Thursday, October 30, 2008

Announcing Love. (WWE wrestling)

Disclaimer: All wrestling characters © to WWE and Vince McMahon, all other names and characters are © to themselves. Any likeness to certain people or situations are purely coincidence, story idea © to Nicky D Sarti 2008, other than the idea of who The Undertaker becomes the Lord of Darkness © to Lucinda from As with most fictional stories, this is purely for fun and is not meant to cause offence or harm to anyone; living or dead. Thank you for reading, hope you enjoy my story!

“Here is your winner and still world heavy weight champion... The Undertaker!” As ‘The Fink’ proclaimed Taker the winner Angel rushed back into the ring to celebrate as JBL was helped out of the ring and limped off back to the lockers, they were soon joined by their friends; Jillian, Gabby and Steph all rush to the ring also wishing to celebrate and thank Mark. The only one not in the ring was Michael, who sat leaning against the security barriers quietly taking it all in. When they had first met he had instantly fallen in love with her, he had not been widowed long and maybe this was part of what had gone wrong. Whatever it was, something had gone wrong between the pair. Maybe the fight was too great a risk, maybe his jealousy would always get the better of him. Whatever it maybe, they needed to talk; he needed to know. Michael Cole was always the guy the others loved to bully, softly spoken and a gentle way about him made him an easy target for others rage and unlike Jim Ross, Michael now had no one there to protect him or help him out. When Tazz went back to ECW Michael became totally lost his buddy, partner and more importantly friend had gone; leaving his place to God only knows who. The only thing Michael was sure of is that things would never be the same again, and from here on in he was firmly on his own. And sure enough over the next five years Michael became something of the rosters whipping boy, with many a superstar taking their rage and frustrations out on Michael. And unlike before his new partner wasn't exactly much help, John Bradshaw Layfield; aka JBL was as stuck up as his character was in the ring and would make no secret of the fact he hated everyone especially his supposed partner Michael Cole, but Michael being Michael he did his best and got on with the job.

Standing outside the huge Titan Towers made her even more nervous than she had been in her entire life, it had been a long time coming and now as she stood there Alex finally felt like she'd made it; or at the very least taken the first step towards making it. It had been a long hard road for Angel De Vil as she was known in the ring, she had spent the past ten years training and working the independent circuits, of course this was all part and parcel of being a professional wrestler and she was glad that she had gone through it all. But let us be honest it was not as if she had had much choice in the matter! With a family of wrestling fans and friends that would forever talk about the wrestling, it was always written in the stars as to what Angel would do after college. And being very athletic anyway, Angel chose a college that had a reputation for producing many a wrestling star. After a huge amount of hard work, bumps and bruises and even near broken bones later Angel now stood outside the Huge Titan Towers of the WWE and was now on the brink of making a major breakthrough in her career.

As she head into the lobby her mind was more on finding some courage rather than where she was going because seconds later she was walking into the arms and chest of someone coming the other way, sending a mass of paperwork and the contents of her bag sprawling all over the cool marble floors.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry." He began before he looked up from a sprawling mess of papers, as their eyes met Michael knew he had fallen for her. Helping her gather her things Michael was silent for a long time, her blushes alerting him to his silence.

"Forgive me, my name's Michael pleased to meet you." Michael said as he held out his hand for her to take, taking his hand she spoke.

"Nice to meet you Michael, I'm Alex." As soon as their hands touched Angel knew she had fallen in love with him, that and the fact neither seemed to want to let go of the other. For a few moments they stood in silence, neither wanting to be the first to break the spell they had seemingly fallen under.

"Ahh, there you are!" A booming voice said, it seemed to come out of nowhere but seconds later Vince McMahon was striding over to her and almost knocking Michael flying. Looking almost dejected Michael stood for a few moments as Vince spoke to Angel, with Vince standing in between Michael and Angel all the time. After a few minutes both Michael and Angel realise neither would be able to chat anymore, so reluctantly Michael silently mouth goodbye and left Angel leaving just a sad as he. From that moment on neither Michael nor Angel could stop thinking about the other, for each that day would hold both of their hearts for a very long time to come. Even though for the first five years of her time at World Wrestling Entertainment neither would see much of each other, both would never be far from the other's thoughts. As Michael called matches and dodge various problems he always seemed to get, Angel continued to train and cultivate her character. Michael watched Angel's career sore from having dark matches to becoming manager of RAW's Kendrick and London, meanwhile Angel watched Michael get beat up and bullied by even his own broadcast colleague; JBL.

And then, three years into Angel's reign as manager Kendrick and London decided to part company leaving Angel without a team to manage or seemingly a position at RAW. With no other teams wanting a manager and Vince unsure if she could cut it as a singles competitor, she was drafted over to Smackdown; provisionally as an escort for Batista. Angel's hopes were high as she turned up for taping that night, not just for the chances and opportunities she may get; but also for the chance that she could see Michael again. As soon as Michael heard about her drafting, he could feel the excitement deep within him; that the thought that he may finally be able to get to know the woman of his dreams seemed to fill his day and night. Although the two seemed to see each other over the following six months, they had not really had the chance to speak properly with each other. With Angel trying to make it work with Batista, and with Michael still reeling over his divorce and then the death of his ex wife and their child the pair never really seemed to be able to catch a moment to themselves.

Although Batista was a nice guy both on and off camera, Angel was not sure if their personalities would work together. It was during one match with Edge; for the World Heavyweight Championship when things came to head. Batista had been sent crashing through the ropes and Angel went to his aid, with both back to their feet now Edge tried to deliver his finishing move. Batista sensing this moved out of the way quickly leaving Angel to take the full brunt of this devastating move, as both men clambered back into the ring neither seemed to give Angel another thought. With Michael's heart in his mouth he desperately wanted to help her, but before he had the chance the lights went out and those infamous bells sounded. With the lights now back on Undertaker stood in the middle of the ring with both Edge and Batista in his hands, giving them both huge chokeslams before leaving the ring. He was about to walk away when he spotted Angel rolling in agony on floor, as the silence descended the arena Undertaker walked over to Angel's side and after picking her up in his arms carried her to the back.

This not only left Michael more than a little grateful, it also threw question on to Angel's future with Batista. In the back Undertaker had laid angel in her dressing room, all the while there was silence between them. Angel was unsure if this was through fear or gratefulness, whatever it was there seemed to be an unspoken bond between the two. One thing was certain in Angel's mind there was no way she could continue as escort to Batista, the next day Angel told Vince that she wanted to work with somebody else.

"... So I was wondering if you would be able to help me with my training?" Angel said as she nervously shifted from one foot to the other, now as she stood in front of the Undertaker all the confident she had previously had all but deserted her. As she stood dwarfed by the sheer size of a man all the other divas warned her of, telling her that she would be a fool to approach him; she was aware that they could be right. Silently Taker stood listening to Angel nervously babble on as Michael rounded the corner and instantly spotted them both talking.

As soon as Michael had seen Angel his eyes lit up, but just as quickly that smile faded as he watched Taker stood there towering over Angel. Spotting Michael's reaction instantly, Undertaker knew what he was feeling, and without another word nodded silently to her and silently walked off. As Angel tried to understand what had just happened, Michael came bounding over.

“Hey Alex… I'm not sure if you remember me?” Michael began as he got closer to her; unsure of what she would say; knowing he needed to say something to her.

“Of course I remember you! It's great to see you again.” Angel replied with a huge smile on her face that could have been obvious to anyone that she had feelings for Michael. The two stood talking for ages as time seems to stand still for each other but that was until JBL; Michael's broadcast colleague came along. As was his way, he not only began to bully but also put Michael down; making both Angel and Michael feel uncomfortable.

“Now try the Dragon Sleeper hold; just like I showed you…” Taker said as he watched Angel apply the triangle chokehold on her sparring partner; as she began to apply the hold undertaker stopped her for a moment, checking the hold and grip.

“Is this too tight or too loose?” Angel said, looking to Taker for direction. All she got in return was Taker's trademark silence in return; all he ever needed to do was nod silently for her to know she was doing well. Standing back and watching Angel, Taker could tell she had potential; he had already made his mind up as she finished her training session. As the two headed for their dressing rooms silence surrounded them both, Angel seemingly knew Taker was thinking. They had been training together for a little over three months now and although it had taken her sometime to understand, Angel knew that Taker's silence was a good thing… if he was silent he was happy, she would soon be told if he was not.

“You did good in the ring today honey…” Taker began, as the two reached their dressing rooms. Smiling and saying thanks was all Angel could really managed; it was not often Taker gave his verbal approval. She wanted to speak but could not find the words, and then she spotted Michael in the distance. The smile on her face was obvious, she loved seeing him; even if she could not speak to him all the time. Being the sharp and observant man that he was, Undertaker knew what was happening before anyone else; he could tell instantly that both Michael and Angel had fallen for each other.

“So, how would you feel about working with me?” Taker asked, bringing Angel from her daydream. Her shock told him that he should go on, continuing Taker spoke honestly.

“It would be good to work with someone other than Glenn or Paul, and you have a lot of potential…” Finally Angel found her voice and managed to reply, smiling genuinely.

“Thank you, it would mean the world to me to work with you Mark.” As the two showered and changed both were excited for their new roles, both believing that this would be Angel's chance to make and find her mark.

Sitting in Angel's locker room, they talked about how the pair would play it and their characters. The idea was for Angel to be something of a slave to Mark’s Undertaker character; she would follow him to the ring and act as though Taker was her Lord and Master. The pair talked for ages before either felt like leaving the arena, as the pair finally left and headed for the hotel Angel bumped straight into the solid chest of Michael. Although he never spoke, Undertaker watched silently as the two talked, studying how both Angel and Michael reacted and acted around each other.

“I'm sorry about John's actions last time we talked; I guess it's just his way…” Michael began to explain, as Taker looked on; listening intently to all that was said.

“I hate the way he; and others treat you Michael…” Angel began, as she touched his arm softly.

“He's a nasty piece of work; Tazz was so much nicer!” Smiling slightly Michael agreed with Angel, but his way was always to just let them all walk all over him. Angel loved the nice kind sweet guy Michael was; but hated the way he was treated, how he let others treat him.

Michael was always the nice softly spoke guy who others just loved to bully around, it was part of the reason Angel liked him so much; but she also secretly wished that he would fight back and stick up for himself more. After chatting for a little while Angel and Michael said their goodbyes and went their separate ways, both unaware that JBL was watching in the wings; plotting another way to make Michael's life a living nightmare. Mark was all too well aware of JBL's nature and watched on as best he could, seeing how everything would pan out. Undertaker was never one for rushing in before he had seen how things were going first, it may have been just part of his character but he had always been quick to think but slow to act. He was happier to walk on the cautious side rather than act out of irrational fear or emotion, and Mark would only act when he was 100% sure it would work in his favour; or indeed it was needed.

Friday night Smackdown was moments away but Michael's mind was elsewhere, he was of course thinking about Angel and their chance meeting either in the week. As he wandered off to get ready his mind was on everything but his work, it was Tazz that noticed and as Michael seemingly passed Tazz without speaking; Tazz decided to say something.

“So who is she then girl pants?” Tazz said as he playfully slapped Michael on the back, although on screen he and Tazz just about got on; it was a different matter off screen. Of all the people and superstars Michael knew, it was Tazz he was closest to; and one of the few people that he never minded being teased by, he was also one of the few people Michael could be totally honest with. Tazz was about to add 'just kidding' but seeing how Michael blushed and mumbled 'no one' before changing the subject quickly, he decided not to comment. Instead the two friends spoke for a little while before both parting company, Tazz to go shower and change while Michael headed to ringside with JBL. God how he hated that damn man, all Michael wanted was to do his job and call the matches; not go through this hell.

Before the cameras had even begun to roll JBL had started with his snide comments and remarks, rolling his eyes and looking to the heavens for an answer; Michael prayed for peace. As they stood getting ready for their queue to go on, JBL started to bring Angel's name into it.

“What the hell would that fine ass woman see in you anyway boy? She's just too damn good for you…” He began, as Michael sighed deeply.

“Mind you she's been from London and Kendrick; to Batista and now Taker, she's gotta be easy!” JBL added, going one too far but not knowing when to shut up. By this time Michael was ready to kill JBL, it was his next words that sealed his fate for him.

“Maybe even I'll be able to have her, I could show her what a real man is like!” It was too much for Michael too take as he snapped, almost sending JBL through the curtains as he just launched himself at John.

“Get this son of a bitch off of me…” JBL screamed as Michael just kept hitting and punching him, while all Michael could do was hit out quietly before Tazz came rushing to his aid.

Holding on to Michael, Tazz watched as JBL limped off vowing to get his revenge. Although Michael looked like he knew what he was doing the honest truth was that he had no idea what he had just done, just that he had seemingly lost control.

“What in the hell was all that about Mike? Dang, you sure you weren't a wrestler in another life?” Tazz said, as he tried to lighten the mood. Both sat in silence for a long time as Michael tried to find the right words, he knew he could trust Tazz; it was just that he was not sure himself yet. Meanwhile, backstage Angel was waiting for Taker; feeling the butterflies deep down inside her. She had only had stage fright once before and that was when she had her first match, but now she was filled with all kinds of doubt.

“Are you ready Alex?” Mark said as he smiles quickly and held his hand out; nodding Angel took his hand and headed to the entrance curtain. Before they could say anymore they watched JBL storm off the other way, giving Angel a dirty look and bemoaning his fortunes to the officials.

Angel and Mark were just about to exchange confused looks and move on when Angel heard JBL mention Michael's name, leaving her straining to find out more. Mark knew she was in love with Michael at that moment, making sure she was okay he spoke.

“You sure you're okay honey? If you get stuck just touch my arm and I'll give you a queue.” Nodding Angel knew she needed to focus but her mind kept returning to Michael, moments before they headed out to the arena Angel took a deep breath and closed her eyes praying that she could hold it together for tonight's match.

“So let me get this straight…” Tazz began as he tried to understand what Michael had just told him, it was also done to try lighten the atmosphere they both clearly felt.

“You are in love with a woman you have only really just met, and you haven't told her yet I'm guessing?” Smiling Tazz just sat there, trying to find the right words of advice for his friend.

“I adore her Pete; I just wish I could find the right words to tell her that's how I feel…” Michael said, trying to explain wishing he did not feel like such a fool.

He felt foolish for feeling this way about an almost complete stranger and for not being able to say something to her, it was not as if he had not had the chance to say something; just he did not have the guts.

“So what are you gonna do about it Mike?” Tazz said as he brought Michael from his daydream, shrugging his shoulders Michael replied.

“I don't know Pete… I just don't know.” He wanted to say more, but became distracted by The Undertaker's music fired up.

“It's not that hard Mike…” Tazz began, noting how his mind seemed to be firmly elsewhere.

“Just tell her the truth, tell her how you feel.” Heading off to the parking lot and his hotel, Tazz shook his head and smiled; trying not to find it amusing that Michael had a crush.

With Angel and Taker involved in a dark match to get some experience, Michael was not due to head out to ringside until after the match; but knew he could never stay away, so headed out there anyway. Taker and Angel were scheduled to get the pin; with Angel helping Taker after Victoria got involved and tried to help Kenny win the match.

It was going to be a simple move in which as Kenny was getting beaten up and Mark was about to get the pin, Victoria would get up on the ring apron and try to distract the ref. Angel would stop her by getting up on the ring apron also and knocking Victoria to the ground before Kenny would try to knock her off too, before he would have the chance though Mark would hit him from behind with the dragon sleeper hold and get the win. But no one planned on JBL getting involved, least of all Michael. All was going to plan and Mark had Kenny beat, while Victoria climbed onto the ring apron and Angel followed. But before she had the chance to tackle Victoria she felt someone grab her from behind and pull her from the ring apron, Michael was half way to the ring before JBL run off like the coward he was. With Mark by his friends side and Michael stood there watching, Taker lost the match via count out. Angel was not sure what hurt most, the fall or causing her friend to lose. But as he picked her up in his arms and carried to the back Gabby knew she never need worry, as Michael looked on Mark looked to him and gestured that he should follow.

"Alex are you okay?" Michael asked as he tried hard to not only take her in to his arms but also not to blurt out that he loved her, nodding Angel spoke wishing he would hold her in his arms.

"I'm okay I think Michael... " Then turning to Mark, she continued.

"I'm so sorry Mark, I'm sorry I let you down." Putting his hand on her shoulder, Mark smiled and spoke.

"Its fine honey, I just wanna make sure you're okay." Nodding, Angel assured them both that she was fine. Slowly getting herself up and thanking both Michael and Mark, Angel headed off to the showers; leaving Mark and Michael alone with their thoughts. Both sat in silence for a long time, Mark's mind always constantly taking information in. While Michael sat wondering why he never had the guts to tell Angel how he truly felt, why did I not say something? Why could I not just tell her how I felt? Michael thought to himself. It was only his cell ringing that brought him from his daydream, looking at the display he could see it was Tazz calling him.

Outside Michael answered the call, trying to hide his feelings as best he could.

"So what happened then Mike?" Tazz said, already knowing the answer.

"It all kicked off, JBL manhandled Alex... Taker lost." Was all Michael could say, as he tried to focus his thoughts.

“So why didn’t you tell her how you felt?” Tazz knew that Michael was afraid to tell her, he just could not understand why; especially when it was clearly obvious to all that Angel felt the same way. With Angel now showered and sitting in her locker room Mark had still not spoken other than earlier to ask if she was okay, after a long period of silence Mark took a deep breath and spoke.

“So when are you going to tell Michael you’re in love with him?” Angel stopped in her tracks, she could hardly focus with the sound of her heartbeat pounding in her ears. For a split second she wanted to deny her feelings but knew that if Mark had been able to tell so easily, then others would too. Angel knew that she could no longer ignore her feelings or deny the truth, she had to be honest.

“Is it really that obvious?” Angel asked as she sat down next to Mark, looking to him who silently nodded.

“What if he doesn’t feel the same way Mark? I really like him…” Angel said, as she sighed deeply finally allowing herself to admit what Mark already seemingly knew. Smiling, Mark put his arm around her and replied; leaving her with little doubt in her mind that she should talk to Michael.

“Trust me honey, tell him how you feel… you won’t regret it.” Smiling back at Mark, Angel knew she could trust what he said and made a decision to talk to Michael the first chance she got. The next chance she would have to speak to Michael would be the following week, when Mark and Angel had their rematch with Victoria and Kenny. Again the plan was that Victoria would get involved and Gabby would stop her doing so, allowing Mark to get the win. However, due to JBL getting involved, both he and Michael would be banned from ringside; again making this a dark match. This slightly annoyed Angel, who wanted to speak to him straight after her match. As Mark and Angel got ready for their match Tazz stopped by and after asking after Angel, began to talk with Mark.

Leaving the two to talk, Angel made her way to the canteen area and grabbed herself a coffee; soon being joined by Maria and Michelle McCool. She spent some time talking about her training and life with the two girls, passing the time away with the two friendly Divas.

“So what about you Alex… is there anyone special in your life right now?” Maria asked, causing Angel to blush; alerting both to the fact there was someone. She was just about to answer when JBL rounded the corner, silently standing only a few feet away from Angel. As she answered the divas question, Angel had no idea he was standing there listening in.

“No one yet, but I do have my eye on someone here…” Angel began, but before she had the chance to continue; JBL got involved.

“But you being a slut will have anyone right? Even Michael Cole…” His sadistic laugh and smile, sending shivers down Angel’s spine. Turning to stand up for herself, Angel was met by not only JBL but also Kenny and Victoria.

“At least Michael knows he’s not got a hope in hell… shame this bitch hasn’t.” Victoria said, as Angel just stood there trying not to cry.

Before Kenny had the chance to join in the jibes, Tazz rounded the corner and was quickly stood in between them and Angel.

“Don’t forget honey, I’ll be there at ringside if you need me…” Tazz said looking straight at JBL as he did; smiling slightly Angel touched his arm in thanks. There was a moment where JBL had a ‘stare down’ with Tazz, before JBL backed down and walked away. As Tazz told Angel Michael wanted to talk to her after the match both Cherry and Michelle looked at each other knowingly, it was at that moment that Angel realised everyone seemed to know. As the two divas spoke of how nice and sweet Michael was, Angel knew that she had made the right choice in wanted to tell him how she felt. Saying their goodbyes Angel and Tazz headed back to Mark’s locker room, both talking about nothing in particular but neither feeling uncomfortable in doing so. What Angel never knew was that both Tazz and Mark had been trying to work together on getting her and Michael together for the past three months, since finding out how their respective friends felt about the other; neither Tazz nor Mark were willing to drop things. However, neither had banked on JBL’s vicious streak, or the fact he hated Michael so much.

“Ready Angel?” Mark said as they both got ready to head out to the ring, nodding Angel smiled to Tazz who stood there watching the pair get ready for their upcoming match. Moments later Mark and Angel hit the ring to his entrance theme. The match itself seemed to fly by, with Angel enjoying the chance to watch her friend wrestle. After about twenty minutes the ref was calling for the finishing moves, and before Angel had the chance to be nervous she was rushing to stop Victoria as was planned. However, with the events of earlier on still in the forefront of her mind, Angel was aware of both Victoria and Kenny. And she was right to do so, because no sooner had she joined Victoria on the ring apron than Victoria was trying to turn things around; holding Angel and shouting for Kenny to take advantage. With the ref checking on Mark, who was still reeling slightly from Kenny’s fists; it seemingly gave Kenny the chance to beat up on Angel. Before he had the chance though, Tazz’s theme music hit; giving Mark all the chance he needed to turn things around. Sliding out the ring quickly and knocking Victoria down, Angel was left with Kenny looking shocked.

Within seconds Kenny was trying to back away, but he backed into the solid frame of the Undertaker; who had his trademark black demeanour working to full affect. Backing away again, Kenny turned to face an angry Angel; who seconds later delivered a thunderous slap to his face, which sent him reeling into Mark’s open and waiting hand. Moments later Taker delivered a huge chokeslam and got the win, as the two celebrated in the ring they were joined by Tazz. As the three friends celebrated in the ring, all were happy; but this soon changed as Mark heard his voice being called.

“Taker… Taker…” JBL came up on the titron screen, it was Angel that saw him first; but they all knew it was bad as they listened to him speak.

“You have something I want Taker…” He began, as they all tried to focus on where he was. It was fairly dark, but they could all tell it was somewhere out back. As Taker listened he looked instinctively to Angel, JBL saw this and continued.

“Don’t worry, I ain’t talking about your slut of a friend there…” Mark and Tazz both wanted to kill JBL at that moment and would have gone running off to find him; it was only Angel’s dumbstruck silence that stopped them. She was focusing on something, but it took both a few moments to see what it was.

“I want your title shot, and I ain’t gonna stop ‘til I get what I want…” He continued, pausing to look at the blood soaked shirt that was half hanging off his bloodstained body. It was what had caught Angel’s attention, and now had both Mark and Tazz staring at the sight in front of them. Neither was sure whose blood it was, but in Angel’s heart she knew; she knew before he said anything.

“I see you noticed the blood…” JBL said as he looked down at his blood stained chest, giving that sick smile he was famous for before he continued.

“I couldn’t help myself, you see I wanted you to get my point…” With his last cold words the camera pans away and all they saw was a bloodied, lifeless and limp body. It took Mark and Tazz a few moments before they realized who it was, but Angel knew instantly that it was Michael’s body. Seeing that his body was out back by the rear entrance, it was Tazz that was the first one heading off at break neck speed to reach his friend; Mark followed behind, taking Angel by the hand as they rushed to their friend’s side. Tazz was joined by Michael’s side with some of the officials and trainers by the time Mark and Angel had got there the EMT’s were already there, Angel could see that he was unconscious as they worked on his wounds and loading him on the trolley. She knew instantly that it was bad, the fear and panic that she was feeling was obvious; all that went through her mind was that she hadn’t got the chance to tell him how she felt. Mark could tell she was afraid and took hold of her hand, softly giving it a gentle squeeze for comfort.

“Michael’s asking for you Alex…” Tazz said, leaving Michael’s side for the first time since arriving. Nodding slowly she approached, afraid of what she would find. Reaching his side Angel knelt down by his side and took hold of his hand in her own, instantly he reacted; softly stroking it with his thumb, alerting both to the fact they needed to talk.

“Hey honey…” Michael began, trying hard to catch his breath and not allow her to see his pain.

“Oh Michael, I am so very sorry...” She began, trying to swallow hard the lump in her throat. Before she had the chance to continue, Michael had cut her off; softly shushing her lips with his finger.

“I’m okay…” He lied, knowing full well he was in a bad way; but knowing the last thing he wanted was to worry her more than necessary.

“I’m more worried about you and Mark, is he okay? He can’t give in…” Michael began to say; inhaling sharply as the pain in his chest as the EMT’s tightened the straps on the trolley. Shrugging her shoulders Angel watched on as they took Michael too the ambulance and loading him inside, Angel’s words stuck in the back of her throat; unable to say anything.

“Are you riding with us honey?” The lead EMT asked, looking to Angel who looked to Tazz and Mark who were already ushering her into the back of the ambulance.

“Me and Mark will meet you both their honey…” Tazz said as the ambulance doors closed, leaving Angel watching on as one of the EMT’s still worked on Michael.

Reaching out for her hand instinctively Angel took hold of Michael’s hand, squeezing it gently; letting him know that she was there for him. So much went through her mind, there was so much she wanted to; needed to say. But for the moment the words were lost to her, all she could do was watch as one of the EMT’s treated him; praying that he would be okay and that she would have the chance to tell him how she felt. Still holding on to Michael’s hand, Angel tried to find the words she needed.

“We are here love…” The head EMT said as the begun to unload Michael, lightly squeezing his hand she spoke.

“I’ll be right here by your side Michael, you know how much I care about you...” She wanted to say so much more but the words were still stuck in her throat, so for now it was all she could say. As Michael was taken to the treatment room Angel felt very alone, standing looking totally lost. Thankfully, it was not too long before Angel was joined by Mark and Tazz; both trying their best to take her mind off things. Angel had been sat silently trying to look as though she was part of Tazz and Mark’s conversation for the past three hours, truth is though her heart just was not with it. However, moments later the Doctor was talking to the three friends, along with some cuts and bruises Michael had a few broken ribs and concussion. After one night in for observation, he would be allowed home to rest.

“Mr. Cole has been asking for you, do you want to go through…” The Doctor said, as he pointed to Michael’s room across the hall. Angel nodded slightly before looking back to Tazz and Mark gestured for her to go on, walking slowly Angel listened to the Doctor warn that Michael may still be groggy from the anaesthetics and looked worse than he actually was. But no amount of pre warning prepared Angel for her own reactions as she walked into the room, he looked like he had been in the fight of his life; Angel had seen many wrestling injuries in her life but these were more than a little real, so much so that it actually scared her.

“Michael…” Angel softly said, as she approached his side; instinctively taking his hand in her own.

“Hey beautiful…” Michael whispered, as he slowly woke up and smiled wishing he could do more.

“God I’ve been so worried about you, I can’t believe JBL would do this to you! I am so sorry, are you okay?” Angel said softly as she gently stroked his hand, leaning on the side of the bed.

“I’ve been better, I’m just glad you are here…” Michael replied, trying to smile and make light of the strained atmosphere. With silence surrounding them, both knew that something would need to be said; neither could deny their feelings any longer.

“You know I meant what I said back there Michael, I really do like you…” Angel began, not really sure where this conversation was going.

“The feelings mutual beautiful; more than mutual…” Michael began, knowing deep inside that it was now or never.

“In actual fact I never got the chance to tell you that I think I have fallen in love with you…” There was silence between them for a long time, making Michael feel as though he had got it wrong. Then as Angel’s smile became a huge grin, he knew he was right to say something.

“The feelings are very mutual Michael; I fell in love with you the first day we met…” Angel whispered as she softly cuddled up next to Michael, tenderly kissing him on the cheek. Outside Mark and Tazz silently looked on as their friends finally found their voices, looking to each other both knew what the other was thinking.

“We need to work together on this Mark, they need our help…” Tazz began, knowing full well that Mark already knew what he was thinking.

“Guess I best come back to Smackdown then…” He added, as Mark nodded; looking on through the window as Michael rested and Angel watched him.

“Could call for you getting back into wrestling Pete…” Mark replied, aware that JBL would need dealing with in more than one way. It was not that Mark was scared, but he knew that for him to hurt JBL in the way he wanted it was not going to be an easy ride.

As the three friends sat in the hospital room, Mark and Tazz talked while Angel sat watching Michael sleeping.

“So what’s the plan Mark?” Tazz asked, trying not to wake his friend.

“I’m gonna face him at ‘Mania.” Mark said quietly, looking to Angel who looked confused and afraid.

“I know honey, but I need to protect my friend… you are more important than a title!” His voice was soft and gentle; it always managed to sooth her fears.

“He’s not going to get away with hurting you that easily, it is gonna be a fight he is not going to win!” Mark added, as Angel felt Michael stir. Over the following few months while Michael got back on his feet, Mark and Tazz trained together; watching over Angel all the while. For weeks, JBL spouted off about how he had ‘taken Michael Cole out’ and how Angel was easy pickings now, and each time it poured more fuel to Mark’s fire. On the day Michael was due back at work, Angel had taken the day off and spent some much-needed time with him.

Don’t listen to him beautiful; he’s not worth it…” Michael said as he kissed Angel on the neck softly, the two continued to listened to JBL’s latest rant about how much of a coward Taker was and that he had destroyed Angel. Tenderly Michael kissed and caressed Angel’s highly responsive body, no mater how hard she tried to concentrate on making him dinner she could not stop her ever growing desire.

Taking Angel by the hand Michael begun to lead her upstairs, their passion nearing breaking point.

“What about dinner?” Angel managed to breathlessly say, pausing for a moment as Michael took her into his strong arms.

“What about dinner? Forget about it and come to bed…” Michael said softly, looking deep into her eyes; making her all too well aware that this was what they both wanted. Leading Angel into his bedroom, Michael continued to take her breath away as the pair finally gave way to their desires and passions. With Tazz back wrestling on Smackdown and keeping JBL quiet, Mark was left with trying to win the title from Edge. This would be no mean feat especially when Edge had Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, AND Vickie Guerrero was in his corner. Mark knew he had his back against the wall; the only good thing about him facing Edge at the Royal Rumble was that Angel would be with him; no matter what she always had his back and it always instantly made him feel calm. On the day of the Rumble both Mark and Tazz spent the day training in the gym, while Michael and Angel spent some much needed quality time together. The Rumble was being held in St. Louis, MO; only a few miles from where Angel’s family still lived. So taking the opportunity Angel took Michael to meet her family and friends.

“Are you sure your family will like me?” Michael said nervously, as he played with his tie and tried in vain to quell his ever-growing fear in his heart. Catching sight of Angel’s look Michael felt daft as he looked, fiddling nervously with his shirt buttons.

“They’ll love you as much as I do Michael; to them I am just Alex who made something of herself…” Angel said as she pulled Michael into her arms gently, softly stroking his back.

“I love you Alex, you make me feel so much better…” Michael said as, he softly kissed Angel. Knocking on the door Michael stood trying not to fidget too much as Angel introduce him to her family; who of course all stood waiting by the front door.

“Mom, Dad; guys… this is my partner Michael. Michael this is everyone.” Angel said comfortably, it had not been long after the two became lovers that both had felt comfortable calling each other by their real names, and today was no different. Once inside both Angel and Michael relaxed somewhat and both began to enjoy the day, so much so that neither wanted the day to end.

“Didn’t you work with Batista before Taker?” Gabby said, as they sat catching up on old times out on the porch. Angel and Gabby had known each other since birth; both had been born and raised on the same street and had been best friends since both could remember.

“Yeah that’s right; he’s a really nice guy… he just likes to work alone.” Angel said as she nodded and took Michael’s hand, giving it a squeeze gently.

“Gabby should come with us to the show, she’d have a blast…” Michael said, as he headed for the house. Nodding Angel gave Gabby the details of what to do and where to go as she too headed inside and began to get ready for leaving, slipping her arm around Michael; the two say their goodbyes and head off to the arena. As they got ready in their dressing rooms both Angel and Michael had butterflies the size of Texas, both excited and nervous for the same reasons. This was going to be a huge night for all involved, not just for what was at stake either! Tazz had a match against JBL, which thankfully he won. As Tazz showered, Angel and Mark got ready for their match. With both stood waiting by the entrance curtain Angel could feel her nerves playing havoc with her innards, there was no doubt this was the biggest match of her career so far.

“Are you okay honey?” Mark said softly, gently squeezing her hands. All Angel could really do was nod, moments later they were heading out to the ring and the match was underway. The match was pretty much even going in the first few minutes, with neither man seemingly able to get the upper hand. Half way through the match, Taker was knocked from the ring, right in front of Hawkins and Ryder; who were dangerously stalking Mark from either side.

As Angel tried to rush to his aid, Vickie held her back; waiting for her lover Edge to make his move. In Angel’s mind she knew what was going to happen, looking over to Michael she could tell by the look in his eyes that he did too. But then from out of nowhere Tazz came running down to ringside, helping Taker get the upper hand with Ryder and Hawkins. Meanwhile, as Edge came looking for a spear Angel managed to move out of the way at the last minute allowing Taker to haul Edge back into the ring and deliver a huge chokeslam and pick up the win. With Tazz, Mark and Angel all celebrating in the ring Michael sat looking on with a sense of relief; thinking that the friends had now earned themselves a rest. With Tazz already showered, he hung around as Mark and Angel got showered, with the end of the Rumble producing the interesting result of joint winners in Dave Batista and John Cena. As the show finished Gabby managed to find Angel and her friends, as all headed off Michael called Angel over.

“I asked Dave and John to join us for drinks; I hope you are okay with that?” Smiling Angel knew exactly what Michael had in mind, nodding she slipped her arm through his and headed off to a nearby bar; both unaware that JBL would not let either of them rest.

As Angel and Michael sat in the bar they watched on as Gabby spent the night talking with Dave Batista and John Cena sat talking with Tazz and Mark, although they were having fun Michael’s mind was firmly set upon him and Angel spending some more quality time together. There was a look in Michael’s eyes that Angel knew all too well, truth was that she felt it too; so heading over to Dave she pulled him to one side and spoke.

“Listen I am shattered so Michael is going to take me home, will you look after Gabby; you know make sure she gets back home safe and stuff?” Nodding, Dave hugged Angel and promised her Gabby would be safe with him. Pulling Gabby to one side, Angel told her that she was off home with Michael.

“Michael is gonna take me home, Dave said he’d look after you. You be alright sis?” Gabby nodded and looked over to Dave, smiling and licking her lips.

“Don’t worry sis, I’ll be gentle! Have fun tonight, I will…” Giving Angel her trademark wicked smile, Gabby went back to Dave’s side as Michael and Angel headed home.

“She’ll be fine Alex, you know Dave’s a decent guy!” Michael said, pulling Angel into his arms as they walked to his car.

“I know Michael, I just sometimes…” Before Angel could finish her sentence, Michael had pulled her close and laid a soft tender kiss upon her lips. As they pulled apart both smiled, as they head off back to Angel’s unaware that the Rumble was the beginning of the end.

Friday night and as was normal Mark and Angel sat in their dressing room getting ready for their match; they were up against Domino and his new squeeze Maryse. As the two friends sat going over their moves neither had any idea that a backstabbing chairman was on his way to destroy their day, as the two left to grab coffee they bumped into Tazz and Michael heading the same way. As the four friends stood talking they never really noticed the chairman rounding the corner and making a beeline for them, slapping Michael on the back a little harder than he would have liked Vince spoke.

“Glad that I caught you all, I hear you and Cole here are an item?” His question directed towards Angel, but not really allowing her to answer. Mark seemingly knew where this was heading and spoke, raising his voice for the first time in front of Angel.

“What the hell is all this about Vince man, get to the point…” There was an anger and darkness in Mark’s eyes that Angel had not seen before, sure he had his character’s ways sometimes but she had never seen him angry like this before. Angel had no idea what was about to happen, in truth nor did Tazz or Michael. Mark, however knew Vince and his ways all too well.

“Sorry Mark, Alex…” Vince began, trying to sound like he not only cared but also meant it.

“But as of tonight this is your last match together, Alex you’re being drafted back to RAW…” As both Mark and Tazz tried to argue with Vince, Michael and Angel just stood there in shocked silence; unsure not only what to say but also what to do.

With all the arguing that Mark and Tazz were doing neither noticed that Angel had slipped off back to the locker room, bumping into JBL and Victoria as she did so. Blocking her path so she was unable to continue, both Victoria and JBL begun to start on Angel.

“Now that you are going back to where you came from maybe one of the B team will comfort you…” JBL sneeringly said, smirking at how he had just won.

“But don’t worry, a slut like you will always find someone to keep you warm at night…” He continued, getting a little too close for comfort.

“I’m sure Victoria here will keep Michael company, in fact maybe she’ll keep him company tonight…” JBL added, as he looked to Victoria who also gave an evil laugh and smirk. Just as Angel looked like she was about to burst into tears Michelle McCool came round the corner and began to square off against Victoria, backing off JBL headed off as Victoria made a parting comment.

“Don’t work, I’ll look after Cole… More than you ever could.” For a moment Angel managed to hold it together, but then as Tazz’s music hit Angel broke down and cried. Michelle took her friend in her arms and tried to comfort her, praying that Mark would come round the corner soon.

“Hey come on Alex, she’s just a slut that knows nothing… Cole loves you and would never cheat!” Michelle tried to say, breathing a sigh of relief as Mark rounded the corner.

Nodding his thanks to Michelle, Mark gently pulled Angel into his warm embrace as the two friends headed back to their locker room. Both were sat in silence for ages until they were being called out to the ring for their match, with Mark at the door Angel stood for a moment; almost as if she was not sure about anything anymore.

“We’ll find a way sweetheart.” Mark said, as he tried to smile and held out his hand for Angel to take. Although they were due to get the win neither Mark or Angel knew what was happening to them, all either really knew was that they were in the ring and getting pummeled to death. It was Tazz that saw what was happening first, realizing that Vince’s words were affecting both Angel and Mark’s mindsets. With Domino in the ring beating up on Mark, Angel tried to get involved but Maryse had other ideas; knocking her from the ring apron. As Angel landed hard Mark was almost out the ring when Tazz beat him to it, firstly putting Maryse in his trade mark sleeper hold for a few moments. Then as he tended to Angel, a distracted Domino was caught by Mark in firstly a chokeslam. However, not done there, Mark took his anger and frustrations out on Domino by tombstone pile driving him and then giving him the Last Ride before getting the pin. Although he got the win, Mark didn’t care about celebrating but had something on his mind and took the mic.

“JBL… Vince…” Mark began, looking to Tazz who was still holding a hurt Angel in his arms.

“You hurt my friends… You will pay… and Rest. In. Peace…” He continued as he left the ring and took Angel from Tazz’s arms, looking to Michael he nodded almost as an “I promise” to him.

With Angel nursing her aches in silence Mark sat, silently plotting his revenge. Neither had spoken for a long time, even when Tazz walked in they were both still silent.

“I wanted to make sure you were okay Alex…” Tazz began, looking to Mark who was still staring silently into space. Silently Angel shrugged her shoulders, offering a seat to Tazz.

“I also wanted to tell you that Mike headed back to the hotel, he said he was sorry and that he feels all this is his making…” With his words Angel just broke down and cried, bringing Mark from his silence. Glaring at Tazz he sat next to Angel and pulled her gently into his arms, trying to sooth her fears away.

“I’m so sorry Alex, I wish…” Tazz began to say, unable to finish his words as Mark’s dark demeanor made him all too aware that he should leave. Of course in his heart Tazz knew it wasn’t Mark’s fault, he just wanted to protect his best friend. Another person Tazz knew wasn’t to blame was Michael, with an anger he hadn’t felt since his ECW days Tazz began to plot his own revenge. JBL had taken this one too far and now Tazz, and indeed Mark was ready to make him pay. As Michael wrote the note he felt sick, and not just physically either. He loved Angel with all his heart, but this seemed the only way she could find the happiness she deserved. Thanks to him, Angel had lost her momentum; Mark had lost his partner and friend and Tazz had left what he himself had often called home; right now though it was himself that Michael was thinking about. After all he had lost the one thing that made his life complete, he had lost the love of his life. He needed to find a way to make it right; this seemed to be the only way.

Mark had silently walked Angel back to her hotel room, both knew why; and both prayed that neither one was right. Angel needed to be with Michael, she needed to be in his arms and to feel safe. Mark needed to be with Angel, her friendship made him calm; made him not want to go wreak havoc on everyone in the WWE. In his mind, Mark wanted to go beat the holy hell out of JBL, Vince and anyone else he came across. However, in his heart he knew this was the last thing he could actually do, his best friend needed him; and be there he would be. As they reached the door to the hotel room Mark knew something was wrong, when it came to situations Mark always had this amazing sixth sense; he could always tell when something was wrong. It took Angel a while to see the note as she first looked around for Michael, but Mark had seen it the second he had walked in; seemingly knowing it would be there. As Angel searched, Mark just sat there looking at this letter. He already knew it was from Michael, he suspected that it was Michael blaming himself for their predicament and calling their relationship off.

“I can’t find Michael…” Angel began, as she came out of the bathroom and went to pick her cell phone up. Mark sat there and held the letter out for Angel to take, not saying a word; not ready to do so yet.

“What is it?” Angel said, as she took the letter and sat next to Mark.

My darling Alex,

Firstly I am yours forever with an undying love that will stand the ravages of time, no matter what is thrown at it. My love, heart and soul will always be yours; you are my better half and you certainly complete me.

The last thing I want is to walk away from the love of my life, but I cannot help feeling this has all been my fault. I should have known Bradshaw would do this, I guess I should have not fought back. I feel like I have ruined three people’s lives and you know that is not me, or something I want. Mark has lost his friend and partner, you have been taken from something that really worked for you and Tazz has lost what he often calls his ‘home.’ I cannot live with the knowledge that my actions have seemingly caused so much heartache and misery; this is why I write this goodbye to you. Believe me when I tell you this is not how I want things to be, nor is it how I want to end our relationship. Alex my darling after all we have been through, this breaks my heart but I feel it will be for the best. I hope that in time you can find your place again and that all will come good for you, you deserve that and so much more!

Now, as I close this letter to you my love I feel I can rest. I know I will be unable to sleep but at least I can dream of us, of a better time; one where we can be together forever. In another time and place, I know that we shall be together once more; of this, my heart is sure… as sure as the love I hold for you my dear sweet Alexandra. Thank you for all that you are and all that you have been, not just to me but also to the world.

Forever yours with undying love


As Angel finished reading, her heart and soul felt as if it had been ripped from her, for a few moments there was a serene silence between her and Mark; and then her tears fell. Taking her softly in his large arms Mark held Angel as she continued to cry, feeling her warm tears fall onto his solid chest. Trying his best to be all he could for her, Mark silently cursed both Vince and JBL under his breath; promising himself that he would make them pay for the hurt they had caused. He wanted to hate Michael for leaving his best friend like this, but could not; knowing he was not the one to blame for her tears.

“Hush pretty one, I promise I will make things better…” Mark said softly, closing his eyes as the two friends leaned back against the headboard of the bed. Both rested and tried to sleep, both knowing neither would be able to that night. The weekend seemed to consist of Angel crying and trying to sleep, while Mark kept a watchful eye over his friend and tried to plan his next course of action. Monday night came and Angel headed to the arena, trying to be strong and do her job; knowing deep inside it was the last thing she wanted. Sitting alone for the first time in three years, Angel looked around her dressing room wishing she could be anywhere but there. It was not that she hated her job or that she hated the people on RAW, she just wished she was still in the safe comfort and company of Smackdown and Mark. That was her home and where she felt comfortable, this was going to be hell.

“We knew that you’d be back…” Triple H said, looking to HBK who had seemingly appeared from out of nowhere. Although Angel looked up she made no show to acknowledge them, choosing instead to just sigh deeply.

“Yeah, I said to Hunter you couldn’t keep away…” Shawn said, nudging Triple H in the ribs and winking. Sighing deeply once more, Angel was not in the mood for the two former DX members; or their games.

“Look guys, I don’t mean to be rude but I’m not really in the mood…” Angel replied curtly, more coldly than she meant. Getting up she was about to head into the showers when Hunter and Shawn walked in further and sat down on the couch that Angel had just been sat upon, sighing deeply she prayed this would not take long.

“Sorry Alex but me and Hunter can’t do that…” Shawn began, gently pulling Angel back to the couch so she was sat between them.

“Nope, no can do… we are gonna be tagging together in a huge inter~gender tag match.” Hunter continued, putting his arm around Angel protectively. Sighing deeply once more Angel realized she had little choice in the matter, it was not what she wanted but nor was hanging around with people and faking her happiness.

“Look, I really just want to be on my own… come and get me when we are on, I’ll be ready.” Getting up Angel turned her back on Shawn and Triple H, leaving them in no doubt that she was not in the mood. As the two friends took the hint they left Angel alone once more, alone with her thoughts and pain. Angel tried her hardest to shower them away, but truth was she knew deep in her heart that it would be a long time before she could feel again.

Out in the back Shawn and Hunter stood talking with John Cena, their other tag team partner for the evening. Typically the conversation was based around Angel and why she had come back to RAW, even though neither Angel or Michael had gone public on their relationship everyone seemed to know about them; but it was why they had seemingly split that everyone was puzzled about.

“Well I heard it was JBL that got her drafted back here…” John began, as he took a swig from his can of energy drink.

“Dang it I swear that man has a death wish!” He continued, as the others nodded their agreement.

“Yeah, messing with Tazz is one thing; but the Undertaker!!!” Hunter said, knowing all too well that screwing with the Undertaker was a mistake.

“I have to admit its Cole I feel sorry for the most, he has a lotta crap to deal with really…” Shawn said, causing the others to look at him questioningly. Before they could continue, Vince rounded the corner with JBL and Jillian Hall in tow. The three men gave JBL a look of disgust, but before they had the chance to start anything Vince spoke.

“Gentlemen, save it for the main event…” The three men all looked from Vince to JBL as Vince continued, telling them of how this would also be an inter~show match.

“Tonight will not only be an inter~gender eight person tag match but also inter~promotional…” Just as Hunter was about to ask whom else they would be facing Randy Orton and Edge came walking round the corner, in that second Hunter knew he need not ask.

“JBL and Jillian will team up with Edge and Randy, I’m sure you all know each other well?” Vince added as he shook JBL’s, and leaving moments later. All six men had more than a little history and now that Cena had taken the title from Orton and the tag team titles were with Shawn and Hunter, all six men had a lot to fight over. The only two who seemingly had no history was Jillian and Angel, but as all were about to find out this would not be the case for much longer.

“I’m sure that you boys won’t mind Jillian and I saying hello to Angel, I’m sure she’d like to know how well Cole has been looked after!” JBL’s smirk was sending a sick feeling through Cena; Shawn and Hunter, all three wanting to kick JBL’s ass. But it was the dark silent figure of Mark stood in the blackness that felt the most, no one knew he was there; nor would they. Mark had revenge on his mind and nothing would stop him from completing his plans, silently he headed off to Angel’s locker room. Meanwhile all six men looked as though they were about to break into a fight when Vince came back round the corner, almost pulling JBL and the others away; again telling them to save it for tonight’s match.

“I hope Alex is ready for tonight…” Shawn said after their opponents had gone, thinking about how much she would want to kick JBL’s ass.

I hope she can stay calm…” Hunter said, as the three men left to head back to Angel’s locker room.

“I just wish Undertaker was here to get his hands on that asshole…” John said, unaware that his wishes would be coming true sooner than he thought. Mark was already stood silently in the doorway to Angel’s locker room, as she finally emerged from the shower.

Coughing slightly caused Angel to jump but spin round quickly, half expecting it to be Shawn or Hunter again. As she saw Mark her mood changed instantly, she run to his open arms and hugged him deeply.

“Mark!” She exclaimed, as Mark swung her around in his arms; holding her there for as long as he could.

“Baby girl…” Mark said, trying not to let his emotions get the better of him.

“What are you doing here?” Angel asked, thankful that he was here but knowing it never needed to be said.

“I had to come and look out for my angel…” Mark replied, as the two sat on the couch and relaxed. As Shawn, Hunter and Cena walked into Angel’s locker room their shock at seeing Mark was evident. Not that it was a bad thing for him to be there though, Cena wasn’t the only one who would be more than a little grateful for Mark’s presence that night.

“Hey Mark, good to see you.” John said, as he held his hand out boldly. Taking it Mark nodded silently, waiting for the others to sit before he spoke.

“I wanted to come make sure my friend was being looked after.” The four men talked, as Angel sat; just happy to have her friend there. Michael’s name was yet to be mentioned, and Angel suspected this was due to all treading carefully around her.

“How’s Cole doing?” Shawn said, making a ‘what’ gesture to Hunter as Mark glared at him. He was about to apologise when Mark spoke, hoping he was about to do the right thing.

“No one has seen or heard from him since Friday, I don’t think he’s doing too good… there’s talk of him leaving and not being there this coming Friday.”

Mark’s eyes were fixed to Angel’s as the silence descended upon the room, they had all been in a shocked silence for a while until Shawn spoke; not realizing he was seemingly making things worse with each word he said.

“That’s not like him, he’s only ever missed two Smackdown’s; and they weren’t his choosing!” The moment he has said it Shawn realized his mistake, stuttering to find some sort of apology; Mark stopped him.

“It’s cool Shawn, I know what you meant.” Mark tried to smile but knew it would not reach his lips, truth was his best friend was distraught and he wanted; no needed to put things right. As the four men talked Angel sat there in silence, feeling a range of emotions going through her body. She was hurting of course, and that was understandable but now she was worried too; worried that Michael would do something he could regret. Picking up her cell phone Angel made her excuses and headed out of the arena, she knew this could get her shot if Vince found out but somehow that did not matter; all that mattered was Michael. As she headed for the exit, her worst nightmare happened as she got cornered by JBL and Jillian who were coming towards her. As soon as they had her cornered, Angel knew JBL had something in mind to further hurt her.

“How’s Michael?” Jillian said coldly, looking to JBL who had a glint in his eye; one that Angel knew from her past.

“I’m sure Victoria’s keeping him company, I know he likes being comforted by her…” JBL said just as coldly, getting just a little too close for Angel’s comfort. Trying to look around for someone to save her Angel knew she was in trouble when the only people around were the three of them, seeing her look for help JBL stuck the knife in further.

“No one is around; Mark or Tazz can’t save you now… just like your precious boyfriend Michael.” JBL’s words were cold and harsh, but it was Jillian’s next words that almost tore Angel apart.

“He’s too busy with Victoria to care about you bitch…” With a cackling laugh that would live with Angel for the rest of her life, Jillian headed off. JBL was about to follow after giving an evil cold laugh when Angel spoke; causing him to stop.

“Why are you being like this, what did I ever do to you?” Angel’s voice was quiet and timid, just like how she felt.

“Because I can… Michael was and is a nightmare to work with, wanted me to be his friend.” JBL said, as he sneered down his nose at Angel.

“But why take it out on me! Surely if you have beef with him, it is him you need to talk to?” Angel thought she was being logical, JBL had other ideas.

“Now where would the fun in that be? This way I get to hurt Michael even more and break another person’s heart at the same time… I must say you were easier than I thought…” Turning on his heels, JBL’s words were already killing Angel inside and then as he headed off he rubbed salt in the wounds.

“But then, you are an easy slut aren’t you!”

For a moment she just stood there, but as the tears began to fall Angel ran. Ran out of the arena and kept going, not really sure where she was going; just that she needed to go. As soon as Angel got outside the arena it began raining, to her it seemed typical of her life and luck right now. Her heart had been torn out of her chest and was destroyed, of course deep in her heart Angel knew Michael was not with Victoria; but then it was little comfort to a woman who had lost almost everything. With all that she had been through in her life, Angel always relied on two things to keep her going; wrestling and the hope that one day she would find the love of her life. But now her life was seemingly in tatters, she would surely be sacked for leaving like this and as for the love of her life; well she did not even wish to think of that. Angel must have been walking for the past thirty minutes before she stopped, her clothes were soaked right through to her skin but in truth she never really noticed it. The tears she thought would not fall had been falling the moment JBL had left, but with all the rain no one seemed to know that she was in truth crying her eyes out. When Angel finally came to rest she found herself outside the arena once more, sitting down on the edge of a wall Angel wanted to call Michael. She had no idea why or even what she would say, just that she needed to talk; needed to hear his voice. Maybe she just needed to know he was alright, whatever the reason she has to call him; trouble was she was not one hundred percent sure he would want to speak to her.

After about ten times of dialling and the redialing his cell, Angel was about to give up when her cell rang causing her to jump; it was Gabby. At first she began to babble on about how wonderful Dave was and how much she liked him, then she shut up; noticing how unusually silent her best friend was being. This can only mean one thing; Dave was right. Gabby thought to herself as she took a deep breath and tried to broach the subject, looking over to Dave she nodded that he was indeed right.

“Are you okay honey?” They had known each other for so long now that both knew not to beat around the bush when something was wrong, seeing as both would always seek the other out what use would stalling be anyway.

“Not really…” Angel said with a deep sigh, wishing she could stop her tears from falling.

“Want to talk about it?” Gabby continued, wondering if her friend was actually at the arena for RAW that night.

“I want Michael, I miss him…” Angel began, watching as a young couple walked past; feeling the pain in her heart grow even more.

“I don’t want to be here Gabby; I hate this, this… pain!” She continued, trying to find not only her voice but also the right words.

“Mark said Michael’s not been heard from since Friday, and that nobody can find him…” Angel began to broach the subject, she needed to know and find out the truth.

“It’s true Alex, we have all been trying to contact him… me and Dave have spent ages trying to find him.” Gabby said, talking hold of Dave’s hand.

Sighing deeply Angel knew she would have to make that call she had been trying to put off, saying her goodbyes and asking to be kept informed she hung up and dialled Michael’s number. His cell must have gone to answer phone ten times before Angel finally found the words she wanted, and needed to say.

“Michael this is killing me, I love and miss you like crazy. I don’t want this to be the end of us, please call me back so we can talk about this…” Angel finally managed to say, hanging up she headed back to the arena; hoping and praying that she had got away with her moment of absence. Heading to her locker room, she thought of all that JBL had said and vowed to herself that he was not going to win this time.

“I want to get the win over that screeching cat of a bitch Jillian; I want to scratch her God damn eyes out…” Angel said, as she sat down on the couch between Shawn and Hunter; causing all to look suitably shocked. Sensing their questioning looks, Angel preempted them and spoke.

“She’s a bitch; I had her and JBL trying to intimidate me earlier. I am tired of being pushed around; I refuse to let them win!” As the four men smiled and Shawn hugged Angel to him there was a deep relief in all of them, looking to Mark; Angel knew what he was thinking and nodded slightly to him. It was all he needed to be sure that she knew what she wanted, as the five friends chatted

As the four friends got ready to head out to the ring, Mark pulled Angel to one side for a moment.

“Are you sure you are going to be okay out there?” It never ceased to amazing Angel how caring and gentle Mark, this supposed ‘deadman’ was. She always felt safe with Mark, even though she was warned of him when she first went to Smackdown; Angel always felt like she would never need to fear Mark. Nodding, Angel told Mark she would be fine and had the best type of back up a girl could want.

“I’ll be fine Mark; hey I have John; Shawn AND Hunter to look after me!” Angel smiled as she hugged Mark close, of course she knew in her heart that Mark was going to hang around; it was how their friendship worked.

“If you need me, call for me honey and I’ll come running.” Mark said, hugging Angel as if it was for the last time. Nodding Angel need not say anymore, both understood. Angel and John headed to the ring first; the pop that Cena got as he hit the stage was amazing and almost blew Angel’s hearing. Followed by Shawn and Hunter, who did their famous “suck it” routine; which of course Angel and Cena joined in with and totally enjoyed. There was something rather satisfying about hearing 75 and a half thousand people shouting ‘SUCK IT’ as loud as they can, especially when it was Angel that was shouting the loudest. As the match got underway it was Cena squaring off against JBL, in the first few minutes of the match neither man seemed to be getting the upper hand. It was only when JBL was stuck in Cena’s corner that he realized Angel was not going to roll over and die, backing away as she went to slap the taste out of him.

John even managed to get the upper hand a few time on JBL but as he went to finish the match, JBL managed to rake his eyes and get a quick tag to Orton; who of course had a point to prove and quickly began to beat down on Cena. From that moment things looked to be going the other team’s way, with JBL; Edge and Orton singling out Cena for all the punishment. Both Shawn and Hunter had to make the save a few times, but as was Cena’s way he just would not give up and stay down. After tripping JBL up, Cena managed to tag in Hunter who went about beating the holy hell out of JBL. It became pretty much even with all three man on the opposing team being evenly matched with Triple H, it was only when Hunter went for the facebuster on Orton that things changed; with Orton hitting the RKO from out of nowhere and almost getting the win. As Hunter kicked out of the RKO, Orton tagged in Edge who was able to get the upper hand and beat him up even more. If Angel was being honest with herself she would have jumped in the ring and took the loss, it was killing her to see three people who had effectively been dragged into this fight get beaten to a pulp in this way. As Hunter finally managed to get some space between him and Edge, he went to tag in Shawn but JBL and Orton saw this coming and took their own action. Rushing to the other side of the ring, Orton and JBL has taken Cena and Shawn out before they had any clue; and before Hunter could stop them!

To be fair even then and even though he was hurting like hell, Hunter still was not going to let Angel tag in; he may go down but he would go down fighting. And in his mind that was exactly what Hunter was about to do, Angel of course had other plans and tagged herself in. Angel could hear Edge’s sick evil and twisted laugh as she did so, she also heard Hunter begging and pleading with her to get out again. With JR and The King yelling at the top of their voices that this was not a match where woman faced the men, Angel knew that Edge was not about to care. She would have to accept that she was about to get beaten to a pulp, but she just could not allow her team mates get hurt anymore. Thankfully she did not need to face Edge as Hunter began to recover enough to beat him up, and as he was joined on the outside of the ring by the others who were still fighting it was left to Jillian and Angel to continue. As they stood face-to-face Angel could swear she could have heard a pin drop it was that silent, and seemed to be the match everyone wanted to see; not just the fans but the WWE talent too. Neither seemed to want to be the first to make the first move with both women circling each other a few times, looking over to The King and JR Angel could tell by the look in their eyes that she needed to make that sign; she needed to call her best friend. As Angel held her clenched fist aloft the whole arena erupted with cheers and chants for the Undertaker, with Jillian talking trash to Angel all Angel could do was smile; then moments later the lights went out.

The ominous bells sounds as the blackness continued for a few more moments, the silence was only broken by the odd fan cheering for the Undertaker. And then the lights came back on revelling Angel about to covering an unconscious Jillian and the Ref about to make the three count, with Jillian’s team mates trying to get back in the ring and Angel’s partners stopping them; Angel got the win easily. With Jillian being helped out of the ring by JBL and Rated RKO slinking off to lick their wounds, Angel and her team celebrated in the ring; with all four giving their thanks to Taker as they all continued to celebrate as much as they could; enjoying the fact that this had been a good result for all involved. Angel and Cena joined in with the DX crouch chops as they all headed to the back, not realizing that this was only the beginning of Taker’s plans. In the back Mark left his trademark calling card for Angel to find before he disappeared back into the night once more, heading not for his hotel but instead to see Tazz; the two friends had much to talk about still. Meanwhile back in his apartment Michael sat among the mounting empty bottles of Jack Daniels and take away cartons, his heart still broken but thankful he had watched RAW. And more than a little thankful Mark had gone to help Angel, not that he had any doubts Mark would have not been there. As he tried to get up and soon realized he could not, Michael sat back down quickly and picked his cell up. More messages from Pete and Mark, some from JR and even The King; there was a couple of messages from Vince. As he went to throw his cell down, Michael saw that he had voice mail and listened to it.

Michael must have been sat in shocked silence for a while as he never heard his home phone ring the first time, shaking himself too Michael tired once more to get himself up. Only to find that once more he was unable to, now when he really wanted to take action he realized he was far too wasted to actually do anything. In his heart he knew what he wanted to do and indeed say, doing it however was another matter. His hands had been shaking for the past hour and his eyes had not been able to focus properly since his tenth bottle of JD, of course he knew he only had himself to blame; but it still made him feel like crap.

“Damn it, just pull yourself together and call her!” Michael half said and half thought, trying to think himself sober enough to call. He soon realized that he was in no fit state to call her, there was no way she would want to be with a drunk fool like him if he called her now; taking his cell phone Michael called the one person he knew he could rely upon.

“Pete? It is me, please. I need your help, come round.” Hanging up, Michael knew if anyone would be able to help him; it would always be Pete... he had never let him down before. But Michael had no idea that Tazz was going to bring Mark, or that he could actually be saved and helped. Neither Tazz nor Mark had any idea that Michael was in such a bad way, neither had seen him like this before; it was obviously a shock for them both.

“Jeez Mike, you look rough!” Tazz said the moment they saw him, rolling his eyes Michael knew Tazz would not pull any punches he did not deserve.

“Pete, help me please?” Was all Michael could say before he broke down and cried again, nodding to Tazz; Mark began to clean the place up. That day would teach both Angel and Michael that they both had true friends, who would do anything for the pair of them.

As Angel’s partners that evening celebrated back in the hotel Angel did her best to look happy and join in, but truth is this was the last thing she wanted. All she really wanted was Michael, but she felt it was all dead in the water; I mean why else had he not got back to her. The more she thought about it the more it broke her heart and the more she wanted to cry, trying to smile she made her excuses and headed back to the hotel room. Lying in her cold empty faceless bed Angel finally allowed her tears to fall once more, tears she felt would never stop falling. For the past two nights she had not slept and truth be told, Angel doubted if she would be doing so for the next little while. It must have been five in the morning when Angel finally felt tired, but of course she had to be up in an hour so what good would sleep be now anyway! But as she closed her eyes for a moment, Angel’s mind was intent on sleeping. It was only the sound of her cell ringing that saved her from missing the plane, as she answered her cell Angel knew she was about to miss her flight.

“Alex baby?” She knew instantly his voice, she could also tell he was not doing too good.

“Michael?” Was all Angel could manage to say, trying not only to focus but also wake up fully.

“I need to see you.” Was all Michael could say, it was not all he wanted to say; but right at that moment in time it was all he could say. Although all Angel could do for a moment was nod, but quickly realized he could not actually see her.

“Please, Mark knows which hotel.” Was all Angel could really say, as she tried to still her increasing heartbeat.

“Open the door…” Was all that Michael could say, praying he was sober enough for this. Within seconds Angel had the door open and proceeded to stand there silently looking at Michael for a few minutes, seemingly both seemed content to stay like this but Mark and Tazz had other ideas.

“Can we come in Alex?” Tazz said, knowing she probably would not hear him. Regardless of if she had or not, Angel moved aside and allowed the three men to walk in. Hugging Mark and then Tazz, Angel stood silently for a few moments; unsure if she should be holding Michael again. She had no idea that while she was uncertain he was feeling the same way, worried that she would see he had been on a huge bender all weekend.

“How have you been Alex? I saw the match…” Michael finally said, lying slightly; hoping she would understand and not notice.

“Been better, how about you?” Was all Angel could say, knowing full well that he had been drinking all weekend. To both Tazz and Mark this display of restrained affection was agony to watch and be part of, both understood why Angel and Michael felt this way; and both hated it. As Michael and Angel tried to talk and skirt around things, Tazz did all he could to get them both some much-needed time off; calling Linda knowing she was the one they needed. Meanwhile Mark sat, awkwardly wishing the two would make up.

“Damn it Cole…” Mark said finally, as he got up and headed towards the bar; leaving Tazz alone with the two awkward friends.

“I guess he has a point…” Michael began to say, as the door slammed behind Mark.

“Yes he has Mike, I have got you both a week off; make the most of it hey!” Tazz said curtly as he too headed for the bar, leaving Michael and Angel alone.

“You know that I love you Alex…” Michael began, gently taking Angel by the hand.

“I know Michael, I know. And you know I feel the same way about you.” Angel replied, as she enjoyed Michael’s touch again.

“I know honey, I just can’t see how we can win against someone like JBL.” Michael answered, as they walked over to the bed.

“We cannot let him win Michael; we have to find a way to win.” Angel noticed how neither wanted to let the other go; taking a bold step Angel pulled Michael into a close embrace, thankful he made no show to pull away.

“God, I’ve missed you Alex; it’s been agony!” Michael whispered into Angel’s soft brown hair, sighing deeply as he began to relax.

“Oh Michael, the feeling is more than a little mutual.” Sighed Angel, not willing to let Michael go now she had him in her arms once more. As the two lay close together on the bed, that weekends events quickly catching up with them; the two fallings asleep within seconds of each other. A few minutes later Tazz and Mark had arrived back to check on the two friends, smiling and letting themselves out moments later.

For the next week, Angel and Michael became closer finally being able to spend the time together that had seemingly escaped them. Being able to be with the man she loved gave Angel something of a new lease of life, for Michael the week was what he needed not only to get sober but also to find himself again. During their much needed time away from the ring both Michael and Angel found out they had so much in common, they also began to realize that their love and emotions could not be broken by someone like JBL. Meanwhile as Michael and Angel were spending time together, Mark and Tazz were putting into practice the next part of their plan. Truth was that after what Vince and JBL had put both Angel and Michael though, Mark was more than a little eager to make them pay. But of course he needed to be smart about things, and needed help if he was going to get his wishes.

“So that’s my plan Pete.” Mark said cautiously, as the two friends sat in Mark’s locker room on Friday night; the two friends getting ready for the show.

“And you think we can make it work?” Tazz asked, it was not Mark he doubted, he just knew what both Vince and JBL could be like. All Mark did was nod for a moment, taking a piece of paper out of his bag and handing it over to Tazz.

“I sent this to Linda; she agreed that what happened was beyond a joke.” Mark continued as Tazz read the letter and its contents, looking up once he had finished.

“I’m in…” Was all Tazz needed to say, he knew that if Linda was on their side it could not fail.

“We just need to get DX, Cena and Batista in too...” Mark said, looking to Tazz for a moment. Tazz smiled and took his cell out, speaking as he dialled the number.

“Don’t worry about that, I know they’ll be up for it.” Looking to Tazz who smiled as he spoke to the person he had called, Mark began to write down what he wanted to say in the ring. He never normally wrote down his speeches, normally because he never really made them; but tonight was different than normal. He was nervous as heck and knew that the night he delivered it was his one shot at getting justice for Michael and his friend, looking over his written notes Mark was happy with it all.

“They are all in Mark.” Tazz said, sitting down next to his friend.

“This is gonna take a lot of hard work, Pete you sure we can pull this off?” Mark said after a long time of silence, finally admitting to himself that he had doubts and fears.

“You care about Alex as much as I do Mike?” Tazz replied, watching as Mark nodded silently.

“Then it’ll work.” Tazz replied, smiling slightly as he headed off to get read for the evening’s matches. As Mark was about to head to the canteen Linda McMahon rounded the corner and pulled him to one side, at nearly 7ft tall Mark easily towered over Linda. Had this been any other women, she would have been too scared to speak as the two stood intimately close; and had it been any other man Linda would have been scared beyond belief. But somehow after all he had been to not only the company but also Linda, there was no way she needed to fear this man in front of her.

“Thank you for your letter Mark, I meant what I said when I agreed with you; it is a joke this should be happening.” Linda began, wondering what Mark had in mind. Taking a deep breath, she knew from previous experience that Mark could be hard to talk to so not waiting for an answer she continued.

“How can I help you Mark?” Although Mark and Vince had not always seen eye to eye on things he always went to him for matches etc, so now for him to be asking her made Linda aware that it was something major.

“Vince in a match, and for Angel back on Smackdown.” His answer was short and to the point, he had known Linda a long time; long enough to be totally honest with her. Swallowing hard Linda understood totally why, but it was not to say that she liked it. The ideal of her husband being in a match with the Undertaker, was something of a worry to her.

“Mark, you know this puts me in an almost impossible situation…” Linda said rather than asked, watching how all Mark did was to nod. Sighing deeply Linda knew his mind had been set, but she also knew this was not all on his mind.

“What else Mark?” Both knowing that neither needed to be shy around the other, truth was that despite what people saw on screen Mark was one of the few people Linda ever saw out of character. Mark was notorious for playing his character all the time; on and off camera, but away from the ring only a handful of people ever saw the real Mark. Linda was one, Mark’s family the other. But now seemingly Angel had become one of those few people who saw Mark for who he really was, now he needed to make things right for her.

“I want JBL’s head for what he has been putting Angel and Michael through, and I want Angel back on Smackdown with me and Michael; whatever it takes.” Linda knew Mark’s heart was set on getting what he wanted, there was little point in trying to talk him out of it. Although if she was being honest with herself she did not feel like changing his mind, she had watched week in and week out how JBL had bullied and destroyed both Cole and Angel. Although Linda had not had many dealings with Angel she knew that what she saw was who Angel really was, and Michael; well Linda had known Michael for years. It was Michael who bravely and valiantly came to her rescue one night when she had been cornered by some over excited fans, after Vince had his ankle broken Linda was looking after the show while he was in hospital. With the show over and the keys to their car in Vince’s pocket Linda tried to get through the fans and to the waiting car nearby, but a few fans became a little hyperactive and began to harass her. As if he was some kind of hero, Michael sorted the fans out and also helped Linda get to the hospital; ever since that day Michael had always held a special place in her heart. She cared not only for Michael but also ALL her talent, if Mark wanted her back and some payback; then that’s what he’d get.

“Whatever you want, it is yours; you have it.” Was all Linda could say, sighing deeply as she looked into the questioning eyes of Mark’s.

“You know what that means right?” Mark said softly, wanting to make sure Linda knew what he wanted. As Linda nodded Mark nodded back and turned silently to leave, waiting for a moment before Linda spoke once more.

“Inter~promotional, inter~gender tag match…” Of course in her heart Linda knew what was coming, but she needed to make sure; for everyone’s sake.

“JBL, Rated RKO, Jillian, Kenny and Vince. Against DX, Cena, Batista, myself and Angel.” Mark replied, before walking off silently. As Linda let the shock set in Mark was already in the canteen having a coffee when Tazz came and asked him how it went, the two men sitting out of the way as they talked.

“Well Pete, its all been given a green light.” Mark said, already aware that JBL and Jillian had walked into the room. Mark could feel his blood boil and anger rise, he knew deep inside what it was; but hated himself for it nevertheless.

“When Mark?” Tazz asked, seeing the look in his eyes and knowing instantly what Mark saw.

“I never told Linda…” Mark began, silently keeping an eye on JBL who to be fair had been doing the same since they walked in.

“I was thinking of Wrestlemania?” Mark softly whispered to Tazz, not wanting JBL to know before later that night. His plan was to surprise JBL later that night but throughout the night he would, of course play his mind games. Mark liked being who he was, he got to mess with people’s mind. In real life people believed that Mark was much like his character, so why prove them wrong was Mark’s philosophy. Just like many believed Tazz to be an angry thug, people believed what they wanted and so both Tazz and Mark let them. Of course in reality Tazz was a loving husband and father who had always had a soft side, Mark was always going to be a mystery to everyone around him.

But from that first day he had met Angel, Mark knew she would be the one he could be himself around. As Tazz talked and Mark tried to listen Jillian knew from the look Mark was giving her and JBL that they would all have to pay for what had happened, no matter what she had stuck by JBL; even when she thought he was wrong. She stayed because she loved him, she thought; in time he would love her. In her heart of hearts though, she knew he could never love her. So now as Jillian sat feeling the Undertaker’s eyes upon her, she began to wonder if it was all a big mistake.

“John, I know you said you know what you are doing; but are you sure?” Jillian said timidly, her skin crawling from the look Taker was giving her. Within seconds Jillian found it was JBL and not Taker she should be afraid of, almost jumping out of his seat he spoke angrily at her.

“What’s the matter Jillian, don’t you think I can beat the Undertaker?” JBL’s anger was more than evident, his nostrils flaring like a horse on Viagra.

“Just remember your goddamn place bitch, I made you and I can break you just as easily!” He continued before stomping off and leaving Jillian alone, and almost in floods of tears. Mark being the smart man he was had taken all this in, looking to Tazz who had just turned back spoke.

“Go after her and make sure she is okay Pete.” Tazz was about to question him as to why, but realized by Mark’s look that he knew what he was doing. Jillian had almost got back to her locker room before Tazz had the chance to catch up with her, she sure runs fast Tazz thought as he finally caught hold of her.

“I saw what happened back there in the canteen…” Tazz began, trying not to seem obvious; after all Jillian was already looking at him with doubt and questioning.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay, he’s an ass to take his anger out on a pretty lady…” Tazz tried the subtle flirting approach, hoping it would work.

“I just think he took it one too far with Cole and Angel, are they okay?” Jillian replied, smiling slightly seemingly genuinely concerned about them.

“Cole’s in a bad way, Angel too; we’ve all been knocked sideways.” Tazz replied honestly, trying to gauge Jillian’s reaction.

“Jillian, are you sure you are okay, he was way outta line talking to you like that.” Tazz asked softly, gently putting a hand on her shoulder. Smiling at him, Jillian nodded and assured him she was okay.

“I’m sorry about Angel and Cole, they seem really suited to each other.” Jillian said, as they said their goodbyes and parted company. Tazz headed off to find Mark, while Jillian’s nightmare was just about to get worse. As she got ready for the shows taping, Jillian heard JBL’s voice outside her door.

“Aww come on baby, you know I never meant what I said…” His voice soft and tender, not like earlier.

“You know how I feel about you beautiful…” She could hear the smile in his voice, there was something about his voice that drove Jillian wild with passion. Inside she knew he was a loving man, it was just the fans could not see what she saw.

As she opened the door Jillian came face to face with JBL talking to Layla, as JBL looked around he caught sight of Jillian’s love sick smile and smirked.

“What, you thought I’d want a slut like you?” Turning around JBL continued with his conversation leaving Jillian heartbroken and wanting revenge, the same revenge that Mark and Tazz seemingly wanted. She must have sat crying in her locker room for ages when the door silently swung open and Mark walked in, as was his way he managed to enter silently and had been there for a few moments before she looked up still sobbing. Strangely Jillian wasn’t afraid of him, she just blinked a few times and continued to silently sob into her hands. Feeling compelled by something that he could not control, Mark needed to comfort her; placing an arm around her softly as he sat down next to her. Why do I not feel scared? How can this be? Was all that Jillian could think as she began to stop her tears falling, looking up into Taker’s eyes she saw something she never thought she would find; compassion.

“I want revenge, I’ll do whatever it takes.” Was all Jillian said, breaking the silence that she had been in since he arrived. Nodding Mark understood and got up to leave, pausing for a moment at the door to speak.

“I’m sorry he hurt you, thank you.” Mark was always a man of little words, but everyone knew that what he said he meant. Trying to smile Jillian continued to get ready, unsure how Taker would make JBL pay; but knowing she would help no matter what. As the taping got underway the night was filled with many of Taker’s games but also many shocks and surprises, especially when towards the end of the night JBL came out with Jillian and Rated RKO by his side. Standing in the ring JBL spouted off about how he had single handily had rid Smackdown of both Angel and Michael, he the continued to say how he had also got rid of the legend they called Undertaker.

Before he had the chance to go any further the lights had gone out and the fans were on their feet screaming for the Undertaker, seconds later as the ominous bells toll the fans know they are getting what they want. However, as Taker’s music played and he never showed everyone in the arena, and those in the ring looked around to try understand. Then up on the titron a video began to play, many had seen this type before. It began as some dark images flashed on the screen and began to flicker with images of the Undertaker, then one image came on the screen. It was of those in the ring; JBL, Rated RKO and Jillian. With Taker ready to give his speech, the picture of the four in the ring was almost doused in some form of red oozing liquid. By now the arena had a good idea what it meant, but JBL was being his defiant self and began to spout off again.

“You think I’m scared of this little parlor game, do you know who I am?” JBL had no idea that Taker could hear him, nor did the others.

“A Dead man walking…” Taker said the menace in his voice obvious; the fans all screaming for Taker.

“JBL… Orton… Edge… You all will Rest. In. Peace.” Taker’s words chilled the air, as the photograph appeared to set light to itself. The only ones Taker had not mentioned was Vince and Jillian, all in the ring thought that was a good thing; everyone else knew better.

On the screen came a picture of Vince alone, it was a picture that no one had seemingly seen before. As the fans; and many superstars assumed, Taker would be saving something special for Vince. But in truth it was only Vince that need to worry, as his picture suffered the same fate as the one previous; Taker spoke once more.

“Vince, for your sins; you need to be punished… everyone will suffer for what you have done…” As Mark’s voice became colder and darker the fans went wild, but no one knew what Taker was about to do; or say for that matter.

“You cannot run and can no longer hide, your life belongs to me now; do not fight it, give in to the dark side.” With Mark’s last words there was a chill in the air that could not be mistaken. The arena went pitch black again for a few moments, then as the lights came back on Jillian was out of the ring and nowhere to be seen. But more disturbingly as the arena was filled with Taker’s trade mark purple blue light and then those in the ring was covered in this blood type liquid, as the dark images of death and the Undertaker flashed up on the screen and began to flicker the image of those in the ring; and Vince came onto the screen. In blood like liquid written across the picture was the words; WRESTLEMANIA. It was followed by their names and the type of match; JBL, RATED RKO, VINCE. All followed with the words that filled fear into ever one in the whole arena, and every superstar who dared to stay tuned; HELL IN A CELL!

“Oh shit, we are in trouble.” Randy said as he turned to see his partner Edge’s face drained of its entire colour, neither man wanted this match; but thanks to JBL and his big mouth they had to fight.

As they all split up, JBL was left trying to find Jillian; not that he really cared about her. As he stood covered in this sticky bloody liquid JBL began to think of Layla and soon forgot all about Jillian, watching how easily she was tossed aside by JBL Rated RKO knew this was not their fight. With JBL looking for Layla and Rated RKO talking about how they get out of this mess, Mark stood smiling; knowing it would only be a matter of time. With Jillian sat in Tazz’s dressing room she began to ponder what would happen next, she had seen the images and heard Taker’s words; she would be lying if she had said she was not scared.

“Taker’s going to destroy JBL isn’t he?” Jillian said, after a long time of silence. Tazz looked at her for a moment, thinking how to reassure her and also keep her onside.

“Mark wants to protect his friends, that’s all. Why do you care about a man that doesn’t care for you Jillian, he’s not looking for you is he?” Tazz started to say, taking a deep breath and telling her the truth.

“If it was me, I would have been protecting you not cowering in the corner… and I would have been to find you by now!” Turning away, Tazz hoped she would understand and help them out. Smiling Jillian headed over to where Tazz stood unaware, within seconds she had laid a soft gentle kiss upon his cheek; blushing as he looked around with shock.

“Thank you.” Was all she said, and all she could say as Mark walked in. There was something about his demeanour that was different to the man who both had seen earlier, neither spoke allowing Mark to do what he needed to do.

“Pete, make sure Jillian get’s back alright.” Was all he said as he grabbed his bags and left, not stopping to add anything else. Shrugging their shoulders Tazz nodded to Jillian, who seemed happy he was with her; thankful he was a soft tough guy.

In truth it wasn’t that far to Jillian’s hotel, but nevertheless Tazz made sure she was in her room safely. He could not explain why, but he did not want to leave her alone. He had never looked twice at Jillian before, and he knew she would be okay alone; so why did he feel like he had to stay.

“Look, do you mind if I stay for a while; I just would feel better knowing you were safe.” Tazz said, looking into the eyes of a woman who seemed to need him.

“Please stay Ta… Pete.” Jillian said, she could not explain it; but she felt like a child who needed to be looked after and protected. Taking off his jacket, Jillian fixed them both a drink as both tried to relax. Handing him the drink, Jillian was not prepared for her emotions to play tricks on her as their hands touched; somehow that night their drinks went untouched.

“Mark, please… promise me you won’t hurt him that much?” Linda said, almost as if she was begging him; Mark smiled. Linda had seen, like all the other superstars and fans how Taker acted that night. In her heart she knew Mark was not going to really hurt anyone, but in her mind she also saw the look in his eyes; she knew something was up.

“Mark, what are you hiding? I know you… something is wrong.” Linda said softly, knowing to tread softly around Mark at times like this. His eyes were dark and filled with something she had never seen before, it was like a controlled rage.

“Please Linda, just sign the match.” Was all Mark said, his mind focused and filled with what was best. Nodding Linda made the match and sighed deeply, she knew she could have just signed her husbands own death warrant. As she looked away for a moment, Linda looked back only to find Mark’s calling card; a single black rose.

“Oh please God, no.” Linda said softly, putting her face in her hands and sobbing silently.

Angel and Michael had no idea when they got back to their respective brands just all that had been happening, Tazz had spent the night with Jillian and Mark had seemingly turned into a heel. With no real idea what to do or what was happening to Mark, Angel would seek out Cena to find friendship with.

“So have you heard from Mark?” John said as the two began to get ready for their tag team match, since coming to RAW both Cena and Angel had become really close. Not that Cena would ever admit that to Mark, everyone on all brands knew that Angel was Mark’s girl. As strange as that sounded, every time Angel heard it said; it felt right and almost second nature.

“I have no idea what is happening John, I just hope he is okay.” Angel said as she shook her head, sighing deeply.

“What about No Way Out?” John said, knowing that there was no way Taker would let Vince and JBL have any peace. Shrugging her shoulders, Angel knew what Mark was like and assumed he had something planned for No Way Out too; not that she knew what it would be until the day of the show.

“Maybe he’ll bring the Hell In A Cell match forward?” John half said and half-thought, as he headed off to get coffee; leaving Angel alone with her thoughts and concerns.

“Ohh Mark, please be okay…” Angel whispered out loud, unaware that he could not only hear her but also see her. Reaching out as if to touch her, Mark cursed himself silently as he quickly snapped his hand back. His heart was breaking and the one person that he could tell was the one person that could stop it, she was also the one person he could not tell.

As Angel headed off to the canteen her mind was still on Mark, so much so that she did not notice Vince power striding towards her; closely followed by Linda.

“How dare you try bully your way into getting back onto Smackdown?” Vince boomed towards her, Angel not realizing it was actually her he was talking to.

“I am the boss and the chairman, I tell YOU what to do; not the other way round…” Vince continued, seemingly as mad as hell. To be fair as Angel tried her best to figure out what she had done, Linda did all she could to pull Vince away.

“Vince, leave her alone; she doesn’t know!” Linda looked at Angel and sort of apologized as she tried to lead Vince away, leaving Angel very confused. In truth she understood, but had no real idea why Vince seemingly had it in for her.

“I’m sorry he’s just in a blind panic about the match he talked himself into…” Linda began as Vince had power walked off too harass someone else, in truth Linda felt this was all Vince’s doing as usual; but he would never listen.

“It’s just Mark has seemingly gone into a controlled rage and Vince is worried…” Linda continued, hoping this would get Angel to understand.

“I didn’t know Linda, I have not been able to speak to Mark…” Angel said realizing something was indeed very wrong, hoping Mark would not do anything either would regret.

“I care so much about Mark Linda, I don’t want anything to happen to him!” She added, as Linda headed off to try control Vince. Both Cena and Angel had a good night, everything had gone well and both headed off to their hotel.

“Can I ask you something Alex?” Cena tenderly asked, hoping he was not about to step over the mark. Nodding, Angel said yes as Cena spoke again.

“Why Cole? I mean, why did you choose him.” Shyly smiling, Angel tried to let out a laugh; easing the tension she was feeling.

“Well John, I like the person he is. He’s a nice guy, and sensitive too!” Angel paused as she smiled, the sound of Michael’s name coming from her lips bringing warmth to her heart she had been missing for a long time..

“I love the way he makes me feel, and the feeling I get when I think of him… Does that make sense?” Angel continued, looking to John who was silent for a while before nodding.

“I understand, I just thought you would have found that with Mark… he seems to have found that in you.” The moment he had said it, John regretted it.

“I’m sorry, I should not have said anything.” He apologized, before leaving. Angel must have sat in a shocked silence for a good hour before she realized her cell phone was ringing, shaking herself too as she answered it.

“Hey beautiful, just wondered if all is okay? I tried calling a while ago and you never answered.” His voice was soft, warm and full of concern; smiling at the sound of his voice Angel spoke.

“Everything is just fine Michael, just missing you. Have you heard from Mark or Tazz?” She had to ask, she needed to know.

“I was just about to ask you the same, it is as if they have just disappeared off the face of the earth!” Michael answered, as they talked; well in truth he talked she listened, Angel’s mind went back to what John had just said. For the first time since they had met, Angel actually doubted herself. Was her friend and a man; up until moments ago she would have called her hero actually more than that. But now as she sat there, her mind on another man as she tried to talk to her boyfriend; Angel was not sure of anything. Before she knew what was happening Michael had hung up and she was trying to sleep, not really sure if she would actually be getting any. Realizing that sleeping would be nigh on impossible, Angel called Mark’s number; not sure what to say only that she needed to say something.

“Please Mark; pick up so I know you are alright, I am worried about you…” Angel left the self same message on Mark’s answering machine that she had been leave for the past three weeks, still she had not heard from him. In truth Angel was now more worried about Mark than what Cena had said, she knew he could be notoriously devoid of human emotions; but Angel always felt as though this was just his stage character. He had never been like this with her, they had known each other three years; and in those three years she always felt like he had been able to be himself around her. But now, this was different; he was being too much like the “Lord of Darkness” character he had portrayed years before. That man was certainly a heel and, by all accounts a nasty piece of work; surely this was not happening again? Guess we’ll find out at No Way Out, Angel thought to herself as she got ready to head for Smackdown.

Even though she was no longer part of Smackdown, truth was that Angel never missed a broadcast. Partly due to Michael but also because she genuinely loved the shows, but this week she would wish she had not tuned in. As soon as the show kicked off Vince was in the ring with JBL, demanding that Cole join them in the ring… With Tazz knowing this could be trouble he tried to go with Michael, but was stopped by Edge and Orton; in truth they didn’t want to be here but had their orders.

“Where’s your girlfriend Cole?” JBL began, sneering down his nose at Michael who was scared to death by this point.

“Oh that’s right, I helped get rid of her sorry ass didn’t I?” He went on, backing Michael into the ring corner. All Michael could do was timidly stand there as he continued to get bullied by JBL, praying that he would not have to fight back again.

“Think your friend Tazz can help you?” JBL asked, as Michael looked over to his friend only to see him being beaten by Orton and Edge. Tazz tried to fight back, and to be fair neither Orton nor Edge really wanted to mess with Tazz.

“Tazz, if you fight back I’ll fire both of you. Now kick his ass you two!” Vince demanded, enjoying how Edge and Orton almost destroyed a defenseless Tazz.

“What about your new friend Undertaker huh, you think he is gonna save your sorry ass?” JBL continued, grabbing Michael so he was forced to watch Tazz being beaten.

“Taker, you wanna play games with me?” JBL began, kicking Michael to the ground for a moment while he continued.

“I’m gonna take everything you care about, and kill it. You will regret calling me out boy!” His words harsh and meant, as he watched Michael get up slowly JBL told Vince and Taker to watch. Seconds later JBL was hitting Michael with his clothesline from hell move, very fast and very hard.

Angel knew he was unconscious the second he had hit the ground, and with it came her tears; watching as JBL spat on him for good measure and left the ring with Vince. With Orton and Edge not sure what to do, they watched on as Tazz rushed to the ring; trying to bring his friend round. As Michael came round he already knew Angel had seen what happened, begging Tazz to make sure she was okay. With Linda and others rushing to his side, Michael tried his best to be strong. In the back all that Michael wanted to know was if Tazz and Angel were okay, while all Angel wanted to know was why Mark had not come out to help him.

“Is Pete okay Linda? What about Angel, I know she saw tonight.” Michael managed to breathlessly say as he coughed and spluttered, holding onto Michael’s hand all Linda could do was look on helplessly; cursing her husband’s choices. With Tazz being patched up in another trainer’s room, Jillian silently slipped inside. Before he had the chance to say anything Jillian had softly kissed him upon the lips, letting him know firmly that the night they had spent together was not a one off.

“I’m so, so sorry Pete…” Jillian said as she began to softly kiss his wounds better, outside Orton and Edge made sure Tazz and Jillian had sometime together.

“We have to get out of this Randy…” Edge began, looking to his friend. Both men had, at one time or another made a name for themselves as being outrageous; but even they both had to admit that this was taking things one too far.

“And how the hell are we meant to go against Vince? He’s got that damn bee in his bonnet now!” Orton replied, not wanting to loose his job now he had a family to take care of.

In some dark secluded part of the building Mark watched all that had unfolded, hating himself for letting Michael and his friends go through this. Inside his heart was in turmoil, he wanted to say so much but knew he could not. He knew how much pain Angel would be in having to watch Michael and Tazz get destroyed, he knew that she was hurting from not having spoke to him for such a long time. In truth it had been the worst four weeks of Mark’s life, but he knew deep inside it was for the best. To win the matches he had asked for and to get what he wanted, Mark had to be the man he feared deep down inside. He had been sat there with the silver jagged edged dagger in his hands for the past four hours, knowing what needed to be done; but still not wanting to do it.

“I have no other choice, to get my revenge I have to be that beast once more.” Mark thought to himself, he was all too aware of what this would mean; but he had to take the risk. Make hated playing the Lord of Darkness character, he hated the way that Undertaker cared for nothing and no one. But his heart was going through more than that, his heart longed for what he could not possess. Angrily he wiped at his eyes, not willing to allow a tear form let alone fall. As he Mark began chanting words in an ancient language long dead and long forgotten, he knew what he needed to do next. Taking the cold hard silver dagger, he ran the blade across his wrist; letting the blood drain slowly into the silver chalice beneath his hand. Once the chalice was full to the brim, Mark took off his black wrestling shirt and laid it upon the cold hard floor.

“Rise my minions, my Druids; rise!” Mark said as he poured the deep red bloody liquid from the chalice over his shirt, watching how it began to smoke and become surrounded with a dense white fog.

“Come forth from the depths of Hell and do my bidding…” He continued, the fog growing thicker as one after another cloaked demonic figures came from the darkness and began to surround The Undertaker. Each were clothes in the usual black hooded robes, Undertaker peered into the hoods and saw nothing.

“You are the first of my Ministry, now go and collect me more unfortunate souls…” He commanded, as they seemingly just vanished into thin air.

“I… I am the Lord of Darkness…” He said aloud, his voice steady even though his hands were not. In the back of his mind he could see Alex, he could see her sad smile and beautiful eyes; he knew she would be the one to save him… IF she could survive him! With the dagger now in his big hands once more, Undertaker knew what he had to do now. He placed the tip against his bare chest and dragged it slowly down and then quickly across, making a T shape in his chest. The cuts were deep and his breathing became irregular as the pain passed over him in waves, blood began dripping from the wounds as he watched it pool in the floor at his feet; it became hard for him to focus but he had to finish. Holding his breath, he cut and X shape across the lower part of the T; finishing the symbol and falling to the cold hard floor. He found the coldness of the hard floor soothing against the burning pain that coursed throughout his aching body, something in his mind; or maybe his heart stopped him for a moment. It told him to think before giving his soul for revenge, to think about the one he loved more than life itself. Maybe it was something in his heart that told him he might not be able to come back from this, what if the blackness took the one who could save him.

All Angel wanted to do was go to Michael’s side; all she could do was sit there and watch everything unfold. Even after Smackdown had gone off the air Angel was still sat looking helplessly at the blank fuzzy screen in front of her, a million and one questions going through her mind all at once; none of them making even the slightest bit of sense. But as Mark entered her thoughts she knew that something was wrong, something had changed that night. Now her mind was filled with why he had not run out to save Tazz or Michael, they were all meant to be friends. She trusted Mark with her life, and felt that he would always protect her. Why then, would he not save her now? That night Michael had left her, Mark was the one there to sooth her fear and dried her tears; this man who never came to help was not Mark seemingly. And then her thoughts began to turn to what John had said, surely if Mark loved her he would have stopped her friends from getting hurt. He would have wanted to stop her tears, which Angel knew were very closer to falling; her heart was being torn apart and she had no idea why let alone if she could stop them. Moments later all she could hear was her cell phone ringing, picking it up the voice on the other end told her all she needed to know.

“What happened sis?” Gabby had, much like most of RAW been watching events unfold; she knew her friend was hurting.

“I don’t know Gabby, I really don’t know.” Was all Angel could managed to say, as she tried to understand.

“Where are you staying? Dave said he’d come pick you up; neither of us want you to be alone…” Gabby said, who looked to Dave; already stood with his cars keys in his hand and ready to go.

“I don’t need to fear JBL or Vince; neither of them know where I am…” Angel began to say, before Gabby cut her off.

“It’s not them we are worried about, it’s Mark…” The fear in Gabby’s tone was unmistakable, for the first time Angel actually felt fear; albeit for a split second.

“Oh come on, why would I need to fear Mark? He’s always been the one man I could rely upon!” In truth though, Angel was scared. Although Mark had never shown her any cause to be afraid, there was no denying that something was not the same. Mark was no longer the person Angel thought he was, had he been there was no way he would have let Michael or Tazz get hurt. Sighing deeply, Angel agreed to staying with Gabby and Dave until No Way Out.

“You don’t really believe Mark would hurt me do you Sis?” Angel asked as the two best friends spent the night talking, with Dave protectively watching over them from in the kitchen.

“Truth is I no long know what to believe, this is so not like the man I met…” Gabby replied, looking over to Dave who smiled a genuine smile.

“For three years I worked with Mark, he never once gave me cause or reason to fear him!” Angel replied sadly, trying to understand what was going on.

“I know sis, I know… but you have to remember this isn’t Mark, this is not your friend.” Was all Gabby could say, as Angel broke down and cried; tears for Mark, Tazz and Michael, but also tears for herself.

All had gone well in the run up to No Way Out, angel had been well looked after by Cena, Batista and DX; all promising to be there if she needed a friend. For the actual show Cena and Batista teamed up with DX, to take on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase; and two opponents of their choosing. But with Angel in their corner it would be Cena and his teammates who thought they had the upper hand, little did they know it would take one calling card from Mark to change that. Angel was already settled into her locker room when Cena came by, asking if all was alright and if she wanted company.

“I know you can look after yourself, but what kind of friend would I be if I did not worry?” John said, as he smiled and sat next to Angel.

“I know John, and thank you. I appreciate it.” Angel said softly as they talk in general and began to get ready for their match, soon however they were being joined by Batista and Gabby. The three friends spent a lot of time together chatting away and enjoying each other’s company, in truth it was all to help Angel forget about all that had been happening. As the show began JBL came out to loud boos and jeers, standing in the ring glaring down at Michael who almost cowered behind Tazz; and began to call the Taker out.

“I thought tonight would be the perfect night for me to get rid of you Undertaker once and for all…” JBL began, seemingly ultra confident.

“I’m ready to end this once and for all Taker, are you?” He went on, taking hold of a shovel from his big stretch limo; he told Mark of his plans.

“So this is how it goes, you and me. Buried Alive match. I know you like these matches, but I think you’ll find I always get what I want.” With his evil smile everyone knew he had something up his sleeve, had they been talking Angel would have begged Mark not to take the match.

“Oh and Taker, it’s for the title. If I win I get your title and you leave, if you win… well that won’t happen, so I won’t bother telling you.” JBL headed to the back, feeling like he had just already won the title. The moment Angel and the others heard, they all knew this could be the end for Taker.

“I have to find Mark, he has to call the match off.” Angel said, as she headed off in search of her friend. With Gabby and the others begging her not to try, she had hardly stepped out the door of her locker room when she saw it; Mark’s calling card. But this card was not like the one Angel would normally get, this time it was the same one that he gave to indicate death to the receiver; a single black rose. Looking to Cena and Batista, then Gabby; Angel almost managed to get inside before she began to cry.

“I just don’t understand it…” Shawn said, as he and Hunter headed for Angel’s locker room.

“Mark was so protective of her only a few months back, what could have changed so quickly?” Shawn continued, as they rounded the corner and saw Jillian being laid into again by JBL.

“Dunno Shawn, but you can betcha bottom dollar that he’s got something to do with it…” Hunter answered, as they both wished JBL had stay where he was as an announcer. With both Shawn and Hunter sat in Angel’s locker room, along with Cena and Batista; Angel knew she was safe. Trouble was that rose from Mark had really shaken her, she just could not understand that the man whom she had cried upon was this same person. In her heart she wanted to find him and see for herself just what had happened, but now she had her ‘bodyguards’ there was little chance for this.

“Come on John, I don’t think you need my help; especially if you have the help of the Boss…” Jillian pleaded, trying to find any excuse to not get involved. Truth was that since she and Tazz had become close, Jillian would do everything she could to avoid helping JBL out.

“All I want you to do is get Angel on her own, is that too much to ask for me sweet lips?” God how Jillian hated the way JBL spoke to her now, she used to dream of the days he would call her that; now she hated it. The only man she wanted to hear say it was Tazz, for someone who was; to all intents and purposes a thug, Tazz was deceptively tender and an incredible lover. Every time he touched her, Jillian could feel her whole body tingle; she longed for his safe arms and tender touch.

“I’ll do what I can…” Was all she could say, as JBL headed off to the chairman’s office. Within seconds of JBL leaving, Jillian was in Tazz’s safe warm arms.

“Oh God how I hate that man Pete…” She began, wanting to get more out; but as they shared a true lover’s kiss somehow Jillian forgot all about what she wanted to say.

Silently he sat in the darken boiler room, somewhere deep in the bowels of the arena; the perfect place to bury them, Mark thought to himself. He had spent the past four to five weeks trying to become the Lord of Darkness again, and while he had most of it perfect; there was just one little thing that was being a problem to him… Angel. Deep inside him, Mark was still Mark and still had the same deep feelings for her as before. And no matter how hard he tried, he just could not stop them. Damn it, how can I be the Dark Lord if I am falling for her, he thought to himself. In his heart, it was the last thing he wanted. However, in his mind, Taker knew what he had to do; he had to bury her as he had Paul Bearer. In his mind he knew why and what he had to do, his reasoning; maybe to convince himself was simple… she was the chink in his armour, while she was still part of his life there was no way he could win at Wrestlemania. If Mark had been thinking straight he would have realized that without her in his life, there would be no reason for the match. His heart and how he felt was clouding his judgment, so much so that the one person he was trying to fight for became the one person he tried to destroy.

“Now…” He gasped, kneeling in front of the cold dark “grave” that would be their and Mark’s final resting place.

“I offer myself to the darkness… Take me where you will. Be my Lord and Master…” As he began to finish what he had started, his heart broke into a million pieces; closing his eyes tightly as he lifted the dagger for a final time.

“I give my heart and soul to you Master…” He finally said, plunging the dagger deep into his chest; driving it through his broken heart and soul.

Dark red blood gushed from the wound in his chest, as he slumped to the ground, unable to breathe or focus. As his mouth was filled with his own blood he knew it would not be much longer and that he could no longer go back, his beautiful green eyes struggled to open as he watched all the blood drain from his body. With almost all the blood drained from his limp and lifeless body Undertaker was just able to see the moment when the blackness took over him, as he lay still he watched as the red blood now became black and seemingly began re~entering him; but the pain was almost too much for him to bear. Closing his eyes, any loose traces of Mark that may have been within him; were all but gone now. As he sat up, he knew that by the end of the night the blackness would have him and he would have to kill the one he had loved more than life itself. The blackness was in his eyes and his body; though scarred was whole again. His heart no longer existed, his soul replaced by the blackness and darkness he had vowed to never give in to again. As he continued to plot and plan Mark headed to Angel’s locker room, laying his calling card at her door. Walking away Mark’s heart broke completely; he had just delivered her death warrant, the woman he had loved since he first laid eyes upon her and he had served her notice. Silently he sat huddled into a ball and softly cried, hiding himself away in the dark depths of the arena; hating the man he never wanted to become. Had he still had a heart, it would have certainly broke the moment he had left his calling card at her door. However, he was the beast he feared, knowing full well that there was a good chance Alex may not live to find out his true feelings for her.

The Undertaker stood, feeling the power flowing through him; it had worked, he had done what he swore he would never do. Now he truly was the Lord of Darkness, he had everything he needed to make his plan a success. But there was one thing he needed to do before he could set about his task, he needed to call for his protector.

“Come to me, for I have need of you now. I will ignore all your past sins, come to me at once…” He chanted as he closed his eyes and used his new power, and moments later the man was stood there looking stunned. He had been in bed moments ago and now he was here, wherever here was.

“Welcome old friend.” Undertaker said his voice cold and emotionless. Paul Bearer could only stare at him, wide-eyed and almost unable to believe what he was seeing. The change in both men seemingly shocked the other, it was obvious to Paul what Taker had done.

“You… you did it to yourself…” Paul began to say, unable to understand.

“You sacrificed yourself… why?” Paul had to ask, he needed to know. The Undertaker stared into Paul’s eyes and thought for a moment, he had know Paul for so long to lie to him would be wrong; but to tell him the truth was a risk he was unsure of taking.

“Because I wanted to…” He began, taking the remains of his old wrestling attire and discarding it.

“Because I am hurting and angry, I want revenge…” He continued to say, leaving Paul with no doubt what he was feeling.

“You do realise that…” Paul began, quickly be cut off by the Undertaker.

“I know Paul, that’s why you are here…” Raising his arms, the Undertaker… no, the Lord of Darkness spoke once more as the thunder roared.

“What do you want from me Lord?” Paul said, knowing in his heart that there was no denying him his wishes.

“I need you to help me Paul…” He began, handing over Angel’s picture to Paul.

“Only you can aid me, only you have the potential to survive the great darkness within me…” Stopping for a moment, Paul knew the girl in the picture was special; secretly he prayed she was not the one the Dark Lord wanted revenge on. As if he saw Paul’s questioning looks, the Lord of Darkness spoke.

“Protect her, at all costs; you must keep her safe…” As he answered Paul’s unasked question, a circle of black flames suddenly surrounded both men. In truth Paul wanted to ask why, but knew he could not; he had to do as he was asked.

“She is the only one who can save me Paul, no harm must ever come to her…” The Lord said, once again seemingly sensing Paul’s questions. Holding out his hand, Paul knew what was needed of him next.

“Together again eh?” Paul asked, trying to make humor of the moment.

“Seems we’ll always be together… I guess I will never get away.” Paul said, shuddering as he looked into the black eyes of the man he had once call his best friend.

“Very true Paul, very true.” The Lord of Darkness laughed as he took Paul’s hand and coated it with thick black blood, turning on his heels and heading through the black flames before speaking once more.

“I shall be back to this mortal world very soon, I expect you to be waiting.” And with that Paul was left; alone and wondering what the hell was about to happen next. Mark was no more, the Lord of Darkness had replaced him and all hell was about to be unleashed. All Paul really knew was that this girl in the picture was more than likely the cause for Undertaker’s presence state, but something in Paul knew she was also his reason for living too.

The Lord of Darkness had accomplished much thus far, standing there silently he allowed his mind to wonder if he would regret his decision. He knew the price he had to pay was normally worth the power, but this time he stood to loose much more. The only was he could ever go back to his normal state was through the very human emotion of love, and this he knew could be his undoing. The only one who could love him was the one he may have to destroy; God how he hoped and prayed this would not be the case. He had not felt human in a long time anyway, it was only Angel that made he feel like a man; but right now he needed to be the Demon, he needed to be in the darkness of hell; in short he needed the blackness within him. And yet, the wings that had so often appeared on him in were still there, clear and shimmering; glowing with a pure white bright light. However, as the night began to close in for him they began to fade away; their pureness threatening to be extinguished forever. In his mind the man Mark and indeed the Undertake had to die for him to be able to get the revenge he wanted and needed so much, but had he been thinking straight he would have seen this would do nothing but cause the one he loved more pain. By the end of the night no one could have predicted that Undertaker would turn into the Lord of Darkness once again or that he would end up on the bring of killing the one he loved, and no one would have seen Angel falling for the man she thought still existed; she would never realise until too late that Mark was lost to her.

Before Angel had the chance to seek out Mark both Michael and Tazz came to see her, asking her to promise that she was okay.

“Guys, I’m fine… I promise everything will be fine.” Angel said, giving both Tazz and Michael a loving smile; none of them aware of what was due to happen that night. But none of them had much chance to think about what would happen later as Angel and the guys had their match next, heading to the ring with Cena and Batista either side of her Angel never saw him watching them from in the shadows. As Angel stood watching Cena and Batista joined by DX, she had no idea that in just 60 minutes she would be on the brink of life and death; longing for her hero to save her. As the all did their routine Angel looked to be happy and smiling, making Mark’s anger rise; here he was going through hell and there she was, enjoying herself. In truth Angel was far from happy, she wanted her heart and mind to be with Michael; but she knew after what John said it would never be his anymore. Her heart was beginning to fall for Mark, the man that was her hero and the man she could always trust; couldn’t she? As Rhodes and DiBiase headed to the ring they waited on their partners for the evening, Paul Burchill and the returning Chuck Palumbo; who after missing months with injury had much to prove. The match got underway and was full of fast paced action, with Angel looking on and cheering her friends on from the side lines no one had any clue what was about to happen. About half way through the match Cody Rhodes looked to be getting the better of HBK, who not only had started out the match but was also taking all the punishment from the other team. Then the lights went out, the whole arena went wild. Those in the ring however did not, more worried about Angel than anything else. Cena was first to Angel’s side, in his mind it was just that he was closer; to Mark it was like a red rag to a bull.

When the lights came back on everything seemed to be normal, but it was Cena who noticed it first. Angel was stuck frozen to the spot, focused upon one thing in her hand. The confusion ringside was almost too much for HBK to bare, who wanted to make sure Angel was okay, but also needed the tag. Finally able to make the tag with Batista, Shawn tries to be of help to Angel; who is still stuck fast to the spot. In the distance Angel hears her friend’s pleas and concern, but all she really sees is the rose in her hand. Even when the lights had gone out, even though her friends were afraid; Angel was not. After all it was Mark, he always promised she would never need fear him. But now, she didn’t know what to believe; her heart racing with fear pacing through her mind. After hitting a huge spear and spine buster, Batista picks up the win for his team. As they celebrate in the ring Cena is the one who hugs and celebrates with Angel; who warmly accepts the hug. Seconds later there is a huge thunderbolt of lightning which strikes the entrance ramp twice, then the lights go out once more; leaving Cena clinging to Angel with all he has and both Tazz and Michael fearful for what is about to happen. In the blackness Angel knows John has hold of her but can feel the wind brush past her, causing her to softly call out his name.

“Mark, please?” Angel wanted to run into his arms, wanted him to make her safe; but the coldness in the air told her this man would not allow that to happen. As the lights came back on Cena was, at first pleased and thankful Angel was still with him. And the he saw the third black rose, taking her in his arms quickly; Cena carried Angel back to their dressing room and hopefully to safety.

“Sweetheart stay here, I’ll go get Michael…” John said softly, trying to be the good friend. Nodding but not really taking it all in, Angel stood alone in her locker room; allowing the silence and fear to overtake her. Everything she thought, everything she felt and knew had been turned upside down and now Angel had no idea what was up and what was down. Her heart needed to be with Mark, inside her heart he was still the same person that had become her hero. But her mind and senses were screaming at her to walk away, this Mark had seemingly threw aside their friendship and was hell bent on destroying her. None of it made any sense, the only thing Angel was certain of was that she would not wait to find out her fate; she had to have some control. Against her better judgment Angel headed off to seek out Mark, bumping into Jillian on her way.

“Are you okay Angel? Me and Pete have been so worried about you…” She asked, hugging Angel close in a warm and genuine embrace; seemingly genuinely concerned. Nodding the two women passed the time of day before Angel said she needed to go, Jillian was not a fool she knew what was happening. Mark turning into a heel was one thing, but how JBL sounded it would become quickly clear to Jillian that John Bradshaw Layfield had more than one trick up his sleeve.

“Please be careful Angel, JBL wants me to get you out into the open; I think he is planning something!” Jillian hugged Angel to her warmly once more and then left, leaving Angel afraid. For the first time since her college days Angel was scared, if she had been thinking straight she would have gone running to Michael and stayed with him.

But something about what Cena had said about Mark began to get her mind thinking, why won’t my heart tell me what to do Angel thought as she searched for Mark. As she walked further away from the safe confines of her locker room and deeper into the bowels of the arena, Angel’s mind was already too busy working overtime to see the dangers that lay ahead. Meanwhile, Taker and JBL began to fight in the ring and had been doing so for a good 20 minutes as Angel walked further and further into the trap. Soon Taker and JBL were out of the ring and the fight was heading all over the arena, and heading towards the direction of Angel who was unaware to all that was going on. Angel’s friends had finally found Cole; but now seemingly had lost Angel, but moments later they would find out where she was. Angel was not sure what she saw first, the dangers or Vince’s cold rough hands grabbing her from behind.

“You think you are gonna embarrass me huh?” He angrily seethed into Angel’s ear, leaving her with no doubt she was in trouble.

“Well, you’re gonna pay!” He added as Angel watched Mark being beaten to a pulp by JBL, who was headed for them.

“Look who we found Taker… it’s your little friend.” JBL sneered at Mark as he gave him a hard Irish whip into a steel doorway, causing Mark to cry out; as Angel saw Mark’s pain, she had to call out to him.

“Mark…” As he heard her cry for him, Mark knew he needed to end this. In the moment that JBL had stopped for two seconds to taunt Mark, Mark had almost kicked his head off and laid JBL out on the floor. With Mark’s focus on Vince’s direction, no one knew it was actually Angel he would go for.

But before he had a chance, Angel was calling for him; alerting him to the fact he needed to put JBL away. As Mark took hold of the lead pipe nearby he knew what was needed, and without missing a beat he did his job. Burying Alive JBL and winning the match, everyone in the arena knew things were not finished. As Mark coldly headed towards Angel, it suddenly dawned on her that this was indeed not Mark. Now she had fear in her eyes, now she was afraid of this man stood in front of her. If Mark had looked into her eyes, he would have seen the fear; but of course he knew that. His heart was breaking, but Mark could not allow himself to feel the pain yet. Mark was within easy reach of Angel who was trying not to cry, when she called out to him; alerting him of trouble.

“Mark look out…” Angel may have been scared but, at least she still had some trust left for Mark; Vince was a different matter. Within seconds Mark had stopped Vince from using the same lead pipe he had Taken JBL with, with a rage he had not felt often Mark took all his anger; pain; hurt and frustrations out on Vince. With Angel cowering in the corner she watched how Mark turned into this violent angry machine, beating Vince to within an inch of his life. Looking at his handy work Mark realized Angel was still cowering in the corner and had seen all that he had done, turning his attentions to her she had no idea what was about to happen. Never looking at her Mark could feel her fear, with each step his heart broke even more. Even though she was scared to death of this bloody figure stood towering over her, Angel allowed her heart to act.

“Oh God Mark, I am so glad you are okay…” She began, the way he looked at her told her things were different.

“Mark?” Angel said questioningly, as she got up and dusted herself off. There was nothing in his eyes but darkness; it was something Angel had never seen before. Without another word Mark had thrown Angel over his shoulder and carried her away, disappearing into the blackness of the arena. Angel’s heart was too scared to beat, the fear she felt was being felt by all Angel’s friends too.

“Oh Dave, tell me she’ll be okay?” Gabby tearfully sobbed into Batista’s chest, hugging her close was the only answer Dave could give her. Cena had spent most the time looking for Michael, but then when Angel needed him most John found out just where Michael was.

“I’ll look out for you Linda, you know I have always cared for you…” Michael said softly as he touched Linda’s arm tenderly, as Cena began to walk away he caught sight of a television monitor; watching as Taker almost dragging Angel away

“Mark, what is it? This is me, Alex… Mark?” Angel tried to get through to him, as he tossed her onto the mattress on the cold hard floor. He knew what he had to do; doing it though was another matter.

“Shut up… I am not your friend.” Mark said coldly, his mind telling him to do it; his heart still begging him not to.

“For me to win at Wrestlemania I need to be flawless…” Mark began, staring at the floor and never looking to Angel.

“You are the chink in my armour and I need to get rid of it.” Mark continued, not wanting to look up; knowing the moment that he did he would loose his heart completely.

“How can you say I am your chink, Mark I thought we gave each other strength?” Angel said, speaking from the heart rather than allowing the fear she felt inside to show through.

“You are my weakness, I must delete all my weaknesses…” Mark began to say, trying to fight with his inner demons. Coming towards her, Angel knew he had evil intentions on his mind. Still she could not, or would not believe that Mark was lost to her.

“Look at me Mark, please look me in the eyes…” Boldly Angel touched his face softly, his eyes shot open and fixed upon her own.

“You want me gone Mark? Fine, but look me in the eyes as you do; don’t be a coward towards me!” Angel seethed angrily, seemingly from out of nowhere. Her anger seemed to be from the fact that he felt she was worthless, in truth of course it was far from the truth.

“If I don’t do this, I cannot win at Wrestlemania!” Mark said softly, looking away.

“And if you do this what are you fighting for then Mark?” Angel said, her anger dying down. Her words rang true for Mark, but still he had to stop his weakness.

“How can you do this Mark? What happened to the man I was falling in love with…” Angel began, not realizing until too late that her heart; did indeed belong to Mark.

“That’s why I have to…” Mark began, his voice trailing off as he looked into Angel’s eyes. He saw fear, compassion, hurt and love; she cannot fall in love with me! Mark thought, his heart finally seeing that she too; felt the same way.

“Then do it, Mark for you I will do anything. Because I love you, but I cannot be afraid of you!” Angel said honestly, looking up into Mark’s eyes.

“Mark understand that there is no way you can go win the Wrestlemania match, if I am no longer here; there is no reason for you to fight.” Angel finished saying, turning her head away to cry. Not ready for Mark’s next move. Once again he threw Angel over his shoulder, this time taking her back to his house on the beach.

For the past two hours since Taker had took Angel Cena lead the constant calls and text’s to her cell phone, trying with all he had to find her. With Dave giving as much comfort as he could to Gabby, it was down to Cena to make the calls as Hunter and Shawn trawled everywhere they could think of to find Angel. With Tazz and Jillian trying to lend any support that they could, the only one not there was Michael. Michael was doing what his heart was telling him to do, he was being the hero he had promised Linda he always would be.

“Thank you for staying with me Michael, I’m glad you are here.” Linda said softly, as she laid her head upon his shoulder. She knew it was wrong to feel this way, but there was something about Michael that appealed to her. As happy as she was with the off screen Vince she was married too, there was something she got from Michael that she could never find in Vince no matter how hard she tried.

“Hey you know I meant what I said Linda, I will always be your hero…” Michael said softly as he held her hand, closing his eyes for a moment he enjoyed the feeling of her leaning on him. In his mind, Michael still loved and cared for Angel; his heart however was telling him different. However, seeing how John Cena seemed so close to her, who was Michael kidding to say that it was going to work out between him and Angel. In truth things between them had not been brilliant since she had been drafted back to RAW, even that week they spent together had not helped them.

“Oh Michael, I don’t want to stay here… will you take me back to the hotel?” Linda said, her tears threatening to fall. Nodding, Michael led Linda off to his car; unaware that they would both find themselves standing on that brink.

“Angel honey, we are all so worried about you; call us if you can please.” Cena said for what seemed like the fiftieth time, looking to Dave who was holding a sobbing Gabby in his arms.

“Look, Taker could have finished the job earlier…” John tried to say, quickly shutting up again. With Dave and both Hunter and Shawn glaring at him, in his mind John knew what he meant but obviously was not making himself clear.

“I’m sorry guys, I just…” John began, trying to find the right words he needed. Thankfully he was saved by Jillian and Tazz turning up, they all knew what had happened; all had seen how Taker took a scared Angel away.

“Any luck?” Tazz said, as he sat on the couch; close to Jillian.

“Nothing… we have all tried everything and everywhere.” John said, thankful Tazz had taken some of the heat from him.

“Has anyone seen Cole?” Tazz said, making all aware that the one person who needed to be there was not. Before anyone had the chance to answer the door had swung open and in walked an unlikely friend, he was met with not only contempt but also suspicion.

“Look, I know I am the last person you guys want to or expected to see; but I had to come.” Orton said, checking behind him; aware that his job and life could be on the line.

“Truth is I can’t just stay silent anymore, I know my livelihood is on the line; but I want to help.” Orton said honestly, deep down and despite everything; Randy knew that what happened to Angel was way out of line.

“Cole is with Linda, I think they are still at the hospital; I don’t know where Angel is.” Randy said, realizing that there was more to this than met the eye. None of the friends quite knew what to make of Orton or his statements, but all could tell he was being honest.

“What the hell is Cole playing at?” Tazz said, his anger rising. He had known Michael for years, the two were essentially best friends; so they knew each other inside out. Which is why Tazz could not understand why Cole was so intent on playing with fire and hurting Angel in this way, truth be told he never really needed to ask what Cole was doing; he already knew.

“Surely he couldn’t be, you know… could he?” Cena said, not wanting to think about it; but then his mind went back to their conversation before Taker took Angel.

“Tell me how I can help?” Randy said, realizing that he had come this far and could no longer go back.

“We have to find Angel, she cannot find out about this!” Dave said, looking to a nodding Randy; seemingly promising all the help they needed.

“What about Cole?” Tazz said, looking to Dave who was silently trying to say what he really felt.

“I don’t know, but I think you two should find them and keep an eye on them.” Tazz knew what Dave meant, in truth so did the whole room. With Shawn and Hunter heading off, followed by Cena and Orton; it left the two couples together for a moment.

“I think John knows more than he is letting on.” Gabby said, looking to first Dave and then Tazz.

“Something about his words, I think something bad is going to happen.” She continued, clinging onto Dave with all she had; the last thing she wanted was to loose her best friend.

“Come on sweetheart, Alex will be okay.” Dave said, wishing he actually believed himself.

No matter how hard she tried Linda could not shift the longing she had deep within her, lord knows it had been years since her husband had took such care over her. Michael was always the type of gentleman that would make sure the lady was safe first, above all else the lady came first. They had taken a long drive back to the hotel, stopping off once to get refreshments. This gave Tazz, Jillian and Orton the chance to get to the hotel just before Michael and Linda. In his mind all he was doing was showing Linda to her room, but as Orton watched he knew it was something more than that.

“Cole’s just taken Linda to her room, Angel doesn’t deserve this…” Orton said as Tazz and Jillian came over, having just come from checking Angel’s hotel room. Tazz was in favor of storming up into her room and beating the crap out of Cole, but it was Jillian’s cooler head that made him listen to Randy and wait; all three heading up to Linda’s room.

“Oh Michael I can’t thank you enough for all you have been to me…” Linda began, cautious and careful not to overstep the mark. Handing her a glass of bourbon Michael knew in his mind what he wanted, but as he downed the glass of bourbon he had in his hand Michael began to think with something other than his brain.

“You know Michael; ever since that day you came to my rescue I have always had feelings for you…” Linda began, sitting close to him on the bed. Linda was sure Michael felt the same for her as she did for him, so taking a chance she made her move; softly kissing his cheek, not moving as he turned to face her.

“Oh God Linda, I love you…” Was all Michael could breathlessly say as he moved closer and the two began to kiss passionately, both being driven by something neither felt they could control. Although when his night started Michael’s mind was on Angel, now he found that she was the last thing on his mind; as their relationship seemed to be over, his and Linda’s was just beginning.

In the three years she had known him, Angel had often heard Mark talk about how much he loved the sea and the beach; he would always talk of how calm and chilled he felt there. Now as she sat in the darken room of his beach house all Angel could do was fear his intentions, the man she was with still was not the Mark she knew. He had not spoken since they had left the boiler room in the arena; any attempt at conversation Angel had made was just blanked. Mark would not talk nor answer her questions, but if she tried to leave he would stop her.

“Mark, please talk to me or let me go!” Angel pleaded for like the hundredth time, still there was silence. Nothing in Mark’s eyes showed he cared still, but the fact he had not hurt her did. After a long moment of silence, Mark finally spoke.

“I’m not Mark…” He began, being cut off before he could finish.

“Yeah I know, you are the Lord of Darkness; what you want me to fear you or beg you?” Angel said defiantly, there was nothing in his eyes; he was seemingly no longer Mark.

“You will fear me and you will beg me to let you go…” Mark seethed into Angel’s face with as much menace as he could muster, still Angel was adamant she would not fear this man.

“Inside of you, I know you are still Mark. I will not fear that man, and I will not beg!” Angel said, trying not to be afraid as she looked Mark deep in the eye. Within seconds Mark’s huge hand was around Angel’s neck, he tighten his grip slightly as he pushed her up against a wall.

“Beg me to stop!” He commanded, now the blackness had him; he had to go where it led him.

“Never…” Angel began, as tears fell from her eyes.

“I cannot fear the man that loves me, the man who promised me he would protect me forever.” As his grip tightened, Angel felt him lift her off the ground. After all she had been through this should have scared her enough to beg, but it did not.

Before she had the chance to say anything more Angel watched as the room changed into something that resembled a gothic church and altar, her heart was beating in her chest so loud now that she thought he would see it. Angel could feel the life being squeezed out of her body and if she was honest, she was scared to death. She knew that Mark was no longer than man she had just fallen for, she knew he as not about to stop.

“Mark…” Angel began her breath ragged and raspy.

“I love you Mark, kill me if you must; but know I will never fear you…” Angel felt so lightheaded, as he continued to squeeze and lift her from the ground. With all the strength left in her body she reached out, touching his cheek softly. Wiping the tear he never knew had fallen, she looked into his eyes; whispering that she loved him before shutting her eyes. As her eyes closed the Lord won, Mark dropped Angel to the ground.

“Paul, come to me now old friend…” The Lord said, closing his eyes and summoning his old friend to his side. Within seconds Paul was by his Lord’s side, as soon as he saw Angel’s limp almost lifeless body lying there; he knew the Lord was out of control.

“Mark, she is the one…” Paul said softly, not sure how he could fix this mess that confronted him. For a moment his heart did not beat, as it began to dawn on him she would rather die than be afraid of him; Mark began to regain his senses.

“Paul… save me!” Was all he could manage to say, before he fell to his knees. Trying to not allow his tears to fall, Taker tried to focus on her words before he had let her go; he tired to hear her saying that she loved him, he knew it was the only way he could be saved.

With Paul trying to bring Taker back from the blackness, he was worried that the girl who could save his friend would not survive. Paul had seen her willing to die rather than fear a man that, by rights everyone feared; Paul knew she was the one who had Mark’s heart, now all he needed to do was get her to come back to him. Placing the black bloodied hand upon her chest, Paul was shocked how the blackness disappeared and was replaced by pure red blood. He had never seen anything like this before; surely she was not like them.

“Look… my hand.” Paul said, showing it to Taker who just managed to blink a few times as he tried to take it all in.

“What is her name Mark?” Paul asked, more than a little aware this was technically impossible.

“Alexandra, but her stage name is Angel De Vil.” Mark said softly, looking to the woman who would rather die than be afraid.

“Mark, you know what this means don’t you?” Paul replied, as he walked over to Mark’s side.

“She is the one who will save you Mark, but you need to save her!” Paul said, before he seemingly disappeared into the night; leaving Mark very alone and scared.

“Oh God, baby girl… please!” Taker said, picking her up into his arms; begging that she would not leave him. Laying her on his bed, softly and tenderly he nursed her as best he could. Coming round for a moment she saw the concern in his eyes and knew it was Mark with her; softly he touched her cheek as he spoke.

“Forgive me my beautiful angel?” it was not something she had planned but it felt right, leaning forward she softly kissed his lips; caressing his strong jaw line as she did so.

“Do you really love me Alex?” Mark began, gently pulling her into his big strong embrace.

“I always have, I just never saw it…” With those words, Alex knew she would never need to fear Mark again; his heart truly belonged to her.

“I am so, so sorry my dear sweet beautiful friend…” Mark began, lying on his bed next to her.

“I could never, will never stay mad at you Mark…” Alex said softly, curling up into his big strong arms. The two fell asleep for a while, neither realizing what lay ahead for them. As Mark watched Alex sleep his heart began to mend, hating the man he was becoming and all that he nearly did.

“I will love you always my beautiful friend, forgive me.” Mark softly whispered as he tenderly kissed her cheek, slowly and silently he slipped off the bed and headed outside. Sitting outside, Mark looked out to sea; thinking about all that had led him to this moment. In his mind he had so very nearly destroyed the one woman he needed the most, but more than that he had broken the heart of the one he loved. He knew the moment she had told him she was falling that she loved him, it was in her eyes; Alex always had the most revelling eyes.

Mark had no idea that Angel’s friends would be on their way to find her, he also had no idea Cole was with Linda.

“Mark?” Angel said softly, sitting next to him and cuddling up into his arms.

“I woke and you were not there, I worried…” Angel began; softly Mark pulled her closer and spoke.

“It’s okay Alex; I just wanted to think…” It felt so right for both of them that their guards were already down when the doorbell rang, Angel had no idea what was about to happen; Mark however was aware something was wrong.

“Come on Taker, we know you’re in there!” Orton shouted, taking the lead from Cena who was ready to do some fighting. With Tazz and Jillian monitoring Michael and Linda, Dave looking after Gabby; it was left to the Cena and Orton to almost team with DX to find Angel and Taker. Mark was about to just let them in when Angel stopped him, taking him back into the bedroom.

“They think you are still the Dark Lord Mark, they think you have hurt me!” Angel said, softly caressing his cheek. With her words his heart sank, thinking of what he could have done; had she not had faith in him.

“We’ll head round the back, come on Shawn.” Hunter said, leading his friend to the back; leaving Orton and Cena at the front.

“Come on Taker, we are not leaving without Alex…” John said, the fear in his voice evident.

“When are you going to tell Alex what you heard about Cole and Linda?” Randy said, looking around to see what he could find.

“I dunno, I just hope I get the chance to tell her I…” Cena stopped himself, admitting that he had feelings for her was the last thing he could do; secretly he hoped he would at least get the chance to make that choice. Randy thought for a long time before he spoke, just thankful that Angel would be safe with John.

“And when are you going to tell her you are in love with her?” There was an instant silence between the two men; John had been banging on the door when he stopped in shock at someone knowing what he felt inside.

“Is it that obvious?” John said softly, aware that the path he was on could lead to trouble. Nodding, Randy spoke once more.

“You are a good guy John, but not even you would have gone to all this trouble for just some girl.” Both men knew Randy was correct, now John just hoped he had the chance to tell her how he felt.

“Alex deserves better than Cole, especially if he is going to end up screwing the Bosses wife!” John added, as the two men continued trying to get an answer from Taker’s door.

“Look Hunter, in there… I think there are people moving about.” Shawn whispered, alerting Hunter to inside the house. Neither figure was clear, both seemingly just shadowy figures. As the four men tried to gain access, inside Mark and Angel tried to think fast.

“Let me go and face them Alex, it is me they want.” Mark pleaded, as he held Angel close.

“No Mark, I cannot stand the thought of losing you!” Angel said, softly caressing his cheek; trying her hardest not to cry.

“So what do we do beautiful?” Mark asked as he tenderly caressed her soft body, causing her body to shiver.

“Let me go Mark, at least then they can see I am safe…” Angel replied, softly kissing Mark’s fears away as he nodded against her lips. Heading to the front door, Angel could not help but worry about what was going to happen. She had seemingly found her soul mate and now faced loosing him again, admittedly when she first met Michael she truly believed he was the one; but with all that had happened she was now no longer sure.

“Come on Taker, open up… we are here for Alex.” John called as he banged on the door once more, opening the door slightly Angel went and opened the back door for Hunter and Shawn; heading for the sofa and sitting down. As she sat there they all cautiously walked in, all expecting and fearing the worse.

“Alex, are you okay?” John began to say, looking for any hint that Taker had hurt her. The place was in darkness and none of them knew where Taker was, Orton searched for the lights as the others kept watch.

“I’m fine John, Mark never hurt me.” Angel began, as the lights came on she hid her face; afraid they would see her tears falling.

“The guy that took you was not Mark; it was not the guy that was your; our friend…” Shawn said, looking around; aware that Taker was more than likely still in the house.

“But the guy I was here with WAS Mark Shawn, he is still Mark…” Angel said, looking up for the first time since they had come in.

“Where’s Michael?” Angel asked, looking to them all in turn.

It was the one thing they all had been dreading, none of them wanted to be the one who told her the man she thought loved her was with the bosses wife; but someone had to say something. Taking a deep breath, Randy spoke.

“He’s with Linda… I am so, so sorry Alex; you deserve better than that.” As she looked to Orton he could tell what was going through her mind, almost as if to make allowances for it he spoke again.

“I know I am the last person who you thought you would see, but what JBL and Vince have been doing to you is out of order.” He wanted to say more but found himself unable to, watching how Angel’s shock set in.

“I need to be alone for a while guys, I’ll be safe; I promise!” Angel said as she tried to smile a smile that would never reach her lips, without giving them a chance to reply she headed out to the beach.

“So what now?” Shawn said, looking to the three other men who like him were left just stood there.

“Tell me more about Cole and Linda?” His dark voice seemingly coming from out of the shadows, Mark moved into the light.

“Why the hell should we tell you, a man that took Alex…” Hunter said, trying to be the brave and strong one. Staring him in the eye Mark’s expression never changed for a moment, then his eyes softened and he spoke.

“Because I love her, and I want her happiness.” It was the first time in a long while that Mark had even been so ‘out of character’ in front of other superstars, he was out of his depth and needed his beautiful friend by his side.

“He took Linda home from the hospital, none of us are certain; but I think they have slept together.” Orton said, trying not to fear the man that was still such a towering presence. Mark wanted to beat the holy hell out of Michael for betraying Alex, but in truth all he could do was sit down with his head in his hands. The four other guys had no idea how to handle what they were seeing, a man who rarely broke character was sat almost in tears in front of them. Outside, Angel sat looking out to sea trying to piece things together. Her heart and mind were telling her so many different things she had no idea what she should do, Mark had been with her through so much. But Michael was the reason her friends had begun this fight, a fight she now began to feel she could not win. John came out and sat by Angel’s side, both were silent for a while.

“So what happens now?” Angel said softly, trying not to let her tears fall; failing miserably.

“I guess you come back and we try sort things out…” John began, before Angel cut him off.

“I am safe here with Mark, he will not hurt me John.” Trying to smile, Angel knew it would never reach her lips. As the two head back inside Angel was confronted by Shawn, Hunter and Randy all looking at Mark; who was seemingly crying his eyes out on the sofa.

“Come on Mark, its okay.” Angel said as she went to his side, placing an arm round him for comfort.

“Look we all need to concentrate on Wrestlemania, Randy you being here has changed everything.” Angel began, knowing that right at this moment she needed to be the strong one, whatever relationship she may still have with Michael needed to wait.

“Does Edge know you are here with us Randy?” John asked the question seemingly on everyone’s lips, shaking his head Randy answered.

“Not really, but he too knows what Vince and JBL were doing was wrong.” As Randy and the three men talk, Angel walks with Mark outside.

“So where do we go from here?” Mark asks softly, not wanting to push the matter further than it needed to go. His heart had always belonged to Angel, all he wanted was her happiness; but at what cost.

“I don’t know Mark, everything is all messed up! All I wanted was to be happy and come back home to Smackdown, now I just seem to be losing everything.” Angel said, as she tried not to cry.

“We’ll be okay honey, we’ll be okay.” Mark said softly, as he gently pulled Angel into his arms; the two friends enjoying the moment.

Alex, we’ve been thinking…” Shawn began, as Mark and Angel came back inside.

“If the Hell in a Cell continues as normal, maybe Randy can find a way out of it. Jillian has, she’s helping us out.” He continued, still unsure if he; and the others could trust Mark again. Looking to Angel, Mark nodded and spoke.

“Worth a shot, we just have to find a way of getting them out of the match.” Mark joined the others on the couch, as they began to plot their next moves. The only one who was not part of the conversations was Angel, she needed sometime alone. As her heart broke all Angel could do was think about Michael, and where he was; wondering if he was indeed with Linda.

“Michael baby, when you get this message; please call me. I am okay, Mark is back with us; but I think we need to talk.” Angel left her message on Michael’s cell phone, as she hung up her heart could no longer deny that they may not be able to make it.

As Linda lay sleeping, Michael sat staring at his cell phone. As an exhausted Linda slept, Michael had been racked with a guilt he had never felt before; how could I do this to her? She is my life! Was all that went through his mind, and as he had checked his cell and found her message; his heart broke. He admitted that he cared for Linda, but to say he loved her was wrong; his heart still belonged to Alex. He must have been sat here for a good while when he felt Linda stir beside him, feeling dirty and hating himself all he could do was dress quickly and leave; longing to be in the warm sanctuary of Angel’s arms again. Walking back to his hotel room Michael could not get the thoughts from his mind that he and Angel were over, and it broke his heart. He had spent five years being in love with her, had only been able to tell her less than ten months ago; they had not even been able to get past a year together! Michael was back in his room and trying to shower away the guilt he felt; as he began to sob he never heard the door go. He was out of the shower and about to walk into the bedroom when he heard something outside, looking in he saw Tazz and knew he had some talking to do. Before he had the chance to speak, Tazz had punched him squarely in the jaw. For a moment they sat in silence, Tazz rubbing his fist and Michael rubbing his jaw.

“I’m sorry Pete, I deserved that.” Michael said quietly, getting up and sitting next to Tazz.

“You’re damn right…” Was all Tazz could say for a moment, trying not to let his emotions get the better of him.

“What the hell is wrong with you Mike? I mean of all the people you go jump into bed with Linda for fuck sake!” Tazz did his best to control his rage, knowing the last thing Angel needed was this.

“I’m sorry Pete, I know I screwed up. Ever since Alex was drafted back to RAW, we just can’t seem to make it right…” Michael began, trying to explain knowing that in truth he was only making it worse.

“That’s no excuse damn it…” Tazz said, getting up and trying to walk off the rage he felt inside. Angel had been through hell to be with Michael, all their friends had been through hell for them both.

“Mike after all that we have been through was for you and Alex, what the hell is wrong with you.” Tazz said as he turned to look at Michael, who just sat there looking as if he was about to burst into tears.

“How do I fix this Pete?” Michael said quietly, praying all was not lost.

“I don’t know Mike. You know Mark is in love with her don’t you?” Tazz hated the thought of his friend getting hurt, but he could not stay silent on the matter any longer. Michael just sat there, his heart now understanding what his mind had been saying for the past few months. Mark had always been close to Alex, but with things the way they had been between her and Michael; his mind always felt something like this would happen.

“Did you hear what I said Mike? I don’t think he is the only one who has feelings for Alex either…” Maybe Tazz said it because he wanted to get Michael to act, maybe to try to make him see sense; but Tazz spoke the words others could or would not.

“I heard you Pete, I just…” Michael began to say, not sure what to say let alone what he felt.

“Maybe… maybe she is better off with Mark.” Michael said softly, trying not to cry. He sat there trying to piece together the broken pieces of his life and cried, cried for his wife and child that died; for Alex and for the mess he now found himself in.

“She knew Mike, when she sent you that message; she knew!” Tazz said, sighing deeply; not sure himself how his friend could make things right.

“She knew, but has seemingly chosen to try save your relationship Mike.” With Tazz’s last words Michael looked up, a glimmer of something in his eyes.

Sighing deeply Michael knew he had much work ahead of him, first of though he needed to make things right with their friends. It would be Wrestlemania in five weeks and with everyone busy trying to plan their next moves, neither Angel nor Michael had much time to mend their relationship.

“You need to take a break Angel, why not go see Michael?” John said, figuring he was trying to be helpful; unaware that Angel was doing this to get out of facing her troubles.

“I know we need it John, but I am nowhere near prepared for Wrestlemania. This is a really big thing for me, and Mark!” Angel replied, hoping John would understand; thankfully he did.

“Okay honey; just remember to holler if you need me okay?” John hugged Angel warmly, feeling a mix of sadness and gladness; he was happy she and Michael were trying to sort things out, sad because he too had lost his heart to her. The original plan was for Mark to face JBL, Vince, Rated RKO and Kenny in a Hell in a Cell match. But with Randy being on their side and JBL seemingly ‘Buried Alive’ it left Mark with somewhat of a problem, all he wanted was Angel back on Smackdown with him; but even that was causing problems.

“I guess we could just haul JBL back to the ring and kick his butt once more?” Angel began, as the two were joined in their locker room by their friends; something that had been happening a lot of late.

“What about Vince? And Edge for that matter.” Mark said softly, his green eyes growing darker. Truth be told Mark still wanted to punish Vince for what he did to Angel, but he had an ulterior motive for his actions too.

“I guess you would need a tag team partner then? Especially if you are going down that route…” Dave began, as he softly caressed his girlfriend; Gabby.

Ever since they had met Dave knew Gabby was the one for him, he had not felt this way about a woman for a long time; in fact the only other woman was his late wife. Dave was so taken by Gabby he had, on many occasions asked her to marry him. Each time of course Gabby said no, unsure if she was ready to be married; or for that matter the wife of a wrestler. Gabby had, like Alex been through a lot. Her experiences as a young girl growing up in a violent and abusive household had all but destroyed her, a terrifying gang rape when she was at college left her finding it hard to trust people; especially men. But then again Dave had not had a brilliant up bringing either, in that respect they had so much in common. Dave had been in and out of care homes since he could remember, his heart broken too many time and trust betrayed too many times. People saw this big tough guy and called him an animal, not many saw past that; but Gabby could. And that is why he loved her with everything he had, and knew that she was the one he wanted to spend forever with.

“I never realized you wanted to kick the Bosses ass so much Dave!” John joked with his friend, smiling back Dave answered.

“I just want to make someone pay for hurting Angel…” Angel blushed, smiling at Gabby she knew in her heart it would not be long before the two married.

“Someone needs to send a message to Vince and JBL, maybe he needs to be softened up a little?” Dave continued, looking to Mark who was already nodding that he liked the idea. The silence in the room was making everyone feel awkward, especially Angel; who longed for things to get back to normal. It was only Stephanie McMahon knocking on the door that broke the tension, walking in she looked around the room; the only one not here is Cole, she thought to herself.

“Alex it is good to have you back, you too Mark…” She began to say, Mark all too aware that this was not about to be a nice conversation for him or Angel.

“What is it you want Steph?” Hunter asked his off screen wife, the two had long since been divorced on screen; but the fans knew the truth.

“Well, since my Dad is in no fit state to continue and nor is JBL; I and my family feel that the Hell in a Cell should be pulled from the card.” Steph knew she was taking her life into her hands, especially with Mark so close by; everyone knew he wanted revenge and would not stop until he had it.

“So you are going to draft Alex back to Smackdown?” Mark said strongly, trying not to allow his temper to rise.

“No Mark, she still has to stay on RAW. People like her there; they enjoy seeing her each week.” Steph tried to defuse the ever-growing problem that could break out, she was well aware Mark wanted her back on Smackdown; truth was she was better used on Smackdown. But the ruling stood, her mother had made that abundantly clear.

“No deal, your Daddy’s gonna pay until Alex comes back home to Smackdown.” Mark’s dark words would stay with Steph for a long time to come, she also knew Mark was 100 per cent serious and would not back down on this.

“Mark, don’t do this. This is my father we are talking about, can we not talk about it?” Steph pleaded, knowing it would all be in vain.

“No can do Steph, I want Alex back here on Smackdown with me. It’s your choice as to how that happens!” Mark stood, slowly walking towards Steph as she backed out of the locker room.

“Guys, could you all give me and Alex a moment? Pete will you stay…” Mark said, as he held the door open for the others, Angel had to admit that she was a little worried; the two had not been alone since that night at No Way Out.

“Pete, does Alex know about Michael and Linda yet?” Mark spoke quietly to Tazz, leaving Alex unaware of their conversation. Shaking his head was all Mark needed to know, he looked at his beautiful friend; hoping he was about to do the right thing.

“Tell her the truth Pete, I think she needs to know.” Mark said, Tazz took a deep breath and knew he was about to break his friends heart.

“The night Mark took you…” He began, looking to Mark who just nodded.

“Michael wasn’t with us because he took Linda to the hospital and then back to the hotel room…” Tazz went on, not wanting to be the one telling her this.

“He spent the night with Linda. I’m so sorry sweetheart, but you need to know.” Tazz tried to hug Angel but she just pushed him away, not saying anything she went and sat on the couch.

“Leave us for a while please Pete, I think we need to talk.” Mark said softly, as he went and sat with Angel. Neither made a move or spoke for a good half and hour, so many questions went unanswered in her mind; so many things left unsaid.

“I’m sorry Alex; I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Mark said softly, putting his hand tenderly over her own.

As Angel looked up into the eyes of the man she had put so much faith in, she saw a love she had not seen since she first met Michael.

“Why are you sorry Mark, you never cheated on me did you?” Angel said, her heart clearly torn between what she wanted and what she should do. In her mind she wanted to try make things work with Michael, the two had gone through and put their friends through hell. But then her heart was screaming at her to walk away and run into Mark’s arms, after he could protect her and give her a life Michael could not. She always felt safe in Mark’s arms and genuinely loved his company, she thought Michael was the one for her and would always make her feel alive. But with all that she had gone through Angel had no real idea where she was going to go, with her heart and mind torn all she could do was sit there and think.

“I didn’t want to be the one to tell you, I don’t want things to be hard for you. Baby I want to keep working with you, I just…” Mark began to say, stopping before he added more than he should.

“Oh Mark, I just don’t know what I am going to do.” Angel said, the tears still threatening to fall.

“Whatever you choose beautiful, you will always have my full support and friendship.” Mark said as he softly kissed Angel’s forehead, from that one little touch she felt the shiver rush all through her body; his big gentle hands tenderly caressing her back softly.

“Oh Mark, please…” Was all she could say, the words not reaching her lips as Mark softly stroked her lips; his eyes deep emerald green with passion and fire. As they both stood on the edge of their desires and passion both knew they could not go down the road they were, but neither wanted it to stop either.

“Are you going to fight for Michael?” Mark softly said, trying to quell his ever-growing yearning desire.

“I don’t know Mark, I just don’t know…” Angel begun to say, feeling breathless from Mark’s tender touch. In her heart of hearts Angel knew that she and Michael could not make it together, if she had of wanted it she would have gone all out to make it work. But now she sat faced with a man she knew she would fight for, trying to find reasons to not sort her problems.

“Baby girl, you have to do something. You cannot just leave things as they are, something needs to be said…” Mark continued, wanting to do the best for his friend, but also not wanting to do too much to get them back together. Truth was that Mark’s rage still burned towards Michael for cheating on Angel, it was one of the things he hated. Mark was a smart man and not only saw but also knew more than he often let on, things Angel felt unable to share with people; was things Mark knew. Mark knew how she, like Gabby had gone through hell with abusive partners and being gang raped as a teen. Mark saw the distant look in her eyes and knew of her pain, little was known of her life before she came to the WWE; but Mark knew in his heart it was not all good.

“I know Mark, I just wish I could run and hide that’s all…” Angel said honestly, unaware that Mark already knew what she was feeling. Nodding Mark silently left, allowing her the time she needed to think. No one knew what would happen next, least of all Angel. No sooner had Mark left, than had he arrived; an evil look in his eyes.

“I told him I always get what I wanted…” His voice cold and hard, filling Angel with a fear that she would remember forever; unable to scream or call out.

“Mark…” Angel called out silently, unable to find her voice through the fear she felt.

If Michael was actually trying to fix his relationship problems he would have been there to save her, but instead he was being cornered by Linda who wanted to know why she had not seen him since that night.

“I thought that we had something together Mike?” Linda said, it was almost as if she was begging him. With John looking on, he could not help but hate Michael for all he was doing to Angel. With anger he was unused to feeling John was heading back to Angel when he bumped into Mark, swallowing hard John spoke.

“I’ve just seen Michael with Linda again…” He wanted to say more, but knew by the look in Mark’s eyes not to.

“Thank you.” Was all Mark said, as he turned around to head back to Angel.

“Tell your precious boyfriend if you like, but then Linda is keeping him so close I doubt he would care! Not even Mark can save you now bitch, you belong to me now!” His cold voice just being heard over Angel’s silent sobs, as he took his shirt and left Angel to cry JBL sneered once more before quietly walking away. Within seconds of turning the corner and JBL having left Mark knew something was wrong, it was as if he could feel Angel’s tears fall. John had been walking with Mark and instantly saw the change, within seconds both men were almost sprinting towards Angel’s locker room. Mark knew it was bad the moment he touched the door handle, calling for John to get the EMT’s. Partly for Angel but also himself, he did not want John to see him break. The room was cold, dark and worryingly silent. Mark quietly listened for Angel’s tears, soon he heard them fall.

“Baby girl…” Mark said softly as he saw Angel cowering in the corner of the shower, pulling her into his strong embrace Mark seemed to neither care nor notice the almost freezing cold shower of water cascading over his and Angel’s bruised and battered body.

The ripped clothes and Angel’s silent tears told Mark all he needed to know, what he didn’t know was who. Of course in all honesty Mark knew who, but for a split second he believed even JBL could not be this evil.

“Mark…” Angel’s shivering scared voice softly brought Mark from his thoughts, pulling her close gently Mark tried his best to reassure her.

“Alexandra, my beautiful friend… I promise…” Was all Mark could actually get out before he openly cried, allowing his hurt and pain wash over him. Silently and tenderly Mark held Angel closely; softly kissing her now soaking wet hair, gently he picked her up into his arms and carried her off to his hotel room.

“Mark… Alex?” Dave called after them, as John came back with the EMT’s and help. Turning silently, Mark did not need to speak for them all to understand.

“We’re on it; call if you need anything.” Dave said, wondering how Gabby would be feeling right now; knowing their pasts were so closely linked. Nodding Mark turned and headed off, still trying to hold his tears in.

“John I’m gonna go get Tazz and Randy; find Shawn and Hunter…” Dave said, as John nodded and headed off. In the chairman’s hospital room a worried Steph pleaded with her father.

“Dad please tell me the truth, did you arrange this?” Having just watched as JBL raped one of her talents for real, sent shockwaves up her spine.

“Dad if it is, I am going to throw you into the lions den…” She continued, as Vince watched the screen blankly. Sighing deeply Steph shook her head and left the room, looking to Shane and then their mother.

“Do it Steph… Make the match. Give Mark what he wants…” Linda said softly, cursing herself for putting Michael and Angel through hell.

With Linda silently sobbing by Vince’s side, Steph and Shane headed back to their Greenwich home.

“Do you really think Dad had something to do with what happened to Alex?” Shane asked Steph as the two relaxed in the back of their stretch limo, shrugging her shoulders Steph’s mind was firmly with Angel. Steph’s mind was still raw with her own painful reminder of the past she wished she could forget, Hunter could and would never know the truth; but everyday it haunted her.

“I hope for his sake he didn’t Shane, Mark won’t rest you know…” She finally replied, wondering how their mother would cope. Back in the hospital car park Michael sat for ages trying to find his way, he finally knew he was no longer able to lie to himself; or Angel for that matter. He knew he needed to talk with her but this was the easier bit, talking to Linda would be a breeze compared to Angel.


I must see you again.

I am in the car park.

Please meet me.

Love you MC.

While the group of friends sat talking in the lobby of the hotel after the show, Mark silently watched on as Angel tried to sleep. Cursing himself deep inside Mark was going through hell inside as he tried to control his rage and anger; it did not take a mind reader to tell Mark that Angel and Michael were over. This fact alone gave him mixed emotions, he wanted Angel’s happiness; but deep inside he wanted her for himself. Mark’s rage was still bubbling as he watched Angel toss and turn, his heart breaking for the love of his life. He needed the comfort of his dark place, wanting to punish those that hurt the one he loved more than life itself.

“Her name means helper of mankind…” Paul’s voice seemed to come from out of the shadows enough to scare most people, but Mark just sat silently watching Angel.

“She is like her names…” He continued, confusing Mark slightly.

“What do you mean names?” Mark softly asked, walking to Angel’s side; softly stroking a stray strand of hair out of her eyes.

“The only way she could heal the blackness was either by taking the blackness herself, or being one of the chosen few…” Paul said, still trying to understand what he himself had witnessed earlier. Still Mark did not really understand what Paul was saying, but the wings that had almost died along with Mark; understood. So did Paul, who continued to explain.

“Those angel wings Mark, look at her; can you not see them anymore?” Paul knew that Mark saw his own wings as a sign he was not like others, Angel’s were that or a true heaven sent angel; Mark just needed to see it.

As Mark looked to Angel he saw the wings he long thought had left him, he saw them being reflected brightly and clearly with Angel’s own. As Mark watched their wings connect he understood, she was sent to save him; his true master was calling him home.

“I thought I had lost them Paul…” Mark said softly, finally understanding; finally seeing what Paul had meant.

“He never forgot you my son, they were with you always…” Paul continued, touching Mark’s shoulder softly in a sign of support and friendship. Mark never needed to say anymore, both men knew what it meant; it was time for the deadman to be brought back to life.

“Where’s Alex and Mark, Paul?” Steph asked Hunter, both knew they needed to be honest with each other.

“After the ra… what JBL did, Mark has her in his hotel room…” Hunter looked to Steph who nodded and went to head for the elevator, stopping for a moment as he continued.

“I don’t think he wants to be bothered Steph honey, he’s pretty fired up still…” Hunter knew full well that Steph would not listen, he also knew she felt Angel’s pain. Kissing his beautiful wife, Hunter nodded that he understood. Letting Steph go and head to Taker’s room, praying this was going to be a good visit.

Will Alex be okay?” Dave said to Gabby as the two sat quietly looking on, Dave could see the pain in Gabby’s eyes and held her close.

“I don’t know baby, she is tough; but this will have knocked her for six…” Gabby sighed deeply, as Dave pulled her close.

“I know I have done some things in my time, but man this was low…” Randy said as he sat silently staring out at the see of fans hanging around outside the hotel, it was normal for fans to hang around; but tonight was no normal night. With his own beautiful daughter at home with his new stunning wife, Randy could feel the same type of rage Taker must be feeling.

“I would kill the man that did that to my wife…” Shawn said, thinking back to the storyline he had with Jericho. In truth, Shawn had been feeling more than a little anger towards JBL for hurting Angel so much. Okay so it was down to Michael and Linda too, but if Shawn were honest with himself; JBL would need to pay most for his actions. Shawn’s life over the past 10 years or so had been lived like an open book; he was a good, honest and decent man. He was a God loving man who adored his wife and children, hence why his heart was breaking for what Angel and Mark seemed to be going through.

“Shawn, what’s on your mind?” Hunter asked as he rejoined the friends, looking back to the closing lift.

“Fighting a fight for justice…” Was all Shawn needed to say for Hunter to know what was on Shawn’s mind, sighing deeply it wasn’t that he didn’t like working with his best friend; more that if Vince actually had been involved he could live to regret this move.

“Be sure Shawn, you know what this could mean…” Hunter said, after a while of silence. Nodding, Shawn thought for a moment before replying.

“I know Hunter, but JBL needs to pay for this!” Shawn’s mind already made up, he wanted to make John Bradshaw Layfield pay for what he had put Angel through; and by God he would.

“I never thought JBL would go this far, this is beyond what I thought he would do…” Jillian said as she hugged Tazz closer to her, still shocked about her former bosses actions that day.

“Mark, its Steph. Can I come in and talk with you?” Steph said cautiously as she knocked on the hotel room door, even doing this creped her out. Letting her in Mark’s trademark blank face was expressionless as Steph tried to find her voice, clearing her throat she spoke.

“Mark, how’s Alex?” Were Steph’s first words, causing a look of confusion to come from Mark’s eyes and face, silently he stood back and let Steph see for herself. As Steph looked, she could tell Angel was not in a good way trying to rest but tossing and turning all the time. The pain and fear etched upon her face clearly, her pain clearly evident in Steph’s own saddened eyes. Mark knew something was wrong, after all these years playing mind games and the like; he knew better than anyone the look in a person’s eyes gave more away than simple words ever could. That look that many people thought they would be able to hide, the same look he had seen in Angel’s eyes were in Steph’s own pretty brown ones.

“Stephanie…” Was all Mark managed to say before she spoke, giving him all that he needed.

“Whatever you want Mark, whatever match; it is yours.” Steph said softly, as she looked to Angel; who again almost cried out.

“JBL… Hell In A Cell… Unsanctioned match…” Mark said softly as he went to Angel’s side, tenderly he tried to sooth her fears away.

“It’s yours Mark, please make sure…” Steph began to say, stopping short. Hoping Mark would not see through her, knowing there was a good chance he could.

“Take care of her Mark, she’ll need you so much over the next few months…” Steph finished, silently heading for the door.

“When did he… hurt you?” Mark began to say, still softly caressing Angel.

“Before I had my daughter…” Was all Steph could say, both knew what it meant; neither would mention it again though.

“He will pay… I promise.” Was all Mark said, nodding his head to Steph as she left. As Mark softly comforted Angel, Steph silently cried. Tears for Alex, Mark and her own beautiful daughter. There was of course no way of knowing if she was Paul’s or not, nor did she wish to find out. Paul was sure and that was all that mattered, in her heart; Paul was the father and always would be.

“Are you okay baby?” Hunter said softly, as Steph finally came down to the lobby.

“I am fine honey, Mark has the match he wants.” She replied, with the best smile she could muster.

“So that means we just need to soften JBL up in the weeks prior to Wrestlemania?” Cena said, with a glint in his eye that Randy could not misplace. John had been silent for the longest time, not speaking since he saw Angel being carried away in Taker’s arms. It had obviously gotten to him, and it was only the friendship of Randy that would pull him through.

“Mark needs all our help John.” Dave said, softly caressing Gabby’s tender skin. They wanted to say more and would have done had it not been for Mark breezing into the lobby, looking to all the friends he and Alex had; he could not help but smile.

“Cena…” Mark called, not waiting for him to answer.

“Take care of Alex, I need to take care of some business…” Mark’s strong booming voice was seemingly filled with fear and uncertainty, all John could do was nod before Taker had left the hotel.

“Oh God, please not again!” John sighed, heading for the room Angel was in; taking Dave and Gabby with him as he went.

It was three days until Wrestlemania and still Angel had not seen or spoken to Mark, she desperately needed to talk to him; to find out where there were going as a couple. During the buildup Gabby and Dave talked more about getting married, ending with Gabby finally agreeing to marry Dave.

“Me and Dave want you both to be there for our big day…” Gabby informed Angel that she and Mark were thought of already as a couple, smiling sadly Angel spoke.

“When I see Mark I will tell him, I’m sure he’ll be flattered.” Hugging Gabby to her Angel felt a warm sense of relief; she thought the two would never marry!

“I know you may say no Alex…” Cena began, looking to Dave and Gabby; hoping he was going to be making the right choice.

“But if you like, I would love to escort you to the Hall of Fame ceremony.” John said softly, shyly blushing as he did so. Smiling a genuine smile, Angel was about to thank John when Randy came into the locker room.

“Any news of Mark?” He asked Angel, hugging her warmly and greeting the others. For the past month Randy had become something of a godsend to the friends, able to act like he never cared but in truth he cared as much as the other friends. He and John had also become something close to best friends, with the pair almost always being seen out together. In truth the only things that seemed wrong was Michael’s constant avoiding of his unresolved relationship with Angel and Mark’s absence, but in truth Mark would never be far away from Angel. Shaking her head sadly, Angel spoke softly.

“Nothing Randy, I just hope he can make Wrestlemania!” Trying to smile a smile that would never reach her lips, in truth Angel knew Mark would be back; but she still wanted to talk to him before hand.

“He’ll be there honey, he would never let you down.” Gabby said, knowing that Mark was the one for Angel.

“And thank you John, I would be honored to go with you…” Angel added, smiling as she thanked John; secretly wishing and hoping that Mark would be able to escort her.

In the darkness, Mark watched Angel closely; constantly making sure she was safe. But then to be fair all their friends were doing much the same as Mark, making sure Angel was safe and never in danger. Even Steph did all she could to keep Angel safe from any more pain or hurt, but no matter it would always be Mark that Angel would need and wish was there. Mark was never far from Angel’s side, even when she slept he would be close by in the shadows. Truth is that Angel seemingly knew that Mark would never be far away, she somehow seemed to take great comfort in the fact that he would be in the shadows; keeping her safe. In all the years she had worked with and known Mark, he would always seemingly show his real personality; he only hid his “off screen” character that one time after No Way Out. As Angel headed off to her hotel room she could once again feel Mark watching over her, softly she smiled to herself. As was usual, Angel headed straight to her room and got ready for bed.

“Goodnight Mark, I love you.” Angel whispered softly as she passed by the open window and headed for her bed, smiling as she settled down and began to fall asleep. Within seconds Angel felt the cool breeze, smiling once more Angel kept her eyes closed but shifted closer to the edge of the bed. Smiling Mark knew she would always be the one, silently he watched her for a while; studying her as she peacefully rested.

“Goodnight my beautiful girl, I love you too…” Mark silently whispered, as he watched her fall asleep fully. For the past three weeks since Angel’s soul had been taken by JBL and Mark had taken off, he had spent every night watching her sleep. Every night he silently entered her room and would watch over her, making sure she was safe and could sleep. Sometimes Angel seemed to know he was there, but every night he would wait until she was sleeping soundly before he lay with her; longing for the day he could feel her arms around him. But tonight was the first time she had spoken to him, but it would not be the last.

When Angel woke Mark would always be gone, but she always knew he had been there. His calling card was his symbol printed upon a red rose petal, it would always be lay tenderly upon the pillow next to her. The night before the Hall of Fame ceremony Angel did as always and headed for bed, but as she passed the window she stopped and wrote something on a piece of paper. Placing the note upon the side of the desk Angel got into bed and said goodnight to Mark as last night, but tonight she would not be falling asleep; she needed to see him. As she felt the cool air breeze past her, Angel smiled, feeling safe he was with her once again. As Mark silently told Angel the same he saw the note and picked it up, as she laid silently still Mark read the note.


I love and miss you more than words can say.

Thank you for keeping me safe and watching over me.

Please be my partner to the HoF ceremony?

Goodnight my wonderful boyfriend.


Softly Mark wiped a tear from his eye, it was not so much that she wanted to go with him; rather that she made that commitment and called him her boyfriend. Mark knew it was daft but when the only women in his life were either bitches or crazed fans, it seemingly meant a lot to him that Angel felt this way about him. Looking to Angel Mark knew she was not sleeping and sat in the chair opposite, studying her as normal; not able to rest until he knew she was at peace that night. Angel must have been awake for ages before she stirred, hoping Mark would still be there.

“Mark, please come lay with me?” Angel boldly said, needing his touch as well as to see him once more. Mark was torn between going to her and not, his heart telling him to wait as his mind told him not too.

“Sleep now my pretty angel, I shall be with you soon…” He said softly, as Angel felt the cool breeze and the followed by the emptiness. Although she was sad, Angel still felt able to sleep.

As Jillian lay in Tazz’s arms she began to think about all that had brought her to this moment, smiling as she felt the self-proclaimed thug stir in her arms. Still she was unable to understand how she, how they all had gotten to where they all were in their lives right now. Dave had seemingly settled down from a wild beast to a tamed animal, John and Randy had found not only friendship but love with Mickie James and her sister; Leanne. Hunter and Shawn had found a new flourish in their careers and love lives, while she had found her tough teddy bear in Tazz. Everything was working out well for all the friends, the only ones seemingly still struggling was Michael, Angel and Mark. Michael and Angel would not talk about their problems, while Mark seemingly would or could not take things where he wanted them to go with Angel. Even though Mark had the reputation of never breaking character, he would on rare occasions break his act. Jillian had seen him break it a couple of times, with each time almost always having something to do with Angel in some way or another. While she never knew Michael well, Tazz had often spoken of the two of them being best friends. From all that he had said Jillian would never have imagined Michael to screw the boss’s wife, but then again she always believed that she would end up with JBL. Jillian shuddered at the thought, realizing she had indeed been given a lucky escape! As she studied Tazz sleeping she truly felt blessed at having found what seemed to be the love of her life, Pete was such an amazing man; sometimes she would have to pinch herself to see if it all was actually real.

“I love you Pete, always…” Jillian softly whispered to Tazz as she kissed him softly, curling up close beside him. Smiling to himself softly, Pete had never felt so happy and relaxed. Silently he said thank you to the God’s, grateful that his life had finally settled down.

“I love you too my beautiful girlfriend….” Softly Tazz’s lips grazed Jillian’s forehead, pulling her closer into his warm embrace.

Michael must have been sat outside her hotel for a good four hours before he finally realized they needed to end this relationship, it wasn’t that he didn’t care for Angel anymore; it was more a case of he knew it would not work anymore.

“Just be honest with her Mike…” Linda said softly, as the pair lay in bed talking.

“But it is not that simple Linda; there is so much I need to say, to explain…” Michael answered, not really sure if he was trying to convince her or himself.

“Yes it is Mike, she damn well knows anyway…” Linda retorted, slightly angry that Mike was being this cowardly about it all. In all the years they had known each other, he had never been the cowardly one. Much like most of the superstars, on screen they all had characters to play; but off screen most were much different. Off screen Linda knew Michael as a kind, strong and powerful man; on screen of course he was much different. Sighing deeply, Michael agreed to talk with Angel and headed off for her hotel room. So know as he sat there on the night of the Hall of Fame ceremony, trying to find the right words he needed Michael began to wish things had been different.

“So how do I look guys?” Angel said, as she stood there in her brand new outfit. Standing there in the figure hugging deep purple blue cocktail dress, Angel looked a million dollars. All three friends more than a little aware that Mark was one lucky man, smiling it was John who finally spoke and broke the tension.

“You look stunning Alex…” He said honestly, his heart stopping him just in time before he said more.

“I just hope Mark likes it…” Angel said honestly, nervously smoothing down the hem of her dress; something she would do all night. Before Gabby had the chance to reassure her best friend, there was a knock at the door.

“See I told you Mark would be here!” Gabby said as she almost ran to the door, a smile upon her face that rivaled Angel’s own. Within seconds the smile was gone from Gabby’s face and both men were stood almost in front of Angel; as if to guard her.

“What do you want?” Gabby curtly asked, trying not to allow Angel to see what was happening.

“I need to talk to Alex; please will she see me for a few moments?” He spoke softly, not wanting Angel to hear his voice yet; himself unsure if she actually would want to talk to him anymore.

“Gabby, who is it?” Angel asked, the curiosity almost too much for her to take.

“It’s Cole…” Was all she could say, the look of contempt in her eyes obvious.

“What the hell does he want?” Cena said coldly, still unable to forgive a man who could hurt Angel in that way.

“I really need to talk with Alex; please may I come in?” Michael asked once more, aware that everyone in that room probably hated him right now.

“Its okay guys; let him in Gabby….” Angel said, trying to smile; but still hurting deep inside.

“Thank you…” Michael began, as he walked into the room. He wanted to say more, but stopped dead in his tracks; amazed at her beauty.

“Wow, Alex you look amazingly beautiful…” The words that he wanted to say, and indeed needed to say managed to get stuck in the back of his throat. For a moment he was dumbstruck, just about able to just stand there routed to one spot

Finally as both Cena and Batista cleared their throats loudly, Michael was able to focus slightly more.

“Can we talk, in private? About us…” Michael said, trying to stop his mind from falling once more.

Everything he thought he knew and felt had seemingly been thrown into the air, Angel’s beauty stunning him into silence. Michael had come to end their relationship, what he had not planned upon was old feelings stirring once more. He must have been silently thinking about this for a while as Angel had to clear her throat loudly twice before he came to his senses, trying to shake himself too.

“I wanted to talk about things that have been happening…” He began, not really sure what he was going to say.

“Look, just be honest and tell me you screwed Linda…” Angel began, the anger flashing within her eyes; something she realized she had got from Mark. The hurt and pain inside was beginning to overwhelm her, she was not expecting to feel such anger.

“Alex, I won’t lie to you. Yes we spent the night together, but I…” Michael began, trying to find the right words he needed. His heart was telling him to be honest and tell her the truth, trouble is that his heart wasn’t telling him just what that was. Maybe he still loved Angel, maybe he felt inferior to Mark; or maybe it was just because she looked so damn good. Whatever the reason, Michael was having second thoughts. His heart seemed to want him to fight for their relationship, his mind screaming at him to not be a fool.

“What Cole, you just what?” Tazz said, not just surprising both that he had arrived but was also trying not to let his anger get the better of him.

“Pete, please give me a minute; I’m trying to sort things out!” Michael pleaded, looking to Tazz who didn’t move.

“Why the hell can’t you just leave her alone Mike?” Tazz said truthfully, looking at the man he once called his best friend.

“Second thoughts…” Angel said quietly, not having looked up from the floor. The silence in the room that descended over them could be felt by all. The atmosphere almost able to be cut with a knife.

“Michael, I can’t make you that promise anymore. I just don’t know if I can feel the same way about you…” Angel said, wishing Mark was here. If Mark had been there; then this conversation would certainly not be taking place, and she would not be faced with one of the biggest decisions of her life.

“Alex please, we need to talk about this…” Michael said, all too aware that he could have lost her for good this time. Turning her back to him, Michael was about to continue when Gabby called through.

“Alex, Mark’s here!” The look on both Alex and Michael’s face told very different pictures, his was sadness; while she was feeling nothing but happiness.

“I think you should go Cole…” Tazz said as Angel rushed to the other room where her friends were, smoothing the hem of her dress once more.

“Do I look okay?” Angel asked Gabby once more, who just had time to nod before the doorbell rang. Outside Mark nervously stood fiddling with his collar then tie, hoping he looked okay. It was the first time he had been to the Hall of Fame ceremony, let alone in a tux. Standing there he began to wonder if the whole tux thing was really him, holding onto the single red rose Mark tried his best to quell his fears.

“Mark!” Gabby cried out, impressed at how handsome he truly was in the tux.

“Is Alex there Gabby? I have a beautiful woman to escort to the Hall of Fame ceremony…” Mark said smiling, hugging Gabby to his warmly as he walked in. All Gabby could do was nod as she stood back and watched, like the others as this all unfolded.

Alex was so pleased to see Mark that she was almost running into his arms, she had almost got there too when Michael appeared at the door.

“What the fuck is HE doing here?” Mark said, almost unable to keep his hurt and anger in check. Mark’s eyes were dark and demonic, Angel could tell by the change in Mark’s eyes that he wanted Michael dead.

“He came to talk Alex…” Cena said, trying to find a way to smooth things over. The last thing any of the friends wanted was Angel hurt once more, but in truth he too wanted to kick Michael’s butt for all he has put Angel through.

“Mark… you look so handsome.” Angel said softly, reaching out to caress his cheek softly. Within moments Mark’s eyes had changed back to the soft emerald green she was used to seeing, smiling softly he spoke.

“You look simply stunning my darling…” Mark took hold of Angel’s hands softly in his as the two smiled like lovesick teenagers, only being brought from their moment by Michael clearing his throat loudly.

“Alex, can we not talk about this. I miss you, miss your touch…” In Michael’s mind he was just trying to fix their relationship, in Mark’s mind he was waving a red rag in front of a big angry bull. All Mark needed to do was give him one of his legendry looks before Michael got the picture and headed to the door, taking his life in his own hands; he spoke once more.

“I still love you Alex, I want us to work and make it. Can we not try again, or at the very least talk?” There was a coldness in Angel’s eyes that he had not seen before, turning to leave Michael’s heart broke completely.

“Baby girl…” Mark’s voice bringing Angel from her thoughts, looking to this handsome man stood with her she knew she was making the right choice.

“If you want to try again, I will understand… but know I will never be able to forgive him for cheating on you!” Mark’s soft voice and tender words warming Angel’s soul deep inside, looking up into his beautiful green eyes Angel boldly kiss Mark upon the lips before speaking.

“I want to be with you Mark, I love you.” Her honesty and openness obvious for all the friends to see, looking to her friends Angel smiled and spoke once more.

“Shall we go guys? I am sure the others will all be waiting for us.” Taking Mark’s hand in her own, she led the way to their transport for the evening; leaving Michael stood outside looking hurt and totally lost. With John and Randy picking up Mickie and her sister up on the way, all the friends headed to Civic Centre where the Hall of Fame ceremony would be held that night. Although all were nervous it was Mark that was the most on edge that evening, he was not used to being out of character; to him this was a big thing.

“Mark honey, are you okay?” Angel said

“This is all a little… you know?” Was all Mark could manage saying as he tried his best to calm his nervous before the walked in to the room, smiling softly she tenderly touched his face.

“We don’t have to go do this if you don’t want to baby, I will go anywhere with you!” She softly said, wrapping her arms around his waist; enjoying the feeling of his strong chest rise and fall against her.

“I love you Alex, I want us to do this…” Mark said softly, kissing the top of her forehead gently. Smiling the two friends headed into the room, Mark’s arm always around Angel’s waist; making all who watched aware that they were indeed more than just friends. As the friends all sat on the front row, the night began with a blast all enjoying how things played out. However it was the end of the evening that would cause all of them the most trouble, and the one time that their friendships would come under such strain. As the friends left the building JBL stood outside his stretch limo as if nothing was wrong, no one could actually believe that he was stood there; or that he had the guts to do so.

“I told you I owned you now bitch… how does it feel Taker? How does it feel to have lost her soul to me? She’s mine now, get used to it…” JBL’s voice was cold and harsh; his words even colder and fueled with pure evil. Mark was being held too tightly by Angel for him to actually do anything, Cena and Batista were trying not to react; as were the others. As Angel tried to be strong she led Mark away, back to their transport and hopeful safety. Sneering towards the other friends JBL turned to leave, not realizing that Shawn would be the one to make him pay. Before anyone had the chance to stop Shawn he had already made his move, landing an unexpected blow to JBL’s temple; one that he would never recover from. One that would allow Shawn to continue the beat down with relative ease, the other guys led their dates away from the trouble; leaving Shawn to let his anger and evil side flow.

“You fucking bastard, I’ll make you beg for forgiveness!” Shawn said as he continued to rain down with a violent fury, each blow finding there target easily. Somehow Angel knew something was wrong and headed back to where she watched Shawn decimate JBL before her very eyes, he is not going to stop! Angel thought as she rushed to Shawn’s side.

“Please Shawn, stop! He’s not worth this, please stop!” Angel begged, as she took his arm and tried to pull Shawn away. Although Shawn stopped, he pulled his arm away quickly from Angel. Looking at her but not really seeing her, his eyes were dark and filled with a rage he had not felt in a long time.

“Shawn, please…” Was all Angel could say as she watched this good, honest and decent man she knew turn into a violent angry beast. As Shawn came to his senses all he could do was sink to his knees and sob openly and honestly, reaching out for his friend and continuing to cry as she held him tightly.

“Oh Shawn…” Was all Angel could say as she held him close, looking to Mark who had come to seek his girlfriend out. Looking to the sight that confronted him, he was more than a little aware that Angel was indeed a special one. Standing over JBL’s limp and almost lifeless body, Mark sneered down at him and spoke coldly.

“You touch her again, and I WILL kill you!” turning his back on the man he considered to be the lowest of the low, Mark went to Angel’s side.

“You are a good man Shawn, thank you for defending my angel’s honor.” Mark said softly, as he helped Shawn to his feet. Nodding to each other, both men walked off; heading back to their limo and the hotel. That night Shawn would spend all night tossing and turning; unable to sleep, his actions that evening haunting him. Something that would happen many times for the next few years, Shawn unable to forgive himself for a long time to come.

“He is in love with you Alex… he is not the only one either!” Mark said softly, as Angel asked him why Shawn had beaten JBL so badly.

“Baby girl everyone loves you!” Mark added, as he smiled.

“But I only love you Mark, you know this right?” Angel said, blushing. All Mark did was nod before the two fell asleep, both trying to dream of better things.

“Can’t you sleep Mike?” Linda said softly, as she tenderly stroked Michael’s back. With his mind still firmly upon Angel and that stunning figure hugging dress, Michael tried his best to live with his choices. Truth was though that he was finding it almost impossible, how the hell did I let it get to this? Was all that went though his mind as Linda did her best to reach him, in her heart of hearts she knew that she had lost him to Angel; but in truth she never really felt like she had him.

“Why did you let Alex walk away Mike? I mean if you still love her and everything…” Linda said boldly as she sat in the chair across from where Michael sat pensively chewing his bottom lip, Linda knew he was tormented by his recklessness; she just wished he would admit it to himself.

“Because…” Michael began, not really sure what he wanted to say.

“Because I am a fool, I just felt like the struggle was too hard I guess…” He continued, not really sure he believed it himself. Relationships were never easy, well not in Michael’s case anyway; so why was this time going to be any different.

“I wish… I wish I could turn the clock back.” Michael said boldly, he knew this would more than likely hurt Linda; but he had to say what he truly felt. Getting up Michael headed for the door, he needed some time and space to think.

“I need some fresh air, don’t wait up.” Was all he said as he left, left Linda feeling like she was cheap and had been used. In truth it wasn’t how things were but it would take Linda a long time before she could or even would see things differently, her heart would always regret hurting two people she cared deeply for. As Linda watched Michael leave he mind thought about the lives she had effectively messed with, this was never the woman she wanted to be.

As Michael walked he had no real idea where he was going or about to end up, but then as he stood outside her hotel he realised this would happen. The hurt and anger he felt towards himself was immense, sitting down heavily outside Michael began to think about all that had brought him to this moment. Maybe he had rushed into things with Angel, he had not been widowed for long; maybe he was still hurting too much. Whatever the reason he was more than a little aware that he had seriously screwed up, he had hurt more than one person and it was killing him. When he had first met Angel, all Michael had wanted was to be with her. He hadn’t planned on screwing the bosses wife or this constant battle with JBL; he hadn’t planned for so many people to get involved in a fight that even he himself wasn’t sure he could win. Maybe he should be blaming Angel and Mark for the way things had gone, it was Mark who was quick to comfort her; and it wasn’t like Angel was pushing him away from comforting her. Of course in his mind Michael knew this was a load of rubbish, but if he was being honest with himself he would have clearly seen the writing on the wall long before this had happened. In his mind Michael had two options open to him, he could fight for Angel or he could walk away; neither of which seemed to be an easy option if he was being honest. Anything he did now would undoubtedly cause more pain for both of them, and the last thing he wanted was an angry Undertaker on his case; he had enough trouble with JBL! Man this sucks Michael thought as he tried to find the answers he longed for, he had lost the love of his life; and his friends. All because he could not be honest instead of running away, God how he hated himself right now.

“How about navy and ivory with gold touches?” Gabby said, as she talked with Batista about their upcoming wedding. Dave sighed deeply and prayed for the answers, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to get married or anything; he adored Gabby. It was more that he felt out of his depth, he was not very good at this sort of thing if he was being honest with himself.

“It sounds good to me baby…” Dave tried his best to give the right answers, in truth he was fighting a losing battle; but neither would know why for a little while. Gabby could tell Dave was unsure, but unlike normal the first thought through Gabby’s mind was not ones of self-doubt.

“Tell me about your first wife?” Gabby boldly asked, laying her head on Dave and gently stroking his strong chest. Smiling, he gently caressed Gabby as he began to talk about his first wife.

“Her name was Angie, she was an angel; I just never saw it when we were married…” Dave said honestly, softly kissing Gabby’s hand.

“I was letting my success and the constant travelling go to my head, I became a bit of an ass!” He continued, trying to let out a little laugh.

“Are we going to make it Dave, I mean are things different this time around?” Gabby said softly, her mind full of worry.

“Aww baby girl, I love you! Of course we are going to work, I’d give it all up for you baby.” Dave said honestly, pulling his beautiful girlfriend closer.

“Let’s talk more tomorrow, sleep now baby girl…” He added, pulling Gabby closer and closing his eyes. Smiling softly, Gabby kissed his cheek and settled down to sleep.

“Goodnight my beautiful wife to be...” Dave said softly, smiling as he slept.

“Goodnight my wonderful husband to be…” Both drifted off to sleep, safe in the knowledge both had found each other.

Both Steph and Hunter had been silent all the way home after seeing Shawn snap in the way he had, it was something neither thought they would ever see; Shawn was the last person they thought would snap.

“Will Shawn be okay Paul?” Steph said softly, the two cuddling up on the bed. Shrugging his shoulders, Hunter had a good idea why but was not sure he should say anything.

“I think he just felt so angered by what Bradshaw had done…” He finally answered, hoping it would be all he needed to say.

“He’s in love with Alex isn’t he?” Steph said softly, knowing full well of the answer.

“And he’s not the only one either is he?” She added, looking up into her husbands eyes. All Hunter could do was nod before taking a deep breath and speaking, hoping he was not about to drop his best friend in it.

“I think Michael was always going to be fighting a losing battle anyway, if it wasn’t Mark it would have been someone else.” Pulling his wife close, Hunter thought about his stunning baby daughter. His mind was torn between wanting to know and not, he had to ask; but he was afraid that he would regret the answer.

“Although to Mark’s credit it was him who was there for Alex when she was raped, I dunno if Michael would have been able to cope…” Hunter said as he immediately felt the change in Steph, from that moment he knew for certain Alex was not JBL’s first victim. As was their relationship, Hunter knew he could be forward and honest with Steph; so that is what he did.

“When did JBL rape you?” The silence was almost deafening, Steph always thought she had hidden it so well.

“Just before Aurora Rose was born…” Steph softly said, almost instantly pulling away and curling into a protective ball. It wasn’t that she was worried of what Hunter may do more that he would look at her differently, she was more than a little aware what this could mean to both of them.

In his mind, Hunter was ready to go back and finish what Shawn had started but of course he knew he was not able to do this. As Hunter noted the change in the air had still not changed back, trying to smile a smile that would never reached his lips Hunter tenderly took his beautiful wife into his arms and held her close.

“I love you Steph, no matter what I will always love both you and our daughter…” Hunter began to say, softly kissing her forehead.

“Oh Paul, I was sorry worried…” Steph began, trying not to allow her tears to fall but realizing this was all in vain. As Steph cried, Hunter did his best to sooth her fears away; praying that Taker would destroy JBL. As she watched Shawn toss and turn Rebecca knew she had lost her wonderful husband, in her mind he had already left her; the man she lay with tonight was not her husband. Picking up her cell phone she dialed the number of the one person she knew would always be there for her, waiting for a moment she smiled at the sound of his voice.

“I needed to talk to someone, can I come round?” She knew in her heart of hearts that she need not ask, he always wanted to see her as much as she did him. Thirty minutes later she found herself sat in his warm plush living room, the two friends sharing a drink and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.

“It’s so good to see you, I have missed you.” He said softly, smiling as Rebecca blushed slightly; he loved seeing her go red.

“God I have missed you too Chris!” Feeling unusually bold, she kissed him with a passion she thought had long deserted her; enjoying the feel of his hands upon her body. As Jericho continued to talk and listen to her plight, Rebecca could feel herself falling deeper for him.

“You could stay if you like? If you don’t feel like heading back of course…” Chris said, softly caressing her back as they kissed softly. All it took was Rebecca to nod, before he led her off to his bedroom.

“Will Alex go back to Michael? I mean after all she has gone through, I dunno if he will be enough for her…” Jillian said softly as she lay in Tazz’s arms, the two tenderly sharing in the silence that had fallen between them. It was a comfortable silence that both found themselves in, something both were used to feeling. Tazz had been silent for sometime before he finally took a deep breath and replied, sharing in Jillian’s; and all their friends concerns.

“I don’t know baby, I think she is a fool if she does… but then again, they seemed so in love towards the start.” Pulling Jillian closer into his warm embrace, Tazz was half expecting her to ask why Shawn had acted in the way he did but in truth I think they all knew why. There was certainly something about Alex that made many a man fall for her, Tazz suspected that it was not something Alex herself was aware of; but it was true many men seem to have fallen under her spell.

“Shawn’s in love with Alex isn’t he, and I suspect he isn’t the only one either right Pete?” Jillian finally said after sometime, bring Tazz from his own thoughts. Nodding, Tazz softly replied.

“I think Michael would have always felt second best, it would have driven him crazy!” Tazz smiled slightly at the thought of Michael trying not to be jealous every time Alex went to the ring, yes it would have certainly would have broken Michael in two every time she wrestled.

“Michael’s a nice guy Pete, I just don’t know if he’s right for Alex…” Jillian said, curling up next to Tazz; nuzzling into his soft neck.

“Is Mark the right one for her?” Tazz asked, softly caressing Jillian as she began to evoke a deep passionate desire in him.

“I don’t know Pete, I just know you are the right guy for me!” Jillian replies as she softly kissed Tazz, gently stroking his desire making both aware that they were in this for the long haul.

As Randy and Cena walked Mickie and her sister Leanne home the mood is on edge as they try to avoid earlier events, but in truth none of them could avoid it for long.

“I’ve not seen Shawn like that before…” Mickie began, gripping John’s arm slightly.

“Even when Rebecca was hurt by Jericho, Shawn was controlled still.” Mickie continued, watching how Leanne and Randy seemed to be with each other. At first Mickie was unsure about Randy’s arrival on the scene, she was used to the Legend Killing ruthless ways of Randy; seeing this other side to him almost unsettled her. But seeing how he had seemingly come to Angel’s aid, as well as John’s she had to give him the benefit of the doubt. And if she was being honest with herself, she had never seen her sister happier than she was right now; even if she understood their friendship could not last forever, she was seemingly more than happy with all she had right now. As they reached Mickie’s hotel room, both John and Randy bid the girls goodnight and carried on to their hotel rooms; talking as they went.

“Shawn’s in love with Alex John…” Randy said softly as the two friends walked, Randy trying his best to gently broach the subject that was on both their minds. John was silent for a long time, so much so that it almost unsettled Randy.

“I know Randy, I know. But it doesn’t change how I felt, it never would have.” John replied honestly, being as open as he could with his best friend. Sighing deeply Randy put his hand on his friends shoulder, wishing he could comfort his dear friend. By now the two had reached Randy’s room and had been stood outside for a good ten minutes, with Randy doing all he could to give support to his friend. Hugging John closely, wishing he could make all their problems go away.

For a split second, as the two friends parted they were hit with something neither had felt before; uncertainty.

“Do you really love her John?” Randy asked, trying to block the thoughts from his mind; thought he was unprepared to feel. If he had been asked that earlier John would have said yes, without a shadow of a doubt. But now, if he was being honest with himself John had no idea what he truly felt. Randy took John’s silence to mean what he thought it meant, and in truth it was much the same as he had been thinking. Both John and Randy tried to rationalize their thoughts, neither willing to be the first to admit it.

“How can one woman have such an affect on so many?” John finally said, his mind filled with lustful thoughts he thought he would never experience. With his mind elsewhere Randy opened his door and stepped inside, looking back to John who stood there looking as though he was a inexperienced schoolboy; not sure what his next move should be.

“Wanna get drunk?” Randy finally said, willing to take a chance; hoping he had not read the situation wrong. For a moment John stood stuck to the spot, teetering on the edge of desire and what he believed was the right thing to do. As Randy smiled his lopsided; charming smile, John made his choice. Nodding, he headed inside and within seconds found himself in another embrace with Randy. As their passion and desire could no longer be denied, both men allowed the moment to take them were it wanted them to go.

“Are you sure?” Randy breathlessly asked as the two pulled back slightly, both well aware that this was a line; if they crossed they could not go back from.

“Yes!” John firmly said, pulling Randy closer; passionately kissing his best friend with all he had. The two friends allowing their passions and emotions catch up with them, knowing this could be what they both had been searching for.

As morning broke on what would turn out to be the most important Wrestlemania for their lives, both Mark and Angel had been up for ages. With the day ahead firmly on their minds, the nerves had seemingly got to them both.

“How did you sleep baby girl?” Mark said softly, tenderly kissing Angel’s soft neck. Feeling his tender touch, Angel moaned softly as she woke.

“Being in your arms feels amazing Mark…” She softly said, trying to avoid answering. Truth was she had not slept that well, the pressure of last night and their huge match getting to her slightly.

“Tell me the truth Alex, I know you remember!” Mark said, almost chiding her as he did so. Smiling Angel was amazed at how well Mark could read her, touching his cheek softly she replied.

“I’ve just been thinking a lot about last night and today, it is a lot to take in…” Angel said honestly, knowing that no matter how hard she tried; Mark would always be able to read her.

“Truth is darling, I had the same trouble. It is a big thing for us both isn’t it?” Mark replied, softly kissing Angel’s hands.

“Mark honey, no matter what; I will always love and cherish you…” Angel began, knowing deep inside that she never really need to say the things on her mind; but wanting to nevertheless.

“Your love and friendship means everything to me Mark, even if I cannot come home; I am yours always!” Angel softly continued as she tenderly kissed Mark, caressing his warm solid naked chest as she did so.

“Forever Alex, I promise you forever my beautiful girlfriend…” Mark managed to say as his passion and desire grew, knowing full well that this moment would last forever in his heart; mind and soul.

As Shawn woke to a cold empty bed he knew his life was about to be turned upside down once more, he somehow knew he had lost Rebecca. Propping himself up upon his elbows, Shawn looked around the room; searching for any glimmer of hope that she had not left him. Of course he knew in his heart that she had, the moment he landed the first blow to that low life JBL made him more than a little aware of that. In his mind, Shawn tried his best to rationalize all that had happened last night. He cared so much for Angel as a friend that when she was hurt, he felt like he needed to do something. Shawn of course knew this was not all there was to it, of course he loved Angel; who couldn’t. Shawn knew he was not the only man to have fallen under Angel’s spell, there were others; many others. But with Angel’s heart seemingly belonging to Mark, there was no way anyone else; including Michael Cole would ever win her heart. Which is why it made no sense to him why Rebecca should feel so jealous, with Mark on the scene no one; including Shawn himself would ever make a play for Angel? Sighing deeply Shawn got up and began to get showered and dressed, he had a long day; an important day ahead of him, he needed to be at his best. Shawn was already dressed and making breakfast by the time Rebecca walked in to the room, neither had said anything other than hi for the past ten minutes.

“Shawn, I want a div...” Rebecca began to say, not being able to finish as Shawn spoke; softly but firmly.

“If you cheated on me fine, if you want a divorce fine. But I have never cheated on you, and would never do so either!” His anger was rising once more, not wanting to say or do something he regret Shawn walked out and continued to walk until he was calm once more.

Waking with a stiff neck and bad back, Michael tried to figure out where he was. Being late last night when he went for a walk, he had no real idea where he had ended up; but when he was able to find out something inside him wished he had not been able to. Standing in the entrance to the cold, eerie graveyard Michael felt very uneasy; more than a little aware at how ironic this situation was. It must have been really early in the morning as the whole place seemed to be deserted, feeling more than a little uncomfortable; Michael began to slowly leave not really sure where he was actually going. He had almost gotten outside and was ready to look for transport back to the hotel when he heard what he thought was his name being called, looking back he could have sworn he saw a tall figure dressed in black disappearing behind one of the headstones. Of course in his mind Michael knew that Mark would be with Angel, which irritated him more than he was willing to admit. Still moving backwards, Michael tripped over the curb and landed on his butt. Feeling more than a little embarrassed, Michael wished the ground would open up and swallow him whole. Picking himself up and dusting himself off Michael headed off in search for someway back to his hotel, not really sure if it was where he wanted to truly be. He knew deep down he was not happy with the way things were, but he also knew he could be fighting a loosing battle when it came to Angel. Michael’s heart and mind were confused, not just because of things that have been happening recently. Maybe his heart really did belong to Angel, maybe he just needed to stop being such a coward; whatever it was Michael knew he needed to do something about their situation. Before he knew it Michael found himself standing back outside the hotel, watching the superstars leaving for the arena. Michael finally made his choice, knowing it would; whatever the outcome be the right choice for all concerned.

As Batista woke the first thing he noticed was the sunshine streaming through the hotel room’s window, the next thing he noticed was the absence of his beautiful girlfriend; Gabby. Although he was a rational and confident man in most things, the one thing Dave was unsure about was if he was enough for Gabby. Truth was that no matter how successful or rich Dave was, there would always be this little voice; niggling doubt in the back of his mind that he would always fail. If he was honest a lot of his doubts came from his time in the Children’s Homes, always being told he was worthless and would amount to nothing; he may look like he could win many a fight but deep inside he was still that small little naïve young boy. He had seen many things during his days growing up, he had been both victim and instigator in many situations. After getting into trouble one too many times and ending up in jail, Dave finally made the hard choice to turn his life around. After a hard road he found himself on top in the WWE and a role model to many youngsters. It was with immense pride that Dave carried not only any belt he held but also himself, knowing that there maybe kids out there watching like him. But sometimes Dave’s own fears and insecurities seemed to overtake him, in his heart Dave knew Gabby loved him and would never leave him. He also knew that Gabby’s feelings had nothing to do with his money or success, so why couldn’t he quiet the voices in his head. He was about to call for Gabby when Dave felt her softly kiss his shoulder blades and wrap her arms around his waist, smiling he sighed deeply at her touch.

“I was worried when I woke and you weren’t there…” Dave began, softly caressing Gabby’s arms.

“I’m sorry honey, I just couldn’t sleep; too much to think about I guess…” Gabby said softly, tenderly kissing Batista’s back.

“Big day for us all baby, not least Alex and you…” Dave replied as he smiled, knowing it would not take long for Gabby’s questioning mind to take hold. He was right, within seconds Gabby was asking question after question about what Dave had meant.

“All in good time my darling, all in good time!” Dave said softly, as the two dressed and left for the arena.

Much like many of their friends, Hunter and Steph had not slept much. Their minds filled with not only last night’s events or their pasts but also all that the ‘grand daddy of them all’ would hold for all of them. They had talked about things, but in truth neither had really found the answers they were looking for.

“I know you said it was okay Paul, but do you want me to take a paternity test?” Steph softly asked, the two having been sat in silence for quiet a long time. Surprisingly Hunter had no doubts whatsoever in his mind that he was indeed their daughter’s father, but there was something in him that bothered him; he just could not place what it was yet.

“Of course I don’t sweet heart…” Hunter said as he pulled his beautiful wife gently into his arms, trying to not allow his mind to think of JBL or what he had done to Steph and Angel. But try as he might Hunter’s mind kept coming back to one question that seemingly burned itself into his mind, was JBL responsible for more than just these two attacks… something in his mind was telling him it wasn’t, but having no proof would always thwart any attempts Hunter could think of making. And then the other question on Hunter’s mind came up, something none of the friends had actually been able to confirm; was Vince aware of or involved with the attacks… again with no solid proof, there was little Hunter could do to help his friends; or was there.

“I just have to check on Shawn baby, I’ll be right back.” Hunter told Steph, as he silently slipped out of their hotel room and headed for the lobby. Dialing her number, he finally spoke; he needed to know the truth.

“Linda, I need to know; I need your help. Did Vince know about JBL’s attack on Angel, it’s important I know the truth.” As he listened to Linda, Hunter saw Rebecca heading back to the hotel; Shawn was obviously in for a rough ride.

The only couple to really have a restful sleep were Jillian and Tazz, not that it had been all peaceful though; both had nightmare-filled dreams. Jillian could not shift the thoughts of how she had once been so in love with a man that would become so evil and twisted, she never thought in a million years JBL would ever turn into this guy she saw now. Looking to Tazz who lay sleeping like a baby next to her, Jillian couldn’t help but count her blessing as she thought of the loving man she had in her life. While Tazz could not shift his thoughts of how Michael, his supposed best friend had changed so much in such little time. Tazz thought he knew Michael better than anyone, the two had been through so much together. They had become instant friends when the pair were paired up together on Smackdown’s announcers table, people actually thought the two were lovers the way they were together. A part of Tazz had been flattered that people thought they were so close, as daft as it may sound; Tazz liked to be needed and wanted. Of course both men being married, the rumors soon stopped when everyone were used to seeing Tazz and Michael out together with their wives. It was little secret that Michael was a bit of a coward when it came to how people treated him on screen, he would never stick up for himself; and every time he tried it would backfire. Case and point, take the Texas Rattlesnake; Stone Cold Steve Austin. The job of a good commentator is to give fans their opinions, the facts and make it interesting. But in doing so, Michael had said something about the boss that Stone Cold took a great dislike to. It would not be the first or last time Michael was attacked, in one way or another; for his views. But this was one time when the kicks and punches were not planned, the beating Michael took was more than a little real. Which is why Tazz could not understand why Michael would want to screw the boss’s wife, surely he knew that you don’t cross the boss?

Waking in almost a cold sweat, John felt stuck with fear as he looked to the figure laying in full nakedness next to him. It was the type of fear he was unused to, something about this situation bothered him; but not what he expected. For the most part, Cena was a man’s man. He was tough, rugged and love his girls, beer and music. But deep inside of him last nights events had fuelled something within that had not scared him as much as he was expecting it too, in fact it seemed to be totally the opposite for John. Randy however, was a different matter. He knew straight away that something deep within him had been awoken by John’s kisses last night, and if he was being honest with himself; it excited him. Randy loved his wife and daughter, and was certainly very attracted to Leanne; but something in him said that he also enjoyed what happened that night. The two men had been awake and in silence for a good ten minutes before either felt ready to speak, even then if both were honest neither had the slightest clue what to say.

“Morning…” Randy said, the strain in the atmosphere obvious to both.

“Hey…” Cena replied, not sure what he was going to sat let alone felt. Again the silence descended upon them both, both being left with their own silent thoughts of last nights events. These thoughts were soon joined by thoughts of their match today and the show on a whole, there was so much on the line for all of them; everything needed to be perfect.

“What happens now?” Randy finally said after what seemed like forever of silence, looking to John who was silently trying to find his voice still.

“I don’t know Randy, I just don’t know…” John finally managed to reply, not sure if he wanted to ‘go there’ with Randy; but also not sure if he wanted it all to stop. Taking a deep breath and taking a chance Randy boldly and swiftly moved forward and lay a kiss upon John’s lips, not stopping until he felt John relax. He needed to know, he needed to make that choice.

“No one needs to know, that way no one gets hurt…” Randy said softly, getting up to dress and head to the arena. Both men were still stood on the edge, but by the end of the day; they would both know the answers.

With everyone headed for the arena the day for most had seemingly passed without a hitch, with only Michael left to wrestle with his thoughts. His mind was still trying to convince himself that fighting for Angel would be a good idea, when in truth he knew her heart now belonged to Mark. Michael thought back to the moment they had met, smiling at how they had bumped into each other and their things had gone everywhere. Maybe it was just that she was different to the other new blood, maybe she genuinely loved him once. How could it have gone so wrong so quickly? Michael thought as he headed for the arena, but before he had the chance he was collared by Edge; who had a job to do. A job he had to carry out no matter what, not that he ever had problem with being the bad guy of course; it was just that even Michael Cole didn’t deserve this.

“I’ve been told to give you this…” Edge said before handing the video tape over to Michael and walking away, in truth this had to be one of the lowest things Edge had ever done; and he would hate himself for it. Before Michael had the chance to say anything Edge was gone, leaving him alone and wondering what this was all about. Heading to the arena Michael’s journey was; like the others relatively quick, heading to the production truck he asked for access to a TV and video player and then headed of to see what Edge had given him. Michael had made himself comfortable and began to watch the video, quickly wishing he hadn’t. But as he went to turn the TV off both Edge and his cronies; Ryder and Hawkins came in.

“We’ve been told to make you sit and watch it all…” Edge said firmly, even though he wanted to let Michael run. Michael went to protest but was forcefully made to sit and watch the rest of JBL’s sick video, with Edge having to turn his head away it was left to Ryder and Hawkins to hold Michael down. How can JBL be so evil? Edge thought to himself as the tape came to an end, with a silent and stunned Michael left the three men walked out. In Edge’s mind this was one too far, but JBL was not done there; not by a long shot.

“Good luck guys, be lucky!” Angel says as she hugs both John and Dave tightly as they head out to the ring, they were up first; and what a way to start of Wrestlemania! Dave and John were up against Ryder and Hawkins as part of an inter~promotional match, it had got interesting when after calling both ‘wuss’s’ the match turned into being for the tag titles. As the match got underway it was Dave that got the upper hand, being his normal powerhouse self and kicking some ass. Shawn and Hunter sat backstage in their locker room watching and were soon joined by Tazz and Jillian, with the four couples talking as they watched the match.

“So how are things Shawn?” Hunter said, looking to his friend who had been pensive since they had left for the arena that morning.

“She left me… for Jericho…” Shawn finally managed to say, tears stinging his eyes as he talked. The shock and silence had filled the room, no one knew what to say; least of all Hunter. Truth was that no one could say anything, Shawn had to do this alone; it was just a good thing that he had God to be there for him, as well as some great friends! Both John and Dave had been on top for most of the match, but then as John went to FU Hawkins; Ryder stopped him. Which earned him a massive spear out of the ring from Dave, but the momentum sent Dave out of the ring too; leaving both men out for the count almost. With John trying to fight back he went to deliver his shoulder tackle when, from out of nowhere Edge tripped him up and pulled him out of the ring as Ryder and Hawkins distracted both Dave and the ref, Marty Elias. With John being beat up by Edge and Dave being beat up by Ryder, it was left to Randy to make the save; rushing to his best friends aid. With Edge and Orton fighting outside the ring and Dave managing to take out Ryder, it was left to John to take out Hawkins for the pin; which he got easily!

Randy was already in their locker room by the time both Dave and John had got back to celebrate with Angel and Mark, with Randy hugging both Dave and John warmly.

“Thanks Randy…” Dave said, both men realizing that this was the group’s approval and acceptance of him, Randy smiled; glad that he could finally be seen as the man he truly was. By this time Tazz, Jillian, Shawn and Hunter had shown up and were also not only congratulating the new tag team champs, but also thanking Randy for his timely save. It was now time for the ECW champ; Matt Hardy to defend his hard-earned title, trouble was it was against this powerhouse of a man Mark Henry! As the friends watched Mickie and her sister Leanne turned up, causing a strain between Randy and John that only Mark understood. As the friends sat watching Matt Hardy beat and pin Mark Henry no one had any idea just what JBL was planning, or how much it had affected Michael. Michael must have been sitting there for a good while because one minute he was trying to hold back the tears and the next he was being called to the announcers table, still trying to get his head around what he had just seen. As he slowly walked to the ring, the only comfort Michael could take was that he did not have to call matches with the man. He had become something of a lost cause in recent years, with Tazz not really doing as much as he would have liked; but then after everything it was understandable. In the years that Michael had been without JBL’s company, he had been paired with; The Coach, Mike Adamle; Todd Grisham and lately Mick Foley. But now Mick was bored and wanted a new challenge, due to head for TNA after Wrestlemania; Michael would once again need a partner. Sitting quietly outside the ring, Michael gave Mick no option but to be the lead man that evening as they greeted fans to Wrestlemania 30; which was being held once again at the great MSG ~ Madison Square Gardens. With Cole meant to be kicking things off with JR as the first match got underway, everyone was well aware that Michael’s mind was nowhere near on the job in hand.

As Shawn and Hunter headed to the ring, they caught Matt coming the other way being warmly greeted by his little brother Jeff. With Shawn and Hunter congratulating Matt warmly before they went out for their match, Hunter spoke to Jeff.

“Good luck for your Money in the Bank ladder match Jeff, I’m sure you can make your big bro proud…” Hunter had of course said it to fire Jeff up, which it certainly did. As Hunter and Shawn left the two brothers to celebrate, Hunter spoke.

“Are you sure about this Shawn? It’s better to go out like this than after letting it get to you!” Shawn smiled at his best friend, there was no way he was about to let him or everyone else down.

“I think we need to steal this show!” Was all Shawn said as he headed out to the ring almost trailing Hunter behind, they carried out their usual infamous “Suck It” routine with even more vigor; knowing there would be seven people out back joining in with the chants.

“Are you ready?” Hunter would ask, followed by the fans screaming.

“No, I said… Are You Ready???” He would continue at the top of his voice, as he climbed up upon the ring ropes. As the fans screamed and cheered he would get back down and head back to the centre of the ring and continue, as Shawn gave the sign.

“Then. For the thousands in attendance, for the millions at home watching and for Michael Buffer to show him how it’s done…” Hunter loved to make a reference to his “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” chant, it always seemed to be a fitting way to give even more props to the man who Hunter admired.

“Let’s get ready to suck it!!!” Hunter would shout at the top of his voice followed, or rather joined by thousands of screaming fans. And as Shawn took the mic from Hunter all the fans got off their seats and got themselves ready to shout, yell and scream as loud as they could.

“And if you’re not down with that, then New York City's got two words for ya…” Shawn would say, then quickly holding the mic out for the fans to shout back the response… There is something rather satisfying about hearing a hundred thousand screaming fans shouting ‘SUCK IT’ at the top of their voices!

With Rhodes and DiBiase now in the ring and the two teams doing their own ‘stare downs’ Angel and Mark sat close together watching the monitors, much the same as Jillian and Tazz did. Both couples kept close body contact and both were very tactile with each other, Randy and John; however were different. Although both held their ‘girlfriends’ hands, neither seemed to be jumping at the chance of being closer to them. Mark had not only been around long enough to know people but he had also seen pretty much all, including when two best friends of the same sex get caught by the loneliness bug. He had seen his fair share of failed and ruined relationships take place because of this bug as he liked to call it, he had also; to be fair seen some long term loving friendships flourish because of it. Whatever was to happen it would be between Randy and John, what caused Mark problems was that two lovely girls in Mickie and Leanne would seemingly get so hurt by it all. When things were more settled Mark would quietly have a word or two with Randy and John, but that would have to be for another day; tonight was about one of if not THE biggest match of his career. As the friends watched on they saw how no matter what Shawn and Hunter did, Rhodes and DiBiase would always be one ahead and would always be able to counter their moves. Half way through the match Shawn was thrown outside to the mats, showing his anger for himself and more; he proceeded to kick the hell out of anything around him, it was only Hunter coming to him that calmed him down. With Hunter and Shawn outside the ring and the official, Jack Doan counting them out; a shot of JBL came up on the titron. He had a video tape in his hand that Michael knew all too well, and in the other hand he held up a picture of Hunter with Steph and their beautiful daughter.

“Who’s the Daddy Hunter?” JBL sneeringly asked, as all continued to listen in.

“Not you, that’s for sure!!!” He added, letting out a cackling laugh as he disappeared from screen. With Jack almost up to nine they rushed back into the ring, with Hunter ready to let his anger flow. Of course JBL and the tag champs thought this would cause Hunter and Shawn to loose, neither realised it would make them more determined to win.

As the match continued, Hunter was beating the holy hell out of Rhodes; who had become the sacrificial lamb as it were. It would take Jack many attempts to get Hunter to stop this beating, finally loosing his patient he was about to disqualify Hunter and Shawn when Shawn pulled Jack back and spoke.

“Aww come on Jack, what would you do if you had just found out that JBL raped your wife?” There was a look in Jack’s eye that said more than he ever would, he nodded silently and just gave Hunter one last warning.

“Come on Paul, I know how you feel; but rules are rules!” Jack said as he backed Hunter away for a moment, and for that moment there was a look between both men that they both would understand. As Hunter goes to make the tag he is hit from behind and before Shawn can come to help he is sent flying out of the ring and landing hard against the concrete floor, with Rhodes and DiBiase left to beat up on Hunter 2~on~1 he tried his best to hang on. But then rushing to the ring, one of JBL’s old friends came to help beat up Shawn outside the ring who was trying to help his best friend. With Orlando Jordan ready to beat the hell out of Shawn it was left to Tazz to make the save this time, storming to the ring to suplex the hell out of Jordan; giving Shawn time to help Hunter out. While Hunter and Shawn beat up on DiBiase, Rhodes is left all alone and outside the ring. When Jack is distracted Tazz slaps on his Tazmission hold, and keeps it there for a while. With Hunter now sending DiBiase sailing out of the ring and Tazz sending Rhodes in, both men in the ring got their finishing moves and Hunter quickly picked up the win. With the two in the ring being joined by the fans to send a huge ‘thank you’ out to Tazz for the assist, Shawn and Hunter head to the back and managed to catch up with Tazz; thanking him warmly for his help. Nodding his thanks back, Tazz heads off to Vickie Guerrero’s office; knowing he needs to make things right again.

With Shawn and Hunter back in their locker room with their friends and Tazz off to see Vickie Guerrero it was now Mickie’s turn to get back her gold, teaming again with Kofi Kingston; they would go up against Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix once more for the titles they lost. Trying his best to be normal John was trying to give Mickie some comforting words and stuff, though his heart wasn’t in it; and soon realised if he wasn’t careful she would see though him.

“Good luck out there honey, I know you can do it…” John said as he patter her on the shoulder, thankful Kofi had turned up. With Mickie more than a little aware that something was wrong she tried her best to get into the right mindset for tonight, smiling at how Kofi was still full of smiles and happiness.

“How can you be so happy when we have a lot riding on this match?” Mickie finally asked as the two got ready to head out to the ring, enjoying the feeling of his hand upon her back.

“It’s the Jamaican vibe, it makes everyone so laid back and chilled…” Kofi replied as he took a deep breath, moving forward quickly to lay a kiss upon Mickie’s lips praying and hoping he was not wrong. She should have pushed him away, she should have told him she was with John and to not do that; but in truth it was what she wanted.

“You okay John?” Mark asked, making John more than a little aware he knew more than he was letting on. That was one of the many things everyone knew Mark was good at, reading people; he was the master at it.

“Yeah I’m cool thanks Mark…” John replied, hoping he could fool Mark; knowing deep down he could not. With John’s mind on Mark rather than Mickie’s match it had already been going for ten minutes before he had taken any notice, only noticing when Mickie was sent from the ring and now had Santino almost stalking her. Part of John wanted to save her, but part of him was stuck to the spot like the other fans. With Kofi down for the count, it was left for a unlikely hero to make the save; Finlay. With the ref, Chad Patton being distracted it was left to Finlay to use his shillelagh on Santino and help out Mickie.

With Kofi now recovered and Mickie kicking Beth’s ass it was left to Finlay to throw Santino back in the ring and allow Kofi to deliver his finishing move and pick up the win, while Kofi and Mickie celebrate in the ring Finlay goes to leave. Before he has the chance Mickie is out of the ring and heading to thank him, stopping his with her hand on his arm.

“Hey Dave, thank you for what you did; I just thought John would have been there for me!” Mickie said softly as she batted her eyelids at him, she had no idea what or even who she wanted but she did know it wasn’t John she loved anymore.

“Anything for you Mickie, you deserve better honey…” Finlay said in his soft Irish accent, smiling at Mickie as he did so.

“Maybe I could say thank you with a drink later?” Mickie knew she was flirting, but in truth she didn’t care. With a smile that Mickie knew all too well, Finlay left and headed to the back leaving Mickie and Kofi to continue celebrating.

“So what do you think Vickie?” Tazz asked, playing with his sunglasses. He had not been in Vickie’s office long when he felt the nerves rise within him, he knew that he was doing the right thing but he wasn’t sure if he could forgive Michael.

“If it’s what you want Pete, then it is fine with me. How is Michael by the way?” Vickie said, almost sounding like she actually cared. Of course she didn’t, and was only trying to rub things in. Ignoring her taunts Tazz thanked Vickie and left, leaving her office and heading back to his friends and beautiful girlfriend. On the way he caught up with Mickie and Kofi celebrating their win, as all the friends headed back to Shawn and Hunter’s locker room. As Tazz and Mickie entered the locker room, John is heading out to the ring for his match.

“Well done honey! You deserved it.” John said quickly, pecking her on the cheek as he tried to not let his emotions run wild.

Both knew they needed to talk but neither wanted to be the first to speak about it, but by the time John had found the right words the moment was gone; with his match for the title against Kenny up next John had no choice but to leave things as they were.

“We’ll talk after my match okay honey?” John said softly, looking to Randy who passed by heading for a coffee. It was at that moment Mickie realized what was wrong, it had hit her with such shock that she needed to be away from John quickly.

“I’m sorry…” Was all she could manage to say, as she ran for the exit. Mickie had no idea where she was headed, just that she had to go somewhere. It was only as she ran into the solid chest of Finlay that she stopped, he did not even need to ask if she was okay before she had started to cry into his solid chest. Instantly Finlay pulled her close into his arms, knowing she needed it; not wanting to let go and hoping it would last forever.

Mark had this sixth sense about what had just happened, pulling Randy to one side and talking quietly.

“Promise me you will not purposely hurt Mickie and Leanne?” Randy wanted to argue the point and defend himself, of course he knew Mark was spot on with his accusations.

“I promise Mark, I… we will sort things.” Randy said, sighing deeply. He knew full well that of all their friends the one man no one could keep anything from was Mark, he was just too much like his character! Mark nodded and headed for some coffee, leaving the friends to talk and watch John’s match. That was of course if there was going to be a match, Howard Finkel had already introduced Kenny three times now and nothing had happened. Then the camera head to the back where they find an unconscious Kenny being tended to by Victoria who had found him and had gone for help, no one had any idea what would happen; they all just had to go along for the ride.

John just stood in the ring watching the titron like pretty much everyone else, wondering not just about what had happened but also what would happen. With the new RAW manager being seemingly thrown into things, he had to make a choice. No one had any idea if Kenny would be okay, there was certainly no way he could compete anymore; so John needed a replacement. It was down to Mike Adamle to make a choice and find a suitable replacement, having found one he knew that it would not be a popular choice; but one he would have to make!

“Kenny is unable to take part in the match…” Adamle began, trying to let the boos die down.

“And I have been approached by someone who feels like he deserves a shot at your title John…” Adamle went on, knowing this decision will not be very popular with the fans.

“He came up with an idea that was just too good to pass up… so John, let me introduce your opponent for tonight’s match…” Adamle added, as he headed off to the back and allowing John’s opponent music to hit. As soon as Edge’s music hit the crowds boos got louder and John’s face looked as though he secretly had guessed this would happen, as he stood at the ramp with a mic in his hands; everyone including Michael went silent.

“Bet you’re all wondering what this idea is aren’t you?” Edge began, wondering inside if JBL’s idea really was a good one. He had been told in no uncertain terms that he was to hurt Cole and Angel’s friends as much as he could, to be honest even though Edge was used to being the bad guy; he felt this was taking it too far.

“Well John, how does a falls~count~anywhere; no disqualification match sound?” Edge continued to say as he walked down to the ring, taking his jacket off as he stood on the apron. Sliding into the ring John and Edge had their “stare down,” the two men hustling for top dog position; before Edge spoke once more.

“Hey Cole, still thinking about that video? Maybe next time you can watch!” Edge’s sick smile caused Michael to wish he could rush in and kick Edge’s ass, but he knew John would take care of that.

Sure enough the second the bell rang John was on the offensive, delivering a huge beating to Edge who had little time to get out of the starting blocks. Meanwhile in the back Mark had been listening in quietly to all that was happening, his anger rising more and more as he heard how JBL had been acting. Mark had no respect for anyone who hurts women, he had done something things in his life; but never purposely hurt women. It was something of a bugbear for Mark; he would always try to defend the girls he worked with and for; always wanting to be the protector. Okay there were times when he had to do some storyline where he would beat up a woman, but that was his job and he would always take it easy on them. But in truth most of the girls on all roasters were scared of Mark, they all tried to avoid him; that was until Angel came along. From the first moment she had come to Smackdown Mark was aware she was something special, there was something about her that just blew him away. When she was with Batista and he had let her take that spear from Edge Mark knew he needed to do something, both Batista and seemingly Michael had left her alone and it was breaking Mark’s heart to see her in pain. He had to go to her, something deep inside of him compelled him to go help her. So being the man he was he went to the ring and saved her, carrying her back to her locker room; totally unaware that Michael wanted to be her hero. And that was where Mark felt the problems began, Michael was always the soft-spoken quiet man; the coward who would avoid trouble at all costs. If Michael had acted sooner Angel would have been safe and Mark would not have fallen in love so easily with Angel, of course he could not blame Michael for everything. He too must take some of the blame, working with the girl he had lost his heart to was probably a bad choice. But Angel too, was not perfect; surely she must know that many men have fallen for her.

With the fight between John and Edge now out of the ring and heading to the back, John was still all over Edge and looked to have things won when he went to deliver his FU on Edge; looking to put him through a near by table. But before he had the chance one of JBL’s old friends came running in, from out of nowhere and delivered a huge big boot to John’s face. Leaving Edge time to recover for a moment, Orlando Jordan began to lay a beating on John that actually worried all the fans; and of course the friends watching. So much so that Randy ran to help John, rushing past Mark as he did so. Mark was in two minds as to if John would need help, but was sure Randy would have it all covered. With Randy surprising Both Jordan and Edge, John who had by now recovered was left to pin Edge and retain his title; thanking Randy after the bell had rung. The two heading back to the locker room, both men were silent for a long time.

“Mark knows about us John, Mickie too I think.” Randy finally managed to say, stopping before they reached the locker room; both men silent for a while.

“Is Mark angry at us?” John said, already aware Mark wanted to kick his ass for wanting Angel.

“He just wants us to sort it and not hurt the girls.” Randy said honestly, knowing he needed to have a huge heart~to~heart with Leanne.

“Guess I should find Mickie then…” John half said and half thought, realizing that he was about to hurt someone he did actually care for. Both men headed off to find their girlfriends, leaving Mark glad they would soon be ending their lies. For a little while Mark stood outside the locker room watching how Angel and the other friends interacted with each other, unaware that things would be turned on there head so much so soon. The next match was to be the Money in the Bank Ladder match, most of the wrestlers were in the ring all looking pensive and eager to go. There was Jeff Hardy, MVP, Kane, Finlay, CM Punk and Evan Bourne in the ring; the only one not there was Chris Jericho.

As the cameras were called backstage again they came across a totally unconscious Jericho, with his running buddy Lance Cade by his partner’s side trying to rouse him. It was just like the last match with trainers and doctor’s declaring Jericho unfit for action, leaving Vickie Guerrero and Mike Adamle a lot to think about. Teddy Long had his idea as to who should take the spot and while Adamle agrees, Vickie of course being none too keen.

“The fans want to see it Vickie…” Teddy said, looking to Adamle who nodded.

“And he does deserve it after all… would be great for ratings!” Adamle added, as Teddy nodded.
“Fine, just hope and pray that Kane doesn’t get any ideas!” Vickie says as she heads off to her own office, wondering who took out Jericho in the first place. It was left to Teddy this time to make the announcement that there had been a change in the advertised line up, but this time it was met with cheers and chats of ‘619.’

“And the final participant for tonight, Rey Mysterio!” Teddy said, as the crowd went wild and his music hit. Evan Bourne looked so happy, while Kane was so angry he almost looked like he would snap. As soon as Rey hit the ring he, along with the others in the ring all beat up on Kane; knowing he was the man they all needed to fear. Within the first five minutes of the match the seven other men in the ring had beat Kane so badly that he was near unconscious and being moved onto a ladder that sat perched on the edge of the ring and the security railings, allowing Jeff Hardy to do his high flying daredevil Swanton Bomb from the top of a twenty foot ladder and smashing Kane’s body through it. As Jeff tried to recover, Kane was taken away; leaving the six other men to continue all hoping to win the match. Twenty minutes later Jeff had fully recovered and was left with CM Punk standing in a sea of broken bodies, neither man knew what to make of the scenes in front of them. Both quickly climbed the ladder and were stood within finger tips reach of the prize, the two friends both seemingly stuck in the moment. And then something happened that shocked everyone including Jeff, Punk backed away and allowed Jeff to get the briefcase and the win.

With Jeff in shock and Punk congratulating with him, Matt comes rushing to the ring to also join in with the congratulating. All the fans were going wild, even more so when Shawn and Hunter came out on stage and gave him there applause; seemingly everyone was ecstatic that Jeff had won it big time. Everyone was so happy for Jeff, Mark felt proud that the kid had done it. Smiling to Angel who was now looking over to her friend, Mark was still stood slightly outside the locker room.

“Your turn next Mark…” Tazz said, as he looked to Mark who was seemingly still very pensive.

“You guys nervous?” Jillian asked, looking to first Mark and then Angel who was also very quiet. Both just about managed to nod before they were all being alerted to the fact that JBL was in the ring already, and he had a mic in his hands! With Mark pulling Angel close, the other friends had all gathered around the TV screen in the locker room wondering what JBL was up to now.

“Guess you all hate me right now?” He said, partly to the fans and partly to all the wrestlers in the back.

“Well, you’ll hate me even more when you see this little video I had put together! Roll the tape…” JBL demanded, as he sneered towards Michael who looked like he wanted to kill JBL. As the tape began it showed JBL with a list of women he had ‘taken’ all of whom were part of the WWE, it seemed John Bradshaw Layfield loved to be the bad guy for real. Then it showed how Steph’s name was highlighted, causing Shawn and Tazz to try hold back Hunter. Then things begin to get worse, with JBL showing how he ‘took’ Charles Robinson’s wife before she died of cancer. It would only be thanks to the other nine referee’s that Charles didn’t head to the ring and kick JBL’s ass, but as he calmed Charles knew he would have the last laugh; realizing he was the referee for the main event. But it was JBL’s next actions that would cause him the most trouble, as the footage began Angel and Mark knew what was about to happen. It was the same video Edge and his buddies had forced Michael to watch, it was like reliving a nightmare for all the friends involved.

Angel knew this was to play mind games with Mark, and if she was being honest with herself it was working. He had been staring blankly at the TV screen for the past twenty minutes, even after the screen went blank; Mark was still silently sat staring at the screen. With so much on his mind Angel knew this could make or break them, with so much to think about Mark began to walk away. Angel followed him, knowing whatever the choice they needed to make it together.

“Mark?” Angel said softly, gently touching his arm; cautiously approaching him. She could see the pain etched upon his face, the hurt of not being able to have saved her when it counted most. With his winning streak on the line, as well as Angel’s future it was all becoming too much for Mark.

“What if I cannot win this fight Alex?” Mark said quietly, aware that for the first time in his life he was not able to intimidate someone. Angel stood watching the man she love almost break in front of her, her heart being ripped from her chest all she was able to do was hold him close. Whispering soft reassurances into his big solid chest Angel cursing JBL for the pain he was putting all her friends through, gently she caressed Mark as she spoke.

“No matter what Mark, I am always yours. I will love and be with you always…” Tenderly Angel kissed Mark’s cheek, causing him to blush.

“I love you my beautiful dear sweet friend…” Mark said softly, gently pulling Angel closer. The two friends now found the calm they longed for, but knew it could not last for long; both would be called to the ring soon. But for that one moment the two friends only saw each other there, their minds and hearts belonging to each other. As Mark mounted his Harley his eyes caught Angel’s looking slightly lost, softly taking her face in his hands Mark kissed Angel tenderly; in that moment their souls belonged to one another.

“Ready baby girl?” Mark asked softly as he pulled away, nodding Angel walked to the entrance curtain and tried to calm her nerves as they headed to the ring. As soon as Mark felt Angel’s arms around his waist his mind cleared of negative thoughts, he wanted to hand JBL’s head on a plate to all that had been hurt.

With JBL already in the ring with a ready to burst Charles Robinson, Mark headed to the ring; the two doing the usual ‘stare down’ as the cell lowers and the door is chained shut. With the three men in the ring and Angel nervously looking on outside, the whole arena was silent. Outside Howard Finkel did the introduction while inside Charles was trying not to let his anger rise; of course Mark saw this and nodded to Charles who seemingly knew that the beating JBL was about to get was for everyone he had hurt. Even though Mark felt he was ready to kick JBL’s ass, JBL had other ideas and as soon as the bell rung proceeded to beat the holy hell out of Mark. The beating he was giving to Mark actually scared Angel, who had never seen Mark in this amount of pain before.

“Come on Mark…” Angel tried, in vain to help Mark fight back. But nothing seemed to help, no matter how hard Mark tried he could not come back for the beating he was getting; even Charles could not help out, getting a huge clothesline from hell for his troubles. As Mike Chioda rushed to the ring and unlocked the door, Angel knew it was bad. With Mike trying to help Charles, JBL was left to continue his beat down of Mark. Fearful for Mark’s well being Angel rushed into the ring and covered Mark’s bleeding limp body with her own, begging JBL to stop.

“Please John stop, I’ll do whatever you want; just please stop!” With tears flowing, Angel was willing to sacrifice herself for the man she loved. With no one in the arena sure what JBL would do, a hushed silence descended upon the crowd.

“Beg me bitch, in front of your friend…” JBL sneered, as he grabbed Angel’s hair roughly. Angel’s scream sent fear through her friends out the back and made Michael wish he wasn’t such a coward, Mark began to stir slightly but still had no way of defending his beautiful friend.

“Please stop John I beg you, stop…” Angel said as she allowed her tears to fall over Mark’s lifeless body, trying to protect her friend.

“Hear that Taker, I told you she was mine now!” JBL sneered, hauling Angel away from Mark who could not protect his friend. What happened next took a matter of moments, but for both Mark and Angel seemed to take forever.

Within seconds John and Dave were rushing down to the ring to help, followed closely by Shawn, Hunter, Tazz and Randy; all desperately trying to save their friends. But JBL had a plan, with Edge; Ryder; Hawkins; Jordan; Rhodes and DiBiase stopping them before they could help out. With fear in her eyes she watched on as her friends were taken out by JBL and his friends, and even as other wrestlers tried to come to the rescue; JBL always seemed to have it covered. With Angel looking at a near unconscious Mark she tried to make it to his side, knowing he was her salvation. But then she realized the ring was surrounded by seven big burly men, all intent on beat the holy hell out of her. Grabbing her by the hair once more, JBL made Angel look on as the six men beat the living daylights out of an already near lifeless Mark. With tears flowing now Angel begged JBL to stop, but as her pleas were ignored her unlikely hero could no longer stand by and see her heart breaking. Michael had to act, so rushing into the ring without thinking he tried to find his voice. The confusion this act alone caused JBL and the others gave their friends enough time to recover, and fight back.

“Don’t tell me the coward wants to fight?” JBL said, looking down his nose at Michael who had Angel behind him. With Mark now recovered enough to fight and within seconds he had gone for JBL while the other friends continued to fight on, quickly Michael took Angel out of the ring and sat her with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross for safety before heading back into the ring. With all hell breaking loose outside the cell and Charles Robinson back in the ring, neither Mark, Charles nor JBL could believe that Michael was getting back into the lion’s den.

“I’m sorry…” Michael began to say, looking to Charles who still wanted to kill JBL. Taking him off guard Michael lands the hardest punch of his life squarely on JBL’s jaw, before beating the hell out of him. With Angel left watching Michael find his fighting spirit, Charles reluctantly tried to get Michael to stop. Within seconds of him stopping Mark had taken the beating to JBL, every blow he landed being one for all the people JBL had hurt but especially Angel. As Mark delivers his finishing moves, Charles was back in the ring and makes the quick count for Taker to win.

“Here is your winner and still world heavy weight champion... The Undertaker!” As ‘The Fink’ proclaimed Taker the winner Angel rushed back into the ring to celebrate as JBL was helped out of the ring and limped off back to the lockers, they were soon joined by their friends; Jillian, Gabby and Steph all rush to the ring also wishing to celebrate and thank Mark. The only one not in the ring was Michael, who sat leaning against the security barriers quietly taking it all in. When they had first met he had instantly fallen in love with her, he had not been widowed long and maybe this was part of what had gone wrong. Whatever it was, something had gone wrong between the pair. Maybe the fight was too great a risk, maybe his jealousy would always get the better of him. Whatever it maybe, they needed to talk; he needed to know. Heading to the ring, he pulled Angel to one side. Hoping they could talk quietly, of course he had not planned on having an arena full of fans and wrestlers wanting to listen in!

“I know I hurt you Alex, and I know I screwed up; but I miss you! I miss us… can you ever find It in your heart to forgive me? I still love you so much.” Michael said honestly, trying not to allow his fears to rise as the whole arena went silent; the ring being surrounded by the wrestlers.

“Michael I forgive you, but I don’t know if we can make it work…” Angel said softly, trying to make a choice she wished she never had to make. Mark could see her heart being torn, he knew there was a risk he could lose his soul mate; but he needed to let her make that choice, for the first time in his life Mark could not influence this choice.

“Can we not try? I know that I have been foolish, but I don’t want to give up.” Michael said, trying not to let the fact the whole arena was intently listening to what he had to say. In his mind Michael would have rather done this in private, not in front of over one hundred thousand people; this would be the one time he wished everyone would ignore him as usual.

“I don’t know Michael…” Angel said as she looked to Mark, who was silently stood in the ring; bloodied, bruised and very battered; intently listening in like their other friends.

“Mark?” Angel said, wanting him to say something; anything that would show her heart the way. Trouble is his heart was not telling him what he should do, he was torn between fighting for her and letting her go; silently he thought for a moment before speaking softly.

“If you want to give Michael a second chance I will understand, but you know I love you and will give my life to you…” Even though his body was aching he had to be honest with her, allowing the real Mark to show through. Angel knew she had the biggest decision of her life to make; with Mark she was always going to be safe, but her heart was meant to belong to Michael. Deep in Michael’s heart he knew he could not hold on to her love, Mark was everything he was not and then some. He knew he had to make the choice, he knew she could never make that call; it was in her eyes.

“Alex… its okay, go to him.” Michael began, turning to leave the ring; his heart broken in two.

It was at that moment Angel saw what she felt her heart had been hiding from her, the man she had first fallen for all those years ago. The sadness in his eyes as he turned to leave was just like the look when he had left that first day, looking to Mark he had seen it too and knew; nodding Mark understood. Within seconds Angel understood Mark’s heart would always be her’s, and so would his friendship. As Michael reached the ring ropes he felt a hand on his arm, thinking it was one of their friends he never really wanted to stop. But as the grip became stronger and almost pulled him back into the ring, he looked up; amazed at what he saw. Or maybe he was just speechless, whatever it was all he could do was stand there looking dumb.

“I don’t know if we can make it Michael, but I need to try again with you…” Angel said softly and honestly, she was not too sure of the reaction Michael would give her; and when he was still silent a few minutes later she began to worry.

“Michael I love you…” Angel softly whispered, wondering if he had heard her first time. She thought that maybe the fact that half the crowd seemed to be chanting for her to pick Michael and half to pick Mark, was making it hard for him to hear her. When he still had not answered her, Angel told him she loved him once more; looking to Tazz who just shrugged. She was about to give in, when he finally spoke.

“Are you sure?” It was not that he doubted her, more him; he was more than a little aware he was no match for Mark. Smiling, Angel knew his questioning looks and pulled him close.

“I love you Michael Cole, shut up and kiss me you fool…” Was all she needed to say for Michael to react, with a willingness she had not felt in a long time. Kissing her with a passion he thought had long since died, Michael tried to block out the cheers; and some jeers from the packed arena. By the time they had pulled back the show was off the air, realizing the pair had more than a little catching up to do; Tazz whispered into Michael’s ear that he should exit the ring now.

Nodding they were heading for the opposite ring ropes when Mark stopped them both, his eyes black again; hiding the pain Angel knew he was undoubtedly in right now.

“Thank you for saving Alex, Mark; I will never forget that.” Michael said, trying to calm the situation that could all too easily turn for the worst.

“She saved me too Michael, please remember that…” He wanted to say so much, but found the words just would not come. Nodding to Michael who saw the look in Mark’s eye; which meant not to ever hurt Angel, the two left the ring. As Mark watched Angel walk away his heart broke once more, he just prayed his heart would be strong enough this time to cope. Michael and Angel had long since left, so had most the friends and superstars in the ring; but Mark was still stood firmly in ‘his yard’’ almost unable to leave. But the fans had yet to leave, they had just witnessed him breaking character; they had just watched as his heart was broken, they needed to see this through. The whole arena was still deathly silent, it was beginning to freak Mark out a little; he needed to be alone with his thoughts. Heading out of the ring Mark heard the fans cheering for him, but somehow right at that moment it was the last thing he needed. He had managed to get out of the ring, to the back and to his locker room without breaking down; but as soon as he shut the door his tears fell. Sinking to his knees, Mark’s tears continued to fall, so much so that she had no idea she had been standing there watching him break.

“Oh Mark…” She said softly, no longer able to watch his pain and grief. She was already by his side with her arms tightly wrapped around him when it finally registered with him, Mark had not heard her voice in so long; he had thought she had long since left him.

“I’m sorry…” Was all he could manage, looking up into her stunning brown eyes.

“It’s okay, we can talk more later.” She replied, softly stroking his bloodied matted hair.

“Missed you Sara…” Mark softly said as she helped him to her feet, helping him undress so he could shower.

“Missed you too Mark.” Sara replied tenderly, kissing him gently upon the chest before helping him into the shower.

Michael and Angel had been back in their locker room for sometime, with their friends before Angel noticed Mark had not come with them; not that she expected him to. She knew he would need time and that’s exactly what she would give him, and plenty of it too; in truth she felt that they would both need it. For a moment Angel’s mind was back with Mark and all that he had given for her, her mind filled with thoughts she was not prepared for if she was honest with herself. Michael saw the change in her eyes and knew she was with Mark, his heart was not sure if he would be able to deal with this; knowing all too well that this would not be the last time she thought about him.

“Honey, you okay?” Gabby’s words brought Angel from her thoughts, for a split second she knew Gabby saw the doubts in her mind. Trying to smooth things over she tried to say yes and stumble her way through things, Gabby of course knew her best friend better than that.

“Second thoughts?” She said honestly, looking to Michael who watched this all unfold.

“No it’s not that, I just hate the fact I had to hurt him. He’s been such a damn good friend, I dunno if I could have made it without him…” Angel said honestly, trying to smile a smile she knew would not reach her lips.

“He loves you and your friendship, he would have never let go otherwise!” Gabby said, hugging her best friend close for a moment.

“You and Michael need sometime together…” Gabby said, as she pulled away and went to Dave’s side. Within moments the room had been cleared, leaving Michael and Angel alone for the first time in a long while. Taking a deep breath, Michael needed to know; he had to ask.

“Come lay with me?” Michael said softly, as he headed to the sofa.

As the two lay close on the sofa, Angel felt Michael begin to tenderly caress her body. It was the first time they had lay like this for a while, it was so nice and relaxing; so much so that Angel could actually find herself falling asleep. As Michael continued to caress her body softly, Angel continued to feel slightly more aroused than she felt she should.

“Oh Michael…” Angel cried out softly, as his soft tender fingers gently swept across her naked midriff. Both were more than a little aware that Angel was turned on by this action, and if both were honest it was something they both wanted to continue. Gently Michael turned Angel so she was facing him slightly, tenderly they began to kiss; caressing each other as they went along.

“I love you Alex, you are so beautiful…” Michael began, softly kissing her lips once more as his fingers nimbly began to undo the top she was wearing. Seeing that she did not attempt to stop him Michael continued, softly kissing and caressing Angel as he slowly undressed her. In her mind Angel knew where this was headed, so slowly she too began to undress Michael; gently helping him out of his suit. Now instead of sleeping Angel wanted to explore these feelings Michael was creating deep within her, with both nearly naked Michael stopped; his eyes seemingly searching her own for the answer to an unasked question. All it took was Angel nodding for Michael to understand completely and continue to undress her, not stopping until both were completely naked. Now naked, both continued to softly kiss and caress each other. Michael was tender and slow in every move he made, causing Angel to be more than a little aware this night would last forever.

“Please don’t stop Michael; I want to give myself to you…” Angel said quietly as she tenderly took the lead and began to gently caress Michael’s ever-growing desire, all Michael could do was nod silently; more than willing to give his heart, body and soul to the woman he loved more than life itself.

(This part below is the slightly naughty part.)

Slowly Michael’s fingers began to caress Angel’s willing body, gently making his way to her bountifully breasts; his fingers easily manipulating them into arousal.

“Oh Michael…” Angel softly managed to breathlessly say, her heart totally lost to him now; not that it would have taken much persuading in the first place to be fair. Maybe her heart had always belonged to him, maybe it was that he came thru for her; whatever the reason Michael certainly had her heart, body, mind and soul.

“My God you are so beautiful Alexandra…” Michael just about managed to say, his breath being taken away by this stunning beauty before him; one he could now officially call his own. That thought alone filled him with a yearning that he was not used to, there had been other women in Michael’s life of course; but none had ever had this effect upon him. Angel had always hated her full name, it was part of the reason she came up with the wrestler name long before she had taken up wrestling. The only people ever allowed to call her by her full name were Gabby and her parents, but now as she trembled at the sound of her name on Michael’s lips; she realized he too would be one of few.

“Your name means helper of mankind…” Michael began to say softly and seemingly out of the blue, Angel went to question him not realizing what he had meant.

“It fits your personality so well; I am blessed, truly blessed.” Michael continued, his heart still pounding in his chest; it was no good, he had to have her. With an unabashed passion Michael continued his passionate loving tender assault upon Angel’s willing and wanton body, she gasped out loud as his fingers found their mark. Gently he would tease her nub, creating a longing desire neither would be prepared for. Slowly his fingers found their way inside Angel causing her to allow a deep moan escape from her lips, pulling him to her; she spoke.

“Oh Michael, I am always yours…” Angel’s body shivered with pure pleasure against his solid frame, yearning to give herself to him. Within moments she had found herself laying helplessly underneath his frame, almost pinned to the sofa by his own sensitive body.

Michael was so ready it took all his will not to fall at the first fence, with his body hovering within inches of her own he needed to hear the words from her mouth before he went down that road; he needed to be sure this was what she really wanted.

“Please Michael, make love to me…” Angel said seeing the question in his eyes, she knew he would never just take her. Maybe that was the thing about him, she knew that he would always respect her wishes and she would always be in control. Nodding, Michael slowly entered Angel, trying to control his own wanton desire from taking over him completely. Gasping aloud as she finally felt him inside her, Angel tried to find some coherent thoughts; finally giving up when she realized it was all a waste of time. Entwining her body with his, they moved as one for the longest time; feeling both of their desires growing to the point of no return.

“Oh God Michael, I’m going to cum…” Angel called out, pulling him even closer to her. He needed no other words and totally understood what she felt, gently picking up the pace slightly until they both could feel Angel letting go; finally allowing herself to give everything to him.

“Oh God Alex, I love you…” Michael called out as he came deep inside Angel moments after she had, his eyes fixed to her own; their souls now joined as one. Slowly the two lovers came down, resting together; their bodies still entwined as they began to feel sleepy.

“I love you Michael, I promise you forever.” Angel said softly, gently caressing his naked torso as he lay in her arms.

“And I love you forever my beautiful partner, I will always belong to you Alexandra.” Michael replied, knowing his heart and soul were indeed safe with this beautiful creature; he could trust his ‘helper of mankind’ with his life. And that was indeed what he would do, for maybe the first time in his life Michael would give himself totally and completely to someone. As they two drifted off to sleep, Michael was for the first time in his life contented; excited for all that the future held for them both.

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