Hey, don't be. She had it coming to her.” Randy said, shrugging his own shoulders. “That doesn't bother me, alright?”

“Yeah, okay. How did you not find out about it?” she asked.

“Probably because I was on the road. When did you find out?” he asked.

“About a month or so ago.” she answered.

“I didn't find out until about 2 weeks ago. Apparently I like to wreck furniture and bedrooms. I tore through a locker room at work and tore my bedroom to shreds.” he stated, embarrassed.

She looked around the living room, noticing baby pictures of Randy, and apparently his siblings, a couple of his parents. Her eyes fell on one picture in particular, as she stood, almost as if she was drawn to it by some magnetic force. She picked the frame up from the entertainment centre and stared at the colourful picture. She ran her finger down the side of the frame before looking up at Randy. Almost as if he read her mind, he stood and made his way beside her before he spoke.

“That's---” he said, trailing off, not wanting to anger her, but feeling his own anger rising. “That's Alanna.” he spoke softly.

“She's beautiful.” she replied honestly.

“Thank you.” he said, closing his eyes.

“I didn't mean---”

“No, it's alright.” he said, looking at her. “I have another 2 weeks of hell to live through before I know for sure if she's mine. I just feel it right here.” he exclaimed, rubbing his chest.

“I know, and I really hope, for your sake, that she is your daughter. I really do, Randy.” Leanne replied, replacing the frame back to it's spot before she locked eyes with Randy.

“Thank you.” he whispered, again, his breath tickling her neck as he spoke.

He dropped his arm slowly, for the first time mesmerized by the specks of blue-green that shone through her eyes. He felt the tingling sensation shot through his spine as the sound of the phone echoed through the house. He smiled nervously before looking at the floor and stepping back slowly, realizing the lack of distance that had been between them.

He wasn't sure what the feelings were that rushed through him before. It was something he hadn't felt before around her. Usually his anger was apparent when anything sparked between the two, but the instant connection had been there from the first time they had met. He just figured it was hatred, or sympathy. Not attraction.

Randy, the phones for you.” his mom called from the kitchen. He returned his gaze to hers, smiling softly before stepping back even more.

“I'll be right back.” he spoke softly, as he made his exit towards the hallway.

He knew John was due to call, but he knew it was still relatively early for him to phone. He should've been on a plane heading into California at this time. He couldn't think of anyone else it could've been, though.

“Hello?” he questioned after picking up the receiver.

“Randal.” the stern, crisp voice from the other end said.

He knew instantly who it was, as he relieved a sigh and closed his eyes. He wasn't ready for a conversation with Sam. At least, not yet, unless it pertained to Alanna.

“What do you want, Sam?” he asked, exhausting another sigh.

“Alright, let's cut to the chase then.” she said, sarcastically. “Would you and your parents mind keeping Alanna for the night?”

Randy shook his head, wondering if he had heard her correctly. After realizing what she had asked was indeed true, he sighed and smiled to himself. He hadn't seen her for almost a week and the distance was killing him, regardless of if she was biologically his or not.

“Yeah, I'll keep her, but why?” he asked, confused.

“Something came up and I have an appointment tomorrow morning. I don't want to take her with me and figured you wouldn't mind spending some time with her. I told you I wouldn't take her from you until we knew for sure.” she stated, her voice becoming a little more stern.

“Yeah, you want me to come pick her up?” he asked.

“No need to. I'm out front in the car. I'll be there in a second.” she said, before the line went dead.

He sighed again, before slamming the received back onto the base and turning around slowly. He saw his mom standing only a few feet away and he smiled before giving her a longing hug.

“Randy are you okay?” she asked, pulling him back to look at him.

“Yeah, mom. Sam's outside and she wants us to take Layni for the night.” he explained.

“She's outside? Right now?” Elaine questioned, staring at the door.

“Apparently. She has something she has to do tomorrow morning. So, looks like we get to see the baby.” he said, smiling slowly.

“What about Leanne? Do you think it's best that she is here when Sam walks in?” Elaine asked, suddenly aware that Leanne had made her way into the hallway.

Leanne looked at Randy before looking at the floor. He hadn't meant to put her in such a spot, but at the same time, he hadn't seen his daughter for so long. He longed to hold her again.

Leanne...” he said softly, taking her small hands into her own before the sound of the doorbell could be heard. “Mom?”

“I'll get it.” she said softly, making her way towards the door.

“Why don't we go sit down in the living room?” he offered, leading the way.

Elaine opened the door and stepped back. Sam looked in, eying Randy immediately before turning her focus back to Elaine.

“Hi, Elaine.” Sam greeted cheerfully, as if nothing had happened.

Sam.” Elaine said, titling her head towards the younger woman. “You can call me Mrs. Orton.” she instructed before reaching down for the car seat, a huge smile across her face.

Randy, can we....” Sam began before she noticed the female attached to Randy's hand. “What is she doing here?”

“I don't think that's any of your business, Sam. If you forgot, you were the one who cheated on me.” Randy spat out, dropping Leanne's hand and making his way towards the door.

“Yeah! With her husband!” Sam shot back.

Sam, I'm telling you just turn around and walk away!” Randy said, as calmly as he could.

“I'm going to take the baby into the den to see Grandpa.” Elaine said, grabbing Alanna from the car seat and exiting the room.

Leanne dropped her head, not wanting to make a scene. She tried recalling everything her doctor told her to, from breathing exercises to thinking of anything but her anger at the moment. She tried completely ignoring the fact Sam was even nearby.

Randy! Why?” she asked, cocking her head to the side.

“Why what?” he asked, folding his arms across his chest.

“Why are you seeing her?” she asked.

“Do you have some sort of vendetta against me?” Leanne asked, stepping forwards.

“What?” Sam spat out.

“I don't even know you, and you're acting like I'm the one who did something horribly wrong. And immoral, I might add.” Leanne said, placing her hands on her hips.

“You know nothing.” Sam shot back, looking at Randy. “Can we talk?”

“I have nothing to say to you.” Randy said evenly.

Randy, please.” she pleaded.

“Did you come over here to try getting me to talk to you? Last time I checked you were fine cheating on me for the past 2 years. I never went across your mind then.” he said, arching his brow.

“Randy, it's not like that, really.” she said, shaking her head.

“Look, you dropped Layni off, so you can leave now. Like I said, I don't wanna talk to you until we go to court. I have nothing at all to say to you. Besides, Trent wouldn't approve of it.” Randy replied with a smirk.

“So, does she do it for you?” Sam asked, rolling her eyes.

“If you must know, nose-hole, we aren't together. We attend anger management classes together, thanks to you and Trent. Even if we were, it's none of your business. I'm not your concern any longer.” Randy said, closing the door in her face.

“Daddy, someone wants to see you.” Came a sing-song voice from behind them.

Randy and Leanne turned, as Elaine came back into the room, carrying Alanna in her arms. Randy reached for the baby and grabbed her up, planting kisses all over her cheeks.

“I missed you so much.” he said softly, as he hugged her closely.

Leanne watched the display between the two and looked at the floor once more. Randy noticed Leanne's quietness and turned to face her. He knew she really had nothing against his daughter, but putting her in this position, he felt guilty.

“You want to hold her?” he asked hopefully.

Leanne looked up at him, a look of fright written on her features. She stepped back slightly, shaking her head before returning her attention to the floor.

“Come on. She won't bite. Maybe drool a little, but not bite.” he said, holding the baby out for her.

She looked at him before staring at the innocent little girl. She accepted her gingerly and looked at Randy suddenly.

“It's alright.” he whispered.

She shook her head and slowly stared down at the little girl. Alanna's hand found Leanne's face, as she rubbed her tiny palm down her cheek and giggled.

“She likes you.” Randy said softly, smiling.

Leanne looked up at him once more, this time with tears in her eyes. Randy raised his brow, not understanding why she was crying. She sniffled and looked at the baby once more before speaking softly.

“It isn't her fault, Randy.” she spoke through her tears.

(Part 7 Questions)

It had been a rough day for Leanne. After returning home from her dinner with the Orton clan, including the child in question, she was more emotionally drained than she had been earlier in the day. It wasn't something she had planned on, but she had to admit, it had helped her put things into perspective more than she would have thought.

Randy had insisted on driving her back to the clinic to get her car. She hadn't wanted to shorten his time anymore with Alanna, but he wouldn't take no for an answer, so she reluctantly gathered herself into his large SUV and allowed him to drive the short distance across town to where her car was.

The ride was silent, but it didn't bother her much. She had really hit it off with his family, more than she thought she would have. And she had to admit, it was an added bonus that she and Randy didn't argue. Quite the opposite, she found herself actually liking him and befriending him before the night was over. She wasn't sure where that road would lead her, but at that present time, she wouldn't allow herself to ponder on it too much.

Now, as she climbed into bed for the night, her thoughts soon travelled to Randy and the way he was gentle and very caring towards her after his harsh words. She usually wouldn't have befriended someone who had spoken the words he had, but she had to admit that his heart was pure. She couldn't figure out why he had anger issues giving that he was such a genuine, caring person.

Even more than Randy winning her over, the baby girl he loved and held onto so dearly was the one who captured her heart immediately. She had made a shocking revelation upon herself, and Randy as well, as soon as he had put the tiny baby into her arms. The minute her eyes locked with the infants and her tiny hand crept up and stroked her cheek, the anger she had felt for her had disappeared.

She had felt almost jealous of Randy after seeing the two together, but she knew if things were meant to happen for her having a child, eventually it would happen. In the meantime, she would immerse herself in her classes and complete the course so she could close one chapter in her life before moving to the next.

As she closed her eyes preparing for a full nights sleep, she groaned as the ringing sound echoed through the empty, quiet house. She flipped the bedside lamp on and reached for the phone, annoyed that her slumber was interrupted.

“Hello?” she spoke groggily into the speaker.

“Did I wake you? I'm sorry.” Randy's voice came from the other end.

“No, I had just climbed into bed. What's up?” she asked.

“Nothing really. I just got Layni down for the night and I wanted to call before it got too much later to make sure you had settled in alright for the night.” he answered genuinely.

“Yeah, I think so.” she answered with a yawn.

“I know tonight was rather awkward and just weird for you. I wanted to make sure you were alright before I went to sleep.” he said, sounding sincere.

“Thank you, Randy. That's very sweet.” she said, smiling to herself. “Yeah, everything was great. Emotional I’m not sure, but I'm glad we're not arguing. It seems every time we see each other that's all we do.”

“Yeah, I know. I'm sorry about that.” he agreed.

“Well, it's just as much my fault as it is yours. But, that's behind us. I hope we both can move on from that and what has happened to us. I think we can be good friends.” she added.

“I agree.” he responded, yawning himself. “Well, I guess I'll see you at class next week. Get some sleep.”

“Alright, you too.” she said, smiling.

“If you need me, you have my number, alright?” he offered once more.

“I will. Same goes for you.” she responded.

Sweet dreams, Leanne.” he whispered, before the phone went dead.

“You too, Randy.” she replied, after he had hung up, a smile creeping across her features.

As she hung the phone up on the base and flipped the light off, she slipped into bed, the smile she wore only growing bigger as she closed her eyes, settling in for a full nights sleep.

Randy hummed to himself as he brushed his teeth. He had been up for the past few hours, and with Alanna taking her morning nap, he had a few precious hours to himself before Sam would return to pick her up.

He wasn't looking forward to seeing her anytime soon, but knowing there was no way around it, he figured he would buck up and face the music. Every time he saw her, it was becoming increasingly easier to deal with the truth of his situation.

He realized almost immediately that he wasn't heartbroken over what Sam did. It startled him at first, but he realized what the two of them had together was a bond with Alanna. Their relationship had soured about a year before their marriage, and he realized it must've been about that time that she went out looking for someone else.

He honestly could care less about that fact, but he couldn't remove the harbouring feelings of Alanna. He prayed above all else that she was his daughter. He didn't know how he would continue with life knowing she wasn't. He remembered how happy he was the day Sam had told him she was pregnant. He felt as if his heart swelled from the joy and happiness he felt.

He had never believed in love at first before than, but in that moment, the minute he knew he was going to be a father, he was instantly, completely and unconditionally in love before he even laid eyes on the little baby.

And yet, even with the stress and worry of the pending paternity suit, he couldn't get Leanne from his mind either. He wasn't sure if his heart reached out to her because she was in the same boat he was and that they shared a common ground together or if it was just a fatal attraction that was growing into something more.

The only thing he knew was that he couldn't stop seeing her now. She seemed to be there for him in times he didn't even want anyone around. She was growing on him, and fast, and he wasn't sure if it was a comfortable feeling or if he was rebounding.

He was almost certain it wasn't rebound. He had been in that situation before, and anytime before, he would have taken the girl to bed by now. Instead, he found their conversations together enough to satisfy him enough.

As he gathered Alanna's belongings and placed them in her diaper bag, he heard the door bell ring. He dropped the bag and headed for the front door, a bounce in his step and a smile on his face. He wasn't sure why, but that entire morning, he was happy. More than usual, anyway.

“Randal.” Sam spoke sternly, as she pushed herself past him and entered the house after he opened the door.

“What are you doing here so early?” he asked, closing the door behind her and turning to face her.

“I got an earlier appointment, so I decided to pick Alanna up early. Where is she?” Sam asked, looking around.

“She's taking her morning nap.” he said, walking towards the play pen to reveal a sleeping baby safely inside.

“She looks just like you.” Sam whispered, smiling softly.

“Don't go there Samantha.” Randy said, rolling his eyes, as he went about collecting the rest of the toys and shoving them into the large bag.

“It's true.” she said, before turning around and watching him intently. “I went to the lawyers. That's what my appointment was.”

“Why did you go there?” he asked, turning around.

“I got a letter in the mail last week. The court date has been moved.” she explained.

“Moved? To when?” he asked, finding his questions coming faster and faster. “Why didn't you tell me before now?”

“I wanted to get this done and over with, so they moved the date until the day after tomorrow.” she said, nonchalantly.

“Goddamn it! Why didn't you tell me?” he bellowed, becoming furious.

“I told you!” she answered, shrugging her shoulders.

“You told me 2 days before the date, Samantha!” he answered, glaring at her as she simply waved his comment off. “You weren't going to tell me, were you?”

She ignored him, as she bent down and picked up the sleeping baby, placing a small kiss on her cheek and slipping her into the car seat before turning back to Randy.

“You would've found out anyway.” she barked, grabbing the diaper bag from his hand. “By the way, check your mail today.”

Before anything else was said, she was out the door, leaving Randy to stare at her in disbelief. She had acted like he had done something horrible, when it was the exact opposite. What had he done so horrible?

He honestly thought he was doing everything he could to support Sam and the baby, but apparently it was going unnoticed, or unappreciated. Whichever the case was, he couldn't believe the way Sam was acting towards him now. Had he been that bad of a husband to her?

Was he that bad of a father to Alanna?

(Part 8 A Lunch Date)

“Randy, you need to calm down.” Leanne said evenly through the receiver.

“I'm trying, Leanne, but, Goddamn it! That woman really pisses me off!” he yelled through the phone.

“I understand that, but you need to calm down, alright? We can talk about this. I'm not even telling you that you can't be mad, but first, you need to tell me what happened.” she spoke soothingly to him.

“Can you meet me for lunch somewhere?” he asked, his voice lowering considerably, now almost pleading with her.

“Yeah. How 'bout the Hometown Bistro downtown; in say, an hour?” she offered.

“That's fine. I'll see you then.” he said, before slamming the receiver down.

After Sam had left, he did the only that logical that came to his mind. After his thoughts stopped racing and he controlled his anger somewhat, he had called Leanne, needing a friend at that moment more than ever.

He was relieved that she had agreed to lunch. Somehow, he knew she wouldn't have said no, but he was still happy all in all. He needed someone, besides his parents and the condescending ways of the staff at the clinic. He knew he could've called John, but it would've freaked John out knowing his best friend was once again, angered enough to the verge of insanity.

As he pulled into the parking lot of the little restaurant, he saw her car immediately and hopped down from his seat. She greeted him with a smile, before embracing him firmly for a hug. He could smell the fragrance from her perfume lingering on her neck, and briefly he forgot what their meeting was about. His thoughts were lost in his head, as he closed his eyes and returned the embraced, enjoying the feeling of her in his arms.

“Are you alright?” she whispered against his ear, her breath tickling his earlobe before he saw the familiar specks of blue lining her eyes.

“Yeah, I am now.” he answered honestly, as a small smile crept across his face.

“Let's go inside and we can talk.” she offered, leading the way.

He followed close behind her, watching as she flipped her long, auburn hair over her shoulder before sitting down in a chair on the outdoor deck. He followed suit, as he relieved a deep sigh and covered his eyes with his hands.

He was startled as he felt a gentle touch on his arm, sending a bolt of electricity shooting down his spine. He shivered inside before looking up from his hands and smiling weakly at her. She titled her head to the side, giving him a warm smile before pulling her hand back.

“Tell me.” she whispered, as he slowly shook his head and exhausted another sigh.

“The court dates been moved up.” he replied simply, as he moved the straw around in his cup of ice water.

“What do you mean?” she asked, squinting her eyes.

Sam came to pick the baby up early and said she had an appointment with her lawyers. She had the paternity suit moved up.” he answered, leaning back in his seat.

“Well, that's a good thing right?” Leanne asked, sipping from her glass slowly.

“Yeah, I guess. But the thing that gets me is she wasn't even going to tell me.” Randy huffed.

“What do you mean?” Leanne asked thoughtfully.

“She said, in no uncertain terms, if it weren't for the court sending me a copy of the new date, I wouldn't have found out.” he answered, shaking his head and biting his lip. “She doesn't want me to be the father, Leanne.”

“That I won't argue with. I'm sure she doesn't. It's her way of getting back at you, if for some chance you're not.” she answered, grabbing his hand and squeezing it lightly. “But her opinion doesn't matter. You'll have to wait 2 more days for the court date and then you'll know. One way or another, it'll all be put behind you.”

“I know, but...” Randy said, trailing off, as he felt the warm tears threatening to fall.

“I don't know what to say to take this away. If there was something, anything, I could do, I would.” she spoke softly.

“I know. I just don't know how much more I can take. I honestly don't know what I'll do if she isn't mine. That little girl is my life.” Randy said, sniffling as he wiped his eyes.

“I know that. I see that.” she said, shaking her head. “If it helps, I'm here.”

“Thank you for that. I don't know why, but you've became a bigger part of my life than I thought you would.” Randy said, snickering to himself.

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” Leanne said, arching her brows quickly. “It's odd, isn't it?”

“What's that?” Randy asked, grabbing a napkin and wiping his eyes.

“That you and I would form this... this....” she trailed off, trying to find the right words.

Bond? Connection?” Randy offered.

“Yeah.” she agreed, looking up at him, as their eyes locked.

Randy cocked his head to the side, allowing the moment to linger for longer. He admired her eyes, almost as if it was lethal for him to be staring so much, but he couldn't help himself. He was drawn in, under her spell, and he didn't want to stop it anytime soon.

For that moment in time, he had forgotten his stress and why he was gathered with her around the table for lunch in the first place. None of that even mattered for the time being. It was as if it was just he and her, two lost beings in life, trying to find their way back to reality through each other.

She giggled softly as she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and blushed before looking at her hands folded in her lap. She had felt the magnetic attraction between them and had she not felt the fear creeping inside of her, she wouldn't have stopped staring into his smoky, blue eyes.

She hadn't planned on their lunch date to go this way, but she couldn't help the butterflies that swam inside her, or the pounding of her heart. She knew getting involved with anyone at the moment could lead to even more heartbreak, and it was something she was not ready for. She wasn't sure how long it would take, but she knew right now, everything was just too fresh.

For both of them.

But, no matter how hard she fought it, she would look back into Randy's eyes and the fear slowly slipped away; a comforting, easy feeling took over. She was still worried, but her heart was into it too much already. Even if Randy didn't return to feeling, it was too late for Leanne.

“I'm sorry.” Randy said, rubbing the back of his neck.

“No, it's alright.” she was able to say.

“You wanna get out of here and maybe take a walk or something?” Randy asked, grabbing her jacket.

“Um, yeah, sure.” she said, standing from the table.

Randy threw a couple bills onto the table, before grabbing his own jacket and slipping it on. Even if they hadn't ordered anything, he knew food wasn't going to be easily digested. He decided to let the moment linger for as long as he could take advantage of.

As they walked from the restaurant, her hand brushed his gently causing both of them to stop and stare at each other for a moment. He found his fingers slipping through hers as he smiled and continued walking down the sidewalk.

It was then that he realized what the attraction was between them. Aside from her being the exact opposite of Sam, having qualities that he had always looked for in a woman and her natural beauty, he knew there was a reason his body reacted so differently around her. The reason his breath became more rapid, or his heart began beating quicker and quicker. Or the fact that he felt like a schoolboy having a crush on the class sweetheart, with the butterflies swimming in his stomach, his head becoming dizzy and the reason he almost forgot to breath when she was around.

Randy realized for the first time in his life, he was falling head over heels in love.


(Part 9 The Father is?)

Randy drew another deep inhale from his cigarette as he paced along the sidewalk silently. He had arrived nearly 20 minutes before and noticed Sam's car was parked nearby. Now, he was anxiously waiting for his appearance. He still had another hour before the judge would see his case, but his nerves were the getting the best of him.

He had already smoked an entire pack of cigarettes since he had woken up.

He drew another drag from his cigarettes as he saw a familiar silhouette round the side of the building. He stopped momentarily, as he watched her quicken her pace and run in his direction. As she crossed the street, she pushed the long hair from her face, revealing a warming smile.

“You are nervous, aren't you?” Leanne asked.

“How can you tell?” he asked, taking another drag from the cigarette with shaky hands.

“Between the cigarette and your shaky hands. That would be my first clue, anyway.” she said, smiling.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, flicking the cigarette to the ground before retrieving a breath mint from his pocket and popping it into his mouth.

“I wasn't about to let you do this alone. Besides, I called your house and Elaine told me you had already left. She said her and your Dad couldn't make it because of an EKG he had to get.” she stated.

“Yeah. His health is important and I didn't want him missing the appointment.” Randy said, shrugging.

“Randy, I told you, I'm here for you. I know you'd return the favour given the chance.” she spoke sweetly.

“Yeah, I would.” he agreed, shaking his head. “Can you do me a favour?”

“Anything.” she said, looking at him longingly.

Without another word, he wrapped his arms securely around her waist before pulling her towards him and hugging her tightly. She gasped as their bodies formed one, before she melted against him, her own arms wrapping around his back.

“Thank you.” he whispered, as he drew a deep breath in.

“Anytime, Randy.” she said, pulling away from him slowly, as their eyes locked.

“I guess it's now or never, right?” he asked.

“Yeah. It's gonna be alright, okay?” she said, squeezing his shoulder lightly.

“Yeah, I know.” he agreed, as he stared forward and walked solemnly towards the double doors.

As they entered the courthouse, he shivered from the cool air that hit him at once. He tucked his hands into his pockets as he stared at the floor and made his way into the waiting area.

As soon as they entered the large furnished room, his eyes locked with Sam's. She sighed, noticing the fragile state he seemed to be in, before glancing to his side, looking at Leanne. She rolled her eyes before grabbing Trent's hand and turning her attention to him.

Randy grabbed a seat across the room from Sam, as Leanne sat next to him, grabbing his hand and squeezing it. He looked over at her and smiled, before dropping his head again.

He knew it would feel like forever before he was called in. His nerves were already getting the best of him and waiting only made it seem as if he would explode at the seams at anytime.

Almost as if she read his mind, he felt Leanne rub his arm and his anger melted away, giving him the strength to continue for another few minutes before another bout of rage would undoubtedly hit.

Not being able to take anymore, he was surprised to hear his name being calling from the front of the room. He watched as Sam stepped forward, followed by Trent before he dared to move. He wasn't sure if he would grab her by the back of her head, so he kept his distance from her and her lover.

As they entered the warm courtroom, he looked around, noticing the two sides that were centred off. Directly in the front was a large, heavyset man seated behind an even larger desk. He wore a black cloak, Randy guessed was floor length. And, as the judge looked up, they locked eyes for a moment.

He tilted his head in Randy's direction, as Leanne seated herself directly behind Randy's table. His lawyer was already set up, ready for action as Randy continued standing.

“All rise.” the bailiff ushered, as everyone stood.

The case files were read, as Randy drummed his fingers against the wood of the table. His feet impatiently shook on the floor and he felt the craving for another cigarette coming on strong.

Mr. Orton, you believed this to be your child for how long?” the judge asked, addressing him finally.

“Ever since I found out she was pregnant, sir.” he answered honestly.

“And when did you find out it might not be yours?” he asked, adjusting his glasses.

“Almost a month ago.” he answered.

“Now, I understand both parties have consulted to a divorce agreement as well, correct?” he asked looking from Randy to Sam.

“That's correct, Your Honour.” both lawyers spoke simultaneously.

“Well, let's get that cleared away before we get into the paternity and custody agreements of said child. Mrs. Orton, I understand you signed a premarital agreement, correct?”

“Yes, sir. I'm asking for my spousal support and given the child is his, child support. In addition, I would like the car I entered the relationship with. Randy may have the house. I have no use for it.” she answered.

“Your Honour, seeing as Mrs. Orton committed adultery while she was married to my client, we would ask that spousal support be dropped seeing as she did not honour the oath of marriage.” Randy's lawyer stated.

“I object, sir.” Sam's lawyer said, standing to his feet.

“Granted.” the judge said, not allowing arguments to commence any further between the two professionals. “Mr. Orton, you are awarded the housing as well as the property. Do you have any objections to the vehicle in question?” he asked, looking at Sam with a stern look.

“None, sir.” he said, shaking his head.

“Alright, if that's settled, we can assess the bank accounts and liquidations. Whose name is the family accounts in?” The judge asked.

“Sir, Mr. Orton has his own account, as does Mrs. Orton. They also share a joint savings and checking account.” his lawyer stated honestly.

“Alright, I'll see that Mr. Orton keeps his account, as well as Mrs. Orton. The family checking and savings will be divided down the middle, 50/50. Any objections?” he asked, looking at both parties, to which both shook their heads.

“Alright, that matter is settled.” he said, stamping a packet of papers, before picking up a large yellow envelop. “These are the results of the paternity test for one, Alanna Marie Orton, born on July 12 of 2008. The father on the birth certificate is listed as one, Randal Keith Orton.”

He removed several papers from the envelop reading over the papers before looking up at Sam and then to Randy. He sighed as he cleared his throat and adjusted his glasses once more before continuing to read from the paper.

“Two men were tested, both listed as Randal Keith Orton and Trenton Quincy Arnold.” the judge said, looking up to Sam's side, where Trent was seated directly behind her. “I take it that you are Mr. Arnold?”

“Yes, sir.” Trent replied, standing up.

“And do you want this child to be yours?” the judge asked, as Randy looked on.

“Yes, sir.” Trent said, nodding his head as Sam smiled at him.

“Well, come forward, son. I think you will want to hear this.” the judge replied, staring back at the papers.

Randy felt the colour drain from his face, as Trent entered the gate and took his place beside Sam. He closed his eyes, as Leanne leaned forward and sighed before grabbing his shoulder firmly. He shook his head as the tears lined his eyes, knowing the results of the test before they were even read.

“In the case of paternity of Alanna Maria Orton. Mr. Arnold, it states that you can NOT be the father.” the judge said looking up to Randy.

Randy looked up, arching his brow as he leaned forward in his seat. He listened intently as the judge smiled down at him and focused his attention back to the papers in front of him. The tears were flowing down his face now, but he could care less.

“In the matter of paternity for Alanna Marie Orton. Mr. Orton, it states you are clearly 99.9% the father.” the judge said, smiling at him, before turning his attention back to Sam. “I hope you have learned your lesson about the trials and error of life. This man almost had his daughter ripped from his life. Clearly he is happy with the decision and the outcome of the court. Is there anything further?”

“Actually, sir, there is.” Randy said, standing up. “I would like to contest custody and file a petition for full parental guardianship of my daughter.” he said, the smile never leaving his face.

“Alright, now that we can do.” the judge agreed, as he wrote some notes down on his papers.

“Randy, what are you doing?” Sam asked, turning in his direction.

“I will not allow you to rip my heart out again. It happened once, and Samantha, as God as my witness, I will fight you tooth and nail for custody. She is my heart, and I have never done her wrong like you have.” Randy seethed.

“It was a mistake Randy.” she pleaded, looking at the judge, an embarrassed look on her stressed features.

“That isn't my fault or my concern now. If it was a mistake, it wouldn't have went on for 2 years, Sam.” he whispered, before sitting back in his chair.

“Alright, for the time being, we have to decide who will have custody of the infant until another trial date can be set for custody. Mr. Orton, where do you currently live?” he asked.

“I'm living with my parents at the moment, until I have my house redecorated.” he answered, glaring at Sam.

“Understandable. Mrs. Orton.....”

“It's Speno. Miss. Speno.” she corrected.

“Alright, Miss Speno, where are you currently living?” he asked.

“I'm living with my boyfriend at the moment.” she answered.

“I take it that would be Mr. Arnold?” he asked, looking over his glasses.

“Um, yes.” she answered, looking at Trent.

“Alright, I find that the child should reside with Mr. Orton until further notice. Miss Speno, you may have weekend visitations with your daughter. Starting from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday at noon, at which you will return the child to Mr. Orton's residence. Is there any questions?” the judge asked, looking around.

“No, sir.” both lawyers responded before the judge smiled and nodded his head.

“Court is adjourned.” he said, standing.

Randy smiled, as he stood and turned around. Leanne hands covered her mouth, as small tears lined her cheeks. Randy grabbed her hand and led her from the court room and down the stairs.

The warm air hit their faces immediately as Randy turned to face her, wiping the tears from her cheeks. He gave her a small smile before embracing her tightly and spinning her around.

“Did you see Sam's face?” Leanne asked as they pulled apart.

“I know. It feels good to get revenge, but even better knowing Layni is coming home with me.” he said, cupping her face in his hands. “Thank you for being here.”

“Randy, I told you...” she said, before he placed a finger over her lips, silencing her.

He leaned in slowly, his heart racing wildly. He felt her gasp, as his lips brushed hers slightly before he pulled away. He looked into her eyes, and brushed the hair from her face, before claiming her lips once more. His tongue tickled her bottom lip, as he wrapped his arms around her waist, bringing her closer to him.

She moaned softly against his lip, before parting them, allowing him to do what she had longed for. She felt her knees beginning to shake, as he caressed his tongue against hers and pulled apart once more.

Randy...” she whispered breathlessly.

“Thank you.” he whispered against her lips.


(Part 10 Saving Leanne)

Randy sat on the floor, watching Alanna roll around on the play set he had bought her. He was finally able to give it to her once she had returned home with him, and he wasn't disappointed. She looked up at him every so often, revealing a toothless grin before becoming mesmerized by the different gadgets and toys attached the large play yard.

Elaine watched happily leaning against the archway as her husband stood nearby, both with a smile on their face. They noticed a change in Randy ever since the court date, but even before then, they had to admit the change in character Randy had undergone. They were sure Leanne was to credit for it, despite their attempts of cheering their son up. Even though efforts may have failed, they were relieved to see Randy so peaceful with his daughter.

And clearly smitten with Leanne when she was around.

Elaine excused herself quietly, racing towards the phone as the loud ringing could be heard throughout the house. Alanna cooed at the noise, causing Randy to erupt into a fit of laughter, listening to his daughter trying to imitate the sound of the phone. She looked at her father, another bright smile stretching across her little face.

“Randy, I hate to interrupt your bonding time, but Leanne is on the phone.” Elaine said, touching her sons shoulder and handing him the cordless phone.

“Thanks mom. You wanna sit with her while I take this in the den?” he asked.

“Sure son. Gamma wants to spend time with Layni, don't she?” Elaine said playfully, as she knelt beside the baby.

“Daddy be back, Layni.” he sang, as he kissed her forehead before quickening his pace through the kitchen. “Hey sweetie.”

“Um, hi.” she spoke, almost in a whisper.

“What's up? You alright?” he asked, taken back by the low tone in her voice.

“Ye-yeah, I think so. I just need to talk to you.” she answered, unsureness relevant in her voice.

“Lea, you're scaring me. Are you sure you're alright?” he asked again, taking a seat on the arm of the huge leather couch.

“Yeah, but can you come over?” she asked, her voice breaking.

“Um, yeah. Give me about 20 minutes okay?” he asked, standing once more as he made his way back through the kitchen.

“Alright.” she agreed. “Oh, please don't bring the baby.”

“Um, alright.” he hesitantly agreed before hanging up.

“Son, what's wrong?” Bob asked, noticing the look of concern and confusion written on his sons face.

“That was Leanne. I'm not really sure, myself.” he answered, finally looking at his dad. “She asked me not to bring the baby.”

“Well, we'll keep an eye on her. Maybe she needs someone to talk to without interruptions.” Bob suggested.

“Yeah, maybe that's it.” he said, shaking his head, as he grabbed his car keys from the side table by the door. “I'll be back as soon as I can.”

“Alright, honey. Call if you're gonna be late for dinner.” Elaine called after him before he could shut the door.

He jumped in the car, his mind racing into overtime. He recalled the tone of her voice, the low, almost whispered delivery and the shakiness that was there. He couldn't understand what could be wrong, considering they talked nearly every day on the phone if they hadn't saw each other. Their friendship was growing rather quickly, regardless of the kiss they shared after his appearance. She had opened up about some deeper secrets that she probably hadn't shared with anyone else.

They hadn't spoke of the intimate moment, and even Randy had to admit he wasn't sure where it came from or what came over him. He was sure she was just as confused as he was, but still, the subject had never been brought up, even if it was eating at him.

It was the large elephant in the room at times, but still, it was avoided.

As he whipped his SUV into her driveway, he noticed the back window of her car was shattered. He felt the colour drain from his face, as he parked the car in a hurry before cutting the engine and flying towards the front door.

He could almost guess why she had reacted the way she had on the phone. It realized it sounded of fear and terror now and he almost kicked himself for being so inattentive before.

He flung the door open without knocking and entered the large living room and slamming the door behind him. Almost out of instinct, he locked the dead bolt behind him, before turning around and walking slowly through the house. His footsteps echoed off the walls, as he looked around for any more signs of destruction.

He heard a small sniffle from behind him, as he turned and was met with the swollen, red eyes of Leanne. He shook his head slowly before closing the distance between them, wrapping her into his strong arms, allowing her body to collapse against his.

She allowed the tears to fall, as her body shook from the sob coursing through her body. He stroked the back of her hair, as he held her closer, not wanting to let go.

Leanne?” he asked softly, wanting to know why she was crying, as he pulled her back softly and looking into her tear-filled face.

“Randy, I'm sorry I dragged you into this.” she said, sniffling.

“Baby, what are you talking about?” he asked, taking a grip onto her arms preventing her from falling.

“It's all my fault.” she said between sobs.

“Honey, what's your fault?” he asked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

She broke away from his grasp as she walked toward the coffee table and retrieved a small piece of paper before handing it over to Randy. He looked at her with confusion before glaring down at the scribbled sheet of paper.

The words filled his mind as he felt the first feeling of anger take over. He crumbled it up and threw it to the floor as his jaw tightened, understanding immediately why she felt to blame for everything. He ushered her to the couch before grabbing her and bringing her to his chest.

“This is not your fault.” he said evenly.

“I don't want to be the cause of you losing your daughter.” she said, looking up at him and moving back slightly.

“I'm not going to lose Alanna again.” he stated before cupping her face, forcing her to look at him. “But, I'm not going to lose you either.”

“Randy, I can't....” she started, before he held up his finger.

“If they want a fight, that's what they'll get. I'm sorry about your car, but there is nothing that's gonna make me turn my back on you, Lea. I mean that.” he said, staring into her eyes.

“But, Trent, he apparently wants me to suffer for his stupid actions. And Sam...” she said, trailing off. “...apparently, she's trying to get even with me for being- for being... whatever we are.” she said, throwing her hands in the air from frustration.

Randy exhaled deeply before standing up, realizing the conversation about their friendship had finally been somewhat thrown out. It had never been brought up before now, and even the smallest hint of it in conversation was enough to address the situation. At least to relieve his own mind, as well as hers.

“What do you mean by that?” he asked, wanting to hear her reply.

“I mean, we were friends and then we kissed and now...” she said trailing off and turning away from him. “, I don't know what we are!”

“Me either.” he whispered.

“But I know if I have to be honest with myself, I can't look at you and tell you that I don't feel something there...” she said, turning back around to face him. “...because I do.”

“I do, too, Leanne.” he said, stepping towards her.

“So, what does that mean?” she asked, running a hand through her long tresses.

“I don't know, but why don't we deal with Sam and Trent and then we'll talk about you and me, alright?” he asked, arching his brow before bringing his hand up and stroking the side of her cheek.

“Alright. What do we do about this?” she asked, looking around.

“You go upstairs and pack some stuff. You're going back to my parent’s house with me.” he instructed.

Randy, I couldn't.” she said, stepping back and shaking her head.

“I will not take no for an answer. My parents won't either, especially after I explain the situation. We've got plenty of room and I will not return home worrying about you. At least at my parent’s house, someone is always there. You won't be alone and they won't mess with you.” he said, grabbing her hand. “Please don't make me worry about you, honey.”

She sighed and looked around once more before returning her gaze back into Randy's pleading eyes. She released a weak smile before shaking her head.

“Randy, I don't want you to lose your daughter. What if I am the reason....”

“No! No, you're not. Do you think the judge would give me temporary custody of her if he thought you were going to risk her safety or health? She would have went back with Sam.” Randy said, trying to reason with her.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Leanne said, sounding defeated.

“Now, come on. Get some clothes packed and I'll call my parents.” he said, smiling weakly. “My mom will be mad if we're late for dinner.” he said, arching his brow.

She smiled at him and rolled her eyes, before embracing him and sighing.

“Alright.” she agreed.

“You're not in this alone. Remember me telling you that?” he asked, as she shook her head silently.

“I know.” she said softly.

“I meant that.” he spoke just as soft, as he closed the distance between them, bringing his finger under her chin, their lips mere inches apart. “If what we have could develop into something more, I'm not going to let anyone stand in the way, alright?”

“Alright, Randy.” she said, shaking her head.

He brushed his lips delicately across her, sending a set of shivers to course up and down her spine. He felt her knees giving weak as he wrapped his arms around her waist, evening her balance and bringing her even closer. He pulled apart from her and stared into her eyes, before brushing her hair from her eyes.

“We'll talk about you and me later.” he whispered, his breath hitting her neck, sending a new set of chills through her body.

“Alright.” she agreed, before breaking his hold and heading up the stairs.

He watched her climb the steps before pulling out his phone and dialling his parent’s number. He knew they would have no problem welcoming her into their home, especially given the nature of the threats she was getting. It would given them time to assess the relationship they had going on and decided rather it was worth exploring or remain friends.

As he explained the situation to his parents, he saw her descending the stairs once more, a smile spreading across her face as she looked at him. He returned to smile before hanging up with his mom and shaking his head.

“I told you they wouldn't have a problem with it. My dad is already setting the spare bedroom up for you.” he said, grabbing her hand and leading her out the door.

“Thank you, Randy.” she said, stopping him as he turned around to face him.

“Hey, you saved me.” he said, his lips softly touched hers once more, before he pulled back and smiled. “Now it's my turn to save you.”


(Part 11 Wonder)

It had been an eventful evening at the Orton house. After the dinner dishes were cleared and washed, they had retreated back to the family room, where Randy had placed Alanna in her play pen and the adults turned to watch Monday Night Raw.

He wasn't even aware of Leanne liked wrestling. The conversation had never really came up before, which he had to admit, he liked. It gave him a sense of humanity that he hadn't felt since his popularity within his profession had rose.

He watched intently, realizing for the first time since his short hiatus that he had actually missed travelling and performing. It had been nearly 2 months since he had been away from the ring. He knew he was becoming stronger and more stable by the day, but it pulled at his heart that he would be returning soon.

“Come on, John!” Leanne called out, before her hands covered her mouth and she looked around the room, trying to hid the embarrassment that now coloured her cheeks.

Randy arched his brow as he folded his arms across his chest and smirked at her. She removed her hands from her face, her teeth tugging on her bottom lip, a clear sign she was still somewhat embarrassed by her outburst.

“Honey, don't be embarrassed!” Bob said, patting her knee softly. “If you didn't know already, we're a wrestling family.” he said, releasing a deep laugh, in which Randy and Elaine joined in.

John, huh?” Randy said, finally speaking up.

“Yeah.” she said softly, the redness still plastered across her cheeks. “What?”

Randy chewed at the bottom of his own lip as he merely shook his head, amazed by the girl who sat across from him.

“Nothing.” he replied evenly, still smiling slightly. “I just didn't realize John was your favourite.” he replied, jokingly.

“Is someone jealous?” his mother asked, standing up and grabbing her husbands coffee cup.

“Who? Me?” Randy asked, huffing at the statement.

“Yes, you, Mr. Ego.” Elaine said, smiling.

“Why would I be jealous?” he asked, averting his attention back to the screen.

“I wonder.” Elaine stated, as she disappeared into the kitchen.

Leanne snickered to herself, before Alanna's cries rung out from the playpen. Randy jumped forward in his chair as he placed his cup on the table, readying himself to tend to his daughter. Leanne looked over at Randy before standing and leaning down to sooth the crying child before picking her up and laying her across her chest.

She bounced her gently, patting her back in an effort to quiet the tiny baby, and after a couple seconds, Alanna pushed her little head upwards from Leanne's shoulder and smiled. Randy sat back, watching the two intently, the scene pulling on his heart strings.

“Would you make me a bottle? I think she's hungry.” Leanne asked, smiling sweetly at Randy.

“Um, yeah sure.” he said, standing to his feet, not taking his eyes off hers.

He gave her a small smile as he walked into the kitchen. Leanne sat down in the rocker and began rocked the baby slowly, stroking her cheek gently and cooing along with her. Bob smiled and shook his head, before clearing his throat, causing Leanne to look at him.

“If you didn't have my sons attention before, you certainly have it now.” he replied, smiling, before he stood and headed towards the stairs, leaving Leanne to stare afterwards, the smile spreading across her face.

She hadn’t noticed Randy walked back into the living room, much less his holding the bottle out for her. Her eyes were plastered on the stairway, still replaying Bob's words in her head, the smile still spread across her face.

“What are you looking so goofy for?” Randy asked, snickering lightly.

“Uh?” she jumped slightly, looking up at Randy, the redness appearing in her cheeks all over. “Oh, nothing. Just spacing out.”

“I'd say. You want me to feed her?” he asked.

“No, I've got her.” Leanne said, looking at him, their eyes locking.

She could've looked into his eyes for the rest of the night, if it weren't for the squirming child laying in her lap, anxious to receive the bottle that Randy still had outstretched. She finally accepted the plastic container and after positioning Alanna in her arms, she slipped the bottle into her mouth.

Randy didn't dare move, instead he was in a trance staring at his daughter and the woman whom now held her. She wasn't a thing like Sam, that was certain. He had pondered on the question many times to himself, especially while he lay awake in bed at night. He couldn't pinpoint one certain thing about Leanne that keep his interest. It seemed every detail, every conversation and every time they spent any time together, he fell for her harder.

“You okay?” she asked, looking up at him.

He realized this time he was the one caught spacing out. He simply shook his head, trying not to reveal that he too was thinking and lost in thought, perhaps reading into things more than he should have.

“Yeah, I'm fine.” he said, smiling sweetly. “After you feed her, it's usually her bath time, so...”

“I can give her a bath tonight if you like?” Leanne offered.

“Are you sure?” he asked, scrunching his brow, remembering that just weeks ago, this was the same woman who couldn't even mutter his daughter's name without becoming angry.

“Yeah, if that's okay with you.” she asked.

“Yeah, that's fine. I'll take your stuff to your room while you do that. I'll have her stuff laid out in the crib for you.” he answered.

“Alright.” she replied, placing the child on her shoulder and patting her back.

Randy sat back down and placed his cup to his lips, still watching Leanne interact with his daughter. He knew from the second she had willingly picked the child up, she had him.

He also knew that waiting to talk to her wasn't happening. He wanted to resolve things and clear the air once and for all. And tonight was as good a night as any.

“Oh, are you cold?” Leanne asked as she watched the shivering baby give off another toothless grin. “Come here sweetness.”

She picked the child up, drying her back and hair off, as she did so. Randy watched intently from the door, as he still wasn't able to think straight, much less take his eyes off Leanne and Alanna. It had done a number on him; more than he ever thought it would. He wasn't upset with the feelings he knew had for her; confused and surprised was a better word.

“Alright, baby. It's time for night night.” Leanne said, placing the child into the warmness of the crib.

He watched as she wound up the mobile that hung over the crib. He felt his heart practically jump from his chest as she bent down and placed a small kiss on the baby's cheek before stepping back and flipping the night light on. She turned slowly, her eyes meeting Randy's instantly. She smiled before looking at the floor and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

“How'd I do?” she asked, finally looking back up at him.

“You're a natural.” he replied, smiling. “Perfect.”

“Thank you.” she whispered, placing a small kiss on his cheek as she inched by him and walked toward the spare bedroom.

“Lea....” he called after her before grabbing her wrist and turning her around.

“What is it Randy?” she asked, searching his eyes for the answer.

“Um, can we talk?” he asked, pushing his bedroom door open, not giving her much of an option as he escorted her inside.

He shut the door silently, careful not to wake anyone up and flipped the baby monitor on that laid beside his pillow. She chose his desk chair and straddled the back, leaning her head on the back rest and stared at him.

“What's up?” she asked, watching him pace the floor.

“I'm just trying to collect all my thoughts so I'll make sense to what I say.” he said, looking at her. He grabbed her hand and lead her over to the bed.

“Randy, you're scaring me. Why are you so serious?” she asked.

“I know we said we were gonna wait to talk about you... and me, but I can't, Lea. After watching you with Layni, I had all these thoughts rushing through my head all night, and I just don't wanna fight it anymore.” he answered, shaking his head.

“What are you saying, Randy?” she asked.

“I don't even know myself, but you can't deny it and I can't deny it. It's there.” he answered, his eyes coming alive with his words. “Something’s there, Leanne.”

“I know, Randy.” she said softly, realizing where the conversation was headed now. “But, what are you wanting from this? I'm not a rebound relationship and honestly, if it was anyone else, I would be alright if I was just rebound.”

“And me?” he asked, sitting next to her and grabbing her hand.

“I couldn't take it. I honestly think I would go insane and... I don't know.” she said, looking up at him slowly and sighing.

“We're talking in circles, Leanne.” he said, laughing lightly.

“I know.” she agreed.

“What do we do?” he asked, the nervous feeling sinking within his stomach.

“I don't wanna lose you, either as a friend or... or... whatever.” she said, softly.

“What is whatever?” he asked, cupping her face in his hand. “Tell me what you're feeling. I need to know, Lea. Please.”

“I don't know, Randy. I mean, this is a little too quick, don't you think? We both just had our divorces finalized and we're talking about feelings and being together and...”

“So, you don't even wanna see if this is worth trying? To see if what we have is real?” he asked, releasing her hand.

“I didn't say that, but I'm scared and confused and....” she stuttered on her words.

“And you don't think I am? You don't think I get scared every time I'm around you and my heart jumps and skips a beat? You don't think I get scared when new feelings pop up and I wonder if it's even worth trying?” he asked.

“See, you just said it yourself. 'If it's worth trying!'” she said, standing up, Randy following her every movement with his eyes, not daring to move from his sitting position on the bed.

“Yes, I do wonder if it's even worth trying, but then I wonder what if. What if we remain friends and don't give this a shot and then, we'll never know, Lea.” Randy said, grabbing her waist and turning her around to face him. “That's the feeling that scares me the worst.”

He pulled her down towards him and they locked eyes. In that moment, nothing else mattered. They forgot Sam and Trent, the feelings of worry and fear. They only felt the burning need and desire of each other and the wonder that lie between them.

“Me too.” she said softly, before Randy claimed her lips.

She moaned against his tender kiss almost instantly, not wanting to stop the urge any longer. He didn't allow her to as he deepened the kiss, as he laid back on the bed, her body pressed flush against his own.

Randy...” she whispered breathlessly.

“I'm not taking no for an answer. I want this too damn bad.” he said, a fire burning his eyes.

“I wasn't going to fight that.” she said as she kissed his lips once more. “I was going to say that you're my favourite.” she said, breaking into a fit of giggles as he closed his eyes, smiling.


(Part 12 Dear Diary)

Dear Diary,

I haven't even wrote in this thing like forever, but I decided it might be the best way to get my feelings out in the open. I mean, we had somewhat of a break-through tonight, but I just couldn't go through with it. The temptation was almost too much to deny and at times, yeah, I gave in, but overall, I had to push him away and retreat to my own bedroom for the night.

Maybe coming to stay here for a few days was a bad idea.

I don't even know myself, but all I keep thinking about is the possibility of being a rebound or this... this dream not coming true after all. It's almost too good to be true, as if it's a dream in fact, and I'm going to wake up at any minute, completely heartbroken and left in shambles.

He just drives me completely insane with the way he makes me feel. I'm fine one minute, and even after I notice him, I'm able to keep my feelings at bay, but then, the closer he gets to me, the faster my heart races, the more the butterflies swim and the more my head spins. And then, when I look into his deep, baby blues, I get weak at the knees. And then, he has to touch me. I melt on contact and whatever I was thinking beforehand is lost.

What the hell is wrong with me? Am I insane? Have I lost it?

His daughter is so sweet and I feel in love with her the minute I held her. She has to most innocent face and the same eyes as her daddy. He is so proud of her and completely captivated by her. He is absolutely in love with her. That's another thing that gets me. Every time I see the two of them together, it makes my heart just swell. She is so wrapped up in her daddy, it's too sweet. It's almost like no one else matters.

Randy has been there for me shortly after the bitterness of the separation of Trent and me, and it's really ironic how our worlds are tied together. His ex and my ex. Lovers who cheated on their spouses. And now their ex-spouses are caught in this weird... this weird...

I don't even know what to label it as. I'm so confused!

Tonight was insane. We talked briefly about our status, if there even is one, and the moment our lips connected, nothing else mattered. I mean, I felt so much; more than I ever have felt with anyone else, even Trent, my own former husband, who I thought I knew so well. But, Randy has this presence about him, this smirk he gives off that just gets me going and before I know it, it's too far for me to stop. The way he takes over a room when he enters it, yet stares at me like no one else is even around. I felt the tension between us, and yes, a great deal of that is sexual tension. But something else is there, right? I mean, I feel it. It's so strong, he has to feel it too.

Our conversation was coded tonight, almost. It felt like so much was going to be discussed but, it just didn't happen. And I must be crazy to push him back the way I did. I mean, we were really getting into it and I push him away.

I mean, my God, he has got to be the hottest creature walking the planet and I just tell him I can't do it. I've been able to have one night stands before, so sex for me is nothing, as long as I know the person, but apparently, somewhere along the way my own feelings got mixed up to where sex isn't even happening, even though I know it would be unbelievable.

And yet, I'm trying to get my feelings out and I'm just confusing myself even more. What do all these feelings mean? Am I falling for Randy Orton? Does he even feel remotely half-way the same or as deeply as I do?

Am I in love?

That just isn't conceivable. I mean, my divorce was just finalized and I'm talking about some other man as if I'm in love with him. I care for him, sure. I know that much at least. I guess I'm just getting the reality mixed up in between fantasy. He did tell me that his feelings were there too and that there was no denying it. He also said that the 'what if' factor scared him more than anything.

Is it worth trying? That's the question I've pondered for the last 7 hours. The one question that has deprived me of sleep all night long and has led me to write in this journal now. I noticed my last entry was from 2 years ago when I was still married to Trent. It's odd because it's when I vowed I would continue writing in this book and when I noticed the first signs of his cheating, apparently with Sam.

I wonder what Randy was doing around that time? I don't think he was even married at the time; engaged probably, but I don't think they got married for another year.

So, am I crazy? Should I let my fears fly and just see what happens? Does Randy want that? Does he even wonder the same things I do? Does he want more than just sex or a friendship?

These are all questions I was fully prepared to ask him tonight, but instead, we had to kiss. We just had to kiss! And given the chance, I don't think I'm strong enough to find the courage in asking him.

“What are you doing?” came a voice from behind her.

She wheeled around, almost falling from the desk chair in the process. Her hair flipping to the one side, as she stared up at Randy, her breathing somewhat laboured from the panic of the sudden interruption. She hadn't even heard the door open or his footsteps enter the room.

“Nothing.” she replied, smiling weakly.

“Well, I was just letting you know that breakfast is ready. I didn't mean to interrupt you, but mom wanted me to get you.” he muttered.

He shuffled his feet as he walked, his head hung low as he exited the door without another word. Leanne watched him leave, realizing his sudden attitude change towards him. She sighed heavily before standing and slipping the robe around her shoulders.

Breakfast did sound good. Anything sounded better than dealing with her emotions and feelings at the time being. Seeing as she had the remainder of the day off from work and meetings, she had the rest of the day to contemplate her relationship with Randy. As much as she wanted it all to be done and over with, she knew she had to sort through everything to get to the bottom of it.

Randy leaned against the wall, watching her descend the stairs before he entered the room, and looked at the black leather-bound book she had been writing in. He knew it was invasion of privacy and perhaps he shouldn't be looking at her personal thoughts and feelings, but his curiosity got the best of him and he couldn't help it. He had almost guaranteed himself whatever she was writing was about himself and their interaction the night before. That was exactly what sparked his desire to read what was written in front of him now.

He skimmed over the pages, feeling his heart beating and breaking, all at the same time. If he wanted answers the night before, after reading her diary entry, it did not help matters at all. She was apparently just as confused on the inside as she was giving off to him as well. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the journal log, only that it made him sick to his stomach, but happy at the same time.

There was one sentence, or question rather, that rang through his head above everything else that was written. The hopefulness of the possible answer made his heart jump, knowing it was exactly what he had been fighting with as well.

He suddenly got a sickening feel deep in the pit of his stomach as he heard someone clear their throat behind him. He closed his eyes, knowing who stood one feet away from him before he had the chance to turn around. And as he did so, he opened his eyes slowly, his eyes meeting with the icy blue stare of Leanne.

“What the hell are you doing?” she asked, folding her arms across her chest.

Randy bit his bottom lip, his nerves swimming within him knowing he was caught staring at her personal feelings and thoughts. He knew he shouldn't have been so dumb to glance at her diary but, for some reason, he didn't take back what he did. He didn't regret his decision entirely until he saw the look on her face.

“Do you?” he asked, stepping dangerously close to her.

“Do I what?” she asked, giving him a confused, yet angered stare.

“Do you...” he began again, clearing his own throat before continuing. “ me?”


(Part 13 Regrets)

“You didn't answer my question, Orton.” she said seething before reaching around him and snatching the book from the desk.

“Um, I-- uh..” he stuttered, not being able to make a clear, concise sentence, much less think of one.

“Well?” she asked, arching her brow.

“I, uh.. don't know.” he finally managed to mutter.

“You don't know?” she repeated, huffing at her own question. “I can't believe you, of all people, Randy, you would read my diary!”

“I wasn't like I planned to read it, Leanne. I mean, it was laying there and I guess I was curious.” he said, shrugging his shoulders, saying the first thing that came to his mind.

“Curious? You were curious?” she questioned, shifting her weight from one foot to the other before folding her arms across her chest, the diary tightly clenched to her chest.

“Yeah, I was.” Randy fired back.

“You have no right to be curious. I have been completely honest with you from the beginning. You've asked me a question and I've answered it honestly and to the best of my ability. Have I not?” she asked.

“Yeah, sort of.” Randy said, shaking his head, but becoming slightly irritated at his current situation.

“Sort of?” she asked, taken back by his answer. “What the hell is that suppose to mean?”

“Well, if you were as honest as you say you were, there wouldn't be so much confusion for one thing.” he answered before he began pacing the room.

“That still doesn't give you the right to read my shit.” she fired back, throwing the book into her large purse before collecting the rest of her belongings from the night stand.

Randy watched her intently as she aimlessly threw items into her purse. It was rather amusing to see her so upset and flustered, but at the moment, he couldn't find the humour in it. He closed his eyes, knowing he had made a big mistake, and realizing he wasn't sure how to deal with the situation or how to handle Leanne.

He wasn't sure if he should give her some space and let her cool down before they tried talking again or if he should press her for the answers to his burning questions that was still unanswered. He wasn't sure if he should ask what he had just moments before. For the first time, Randy didn't know what to do when it came to a woman.

Before he and Sam got together, answers, questions and feelings never really mattered. It was usually some random girl wanting to sleep with him because of who he was. After he had met Sam, it was a little different. Sure, they had arguments and disagreements, but it was so easy to make up with her. Usually if Randy started to get angry, she would beg and plead for him to calm down, saying she was always at fault. He knew he had done his fair share of wrong doings in his marriage, but at the time, it had calmed him down enough to where they just moved on and forgot their latest spat.

And, if he was being completely honest with himself, he didn't really care how angry Sam would get with him. He always knew things would smooth out, sooner or later. He didn't much care rather it was sooner or later, either. He just didn't care.

But, with Leanne, it was completely different. He felt awful for betraying her and he felt even worse that he was the reason for her anger. Hearing her yell at him almost broke his heart in two and he would give anything to have her in the position she was in the previous night. Knowing he had to proceed more careful with her, he knew that option was out.

He knew apologizing would help some, but it still wouldn't erase what he had done and what the outcome could possibly mean for the two of them. That scared him even more. He felt the sickening feeling wrap around his stomach, almost doubling him over.

“I'm sorry, Lea.” he said, inching closer to her.

“Don't...” she said, stopping dead in her tracks, her back facing him. “...touch me.”

“What can I do to make it up to you? I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have done it.” Randy said, pleading with her.

“Randy, right now, I don't even know.” she said, continuing to pick the rest of her belongings up and place them in her overnight bag.

“Please, just talk to me.” Randy urged, touching her shoulder gently.

She felt his hand touch her shoulder slightly, and regardless of the chills that was sent coursing through her body, her anger got the best of her as she wheeled around and glared at him before grabbing his hand and throwing it back to his side. Randy stepped back slowly, his hands stretched outwards as he did so.

“Alright, I'll give you some space.” Randy whispered, realizing he had pissed her off more than what he originally thought.

“I know you will.” she seethed, grabbing her bag and flinging it over her shoulder. “I'm going home.”

Randy rolled his head back, and closed his eyes before shaking his head. It was the last thing he was wanting to hear. He never expected her to even say that she would be going home. It made his stomach twist in knots even more.

“Lea, please, don't do that. I'll give you space. I won't bother you. I'll-- I'll...” he rambled, before she held her hand up and stepped forward.

“I frankly don't care what you do right now or what you will do to give me space. My decision is final. I'm going home.” she said, before pushing past him and making her way through the door.

He cursed at himself under his breath before turning around and grabbing her wrist, turning her around in the process. They locked eyes and Randy wanted nothing more than to kiss her lips and take her anger away. And to wash away the hurt that was ridden in her eyes.

“Before you go, please answer my question.” he said softly, releasing her wrist.

“What question, Randy?” she asked, readjusting the strap on her shoulder as she rolled her eyes.

“Do you love me?” he whispered, biting his lip.

She drew a deep breath in and closed her eyes, recalling the question over and over in her mind. They were both aware of the confusion that was between them, but Randy had asked a loaded question, filled with even more confusion and disarray.

She opened her eyes, her features softening, giving Randy some hope in the situation. Maybe things would be alright after all, he thought. It was only after she muttered her next question and watched her walk down the steps that his world came crashing down.

“Randy, how can I love someone who doesn't even trust me or my personal space?” she asked softly.

Leanne didn't see the tears lining Randy's eyes, as he watched her walk out of his life.

But, Randy didn't see the tears running down her own cheeks as she flew down the stairs towards the front door. He didn't hear the sob that she released once she was safely outside. And he didn't realize her heart was breaking into a thousand pieces as she dropped to her knees into the grass, allowing the tears to fall faster.


(Part 14 Another Hearing)

She hadn't talked to Randy since the argument over two weeks before. She was upset and lonely not having him around, but she stood her ground and even though her anger had subsided, she was too stubborn to pick the phone up and call him.

Even though he had called numerous times, she refused every time to pick the phone up, in turn, letting the answering machine or voice mail tend to the call. The sound of his voice with each passing message about broke her heart, but she was hurt and saddened by Randy's actions. Something held her back from picking the phone up every time.

Aside from missing Randy like crazy, she missed seeing Alanna as well. She had managed to bond with the baby since Randy had gotten temporary custody of her and going without seeing her tore her up inside. It was something that was unsettling at first, but after convincing herself that the child had simply won her over and it was nothing more than that, she compromised with the feeling and moved on.

She was still shaken by Randy's last question to her. She had spent many hours pondering on his question, but instead of coming up with a definitive answer, it only left her even more confused with even more pressing question of her own. Ones that she knew Randy would be the only one to answer, or at least subside her fears on.

As she placed her coffee cup into the sink, she glanced at the clock and realized she only had an hour until she had to be at the court house. She was especially dreading her day that lie ahead, but a promise was a promise in her book. She never broke them.

She slipped her purse over her shoulder and after grabbing her car keys, she slipped out her door and headed for her car. Trent had continued to mess with her since she had returned home, and it was something she had learned to ignore and live with. She had got some sweet revenge of her own, however.

She had been sitting up late one night, thinking over her relationship with Randy, when she heard noises coming from outside. After looking through the peephole of her door, she saw her ex-husband sneaking around her car, holding a large brick in his hand. She managed to slip outside and as she stood against the wall, she snapped pictures of him vandalizing her car. After filing a petition and taking him to court, he had to pay for the damages and somehow, he ended up spending 48 hours in jail.

It was a sweet victory for her; closure in some part. But, even with that aside, she didn't worry about him bothering her anymore. She hadn't had any more problems from him since, which put her mind to ease where Alanna and Randy were concerned.

As she pulled into the parking garage, she looked around for the familiar SUV, knowing he would have already been there, probably going over the case with his lawyers before they were seen before the judge. She sighed, hoping everything went positively, before exiting the car and walking towards the large brick building.

She hadn't thought about what she would say to him was they saw each other, but she didn't have time to run anything over in her head, either. As she rounded the corner, she saw him leaned against the side of the building, a lit cigarette hanging from his lips, his leg bent and his body resting against the wall. She felt her breath catch in the back of her throat as her inside began to churn. She didn't have time to think of an ice breaker, as he turned and their eyes locked for the first time in weeks.

Leanne?” Randy asked, flicking the cigarette to the ground before popping a breath mint into his mouth.

He continued to stare at her, slightly confused before pushing his form from the wall and standing upright. She made the first move and stepped forward, a small smile spreading across her lips. She slid her hands into her jean pockets as she stood in front of him, her eyes focusing on the green grass below.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

She finally looked up at him, but the minute their eyes locked, she forget the question, much less the answer. She sighed and brushed the hair from her face.

“I made a promise that I would be here for you when the custody hearing came up and I'm not one to break promises.” she answered simply.

“Thank you for coming. It means a lot to me.” Randy said warmly.

“I promised.” she repeated, shrugging her shoulders. “I'm here for Alanna.”

Randy clinched his jaw, feeling the coldness in her voice. He knew she was still upset over their argument, and he couldn't blame her. After thinking about it, he was angry and upset with himself at his actions.

“Do we have to do this today?” he asked, staring off to the side.

“I didn't mean...” Leanne started.

“I just don't wanna do this today, alright?” he spoke softly, finally looking back at her, his eyes almost pleading with her.

“I'm sorry.” she whispered.

“So am I.” he replied just as softly.

“We'll talk about it later, alright?” she said, her voice breaking slightly.

Randy, your up next.” his lawyer said, as he stepped outside.

“Alright.” Randy said, turning towards the man. “You coming in with me?” he asked, looking back at Leanne.

“Yeah, if you want me to.” she stated, arching her brow.

“I'd like that.” he smiled.

“Now, there has been some additions to Samantha's case, so we're going in there to listen to her provisions. From there we can interject with what you want and don't want. I just wanna let you know Randy, this could get ugly but I'm on interested in that little girl staying with you.” his lawyer stated, giving him a small smile.

Leanne simply listened and managed to put her own feelings aside for the time being for the benefit of Randy and his daughter. She could do that seeing as it was for the best. She refused to be the reason of any negative results for Randy, especially in the courts eyes.

“Docket XM-56834.” rang a voice from the large double doors.

Randy sighed and cracked his neck from side to side a couple times before his lawyer stepped forward, leaving Randy and Leanne to follow him. Before he entered through the doors, he turned suddenly to look into Leanne's eyes, in which she offered a small smile.

“Thank you.” he whispered before turning back around and heading into the courtroom.

The gesture startled Leanne somewhat, as she followed suit, lost in thought over the past 2 weeks. She had much to think about and even though her current surroundings was not the proper time nor place to think of such things, her mind continued to wheel around the argument, the questions, the answers, or lack thereof, and Randy.

She knew she cared for him, and after seeing him on that day, her heart only yearned for him even more. She tried preventing it; tried pulling herself back and keep her distance, but every time he looked at her or they locked eyes, the electricity was too much to deny. The force pulling at her insides was something that couldn't be ignored.

She knew something was going on within her. She knew it was something she couldn't hold back much longer, but seeing as their current situation of no talking prevented her from admitting everything to him, she was left to shuffle through the mess herself. Sooner or later it would come out, she just didn't know how much longer she could keep it bottled in without exploding.

She realized she had missed half the proceedings that had been going on when she saw a flash of silver pass by her vision. She shook her head slowly before looking up. Randy's lawyer had walked to the front, along with Samantha's lawyer. She didn't know what was going on, considering her own mind had been reeling and now, she felt guilty for being so inattentive.

She watched Randy's actions closely as he leaned forward, his head resting in his hands. She saw his foot bouncing nervously and knew something was going on that had his insides twisting with nervousness.

She did the only thing that came natural to her, as she reached out and squeezed his shoulder gently. She felt him tense before relaxing a second later. Then, she noticed his once clear eyes burning with tears that threatened to fall. Her heart dropped at the sight, as she leaned forward, allowing him to take her hand in his own. He pressed her palm to his lips, laying a small kiss on it, before his lawyer returned, ending the small interaction between the two.

She leaned back and gave her attention to the judge, wanting to hear what his next words would be. He seemed to be pondering over the papers he was given before shaking his head and removing his glasses.

“Before a decision is awarded in this case, I have no choice but to grant Ms. Speno's request of temporary custody. This is a two-week trial period, as was given to Mr. Orton by the Court at the previous hearing. Until a decision is met, he is granted visitation rights that matched Ms. Speno's. Weekends starting at 6:00pm on Fridays and not to extend past noon on Sunday.” he sighed before sitting back in his seat and turning from side to side.

“I will make a decision in two-weeks time, one of permanent proportions. At that time, I advise both parties to adhere to this hearing.” the judge said, glaring at Randy. “Court is adjourned.”

“That bitch!” Randy said silently, as he stood from his seat, not wanting to be in the tiny room any longer.

He slammed the doors open and ran for the exit, needing fresh air now more than ever. Leanne gave chase, following him closely, not sure of what his actions would be once he was outside.

As she threw the doors open, she looked around, not seeing him at once until she turned to run around the side of the building. She almost bumped into him as she did so and as she watched, she knew the anger had resurfaced. He glared at her with hatred, the tears still evident in his eyes, before drawing a deep drag from the cigarette he had positioned between his fingers.

Randy..” she said softly, reaching for him.

Leanne... don't.” he warned, shaking his head. “Everything that touches me turns to shit. Just don't.”

Randy, don't say that. You know that isn't true.” she spoke, grabbing his hand.

His eyes focused on hers, the anger still building within, but she didn't care. She grabbed his cigarette and throw it to the ground before glaring back at him.

“Isn't it?” he asked, almost with an underlined tone in his voice.

Randy, if you're meaning me, I'm here, aren't I?” she challenged.

He sighed heavily before collapsing in her arms and holding her tightly, not wanting to ever let go. She allowed him to, as she melted against his chest and breathed in the familiar scent she had missed and longed for.

“Well, if this isn't sweet?” Sam voice rang from behind them, causing them to break their embrace and turn to face the unwanted woman. “Sorry if I broke up a moment there.”

“What do you want, Samantha?” Randy asked, pulling away from Leanne and stepping towards his ex-wife.

“Well, seeing as I have custody Alanna...” she said, trailing off.

“Temporary custody.” Randy spoke through clenched teeth.

“Whatever. Where is she?” Sam asked, looking around.

“Oh, I left her in the car while the hearing was going on.” Randy said sarcastically, glaring at her.

“What?” Sam bellowed. “I knew you were an unfit parent, Randall, but I never....”

Before she could finish her sentence, Leanne stepped forward, balling her fist up and drawing back before connecting with Sam's jaw, sending the tinier woman to the grass below. She had heard enough from his ex-wife and normally she would have stayed out of her and Randy's affairs and conversations, but that was one thing she wouldn't stand for or listen to.

Randy maybe many things. He isn't perfect, but Goddamn it if I will stand her and listen to you call him an unfit parent, because that he is not!” Leanne yelled, before Randy grabbed her arm pushing her backwards.

Randy stared at Leanne, part anger, part amusement and shock, as she shook her head and sighed loudly. She watched Sam as she grabbed her jaw and glared back.

“You bitch!” Sam screamed as she collected herself from the ground.

Sam, just meet me at my parents house.” Randy said, turning around, sending her a look of warning.

“Fine!” she huffed, as she turned on her heel and marched towards the parking garage.

“I don't even know what to say or if I should be mad or thankful.” Randy said, grabbing her hand and examining the damage.

“I'm fine.” she growled, trying to remove her hand from his, but to no avail.

Randy looked at her and jerked her hand gently towards himself as she relented and allowed him to look. He stroked her knuckles gently, noticing the red, swollen knot that was forming.

“You should get ice on that.” he whispered.

“Randy, I'm fine.” she said, collecting herself and stepping back.

“Thank you for...” he said, snickering. “..for coming, I guess.”

“I told you I would. I don't break promises.” she repeated.

“I know.” he agreed.

“I'll see you later.” she said turning around.

Before she could move from her spot, Randy spun her around. His hand stroked the side of her cheek gently, as he brought her closer. She felt her breath quicken as she watched him intently, not knowing what he would do next. He placed a small kiss on her forehead before releasing her waist and stepping back.

“Thank you for taking up for me too.” he said smiling, before he turned and made his way to his car, leaving Leanne to stare after him.


(Part 15 Numb)

It had been a week since the last hearing and after returning Alanna back to Sam, Randy instantly went to his bedroom and laid on his bed. He had a great weekend with his daughter, but it damn near killed him having to give her back to Sam for another week. He wouldn't hear the final results until the beginning of his scheduled weekend visitation that next Friday. He wasn't sure how he would make it through another week of hell, especially since he hadn't heard from Leanne either.

He thought for sure that they would have talked after the hearing. It seemed things were on the mending, but he was mistaken after she still refused to accept his calls or call him. He wasn't sure what else he could do, but even as he thought of her, his heart was breaking.

He was sure what he was feeling was love. And he was sure the thought would scare Leanne, which was the main reason why he hadn't told her. He wanted nothing more than to confess his feelings to her, but he wanted her in his life no matter what. Rather that was merely friends or more, he wanted her in some way or another.

As he rolled over in bed, he stared at the digital clock. It was still rather early to turn in for the evening. He decided to see what his parents were doing and as he descended the stairs, he was instantly sorry he had thought of the idea.

“Mom!” Randy said, shielding his eyes from the display on the couch.

“Well, look who decided to join us, Bob?” Elaine said, looking up from the couch cushion.

“What the hell is going on?” Randy asked, turning around.

“Oh, son! You act like you've never see me kiss your mother!” Bob bellowed, laughing at his son.

“Yeah, but not like that. Gross!” Randy yelled.

Before anymore could be said, the phone began ringing and Randy was almost too happy to run to the receiver and answer it.

“Hello?” he asked.

“Ra-Randy?” came the crying, shaking voice from the other end.

“Who is this?” he asked, startled by the sound on the other end.

“It's me. Sa-Sam. I need your help.” she sobbed.

“Sorry Sam, I'm not interested.” Randy said evenly, as he turned around, the phone cord wrapping around his waist.

“Well, I think you will be interested considering it has something to do with Alanna.” Sam said, the shakiness gone almost immediately.

Randy felt the blood drain from his face, as he stopped dead in his tracks. His face turned white as he somehow managed to breath, readying himself to listen to her words.

“What's wrong with Alanna?” he asked, trying to stay calm, although his worst fears were coming true even as he asked the question.

“I don't know. She just turned blue.” Sam spoke evenly before the shakiness returned in her voice. “I'm so scared.”

“Did you call 911?” he asked, the feeling of panic coming over him. “Is she breathing?”

“I tried the baby CPR or whatever they taught us in the hospital but she isn't responding. I don't think she's breathing. I called 911 like 10 minutes ago.” Sam said, her voice breaking through the receiver.

Sam, you have to stay calm.” Randy said, finding a strength he didn't know he had. “You have to keep trying until the EMT's get there. Please!”

“Alright, alright.” she said, before the line went dead.

Randy hung the phone up, as he rushed through the house grabbing his car keys and his cell phone, before turning to his parents, the tears streaming from his eyes.

“I don't know what’s wrong but Layni is blue. Sam called 911 but no one has responded. I'm going over there. Meet me at the hospital.” he ordered as his parents jumped from the couch, collecting their own belongings.

As he slammed the door, he reached for his cell phone, dialling the number he knew too well. He knew she would be awake and above all else, knew she would be there under the circumstances. He just hoped she answered.

After reaching her voice mail, he opted in not leaving a voice mail and slammed his phone shut before flipping it open once more and dialling to number to her home. He fire the engine to his SUV, listening to the monotone ringing before the answering machine picked up. He sighed as the recording rang through his ear and he cussed aloud.

“Lea, I know you're still pissed off at me, but I really need your help. Something’s wrong with Layni and I need your help.” he screamed through the phone before he slammed it shut and sped through the light at the intersection.

He didn't even care that he had cut people off. His daughter was in need and that’s the only thing that mattered to him at the point in time. His mind began reeling from the thought of her in need and trouble to the horrible outcome of her dying. It was a thought he tried pushing from his mind, but was still present in his mind.

His phone began ringing, breaking his thoughts. As he looked at the screen he smiled, his anger subsiding for a brief second, after realizing it was Leanne. He knew she would return his call as soon as she had heard something wasn't right with his daughter. The two had had a bond from the time Leanne had held the tiny baby and he was relieved for it now.

“Lea, I know things are rocky between us but please...” he began, feeling the tears spring to his eyes. “...I need you.” he finished, in barely a whisper.

Randy, where is she? What's wrong?” Leanne asked, already grabbing her keys and jacket as she flew from her front door, making her way towards her car.

“I'm not real sure. Sam called and said something about her lips being blue and she wasn't...” Randy stopped, not being able to finish his sentence, the emotion of the situation finally getting to him as he slammed his palm against the steering wheel.

“She is what?” Leanne found herself yelling as she peeled from her driveway. “Randy? She is what?!”

“She isn't breathing, Lea!” Randy screamed, his voice breaking as the tears falling down his cheeks.

“Oh my God.” Lea whispered, letting his words echo throughout her head.

She tried thinking of something positive to say, but considering the grave news, she couldn't think of anything to offer that would help him. It scared her to no end. She couldn't imagine what Randy was thinking or feeling in that moment.

“She called 911, right?” Leanne finally asked.

“Yeah, she said she did. I'm on my way to her place now. Please, Lea, meet me at the hospital.” he pleaded, as he sniffled.

“Yeah, I'm on my way now.” she said, finding the tears evident in her own eyes. “I'll be there.”

Randy couldn't say much more as he simply shut the phone after the confirmation that she would be waiting at the hospital for him. He didn't need to hear much else, and after having the conversation with her, he couldn't say much else.

He rounded the next corner and flew into Sam's driveway. The bouncing red lights from the ambulance blinded him momentarily. He flung his door open, the engine still running as he ran into the house, preparing himself for the worst.

He stepped inside, the scene in front of him taking his breath as he stepped backwards, his hand covering his opened mouth. His tiny, infant daughter was spread motionless across the floor, with several EMT's crowded around her, each doing various things to resuscitate her.

Randy felt his insides churning, his knees going weak and his entire world coming to a stop in that moment. The tears flooded down his face as he continued to step backwards until his back was pinned against the wall, giving him the support that he was needing. The thought of not being able to save his daughter or help her in any way was unsettling and left him feeling even more helpless than before.

“Are you the father?” came a voice from beside him.

As Randy turned his head, his mouth and lips were numb and he did the only think he could by shaking his head in response. The young EMT squeezed his shoulder and looked at the small child before turning his attention back to Randy, his eyes now a swollen, reddened mess.

“I'm afraid...” the EMT started before Randy shook his head and closed his eyes, warranting him to say anything further.

“Please, don't say anything.” Randy urged, opening his eyes and looking at him. “She's gonna pull through this. I feel it.”

Randy!” Sam said, running towards him and wrapping her arms around her ex-husband.

Randy stood shocked for a minute before patting her back gently and pushing her backwards. He knew he should have been more affectionate with the mother of his child, but he just didn't have it in him at the moment. Being affectionate towards Sam at any time was almost impossible for him at any time.

“What the hell happened Samantha?” he barked, finally finding his voice.

“I don't know.” she replied, her voice shaking slightly. “I told you, I laid her down and went to check on her and I found her like this.”

“Sir, she has been responding to CPR briefly, but then her body shuts down and she becomes unresponsive again. I'm not sure if this will have lasting effects if she survives.” the EMT spoke up.

“If?” Randy repeated, looking at the man. “My daughter will be alright. She will make it!”

Before anything else could be said, he heard the loud cry from Alanna, as the EMT's continued working rapidly to stabilize the small child again. Randy felt the smile spread across his face as he pushed past Sam and the EMT's and knelt beside the tiny girl.

“Hey baby.” he cooed, grabbing her small hand and placing a kiss on her forehead. “It's daddy. You're gonna be fine, sweetheart.”

The child quieted down as she stared at him. An EMT administered more medication through her IV before talking on his radio. Randy continued to look at the baby hoping she would pull through and be fine.

“It's alright, sweetheart. Hang on, baby.” Randy cooed softly.

“We're heading out now.” he finished through his radio. “Alright, let's pack up and head for the ER.” he ordered the others around him.

“I'm riding with her.” Randy stated, reaching for his daughter.

“Sir, we'll place her on a gurney.” the EMT said, grabbing his arm.

“That's fine, but I'm riding with her. I'm her father and I will be there.” he ordered.

“We gotta go now.” he stated, as he lifted the small backboard Alanna was laying on and carried it to the waiting ambulance outside.

Randy followed close behind, Sam quick on his heels. He could care less what she did at that moment, rather she drove herself or rode with them in the ambulance.

“I'm coming, too.” Sam called after the EMT's.

“Ma'am, we can only have one passenger beside the patient. You can follow us in your car.” the man stated, blocking her from the ambulance.

“But, she's my daughter.” Sam argued.

“I understand that, but her father is riding with her. You'll have to follow us in your car.” he said evenly before he closed the doors and ran for the driver’s seat.

Sam stomped her foot and walked towards her car, as the ambulance pulled from the driveway and headed towards the hospital. Randy held onto his daughters hand and rubbed her head gently.

“Sir, we have reason to believe that her mother may have had something to do with he reason she is in the state she is in.” the EMT said.

“What are you saying?” Randy asked, narrowing his eyes at the large man.

“I understand you two are divorced. Is that correct?” the man continued.

“Yes, why?” Randy asked, shaking his head, the anger setting in.

“Well, she told us you had the baby for the weekend and drop her off with her about 3 hours ago, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, and?” Randy asked, not understanding what was happening.

“And your daughter, she was a healthy child before tonight, correct?” he asked.

“Yeah. She's had no problems.” Randy offered.

“There has to be some sort of explanation as to why your daughter suddenly stops breathing. We're not sure what it is, but I'm letting you know that Child Protective Services will be at the hospital to investigate you both. If you know anything, I'd advise you to cooperate with these people if you want your daughter to return home and not be warded to the state.” he said, a sympathetic look on his face.

Randy bit his lip, not believing what he was hearing. His daughter finally woke up and seemed to be stabilized but now he risked losing her because they thought Sam had done something to her.

“But, I didn't do anything to her. She's my daughter!” Randy practically screamed.

“I understand that, and the EMT's have already notified CPS of the situation between you two. I'm just saying, if you have any information to offer them, you tell them. For her sake.” he said, before returning attention to the chart that he held in his lap.

Randy shook his head as the fear and anger took over him. For the first time in his life, Randy was afraid of the unknown and what lie ahead of him at the hospital.

(Part 16 Here for You)

He paced the floor for what seemed like hours, and as he stared at the clock on the wall, he realized it had only been half that time. CPS had instructed that no one be allowed to visit the child until their investigation was complete. How long that would be, Randy wasn't sure.

Sam had been speaking to them for the past hour. He didn't know what they could be talking about for that long and it scared him even more. He didn't even have the chance to speak to his ex-wife and he had been wanting to after the unsettling news he had received from the EMT. CPS had scoped her up when she arrived and he hadn't seen her since.

The doctors weren't talking much, either. They were told not to share information with anyone until further notice. Randy wasn't even sure if his daughter was still conscious, let alone alive. That fact scared him even more. All he wanted to know was if his daughter was alright. He could at least breath easier if they would tell him that much.

Leanne had arrived shortly after his parents. She stayed by their side, as Bob and Elaine were a mess over the news of their granddaughter. Leanne and Randy hadn't talked, either, and at that point, Randy was fine with that. He invited the quietness of the hallway, where he paced about aimlessly, waiting for any news whatsoever.

Mr. Orton?” came a voice behind him.

He wheeled around, his eyes falling on a slender woman dressed a pinstripe suit and holding a clipboard. He instantly knew she belonged to CPS and he knew his turn had came to speak with them. He hadn't done anything to his daughter, but something about the superiority made him completely nervous.

“Yes.” he spoke softly.

“My name is Wilma Rogers. I'm with CPS out of Jefferson County. Can I have a word with you for a moment?” she asked, opening a door to her left.

Randy entered to room first and took a seat at the chairs provided before she followed and sat across from him. She took out the folder attached to the clipboard and instantly, he noticed his daughters name on the tab at the top.

“Can I ask you something?” he asked.

“Sure.” she said, offering a warm smile.

“I'm not real sure what this is all about, but you people have me completely nervous.” he said, running a hand through his short hair. “Is my daughter alright?”

“She's stabilized at the moment. She been able to hold consciousness and she's responding well to the IV medication.” Wilma replied.

“Thank God.” Randy whispered, feeling a giant weight being removed from his shoulders.

Mr. Orton, we have reason to believe, or suspect I should say, that Ms. Speno is involved in your daughters ailment. Can you tell us anything that would be of any help?” she asked, taking her pen out, preparing to take notes.

“I have no idea. I mean, I had her for the weekend and I dropped her back off at Sam's around noon or so. She was perfectly fine when I left. Around 8:30 or so, I got a phone call from Sam saying her lips were blue and she wasn't breathing. Sam said she had laid her down and when she went to check on her that's how she found her.” Randy said, recalling from memory his phone conversation from earlier that night.

“And that's all you know?” Wilma asked, looking up from her papers.

“I swear, that's all I know.” Randy said, his voice slightly elevated.

Mr. Orton, I understand there is a custody hearing coming up this Friday, is that correct?” she asked.

“Yes. We had a hearing last week. The judge had granted me temp custody at a previous hearing until our next court date, which was last week. At that hearing, he gave Sam a 2-week trial period of temp custody before he made a permanent decision.” Randy answered.

“And do you know why he gave Sam a 2-week trial period?” she asked.

“I have no idea. I didn't wanna cause a scene so I figured I'd agree to the terms, take my visitations for 2 weekends and go back to court and hopefully get primary custody of my daughter.” Randy said.

“Well, in the court papers, it says you broke the original custodial agreement for Sam's visitations.” she recited from the paper she held in her hand.

“What? That's impossible!” Randy seethed. “Sam picked her up the first weekend on Friday and returned her before schedule on Saturday. I didn't ask her why. I just took my daughter and went into the house. The second weekend, she called and said she had something to do out of state and wouldn't be picking her up at all. I was a little mad but I didn't argue. How did I violate the order?”

“Well, from what you told me, you didn't. Sam's story is you refused her visitation. At least that's what the court documents say.” Wilma said, pointing to the paper, as Randy skimmed through it.

“That is not true!” Randy said, practically yelling.

Mr. Orton, CPS will be filing a petition with the court tomorrow morning. I am asking that your ex-wife’s current custody order is revoked until further notice.” she said, shoving papers back into the folder.

“And where does that leave Alanna?” he asked, his hands becoming clammy and sweat-ridden.

“Well, you could file a petition as well for sole custody at the same time. I don't see why the judge wouldn't grant you sole custody, given the circumstances. I'm citing it that your ex-wife was neglectful of your daughter.” Wilma said softly.

Randy slammed his fist down on the table and shook his head, the tears filling his eyes once more. He couldn't believe what he was hearing about his ex. She was many things, and sure, she cheated on him, but Randy never thought in any way possible that she would ever hurt his daughter. The child she had wanted for so long.

“I understand you're upset, sir.” she said, reaching over and patting his hand.

“Upset is one way to put it.” Randy said, clenching his jaw as he wiped the stray tears from his eyes.

“Now, after both petitions are granted, we will schedule an appointment where we do a follow-up at your residence. I understand you live on Oak Street with your parents, correct?” she asked.

“Yeah.” he said, shaking his head.

“As long as you cooperate and everything checks out, we will close the case. Now, when you file your petition, there will also be an ex parte order stating Ms. Speno will not be allowed within 200 feet of the child. She will not be allowed visitations and if we find her guilty of neglect, if it's severe enough, charges will be pressed against her and she will more than likely serve jail time.” she concluded.

“Alright.” Randy agreed, his mind reeling from the massive amount of information he was receiving. “Can I see my daughter now?”

“Yes, of course.” she said, smiling as she stood up. “Thank you for being so cooperative.”

Randy extended his hand and nodded his head. His nerves were on edge, his hands were still sweating, but at least he would be able to see his daughter.

“She isn't allowed in the room, right?” Randy asked, as they exited back into the hallway.

“Um, no sir. She was escorted out by security a little while ago.” she explained.

“Thank you, Mrs. Rogers.” Randy said as he made his way towards the waiting room.

Randy!” Leanne screamed, as she came running, flying into his arms.

He was taken a back for a minute, but accepted the gesture. He clung to her for a second, needing to feel the warm embrace that he longed for and missed so much. As she pulled apart she kissed his cheek gently and smiled.

“How is she?” Leanne asked.

“I got word that she is stable and doing well. We're allowed to go visit her now.” he said, smiling at his parents.

“We just saw two security guards escorting Sam out. What's going on?” Elaine asked.

“I'll explain later. Right now, I wanna go see my baby girl.” Randy said, the smile never leaving his face.

“You two go ahead. We'll wait here and visit her when you get done.” Bob said, hugging his wife.

They exited the waiting room and made their way towards Alanna's room. He was happy to be seeing his daughter and just as happy that Leanne was there with him. He vowed to himself he would first make sure his daughter was fine, but afterwards, he and Leanne would talk to each other and resolve their issues. He couldn't go on much longer not talking to her. His life wasn't complete without her.

He pushed the door open and entered the room, as his eyes feel on the tiny form in the crib inside. He smiled when she rolled over and looked at him, revealing her famous toothless grin. He ran to her and picked her up, the tears falling down his face all over. Leanne watched for the door, her own tears falling from her face at the love Randy had for his daughter.

She couldn't be any happier for him and was relieved that his daughter was pulling through like a champion. She shut the door quietly and made her way to Randy side, smiling at the baby. Randy placed a kiss on her forehead and place her back in the crib.

“I knew she'd be alright.” Randy said, crying harder.

“Oh, Randy.” Leanne said softly, extending her arms, allowing him to step into her embrace.

His shoulders shook as the sobs riveted through his body, allowing him to let out all the pent up emotion he had stored over the last few hours.

“She's fine, Ran.” Leanne soothed.

“I know, I was just so worried. I felt so helpless when I walked into Sam's house earlier. I'm her father, Lea. I'm supposed to protect her.” he said, pulling back from her and wiping his eyes.

“Yes, you are, but this is not your fault.” Leanne said.

They locked eyes as Randy brushed the hair from her face and stroked her cheek gently. She leaned into his touch, almost begging him for more. He inched closer, closing the space between them. Their lips were almost touching and the feeling of his breathing hitting her neck was almost too much for her to take.

He ran his lips across hers gently, before grabbing her waist and bringing her even closer, deepening the kiss. She didn't object, as she wrapped her arms around his neck and moaned softly against his lips. He ran his tongue across her bottom lip, captivating her senses and causing her knees to grow weak.

“I'm sorry.” he whispered against her lips.

“I forgave you a long time ago.” she whispered back.

“I'm glad, because we've gotta talk about... this.” he said.

“I know. And we will. Tomorrow morning, okay?” she said, resting her head against his chest.

“Stay with me.” he whispered.

“What?” she asked, pulling back slightly.

“Stay with me. In the hospital tonight.” he asked again, arching his brow. “For Layni?”

“No.” she said, shaking her head.

He bit his lip and ran a hand through his short hair as he stepped back from her and sighed deeply. It wasn't the answer he was looking for, much less what he expected to hear. Before he could say anything else, she grabbed his hand and pulled him towards her once more.

“I'll stay for you.” she whispered before claiming his lips.


(Part 17 I Love You)

Well, we're talking. That's a start, I guess.

Randy seemed like things were a losing battle anymore. It seemed like with every victory came an even bigger force of defeat. Granted, his daughter’s speedy recovery and the immediate approval of guardianship awarded to him was the biggest victory he had had in his lifetime, it still seemed like he was fighting a losing battle when it came to Leanne.

They had been talking. Quite regularly as it turned out. And at some points, he thought maybe it was enough. It was all he really wanted. Only now, he felt himself slipping even further into a place he never thought he would be again. A place where he had been before, but never to the extent he was at now. A place that was comforting, peaceful, exciting, yet scary, unknown and depressing.

He was in love.

And it should have been comforting and exciting for him; not the opposite. The only reason it was so scary, foreign and depressing was because they still hadn't talked about their feelings, much less discussed their relationship.

And Randy wasn't sure how much more he could take before he exploded.

He had decided to stop beating around the bush and explain everything. He couldn't put it of any longer. He wasn't sure if Leanne felt the same way, or even wanted to talk about the situation, but after arranging his planner and setting it up for his parents to keep Alanna for the night, there was no turning back.

He would worry about everything else later. He would be returning to the road later than what he thought. After he was awarded sole custody, with no rights given to Sam, he decided to take an extended break, something that was much needed. His daughter was only 5 months old. She needed him now more than ever. He refused to push her to the back burner or take her for granted.

The realization of her being in the hospital, hanging onto her life by a thin string was an eye-opening experience for him. It putting everything in his life into perspective real quick. Including Leanne.

He listened to the ringing from the phone, hoping she would pick up and he could avoid another voice recording. He had already tried to call two times before, but she hadn't picked up.

“Hello?” came the breathless voice from the other end of the phone.

Randy snickered, hearing her breathing coming rapidly from the other end.

“Were you having sex again without me?” he asked, laughing.

“Funny, Orton. No, I just stepped out of the tub when I heard my phone going off.” she answered.

Leanne, that's a great mental image for me, but please, don't torture me.” he joked.

“You're such a perv.” she shot back. “So, what's up?”

“Well, I was calling to see what you were doing tonight.” he said slowly.

“Um, nothing that I know of, why?” she asked.

“Well, would you wanna come over to my place, spend the evening together?” he asked. “Maybe have some dinner or something?”

“Uh, yeah, we can do that.” she said softly. “Wait. You're place?”

“Yeah. I just had the finishing touches put on it a couple hours ago. So, I can officially show you around.” he said, chuckling.

“Alright. I'll see you around 7 then?” she asked.

“Yeah, 7's good, Lea.” he said, shaking his head seeming please with himself.

“Alright. 'Til then.” she said, hanging up.

“Yeah. 'Til then.” he repeated, as he flipped his cell phone shut.

He still had to pack an overnight bag for Alanna, but that wouldn't take him any time at all. He was more concerned with everything going off well between him and Leanne. He hadn't planned things out too much. The only thing on his mind was talking with her and finally getting his feelings out in the open and hopefully, her sharing her side as well.

He figured he could just order in to save time, something he needed plenty of right now. After looking at the clock, he realized time was not his friend. He had only 2 hours before it would be 7:00 and getting Alanna dressed, packed and dropped off would at least take an hour.

He let his mind wander to what he would say to Leanne. He knew the just of everything, but putting it into words had never been his strong point. He was usually the type of person who cut to the chase and laid it out plain and simple. But, with Aurorah, she deserved so much more. She at least deserved to know how he was feeling. Not just the simple line of being attracted to her and wanting to see where things could go if they gave it a shot.

He sighed, realizing he had a lot more to think about before she arrived. The waiting would kill him, but knowing he would have to sort through his mind and come up with the right words, waiting wouldn't be that hard.

The rain hadn't let up any since he had dropped Alanna off earlier. He paced the floor, looking at the clock over and over. She was well over an hour late and after the first 20 minutes went by, he knew she wasn't coming. It was more than he could take, but still, he waited, for the off chance she would show up.

He everything planned out in his head. He knew exactly what he was wanting to say. The words would come out when he needed them to. For now, he had everything sorted and her being late only added to the anxiousness of him telling her everything. For Randy, it was about coming clean with every last emotion he had held inside for too long.

He sighed, realizing the only thing left to do was drive to her house and make her listen. He knew she was stubborn and making her do something she wasn't looking forward to would be like pulling teeth, but he was willing to do just that if push came to shove.

As he ran down the stairs, preparing to run to the car, he stopped instantly. Standing in front of him was Leanne, her clothes clung tightly to her slender frame from the downpour.

“What are you....” he began, his sentence hanging in the air.

“I'm here. I just didn't have to courage to come inside.” she said, giving off a weak smile.

He gave her another confused glance, giving her body a once over. Even drenched to the bone, her hair a wet, matted mess, he couldn't help but noticing her natural beauty shining through.

“Do you wanna go inside?” he asked, not taking his eyes off her.

“Randy, how did everything get so.. so confusing?” she asked, turning from him.

Leanne, I don't know, but we can fix this.” he said, following behind her.

“Can we Randy?” she asked, turning back around to face him.

“Don't you think we can? I mean, if we both want this...” he said, throwing his hands behind his head. “...Damn it, Lea.”

“What Randy? Tell me.” she said, before her voice got louder. “Tell me!”

“Tell you what? Tell you that.. that I'm scared shitless because my heart beats for you! I have no idea who am without you anymore. I told myself I would never fall for someone again. After Sam, I was sure I wasn't going to love anyone except my daughter. I would put all my time and effort into her and hope and pray she became a good girl. But, then you came along. And the scary thing is, I don't even know when I feel for you. I don't know because with you, it didn't even feel like falling.” he screamed, his emotions finally coming out.

“Randy, what are you saying?” she asked, stepping forward, a smile playing at the corners of her lips.

“I'm saying I... I'm saying...” he stuttered, as she reach for his cheek. “Please, dear God, don't touch me.” he said, grabbing her hand softly.

She tried jerking her hand away, clearly confused by his statement. He closed his eyes and sighed, realizing how his sentence had came out.

“I didn't mean it like that.” he said, holding her hand firmly in his. “I mean the moment you touch me, everything fades away, including my thought process. I want to get this out before you make my heart stop beating.”

Her bottom lip started to quiver. She felt her heart race and she was awaiting his words anxiously. She had waited to hear him utter them, but she never knew it would feel so good, almost painful.

“Tell me, please.” she whispered, stepping closer to him.

He sighed, as he looked at the ground. He wanted to say it with everything in his being. He wasn't sure what was holding him back. Was it his own fear? Was it the fear of failure? Was it simply being afraid of being in love with someone so much that it hurt?

“Do you love me, Randy?” she asked, cupping his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her.

As he raised his head slowly, she noticed the tears dancing in his eyes. She cocked her head to the side, as her own tears burned her eyes, threatening to spill over. He bit his lips nervously, and sighed deeply before shaking his head slowly.

“Yeah, Leanne.” he said looking at her. “I love you.” he whispered.

“I don't think I heard you?” she said, the smile growing on her face.

He kissed her lips softly, bringing her wet body against his own. He held her against his body, not wanting to let go.

“I love you.” he repeated, whispering against her lips.

“I don't think it's sunk it.” she said, smiling.

“Well, we've got plenty of time to make it sink in.” he said, kissing her lips once more.

“Randy?” she asked, pulling back slightly, giving him a serious look.

“What, baby?” he asked, searching her eyes.

“I love you.” she said, the tears spilling over.

He closed his eyes a moment, letting her words echo through his entire body. He sighed contently as he opened his eyes and smirked.

“I've been waiting for you to say that.” he said, smiling.

“Can we go inside?” she asked, before he claimed her lips once more.

She moaned against his lips, as he grabbed her buttocks and picked her up in one swift motion. He kissed her cheek and her jaw before finding the sensitive spot on her neck and sucking it gently, sending chills up her spine.

“God Randy.” she moaned softly, as he carried her in the house.

His hands gently touch her back as his lips sucked the pulse on her neck. His breathing was like a gentle hum against her exposed neck, something that was sending her over the edge.

He placed her back on the floor, long enough to rip the wet shirt from her body. He sighed, taking in the sight of her almost bare chest. His lips grazed hers again as he flipped the buttons on her jeans. He ran his hand through the belt loops as he slid them down her long legs before sending them to the floor with her shirt.

He kissed his way up her leg, letting his mouth hover over her inner thigh. She groaned loudly, as he grabbed the strings on either side of her hips and snapped them against her skin. She winced slightly before his eyes found hers. He looped his fingers through the straps and eased them off. He gave her a smirk as he claimed her lips again before easing her down onto the couch.

Randy...” she said breathlessly.

“What baby?” he said, kissing her jaw and ravishing her neck with soft kisses.

“I can't take this.” she whispered. “Make love to me.”

“I love you.” he whispered.

“I love you, too.” she said softly.

She felt her bra come loose before his tongue found her breasts, causing her back to arch from the couch. She felt his hand run across her midsection, as he continued the assault over her breasts. She tugs at his pants, suddenly realizing the sensation burning more.

He claimed her lips again, as she undid his pants and helped him slid them to the floor. He peeled his shirt off, revealing his chiselled chest. She ran her fingers down his back, causing him to throw his head back in pleasure.

He brought his lips to hers once more before kissing the length of her body, his tongue coming to rest between her legs. She shivered slightly as he placed a hand on each of either thighs, pushing her legs apart. In another second, she felt his tongue tracing over her. She gasped with pleasure, her back coming up from the couch once more.

“Randy!” she almost screamed.

Her fingers clinched the sofa pillow, her body trembling under his control. She felt her body moving with every gentle stroke of his tongue. She ran her fingers through his short, brown hair as her body tensed. In another second, she felt herself giving over to orgasm.

Randy slowly moved on top of her, staring down at her satisfied expression. She wrapped her legs around his waist, as he slowly entered her. He watched as she winced slightly before her eyes went closed, another moan escaping her mouth.

He claimed her lips once more, as he quickened his pace, sending her even further over the edge. He felt her nails dig into his back, causing his own moan to escape against her lips.

“Randy!” she screamed against his mouth.

“I love you.” he whispered. “I love you.”

“Baby...” she whispered breathlessly. “ you.”

He felt his body releasing slowly before she began thrusting her hips in sync with his. His lips covered hers as he exploded inside her. Their bodies slowing with every passing quiver.

Finally, after being spent, he kissed her forehead gently before falling beside her and wrapping his arm around her midsection. He sighed with contentment once more, as he ran his fingers through her long hair.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

“Nothing really. Happy that we finally got to this point.” she said, yawning.

“I love you.” he repeated.

“I love you, too, Randy Orton.” she said, kissing his lips gently before laying her head on his chest.

Randy watched her silently as she closed her eyes. Her breathing evened out, signalling she had fallen asleep. He grabbed the coverlet from the back of the couch and threw it across them aimlessly. He continued to watch her sleep until sleep finally succumbed him.


(Part 18 Shock and Awe)

Randy continued to race around the house, collecting random items before throwing them into the large duffle bag. He cursed at himself silently after stubbing his toe against the large couch, before continuing, throwing magazines and papers from the coffee table.

It had always been an mindless habit of his to lose his car keys or cell phone, and in this case, he had lost both. He and Leanne had decided on a weekend get-a-way and leave the hectic life behind, at least momentarily. Of course, he was running behind schedule, and he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, Leanne was on time, packed and waiting for his arrival.

It was one of her traits he loved the most.

He stopped suddenly, hearing the distinct ring from his cell phone somewhere nearby. As he flipped the cushions from the couch, a smile spread across his face when he finally saw it. He picked it up and answered, knowing the ring tone instantly.

“This is Randy.” he spoke clearly.

Randy! How are you?” the voice rang from the other end.

“I'm good, Vince. Real good. How are things at the office?” he asked with a chuckle.

“Things here are going well.” Vince replied, before clearing his throat. “I received a report from your advisor. He says your classes are going well and you are about finished.”

“Yeah, that's what they tell me. I have one more before it's completed.” Randy confirmed.

“Well, I was calling to set up your return date. I know things are still a little shaky back home. I talked to your dad and he filled me in a little. When do you think you will be comfortable in returning?” Vince asked.

“Honestly, sir, there's been so much going on, I hadn't given it much thought.” Randy said, sitting down and exhaling a deep breath.

“Really?” Vince asked, a hint of concern coming from his voice.

“Not that I don't. It's not like that. But, with classes and appointments and...”

Leanne.” Vince finished for him.

“My dad has a bigger mouth than I thought.” Randy said, laughing.

“He mentioned her in conversation. I'm happy for you.” Vince replied.

“Thank you, sir.” Randy said sincerely. “I have a few more appointments I have to meet by the end of the month for my daughter before I can really set anything into stone. I am excited about returning, though.”

“Glad to hear that. How 'bout we schedule an appointment for next weekend, say...” Vince began, as he trailed off. “ Wednesday for 4:00. Does that sound good?”

“Yeah, yeah. Sounds good.” Randy said, shaking his head in agreement.

“Alright, we'll see you then.” Vince replied. “Oh, and Randy?”


“Have fun this weekend.” Vince said, laughing.

“My dad, right?” Randy asked, knowing before he even asked.

“How'd ya guess?” Vince said laughing deeper. “We'll see ya next week, son.”

“Alright. Bye.” Randy said, snapping his phone shut.

He wasn't sure how to bring it up with Leanne that he would be returning soon, especially since they had just got together. Things were going great for the pair, and he didn't want to risk losing anything with his return. They had only been dating for six weeks, but it was the best six weeks he had had. He knew deep down she would understand, but the fear of the unknown was still there.

He shrugged his shoulders, giving himself a mental note that he would talk with her about it before the end of their weekend. As he stood back up, he noticed his keys sitting on the entertainment stand and grabbed them before snatching his suit case and heading for the door.

His parents had agreed to watch Alanna for the weekend, which they couldn't be more excited about. Randy had hoped their weekend together would go well together, and for some reason, he was sure it would. He couldn't explain the feeling that overwhelmed him, but he sensed something big was going to happen.

She emerged from the bath and wrapped the large, terry-cloth towel around her body. Randy had told her to dress semi-formal and she was hoping the silver and black, form-fitting dress she had chosen would amaze him.

Randy had pulled out all the stops so far. He had spoiled her rotten the entire afternoon, between her trip to the spa, where she got her hair, make-up and nails done, to a shopping spree and body massages. It was more than she felt she deserved, but after he insisted, she finally relented and enjoyed herself.

Randy had departed from her some time before, telling her that they would meet up in the lobby the evening. She only needed a minor touch up on her make-up, and after glaring at the clock, she realized she was slightly behind in time, more than she would have liked to be.

She slipped the satin dress on and fixed her make-up in the bathroom mirror. Her mind quickly travelled to Randy, and she felt her nerves starting to swim. She had something huge to tell him, and she couldn't wait no longer. She knew had to tell him sooner or later anyway, but his reaction was what scared her the most.

They had spent weeks of bliss together, and she didn't want to risk that at any cost. The thought of being without him frightened her to limits she had never known. She realized the importance of Randy in her life was just as important as breathing; he had became such a huge part of her life. Not just because she was in love with him, but he had healed the biggest part of her heart she felt was lost forever.

He had picked her up when she was down, been the shoulder she needed to cry on and been her saving grace many times; and for her, this all happened before they were officially together. She had forgave him for the reading of her dairy entry, but had he not done that, she couldn't help to think if he would have ever questioned her. She had thought about it time and time again and still, she wondered if the dairy hadn't been the ice breaker for them.

She knew they would have eventually ended up together, but the way things happened between them, she didn't regret a single thing.

Her heart was aching to see him, but at the same time, she had to rethink her words in her head. She figured a few hours alone would help her do that, but it only made it worse by the overwhelming amount of feelings she had by wanting to see him.

As she slipped her heels on, she sighed and grabbed her purse. She was going to be a few minutes late, but after thinking to herself of his usual lateness, she didn't feel too bad about it. It only made her snicker at her own joke.

She slipped the white envelop into her purse before shutting the door behind her and stepping into the elevator. Her heart still ached as she watched the numbers counting down, and to her, it seemed like years before the doors would open again. But, finally, they did and as she stepped into the lobby, her eyes met his.

A smile plastered across his face, she couldn't help but run into his awaiting arms and plant a sweet kiss against his neck. He shivered slightly before picking her up, clinging to her, signalling he had missed her just as much.

“You look...” Randy said breathlessly, as his sentence hung in the air.

“Thank you.” she whispered. “You clean up nice yourself.”

“I try.” he shrugged, giving her a smirk before extending his arm. “Care to join me?”

“Yeah! I don't want anyone else snatching you up!” she said, smiling.

“Baby, you have nothing to worry about.” he said, as he leaned in towards her ear. “I'm yours.”

The words rang through her head, making her heart jump and race even more. She couldn't help but smile brighter as he led her to a secluded part of the hotels restaurant and helped her into her chair.

“You really do look amazing.” he said, as he sat across from her.

“Thank you, again.” she said, smiling.

“You alright? You look a little pale.” he asked, his hand reaching across the table to grab her shaking hand. “You're shaking. Lea, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I'm fine.” she said, shaking her head slowly before making eye contact with him. “I've just got a few things to tell you and something I wanna show you, that's all.”

“Is it something bad?” he asked, as he bit his lip.

“No, no!” she said quickly before exhaling deeply. “I don't think so.”

“Baby...” he said quickly, before taking the seat next to hers and pulling the chair closer to her. “...tell me. What's wrong?”

She knew she couldn't hide it any more, as she released her hand from his, giving him a soft smile. He watched her intently, his heart racing wildly. She pulled the envelop from her purse and handed it to him. He gave her a confused look and went for it, until she pulled back.

“Before... I give you this.” she said slowly, pulling it back slightly. “Please know that I love you, Randy. This doesn't change anything on my end, alright?”

“Alright...” he said uneasy, still giving her a confused look.

“Say it, please.” she said, closing her eyes.

His lips touched hers gently before he pulled back and cupped her face in his hands, causing her to open her eyes and stare at him. He tilted his head to the side, smiling weakly.

“I love you, sweetie.” he said, kissing her softly once more, before she handed him the envelop.

She began wringing her hands together, the sweat forming on her forehead. He continued to look at her as he unsealed the envelop and pulled the content from inside and laid it on the table. His eyes finally feel to the item before his eyes grew huge.

His body crashed into the back of the chair, his eyes not leaving the applicator that lay a few inches in front of him. She closed her eyes, not knowing what the expect. She felt the warm tears threatening to fall, but she warranted them off. She rested her elbows onto the table, her hands covering her mouth as she opened her eyes slowly, her attention resting on Randy.

“What...” he whispered, as he finally looked up at her, a look of shock written on his face.

“I... I don't know.” she stumbled, as she ran her fingers through her curls.

“Oh my God.” he said softly, before he ran a hand through his hair.

“Is this good or bad?” she asked, not really wanting to know, afraid of a negative response.

“How.... and... when?” he asked, still confused.

“I... don't know.” she whispered again.

“But....” he started, still not being able to form a sentence.

She sighed heavily, becoming agitated by his lack of words. She bit her own lips, realizing her news was being taken worse than what she thought.

“So, is this how you acted when Sam told you?” she asked, finally finding her voice.

“What?” he asked, bring his eyes to meet hers.

“I mean, this is good, at least I think it is. A little quick, but sometimes, you don't plan these things to happen. And... I thought you loved me.” she asked, her thoughts coming quickly.

Leanne, I do. I love you.” he said, grabbing her hand and bring her palm to his lips, kissing it gently. “I'm just.... shocked.”

“Yeah, among other things.” she said haughty.

“I just don't know what to say. I mean, I'm numb at the moment.” he said, shaking his head.

“Is this good for you, Randy?” he asked.

Her question took him by surprise, as he pulled his hand back and looked at her. He couldn't believe she would ask such a question, but he realized his reaction to the news wasn't received the way she had expected, either.

“Of course this is good. I mean, shocking, but...” he said, a smile finally playing at the corners of his mouth. “...very good.”

“Yeah?” she asked, her nerves finally relenting some.

“Yeah. Are you sure?” he asked, smiling bigger.

“Yeah, I think so. It's been 3 weeks.” she replied.

He grabbed her from her seat, picking her up and spinning her around. She giggled against his neck before he placed her back down and kissed her longingly. As they parted, she noticed the tears falling from his eyes and smiled.

“So, you're happy?” she asked, as they sat back down.

“Yes!” he said, shocked. “Of course, I'm happy! I'm gonna be a daddy, Lea!”

“I know Randy!” she said, laughing.

“How do you feel?” he asked, rubbing her stomach gently.

“Queasy, tired and... excited.” she said breathlessly. “Layni's gonna be a big sister.”

“I know. And this pales in comparison what I was gonna ask you.” he said, taking her hand once more.

“And what were you going to ask me?” she asked, curious about his question.

“Would you move in with me?” he asked, still smiling.

“Yeah, I think that could be arranged.” she said, smirking.

“This happened so quick, didn't it?” he asked, sitting back.

“Do you still love me?” she asked, giving him a serious look.

“You're gonna have to do a lot more than being pregnant for me not to love you, Lea.” he said, laughing before his lips claimed hers.

She moaned against his lips, realizing she had missed his touch after being away from him for so long. He rested his forehead against hers, the two enjoying the moment before Randy grabbed her hand and led her towards the exit.

“What are you doing?” she asked, laughing slightly.

“We can order in.” he said, grabbing her waist and bringing her towards him once they entered the elevator. “I wanna be alone tonight with the mother of my baby.”

She smiled up at him before touching her lips ever so slightly against his, sending chills to course through his entire body.

“Thank you.” he whispered into her mouth.

“For what?” she asked, pulling back slightly.

“For giving me another baby, for making me a daddy for the second time....” he said, kissing her softly. “...and for showing me what true love is.” he finished as his lips caressed hers once more.