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Chapter Six
 
**********

Sam looked at Shane and laughed. "I know I look good Shane, but damn. Pick up your jaw." She jumped into the pool. "How cool is it that no one else is here?" Amy and Beth nodded at her, and they swam away from the side.

Shane still wasn't sure what to say. He had always thought Sam was beautiful, but now he really saw it. She was five foot six, 118 lbs., with brown hair and striking blue eyes. Those things Shane was used to seeing. Now he noticed that she was, shall we say, very well proportioned. Jeff climbed out of the pool and stood next to Shane.

"You can stop ogling my sister now, man," Jeff said to him.

Shane shook his head. "I wasn't really, I was just surprised by her suit thats all."

Jeff nodded. "She let Amy pick it out for her. That should explain it."

"It does." The door to the pool opened and in walked Randy Orton and Dave Batista, two of the superstars Sam was now representing. She waved when she saw them, and swam over.

"Hey guys! Guess we weren't the only smart people around here."

Randy grinned at her. "Hi Sam. We thought a quick dip would be nice before heading over to the arena, but since you're here, maybe we can stay a little longer." He looked at Dave. "Is that cool?"

Dave nodded. "That's fine." They both jumped in.

Sam asked Dave about his wife. "How is Angie doing?"

He smiled. "She's feeling much better. She said she really enjoyed talking with you last week."

"She is such a sweet person Dave. She needs to come around more often."

He laughed. "Don't let her hear that." Sam gave him a look. "I'm kidding Sam. She's coming next week."

"Good."

She chatted with Dave for a little while before he decided to go back to his room and get ready for the show. Randy stayed in the pool and went over to Sam. "So, Sam."

"So, Randy...whats going on with you these days?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "Not too much really. Just enjoying having a storyline. The Evolution deal is great."

"I'm glad you like it. I know they had big plans for it before you and Dave got injured. Luckily they were able to pick up where it left off."

Randy nodded. "Yeah. Umm...I heard about you and David."

"He really can't keep his mouth shut, can he?"

Randy flinched. "He was upset Sam."

She held up one of her hands. "Please don't defend him to me Randy."

"I'm not, Sam. He told me what he said, and he was totally wrong. I was just explaining why he told me."

"I really don't care what he said to you or what he will say to anyone else. Its over, and I'm ready to move on."

Randy put his hand on her shoulder. "I'm glad Sam." They both smiled, oblivious to the dirty looks Shane was shooting their way.

**********

Amy swam up beside Shane. "Retract the claws there, tiger." Shane looked over and rolled his eyes.

"Whatever Amy."

"You know, Shane, Sam can talk to whoever she likes."

"I know that. Why wouldn't I know that?

She just smirked at his jealous tone. "No reason, Shane."

"I mean, she is over 18. If she wants to hang around someone like Randy, then she can." He paused. "But why aren't Jeff and Matt interfering?"

Amy had an answer. "Matt and I talked about that last night. He thought about how much work Sam went through to keep her relationship with David a secret, and decided to stop trying to tell her who she could and could not date. And as far as I know, he told Jeff the same thing this morning."

"Oh. Well, Randy is a player. You know that."

She put her hand on his arm. "And Sam knows that too. Don't worry Shane. Sam knows what's best for her."

**********

About an hour later they all climbed out of the pool and started drying off. Randy turned to Sam. "So, are we on for after the show?"

She nodded. "That sounds great." Randy smiled and walked into the locker room.

Shane looked at Sam, and his stomach dropped at the happy look on her face. "After the show?"

"Yeah, we're just hitting a club. Alot of the crew are going. Do you wanna come?"

"No, thats ok. I wouldn't want to ruin your date."

She looked shocked. "Excuse me? It is not a date. First of all, I just broke up with one of his closest friends, and second of all I am not really interested in him like that! And even if I was, what difference is it to you?" She picked up her towel and walked towards the door, but she heard his soft response behind her.

"Maybe I just want to know if I have to pick up your pieces anytime soon."

Sam spun around and they could all see the anger flashing in her eyes. "Oh, don't worry Shane. I won't make you pick up anything." She slammed the locker room door behind her.

Amy walked past Shane. She stopped and turned back towards him. "I don't know what this jealousy thing is today Shane, but get over it."

He groaned loudly. "Damn it, Amy. I just want her to be careful."

She eyed him closely. "Are you sure that's all it is?"

"What else would it be?"

Amy shook her head. "When you figure it out, let me know." With that she followed Beth into the locker room.

**********

Walking into the locker room, Amy and Beth could hear the Sam slamming stuff into her bag. They rounded the corner, and Sam looked up.

"Can you believe him? He just makes me so angry." She shook her head and shoved her towel into the bag. "I'm going to go get ready before he comes back to the room. I'll see you guys in the restauraunt."

Sam went up to her room and climbed into the shower. Letting the warm water relax her, Sam's thoughts drifted to Shane. 'Why is he acting like this? He's done it before, I know, but it really bothered me today.' She shook her head and climbed out of the shower. She could hear Shane getting ready in the next room. She finished dressing and blow drying her hair. When she walked out, Shane looked up.

"Sammie, I really am sorry."

She sighed. "Shane, I don't want to deal with arguing with you right now." She walked over to him and put one of her hands on each side of his face. Looking him in the eyes she said, "I love you dearly, Shane, and you know that. But you have to understand that I can make decisions for myself. We will talk about this later, ok?"

He nodded. "I changed my mind though. I am going to the club. I mean, everyone else is, so why not?" 'That,' he thought, 'and I want to keep an eye on Orton.'

She gave a small smile. "Good. I'm having lunch with Amy and Beth downstairs, but we'll meet in the lobby in an hour, ok?"

"Sure Sam." She smiled again, grabbed her bags, and walked out.

Shane sighed before mumbling to himself. "I know Randy, Sam. I am going to be watching him tonight."

Little did Shane know in a few short hours he would have a bigger problem than Randy Orton.

**********

 

Chapter Seven

**********

Just as Sam was sitting down in the restauraunt, her cell phone rang. Pulling it out she looked at the caller ID and sighed. It was Stephanie McMahon. "Hello?"

"Hey, Sam, its Steph."

Sam furrowed her brow. "Hey, Steph, what's going on?"

She sighed. "OK, you know how lately the writers have been changing things at the last minute?"

Sam groaned. "Oh no. Do I really want to hear this?"

"Probably not. Let's put it this way. How fast can you get to the arena?"

"Oh shit." She looked at Amy and Beth. "I guess in about half an hour, I need to find everyone first."

"As soon as you get here find me or Brian, ok?"

"Sure, Steph. Bye."

"Bye Sam." Sam shut her phone and looked to Amy and Beth. "I don't think I want to know what is going on." She sighed and got up from the table. "Let's go round up the troops."

**********

45 minutes later she walked into Stephanie McMahon's makeshift office. "Ok, Steph. What was so incredibly important that I rush to find you?"

"You might want to sit down Sam." She shot Stephanie a confused look, but sat down. Stephanie continued. "Well, you know that RAW has been experiencing somewhat of a ratings drop lately, right?" Sam nodded. "This morning they signed a new Diva, Lila Banks, hoping to generate some interest with a new face."

"Lila Banks? Never heard of her."

Steph chewed on her lip nervously. "Actually, you have. Lila Banks is the new ring name of Veronica Robbins."

Sam's jaw dropped. Veronica Robbins. Ronnie. Shane's ex. "What!? How in the hell did that no talent bitch of a two dollar whore get a contract?"

"Creative name, but calm down Sam, there's more."

She smirked sarcastically. "Oh, yeah, 'cause it could get worse."

"It could if you don't like what else I'm about to tell you. I know that during your second interview Dad said something about putting you on television when he thought the time was right."

Sam nodded warily. "Steph, don't tell me..."

Steph nodded. "Hope you don't have stage fright."

**********

'Could this day get much worse?' Sam asked herself. She thought over everything Stephanie had told her. Sam was to be introduced to the fans tonight during a scene with Eric Bischoff, and then she was to accompany Randy and Dave to the ring for a tag match against Shane and Jeff. As of right now, the long term plan was for a romantic angle to develop between her and Randy, but that was subject to change, because nothing seemed too long term in the WWE anymore. Sam was also very bothered by the fact that Ronnie was the newest Diva, and that she was involved in the angle also (though not for a little while). Sam shook her head to clear her thoughts and knocked on the guys' dressing room.

"Who is it?" she could hear a voice ask.

"It's Sam. Is everyone decent?"

Paul Levesque (HHH) pulled open the door. "The few of us that are in here." He leaned down and gave her a hug. "How are you Sam?"

She hugged him and pulled back. "Maybe you should ask your fiancee."

He grimaced. "She told you about the new 'line, huh?"

"Yeah, how did you hear?"

He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. "Shane. You might want to be careful Sam...he is pissed."

"So am I." Paul could see that, so he just said they would talk later, and he left her alone with Jeff, Matt, and Shane.

Shane looked up at her. "Can you believe this shit?"

"No, but we shouldn't be surprised Shane. The WWE was always her main goal."

He gave her an odd look. "She who? I was talking about you and Orton. Who are you talking about?"

Sam's face drained of color. "You don't know?" Shane shook his head. "Then what are you so upset about?"

"The stuff with you and Randy, and then apparently you and Gregory Helms, Ace Reporter. Some cheezy Superman knock off shit, except its a love triangle with this new girl they signed, Lila something or other."

Sam looked nervous. She didn't know anything about a romantic angle with Shane. "Matt, Jeff? Could you guys leave us alone for a second?" They nodded and got up to leave. Jeff stopped next to Sam.

"What's going on?" She shook her head. "I'll tell you later. Just don't be surprised if you hear shouting." Jeff shook his head as he and Matt walked out.

Sam followed behind them and closed the door. "Shane, who told you about the angle?"

"Vince." Sam suddenly understood. Vince knew nothing about Veronica, so he wouldn't have any reason to go into detail about her with the other wrestlers, he would leave it up to her. Stephanie, who Sam was pretty close with, knew the whole story about Ronnie, and wanted to warn her.

"Alright, Shane. This is hard for me to say because I know you're going to be angry, but the sooner you know the better."

"Well then get to it Sam."

"Lila Banks is Veronica Robbins' new ring name." Shane just stared at her, speechless. "Shane?"

"Veronica Robbins? Ronnie?" Sam nodded. "Oh, God, Sam. This is horrible."

"You know how fast things change around here Shane. Hopefully it won't last long."

"That depends on how anxious they are to start it. Are you on tonight nor next week?"

"It starts tonight." Shane groaned and looked at Sam.

"Now don't you wish you had been assigned to Smackdown?"

**********

It was about 8:20, and Samantha was in Eric Bischoff's office, getting ready for a pretape. They were going over everything when Vince walked in. "Eric, Sam, I've got someone for you to meet." He pulled Veronica in behind him. "This is Veronica Robbins, our new Miss Lila Banks." She walked up to Eric and stuck out her hand.

"Nice to see you again, Eric." He nodded his head and returned the handshake. She turned to Sam. "Samantha."

"Ronnie." Vince looked confused. "You two know each other?"

Sam looked at Veronica. "Sure we do. We go way back, right Ronnie?" She turned to Vince. "This is the bitch that tried to ruin Shane for all other women."

Veronica held up a hand. "You don't know the entire story, Sam."

"I heard Shane's version, that's good enough for me."

Vince moved in between the screaming girls. "Ladies, I realize now that you have personal issues, but while you are on my time, or you are representing this company, you are to remain professional. Got it?" They both nodded. "Good. Sam, I believe you and Eric have a tape to shoot, and Veronica and I need to go find Shane and Jeff." With that they left the office.

Sam sighed. Eric came over and put his hand on her shoulder. "Hey Sam, don't worry about it. I remember what it was like between them when Shane was in WCW. He won't fall prey to her."

"I hope not." She looked over to Shane McMahon, who was 'directing' the tape, and smiled. "Are we ready?"

**********

After finishing the tape, Sam found Randy in the catering area. "Hey Randy, did you hear about tonight?"

He nodded. "Yeah. Are you okay with it?"

"It shouldn't be too bad. Next week, though..."

He sighed. "Sam, be honest here. Are you okay with me kissing you?"

"It's ok, Randy. I know it is just for the storyline. Besides, you're kinda cute." She laughed.

"Gee, thanks." He stood up. "I guess I'll see you out there."
**********

(right after the first commercial break on RAW)

"King we are back here on RAW, and it looks like we are in General Manager Eric Bischoff's office. Do you have any idea what's going on now?" Jim Ross asked his commentating partner Jerry 'the King' Lawler.

"No, JR, I'm not sure what he's up to now, but I think we are about to find out."

There was a knock on the door. "Come in!" Eric yelled.

Sam peered around the corner. "You wanted to see me Mr. Bischoff?"

He nodded. "Yes, Samantha, I did. Have a seat." She did. "I was informed earlier today that you are the newest talent manager for RAW. Is that true?"

"Yes, sir, it is."

He tapped his chin with his hand. "Do you consider yourself good at what you do Samantha?"

Sam smiled. "Yes, I do."

He looked thoughtful. "Alright. Say four of your guys were in a tag match. Could you remain impartial?"

She nodded her head slowly. "I think so."

Eric laughed. "You think so, huh? Well let's find out, shall we? Tonight you can escort Evolution members Randy Orton and Batista to the ring, where they will be facing your brother Jeff and The Hurricane. How does that sound Sam?"

She shook her head. "You can't do that."

"I'm the General Manager, Miss Hardy. I can do whatever I want." Looking disgusted, Sam stood to leave the office. "Oh, Sam? Watch out for Hurricane's new sidekick. I hear she's a real...shall we say...lightning bolt." Sam just slammed the door behind her. Eric chuckled. "Hurricane...lightning bolt...damn I crack myself up."

**********

Chapter Eight

**********

Sam was standing around a monitor in the back when that footage was played. This match had been hyped throughout the first hour of the show. JR and King had also 'leaked' what information they could about Ronnie. Although Sam's eyes were on the screen, her mind was not. She was still trying to fathom the idea of her and Shane together. Sure, it was only onscreen, but why didn't Stephanie tell her about this? And of course she was still upset about Ronnie being back. She was shaken out of her stupor by a pair of arms hugging her from behind.

"Hey." Shane set his chin on her shoulder.

"Hey Shane."

"You ok?"

She nodded. "Mmhhmm. Just thinking about everything. Are you ok?"

"I will be when we can go back to the hotel and forget everything crappy that happened tonight."

"Aren't you coming to the club?"

Shane turned her around. "You're still going?"

"I told Randy I would Shane."

He narrowed his eyes. "And what Orton wants is more important than what I want?"

"No Shane, but what I want is more important, and what I want is to go out and relax."

"Fine, I'll go. She had better not be there. It was hard enough to be civil passing her in the hall."

Sam ruffled his hair. "Don't worry big guy, we'll keep ya distracted."

He put an arm around her neck and they started walking towards the gorilla position. "I bet you will"

**********

Jeff Hardy stood in the middle of the ring as the lights in the arena went dark.

"Stand back! There's a Hurricane coming through!" The music started as Shane and Ronnie came out onto the ramp.

"And his tag team partner, being escorted by Lila Banks, from Raleigh, North Carolina....The Hurricane!" Lillian Garcia announced as they made their way down to the ring.

Sam was standing behind the curtain with Dave and Randy, waiting for the music to start. When the first beat hit Randy grabbed her hand and the three walked out.

Lillian picked up her microphone. "And their opponents, being escorted by their agent Samantha Hardy, Evolution members Randy Orton and Batista!"

Reaching the ring, Dave and Randy climbed in. Sam shot sorry looks over to Jeff and Shane just like she was supposed to. 'Hey,' she thought. 'I do feel sorry for them.' She smiled to herself.

Throughout most of the match Sam was supposed to do her best to look impartial, equally cheering both teams. But when Randy did a moonsault off the top rope, she got excited and started yelling encouraging things to him. The ref gave her the sign, so she climbed up on the side of the ring, which was to signal wrapping up the match. She watched Randy as he prepared to slam Shane onto the mat and she felt Ronnie lightly brush her ankle. That meant Ronnie was about to pull Sam off the apron. She did, and Sam slammed her face into the mats when she fell. Randy got distracted when he saw this, which gave Shane the advantage. He snuck up behind Randy and rolled him up for the pin. Sam stood up and looked to see who had pulled her down. Spotting Ronnie, she ran towards her and jumped on her. Jeff got in between them and pulled them apart.

"What in the hell are you doing Sam?"

She tried to shove him out of the way to get back to Ronnie, who Shane had pulled into the ring. "Get out of my way Jeff. That bitch had no right." Sam was screaming and pointing at Ronnie. Finally she was able to push Jeff out of the way. Climbing into the ring she scrambled over to Ronnie. This time Shane stood in the middle, holding a microphone.

"Oh, no Citizen Sam. No violence on The Hurricane's watch." Randy Orton came up behind Sam and tapped her on the shoulder. She whirled around, not knowing who it was. Seeing Randy, she calmed a bit. He put his hand on her face.

"Are you okay?" The concern was evident in both his voice and action.

Sam was livid. "No, I am not okay! That-" She was interrupted by Eric Bischoff's music blasting throughout the arena.

Eric came out holding a microphone and grinning. "Gee, Sam, you did a real good job staying neutral, didn't you?"

She grabbed Shane's microphone. "That's me Eric, Samantha 'Switzerland' Hardy." she replied very sarcastically.

"The attitude, while amusing, is completely unnecessary. You failed the challenge Sam."

She laughed. "Your challenge was stupid and pointless, Eric. You know it, I know it. Everyone standing here knows it."

"Look, Samantha, I was just having fun with you since you're the new girl. You really don't mind, right?" He was grinning cockily.

"Oh, it was just a game. Alright Eric. I have a game for you. It's called 'How do I explain to Vince that I can't put on a show?'"

Eric looked confused. "Why would I have to do that?"

"Because you pissed me off Eric. In case you weren't paying attention to the memo earlier, I am now the agent of several of your RAW superstars. And there are clauses in all of their contracts that I can use if I feel that conditions aren't favorable for them to compete." The crowd was going crazy.

Eric's jaw dropped. "You can't do that!"

She smirked. "I'm the agent, Mr. Bischoff. I can do whatever I want. Hmmm...that sounds familiar, doesn't it." He practically ran behind the curtain. Randy Orton's music came on as Sam turned around, gave Ronnie a nasty look, and grabbed Randy's hand before exiting the ring. At the top of the ramp Sam looked down at her brother and just shook her head as the show went to commercial.

**********

She let go of Randy's hand as she was swept into a huge hug by Eric. "Honey that was great. The fans were loving it."

She smiled as she returned the hug. "Thanks, Eric. I hope the nervousness goes away though."

"It never goes away." He smiled and walked away. Randy and Dave were next, Randy picking Sam up and swinging her around.

"You did excellent." He set her down and Dave picked her up.

"I agree with Orton." Sam's eyes widened, and Dave chuckled. "I know, mark that on the calendar."

Sam backed away and was immediately picked up by Jeff. "What is with everyone picking me up tonight?" She laughed when Jeff immeadiatley dropped her. "Thanks Jeffy."

He smiled. "No prob."

She put her hands on her hips. "Well?"

"You were ok, I guess." She smacked his arm, and he laughed. "OK, you did really well Sweets."

"Thanks Jeff." He went on to the locker room. Ronnie stopped next to Sam. She looked nervous. "You weren't really hurt, right?" There was quite a visible red mark on Sam's face.

"No, Ronnie, I'm fine." When Sam said nothing else, Ronnie started walking away. Sam sighed.

"Ronnie?" She turned. "Thanks." Ronnie nodded and continued towards the back.

Sam knew Shane was right behind her. She turned and leaned her head against his chest. "God I hate having a conscience."

He laughed while rubbing her back slowly. "I don't hate it, I just don't have one." He could feel Sam laughing against him. "What are you laughig at down there?" She just shook her head. "You really did do a good job Sam. This angle might actually go somewhere."

She shrugged. "Maybe. The whole contract thing was kind of farfetched, but I was told that it will be fixed next week."

"Then it probably will." Sam just nodded, content to be standing in Shane's arms. She didn't realize she was so tired, but she could feel the heat from Shane's body and she was slowly falling asleep. He noticed, and shook her a little bit.

"Hey there girlie. Wake up. There is a club calling our name, remember?"

She nodded slowly. "Yep." Shane took her hand as they walked toward the locker rooms.

"Are you showering here or in the room?"

"I was thinking at the hotel because the club is really close to it, so it isn't a waste of time to go back there instead of going straight from here."

"Sounds good." They both went to grab their bags and met back at the car. Sam turned to Shane after she climbed in. "Amy said the she and Matt would ride back with Jeff and Beth. I'm supposed to call her when we leave for the the club."

He nodded. "That works." They rode the rest of the way in comfortable silence. Sam claimed the shower first, so Shane rested on the couch. When she came out, he wasn't really paying attention until she walked in front of the television. His eyes got huge.

"What in the blue hell are you wearing Sam?"

She looked down at herself. "Clothes."

"Scraps of fabric are more like it."

Sam rolled her eyes. "Whatever Shane." He just got up and went into the shower, slamming the door behind him. "I like what I'm wearing," Sam said to herself. She had on very low low rise jeans, a silver belt, a white halter, and boots. 'Sure the shirt shows my stomach, but so what?' she thought. 'I work hard for it, I can show it off.' She was flipping throught the channels herself when Shane came out.

"Damn boy, you clean up nicely." And he did. Dressed in black jeans and a blue t-shirt, Shane looked great.

He grinned. "I know." Sam threw a pillow at him, which he ducked to avoid. He walked over and pulled her off the couch. "Ready?"

"Think so." She grabbed money, her cell, and her keycard. "Now I am." When they got into the car Sam called Amy.

"Hello?"

"Hey Amers. Damn, I can barely hear you!"

"Hold on!" She could hear Amy walking through the club and then the doors slam behind her. "Ok, better?"

"Much. Just wanted to let you know that we are on our way."

"OK. Sam, this is incredibly weird, but I thought I should warn you."

"About?"

"David is here."

"WHAT? Why is he there?"

She could hear Amy sigh. "He showed up backstage after you and Shane left. He mumbled some shit to Matt about being wrong and wanting to apologize to you. We all refused to talk to him."

"Then how did he know I would be there."

"Apparently Ronnie told him."

"That bitch. Just when I start to think she doesn't have triple 6's on her skull she pulls shit like that." She sighed as Shane pulled in to the parking lot. "OK, Amy, I can see you now. We'll be in in a few, ok?"

Sam could see Amy nod. "OK Sam, see ya in a bit."

Sam shut her phone and turned to Shane. "We live in a damn soap opera Shane. Who is the last person you would expect to see here tonight?"

He looked confused. "Why would David be here Sam?"

"Like you knew who." He reached for her hand and turned it over, showing his and nodding at it.

"Because I know you like the back of my hand." She leaned over and kissed his cheek.

"Thanks Shane. I guess we just go in and find out what he's up to now."

They got past the bouncer and found a couple of tables being monopolized by the WWE superstars. Shane and Sam greeted everyone and were walking out to the dance floor when someone tapped her shoulder. Turning, she saw David.

"David, what are you doing here?"

"Sam, I was an idiot. I want you back."

**********

Chapter Nine

**********

Sam laughed. "David, you cannot be serious. I don't love you." She shook her head. "And I don't think you really love me either."

"I do love you Sam. I made a mistake yesterday, so I came here to make it up to you."

"David, maybe somewhere down the road we can be friends again, but never more. I think you should go."

He looked angry. "Look, Sam, I didn't come all the way out here for you to turn me down. Let's go talk." He grabbed her arm and started pulling her towards the exit.

"David, no!" Shane, who had been trying to ignore their conversation, saw this and pulled Sam back towards him.

"Back off Flair."

David rolled his eyes. "Stay out of this Helms, it has nothing to do with you." By this time Shane had pulled Sam back behind him.

"It has everything to do with me. I suggest you leave before we make an even bigger scene." David looked around to find a large number of people staring at them.

He tried reasoning with Sam. "Sam, sweetie, don't let Shane talk for you. I screwed up, ok baby? Let's go talk somewhere else."

Sam had a disgusted look on her face. "I said no David." He reached for her arm again.

"And I said yes."

Shane moved in front of Sam again. "I believe she said no." he said, and gave David a small shove backwards.

David pushed Shane back. "And you aren't her keeper, so don't answer for her."

Shane pushed harder this time. "At least I care about what she wants."

David smirked. "All you want is to get in her pants." He reached back to punch Shane, but Sam moved in between them in an attempt to stop their arguing, and he hit her instead. Matt and Jeff jumped up from their table and ran over. As soon as the contact was made, David pulled back in horror. "Oh, God, Sam, I didn't mean to..." He was interrupted by Matt and Jeff pulling him out of the club, leaving Shane, Amy, and Beth to take care of Sam. Shane pulled her up from the floor.

"Oh, wow." he said, getting a good look at her face. Sam reached up to touch her eye.

"Ouch." she winced. "Does it look bad?"

"It's already starting to swell. You'll probably end up with a nice shiner.

Sam groaned. "Great." She looked around. "I don't see Matt, Jeff, or the asshole."

Amy spoke up. "I think they took him outside."

"Good." Sam yawned and looked at Shane. "Can we just go back to the hotel?"

He nodded. "Of course we can." He went back to the table to grab their stuff while Amy and Beth walked her to the door.

Sam asked them, "You guys can tell Matt and Jeff where we went right?"

Beth answered. "Definitely. Go put some ice on that."

"I will." Shane came back and grabbed her hand. Turning to Amy and Beth he said, "Amy, just call us in the morning okay?" She nodded. "Beth, aren't you and Jeff flying back tonight?"

"Yeah, we have a 2:30 AM flight."

"Have fun."

She laughed. "Yeah. See you guys later."

**********
Sam leaned on Shane as they walked back into the hotel. "What do you say we order some ice cream from room service and watch the tape from tonight's show?"

"That works. We'll also get some ice for that eye."

"K." They walked into their room and Sam saw the message blinker on. "Wonder who called?" She pushed the button.

"Hey guys, its Mom." Sam smiled. It was Shane's mom Elizabeth, whom the entire group called Mom. "I broke down and called the hotel because someone didn't answer their phones earlier. I just wanted to tell Sam that she looked great on TV. Call me when you get in, no matter the time. Love you guys!" Sam smiled and pulled out her cellphone, then dialed the familiar number. After three rings someone picked up.

"Hello?"

"Hey Mom."

"Hi honey, how are you?"

"I'm....ok....how are you?"

"You're just ok?"

Sam groaned. "Long story. You could say that I took a punch for Shane though."

"What!?"

"I'll explain later, I promise."

"We will just have to have a talk when you and Shane come for dinner Sunday."

"OK. It'll be late though. I have to fly up to the office, so probably around 7?"

"That sounds fine honey."

"OK. Did you want to talk to the dork?"

She could hear Liz quietly laughing. "Sure."

Sam handed Shane the phone. He covered the mouthpiece and looked at Sam. "Thanks Sam." She smirked. "Order the ice cream, would ya?" She nodded.

"Hi Mom. No, it was not like that. Mom. Mom?" He sighed and just listened. Sam giggled and picked up the room phone. After ordering she got ready to go change. She looked at Shane. who held up a finger for her to hold on.

"OK, Mom. Yep, Sunday. OK. Uh huh. I love you too Mom. Yes Mom, Sam loves you too. Ok. Good night Mom." He rolled his eyes. "Yes. Bye mom." He snapped Sam's phone shut and tossed it on the bed. He looked at her. "You had better explain that to her."

"I will. I'm going to get my pj's on. Will you get the door?"

"Sure"

Sam walked into the bathroom, where she got a good look at her eye. 'Damn,' she thought. 'It's already bruising.' She could hear Shane answering the door. When she walked back out wearing plaid shorts and one of Shane's t-shirts, he had to laugh.

"What did you do, raid my closet?"

She smiled. "Pretty much." She looked at the tray. "Oh, they did have it. Great." She picked up the Breyer's chocolate and jumped on the bed. Shane grabbed his and popped the tape in before joining her on the bed.

"I'm glad you thought to ask about the VCR ahead of time Sam."

She shrugged. "No big deal. I just want to see how it really looked, and then I am going to crash." She was leaning half on SHane and half on the pillows behind them with a small bag of ice on her eye.

"Aaaauuuggghhh!" she screamed when she saw the pretape. "I am such a geek!" She covered her face with a pillow. Shane set his bowl down and took the pillow away from Sam.

"Watch the tape Sam." She just groaned.

"That's ok." But she did watch, and when the whole thing was over she sighed. "Not horrible, I guess."

"It was fine." Shane's cell started ringing. "Hello?"

"Hey man, it's Matt."

"Hey, what happened?"

"Not too much. Suffice it to say that he will leave her alone from now on."

"No, Matt, I want details." Sam's eyes widened when she heard who he was talking to. "What happened?" Shane held up his hand.

"Shane, we hurt him, ok? Plain and simple."

"Alright, man. We'll talk later though?"

"Of course. Hold on a second." Shane could hear muffled words, and Matt got back on the phone. "Amy said to tell Sam that we should meet around 6 so we can make it to Dallas by 12."

"OK. Talk to you then."

"Later Shane." Shane closed the phone and looked down at Sam.

"He won't bother you again Sam." She nodded and scooted closer to him.

"Good." Shane put his arm around her. "Still wanna go to sleep?"

"Depends on why you're asking."

"I thought we could go take a swim. The pool should be empty." Sam pulled back.

"That would be okay, but not for too long."

**********

Sam and Shane were just kind of lounging in the pool when she decided to talk about their upcoming angle. "Shane?"

"Yeah?"

She bit her lip. "What do you think about the angle with us getting together."

He pulled her over to him. "Stop biting your lip." She smiled. "I have no problem with it. Are you ok?"

She nodded. "Yeah, I think so. I'm obviously very comfortable with you." Sam paused. "How do you feel now after working with Ronnie tonight?"

Shane sighed. "I should be able to tolerate her Sam. But I am hoping that Vince scraps the love triangle shit. I can't kiss her. I don't even know if I can touch her." Sam frowned. She remembered all too well everything that Ronnie had done to Shane.

Sam had just walked in the door after finishing her last college final of the year. The lights were all off, which was surprising because she had seen Shane's car in the drive.

"Shane?" Receiving no response she went into the living room. She could faintly see his outline on the couch. Sitting down next to him she shook his shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"No, Sam, I'm not."

She was shocked. "Have you been crying?"

"No." He paused. "OK, a little. It's been a rough night Sam."

She took his hand. "Wanna talk about it?"

"I guess." He cleared his throat. "I went over to Ronnie's house earlier tonight, to surprise her since I wasn't supposed to be back until tomorrow. I saw a truck in the driveway, but assumed it was her dad's. I walked in and heard noises upstairs. I went up and found her naked, in bed, with Jason. I think you can guess what they were doing."

She gasped. "Jason? As in my ex Jason."

Shane, who had turned on the light next to him, could only nod. Sam reached up and wrapped her arms around him. "Shane, I am so sorry." She could feel him stiffen against her hug, so she pulled away. "You knew something was up six months ago."

"Yes, but I didn't want to believe it. And she actually had the nerve to ask me what I was doing there. All I could do was stare. I finally just gave up trying to say anything and came back home." The doorbell rang and Sam went to get it. Pulling it open she saw Ronnie.

"What the hell do you want?"

She looked at Sam. "To see my boyfriend, if that's ok with you."

"Your boyfriend? You know what Ronnie? He should have dumped your sorry ass a long time ago."

"Sam, you don't know the entire story."

"Maybe not, but I know enough to know that Shane doesn't want to see you and if you stand there much longer I'll hurt you myself. Go back to Jason, Ronnie. SHane doesn't want you anymore." She slammed the door, leaving a speechless Ronnie on the doorstep.

Shane was behind her when Sam closed the door. "Thanks."

She walked over to him. "Your welcome. Do you want me to stay or do you want to be alone?"

"I really don't want to be alone, Sam." She nodded.

"Then I'll stay."

Shane was snapping his fingers in front of her face. "Hello? Sammie, are you in there?"

She shook her head. "Yeah, Shane, sorry. I was thinking about everything that happened with Ronnie."

"Also known as the night Shane cried." She smacked his chest.

"It is ok to cry Shane. And like you can joke about it."

He sighed. "Sometimes I can." He touched her cheek. "How's the eye doing?"

She shrugged. "Better." She yawned loudly. "I am going to fall asleep in here Shane."

"Me too." he yawned. "Let's go." They went to the locker rooms and changed. Walking hand in hand back to their room, Sam thought of one more question for Shane.

"Did Ronnie ever give you a reason, Shane?"

"No. Did Jason ever give you one?"

"No. I think our new mission is to find good people to date. I know its possible. Matt has Amy, Jeff has Beth, and Shannon has Crystal. Where did we go wrong?"

"It just hasn't happened yet, Sam. It will." THey reached their room, and Sam went into the bathroom to change. She came out and climbed into bed next to Shane. She put her hand on his chest and rested her head on his shoulder. "Goodnight Shane."

He wrapped his arms around her. "Night Sam." She was asleep within minutes, but Shane couldn't. He was just dozing when this thought popped into his head. 'There isn't really anyone else I could see myself like this with.' His eyes popped open. 'Where in the hell did that come from?'

**********

Chapter Ten

**********

Sam groaned when she heard her cell phone ringing. She reached over Shane to grab it from the nightstand. "What?"

Amy laughed. "Good morning to you too Sam."

"Amy, it is 4:30. I have only been sleeping for two hours. What could you possibly want?"

"Damn, someone woke up on the wrong side of Shane this morning."

"Haha."

"I couldn't sleep, so I thought I would see if you wanted to go down to the gym with me."

Sam looked over at a still sleeping Shane. "Sure. Shane's still asleep though, so I'll cancel the wake up call and just come back up by 5:30."

"Sounds good. See ya in a few then?"

"Sure Amy." She shut her phone and gently climbed out of the bed. She threw on some socks and sneakers and went down to the gym. Amy was already on a bike.

"Couldn't even change, huh?"

She shook her head. "Nope. All I'm doing is running though."

Sam started walking on the treadmill and Amy kept pace on her bike. "So what did you guys end up doing last night...or should I say this morning?"

"Not too much." She turned up the speed on the dial. "Had ice cream, talked to mom, and went down to the pool for a little bit."

"Did he say anything about Ronnie?"

"He's just worried about having to be with her. We talked a little bit about what went wrong between them, that's about it." They were interrupted by the door opening. Shane came over to stand beside Sam.

"Like I wouldn't know you left," he said with a smile.

"I just tried to let you sleep, so excuse me." She stuck her tongue out at him.

Amy groaned at him. "Geez, Shane, can't let us have any girl talk time."

"Well of course not Amy, then you might talk about me." They both started giggling. "Which I'm sure you were doing." Amy nodded.

"Of course we were Shane, but don't feel bad. We would have started talking about Matt in a second." She laughed again. "It really isn't a big deal though, I'm sure he'll be down here in a few minutes anyway." And he was, about five minutes later.

Sam was getting off the treadmill when he came in. He walked over and gave her a huge hug. "Hey there, Sammie." He looked at her face. "How's the eye?"

She shrugged. "It feels better than it looks." Matt got on her recently abandoned treadmill. "Good thing I Was finished."

He smirked at her through the mirror. "You were."

"I was. I'm going to go take a shower and we'll meet back down here at 6, right?"

Amy nodded. "That works. Who's driving today?"

Shane answered. "I'll drive, if someone can navigate."

Matt said he would, and Sam and Shane went back up to their room. Once inside, she turned to Shane. "You want the shower first?"

"Sure, then I can pack while you're in there."

"OK." Sam heard the door slam and the water turn on. She started packing her stuff, which only took a couple minutes, and then sat down on the couch. Shane came out about 15 minutes later to find her fast asleep.

"Sam?" No response. "Sammie, you have to get up." She mumbled something. He tried again. "Sam, you have to get up so we can go to Dallas."

"Ugh." He just laughed.

"Do I have to drag you in there?"

She grumbled and stood up. "No, I'm up." Sam turned when she heard him snap his fingers. "What?"

"I should have done something...even if it was just cold water in YOUR lap."

She laughed. "Not quick enough Shane-O" She went in the bathroom and closed the door. Shane started packing and was dressed and ready to go when Sam emerged from the bathroom 20 minutes later.

"All ready?"

Shane nodded. "Yep, let's get out of here."

Amy and Matt were in the lobby when they got down there. They checked out and loaded up the car. Amy and Sam climbed in the back, while Matt and Shane took the front.

**********

Amy and Sam were giggling uncontrollably. "Matt and Shane are...dirrty!" Sam said, and they erupted in another fit of laughter. They had just finished listening to Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty".

"Thanks Sam."

"Your welcome Shane." She reached in her bag. "I know what you want to listen to" She handed Matt her Avril Lavigne cd. Shane saw it and groaned.

"Hell no Sam." She grabbed it back.

"Fine, Shane. You just have no taste."

"YOU have no taste."

She smirked. "Whatever, just drive, ok?"

**********

They had just walked into the hotel when Matt grabbed Shane and pulled him away, leaving the girls to check in. "We'll be right back!" They gave him a weird look and went up to the desk. Shane was confused.

"What's going on?"

"Do you think you can get away from Sam sometime tomorrow?"

Shane nodded. "I'm sure. Since her plans got changed, I think she said something about going shopping with Amy. Why?"

"I want to go ring shopping, and I want your opinion."

Shane's jaw dropped. "Finally? That's great. Of course I'll go. We just can't go to the same mall they are, or Sam will find out for sure and tell Amy."

"She would." They looked over at the girls.

Amy looked at Sam. "Do you have any idea what they're up to?"

Sam shook her head. "Not a clue, but I'm sure it involves us somehow." She took the keycards from the clerk. "Thanks." She and Amy picked up their bags and walked over to the guys. "We're heading up, and then over to the arena, ok?" Matt nodded.

"OK. We can meet in say, 15?"

"Works for me." Shane replied, and they headed for the elevator.

**********

Walking through the door Shane smiled. "Did we start a trend here?" Sam had gotten another King size.

"I believe you said it wasn't a big deal Shane?"

He smiled before answering. "It's not Sam." He set his bags down. "Ready?"

She nodded. "Yeah." They met Amy and Matt back in the lobby and rode quietly to the arena. As soon as she walked in, Sam was approached by Vince McMahon.

"Sam, could you come over to Stephanie's office for a sec?"

"Sure Vince." She followed him down the hall into the office. "Hey Steph."

Stephanie smiled. "Hey Sam. Have a seat." She did. "Dad and I were talking, and we decided to change your angle a little bit."

Vince interrupted. "We decided to drop the Superman thing, but we still want you to have a romantic angle with both Randy and Shane. Sound good?" They both stared at her, waiting for a response.

"Um, sure, but could you explain how?"

Steph laughed. "Might help, huh?" Sam nodded. "We were thinking that Eric would come to you begging to let the superstars continue to wrestle. He would offer you a no-holds-barred street fight with Ronnie if you agree to leave things the way they are. You can say some stuff to stall, and to let the audience in on some of the past between you two, but eventually agree. Details about that and the match can be figured out later."

Sam nodded again. "Sounds alright so far." Vince continued.

"Long term right now, which is always subject to change of course, will have you in an array of storylines. Two weeks from now, Randy will run down to the ring and 'rescue' you when Jazz comes down and starts beating on you, thus aligning herself with Ronnie. Then, in about a month and after various matches and encounters, Randy will do something to break you guys up, probably cheat on you with Ronnie, and you will turn to Shane, who Ronnie will be with by then, and that should set up your angle with Shane."

She nodded, slowly absorbing everything. "And that angle is...?"

Vince grinned sheepishly. "We don't exactly know that yet."

"Arighty. This week I am just escorting Randy to the ring for his match, and then he's supposed to kiss me, right?"

"Pretty much." He stood. "If you ladies will excuse me, I have to go check some things for tonight."

"Bye Vince."

"Bye Dad."

Sam sighed when she heard the door close behind her. "Pretty much, huh? Steph, who came up with this?"

"I think Brian and Dad did."

She shook her head. "It is way too reminiscent, Steph. Shane is going to hate it."

"Maybe you can talk to him."

"Maybe."

"I notice you aren't too worried about being with Shane." Steph said, with a gleam in her eye.

Sam smiled. "No, we're cool. We talked last night."

"Uhuh. You guys are closer than some couples I know, Sam."

"We're best friends Stephanie. Of course we're close."

"Are you sure thats all it is?" Stephanie left her to ponder that while she answered her ringing phone. Hanging up, she looked at Sam. "Well?"

"I cannot believe you said that." They both stood and walked to the door.

"Yes you can."

"OK, I can, but I refuse to answer." Spotting Torrie Wilson, she said, "I need to go talk to Tor. I'll see you later."

"Bye Sam." Sam walked over to Torrie and gave her a hug.

"Hey Torrie."

She returned the hug. "Hey Sam, about time you got here."

"It's early, and I got stuck talking to Vince."

She grimaced as they started walking down the hall. "I feel your pain." They both laughed. "So, New York in a month. Did you pencil in your fitting?"

"Of course." Sam and Torrie had been close friends for the last few years, and Sam was going to be one of Torrie's bridesmaids when she married fellow Superstar Billy Kidman in the summer. "Like I would forget."

"True, Miss Anally Organized."

"Yeah, well, at least I'm known for something." Torrie giggled.

"What a thing to be recognized for." They continued walking until they got to the ring area. "So are you here all day?"

Sam nodded. "I'm sure I'll set up an office somewhere. I've got a lot of phone calls and such to make, and I want to catch Ryan if she ever shows up."

"Well, I'll catch you sometime before the show then."

"Ok, see ya later." Torrie walked back up the ramp and disappeared behind the curtain. Sam looked up into the seats and saw John Cena sitting there writing. She yelled up to him. "Hey, Cena!" He looked up and saw her.

"Hey Sam!" He came down and gave her a hug. "What's going on?"

"Not too much. I'm just trying to find your girlfriend." John's long-time girlfriend, Ryan Hafner was basically Sam's Smackdown counterpart, as she was also an agent of several superstars.

He chuckled. "I think Ryan was headed to catering with Kurt and Karen."

"Thanks John."

"No prob." He turned and went back into the stands, while Sam went to catering. Walking in, she saw Ryan sitting with Karen Angle.

She hugged both Karen and Ryan before sitting down. "Good morning."

"Hey Sam."

She looked at Karen. "Is Kurt around?"

She nodded. "He's around here somewhere showing Kyra off, I'm sure."

Sam giggled. "She's adorable Karen, why wouldn't he show her off?"

Shrugging, she answered. "I think he really just wants a reason to bother people." They all laughed.

Ryan spoke up. "Did you set up your office yet?"

"No, I thought if we shared we could get a bigger, nicer one. You should have seen Stephanie's last night."

Ryan's lip wrinkled. "That bad?"

"Oh yeah." Karen decided to go find Kurt, so Sam and Ryan went to claim a room. Luckily, since it was early, they were able to find one.

Sam surveyed the room. "Nice." She turned to Ryan. "It'll do."

**********

Chapter Eleven

**********

Sam and Ryan sat quietly, each typing at their computers. Ryan sat back in her chair and sighed. "Please tell me it is time for lunch or something."

Sam looked down at her watch. "12:15. I'd say we can go." Ryan locked the door behind them and they walked back down to the ring area.

"I want to let John know that we're leaving, then I can go." John and Shane were standing in the group of wrestlers all hanging around the ring. Ryan walked over to John, and Sam went to Shane.

"We're going to get some lunch."

Shane nodded. "Have fun."

"We will." Ryan said goodbye to John, and she and Sam walked out to the parking garage. When they got in the car, Ryan turned to Sam.

"Did something change between you and Shane, Sam?"

"No, Ryan. Why would anything change?"

She shrugged. "I don't know, it was just the way he looked at you."

Sam sighed as they got out of the car at Subway. "Nothing is different. We are just friends. You and Steph are ganging up on me today."

Ryan laughed. "She said something too?"

"Yep." They ordered and sat down with their food. "So, how are things going with you and John?"

"Fabulous, as if you had to ask." They both giggled. Sam really didn't need to ask. John and Ryan had been together since high school, and Ryan was technically a part of John's family. His parents were Ryan and her brother Travis's godparents, so when their parents died in a plane crash they moved in with the Cena's.

"I didn't, but thought I would anyway."

Ryan paused a moment before approaching the next subject. "So, I um...heard about David. And apparently, " she indicated Sam's eye," I see about David too."

Sam made a face. "The more I think about it, the more I wonder what I ever saw in him. I need a guy more like...I don't know..."

"Like Shane?" Ryan supplied. Sam opened her mouth to object and Ryan rushed to continue. "I just mean that Shane is such a good guy, Sam."

Sam looked down at her hands. "I know he is Ry. Stephanie said something this morning that really made me think. She said 'You guys are happier than a lot of couples I know.' It made me wonder. I am so happy with Shane, but will I ever find the guy that I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with?" She shook her head. "I fall asleep in Shane's arms, I wake up in them. Shane is the one I watch sappy movies with, the one I can complain about my period to, the one-"

"I get the point Sam."

She blushed. "Sorry, but you know what I mean?"

"Yes I do. I am very lucky. I found that guy in John. Are you sure that Shane isn't the one?"

**********

After lunch, Ryan and Sam went back to the arena. The ride was a quiet one, Sam thinking about what Ryan had said, and Ryan knowing she needed to talk to Amy. Maybe they could give the two a push in the right direction.

"Back to the grind," Sam groaned as they walked inside.

"Actually, I'm gonna go look for someone. I'll be back soon." Ryan turned and walked down the hall looking for Amy. She spotted her outside the guys' locker room. "Amy?"

Amy looked up. "Hey, Ry, what's going on?"

"Not too much. Can you talk for a sec?"

"Sure." They walked over to a bench. "What's up?"

"Have you talked to Shane about Sam recently?"

"A little bit. Why?"

Ryan glanced around to make sure they were alone. "Do you think that there is anything going on between them?"

Amy nodded. "I think there should be and that there will be." She told Ryan about Shane's reaction at the pool yesterday.

"Shane's a jealous guy, huh?"

Amy smiled and nodded again. "But jealousy is a good thing. Ssshhh, here comes Sam." She looked at Sam, who was walking down the hall. "Hey."

"Hey guys. You are never going to guess who just called me."

Ryan and Amy looked at each other, and Ryan answered. "Who?"

"Randy. He wants me to go out with him after the show Saturday."

Amy's jaw dropped. "As in a date?"

"Yeah."

"But I thought you weren't interested in him like that?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know. I mean, he is pretty hot. And he's a nice guy. I think it will be fun."

"I'm sure it will be." Amy and Ryan exchanged a look as Sam went on down the hallway.

Amy sighed. "Shane is not going to like this."

**********

The show was about to start when Stephanie asked Ryan and Sam if they wanted to sit in the audience. "If you guys wanted to do that, you could gauge the fans' reaction to everything for us."

"What about keeping the brands separate??" Sam asked

"Cole and Tazz can say something on air, and if someone asks, you can say whatever you want really." They giggled, and took the tickets from Stephanie. "Have a good time."

Sam looked down at her outfit. "I think we need to go change."

Ryan gave her a wicked smile. "Oh yeah."

**********

"Welcome to Smackdown! I am Michael Cole alongside Tazz, and we are broadcasting tonight from Dallas, Texas."

"Yeah, Cole, tonight is gonna be a good one. Hey, isn't that RAW's Samantha Hardy sitting alongside Smackdown agent Ryan Hafner?"

"I think it is Tazz. And do I even want to know what they are wearing?"

"I don't think so, Cole." The camera panned to Sam and Ryan. They waved. Sam had on a Version 1 shirt and a pair of Matt's purple and gold ring pants. She borrowed one of John's hats, and added her Hardy Boyz Ball and Chain Pendant to complete the look. Ryan was wearing her 'Here Comes the Pain' baseball cap, John's new 'Thuganomics 101' shirt, a pair of pink plastic pants (think like Torrie's in ring gear), and slip on sandals. Both were wearing feather boas. They made an interesting pair sitting ringside.

"Whatever they want to do, I guess. On to the first match. Tonight we have Matt Hardy taking on Brian Kendrick..." Sam and Ryan started laughing as soon as the camera was away from them.

**********

Walking backstage after the taping, Sam and Ryan were greeted by Brock Lesnar. "Nice outfits, ladies."

"Gee, thanks Brock. Next time I'll wear one of your shirts." Sam said. Brock grinned. "Oh, Brock? Wear your white pants next week, you'll make some girls happy."

He laughed. "OK Sam." He continued walking. They went into the women's locker room to change, and walked out to find both John and Shane waiting for them.

John asked, "You guys wanna come out with us? There's a karaoke bar that some of the guys are going to."

Sam and Ryan looked at each other. Ryan nodded. "That sounds like fun. Are Matt and Amy going?

John nodded. "Matt took our car, and we're going to ride with you." They got into the car and drove to the almost empty club.

Sam looked around the parking lot. "Wow, not many people. Maybe I'll actually sing." Ryan laughed.

"You, sing in front of people. Yeah, right." Sam stuck out her tongue.

"Its not like you sing either."

Shane opened his door and got out. "Alright, children. Can we go in now?"

Walking in, John spotted Matt and Amy sitting with Shannon Moore and his wife Crystal near the stage. They passed a few other wrestlers on their way up front. The waitress came over sand sat down some drinks.

"We ordered Cokes, figuring that was fine." Shannon said.

"That's fine Shannie, thanks." Sam said,and turned to Crystal. "So, I didn't get to ask earlier. How are you feeling?" Crystal was 3 months pregnant with her and Shannon's first child.

She smiled. "I'm feeling good, Sam, thanks. How are you?"

"I'm doing good. I'm actually going out with-" They were interrupted by Shane getting up onstage. He grabbed the microphone and faced the crowd.

"Just so everyone knows, I'm only singing this song because Sam has been bugging me too since she caught me doing it last week." He smiled at her as the music began. It was 'I'll Be', by Edwin McCain. Sam had caught him listening to the American Idol CD last week, and this was one of her favorite songs on it. When he finished, he said, "OK, since I did 'American Idol', someone else has to." Sam stood.

"If I can do Kelly Clarkson, then I will." She found it in the book, gave the number to the man running the machine, and took the microphone from Shane. She sang 'Before Your Love.' She finished, and everyine started clapping. Amy yelled to the stage.

"Much better than Shane, Sam." Sam just laughed and sat down. Shane nudged her with his shoulder.

"Nice choice, Sam."

She smiled. "Thanks Shane." She turned to watch Crystal, who had started singing 'Fallin,' by Alicia Keys. Sam was unaware that Shane was still looking at her. He just couldn't tear his eyes away, until Amy tapped him on the shoulder.

"Problem, Shane?"

He shook his head. "No, Amers."

She sighed inwardly and thought, 'No problem yet, Shane.'

**********

Sam yawned and leaned her head against Shane's shoulder. "That was fun." After karaoking for an hour or so, they had went back to the hotel with Matt and Amy to pack. Matt had suddenly (sudden to Amy and Sam anyways) changed his mind, and decided to go to California with them, so they were all on the flight headed for Los Angeles.

"Yeah, it was." They both fell asleep in a matter of minutes, and were awoken by the pilot over the loudspeaker.

"We will be landing at LAX in approxomatley 15 minutes." Sam sat up and stretched.

"Seems like I just fell asleep."

Shane was rubbing his eyes. "Tell me about it. How far is the hotel from here?"

"I think about 10 minutes." She looked at Matt and Amy across the aisle. "Who's driving?"

Amy volunteered. "I will."

They made it through baggage claim and renting the car fairly quickly. They loaded their luggage into the car and made the quick trip to the hotel. They checked in and went to their rooms. Sam did nothing more than drop her luggage before falling on the bed. Shane locked the door and turned to talk to her, but she was already asleep. He set the alarm and lay down next to her.

**********

Shane tossed and turned through most of the night, before it hit him. He had to go talk to Amy. Looking at the alarm clock, he saw that it was around 7 in the morning. Sam was still sleeping, so he threw on a shirt, grabbed his keycard, and went down to the lobby to pick up some coffee. He walked back upstairs and knocked on the door, and a grumpy Matt answered.

"Dude, I actually get to sleep in. What is your problem?"

"I need to talk to Amy." Matt sighed and pulled the door open further.

"Amy?" She groaned. "Amy, Shane says he needs to talk to you."

"Ugh, fine." Matt went to take a shower, and Amy sat up. She took the coffee he offered. "What's going on Shane."

"You told me to let you know when I figured it out."

She vaguely remembered telling him that at the pool in Houston. "Uhhuh."

He took a deep breath. "Well, I did."

"And?"

"I'm in love with her."

**********