WWE Corporate Office, Stamford, Connecticut
Samantha Hardy looked around her office. It was absolutely gorgeous. Spacious, with windows all along one wall and bookcases along another, it was more than she could have hoped for. Too bad she wouldn't be in
it much. At 23, Sam had just graduated from college with a double major in public relations and business management, and she was able to land a job that she was sure to love. Sam was the newest talent manager for
World Wrestling Entertainment. Unfortunately, the person she was replacing had left a ton of unfinished work. Sam was to take over the managing duties of several superstars, as budget concerns
had cut the number of agents down to 3 per talent roster (Raw and Smackdown). Sam had been sent to Raw, where she would be representing her brother Jeff, her best friends Shane Helms and Amy Dumas, the members of
the Evolution faction (Paul Levesque a.k.a. HHH, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Dave Bautista), Chris Jericho, Christian, Trish Stratus and Victoria. As she started to look through the files on her desk, there was a
knock on the door.
"Can I come in?"
Sam looked up to find Shane Helms at the door.
"Yeah, Shane, come on in. I was just gathering up this stuff to take home. How long before we need to go?"
Shane looked down at his watch. "Our flight leaves at 5:15, so I would say in about 20 minutes."
She nodded. "Let me finish this up, go talk to Vince, and we can head out."
"I just passed him in the hallway. He was surprised that I came up here with you on my day off."
Sam laughed. "So was I. I know you had said you were going to, but that was before you knew you had to wake up at 4:30 this morning."
He shook his head. "No big deal. I'm just glad you're going to be able to go on the road with us already."
Shane nodded. "I know Stacy left you with a ton of work."
"Well, yeah, but its nothing that I wouldn't be doing anyways. Everyone knows I have to play catch-up, so they aren't expecting too much out of me at first." The next 10 minutes were spent quietly while Sam finished sorting through papers, and deciding what she would need for the next four days.
She grabbed her briefcase, laptop bag, and headed for the door. Walking around him she asked, "Were you planning on spending the rest of the weekend in my office?" After receiving no answer, she turned. He was asleep!. 'Like he fell asleep in ten minutes', she thought.
'I'll show him....'. Sam went to the fridge in the corner of the room and pulled out a bottle of water. Standing in front of him, Sam unscrewed the cap and dumped it right in his lap. He jumped up screaming,
"What the hell did you do that for?"
She smirked. "Are you going to fall asleep in my office again?"
He gave her a look as he reached for his bag. "No, I don't think so. Now I have to go change my clothes.And if we're late because of this..."
"Shane, we'll be fine. Just go change. I'm gonna go see Vince."
"Hey Mira, what's going on?"
"Not much, Sam." Vince McMahon's personal secretary said when she looked up. "What's going on with you?"
"Not too much, I was just looking for Vince. He said he wanted to talk to me before I left."
Mira nodded. "He was headed down to your office to find you because he wanted to get home before 4."
"OK, thanks Mira. I"ll go look for him. See you next Sunday."
"OK. Have a good week."
"Thanks Mira, you too." Sam was headed back to her office when she heard a voice behind her.
"Sam! Hold on a second!" Vince McMahon yelled down the hall.
She stopped and turned. "Oh, there you are. I was just upstairs."
He nodded. "I was hoping to leave right after I talked to you, so I was just going to stop by your office. But then I ran into Shane and he said you poured water down his pants?"
She laughed. "Not down them, just on them. He fell asleep in my office."
Vince slowly nodded. "Alrighty then. Anyways, I just wanted to check in with you, see how you liked the office, things like that."
Sam smiled. "Vince, the office is so great. When Linda said she had the perfect idea for it, she was right on. I am so going to talk with the designer about my house."
Vince gave her a smile. "I'm glad. Did you have any questions about anything?"
Sam shook her head and patted her briefcase. "No, not really. I'm just going to work on this stuff for the rest of the weekend,so I can hopefully be ready to go on Monday."
Vince nodded his head. "Sounds good. If there's nothing else, I guess I'll see you Monday in Houston?"
"Yep, see you then."
Vince smiled before walking away. Sam started walking again, and found Shane standing by her door holding their bags. She smirked.
"Feeling better?" Shane gave a little laugh. "Yes. Definitely cooler, if nothing else. Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah." She took her briefcase from him, and he gave her a look. "What? I know you can handle a laptop. After all, you have your Hurri-powers, remember?"
He looked at her like she was a five year old. "Sam, you do know that the Hurricane is just a gimmick, right? I'm not really a superhero."
She got a thoughtful look on her face. "OK then. Are you still Gregory Helms, Ace Reporter?"
Shane whacked her on the arm. "Wait until you get in the ring. Then we'll see who makes fun of who."
"Who said I was getting into the ring anytime soon?"
"Vince did say maybe, Sam. You do know how to wrestle."
"Yeah, but if I did do anything, it would mostly be just on TV -no ring. I'm bogged down enough as it is."
When they got in the car, Shane asked her, "Are you sure you can handle it?"
"Thanks a lot, Shane. You don't think I can handle it?"
He shook his head. "That is not what I meant Sam, and you know it. I just mean that you have a, shall we say, higher profile clientele, and-"
"With the exception of this superhero I know."
He grimaced. "Ouch. Anyways, I just mean that it will be more time consuming than some other people might be."
"Well obviously Vince thinks I can handle it, or he wouldn't have given me the job. Once I get everything sorted out, it should run smoothly."
Shane reached over for her hand. "I'm sorry sweetie, I didn't mean it in a harsh way. You know I worry about you."
Sam squeezed his hand before letting go. "I do know that Shane, but I already have two older,
very over-protective brothers. I don't need another one."
Shane smiled. "Are you sure? 'Cause I could be the third older brother, and Shannon can be the younger brother."
Sam shook her head. "That's okay. I can barely handle you both as friends....what would I do if we were related?"
"Not a clue, Sam. Not a clue." They pulled into the airport rental car area, and went inside. "Sam, I'll take the car back, if you'll go check on the flight?"
She nodded. Shane took the car back, and met her by the gate. "Are we boarding yet?"
"Yeah. I am so going to crash on the way. Unlike SOME people, I didn't get a nap."
Shane just rolled his eyes.They made their way onto the plane, and as soon as they were settled they both fell asleep.
Sam woke up about 3 hours later with a weight on her shoulder. "Shane....Shane, wake up." She gently pushed his head off her shoulder. He shook his head and yawned.
"Wow, I was out."
Sam nodded. "Me too. We only have like 10 minutes before we land." After landing, they made their way into the airport.
"Man am I glad to be home."
Sam smiled in agreement. "Me too.But I bet you wish Matt or Amy had dropped us off so you didn't have to drive."
"Nah, its not too bad, only 45 minutes or so. We should have went to L.A. like Jeff and Beth. But no, SOMEONE had to go to work."
She gave him an incredulous look. "What? You-" she stopped, seeing the look on his face. "You suck. Just
for that I hope someone sideswiped your car."
Shane's jaw dropped. "You are just heartless. Completely heartless. I just....I can't even look at you." He flicked his hand in the air and walked away. Sam just
laughed and ran to catch up with him.
"Shane! Shane, wait up!" He stopped.
"What do you want?" he asked in a teary voice.
Sam swatted at him. "Whatever! Just don't forget to pick up your tag at the security desk."
"Oh, yeah. I really do not want to forget that. Last time they didn't believe that I had one. YOu going to the car then?"
Shane nodded and turned towards the security area. Sam smiled and ran out to the car. She picked up some dirt and smeared it on the side of Shane's beloved black Eclipse.
When she saw him she walked up to him and said, "Don't be mad."
He got a suspicious look on his face. "Why?"
She bit her lip nervously. "OK, you know how I said that someone should hit your car? Well...."
Shane groaned. "Damn it Sam. Is it bad?"
She shook her head. "Not too bad. You'll have to come look."
When he got a glimpse of the side his face drained of color. "Wow," he whispered. He ran his fingertips over it, and looked angry when his hand came away covered with dust. "Samantha Allyn Hardy! Haven't you
tortured me enough today?"
Sam tilted her head. "I don't think so, but since you went to Stamford with me, I'll give you a break."
Shane sighed. "Thank you so much, Sam. Can we go home now please?"
"Yeah, that would be nice. Amy and I were going to try to go shopping tonight."
He gave her a strange look. "Tonight? The mall closes in 20 minutes."
Sam shook her head. "Not tonight it doesn't. Its one of those shop-till-midnight deals. You pay like five dollars, and most stores offer special discounts."
"I think Matt did mention that. Is he going?"
"I thought Amy said he was. Why, did you want to go?"
Shane shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah, it could be fun. You and Amy know how to shop. When Beth and Crystal go with us, we are there for like five hours." Sam giggled. "Yeah, like the time all of us girls sat across from the theater and teased the ticket takers?"
Shane snorted. "Yeah, that was great."
"Whatever, you just wish we were flirting with you."
"Yeah, ok." Sam just smiled."Anyways, if Matt is going, then I'll go."
Sam reached back for her cell phone. "Hey, Matt, its me."
Matt was laughing. "How did it go?"
"Fine. The office is so nice, Matt. Linda's decorator came in, and it has all these blueshades in it, and pretty carpet. And she left me a whole wall for pictures and stuff. Vince stopped by, just to make sure that
I was settling in okay, and that I knew the basic agenda for Monday, things like that."
"Good. So who did you end up with?"
Sam smiled. "He actually gave me Stacy's people, which I wasn't expecting."
"Really? That's great though. That means you get both Shane and Jeff, right?"
"Yeah. It'll be cool. Anyways, the actual reason I called. Shane wondered if you were coming shopping with me and Amers tonight?"
"Ummm....yeah, as far as I know."
"OK. Shane is going to drop me off at home, I'm gonna get changed, then Amy and I will meet you two at your place. Is that cool?"
"Yeah, that's fine. I'll see you then."
"Bye Sam." She snapped the phone shut and turned to Shane. "Does that sound okay?"
He nodded. "Yeah, thats fine." He pulled into the drive of the Cameron, North Carolina ranch that Sam shared with her best friend Amy Dumas (better known to WWE fans as Lita). He popped the trunk and got out. Handing Sam her bags he said, "I'll see you in what, a half hour?"
Sam nodded. "About that." She hugged him. "Thanks alot Shane. I'm glad you could come up there with me."
"No problem Sam. That's what friends are for."
She smiled. "I know." She let go of him and picked up her stuff. She waved from the door as he backed out of the
Opening the door, Sam yelled for her roommate. "Amy? Are you here?" Amy's dog, Cody, came running up to her. "No, Cody, not you." Sam heard a muffled reply from the basement. She put her stuff on the kitchen table and went downstairs. "Amy?"
Sam went into the laundry room.
"Hey girl!" Amy gave Sam a hug. "How was it?"
"It was good." Amy gave her a look. "OK, it was fabulous. My office is great, my job is great, even my co-workers are great! I get to travel, spend time
with you and the guys, I get paid more than I should make- especially considering that they were trying to cut back- and I actually enjoy the job."
Amy laughed. "I think they pay you more because they know the bullshit you get to put up with."
"That probably is part of it." They both giggled. "I just need to change and I'll be ready to go. Did Matt call you?"
Amy nodded. "He said that Shane is going too." "Yeah, he just can't stand to be away from me."
Amy groaned. "Full of ourselves, are we?"
"Uhuh. Go get changed."
Sam saluted. "Yes, ma'am." Sam came back downstairs in a tank, jeans, and a pair of sandals.
Amy grabbed her keys. "That was fast."
"Yeah, well, I don't need to dress up to go to the mall."
Amy nodded. "Very true." They both climbed into Amy's car and made the ten minute drive to Matt's house.
Matt and Shane were both waiting outside. Matt came up and hugged Sam. Sam walked up to Shane. "Gee, haven't seen you for awhile."
Shane smirked and pointed. "Guess they haven't seen each other for awhile either."
Sam looked to where he was pointing and groaned. "Amy, do you need to do that in front of us? Seeing my brother groping my best friend does nothing for my already fragile mental state." Amy pulled away from Matt and grinned sheepishly. Sam continued, "While it is encouraging
that you guys are still hot for each other after like 4 years, its kinda gross." With that her and Shane headed for Matt's Blazer,leaving the couple in the middle of the driveway. When Matt and Amy climbed up front, Shane started making kissy noises. Matt
"Shane, how old are you?"
"That's what I thought."
"Amers, do you have the card?" "Uh, yeah, I left it.....in Matt's visor," Amy said pulling the mirror down to find the ticket that allowed them to shop. She looked at all the
participating stores. "So, where are we going?"
Sam and Shane looked at each other. "I kind of wanted to go clothes shopping, so Gap, American Eagle, Hot Topic all sound good to me. Oh, and FYE- I wanna pick up that new John Mayer CD."
"Oh, that one with 'Your Body Is A Wonderland'?" Amy asked.
Sam nodded. "I love that song. Umm...Victoria's Secret, too."
Matt gave her a look through the mirror. "Like you need to go there."
Sam just blushed. "Well, I thought maybe Amy would want to. I bet you won't object to that."
Matt shook his head, "Umm, no, I mean if Amy wants to go then..."
Amy laughed, "Well, we'll see about that." Her and Sam just laughed.
Shane leaned over to Sam and whispered into her ear. "That wouldn't have anything to do with a certain Mr. Flair, now would it?" Sam
just gave him a look. She had been dating David Flair for the last two years, but only a few people knew about it, none of those people being her brothers.
Shane spoke up. "I'd like to hit FYE, Structure,the comic book store".
The entire car erupted in groans. "Shane, don't you have enough comics for the weekend?"
"No, Matt, I don't think I do."
Matt laughed. "OK, man, whatever." Matt pulled into a parking space, and asked, "So, whose turn is it to guess how many autographs we'll sign tonight?"
Sam waved her hand. "I think its mine, and I will guess....20 different people will ask."
"Yes, Shane, 20. The parking, lot isn't crowded, and most clerks in the stores know all of you already, so that's my guess."
"OK, 20 it is. If you are within 3 either way, you pick the movie tonight. If not, then...." Shane looked to Matt for an answer. "Ummm.....you AND Amy have to make the snacks for during the movie."
Sam looked at Amy, who nodded. "That sounds fine, considering we'll probably have to make them anyways. Where to first?"
Three hours and 22 autographs later, the group made their way back to the car. Sam and Amy were sitting in the back, feeling quite victorious. "So, Amy, since we won and all, what movie shall we pick?"
"Gee, Sam, I don't know. A...chick-flick maybe?"
"But of course!" They both giggled. "Duh!" they said simultaneously.
"Hey Amy...." "Oh no." Matt broke in. "Not-"
"Pretty Woman!" The girls cracked up.
Matt and Shane looked at each other. "Why are we surprised?"
Shane sighed. "I'm actually not. But I was hoping they would pick something else FOR ONCE. Where are we watching it at?"
Sam spoke up. "Our place is fine. The movie room is still in shock from last time, but it should be ok."
Matt gave her a look through the mirror. "It is not our fault that you, Amy, Beth, and Crystal decided it would be fun to do makeovers while we were watching 'House on Haunted Hill'. Is there still nail polish on the wall?"
"No, Matt, I was exaggerating. We cleaned it up the next day."
"Good. Amy, do you just want to pick your car up tomorrow?"
She nodded. "Either that, or I'll just go back with you tonight?"
"Uh, yeah, that could work."
Sam giggled. "Aww, Matt, are you blushing?"
"Sam, I love you dearly, but shut up."
"No problem. Shane, you're just gonna stay over, right?"
He nodded. "I'm sure."
Matt and Amy exchanged a look through the mirror, which Sam noticed. She just rolled her eyes. They made their way into the house. "Amy, I'm going to go change."
She nodded and started to follow her. "Me too."
"Do you just want me to bring something down for you?"
"That'd be great."
Matt and Shane went downstairs. "Shane, you have clothes here?"
He looked bewildered. "Well yeah, why not?"
"No reason, I guess..."
"Oh, I get it. No, Matt, there is nothing going on between me and Sam. She is my best friend-" Matt gave him a look."-next to you-" Matt smiled, "and your little sister on top of that. But Sam and I do have a unique
relationship. We are very touchy-feely, and yes, I stay over here alot and she stays at my place sometimes too. And she's going to be rooming with me, since Jeff and Amy have been rooming."
"I understand man....no need to get feisty. Its just a good thing she doesn't have a boyfriend." Shane groaned inwardly, which earned him a strange look from Matt. "But one
question...where do you sleep when you stay here?"
Shane mumbled a response.
"What was that?"
Shane sighed. "In her room." He waited for a response, but none came. Shane looked up. "You aren't mad at me?"
Matt shook his head. "Nope. I understand your complex relationship, and Sam is an adult. Its actually you I worry about."
Shane smacked his arm. "Thanks man. I think I can control myself."
Matt fixed him with a look. "See that you do."
Sam sighed, "Have I ever told any of you how much I love that movie?"
Amy giggled and nodded. "I so want to be Vivienne...especially since Edward was played by Richard Gere. But I always cry at the end."
Matt rolled his eyes, "You two are a such a bunch of girls."
Sam just looked at him, "Uh, duh, Matt, last time I checked I was."
Shane laughed. "Last time I checked you were too."
He grinned, "I thought so."
Matt whispered to him, "I didn't."
Shane turned to Matt, "Man, if you are still talkin' about that-"
Matt shook his head. "Nah, man we're cool. I was only kidding." Shane nodded.
Sam looked at them. "Considering that its like 2 in the morning and I have a crapload of work to do for Monday, can we call it a night?"
Amy yawned. "That works for me."
As they were heading upstairs, Sam asked Amy, "You're just going to drive back tomorrow afternoon, right?"
Amy nodded. "Sounds good. I still have to pack. What time is our flight Monday?"
"Hold on, I'll check." Sam grabbed the tickets off the fridge. "Ugh. Boarding time, 6:45 AM."
Amy groaned. "Well, at least we all had the weekend off, which was a nice change. I know you've seen what we go through, Sam. Aren't you excited that you get to travel like that."
"Well, it really doesn't bother me."
Amy smirked. "You say that now..."
"No, I know it will be fine."
Matt grabbed Amy's hand. "Are you ready to go?"
She nodded. "See you guys tomorrow." When the door closed Shane sighed and leaned his forehead against it.
He turned around. "Your brother is a nutcase, Sam."
She giggled. "And your point?"
He shook his head. "He actually acted like it was a big deal that I stay here sometimes."
"Sometimes? You are here all the time."
"Well, yeah, but I didn't tell him that. He said that I had better control myself."
Sam's jaw dropped. "He said that?" She shook her head. "I wouldn't think anything of it. You know Matt. He takes his role as big brother way too seriously."
"It didn't bother me too much, I guess."
She walked over and put her arms around his waist. "So thats why you were quiet during the movie?" He nodded. "I was wondering, because Amy and I can never watch that without you putting your two cents in every other scene."
"You love my comments, they just make the movie."
Sam shook her head against his chest. "Um, no. They just annoy us when we are trying to watch Richard Gere." She yawned again. "I think its time to go to sleep." She worked her way out of his grasp and they walked towards her room. As they climbed into bed, Sam asked Shane, "Shane, you really do think I can handle this, right?"
He looked down at her as she leaned against his chest, and his arms automatically went around her. "Sam, if I didn't think you could handle it, I would tell you. You are perfect for this job, thats why Vince hired you."
She snuggled closer to him and pulled up the blanket. "Thanks Shane."
He kissed her forehead. "Your welcome Sam. Good night."
Sam groaned as she lifted her head up the next morning. "Ugh...it is way too early to be up." She pulled on her slippers and one of Shane's sweathsirts before padding down the hall. "Shane, it is 7:00 in the morning. For all the noise you are making, I better see breakfast when I get to the table." She rounded the corner to see the table set and the last of the toast still sitting in the toaster. "Wow, Shane, this is so nice. You should stay over more often."
He chuckled. "Didn't you just say last night that I'm here too much?"
She gave him a look. "That is not what I said and you know it."
"I know, I'm just messing with you."
"Whatever Shane. OK, it's not that I don't appreciate the breakfast, but it is 7:00."
He nodded. "Uh huh."
"IN THE MORNING!!!"
Shane laughed. "This time tomorrow we will be on a plane, Sam."
"All the more reason to sleep in now, Shane."
"Well, you also had a lot of work to do today, right?" Sam, taking a sip of orange juice, could only nod. Shane continued, "Then I figured we should start early, so I thought breakfast was a good idea."
Sam set her glass down and walked towards the stove. "True, I do have a lot to do, but what do you mean, we?"
"I thought I would help you pack while you worked on those files."
Sam gave him a huge grin. "Sounds great. Thanks."
"No problem. Hey, since I am such a great guy who got up early and made you breakfast...can I con ya into doing the dishes?" Shane batted his eyes at her.
Sam just laughed. "Of course, Shane. This is an equal relationship."
"Speaking of relationships, how is Mr. Flair doing?"
Sam sighed. "David is doing just fine. Its hard not to talk about him though. If Matt or Jeff found out, you know they would be so pissed at me Shane."
He put his arm aound her. "Sam, I think they would be okay with it. If anything, the fact that you have been working so hard to hide it for two years should show that you are dedicated."
"He's not a dog Shane. Plus they would consider it lying to them for two years."
"Yeah, right Shane. You know what Jeff did when Randy did nothing more than look in my direction."
Shane nodded. "Orton did have quite a bruise from that one."
"And then I got the 'no dating any wrestlers' speech from both of them."
"Well, they both dote on you Sam, you know that." Sam grinned. "And you love it. Plus it would have been really helpful last night when Matt thought I wanted to jump you."
Sam got an embarassed look on her face. "Actually Shane, because of the way we act together, I can see where he gets it from. I have to hear it from Amy all the time, and she knows about David. I just want to wear a huge sign that says 'no, i am not dating Shane Helms."
"As if that would help."
She shrugged. "Hey, you never know."
After finishing the dishes, Sam walked back to her room to find Shane standing in front of the closet. He turned when he heard her footsteps. "So, what did you want to take?"
She thought about it for a second. "Well, we are hitting Houston Monday, Dallas on Tuesday-"
"Dallas?", Shane interrupted.
"Yeah, I'm going to visit everybody on Smackdown. Its been forever since I talked to Ryan, and I need to talk to Torrie about my dress. She's getting married in like 3 months." Shane nodded. "Anyways, then we've got house shows on Friday and Saturday in California, so anything warm. Plus I want to put in some of the stuff I got last night."
Shane smirked. "You mean that stuff from Victoria's Secret?"
"Shane, grow up. All I got was some lotion. I meant the new bikini I got. I'm sure David and I will go swimming at the hotel...not to mention we usually do after the shows."
Shane looked confused. "David?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah, in LA. Matt and Shannon are flying back Tuesday, and I think Jeff and Beth are Monday night because she has an exam Tuesday afternoon. Amy and I are going to LA right after the show Tuesday night, and I thought you were flying back home too."
He slowly shook his head. "I forgot that David was even going to be out there. I was going to see if you wanted to catch a Giants game since we would be in San Franciso."
Sam grinned. Baseball was her favorite sport, as well as one of Shane's. "That would have been great Shane. Tell you what, we'll be in St. Louis in two weeks, we'll go see the Cardinals."
Shane nodded. "Sure Sam, sounds good."
"Great!" She bounded off the bed and kissed Shane on his cheek. "I'll go see about getting the tickets."
He just nodded and thought, 'This really shouldn't bother me. I mean, David is Sam's boyfriend, and I hang out with her more than he does. THAT should bother me...but it doesn't. Not anymore. Weird.'
Shane's thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing. He reached over to answer it. "Hello?"
"Hello? Is this Shane?"
"Uh yeah, who is this?"
"Hey, man, its David. Is Sam around?"
"Yeah, hold on." Shane covered the mouthpiece and yelled for Sam. "Sam, David is on the phone."
Sam ducked her head back into the room. "Thanks Shane, I'll take it in the kitchen."
Shane waited for her to pick up the other extension before hanging up. 'He sure has interesting timing.'
"Hey baby, what's going on?"
Sam giggled. "Not too much. Whats up with you?"
She could hear him sigh. "Not alot. Um, what was Shane doing answering the phone?"
"He stayed over last night. We went shopping with Amy and Matt after we got back from Stamford. We watched a movie, and it was late, so he just stayed over. It really isn't a big deal, David."
"Right, no big deal. What were you doing in Stamford?"
"Tell me you are joking, David."
"Umm, no, sorry. Was it important?" Sam could hear the embarrassment in his voice.
"Oh, no, not at all. It was just the orientation for the job I waited my whole life for. Thats all."
'Great,' David thought, 'now she's pissed.' "I'm sorry honey, I completely forgot. How did everything go?"
David groaned. "Don't be like that Sam. I have had a very hectic weekend."
Sam was seething. "So have I. Thank God Shane was there. I was a mess on the flight up, I was so nervous."
"David, I am really losing my patience here. What is the obsession with Shane this morning? He is my best friend. He has been for the last 4 years and he will continue to be. We are very close. You know that."
He sighed. "Yes, Sam, I know that. Maybe I'm just jealous that he gets to spend more time with you then I do."
"Its ok sweetie, I think I understand. Matt gets like that with Jeff sometimes because he's around Amy more." Sam smiled. "Hey, at least I know ya still like me!"
David laughed. "Yeah, I guess you could say that."
"So, is everything on for Wednesday and Thursday?"
"Well...I might have a show."
"Damn it David! I haven't seen you in like a month! You are on NWA now. Why do you still do indies?"
"Some of them are prior commitments, Samantha."
"Don't talk down to me, David. This can't have been a prior committment or you wouldn't have made plans with me. Then again you have been awful forgetful lately."
'Damn,' he thought. "Look, honey-"
"Don't 'honey' me! When you get this straightened out call me. Maybe we can still work something out."
He exhaled loudly. "If we're going for honesty points here Sam, then I'll tell you right now. I have shows both nights. I was just trying to figure out a way to break it gently."
"Well isn't that perfect!"
"Don't tell me you didn't have plans with Shane."
"I didn't. He wanted me to go to a Giants game with him but I told him no because you were supposed to be there! These shows are more impotant than seeing your girlfriend of two years for the first time in a month!"
"I made a committment, Sam."
She looked down at the ring on her right hand. "What about the one you made to me?"
"Sam, I'm sorry to be so harsh about this, but you're going to have to get over it. I'm sure Shane will comfort you."
She gasped. "Where in the hell did that come from?"
"He wants you so bad Sam, I bet he can taste it. And you just egg him on."
"You are so fucking jealous David. Get over it. When you decided to grow up, call me." With that she slammed down the phone. At the noise, Shane came walking into the kitchen. Taking one look at her face, he sighed.
"How about that Giants game?"
Shane poured Sam a mug of hot chocolate and joined her on the couch.
"Thanks," she said when he handed it to her.
Shane nodded. "So what was the deal this time."
Sam just rolled her eyes. "He completely forgot about my job. He said he had shows booked for both Wednesday and Thursday, that he made committments. So I asked him about the committment he made to me, and he told me to get over it." She conveniently left out the part about him. Sam started crying when she felt Shane's arms go around her.
"Don't cry over him Sam. I don't know how many times i have told you- he is not worth it."
She nodded. "And how many times have you had to pick up the pieces?"
"Once was too many, Sam. I try to supporte your being with him. Hell, sometimes he can be a great guy. But times like this make me want to fly to wherever he is and kick his ass."
Sam gave a little laugh. "And sometimes I wish you would. There are times when I Want to scream from the rooftops that I love him, and other days I want to give him this ring back and move on."
Shane looked at the ring she was talking about. David had given it to her last Christmas, with the promise that he would always be there for her. Shane wondered about that often, especially during times like this.
"Don't be mad at me Sam."
She gave him a puzzled look. "Why would I?
"I talked to Amy on Saturday."
Sam bit her lip nervously. "What did she tell you?"
"That you thought you fell out of love with him a long time ago."
"Why did you go to Amy behind my back, Shane?"
He threw his hands up in frustration. "I was worried about you Sam. Until Sunday morning it was like you were in a funk, you were acting depressed. SO I went to Amy figuring that if you would tell anyone besides me it would be her."
She nodded. "For some reason I didn't want to talk to you about it. I don't know why Shane, I just felt weird. Thursday morning Amy and I were sitting here chatting about her and Matt and me and David. She was talking about how she still feels all tingly every time she sees Matt, or thinks about how her stomach does flip flops when he kisses her. And how when he touches her, her skin feels burnt. Thats when it hit me. David doesn't make me feel that way. He never has."
Shane just looked at her. "I had no idea."
Sam chuckled. "Neither did I. I mean, yeah, hes a good kisser, but I never had that moment."
Shane rolled his eyes. "Not the moment."
"Don't interrupt my pity party moment here Shane."
He just stuck his tongue out at her. She ignored it and continued. "Yes the moment. That electrifying kiss. When you just know that this is the person you are supposed to kiss for the rest of your life."
"That was corny Sam."
"It may have been, but I am a corny, hopeless romantic. You should know that by now."
"I do. Do you feel a little bit better now?"
"Not really. Maybe if I just start working I'll feel better in awhile."
He kissed her forehead before standing up and pulling her up with him. "Guess I'll start packing."
"Don't look so excited." She reached up and hugged him. "I know I'm saying this alot, but thanks Shane. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Have a very boring existence."
Sam laughed. "Thats it." They started walking towards her room.
"Oh, and Shane?" He looked down at her. "The Giants sound great." He just smiled.
About 12 hours later, all of Sam's packing and most of her paperwork was finished. Just as she finished reading the last page of a contract, the doorbell rang. Going down to answer it, she passed Shane in the hall. "Did you see who it was?" He just shook his head. Sam pulled the door open. "David! What are you doing here?"
"I think we need to talk Sam."
Sam opened the door further, allowing David to walk in. "You flew down here just to talk?"
He sighed. "Well, yeah. I knew you were pissed." She opened her mouth to interrupt, but he hurried to continue. "And you have every right to be. I was being immature, and selfish. I'd like to talk about it."
Sam nodded. "Alright. Let's go in the kitchen." Walking down the hall they passed Amy. "Hey, when did you get back?"
"About an hour ago, but Shane said you were still working." She looked over at David. "You better be here to apologize to her."
Sam groaned. "Jeez, Amy. You talked to Shane?"
Amy nodded her head yes. "And you might want to hurry upstairs or somewhere else."
Sam gave her a confused look. "Why?"
"Because Matt came back with me. Thankfully he didn't hear the door when David knocked."
"Oh shit!" Sam grabbed David's hand and they ran upstairs. Sam closed the door and sighed. "That was close."
He nodded in agreement. "You know everyone will have to find out about us eventually though, Sam. We might as well tell them."
Sam shook her head. "No way. They would kill both of us. You know that."
"I don't think I can sneak around anymore Sam. You need to tell them."
"I don't need to tell them anything."
"Yes you do! I am sick of seeing you at the shows and not being able to hold your hand or kiss you if I feel like it. I want to be able to tell the world who I'm dating, who the woman I love is."
"The woman you love?"
He just gave her a look. "Well, duh Sam."
"No, thats not what I meant. You said the woman you love, not the woman you're in love with. There is such a difference there David."
He looked panicked for a second. "Of course I am in love with you Sam. Would I have given you that ring if I wasn't?"
Seeing the look on his face, Sam made her decision right there. "I don't know David. Would you have?"
He sighed. "Don't change the topic here Sam. All I'm saying is that you need to tell your family about us."
"And if I don't?"
He was going to take a huge risk here. "Then I think we should see other people."
She nodded curtly. "Fine, we'll go find Matt."
Walking into the family room, Sam found Shane, Matt, and Amy sitting around the TV. "Matt, I need to talk to you for a second."
"Nice to see you too, Sammie."
"I'm serious. Can you turn the TV off for a minute." He nodded and turned it off. They all turned to look at her.
Taking a deep breath Sam reached back and pulled David into the room. Matt looked shocked. "What is he doing here?"
"OK, Matt. This is really hard, but let me talk before you say anything." He nodded. 'Here goes...' she thought. "David and I have been dating for the last two years. I never said anyting because I knew how upset you and Jeff would be with me. Then this afternoon David called me, and we got into a huge argument. We had planned to spend a couple days together next week, but he backed out-"
"I had a prior committment, Samantha." David interrupted.
Matt knew Sam too well, he could see where this was going, and he wasn't worried. "Don't interrupt her." David just looked shocked.
"Back to me here guys. ANYWAYS, so he shows up here about twenty minutes ago telling me that I had better tell you, Jeff, and Dad. If not, then we could just 'see other people.' Thats when I made my decision." She turned to David and pulled the ring off her finger. "You can go to hell for all I care David Flair! I realized awhile ago that I am not in love with you anymore. And honestly? I don't think I ever was! So your sorry ass can go get back on that plane and fly back to Tennessee and I don't really care if I ever see you again!"
David's jaw dropped. "What? What in the hell are you doing here Sam?"
She shook her head sadly. "Something I should have done along time ago. Goodbye, David."
Matt and Shane both looked at him. Shane spoke up first. "You had better do what she says because I am holding on tightly to the very little self-control I have left right now."
"Fine. When you realize the mistake you made Sam, you can call me. I'll take you back." With that, he walked out without looking back.
Shane and Matt turned back around to see Amy holding Sam. "Shhh, honey, its over. You stood up for yourself to him. I am so proud of you girl!!!"
Sam pulled back and laughed. Wiping her face she looked over at the guys. "Matt..."
He came over and enveloped her in his arms. "Don't even worry about it Sam. I knew about David. And the second you started saying how you guys argued, I knew what you were planning."
She looked up at him with bewilderment in her eyes. "How did you know about us?"
"The dumb fuck can't keep his mouth shut. That's why he wanted you to tell us. Jeff overheard him talking to Orton when he was visiting his Dad on RAW a few weeks ago, and Jeff told me."
Sam groaned loudly. "How embarrassing. I should have broke it off earlier."
"Well, if you just would have listened to me..."
She turned to Shane. "Yes, I should have." Sam shook her head. "I cannot believe everything that has happened in the last 48 hours. Too weird. The strange thing is, I'm not upset about losing him. I think its just stress from everything else. I need a nap."
The whole group laughed. Matt picked up his keys and turned towards the door, "Well, I'm going to get going. It might not be a bad idea for you to go rest, Sam. Or sleep, considering its like 11. I'll be back to pick everyone up at 5." Everyone nodded, and Amy went to walk Matt to the door.
Shane looked down at Sam. "Its ok to be upset Sam."
She shook her head. "I'm really not. In a way, I think I knew we wouldn't be together much longer. If nothing else, its a bit of a relief." She took his hand and started lightly swinging their arms. "Im gonna head up to bed. Are you staying here?"
He nodded. "I'm going to go home and get my stuff and then I'll be back."
"OK." Sam kissed his cheek. "Thanks Shane. I'll see you when you get back."
He squeezed her hand before heading into the kitchen, where Amy was just closing the door. "Damn, Amy."
"I know Shane. I'm just glad that its over now."
"She is so lucky to have a great guy like you around Shane. It shows her that not all guys are like David."
"She has Gil, Matt, and Jeff."
"Yeah, but they're family. Its different."
"OK, Amy. But I'm the lucky one. Sam has changed me. Ever since everything with Ronnie..."
Amy shook her head. "You don't have to go there, Shane. I know." And she did. The night that Shane's ex veronica cheated on him was the night his friendship with Sam had been cemented. She understood all too well that feeling, and was there for him. For awhile she was the only female he would treat with any decency, as he even treated Amy a bit coldly. It was not something any of them wanted to remember.
"So do I. I'm gonna head over to my place and pick up my stuff, then I'll be back."
"Alright." Amy paused for a second. "Hey Shane?"
Amy hesitated. "You are going to watch out for her, right? I mean, Jeff and I will both be there, but she needs you. She's only 23, this is a huge experience for her, and I guess I'm just a little worried."
"Of course. Sam is gonna wish she never agreed to work on RAW." Shane smiled, grabbed Sam's keys, and walked out the door.
"I doubt that, Shane. I highly doubt it."
Sitting at a stoplight, Shane grew restless. 'There has got to be something good on the radio.' He started flipping through the stations until he found something he could listen to. Letting the music calm him, Shane's thoughts drifted to the events of the last two days. 'So unreal, how fast it all happened,' he thought. 'But now with David gone-' his thoughts were interrupted by a honking horn behind him. He looked up to see a green light, and continued through town until he reached his house.
Running inside he leafed through his mail, checked his messages, and just generally looked over the house. When everything seemed alright, he went upstairs and grabbed his already packed bags. Coming back downstairs he looked around again and flipped on the small lamp next to the front door before walking back out to the car. Tossing his luggage in the back, Shane smiled. It was going to be an interesting week.
Walking back inside of Sam and Amy's, Shane wasn't surprised to see that Amy had already went to bed. Shane turned off the lights she had left on, and headed up to the bathroom. After changing, Shane walked into Sam's room and heard her gentle breathing. He climbed into the bed behind her very gently, trying not to wake her. Though she was asleep, she turned towards him. Shane just smiled and put his arm around her waist.
Sam stirred and softly said his name. "Shane?"
He looked down at her. "Go back to sleep Sammie." She mumbled an ok and curled up to him. Within minutes they were both fast asleep.
"And we are looking at a high today of 62 degrees. Back to Kennedy over at the sports desk..." Shane groaned at the alarm. 'It cannot be 4:30 already.' He looked around to find that Sam had already gotten up. Walking down the hall he could hear the shower on and could see a light coming from downstairs. Shane knocked on the door. "Sam, you in there?"
"Yeah, did you need something?"
"Nope, just checking. Are you going to be done soon?" He could hear her shutting off the water.
"Actually, I'm done now. Give me a few minutes and I'll be out."
"Ok." When she opened the door he looked her over and smiled. "Feeling better this morning."
Sam grinned. "Yes, much better. I slept very well considering. Didn't Amy say something about getting breakfast ready."
Shane nodded. "I saw a light on down there."
"Cool. You have about 10 minutes to shower, though. You know Matt. If you are not in the car by 5:01, its beat down time."
"Beat down time? Sam, are you sure you're ok?"
She laughed. "Yes, I'm fine, just in a silly mood. Aren't you glad you get to sit next to me on a four hour flight?"
Sam smacked him with the wet towel from her hair. "Go take your shower."
"Sam?" Amy yelled in the direction of the stairs.
"I'm right behind ya Amers."
Amy turned and pushed a pile of plates at Sam. "Ugh."
Sam laughed. "Good Morning, Amy. Not thrilled to be up this early, huh." Amy just grunted again. "Guess thats my answer." Sam peered over Amy's shoulder to look at the stove. "Ooh, pancakes. Are they about done?"
Amy nodded. "Yeah, they should be. Can you get out the butter and syrup and whatever else we need for them?"
"Sure." Sam walked over to the fridge and pulled everything out. "Is Matt eating here?"
"Depends if he shows up early. Mr. Punctuality wants to leave right at 5."
Sam jumped when she heard Matt's voice behind her after she said that. "Yes, I am annoying."
"Did you sneak in the front door?"
"Yep." He leaned down to give her a quick hug, then walked over and kissed Amy. "Mmmm, pancakes." Matt grabbed an extra plate from the cupboard before sitting down across from Sam. "Feeling better?"
Sam sighed. "Yes, Matt, I feel fine. If I didn't you would know."
Shane came walking into the kitchen still rubbing at his hair with a towel. "Hey Matt." Matt, with his mouth full, could only nod. Shane looked at the table. "Pancakes? Alright Amers!"
Amy laughed. "Guess I'm the cool one in the group this morning...and every morning."
Matt got up to put his plate in the sink. "Sure you are sweetie. Everyone humor Amy." Shane and Sam just nodded with wide eyes, before cracking up laughing.
Sam looked down at her watch. "4:55. Not too shabby. I'm going to go change real quick, then I'll be ready."
Amy stood up. "I just want to find a sweatshirt. It was kinda chilly when I let Cody out. Your dad did say he would come and check on Cody today and tomorrow until Beth got back, right?"
"Yep," Sam replied. When they came back downstairs a few minutes later they were both in their 'traveling clothes', consisting of sweatpants, sneakers, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.
Shane smiled at them. "Going for comfort, ladies?"
Sam picked up her briefcase and laptop bag. "But of course." She looked around. "Are we ready?" They all nodded. "If this is how every trip starts out, count me in."
They arrived at the airport about an hour later. After going through security, they were finally able to board. Sighing, Sam dropped into her seat. "I am so tired."
Shane sat down next to her. "Your early morning energy rush is gone, eh?" She just nodded.
"I was going to go over some more paperwork, but I'd rather take a nap. If you're awake in a couple of hours, wake me up, ok?"
Two hours later it was Shane's turn to push Sam's head off his shoulder. "Sam?"
He laughed. "Sweetie, you have to get up. Paperwork, remember?"
"Ugh. No, its only your contract, so its not important. Five more minutes."
Shane gave her a huge cheesy grin. "But ya love me anyways."
Sam smirked. "And only God knows why."
While Matt and the girls waited by the baggage claim, Shane went to pick up the rental car. When he came back he asked, "Who's driving?" They just looked at each other.
Sam spoke up first. "Unless you got a huge ass thing, then I'll drive if someone else navigates."
Shane held up the keys. "Toyota 4-Runner?"
She snatched the keys from him. "Works for me." The group made their way to the car and loaded their baggage. Amy sat up front with Sam, directions in hand.
"The hotel is only supposed to be about 20 minutes from here. Its also another 20 minutes to the arena."
Following Amy's directions, they pulled into the Holiday Inn a short time later. After dragging all of their luggage into the lobby, they looked around. What time are Jeff and Beth supposed to be here?", Matt asked.
Shane answered. "I think he said about 5:00 our time, so 2:00 mountain time. Does anyone actually know what time it is?"
Sam looked at her watch. "My watch says its 2:00 our time, so it would be..."
"11:00 here?" Amy piped up?
Matt shook his head. "No, it would be 12:00...right?"
"Wait a second, Shane, we're trying to figure this out."
"I know, Sam, I'm trying to tell you-"
"Shane! Wait a second!"
"OK, Sam, I won't tell you that the clock behind your head says that it is 11:00, and that for some reason Jeff and Beth are standing over there waving like idiots."
She grinned sheepishly. "Sorry Shane." Her jaw dropped. "Wait a sec...Jeff's here?" Shane pointed to the opposite side of the near- empty lobby, and Sam walked over. Jeff grabbed her up in a huge hug.
"Hey there Sweets!"
"Hiya Jeffers!" Sam laughed, returning the hug. She turned out of his arms and reached for Beth. "Hey girl!"
"Hey Sam." Beth smiled.
"What are you guys doing here so early?"
"We took an earlier flight to avoid the storms they had forecasted. They were supposed to be pretty nasty."
Sam nodded. "Guess that works." By this time, Matt, Amy, and Shane had made their way over and were all talking to Jeff. "Since it is 11, as Shane so nicely pointed out to me, that means we have about 5 hours before we have to be at the arena." She turned to Beth and Amy. "You girls up for swimming and lunch?" They both nodded. Sam looked over at the guys. "I guess you can come to."
Jeff chuckled. "Gee, thanks Sam."
Walking up to their room, Sam turned to Shane. "You have to promise me something Shane."
"I know that we both delight in playing tricks on each other, but none tonight, ok?"
He nodded. "I promise Sam. But I do still owe you for the water and my car."
"I know, and I expect payback. But at least wait till tomorrow."
Sam giggled. "Good." She stuck the key card in the door and opened it. She looked around surprised. "You got a king size single?"
He looked kinda confused. "I didn't think it was a big deal Sam."
She shook her head. "No, its not, I was just surprised. No prob." She set her luggage down and started rifling through for her swimsuit. "I'm gonna go change."
When Shane heard the bathroom door close he started changing into his suit. When the door opened, he turned back around. "You're swimming in a t-shirt, Sam?"
She looked down at her cover up. "Uh, no Shane, but I'm not walking through the hotel in a bikini." She grabbed her towel. "Can we go?"
"Sure." When they walked into the hall they saw Jeff and Beth coming out of their room down the hall. When they got to the pool they saw that Matt and Amy were already there.
Amy surfaced from the water and looked around. "About time you guys showed up!"
Beth gave her a look. "Its only been like 15 minutes Amy." Amy just stuck out her tongue. Beth unwrapped her towel from around her waist and jumped in, with Jeff following.
Shane put his towel on the bench. "You coming?"
Sam nodded. "Yep." Amy saw that Sam was getting ready to take off her shirt. Knowing the new suit Sam had bought when they went shopping, Amy was curious to see Shane's reaction. She didn't have to wait long.
When Sam turned around after setting her shirt and towel down, Shane's jaw dropped. 'DAMN!', he thought. 'When did that happen?' In Shane's eyes, little Samantha Hardy had just grown up.