The buzzing of an intercom filled the small office. "Erika, Mr. Jacobs would like to see you in his office."
"Thank you Marla, I'll be right up." 24 year old Erika Angle smiled to herself and stood. Today was the day she would receive her first assignment as the newest sports reporter for the Pittsburgh Gazette. She arrived at her boss's office and was told to go on in, so she lightly knocked on the door. "You wanted to see me Mr. Jacobs?"
He motioned her in. "Yes, Miss Angle. Please, have a seat."
She did. "Erika is fine, Mr. Jacobs."
He smiled. "Erika it is then. I have what I believe will be an interesting assignment for you."
"I'm all ears."
"Good. I was talking to Vince McMahon this morning."
Erika furrowed her brow in confusion. "Mr. McMahon? I'm not sure I understand."
"Well, you know that your brother is quite the celebrity around here." Erika nodded. Her older brother Kurt was Mr. Popular in the Pittsburgh area. "We were thinking that you could travel with him and the other wrestlers for a couple of weeks. Basically be a fly on the wall and absorb everything you can." Erika took a second before replying.
"I think I can handle that."
"I'm sure you can. You are a brilliant writer, Erika, and I know that by putting you in an environment you feel comfortable in, it can only enhance your work."
"Thank you very much Mr. Jacobs."
"You can thank me by writing a great piece. You leave tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" He stood, and she followed suit.
"Tomorrow. I'll finish your arrangements and have the information sent down to you. Good luck Erika." She nodded and walked back to her office in a daze. She shut the door and leaned back against it. "Tomorrow?"
"Kurt, it is not that funny." Erika said to her brother later that night.
"Sure it is Rika," he said, and went back to grilling the chicken in front of him. Erika grabbed some tomatoes and started slicing them, preparing the salad for the weekly family dinner at their mom's.
"No, it's not. Can you imagine me cooped up near Brock that long? I cannot believe they are putting me with him. And that he obviously agreed to it. This is not going to be pretty."
"No, but at least you'll get to see Mya again."
She smiled at the mention of her goddaughter. "Yeah, but I need to ignore her father." Kurt put the last of the chicken on a platter and placed it on the table.
"You're telling me that you're going to write an article on WWE and not mention Brock. Right."
"I can sure as hell try." The conversation was dropped as they sat down with everyone else and started to eat. She made small talk with her brother Eric and his fiancee Nidia. "At least I'll know you," she said, indicating Nidia.
"Yep, and you do know some of the guys."
"And one you can't stand." Eric butted in.
Erika flashed a strained smile. "And one I can't stand. Thanks Eric." Her mother chose that moment to come back to the table. "Mom, you look really happy today."
Jackie Angle smiled at her younger daughter. "Of course I'm happy dear. Everyone was able to make it."
Erika turned back to Eric. "Yeah, that's it." They both snickered.
Jackie gave her a look. "What was that Erika?"
"Oh, nothing, Mom. I was just wondering how Mr. Hensley was doing these days?" Now it was Jackie's turn to be embarassed. She choked on her drink and blushed. Jackie and John Hensley had been spending quite a bit of time together lately.
"He's fine Erika. So how was work today?"
Erika laughed at her mother's blatant subject change before responding. "It was good, Mom. I got my first assignment."
"Mmhmm. I'm traveling with the WWE for a couple weeks and writing a piece about it."
"That sounds nice. When do you leave?"
"I guess Mr. McMahon thought that a house show would be less rushed and easier to get used to."
"I guess it would be." They chatted about various things through the rest of the meal. Erika then went into the living room and sat with her sister-in-law Karen and five month old niece Kyra by the fireplace. Kurt came in and plopped down next to them, taking his daughter from Erika.
"Rika, I'm sorry about earlier."
"No big deal Kurt. I'll handle it just fine."
"Even around Brock?"
"Even around Brock. I don't think I'll have a problem with something I fully intend to ignore."
Erika looked down at her watch for the tenth time in five minutes and groaned. She gave into her childish urge and stamped her foot like a three year old. She sat back down, pulled out her phone, and dialed.
"Hey Rika," Kurt answered, having seen the caller ID on his cell.
"Kurt, are you still at Mom's?"
"Can you check the paper by the front door and see if it says who is picking me up? I know I'm supposed to meet up with Brock later tonight, but I never thought about who would be here. They could have just let me take care of these things myself."
"I know that. Actually it says that Br-" Erika pulled the phone away from her ear when she heard her name over the intercom.
"Never mind Kurt, they just paged me. I'll call you later." She shut her phone, cutting off the rest of Kurt's sentence, and walked up to the counter. "Hi, I was just paged a moment ago?"
The clerk looked up. "Erika Angle?"
The lady pointed. "Right over there."
"Thanks." Erika turned to see someone she definitely wasn't expecting to have to deal with yet. "Lesnar, what the hell are you doing here?"
He gave her a cocky grin. "What else would I be doing here? I'm picking you up."
Erika ignored that and focused on the adorable little girl in his arms. "Hi there Mya."
Three year old Mya Lynn Lesnar smiled shyly. "Hi."
"Do you remember me?" Mya shook her head. "I'm Kurt's sister." Mya's eyes lit up.
Erika laughed and picked up her laptop case. "Yep." She went to pick up her other bag, but Brock stopped her.
"I'll get it."
She rolled her eyes. "Two things Lesnar. One, I can carry my own bags, and two, you've got Mya."
"You take Mya, I'll get the bags." Erika rolled her eyes again, but relinquished her hold on the suitcase. Brock took it and looked down at his daughter. "Princess, can Erika carry you?" Mya nodded her head and held her arms out to Erika, who set her briefcase down and took
"Wow Miss Mya. You got big, huh?"
Mya shook her head, sending her blond curls flying. "Nope, I still little girl."
"I think you're daddy's little girl."
Mya gave her a 'duh' look. "That's what I said Ewika."
Erika had to laugh at that. "Sorry sweetie, I misunderstood."
"Is okay." Brock unlocked the doors to his Hummer and Erika got Mya settled in her carseat while Brock loaded the luggage. He got in and they began the short drive to his house. When he turned right out of the airport, Erika shot him a confused look.
"Shouldn't you have turned left?"
Brock shook his head. "No, I moved. Didn't Kurt tell you?"
"Yeah, he did, I forgot." The car grew silent and remained that way for the remainder of the ride. When he pulled up in front of his house, Erika couldn't help but grin. "I can't believe you really did buy it." A hint of a smile crossed over Brock's face.
"I always said I would."
"Nicole, how many times do we have to drive by this place?"
"It's on the way, Rika." Nicole and Erika were on the way to pick up their boyfriends, who had flown back home to South Dakota for the weekend.
"Yeah, ok," Erika said and smiled to herself.
"It is." Nicole insisted.
"Not really, but we both know your obsession with coming up here."
"The houses are so beautiful. Especially-" Erika cut her off.
"Yeah. Brock and I will own that house one day."
Erika snorted. "You're really going to marry that lout?"
"I am having his child here Erika. Besides, you're dating his best friend, you should just try to get along. It's not like you're ever getting away from him."
"She loved this house."
"I know." Brock got her bags out of the trunk while Erika carried the now sleeping Mya inside.
"Where's her room?"
"Upstairs." He moved in front of her to lead the way. He dropped her bags by a door and opened the one of the room next to it. Erika set Mya on her bed and looked around the decked out room.
"She really is your little princess, huh?"
Brock smiled and looked fondly at his daughter. "Yes, she is." A hard look passed over his face. "She was all I had left for awhile."
"Do not throw that in my face Lesnar," Erika said and walked to what she assumed was her room. She started to close the door but Brock's hand shot out to stop it. He came in and shut it behind him.
"And why not? You left the day after the funeral, Erika." Her eyes started to well up.
"You don't know Brock, so just don't."
"Oh yes I do. I know exactly what happened. You ran." That lit up the anger in her bright blue eyes.
"Why should I have stayed, Brock? You didn't want me here."
"You should have stayed if, for nothing else, your goddaughter."
Erika wouldn't meet his eyes. She knew he was right, but she couldn't admit it. "You had your mom, and Nicole's," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
"I needed you," he said softly.
Erika sighed. "Brock, I just want to take a nap, ok?"
"Fine." He turned and walked away, slamming the door behind him.
"Hope that didn't wake Mya up." Erika took off her shoes and crawled into bed. She was almost asleep when her eyes popped open at this thought. "What did he mean, he needed me?"
Erika awoke a few hours later to a soft giggling sound. She opened her eyes to find a smiling Mya sitting next to her on the bed. "Hey there cutie."
"Hi Ewika. Daddy told me to come wake you for supper."
"OK, thank you. Let me change my clothes and I'll be right down." Mya nodded and ran back downstairs. Erika yawned and got out of bed. She grabbed a sweatshirt and pulled it over her head and went down to the kitchen, stopping just outside the door when she heard voices.
"Princess, I don't know if Erika will want to do that."
"Why not Daddy?"
"She had a long plane ride, and she's probably still tired."
"I ask anyway."
Brock sighed, defeated. "Ok, honey."
Erika chose that moment to walk in the room. "Ask me what?"
"If you wanna go to the park with us?"
Mya had such a hopeful look on her face that Erika had to laugh. "Of course I'll go." They ate a quick supper of grilled chicken and baked potatoes, and Erika finished up the dishes while Brock took Mya to get ready. Erika was putting the last dish in the drainer when she heard the sound of tiny feet running behind her.
"Ewika, let's go!"
"In a hurry?"
"Yes." Mya grabbed her hand and started dragging Erika across the kitchen.
"Wait a second sweetie, I need to grab some shoes." She quickly slipped on some sandals and they were on their way. Mya grabbed Brock's hand with her other as soon as they were out the door, and they stayed that way the entire walk. As soon as they reached the fence, Mya broke loose. No one else was there, so Brock let her go and led Erika over to a bench. She could see the regret in his eyes even before he opened his mouth.
"can we talk?"
She shook her head. "Brock, you are NO good at apologies, so don't bother."
"I'm sorry." She turned to him with amazed eyes. "Wow, and you said it without stuttering once. Impressive."
"Gee, thanks." He smiled down at her, then returned his attention to Mya, who looked over and waved. Erika waved back and stood.
"It's ok," she said to Brock, and walked over to the swings and sat down. Brock came up behind her and started lightly pushing.
"So what exactly is this article about?" They preceded to talk about that and other light topics until Mya came running over.
"I done Daddy." Erika got off the swing and Brock picked Mya up.
She nodded. "Yeah. Ewika watch mermaid too?" Erika was a bit confused, and looked to Brock for clarification.
"She means The Little Mermaid. It's her favorite, and I told her earlier we could watch it."
"Oh, I see." Erika looked down at her watch before answering Mya's question. "I don't think I can sweetie, I've got somewhere to go." Now it was Brock's turn to look confused.
"What are you talking about?"
"It's just something I need to do."
After much cajoling and the promise of her life if it was returned damaged, Brock caved and tossed Erika the keys to his Hummer. "I'll return it in one piece, I promise."
"You better," he mumbled. Erika rolled her eyes slightly and got into the car. Twenty minutes later she was pulling up in front of a house across town. She got out of the car and walked up the path, taking a deep breath before knocking on the door. When it swung open a minute later, she was greeted by a very surprised looking woman.
"Erika?" The emotion in the woman's voice matched the look on her face, and nervousness washed over Erika.
"Hi Heidi. Could I come in?"
"Of course sweetie, please do." She opened the door further, allowing Erika entrance. She hugged Erika as soon as the door was closed, and grabbed her arm to lead her towards the kitchen. "Steven, we have a visitor," Heidi called to her husband, who was sitting in the kitchen. He stood just as they walked through the door.
"Who is..." his voice trailed off when he saw Erika. He walked up to her wordlessly and wrapped her in his arms. He pulled back and smiled gruffly. "Well if it isn't Erika Lynn. It's been too long." When she heard those words, all of Erika's nervousness vanished. After all, these were people she should never be anxious around. They were Nicole's parents, and she had known them almost her entire life. Heidi dabbed at her now misty eyes and nodded.
"Yes it has, but I am so glad you're here Rika."
"We're glad," Steve corrected his wife. Erika smiled and looked around.
"Is Logan here?" she asked, referring to Nicole's now ten year old brother.
"He's next door playing, but he should be back soon." As if on cue they heard the front door bang open.
"Mom, is Brock here?" Logan yelled while running through the hall. He came to a screeching halt when he saw Erika, then launched himself into her arms. "Erika!"
She hugged Logan and laughed. "It's good to see you too little bro." Logan had always been considered the little brother Erika never had.
Heidi looked a little confused. "Logan, why would you think Brock was here?" He sat down next to Erika before answering.
"His car is in the drive." Heidi's eyebrows shot up in surprise, and she gave Erika an odd look.
"You've seen him?" Erika nodded and explained about the piece she was writing, and how she was traveling with the company. "But now you'll get to spend some time with Mya."
Erika smiled and looked a bit sheepish. "Yes, and I'm glad. But Brock's already thrown that up in my face once, about how I haven't seen her much."
Heidi patted her hand. "Honey, he doesn't know everything that happened. You had to get away. We understood that, and if he knew, he would too."
"No way," Erika said, shaking her head. "He doesn't need to know, and I'm not telling him."
"Mom, what are you guys talking about?" Logan asked.
"Just some old stuff, Logan. Why don't you go play a video game or something?" He rolled his eyes and left the room. A moment later they heard him stomping up the stairs.
"Same old Logan. Always wanting to know everything."
"Of course, but I don't think he needs to hear anything about this," Heidi told Erika. Steve stood and started for the door.
"And this probably isn't something I need to hear either." He stopped next to Erika and kissed the top of her head. "Come say goodbye before you leave this time."
"I will." He left, and Heidi looked at Erika, changing her mind about their discussion.
"I've got something you should have. Would you come upstairs?" Erika wasn't sure what she was talking about, but she followed anyway. Heidi opened the door to Nicole's room and went in, but Erika froze in the doorway.
"You haven't changed anything." Heidi looked around and smiled fondly.
"No. I know that she's gone, but we don't need the room for anything, so it stays this way. Eventually I'll pack some stuff away, but I want Mya to see the way her mother was."
"I think that's a nice idea." Erika walked slowly around the room, pausing to look at various items. "I can't believe she put that up there."
Heidi looked to where Erika was pointing and laughed. "Isn't it beautiful?" She was referring to a picture of Erika and Nicole taken at their first football game at the University of Minnesota, where they happened to be soaked to the bone and covered in running face paint. Heidi slowly quit laughing and reached into Nicole's drawer. She grabbed a package and held it out to Erika. "This is what I wanted you to have." Erika took it and sat on the bed.
"Nic's journal?" Heidi nodded.
"I actually read it, about a year ago. It's helped alot, and made me realize a few things. I hope it can do the same for you, especially since I knoe she would have wanted you to have it. I've got one question though. Do you remember the first day you met Brock?"
"Yeah, I do. Do you want the honest answer, or what Nic thought?"
"The honest one."
Erika was just putting the last of her things away when Nicole came back into their room looking very giddy. She fell back on the bed and sighed dreamily. Erika started laughing. "Girl, what is your issue?"
"I just met this hot guy in the bookstore."
Erika flopped on her bed. "Do tell."
"He is so hot. Tall, like six three, maybe six four, very muscular, blond hair, blue eyes."
"Does the creature of hotness have a name?"
"I'm sure he does."
"And you didn't get it."
Nicole gave her a sheepish grin. "I think I was too busy drooling." Erika busted up
"That is too funny. Maybe you'll see him around. Especially since he was at the bookstore an hour before most classes start."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Erika grabbed her bookbag and headed for the door. "You're both slackers? So when you're at the library at 3 in the morning the night before a paper is due, you'll run into him." Nicole threw a pillow at her. "Hey now!"
"Yep." She looked down at her watch. "As much as I would love to stay and trade insults, I have class in about fifteen minutes. I'll meet you back here later?
"Yeah, we have to get ready for the party."
"I cannot believe you talked me into going to this party on the first day of school, Nic."
"It'll be fun, Rika. Go to class."
"Bye Nic." She shut the door behind her and headed to Kolbe Hall for her first class, Effective Oral Communication. There weren't many seats left, so she grabbed one in the back just as the professor was walking in.
"Good morning everyone. My name is Dr. Harris." He went through the normal first day stuff before giving an assignment. "You are to find someone in this class that you don't know and learn five things about them. You will resent them at the end of class." He sat down at the desk in front of him, obviously finished. Erika knew no one, so she turned to the guy sitting next to her. "Hi, I'm Erika." He smiled and stuck out his hand.
"Brock, nice to meet you." She shook his hand, dazed by his smile.
"You too. So, Brock, I need to know five things about you."
"Well, I dunno, we just met and all..." She laughed, putting them both at ease.
"In that case I'll tell you a little about myself first. My full name is Erika Lynn Angle and I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have five older brothers, I'm the only girl and the youngest of the bunch. My dad died when I was a year old, so I grew up mostly with my mom and my youngest brother. I didn't really want to come out here, but my best friend insisted. I'm majoring in Journalism. I love to ice skate, and I'm on the team which means you can find me at the rink most mornings."
"Your last name is Angle?"
"OK, Brock, out of all that all you got was my last name?"
He shook his head. "No, I got the rest, I was just trying to figure something out. You're related to Kurt Angle, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I am. You watched the Olympics?" She gave him a doubtful look- he just didn't seem the type.
"No, I'm a wrestler, so I did pay attention to that much."
"Uhhuh. So tell me more cowboy."
He gave her an odd look. "Funny you should say cowboy."
"It just fit. Why is it funny?"
"I grew up on a farm in Webster, South Dakota. My full name is Brock Edward Lesnar. I attended Bismarck Junior College in North Dakota before I came here. I have two older brothers and a younger sister. I'm majoring in business administration, and you can find me in the gym most mornings."
"Copycat." He chuckled.
"Deal with it." She just shook her head. "Hey, maybe we could-" He was interrupted by the instructor saying that it was time for the intros. Erika gave him a smile and turned her attention to the front. After class she ran back to her room, hoping that Nic was still there. She threw the door open and saw Nicole reading. She flung herself down on the bed.
"Now I feel like you. The only reason you wanted to come here was because of the guys, wasn't it?"
Nicole set her book down, knowing Erika had just met someone and would want to talk. "You found me out. So what's he look like?"
"He has an amazing smile, a killer body, and eyes that could make even me drool."
"Now you sound like me." She got off the bed and put some shoes on. "I have class, but when I get back we need to start getting ready. Who knows, maybe our mystery men will be there?"
*(later that night)*
"Ugh, where is she?" Erika said to herself, and looked around the room again for Nicole. She thought she had spotted her mystery man as soon as they walked in, and ran off to meet up with him. Erika felt a tap on her shoulder.
"Hey, I found him!"
"Where is he?" Nicole reached back through the crowd and grabbed the guy's arm. Erika's face froze when she saw who it was.
"Erika, this is Brock. Brock, this is my best friend Erika." Erika slowly stuck out her hand.
"Nice to meet you Brock."
He shook her hand, too shocked to do anything but play along. "You too. Aren't you in one of my classes?"
"I think so." She turned to Nicole. "I'm going to cruise around, I'll catch up with you later, ok?"
"Sure chick. Did you ever find that guy?"
"That guy?" She said, hoping Nic would get the hint to drop it, but she didn't.
"Yeah, the hot one from your class earlier."
Erika blushed and looked away from Brock. "No, maybe I'll see him around."
Heidi was nodding by the time Erika finished her story. "I think you might especially like the entry from that night."
Erika was puzzled, but agreed and followed Heidi back downstairs. "Heidi, I'm confused."
"Don't be. It'll make sense eventually." She reached out and hugged Erika. "Don't be a stranger either."
"I won't, but I can't promise I'll read this."
"I know, but I think you should. Bye Erika."
"Bye Heidi. Tell the boys I said bye, and that I'll stop back after my last day. We're ending in California, so I'll fly back here before heading home."
"I will." Erika gave her one last smile before walking back out to Brock's Hummer, feeling as if a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
Erika made the drive back to Brock's feeling much better than she had in a long time. She walked inside and set Nic's journal on the counter before calling for Brock. "I'm back Lesnar, and so is your precious vehicle." She waited, but there was no answer. "Brock?" she tried again. Still no answer, so Erika walked into the living room, where she found Brock and Mya asleep on the couch, the movie credits playing in the background. Mya awoke when Erika switched off the TV. "Ewika?"
"Hi sweetie. You ready for bed?" Mya nodded, so Erika picked her up and carried her upstairs. "Was the movie good?" she asked while tucking the little girl in.
"Yeah, is my favorite."
"I like it too."
"Ewika, will you tell me a story?"
"Sure sweeite, which one?"
"One about you and Mommy." Erika was surprised that Mya knew they knew each other.
"One about me and your mom?"
"Yes." During the course of their discussion Brock had woken up and came to find Mya. He stopped just outside the door when he heard voices. and stayed there to hear the story.
"OK, I'll tell you about the first time we met..."
"Erika, honey, I promise you will like kindergarden. There will be alot of kids there."
Five year old Erika stomped her foot and stuck out her lower lip. "No, I don't wanna!"
Jackie sighed and turned to her son for support. "Kurt, talk some sense into her."
"Mom, I've got to get to school, we're having a pep rally in an hour. Just take her in and show her, she'll love it."
"Kurt, I realize that you are seventeen years old and think that you are all that but I still expect some help around here."
He held up his hands in defense. "OK, OK, geez. Don't freak out Mom, it's no big deal." He sat down on the tiled floor next to a still pouting Erika. "Erika, how about if I walk you to school today? We'll go in and meet your teacher and see your classroom and everything."
Erika chewed on her bottom lip before quietly answering. "OK, Kurt." Jackie's mouth dropped open and Kurt laughed.
"Good sweetie, why don't you go get your backpack." She went to grab it and Kurt turned to his mom. "Yes, I am all that."
"Mmhmm, you keep thinking that. Tell her I'll pick her up at noon, and I'll see you after practice?"
"Sure thing Mom." She left, and Erika came back in holding her bag.
"You sound excited," Kurt said sarcastically as he grabbed her hand and walked out the door.
"No, I not. I don't wanna go and Mommy is making me."
"But it'll be fun, I promise. You get to draw and play on the playground and make new friends."
Erika heaved a big sigh. "I know, but I don't wanna." They reached the school a few minutes later, and Kurt had to practically carry Erika inside. They stopped right at the entrance to the classroom. Kurt set Erika down and gave her a gentle nudge.
"Go on, Rika. You have to, so you might as well get it over with." Her bottom lip started quivering and Kurt immediately felt like a heel. He knelt down next to her and wrapped her in his arms. "I'm so sorry sweetie, I didn't mean to be mean. How about we go in together?" She nodded. "Alrighty then, let's try this again." He stood, grabbed her hand, and lead her to the teacher's desk. "Hi, I'm Kurt Angle, I'm dropping of my sister Erika."
The teacher smiled and took Erika's hand. "Hi Erika and Kurt. I'm Anna. Erika, why don't we put your bag in your special locker and then we'll find your desk?"
Erika sniffled and nodded, releasing her grasp on Kurt's hand. "K."
Kurt was amazed. "Alright Erika, have a good day. Mom will be here for you when class is over." Her eyes grew wide.
"Kurt, you can't leave!"
"Sweetie, I have to go to my school. I'll see you later, ok?" Erika broke free from Anna and launched herself into Kurt's arms.
"I don't wanna stay here!"
"Erika, do you remember when Daddy was hurt and Mommy told you to be a brave little girl?" She nodded. "You need to be a brave little girl today, too."
A determined gleam replaced the tears in her eyes. "I can do it Kurt." He kissed the top of her forehead and stood.
"I know you can. Bye Erika."
"Bye Kurt." Anna again took Erika's hand to lead her toward the coat room.
"Erika, this is your locker, and you can hang your coat here." Erika did both and followed Anna back to the front of the room. "And this is where you'll sit," she said, and pointed to a seat in the front. There was another little girl in the row, and Erika sat down next to her.
"Hi," she said.
"What's your name?"
"Erika. What's yours?"
"Nicole Marie Adams," she responded matter of factly.
"Do you like Barbies Nicole?" Erika asked, and they were off and running...
"And we were best friends from that day on," Erika concluded.
"That was a good story, Ewika."
"Well thank you Miss Mya. You ready for bed now?" She nodded. "OK, I'll see you in the morning then." Brock took this opportunity to interrupt.
"Hey sleepyhead." Brock walked over and sat on the other side of Mya's bed.
"Hi princess, you ready to go to sleep?"
"Yeah, I just told Ewika that silly."
"Well ok silly." He leaned down and hugged Mya before tucking her in. "Love you."
"Love you too Daddy." She closed her eyes and Brock and Erika slipped out to go back downstairs.
"So I see you went to Heidi and Steve's," he said, indicating Nicole's journal.
"Yeah, but I don't think I'm going to read it. Heidi did, and said I should, but I can't." Brock could see she was starting to close off, so he changed the topic.
"A rep from the company called while you were gone. The show tomorrow night got cancelled, so we don't have anything until the taping on Tuesday, and that's here in town."
"Could we get your interview out of the way then?"
"Sure. I'm looking forward to being grilled."
Erika got up early the next morning. Brock and Mya were still sleeping, so Erika pulled on a sweatshirt and went for a jog around the neighborhood. Brock had coffee waiting when she got back an hour later. "Hey Miss Fitness, you could have woke me up." Erika smiled and took off her sweatshirt before sitting at the table, accepting the cup Brock offered her.
"Thanks," she said, and took a sip. "I hear cartoons, Mya must be up."
"She is. When do you want to get this interview done?"
"Let me take a shower and change first." She did, and half an hour later they were both sitting comfortably in the family room, Mya's cartoons still playing in the background. "First of all, you don't care if I record this do you?"
"Not at all, though we both know you don't need to."
"I like it for backup." She set the recorder up between them and grabbed her legal pad. "I know the basics of why you got into wrestling, and pretty much anything else I could ask, but my boss sent along some questions I just absolutely had to ask." She said the last part in a gaspy, overexcited kind of way, which got them both laughing.
"Wow...is he a fan or something?"
Erika shook her head, still giggling. "Maybe just a bit." She glanced down and rolled her eyes. "First question...gee Brock, are you single?"
"Let me think...umm yeah."
"Gee, I didn't know that one. Next...what are the best and worst parts of traveling?"
"Easy...best is seeing new places, and the worst is dragging Mya around, especially when she's tired and cranky."
Erika had to smirk at that one. "Yeah, and you're never tired or cranky, right?"
"Uhhuh. If you could change one thing about how the company is ran, what would it be?"
"Tough one." He thought for a few minutes before answering. "I think that I would schedule things a little better, and change up things at house shows. They can get pretty boring doing the exact same things every night for three nights straight."
"Not bad, though certainly not what I was expecting. Even thought I know this one, I'll ask anyways. Your first real love was?"
He gave her an unreadable look. "You're right, I think you do know the answer. Next question."
"Who do you travel with?"
"Kurt and Mya, occassionally Charlie and Shelton. It depends on who is scheduled where."
"What is the one food you cannot travel without?"
"Same as you. Strawberry PopTarts."
"It is not."
Erika's eyes narrowed. "You were the PopTart theif!"
Brock lifted his hand to his chest and pretended to fall over. "Ugh, you caught me! I was the one who always took your PT's"
"PT? How lazy is that. Just say PopTart."
"Whatever. I like PT better."
"Alrighty then. Last question."
"If you could pick one person to interview, who would it be and why?"
"I would have to say-" he was interrupted by the ringing of the phone. "Hold on. Hello? Hi Mom. Uhuh. Why don't you and dad come over tonight? Well, Erika's here. I know you haven't. Alright, see you then. Love you too. Bye Mom." He hung up the phone and looked at Erika. "Mom and Dad are coming over for supper around 5."
"That'll be nice, I haven't seen them in forever."
Brock smiled. "That's pretty much what Mom said about you." The rest of the afternoon passed with ease. Erika observed Brock, taking occassional notes, while he and Mya watched another movie. Around 4:30 he asked Erika to help him start supper.
"What do you want to make?" she asked, and hopped up on the counter next to him.
"Not a clue." He started rummaging in the fridge and emerged a few minutes later with a couple packs of steak. "This could work. Baked potatoes?"
"Sounds good. How about a pasta salad to go with?"
"That sounds like a plan. I'll grill if you'll do the rest?"
"Sure." 20 minutes later the doorbell rang as Erika was putting the last plate on the table. Brock was still at the grill, so Erika answered the door.
Stephanie and Richard Lesnar both greeted her with hugs, but it was Stephanie who spoke first. "Honey, how are you?"
"I'm fine, thanks. How are the two of you?"
"We're good," Richard responded as they walked into the kitchen. Mya heard her grandparents and came running into the room.
"Gramma, Grampa!" Richard picked her up and swung her around. Brock kissed his mother on the cheek and shook his father's hand, then they all sat down. Erika looked around, feeling a bit surprised as a feeling of contentment washed over her, tainted only by her next thought.
'I am enjoying this way too much.'
"No, Kurt, Erika is fine. Would I lie to you?" Erika heard Brock talking so she walked into his room and sat down next to him. He looked at her and rolled his eyes before responding to Kurt. "Right man, I have her locked up in a room somewhere, bound and gagged." Erika paled at that, and could hear Kurt yelling from where she was sitting. "No, not funny. Do you want to talk to her?" Kurt said yes, so Brock handed her the phone. "You okay?" he asked when he saw her face.
She nodded and took the phone. "Fine, thanks. Hi Kurt."
"Hey Rika. Haven't you told him anything yet?"
She sighed. "No, and I don't plan on it right now, so he couldn't have known." Brock gave her a confused look, but she brushed him off. "What's up?"
"Not much, I just hadn't heard from you, so I thought I'd call."
"Kurt, I'll be seeing you at the taping. Are you sure that's all you wanted?" She could practically hear blushing in his voice.
"OK, OK. You caught me. I was just checking up on you. You are coming to the arena?"
"Of course, I'm interviewing after the show. I'll see you then."
"Alright. Love you."
"Love you too, Mr. Overprotective. Bye."
"Bye Rika." Erika hung up the phone and looked at Brock.
"He is so transparent. He just wanted to make sure we weren't killing each other." Brock laughed and headed for the bathroom.
"And we aren't. I have to take a shower and get Mya ready, then we can go."
"I'm ready so I can get Mya's things together. What do you usually take?" Brock turned on the water as he was answering, so all Erika heard was a muffled reply. "What?" She got up and walked around the corner, getting an eyeful of a naked Brock in the process. "Oh, God, I'm so sorry." She covered her eyes and Brock grabbed a towel to wrap around his midsection.
"Just a point of information Erika, but when someone has the water running in the shower, they are usually naked." Erika turned her back on him and answered facing the door.
"Yeah, well, you should have answered me before you turned the water on, or maybe you could CLOSE THE DOOR!"
He turned the water off and slipped some shorts on. "You can turn around now, I'm decent." She did, and he could still see the blush on her cheeks. "I know you aren't miss innocent Erika, but nice blush."
He ignored that to answer her previous question. "Just ask her what she wants to take today, but make sure to include some books, she loves-"
"To be read to," Erika interrupted. "Your mom said that last night."
"I remember. Just grab some of those and Mya will point some things out. Whenever you two are ready then we can go."
"OK." Brock closed the door behind him this time, and Erika stood there shaking her head, the image of a naked Brock still fresh in her mind.
"All I can say is DAMN!"
Brock, Erika, and Mya arrived at the arena about an hour later, where they were immediately greeted by Kurt, Karen, and Kyra. Kurt hugged Erika while trying to inconspicuously check her over, but she noticed. "Kurt, why are you looking me over like I'm battered and bruised?"
He pulled back from the hug looking sheepish, though he tried to deny it. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Yes you do, and I love you for it. Now move so I can see my niece." She lightly shoved him out of the way and took Kyra from Karen's arms.
"Thanks Rika, glad to know where I stand."
"No problem." She ignored him after that, focusing her attention on Kyra and Karen. Brock laughed and handed Mya over to Kurt, since she had started reaching for him as soon as he came into view.
"Hi Kurt hero. Are we gonna play today?" Mya had grown quite attached to Kurt since Brock often traveled with him and they hung out together backstage.
"I don't know sweetie, are you going with Erika?" He asked Mya, but looked to Brock for the answer.
Brock cleared his throat before answering. "I figured she would, because I thought Erika was watching the show from the arena with Karen."
"I am," Erika interrupted, handing Kyra to Karen and taking Mya's bag from Brock. "That's where we're going now. Do you want to come Mya?"
"K." Brock took Mya from Kurt, kissed her cheek and handed her to Erika.
"See you ladies after the show," he said, and winked at Erika, who rolled her eyes.
"Get a life Brock." He laughed as the girls left the back. Kurt gave him a strange look.
"what's up with that?"
"Nothing man. Nothing at all."
"Karen, can we talk?" Karen finished getting settled in her seat and nodded at Erika.
"Of course sweetie, though it won't be private out here." They were sitting front row for the show, and the rest of the arena was quickly filling.
"That's fine, I just need some advice. Or a listening ear, whichever."
"Ewika, can I have some crayons?" Mya interrupted.
"Sure pumpkin," she said and handed them to her. "Anyways, the thing is...well, you know everything that happened between me and Brock, right?"
"I don't know how to phrase this at all, but here goes. I think I'm beginning to like him." Karen opened her mouth to comment, but Erika rushed to finish her thought. "No, no, not like that. But as a friend, I think. And I'm not supposed to be his friend. If I'm his friend then I might want more and-" Her eyes grew huge realizing what she said
"Erika, you don't..."
"No, no, no! Not at all." Erika paused to smirk. "Although I did view an interesting sight this morning," she said, and proceeded to tell Karen the story.
"Let's just say he's...well proportioned." They burst into laughter and the conversation was ended by Tony Chimmel climbing into the ring to begin the show. Brock and Kurt both came out about an hour and a half later to thunderous applause. When Brock stopped at the bottom of the ramp he threw a quick smile over to the side where they were sitting. Kurt was a bit more obvious, coming over and kissing Karen, sure that the announce team would make mention of who she was. Brock and Kurt made quick work of their opponents, and the show ended. The girls made their way backstage, and Erika and Mya went to the womens locker room. Erika knocked on the door. "Can I come in?"
The door swung open and Nidia greeted her with a hug. "Hey Erika. We're ready for the interrogation. Hi there Mya," she said to the little girl perched on Erika's shoulders.
"Hi," she responded shyly.
"Mya, you know Nidia, right?" Mya nodded.
"Yeah. I get down now?"
"Sure sweetie." Erika lowered her to the ground and dug around for a coloring book and crayons. "Do you want to color some more while we talk?"
"OK." Mya plopped down right there by the door and started looking through the book.
"That was easy enough Rika."
"You expected otherwise? She is such a sweet little girl. Plus I think she's used to this." They walked over to a couple of chairs and sat down.
"That's sad in a way though."
"It is." A thoughtful look crossed Erika's face. "I wonder if Brock would let her hang out with me while he's at the shows."
"I'm sure he would."
"I'm sure too. Alright, let's get this thing done." They did their interview, and Erika was almost done with Dawn Marie when there was a loud knock at the door.
"Everybody decent?" Came Brock's voice through the door. Erika looked around and went to the door.
"Yep, what do you need?"
"You and my daughter for a start." It was then that she realized how many bags he was carrying. "It's 11:30, and our flight leaves at 1."
"Oh, gosh, I am so sorry. Mya-" she stopped, seeing Dawn holding the little girl.
"Is asleep. We can finish another time Erika, it's no big deal." Erika gently took Mya from her.
"Thanks alot Dawn. We'll talk in Toronto, ok?"
"Sounds great. Are you guys going early?"
"Yeah, to sightsee. Talk to you later."
"Bye guys, have a good flight." Dawn shut the door behind them.
"Brock, I didn't mean to lose track of the time, we just got to talking, and-"
"Erika, it's not a big deal. We're only twenty minutes away from the airport, we have plenty of time."
"Right." Erika sighed and adjusted Mya in her arms and yawned. "How long is the flight?"
"A three hour nap? Sounds perfect."