The town she found herself in was entirely too familiar even if she hadn’t been there in twelve years. She clutched her side as she stumbled to her uncle’s shop. It was the most boring shop in the world, full of mathematical books and different equipment to use for different equations. Even though she hated the shop, she loved watching her uncle talk enthusiastically about numbers. It was the one thing they had in common, it was also the one thing that got her into trouble.
When she got to the shop and noticed that the board that should have read ‘Irwin’s Numbers’ had a different name entirely she fell against the wall in disbelief. It had a candle carved into the wood between the words ‘Dallas’ and ‘Gems’. Dallas? A spike of anxiety hit her at the thought of her uncle not being there. Where will I go now? It was only when she saw a flash of a grin through the window that she realised who Dallas was. It was Bo, her little cousin, and she would recognise that grin anywhere. Dallas was his middle name, that was why she hadn’t recognised it at first.
From the glance she got before ducking behind the wall she noticed that there were an array of gems and candles. She could feel Bray’s influence all over the shop and she couldn’t help but smile.
She took a deep breath, flinching at the pain that flared through her ribs, before walking to the shop. The shop had the closed sign on the door but she saw people in there: they were all sat around the counter smiling away and drinking warm drinks. Even from where she sat she could see the steam rising from the mugs in their hands. Her stomach hurt from hunger and even though she didn’t like warm drinks at all, she longed for one to warm her cold body.
Her hands were painfully numb as she pressed them against against the door, slowly opening it and welcoming the warmth of the shop. The bell rang out, causing everyone in the shop to look at her.
“Sorry, the shop is closed. Did I not put the closed sign up?” Bo had a worried look on his face, always the more anxious one in the family. He hadn’t recognised her, which was expected with how her hair was matted with blood, her face was blotchy with bruising and her clothes were ripped. She had been in one hell of a fight and she had felt like she had been ran over by a truck several times over.
“It’s up Bo,” she leant against the wall, a little dizzy from the fight, blood loss and from the long travel. She ran her hand through her tangled hair before looking directly at her cousin. He had changed over the years with more muscle mass, longer hair and a small beard and goatee. “Where’s your Dad?”
Bo’s eyes widened quite comically, finally recognising her. He mouthed her name in shock before rushing to her, his hands wrapping around her waist, murmuring how he couldn’t believe it and how he had missed her. As much as she loved his hug, she pulled away, partially self conscious about how she looked and also in pain.
“I need your Dad, ‘m injured bad,” her head was becoming woozy and Bo seemed to sway slightly and then all she could see was blackness as she fell to the floor.
As she fell to the ground, several of the people jumped up in surprise as if they could all catch her on reflex. The only person who did catch her, was Bo. Dean, being the only one who moved from his position, went to collect the first aid kit. Dean had this odd affinity for first aid kits, everywhere he went he would know where the kit would be and if he didn’t that would be the first thing he would ask people for.
As Dean and Bo patched her up- cleaning up the blood, stitching the wound on her stomach and icing the worst of the bruises- Seth rang Bo’s father, his cockiness falling away with his stuttering. Roman had to take the phone off of him to talk to Irwin, his voice calm and collected while Finn consoled his boyfriend, telling him that everyone gets flustered talking to such legends and that it was okay.
Bo looked at his cousin, confused as to why she would be so beaten up. After so many years of not seeing her he had come to the conclusion of her being dead. The entire family had thought that and had even stopped talking about her, quietly remembering the happy eighteen year old she was before she went missing. He had so many questions.
“Your Dad said to bring her to the hospital if she isn’t okay.” Roman put the phone down before sitting next to her, eyes roaming over her to assess her wounds the best he could.
She sat up against the wall, her hands cradling her head and her ripped sleeve falling down her arm to expose a scarred piece of skin.
“Musta been hit harder than I thought but I’m okay,” she admired the stitches on her torso, before she stood, swaying, and yawned. “Where’s the nearest hotel?”
“Hotel! What do you mean ‘hotel’?”
After that, she stayed at her cousin’s house on the couch and eventually started working at the store with Bo and Bray. At first she started off doing the small jobs like separating the rose quartz from the citrine after people had gone through the small boxes and mixed them up. During the time she worked at the shop she learnt all the processes and meanings of the different stones, tarot decks and other miscellaneous things that the store sold and she was reminded of her early childhood where Bray would hold a stone to the light and told Bo and herself stories of what each stone would do, his eyes always twinkling as he told them.
“Hey, you mind getting me one of those gem tree things?” She looked up from the desk where she was finishing inventory. She recognised Roman from him being at the shop when she collapsed and from the times he came in to spend time with Bo and his friends every Friday after they all closed up shop.
“Sure, you know what gems you want?” Panic flashed across his face and he stuttered out a response.
“Wait, I have to pick the gems? I thought they were pre-made.” Roman looked utterly confused as she reached under the desk to get the box to give it him. She nodded to the table that was close to the book selection.
“Here, have a look through them and get your selection then I will get it all sorted for you.”
It turned out Roman had no clue about anything in the store. He had no idea about what gems meant what or why certain candles were better than others and don’t even get him started on tarot and angel cards because he just looked at her with wide eyes and shook his head in confusion. The selection he did give her to put on the tree insisted of purples and blues with the reasoning of ‘just thought they were pretty’ and a shrug.
“So, how’d you know my cousins?” She was twisting the wire so the sodalite stayed in its place when she asked him the question, her eyes narrowing slightly to focus in on the wire. I need glasses.
“My dad and my uncle worked with your uncle and through them we met each other,” Roman was twiddling with a card that described the meaning of a rune as he spoke.
“Oh, what’s their names? I might know them.”
“My dad, Sika, and my Uncle is Afa…” He looked at her with his head cocked to the side. “Wait, I met you! When we were little. You looked a lot different then.”
She froze, remembering the hulking figures of his family and their big curly hair. Always appearing to be ‘wild’ yet probably being the nicest people she ever met. Afa would even give her a sweet every time he met her, getting her to move out from behind her uncle. There was one time though, where an older boy was stood to the side with his hand on his little brother’s head, ruffling the hair ever so slightly. The younger boy was shy and gave her a small smile.
“I remember you. We were really young then, huh?” A name was on the tip of her tongue. She remembered the older brother calling him something, it was fond and he had ruffled his hair even more. Leakee.
“Yeah, you had really long hair back then. In pigtails or something?”
“My uncle could only do pigtails at that time- I think I had only been living with him for a few months at that point.” He smiled at the memory of her, all big eyes and very asymmetrical pigtails. Before she had noticed Roman and his brother she had been running around, chasing after Bo before coming to stop and lunging behind her uncle, grasping at his leg.
She took the next gem off of him and placed it onto the wire that replicated the tree branch and he watched her with interest. How she would fumble the stone chip in her hands before putting it on the wire and how she would bite her inner lip in concentration.
“I didn’t realise you lived with him.”
“Yeah, my mama couldn’t cope with my awesomeness so I got passed along my grandparents and uncles until Uncle Irwin saw my ‘mathematical potential’.” She gave a grin when she noticed the quirk of his eyebrow.
“Mathematical potential, huh?”
“Yeah, I’m really good at numbers and patterns. The only class I got A’s in was maths and its because Uncle Irwin taught me everything he knows.” She was finishing the last branch, curling the wire with the pliers when he decided to see whether she would go out with him.
“So, me and some people head over to a bar that's around a ten minute walk from here and we go every other Friday as it isn’t too hectic and a bunch of the older guys go there. I was wondering whether you wanted to come with us.”
“Who goes?” Hesitation flicked through her eyes and she rubbed her thumb down her finger, it was methodical and calculated yet she didn’t seem to be paying attention to what she was doing. It was an old habit.
“Me, your cousins, Dean, Seth and Finn,” her expression relaxed a little but she still seemed cautious. She got along with them all, especially Dean as he too enjoyed the silence and calculated everything, however she still couldn’t trust any of them yet. Not even Bray or Bo. “There will be others like R-truth and Jeff but if you feel uncomfortable or anything then just say the word and I will walk you home.”
She was deep in thought as she placed the tree into a box, careful of the intricate details, and put the standard card that read ‘Treat this tree right and you will be alright. BO-lieve in yourself.’ under the lid.
“Okay, I’ll go. What time?”
It was eleven days later when the cavalry turned up to go to the bar, everybody was in their usual work clothes except for her. She hadn’t dressed up or anything but she had bought herself a lipstick, just to feel like she wasn’t just going to a bar. It was her first outing with friends in years, so this was a big ordeal for her.
Everyone but Dean looked surprised when Roman asked if she was ready to go. In fact, they had all looked rather guilty at not asking whether or not she had wanted to join them but she waved them off- she wasn’t even sure whether she wanted to go now, with her stomach in knots.
The walk was nice. It was a brisk night but everyone was enjoying it. Finn and Seth spoke in hushed whispers whilst holding hands, the occasional cackle coming from Seth. Roman, with his hands in his pockets, was nodding to something Bray was saying and Dean was crooning into the night. That left her speaking to a very excited Bo who was talking about who would be at the bar with hands flying into the air as he spoke.
The bar was rather large so it held a lot of people yet still had plenty of space. There were hollers when the group she was with was noticed and it made her tense up so she squared her shoulders nudged her chin up a little. Bo grabbed her sleeve and dragged her to the bar front where one of the guys gladly gave up a seat for her before walking off.
She let the group she was with do the introductions, all of their names easily slipping from her mind, and then ordered a drink. It was fun watching her cousins and new friends interact with anecdotes of their week. It was like that for a while until the door opened and somebody walked in. She couldn’t comprehend the tension in the room, was it fear or respect?
The man who walked in was tall, he had a large trench coat on and he had a wide brimmed hat on. Oh. Even after all these years she could recognise the man: Taker. Her uncle had several arguments with him but luckily the arguments always finished with a curt nod of respect and her uncle storming off. His eyes rolled to meet hers, instantly knowing she wasn’t usually here and he walked towards her. Instinctively she curled her firsts and looked for all available exits. Before he got too close he shook his head slightly and walked to a table where a bunch of older gentlemen sat.
She took in who was there, no one really standing out for her until she saw thick curly hair that fell to the shoulders. The shoulders clad in a red plaid jacket. Mick.
She hid a smile behind her beer and carried on listening to Roman’s conversation with a man called R-truth, despite wanting to run over to him and hug him. She forgot about how warm bars could get, especially when Dean was dancing (more like twitching) next to her, so she took her jacket off and placed it on the hook where her cousin had placed his own.
“What the fuck is one of Hayman’s Bitches doing in here?”
Oh fuck. Maybe it was because she was tired or because she was happily distracted by her friends but she had forgotten about her tattoo. Her hair was tied up so her neck was on perfect display, which meant everybody could see the it. The tattoo that had Hayman’s name branded into her neck.
Just like she did with Taker, her hands were curled into fists and she scouted exits as she turned to the voice that had called out. The bar had fallen silent as the large man hovered near her with a sneer on his face.
“Don’t call me that,” she lifted a glass of whiskey to her lips and drank it in one, giving Jericho an apologetic smile as she shakily set the glass back down.
“It says it on your neck. What are you doing here, huh? Here to recruit? Or are you here to fuck someones life up?” Anyone who had heard of Heyman knew what his… employees were like. They were violent. Some would hurt people because it was fun, others had no choice. She was one of the latter. She had hurt her share of people in her time and hated every minute of it.
“I haven’t worked for him for months, I paid my debt.”
“No one pays off their debt with Hayman, we all know that,.” Another sneer directed at her which caused her throat to constrict. This was too much, she couldn’t breathe.
“Look, I got out. A lot later than I wanted, but I got out and I will never go back,” she then took a swig of another drink, it was in front of a red head who looked at her sympathetically. “Now please, leave me alone.”
“The hell I will! None of you bitches left us alone.” Tears stung at her eyes and the bar fell away from her. Instead it was an old room, full of boxes and dust and she was being pinned down by Brock, a tattoo needle pressed into her neck and Hayman screaming at her. She felt sick.
When she stopped living in the past, she noticed the tall man in front of her with a hand wrapped around her shirt at the neck. Even though her eyes were glazed with tears and she shook ever so slightly it didn’t stop her from going into attack mode. Fight or flight. Something sinister within her told her to fight, so she did. Her knee flew to his midsection causing him to bend over, then she smashed her head against his so he would let her shirt go and finally, she slammed her fist into his jaw. He was down.
She blinked several times, noticing how the man she fought wasn’t the man she saw. It was the guy who was yelling at her but she saw Brock in his place. Shit.
This wasn’t the plan. She wanted the fighting out of her life, she didn’t want this. A hand grasped her shoulder and one around her waist and she would have swung but she was too busy staring in horror.
“Enough,” it was Mick, his voice bringing her to when she was eighteen and new to the fighting world. He was always so calming, even when he was Mankind. “Enough. You are in a bar. Not there.”
“Sorry, ‘m sorry.” Mick sat her on the stool, keeping his face in sight, trying to keep her focus.
The man she had knocked to the ground was Joe. He was an ex-fighter, like a majority of the people in the bar, and had a personal vendetta against Hayman and everyone associated with him. He stayed on the floor and stared up at her with a glare, which was met with several apologies from her. Everyone in the bar seemed to shrug her attack off, not many liking Joe. However, she did get stares at the fact she was one of Hayman’s.
“Is Kane okay? Did he make it out with you?” She whispered to Mick in a rush, wondering where the pyromaniac was. After all, Mick and Kane left together.
“He made it out, he stays in this town like the rest of us. He just prefers staying inside.”
“How come everyone here is an ex-fighter?”
“Kane and I decided to make this place a safe haven. We got a group together and then everyone went to find fighters. Ones too old to fight, ones who just want a safe place and people like us- people who are scarred from forced fights.” Mick stroked a piece of hair that had fallen from its ponytail, his fatherly instinct kicking in.
“Go home, get some sleep. I will see you soon, okay?”
She nodded and looked to side where a hand was held out. Judging by the tattoo that started at the wrist, it was Roman. She took it in her grasp and let him pull her outside, only noticing that he had grabbed her jacket when he placed it over her shoulders.
“I’m so sorry.” She looked at him shocked as they started walking. Why was he sorry?
“Being friends with Dean means I can tell when someone is dissociating or having a panic attack,” the two of them stayed in silence for a little while until he stopped in front of her. “Do you want to stay at mine? Just so if you dissociate or have a panic attack, you are not alone.”
“I’m not Hayman’s anymore,” she was snappy, probably due to being self conscious and she rubbed at her arms.
“No, you don’t.” Again, another snap. “I never chose to go to him, I needed cash and quick for my mother’s surgery and McMahon gave it to me. Paul bought me off of another guy, who also bought me, adding to my debts.”
“I thought your mom gave you up?”
“She did but she came to my uncle for help and he wouldn’t hear her out as he and the rest of my family hate her for what she did but I saw her exiting the house and I asked what was wrong so I chose to help her.”
“May I ask what the surgery was?” She let out a hysterical laugh.
“Turns out she wanted the cash for more drugs. My uncle saw right through her but my stupid eighteen year old self was too naive.”
“How old are you?” He ran his hand over his face, murderous thoughts running through his head.
“Thirty-one in two months.” Confusion was evident in her voice.
“So you were paying off your debts for twelve years?” Before she could answer, he shook his head. His eyes had turned a little hard. He was definitely mad.
“That son of a-” he cut himself off before starting again. “I know what guys and girls yell at you when you work for people like him. I ain’t going to say a word like Joe did earlier, okay?”
She nodded, following him into his house and shrinking into herself again. In a way she was glad he wouldn’t say the words that were yelled at her. Some of the words were in almost everyday life like the word ‘bitch’ but it still made her tense, expecting a hit.
“Dean has serious PTS and Seth, well, Seth just loves soft things. That is why there are so many soft things in the house. Knives and pills and stuff are also locked up for Dean.”
The house was quite large but felt incredibly homely and cozy with its warm tones and soft objects everywhere. She had an urge to just wrap up in the thick blankets that seemed to be in every corner of the house. She also noticed several incense boxes and stress balls as Roman altered the position of an almost fully burnt-out candle.
“I’ll get you a shirt of mine and a pair of Dean’s sweats for you to sleep in,” he was stood on the first step of the stairs. “Help yourself to food or drink. Just make yourself at home!”
It didn’t take Roman long to come back down with some clothes and he passed them to her before excusing himself and asking if she wanted a drink. She rushed getting dressed, her eyes on the door the entire time and when she had finished she folded her clothes as small as possible and held them close to her chest.
From the gentle humming of a coffee machine she managed to find Roman in the kitchen. He was stood against the counter, staring into space, it was only when she coughed that his attention wavered. A slow smile graced his face as he took her in and passed her the ice that was behind him. There were two packs, one that was wrapped and taped around her knuckles and one that he placed on her forehead- exactly where she slammed it into Joe.
“You really did a number on him and your head. Could have given yourself a goddamn concussion.”
“I’ve had worse,” she whispered, looking directly into his eyes before lowering them to her arm to look at the mess she had made all those years ago. The tattoo was barely there now, covered in the mark of a white-hot knife being pressed into it. Roman traced it with his finger, he had seen many scars in his life but none were as aggressive as this. The flesh was raised and jagged around the edges, he could only imagine how painful it was.
“I did it years ago, it doesn’t hurt now.” She had pressed his finger down harder, trying to ignore her racing pulse from her lies and his skin touching hers. Every now and then she could feel the piercing pain that she had inflicted to herself.
“I tried to runaway and I had to get rid of the mark. I was out for two weeks before being dragged back.” More memories flashed through her mind and she curled into herself, wishing them away by counting in her head- a method her uncle had taught her when she used to wake up from nightmares.
She was on number fourteen when Roman tapped his fingers against her temple, it was a slow rhythm and her eyes slid up to try and see his fingers.
“Sometimes, when Dean goes a little too into his head he needs a distraction. Small touches help.”
“You know a lot about this sort of stuff,” against her better judgement she nuzzled into the fingers that sidled into her hair. “Nobody has ever…” She sighed and closed her eyes. “Nobody has ever understood. It’s always ‘it will get better’ or ‘stop thinking about it, you will get over it’.” Tears fell down her face and she wrapped her hand around his wrist.
His fingers dug into her scalp, not enough to hurt, just enough for her to open her eyes and look at him. Her heart raced even more when she noticed the look on his face, he was so intense and his pupils were blown slightly. He knew that things were getting heated and he wouldn’t let himself kiss her when she was vulnerable so he moved his lips to her cheek, just below the ice pack.
“I know, I know. Let’s get you to bed sweetheart.”
When Dean and Seth walked through the halls to their own rooms they noticed Roman’s door open, the light filtering through and they saw the girl laid on his lap and him with his head pressed against the headboard and his hand caressing her face, they realised that maybe, just maybe their old friend would finally open his heart.
Dean, in his drunken state, went to stumble through the door so Seth had to pull him back, drawing him into his own room.
“C’mon man, to your own bed.”
She expected that after the fight people would steer away from her, perhaps they would be frightened by her but instead, people went to her.
First it was Jeff, whose hands were stained with paint and held a sketchbook and a set of pens saying that drawing always soothed him and that maybe it could help her. It was odd but she clung to the book and pens all day, drawing straight lines with the purple pen from the set and her ID card until the next customer arrived. Except, the next customer, well, wasn’t a customer. It was a group of three men; one who was tall with a hat, one with a plaid coat that reminded her of home and the third was tall, with grey hair tied into a long ponytail and she felt fear for a moment. Words ran through her head.
“What the? What are you doing here, kid? Run!”
Taker stood behind Mick and Diesel, who was now called Nash, staring at the array of books on the shelf.
“So this is the famous kid all grown up?” Diesel leaned on the desk she was working at, hands under his chin as he grinned at her. Mick rolled his eyes and gave a reassuring smile to her, trying to ease the tension out of the room. It didn’t work when she snarled at Diesel.
“Both of you, enough.” Taker had piped up from the back, giving his only input.
“How are you doing kid? We wanted to make sure you were okay after the other night.” Mick looked concerned, looking at the woman he considered a daughter. The one who had risked everything so many times, the one who saved him like he tried to save her.
“Course you are, just like I am the goddamn devil.” Diesel snorted before popping one of the candies that resided in the bowl on the desk into his mouth. “You have grown so much kid, I didn’t think you would have made it out of the business.”
Mick tensed and looked down, guilt written all over his face while Diesel’s jaw twitched. The last time Nash had seen her was eleven years ago, he had paid off his debt to Vince Mcmahon years before and kept to himself, only going back into the ring when he wanted a little bit of extra money. She was so skinny, looking like was about to break as she tried to square up to him in the ring. He gave his punches as light as he could, scared he was going to somehow break her bones and had noticed how she had fear all over face, she trembled slightly and from that day on he swore that no other kid would have to fight beasts like him. When Razor and himself had tried to get to where she slept, to try and get her away from that place, she had already been sold to Vince Russo, who gave her a new name and new look. He had thought she was dead.
The last time she saw Mick was one of the worst days of her life; she was being sold off again, to someone they didn’t know. She had just unlocked Mick’s mask, putting a cool cloth over his face to soothe the chafe marks while Rhyno helped Kane who was screaming about how the fire burned him, even though there was none. Rhyno and herself had decided that the two older men had to leave, their forced solitary confinement making their mental health even worse with Kane constantly seeing and feeling fire and Mick not knowing the full difference between reality and fiction, most times succumbing to Mankind, so they had found backup, his name was DDP and he had helped several people through difficult situations.
He had pulled up in a pick up truck, helping Kane and Mick into it before following the instructions they had given him; get rid of the masks, find a small place no one has heard of or go to old fighters, they could help.
Rhyno had collapsed to the floor from an unruly low blow and Brock’s arms had tightened around her neck. Mick saw the whole thing, screaming for him to let her go and swinging at Kane to let him get to her.
Kane saw fire burning her.
Mick saw her life flash and go.
She soon saw nothing, falling into darkness as Hayman came to collect his new toys.
“After I got better, I searched everywhere kid, but it was like you didn’t exist. I called in old friends, your family, hell, even demons and we couldn’t find you. Who did he turn you into?”
“He called me Mia. He found it funny because it meant missing in action.”
“That son of a bitch!” A thud was heard from Nash hitting the desk and she flinched. He shook his head, usually the fighters got used to the noises, names and the hits- they became numb. Yet she still flinched, never used to it. What else did they do to you?
“Just know that you are safe here. I found this town through finding your uncle, finding out that other wrestlers and fighters were here. We all made a pact to stop the fighting unless it is harmless wrestling.” Mick looked at her, really looked at her. He saw how her nose was now crooked due to breaking it so many times, he could see the small chunks bitten out of her lips due to anxiety and he saw how her eyes always had a haunted look.
“We made a book for you. Its full of addresses and contact info of people who you know and people you don’t. We even put their photos in there for you! You don’t just have us to call, you have an entire town.”
Mick and Nash left with Taker after Mick kissed the crown of her head, Nash gave a solemn nod and Taker looked at her like he was looking into her soul and saying just one more thing.
“You saved my brother, Kane. Thank you.”
It was after that when she started going to the meetings as it turned out that each time her cousins and friends went to the bar, it was therapy for some of them. There was a table in the corner where they usually sat to talk. It wasn’t always the same people but she tried to be there every time so she could will herself to talk to some of them about her issues. Luckily, she wasn’t the only silent one, there were Dean and Becky who would sit there, vibrating with anger and harsh memories. One day, they would explode, she just knew it.
It was at one the meetings where she blurted out the name she preferred. It wasn’t her birth name, it certainly wasn’t the name her buyers had called her, no, it was the name that Mick had given her after he watched her fly through the air, dressed in her blue ring gear onto an opponent twice her size and one of the girls had given her silver and black eyeshadow. He called her BlueJay.
The nickname he had given her was reinforced when he heard her singing softly to herself while she tried to sleep.
“Any other name, it doesn’t feel mine.” Every time her cousin called her by her true name or every time she heard certain names she would flinch, going back to times where she was shackled to a ring, bleeding for money.
Jeff, smiling sweet and shy, gave her a painting of a Blue Jay the next week. Carved into the frame were tiny birds.
Roman would tend to watch her as she sat listening to the stories of the others, sometimes she would open her mouth to say something but it would never come out and he saw her curse herself because of it. Over time he saw her relax and even make friends with people. On a few occasions she was reintroduced to old friends like Booker T (who she grinned at with a little wave), Rhyno (who’s eyes widened and he broke down, wondering how the girl he classed as a sister got to the bar in the first place) and then there was Kane.
He stood back from the crowd, trying to stay in the shadows as much as he could until Taker clapped him on the back pushed him forward. Kane didn’t like being touched but he had wrapped his arms around her after checking she was real (by poking her cheek with a leather clad hand, still feeling the occasional burning skin when his skin touched objects).
“I saw you burn, I thought you were gone.” It made her hug him tighter and shoot a small smile and wave at Diamond Dallas Page, who was stood behind him. “I thought I…”
“Oh, you know me, nothing can hurt me. Besides, you didn’t set anything on fire that night. It was Rhyno and I, the only way we thought of causing a distraction.”
On this particular evening, it was a party, and that was the only reason that Kane was there. There was music playing in the background that had increased in volume so people could dance so she released Kane with a pat on the shoulder and decided to have some liquid courage with it being the only way she would dance.
She wasn’t drunk, not even tipsy, she just had a warm feeling and felt more relaxed so she decided to dance with Fandango. Fandango twirled her, held onto her hips and even ground into her all the while he talked about his boyfriend who was sat across the bar, scrutinising peoples outfits.
Before Fandango fully let her go to dance with Naomi, he pulled her jacket off and kept it in his lap as he spoke to Tyler. After Naomi it was Lana and Jeff. It was a fun blur of turning and twisting with small strobes flashing around in tandem. She was dizzy by the time Roman held her hips to his, steadying her.
“You having fun?” Roman’s hand was on her waist, he had pulled her closer and his lips were at her ear. For a few overwhelming seconds the words ‘too much’ rang through her head but she shook them away, letting him sway her to the beat of the song.
With Fandango, the moves were sensual but the entire interaction was more friendly due to his conversations about Tyler. Naomi out danced her and the both were a giggling mess, especially when Lana interrupted and pulled the two into a weird three person dance. With Jeff, it was like dancing with a sibling, the pair were dancing to the music, arms flailing to the tune. It was different with Roman; there was tension that made Roman and herself hesitant to make any sort of move that would be considered to sensual so it was stiff for the first dance but they loosened up just as the second song started up.
She pulled away, and her eyes roamed through the bar to see if anyone was staring at them: no one was, they were all too engrossed in dancing and talking over the loud bass. She looked at Roman, directly in the eyes and focused solely on him trying to ignore everybody else in the bar. She ignored them, blocking the world out, as he pulled her even closer and she rolled her hips into him, only just enough for him to feel it. His eyes widened and his lips went back to her ear to nip at the lobe.
“Baby girl, don’t make me fuck you in the bathroom of this place.” He laughed as he felt her face heat next to his cheek, knowing full well that she was blushing. To onlookers it looked like they had shared a joke, however, for her she was painfully aware of his growing erection pressing into her stomach. “You feel that? That’s all because of you. All I could imagine as you danced was you rolling and fucking your hips onto my cock.”
“I could fuck you from behind,” heat exploded her entire body as he spun her so her back was to his chest, his arms at her waist and pressing his erection into the small of her back, grinding. His fingers ghosted over her collarbone before going to the base of her throat for a second. “Maybe I could hold your throat, choke you a little, making your back arc.”
Dean called Roman over, only just heard over the music so Roman nuzzled into the crown of her hair, breathing in the scent of her shampoo.
“Just imagine.” With that he walked to Dean, her body feeling cold. She tried to dance with others but she just felt the traces of Roman and decided to walk away to collect her jacket and go outside for some air.
The cool bricks radiated through her jacket as she leaned against the wall trying to get her thoughts together; all she she could see is being in different positions with Roman pounding into her. Each time she tried to think of something else, a new position would come into mind. In her mind, the two of them were pressed against a wall with her fingers grasping at it as he thrust into her and bit at her neck when Roman stood in front of her.
She closed her eyes briefly before opening them again, only to see that he was still there. She took him in; the way his head was tilted towards her, the way his eyes would flicker between her eyes and her lips and the way he brought his hand to cup her face.
He was slow at the start, scared she would flinch away and giving her time to say no, however, when their lips touched it started a fire in his chest full of urgency. Over the years he had had many kisses, but this was something he could never have dreamed of. She was tentative, letting him take the lead and he felt like he had been given the best thing ever, feeling her trust and passion.
She was hungry for him, pulling him as close as she possibly could whilst still letting him take the lead. That was until he put his hand flush against her throat, in almost any other situation she would have let him keep it there but she flipped them so he was against the wall and moved his hand to her waist before pulling away.
“Sorry, not when I’m against a wall.” She had pulled away entirely, thinking she had ruined the mood.
“Nothing to apologise for, everyone has boundaries. You have anymore you want to tell me?” She was shocked out how he took it in his stride, being so used to guys ignoring her and carrying on. Ever since her first kiss she knew that the guys she would ever be with would use her, it is simply how the life of a young fighter was. She had never felt this sort of trust with anybody other than with Mick but he was a father figure.
She saw Roman, in another life where she had never been a fighter, maybe they had met during high school or college. The scenario that filled her head was simple, it was her walking into a house and he had pulled her to him and gave her a kiss after a long day. Hands over a face and body that wasn’t scarred.
“Me. I am the boundary. I can’t do this,” she stepped back, her hands raked through her hair and her eyes were wide. Hysterically wide.
Before he could say anything, she turned and ran. He had tried to chase after her, calling her name but he stopped when he realised that it would probably freak her out even more.
He had gone to work with her on his mind, staying to himself the entire time. No matter who had talked to him, he blew them off by saying he was busy and people started to worry. Roman wasn’t the sort of person who would shrug someone off, he was always there for people and if he didn’t have some sort of small smile on his face then something was wrong. His mood only worsened when he found out that she skipped town, guilt wrapping around his heart and never leaving, keeping him awake until the early hours of the morning. There were several occasions where had gone to the bar, gotten a little too drunk and almost told Mick what had happened but the thought of seeing Mick angry or disappointed in him for making the girl he classed as a daughter run away crushed him.
It had been over a month of worrying and lack of sleep when she came back. Roman was walking home when he heard a loud smash in the parking lot followed by a string of muffled curses.
The sight that greeted him was something he had never expected. She was in blue and silver fighting gear and a hoodie, bruises littered her body and she was smashing her hands against a car with a smashed bottle of vodka laying at her feet.
“Owen’s! Open the fucking car! Let me in you bastard.”
“You don’t belong on the circuit anymore! You got out, stay out,” he saw Kevin Owens look at her, at the group and then back at her. “You can have a life here.”
“You bastard! I don’t want it here, I don’t belong here!”
Kevin sped off and she mirrored the last time Roman had seen her, with her hands raking her (now shorter) hair.
She turned to see him staring at her, cringing at the thought of him seeing her desperately trying to get into a car with someone he probably didn’t know. She collected her backpack from the ground and started the trek to the phone box, right next to the him. She pushed some money into it, ignoring the curious questions, and dialled the number she knew all too well.
“Tell Owen’s to go fuck himself Zayn.”
She hung up and turned so she could walk along the road to hopefully hitch a ride to the next town over so she could get to the fight, she was to the point where she just didn’t give a damn if a murderer was the person she hitched a ride with. Roman stood in front of her, shaking his head in disbelief.
“You went back to fighting?”
“Yeah, going there again actually.” She sidestepped him only for him to mimic her and stand in front of her again.
“Don’t call me that! I ain't her. I haven’t been her for years and I was crazy to think I was,” she walked passed him and took another bottle out of her bag. “Just like I was crazy coming here.”
“What will you do when you can’t fight anymore?”
“The only time I will stop fighting is when I am dead, Ro.” Her hands trembled as she took a swig from the bottle.
“What made you come back then?” She spun around, fury in her eyes.
“I came here because I was delusional enough to think that after getting free from Hayman that I could finally come home. Turns out my home is on the road: fighting. I don’t belong here.”
“I thought I did, but this, well this is all too good to be true. People like me don’t get the good stuff.” They don’t get to kiss and form a relationship with the guy they like.
“Why the hell would you think that?” Roman’s hands cradled her face, careful to not touch the fading bruise above her temple. Relief had flooded him when he saw her, all he had wanted to do for the past month was hold her and beg for forgiveness.
“Look at me Ro, I was moulded into a fighter. That is all I will be. I will never have a good job because I never went to college. I will,” she took a deep breath, not meeting his gaze. “I will always have these mental and physical scars and I have seen the looks people give me, okay. So, no, I don’t belong here.”
“Moulds break baby girl and you can always sort your education. Hell, you don’t have to go to college to succeed in life!” He stroked two of the scars that were on her face, just under her eyes with his thumbs. “Not all people stare at your scars, they stare because you are new here, which is normal. They stare because you are so unbelievably beautiful it is unreal. You do belong here. Scars and all. There are others here just like you, scarred both mentally and physically and nobody stares at them. They are as welcome as you.”
She thumbed at the large scar that adorned her arm, trying to believe his words. The only other people she had seen with scars like her own were fighters and even then, the scars didn’t seem as awful as hers. She hadn't seen others act like her either. No one got angry at others, no one looked like they could break someone's skull at any moment.
“Whatever those voices and memories are saying in your head, they are not true.” He sighed, stepped away and to his shirt off despite the weather to show the scars that adorned his skin. One was hidden in his beautiful arm tattoo. He had a scar from a hernia and he closed his eye to show a scar that was just under his eyebrow.
“I know its probably not as many as yours but I have them too. I cannot think of one person in this town that doesn’t have a scar or two.” He shivered, surprised that she wasn’t cold either, and put his shirt back on. After it was on, he knelt down slightly.
“Get on my back, you look dead on your feet and we are going home.” She hopped onto his back, wrapping her legs around his waist and arms around his neck. They were not far from his home and somehow she was falling asleep as he walked. He could feel her head slump onto his and then jerk back up, she was fighting with sleep and he started walking faster, only slowing his pace when he got to the door.
Dean was in, curled into a blanket watching a film, so the door was unlocked and Roman went straight to his room after calling out a greeting and goodnight to him.
Roman’s soft bed called to her but he kept her up so he could give a cloth to wash her face before she got changed for bed. She was in the middle of changing out her gear and putting on an old, ratty sleep shirt when Roman came out of the bathroom clad in only boxers.
“I hope you don’t mind,” he trailed off, eyes wide as he took her body in. Fucking gorgeous. “Baby girl, please don’t hide away.” She had hastily pulled her shirt down and shot under a cover to hide her legs.
“You, uh, don’t need to see my body. Not tonight”
“I don’t understand. You were comfortable with me when you were first here. Why not now?” He slid into the bed and laid onto his side, head on his arm, watching as she followed suit.
“Because falling for a guy who pretty much looks like Adonis and acts like a saint makes you self conscious.” She huffed, annoyed at the turn the conversation was taking.
Usually she really didn’t care about how she looked or acted, she was content, but when she had arrived at the town and realised how nobody else acted like her she started feeling like an outsider, it didn't help when she kissed Roman because all of a sudden she felt shy and like she wasn’t good enough. Never good enough.
His hand raised and stroked her cheek.
“I hope you are talking about me, but I don’t look like Adonis and you shouldn’t be self conscious: you are stunning.” He kissed her cheek. “You don’t need me to tell you that anyway.”
She entwined their fingers, pulled herself closer to him and fell asleep. Roman watched her for a few minutes, taking her in, before falling asleep himself.
Most nights BlueJay would wake up several times due to being not only a light sleeper but nightmares so when she woke up she wasn’t at all surprised. What did surprise her were the arms that were wrapped around her tightly and the chin that laid millimetres above her head. His snores were loud above her head and she couldn’t help but laugh whilst she shifted her position.
Roman’s warmth around her made her feel safe, just like she had felt when they were dancing at the bar- it felt like a lifetime ago. During this quiet time she traced the tattoo on his arm, appreciating the detail of it, and woke Roman up. He shifted, stretching and then humming as he hugged her closer.
“Ticklish.” His sleep filled voice was soft and she could barely hear him with his mouth pressing into her hair.
“Sorry, your tattoo is nice.”
“Your face is nice.” A laugh erupted from her as she struggled out of his grasp so she could get a drink.
By the time she had got back to Roman, the bedroom light was turned on and he was sat up against the headboard looking at his phone. He looked up when she put the glass on the side and crooked his finger at her, beckoning her to the bed.
Intrigued, she crawled onto the bed only to be lifted onto his lap. Her hands found purchase in his hair with her eyes wide in shock as he grinned at her. He had woken up since she had gone down the stairs to get a drink, it was also obvious that he wasn’t the only thing that had woken up judging by the erection against her stomach. Oh.
He kissed her, so hungry for her as he put a hand in her hair and a hand on her hip to pull her closer. He only pulled away when his lungs burned, resting his forehead against hers panting.
“Sorry. I missed you so much. I got carried away.”
“No, it’s okay,” she kissed each cheek before kissing his lips. “I missed you too, I shouldn’t have left. I’m so sorry.”
He kissed her back, the hand that was on her hip travelled to her clothed clit to stroke with his thumb. Hips rolled into his hand and a whine filtered into his ear as she pressed her head into the side of his neck. The skimpy shorts she wore were pushed to the side so he could stroke her clit and push a finger into her entrance, thrusting in and out at a slow pace.
“I think we need to stop apologising for the past and start acting on what we should do now,” he pulled his finger out before pushing it back into her with a second finger. She keened at the intrusion, loving how he stretched her with his thick fingers. “And in the future.”
Roman rolled them so she was laid on her back, his fingers picking up pace as her back arched off of the bed with her hips rolling faster to match his pace. Her stomach coiled as she came, Roman placing his hand over her mouth so she wasn’t too loud.
“As much as I want you screaming and moaning, there are others in the house.” He pulled his fingers out of her before placing them in his mouth, licking and sucking her cum off of his fingers he let out a moan.
He loved her in the blue sleep shirt, but he couldn’t wait to see her without it so he ripped it off. Promising her a new one as he watched the buttons fly off. He pulled her shorts and panties off as he kissed along her stomach, over every scar and blemish, before trailing down to her pussy to kiss and lick at her. She really tried to stop the noises but she couldn’t help but whimper as he went down on her, therefore she placed his hand back over her mouth. His eyes opened and looked up at her to make sure everything was fine and he was met with the delicious curve of her stomach and breasts being arched upwards.
He teased at her pussy, licking her clit before kissing her legs to give her a break and cutting her orgasm short each time she was close. For one last time he dove on to her pussy, devouring her, to pull away and take his cock out of his boxers. He leant over to get a condom and before he ripped it, he turned to her.
“You sure about this? I can stop at any time.” it was a hurried nod she gave him as he put the condom on. The head of his cock rubbed against her folds before pushing into her. A minute was given so she could adjust to his size and when she gave him a lazy thumbs up with a grin he started thrusting into her.
His lips captured hers as he carried on thrusting, his pace going harder and faster. Her hands curled into the sheets, the familiar tight feeling at the pit of her stomach coming back to her. He moved his mouth from hers to explore her body again, licking at the scars and biting at the skin only to laugh against her when she tried to wiggle away as his teeth grazed the side of her rib cage.
“Close. I’m close.” Her eyes were screwed shut in ecstasy and more gasps filled the air.
“I know, I feel how tight you are.” He became sloppy with his thrusts as he chased his release and placed his thumb back on her clit to give her more pleasure. “Come for me baby girl.”
A chorus of come for me echoed in the bedroom and they didn’t care that they were loud and they didn’t care if Dean or Seth walked in, all they cared about was each other. She came, tightening around him, with a shout and he soon followed and collapsed onto her. He only just managed to catch himself on his elbows besides her face, trying to catch his breath.
“Fuck,” Roman pulled out of her, deposited the condom, and sprawled next to her. They were both still panting from pleasure and she swore if he touched her again she would pass out, too over sensitive for anything else. “Hey sweetheart?”
She looked at him, her eyes droopy with sleepiness and pleasure, giving him all of her attention. He shifted and bit his lip before inhaling and then exhaling?
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Her mouth gaped slightly, never having been asked that and she thought about it.
She flipped over him so she could lay on his chest. “Yes. Just treat me right, and I will treat you the same.”
He held her hand and kissed her fingers, treasuring her in his arms knowing full well that if he died right then and there then he would be happy. Her heart thrummed in her chest and she felt like a weight had been lifted off of her shoulders, she realised that maybe, just maybe she did belong.