Chapter 1: Night Hunt
The moon was glowing as it hung high above the city, its bright light shining all across the large metropolis. The city was mostly quiet, save for the few people, cars, and businesses that continued on as if the night had never came.
Over in an old, industrial part of town, a pudgy, middle-aged man with a receding hairline ran through the darkened streets like his life depended on it, which it technically was. His breathing was ragged as he checked over his shoulder every few minutes, making sure to keep watch for anyone that was trying to come up behind him.
"Get away . . . I got to . . . get away!" the man whispered in between his haggard breaths, his voice barely audible to his own ears as he continued running. When he reached an intersection illuminated by one lone streetlamp, he turned left, running past warehouse after warehouse as he continued to push his tired legs forward, his feet aching with every step, his breathing almost painful at this point.
He eventually stopped by an old fire hydrant, the color nonexistent due to years of wear and tear. He clutched the top of it with his left hand, holding it like a lifeline as he tried to steady his breathing. He wasn't granted his reprieve for long, as the sound of footsteps suddenly reached his ears. They grew louder with each coming step, the sound making the man's blood run cold as he felt his bottom lip start to tremble. He knew that the footsteps were coming from somewhere behind him, but he was too scared to look, too scared to stare death straight in the face.
"C'mon Heyman . . ." the man thought as the footsteps continued toward him. "Maybe it's not him . . . Maybe it's just some random stranger walking through the area. Maybe they got lost and are just approaching me to ask for instructions. Or maybe they saw how frantic I look and want to help me. Yeah . . . that's it . . . that’s likely it.”
"Hello Heyman . . ."
"AW SHIT!" the man yelled, almost jumping out of his shoes at the sound of the familiar voice. He slowly turned around, his fear becoming more and more apparent as he came face-to-face with a pair of intense, ice blue eyes. The other man stood a few feet away, his stare boring down on Heyman like he was the most hated man on the planet. The owner of the eyes was taller than him, and overall, much more physically imposing, which made his stare that much more intimidating.
"I'm freaking doomed . . ." thought Heyman as he took a step backward, the other man responding with a step forward in turn. A corner of the man's lip curved upward til it settled into a smirk, as if he had heard what Heyman had just thought then and there. It made Heyman tremble even more ". . . Yep, I'm fucking dead!"
Heyman turned around to make a break for it, but that proved to be his fatal mistake.
As soon as Heyman took his eyes off the man, he felt the back of his neck get clasped in a tight grip, the pudgy man letting out a sharp yell as he felt his feet come off the ground. His eyesight blurred as the wind rushed past his ears, his mind too slow to comprehend what was happening till he was unceremoniously dropped to the ground mere minutes later.
Heyman blinked his eyesight back into focus, gasping in fear when he realized that he was no longer in the city's industrial area. He was surrounded by nature; the skyscrapers of the city’s downtown area reaching up into the dark sky behind him.
"Where . . . Where am I?!" Heyman cried as he looked around, jumping back when he noticed that the man with the ice blue eyes was still with him, standing about three feet away with his arms crossed over his chest.
"We're in Correa Park,” he answered, his voice a deep, husky baritone as a small chuckle passed his lips. It was a harmless laugh, but it scared Heyman to death. "I figured you deserved a more pleasant place to die in than the warehouses we were surrounded by. . . Besides, warehouses just seemed a little too expected for an execution site, don't you think?"
"Please don't kill me!" Heyman pleaded as he quickly got back to his feet, his hands raised in surrender as he watched the other man with wary eyes. "I didn't do anything, I swear!"
"Oh Heyman, Heyman, Heyman," said the man, slowly shaking his head. "You should have said that before you went ahead and swindled the boss out of a cool one hundred grand. You know as well as I do that he hates it when his own workers steal from him. It’s one of his biggest pet peeves really . . . Wasn't your usual payments enough for you?"
"I was just doing what I could to take care of my family," said Heyman, pleading his innocence. "I was just trying to make their lives better. You can’t fault me for that!"
"I can’t fault you for wanting to look after your family. It’s just that, do you know how hard it is to believe such a story coming from you?" the blue eyed man asked as he raised an eyebrow. "Your story can't fool me Heyman!"
"I'm being honest!" the older man argued, nervously rubbing his hands through what was left of his slicked back hair. "You have to believe me Orton! You just gotta!"
"Sorry, I can't," said Orton, still looking unconvinced. ". . . Mostly because you've been lying straight to my face ever since this conversation started!"
"You think I'm lying to you?!" asked Heyman, his voice sounding like he was forcing the shock to show. It wasn’t helping his case "Randy, c’mon! You know I've always been straightforward with you!"
"And yet, you're lying to me now. Me, a fucking vampire," said Randy, showing off a rare grin that showcased all his teeth, including the pair of sharp canines that confirmed his dark lineage. Heyman went pale at the mere sight of them. "I’m pretty much a living lie detector Paul. I can hear your heartbeat, and it's going faster than normal . . . We both know what that means!"
"I, I'm, I'm not lying Randy. I wouldn’t lie to you. I know how stupid lying to a vampire is!" Came Heyman’s denial as Randy continued to approach him, leading him to retreat backward, his eyes on the taller man the entire time. "I, I just suffer from an irregular heartbeat! That’s all! You can check my medical records if you want!"
"I would, but I don’t want to. They’re likely forgeries anyway," said Randy, suddenly appearing behind the older man, scaring him so much that he tripped on his own two feet, falling to the ground ass first. "Well Paul, let's see if you'll suffer from this."
Heyman didn't have enough time to react when the taller man violently grabbed him by his neck. Smirking, Randy judo threw him over his shoulders effortlessly, sending Paul sailing through a good thirty feet of air before he crashed down to earth with a sickening thud. His lungs gasped for air as his vision blurred, his back screaming in pain as he tried to sit up.
"Huh, I had a feeling you would survive that throw. Your body weight ensured it," Randy mumbled, quickly covering the distance between them in a blink, stopping in front of the injured man with a stoic expression on his chiseled face. "Although, I'm a bit surprised you're trying to sit up so soon after such a hard impact."
"Well, my body tends to be harder than most," grumbled the smaller man as he finally sat up. "So, is that the best you could do to me?"
"I see you have a death wish after all," Randy murmured as he gently stepped on Heyman's left leg, a hitched breath escaping past his lips as he clutched at the taller man’s foot in a futile attempt to remove it. Ignoring the attempt, Orton pushed downward, a sharp cracking noise echoing through both men's ears as he broke Heyman’s bones.
The victim of said act let out a sharp yell, the pain from his broken leg shooting to all parts of his body. Randy let a small smirk grace his face once again as he continued to apply pressure on the damaged limb. "Trust me; it only gets worse from here."
"Worse?! I'm just a man trying to support his family here! Is it really so bad!?"
"And there you go lying again. I guess my throw really did rattle some brain cells in that corrupted noggin of yours. . . We both know that you're only saying that to prolong your life just a little longer," Randy grumbled, shaking his head. "You haven't been using the money you stole to help your family Heyman.”
“On the contrary, you've been using it to finance your trips to the casinos, bars, and strip clubs you just love to go to whenever you get the chance. . . Besides, your wife took your kids and left your sorry ass months ago after she got wind of your little affair with that nice little brunette from Ricky's uptown . . . The name’s Cori right?"
"How, how do you know about that?" Heyman asked, his eyes widening in shock. "I was so careful . . . I was so careful to hide it all."
"Well, it’s simple really. Hunter just couldn't help himself when you were acting a little off one day," Randy answered, not bothering to lie. "In fact, it was Hunter himself who told your wife all about your dirty little deeds.”
“He genuinely felt bad for her; thought she had a right to know that her husband was just a lying, cheating piece of shit that didn’t deserve her . . . Word of advice, you really need to keep that mind of yours quiet. Any info you have could be easily used against you when you're around Hunter, the more damaging, the better. It only takes one thing to happen to screw up your entire life.”
"Was that the same for you?"
Randy went silent at the question, and the insinuation behind it, narrowing his eyes at Paul. Looking down, he finally released his leg, his mouth becoming a hard line as he began to circle him like a predator stalking his prey.
"What do you mean by that Paul?" Orton asked as he stuffed his hands into his coat pockets, his stare icy as he looked down at his captive.
"I mean what I said: Was it the same for you?" Heyman repeated as he drew in a small breath. "I've been in this business a lot longer than you have Orton, even before you were born. I was there when you first came to the group over a decade ago . . . You were so cocky, so arrogant, so determined to be the best, and then five years after you arrived, the cocky, arrogant bastard you once were just disappeared. You became this steely eyed soldier that did as he was told, well, with the occasional sarcastic complaint here and there. . . Why'd you change?"
"I changed with good reason," Randy answered, his face all business. "I simply became realistic. If I continued to act the way I did, I wouldn't be getting anywhere anytime soon. I couldn’t continue to be a kid. I had to become a man."
"Was it because of her? Was it because of Samantha?"
Randy’s immediate response to said questions was a hard slap to Heyman’s face, catapulting a few of the man's teeth right out of his gums in the process. He watched as blood spilled from the smaller man’s swelling lips, his face the definition of hatred.
"Don't you dare say her name like you two were friends!" the vampire warned as his fangs began to extend out from his gums. "You never met her . . . You never knew her . . ."
"No, no I didn't," Heyman agreed, thinking it was best to not get further into the man’s bad side, wincing when the searing pain in his cheek reverberated through his skull. "But you talked about her so much in such a way that it made everyone feel like they knew her . . . Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe it was your big mouth that killed her."
Paul Heyman didn't have enough time to regret what he said.
Randy didn't even leave him enough time to say 'sorry' before he killed him, clasping both hands around his fat neck to crush his throat like he was snapping a toothpick. Once Heyman’s eyes rolled back into his head, Orton let go of the now-dead body, watching it slump to the ground. His rage was slowly disappearing as he realized his task was done, his thoughts now coming back into focus.
"Damn Randy! You really know how to silence a guy when he hits your hot button, huh man?"
Randy slowly turned around to see two men standing just a few feet away from him. They were both dressed in all black and while one was looking at him with utmost seriousness, the other was switching his gaze between Randy and the dead body on the ground.
"I know Heyman was stupid enough to mention ‘you know who’ straight to your face, thinking it would distract you enough that he could try to escape," said the man with the bad looking moustache, pinching the bridge of his nose. "But did you have to kill the guy so out in the open though? This was a bit sloppy, even for you Ran!"
"It's the middle of the night Cody," Randy said in a tone that left no room for argument. "Most believe it's too dangerous to come to a park at this time of night, with good reason.”
"Regardless, you got to be careful," said the other man as he gestured at Heyman’s body. "It’s true that most people don't come here at this time of night, but cops do. A patrolling officer could have seen you as you were committing murder. What would you have done then huh?"
"If the cop had some common sense, he would just go on his merry way and forget that he even saw anything," came Randy’s simple reply as he walked over to the two shorter men. "If he didn't do that, well . . . he would have to answer to me now wouldn't he Ted?"
"Well, it's nice to know that you've thought everything through, but remember, I hear compulsion is very handy in a pinch," Ted advised, sarcasm dripping from his voice as Randy started walking away. "Uh hello? Aren't you forgetting something?"
"If you're talking about Heyman, don't worry about it. HQ knew what I was planning to do tonight, so Maddox will find him before the sun rises. The body will be gone before daylight guaranteed."
"Are you heading back to HQ?" Cody called out to him as he and Ted quickly followed after their taller comrade.
"I'm calling it a night . . ." said Randy as he stepped onto the stone walkway that led to the park's exit. "I've done my job, so I’ve got nothing else to do."
"If you have nothing else to do, then you can come along with Cody and I to that new hot spot on Waverly Drive," said Ted as he wrapped an arm around Randy's shoulder, but quickly took it back when he got a set of ice blue eyes glaring his way. "Or, maybe not."
"Like I said before: I'm calling it a night," Randy grumbled as the three walked out through the open gate. "I’m not in a partying mood."
"Suit yourself I guess. . ." Ted mumbled as he turned to his mustached friend. "Guess it's just you and me tonight Cody. Cody?"
"I heard you Ted," said Cody, his eyes looking out into the near distance. "I’m sorry if it didn’t look like I was paying much attention, but the three sexy ladies walking across the street just happened to catch my eye."
"Say what now?" Ted asked as he and Randy followed his line of sight. The three looked across the wide, six-lane boulevard to see three women walking in the opposite direction. "Oh, now I see what you're talking about. You're right Cody! Those three are quite beautiful."
"I know right?" Cody mumbled, a small smirk crossing his face. "I'm particularly into the girl with the two-toned hairstyle.”
"You mean the part blonde, part brunette?" Ted asked, not looking too sure. "She's hot, if you're into that female bodybuilder kind of look. I'm more into the tall blonde she's talking to, but then again, the dark-skinned girl behind them is quite stunning in her own right. Don’t you think?"
Randy followed Ted's gaze, his eyes widening slightly as he finally got a good look at the third woman. She was taller than either of her friends, remaining silent as she followed in her black strappy heels and matching trench coat, the hemline of a purple mini-dress peeking out from the bottom. Orton couldn't help but notice how stoic her expression was, somehow heightening the beauty of her angular face. Her blue eyes and cocoa colored skin simply added to her enticing look as she continued listening to her friends speak, not adding any input into their discussion.
"That woman definitely looks tall. Without the heels, I’d say she's taller than six feet, easy enough. Wouldn't you agree Randy?" Cody asked as he turned to the silent man. Randy only glanced his way before walking off in the other direction. "Huh, what's eating him up?”
"Who knows?" mumbled Ted, shaking his head. "C'mon Cody, let’s go! We got some partying to do! The ladies await!"
"Then lead the way then. This was your idea in the first place," Cody mumbled, patting his friend on the back as he found his gaze back on the blonde-brunette walking away. "C’mon man."
Ted grinned before disappearing, Cody following in hot pursuit. Randy, on the other hand, continued walking away, his eyes holding a hint of curiosity as his thoughts moved elsewhere, not to the task he had just completed, but to the dark-skinned girl with the piercing blue eyes.
He didn't know why, but he had the sudden feeling that he was going to see her again.
Unfortunately for him, his feelings were usually right.
Chapter 2: The Roommate
Randy heads back home, where he meets up with his roommate for a late night conversation.
"Heyman's dead, just like you wanted," said Randy, speaking into his phone's receiver as he made his way down the quiet road. The street was a hodgepodge of different buildings: residential homes already home to occupants resting for the night, old lots that were either cleared for new construction or covered in trash people have thrown into it for years, and small warehouses converted into living spaces for prospective buyers.
As he continued on his journey, a scowl started lining his face as husky chuckling echoed out from the other side of the line, his patience slowly starting to wear thin. "When will I get my payment?"
"You'll get it soon Randy," said the deep voice once the chuckling was over. "I know it isn’t really your style, but you just have to be patient for a little while longer, till morning at least. The money should be in your account by then."
"It better be Hunter," the vampire grumbled as a stray tabby darted out of a driveway to run across the street, eventually disappearing into another house's half-withered flower bed. "You know I hate it when my payments are late."
"I know, I know; that’s why I'm wiring it to your account right as we speak. Feel free to check once this conversation is over," said Hunter as Randy crossed the street, finally reaching the last block on the road. He walked toward the door of the lone property on the block, a long two-story warehouse that had a dilapidated parking lot as its lone block-mate. "So, what did you do with Heyman's body?"
"I left him for Maddox in Correa Park. He should be handling the remains right this minute," Randy mumbled as he took out a silver key from his pocket. "The body should be gone before the track freaks go on their morning runs. I didn’t leave much of a mess, so it should be easy for him this time around . . . You know him Hunter, Maddox may be a bumbling idiot at times, but the little shit is really diligent when it comes to disposing bodies."
"That’s the only reason he’s still on the payroll at this point . . ." Hunter admitted as Randy got the door open and walked into the building, locking the door before starting his climb up the set of old wooden steps that led to the upper floor. "Anyway, if you ask me, I suggest you lay low for a while Randy. It won't be long now before Lesnar finds out that you killed his advocate."
"You know I won’t take that advice, and you definitely know that I'm not scared of Lesnar," Randy indignantly told the other man, taking the steps two at a time to reach the top. "He may have earned the ‘Beast Incarnate’ title for being a ruthless killer out in the field, but all I see when I look at him is a pompous little boy who needs a fucking fat old man to be his freaking mouthpiece."
"I'd love to see you say that to his face Ran. I really do," said Hunter as Randy came to a stop at a second door. It didn't take him long to open it as well - considering it was already unlocked - so he simply turned the doorknob and went inside, walking into his dark, yet well-furnished home. "If you guys really get into one, I'd love to see who’d win. I may even sell tickets. 'The Beast Incarnate' Brock Lesnar vs. 'The Viper' Randy Orton . . . Now that, that would be a great match. It’s a definite conversation starter at least."
"Like you would ever let that happen," Randy argued as he flipped the light switch, illuminating the large space with light dim enough that it wouldn’t harm his heightened eyes. "You wouldn’t let your employees risk themselves in something stupid, especially the ones that serve the company well . . ."
"That’s true. Then again, Brock tends to stray off the beaten path from time to time. Losing him would be a blow to the company’s strength, but it wouldn’t hurt its brain power," Hunter mumbled as Randy walked into the kitchen. The room contained the usual commodities that typical kitchens had to offer: a toaster, a microwave, cabinets, and the most important of them all, the fridge, albeit a rather old one. Randy walked over to the human-sized machine and opened it, scowling when he saw that all there was inside it were cheese slices, three apples, an old carton of takeout, and two bottles of beer.
“We really need to stock up the fridge.” The Viper thought as he took one of the bottles and slammed the door shut, twisting off the cap with his bare hand as he continued to listen to Hunter speak. "Anyway, I see that telling you to lay low was all in vain after all . . . Well, night Orton. You'll get the details of your next mission tomorrow."
"Night Hunter." said the vampire, ending the call from his side before pocketing his phone. He then took one big swig of his beer, the taste barely registering to his senses as he poured the contents down his parched throat.
"I don’t get you sometimes. What's the point of eating human food and drinking human drinks if you can't even taste the flavor of it all? I thought the only thing that satisfies you vampires was blood."
"Oh, stop with the misconceptions John. They’re not even funny anyway . . ." Randy mumbled as he turned to see the man leaning against the doorframe. John was shorter than him, but he was stockier, his bare muscled arms proving that as he walked in all his t-shirt and basketball short glory. "I’ve told you this before anyway. A vampire's senses are heightened and more sensitive than a regular human’s. It’s not that I can barely taste stuff, I can taste stuff better than most, including you. . . Of course, vampires must drink blood to ensure our survival, but if we want to enjoy a steak like normal people, we’ll fucking enjoy a steak."
"As long as you drink blood?" asked John, a smirk lining his face.
"As long as I drink blood . . ." Randy told him as he drank another mouthful of beer. "And speaking of drinking, what kind of beer am I drinking right now? This stuff barely has any flavor to it!"
"Sorry, I was having a bad day and I decided to buy some beer to, uh, alleviate the pain with . . ." John explained as he brushed a hand through his short hair, styled in a buzz cut that any drill sergeant would be proud of. "Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to look at the names of the beers on the rack. I just picked up the first one I saw."
"Yeah, next time, look before you buy," said Randy as he poured the remaining contents into the sink. "So, care to explain why you're still up this late John?"
"What? Can't a guy welcome his roommate back home after a long night's work?" John asked, his bravado waning as Randy crossed his arms. ". . . Alright, I give. I was finishing some old paperwork that I need to do when I heard the front door close. Steph wants the reports on her desk first thing tomorrow morning."
"You do know you wouldn't be in this mess if you just hadn't decided to “unintentionally blow up” an entire boat filled with enemy mercenaries, right?" the Viper asked, a rare smirk appearing on his face as he walked past the smaller man and into their living room.
"Hey! If I hadn't blown up that boat along the river last week, we would still be dealing with those enemy mercenaries trespassing on our territory," John argued as he followed after him. "If you asked me, I was doing our organization a favor."
"Yeah, you did do the organization a favor, and everyone appreciates that . . ." Randy told him as he sat down on the leather sofa. "The problem is that you had to blow up a boat to do it. We're supposed to be inconspicuous, and what you did last week was, well, less than inconspicuous."
"Okay, so I could have done something a little more discreet, but when I saw all those guys gathered on that boat, I just had to take the chance that presented itself to me, and man, that chance paid off," said John as he shook his head. "And what’s my reward for all my hard work? I have to do a boatload of paperwork by morning, no pun intended."
"Just be glad that your punishment is just paperwork, and not being suspended without pay or something of the like . . . We both know how much of a workaholic you are, so I can't imagine what you would do with yourself if you were forced to not work for two weeks straight."
"That would be torture, absolute torture," John mumbled, watching as Randy chuckled at his misery. "Anyway, enough about me. What did you do tonight?”
"I took out Lesnar's advocate, plain and simple," Randy replied, sobering up as he lay back in his seat. "It was a pretty easy job. A decent paying one too."
"You took the job to take out Heyman?!" John asked, slightly aghast as he stared at his friend. "That job was made optional because no one wants to deal with the aftermath, and when I say aftermath, I mean Lesnar . . . It's been up in the air for months now, and now here I am finding out that it was you out of all people that took on the suicidal gig."
"You know as well as I do that the bosses were getting tired of waiting for someone to take the job on their own free will. They were going to assign it to some unsuspecting fool eventually, so, I decided to be the nice guy and took the job myself. . . It was a well-paying job for crying out loud!"
"True, but still. No one wanted to deal with Brock afterward!" John exclaimed, shaking his head. "The job may have paid well, but it was still too risky of a thing to take on. . . Did you clear this with Hunter at least?!"
"I did so right before I did the deed. Get this: when I called him to tell him that I completed the job, he suggested that I should lay low for a while to avoid Brock once he gets back," said Randy, looking mock offended. "And of course, I told him that I wasn't afraid of the big brute."
"Of course you're not, since the big, scary Viper isn't afraid of anything . . ." grumbled John. "You're just lucky that Brock's still on his mission in Minnesota or else he would have been breaking down our door right now to kick the vampire shit out of you."
"Yes, thank the heavens for that," said Randy, rolling his eyes at his friend's worries. "Do you at least want to hear how I ended Heyman?"
"Did you kill him before he could even notice you?" he guessed, shock appearing on his face when Randy shook his head in the negative. "You didn't do a one-shot kill? Dude, that's like, your trademark, your signature . . . Did Heyman actually spot you before you killed him?"
"No, I willingly showed my face to him before I ended his life . . ." Randy told him as he cracked his knuckles, his face hardening as he looked back on the recent memory. "I figured I’d have a little fun scaring him before I killed him."
"Oh no; when your face gets all Terminator-like, then it means something especially unsettling happened to you," John knowing grumbled as he sat down next to his friend. "What did Heyman do?"
"I don't want to talk about it," Randy mumbled, staring daggers straight into their plasma screen TV. John thought, then and there, that if looks could kill; their TV would have been obliterated by now. "Then again John. You’re a smart man. I think you can make a good guess on what exactly happened tonight . . . Here's a small hint: Before I killed him, Heyman made the fatal mistake of mentioning someone that he had no right to speak about."
"Oh, he talked about her," said John, a look of realization dawning on his face. "Huh, I figured Heyman would be much smarter than that. Everyone in the organization knows not to mention you-know-who's name whenever you're in hearing range, let alone right to your face. That's just asking for death right there."
"You got that right. My only regret is that I didn’t make Heyman's death slow and painful like I originally intended for it to be. As soon as he mentioned Sam, I lost it."
"Hey, I understand," said John as he tentatively brought a hand to the taller man’s shoulder. "You two were together for so long, so attached to the hip back when she was still around . . ."
"Yeah, we were quite the couple back then," said Randy as his face began to soften a little. "If I remember correctly, you always playfully did a gagging reflex whenever you saw Sam and I kiss."
"Well, you two were so in love with each other that it was basically sickening for the rest of us . . ." mumbled John as he pats his friend on the back, quickly taking his hand a way when he noticed the intense stare Randy was shooting him. "Anyway, you completely changed when Sam . . ."
"Kicked the bucket? Died?" Randy grumbled as his voice started taking on a darker edge. "Was violently murdered without being given an ounce of a mercy?"
"I was thinking of a more pleasant term to describe Sam's sudden departure from our world, like 'passed on' or 'deceased', but your suggestions? Yeah, those work too." said John as he shot his friend an unsure glance. "Anyway, ever since her death, you've totally been a different person. You were cocky, arrogant, a bit of a show off, but now? You're a steely-eyed mercenary with an anger problem who doesn't hesitate to kill or harm others if they start talking about your dead girlfriend."
"Uh, it's dead fiancée, John," said Randy, his eyes narrowing in irritation. "There is such a difference between a girlfriend and a fiancée, you know."
"Uh, you don't think I know that?" John asked, blunt in the face of the irritated vampire. "Uh hello? I was married before!"
"Of course I know that John! I was your best man at said wedding!"
"And you, my friend, we're a great best man," said John as he shook his head with a smile on his face. "Although, I did not appreciate you getting me hardcore drunk during my bachelor party Ran. I ended up waking up in a bathtub with Ted's ass on my face! That was not a good sight to wake up to in the morning for fuck’s sakes!"
"Hey! In my defense, everyone at the party agreed that you needed to live a little, and you did . . ." said Randy, raising his hands in self-defense. It was amazing how well John could get the Viper out of his angry funk. All he had to say was a couple of lines, and boom, the Viper was back to his sarcastic, teasing self once again. "We just never realized how crazy you could get when you have ten bottles of whisky in your system. That was quite a sight . . ."
"Yeah, too bad I can't remember it all. I was hardcore drunk that night!" said John as he got off the sofa.
"Where are you going with this conversation John?" Randy asked as he raised an eyebrow, a smirk now in place. "I doubt it's to reminisce about your days before your first marriage."
"No, this is not about me. It's about you . . . What I'm trying to say is that it's understandable why you react the way you do whenever people, especially enemies and strangers, mention Sam's name. It's a sensitive topic for you, even after all these years."
"I know what you mean . . . It’s just that, sure, being a vampire has its perks, but it also has its drawbacks. My emotions happen to be one of those drawbacks. They’re as heightened as my senses, which means I can get a lot angrier than most people can, even when the situation doesn't call for it."
"Which can be good or bad, well, depending on the situation that is . . ." said John as he began to walk out the room. "Anyway, I got paperwork to get back to. I'll see you in the morning Ran!"
"G'night!" he called back as he watched his friend leave. Once Randy was finally alone with his thoughts, his mind began to wander, his thoughts slowly moving toward the woman he saw walking down the street not too long ago. He could still see her piercing blue eyes and cocoa colored skin quite clearly in his head, the mysterious aura she held somehow catching his eye. He doubted that he would ever see her again, but still he couldn’t help but daydream a little.
“Who in the world was that woman?”
If only he knew what was in store for him next.
A/N: Leave a comment if you like.
Chapter 3: Amanda
Randy and John head off to work, but before they're even half way there, they find themselves in a situation that leads them to encounter someone they didn't expect to see.
"Ah, I see that you've finally decided to emerge from the dark cave you call a bedroom . . . What took you so long? You’re always the first one out." said John, looking up from his cup of coffee to see Randy walk into the kitchen.
"Sorry, something just stayed stuck in my mind while I was in the shower, that's all," the vampire grumbled as he quickly used the small towel he was carrying to dry off the remaining bathwater from his face, head, and hair. "Is taking too long to get ready because you were thinking about something a crime Cena?"
"On the contrary," said John, shaking his head. "I only asked because you took longer than you usually do, and that’s a bit suspicious, don’t you think?"
"Have you been monitoring my daily morning routine John? That's creepy, even for you," said Randy, raising an eyebrow as he took out a travel mug from the cabinets. "I didn't peg you for being that kind of person."
"Hey! I was only making a quick observation. That's all. . . I ain’t no creep!”
"If you say so," said Randy, quickly pouring out some coffee into his mug before sealing it tight and heading for the door. "Let's move John, or do you want me to leave your sorry ass here so you can enjoy the rest of your coffee?"
"Don't you dare! My car's still in the shop and you and your Hummer are the only means of transportation I got at the moment!" John exclaimed, quickly discarding his empty cup in the sink before jogging after the taller male.
The two walked through their loft to get to the back of the building, where an old staircase that led to their garage awaited them. Randy - using his superior agility in his obvious favor - jumped from the top of the staircase to the bottom in one fell swoop, his boots not making a sound as he landed with ease.
John, on the other hand, went down the old staircase three steps at a time, grumbling about stupid vampire powers all the way.
The garage walls were plain except for the odd poster here and there. The room itself paled in comparison to what was parked in its center: a large black Hummer with tinted windows, the black paint looking glossy thanks to the overhead lighting. Just off to the Hummer’s left was a less than sleek Harley Davidson; covered in a light covering of dust and grime, the wheels still caked in dried mud.
The sight of it made John - a notable clean freak - grimace.
"That bike of yours needs a good wash Randy!" John complained as the taller man walked over to the nearby control panel. He pressed the one for the garage door, the steel slowly rolling up to reveal the sun-drenched street outside. "You can't leave it looking this messy forever!"
"I know John. I just haven't found the time to do it yet." His tone was blunt as he walked over to the driver-side door. "Now, you coming or not?!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," John mumbled as he got into the passenger seat. "And do you really expect me to believe the whole 'I don't have enough time to wash my motorcycle!' excuse?"
"If you're implying that I should have enough time in the world to wash my bike because as a vampire, I'm not expected to sleep, then you are sadly mistaken John," answered Randy as he put the key into the ignition and turned it. "The myths that vampires can't sleep or that they sleep in coffins are complete bullshit my friend. Pretty much all of them are!"
"They're not true?!" John asked, slamming his palms against his cheeks as his eyes went wide in obvious faux shock. Randy ignored him as he drove the car out onto the street. He rolled his window down and rested his free arm along the opening. "Huh . . . I guess not.”
“Not in the slightest.” Randy mumbled.
“So, mind telling me what's been plaguing your mind this morning?"
“Dammit John, you're starting to sound like a nagging housewife." mumbled Randy as he checked for traffic before turning his car left.
"I've been told that my knack for not letting things go so easily is one of my most endearing qualities," said John, speaking in a higher pitch to resemble a woman's voice, but it sounded more like he got hit squarely in the balls by a wayward football. "Now sweetheart, can you please tell me what happened? I'm getting antsy here."
"You are a serious weirdo John Cena; a serious, fucking weirdo," Randy mumbled as he kept his eyes on the road. "If you want to know so badly, fine, I'll tell you. . . I was thinking about something I saw last night, well, it was more like someone."
"Hold up . . . Someone? SOMEONE!? What exactly do you mean by someone? What did this person do?”
"Well, I don't know . . . It's something about her that just got my attention I guess."
"HER? You mean, a woman? A living breathing, high heel wearing WOMAN!?" John asked, tumbling over his words as he stared at his friend with shock plain as day written on his face. "What you just said was the unlikeliest answer I expected from you. Like seriously? A woman got your attention? After all these years?"
"Yes, a girl got my attention after all these years. So?" Randy asked as he drove them past a traffic light. "How is this shocking to you?"
"Uh, did you forget the whole conversation about you know who we had last night? I just figured that after Sam's passing - and your very strong reaction to said passing - you wouldn't be interested in other women for a long, and I mean long, while."
"I figured that too," Randy admitted as a small scowl came across his face. "But there was something about this girl I saw last night that's been nagging at me ever since I saw her. . . I have no idea what it is about her that's just getting to me though. Nothing is really coming to mind."
"Mind describing her for me?" John asked, crossing his arms. "Maybe I can help you figure it out. I'd love to hear all about her."
"Of course you would, even when you already have a girlfriend to call your own," said Randy. "What would poor old Nikki say if she heard about you wanting intel on another girl hmm? Doesn’t she tend to get jealous quite easily?"
"HEY! Don’t turn this back on me! This is about you, not me wise guy. Besides, what Nikki doesn't know can't hurt her, right? Well, unless you actually tell her. . . You won't tell her, right? Right?!"
"And have you throw my ass a good football field away in retaliation?! Nah, not going to take my chances on that one. . . ." Randy replied as they pulled to a stop at another intersection.
"If you don't want to take any chances, then you better tell me about this girl!" John playfully threatened as he watched a young mother push a green stroller across the street in front of them. Despite the playful tone, Randy knew John wouldn’t hesitate to do such a thing, but he still let out a loud chuckle, apparently amused by his words.
"Fine, I'll tell you, so don't get your fucking underwear in a twist alright?!" said Randy as he checked his rearview mirror. "This girl, I don't know. . . It was her eyes. They were this piercing blue color . . . They really stood out against her skin tone; this nice, warm, cocoa color . . ."
"Blue eyes and cocoa skin . . . Sounds like quite an exotic one to me. Doesn’t sound like your usual type, but it’s nice to see you branch out for once," said John as he brought a hand to his chin. Then he looked out the window, his eyes widening slightly. "Huh, your description kinda matches the girl walking our way on your left Ran. Could be the same one too."
"John, do you realize how unlikely that is?" Randy asked, shaking his head. "That's, like, virtually impossible. Besides, depending on her parentage, any girl could end up having cocoa skin and blue eyes!”
"Well, why don't you see for yourself then?" asked John as he gestured to their left. "Go ahead! Take a peek!
"Fine, but I'm telling you John. It won't be her," said Randy as he finally turned his head. His eyes widened as soon as his gaze landed on the woman, who was busy with something on her phone.
He looked at her face the longest, his eyes just taking in the sight of the angular features that stood out against her warm skin tone. Her eyes were as piercing as ever as she looked out at the street for a moment before returning her attention back to the device in her hand. "You, you gotta be fucking kidding me!"
"Wait a sec, you telling me that the woman that has taken up so much of your attention since last night is the same woman standing on that stretch of sidewalk right there!?" John asked as he pointed at the girl. "Damn, to be honest, I didn't think it was possible either . . . What a small world we live in huh?"
"You can say that again," Randy mumbled as he continued to stare at the woman. He was unashamedly drinking in every part of her, from the top of her curly, waist-length dark hair to the very bottom of her red and black sneakers.
He continued staring till something a few feet behind her caught his eye. He moved his gaze just in time to see a pale man with blonde hair standing right by one of the houses. He was dressed in all black and wearing very dark sunglasses that hid his gaze. Despite that, it was obvious that he was watching the girl intently, doing so until he disappeared into the driveway.
The act itself was highly suspicious, and it was something that Randy couldn’t ignore as he found himself parking his car and exiting onto the sidewalk, his senses now on high alert.
"Uh Randy, where are you going?!" John quickly asked as he watched his friend leave. "We're supposed to be heading to HQ! What's with the sudden stop and detour man?"
"Don't worry John! I'll make this quick!" Randy answered as he started jogging back the way they came. He quickly looked around the block - making sure that no one else was looking his way - before vanishing in a sudden blur. He ended up reappearing on top of the building that the other man disappeared behind. Looking down, he saw that the man he saw was still there in the driveway, talking animatedly into his phone in a language Randy recognized as Eastern European in origin. "Now who the hell are you talking to hmm?"
Hearing his voice, the man suddenly looked up just in time to see the vampire jump down, landing without making a single noise. Randy slowly stood up, a small smirk playing on his lips as he noticed the obvious agitation etched across the other man’s face, his lips already pulled back to show off his own set of pearly white fangs.
"You’re not from here. Care to explain to me why you’ve decided to show up in my neighborhood acting all creepy in broad daylight?” Randy asked as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Like seriously? Snooping around and stalking women out on their morning jogs? That’s not a good look for you my fellow vampire?"
"As if you deserve an answer," the man said in a low growl as he quickly put away his phone. "My business is just that: my business. I don't need to share my plans with you Mr. Orton."
"Mr. Orton?" Randy asked, his eyebrows going up at the sudden use of his last name. "So, you've heard about me? Well that doesn’t raise any alarms . . ."
"Sarcasm, lovely," grumbled the man, his voice already filled with disdain. "Everyone in the underworld knows about you Mr. Orton. You’re the Viper, the king of the one-shot kill! You're one of Mr. McMahon's deadliest killers. Simply put, you're known for being a person that doesn't fuck around."
"Hmm, I guess my reputation precedes me. And you're right, I'm not one for playing around. So, let me ask you this question," said Randy as he took a step forward. It made the other man involuntarily take a step back, a reaction that the Viper was simply too pleased to see. "So, care to explain to me why you’re stalking the curly haired woman in the black tracksuit out on the sidewalk?"
"Why would you like to know? That woman means nothing to you.”
"Well, as a fellow vampire, you can understand how important territory is to our kind. We’re not as bad as werewolves, but still . . ." said the Viper as he took another step. "Simply put: I don't like vampires I don't know hunting in my neck of the woods."
"You think I'm stalking her for her blood . . . Do you really think I would be that brazen enough to hunt during this time of day?" the other man asked as he gestured at the sky.
"If you're that desperate, yes. However, you don’t look that thirsty, so there goes that theory," Randy mumbled as he heard a pair of footsteps approach. He looked over his shoulder to see John appearing at the mouth of the driveway, a small scowl already on his face. "Hey John, what took you so long to get here?"
"I got lost, no harm, no foul," John grumbled as he walked over, his gaze now on the other vampire. He kept his face impassive, but Randy could tell that John was already analyzing and over-analyzing the situation in that square head of his. "So, who’s the dude? You’re making new friends without me Ran?"
"Something like that . . ." said the vampire, a smirk playing on his lips. "He was just about to explain to me why he was stalking the girl out on the sidewalk."
"Oh, you mean me?"
At the sound of the new voice, all three men turned to see the woman in question watching them from the end of the driveway. She moved her steely gaze from John to the other man to Randy - lingering on him the longest - before finally settling back on the other man, a scowl slowly spreading across her face as she started walking toward them.
"Ma'am, this business doesn’t concern you, so why don't you just run along and continue with your jog alright? We can handle things here by ourselves," said John, going into his professional mode as he took a step forward. His facade faltered when the woman shot him a cold look, one that John couldn't help but compare to Randy's own icy stare. ". . . Okay, maybe not."
“I can understand that you want to keep me away from your business, but it became my business when you guys started talking about me.” the woman explained, her tone leaving no room for argument as she continued her approach.
"Miss, you should heed the short man's warning . . ." the blonde advised in a calm tone, a far cry from the disdainful one he spoke with minutes prior. "Things could get ugly if you stick around my dear."
"Don’t try to ‘my dear’ me. Things were ugly as soon as I realized you were following me while I was out on my morning run," the woman warned, her voice low, but sharp as a knife as she stared him down with her piercing blue eyes. Randy watched her with curiously dancing in her eyes, noticing the strong, calculating way she walked as she made her way to stand in between himself and John. "He doesn’t sound like he’s a friend of yours."
". . . Huh?" Randy managed to say, breaking out of his thoughts quickly when he realized that the woman was speaking to him and John, and that she was staring right at him. "Nope, he’s not our friend."
"Good . . ." said the woman as she turned to look at the other man. "Then the both of you won't mind it if I do a little trick."
"What little trick!?" the blonde demanded, his eyes brimming with suspicion, his stoic demeanor falling by the wayside.
The woman didn't bother to speak. Instead, her only response was to slowly angle her head left, a small twisted smile coming across her face as she moved. The man looked at her as if she had gone crazy before letting out a sudden gasp and falling to his knees, a pained expression crossing his face as he clutched his forehead head.
All Randy and John could do was watch as the blonde vampire began to roll around on the ground, mouthing silent, agonized screams through his trembling lips. They both turned to the woman to see her head turning back into its default position, her face becoming more stoic as the vampire continue to writhe in front of them.
"What, what are you doing to him?" John managed to spit out, speaking for both himself and a silent Viper.
"He's living through an illusion, one that makes him feel severe pain right in his very skull," the woman answered, never breaking eye contact with the man on the ground. "Once the illusion is over, he will no longer have any memory of this encounter. He won't remember you two, and he won't remember me. Simple as that."
"Uh, thanks I guess?" John asked, looking utterly clueless as the woman turned to him. “But seriously, how exactly are you doing this?”
"Gosh dammit John! Isn’t it obvious? She's psychic! It’s as simple as that," said Randy, a little awed at the woman before them. She then turned, a small smile stretching across her face as she looked him in the eye. It was at that moment that Randy felt a small sudden pang in his chest, like his very slow heart decided to suddenly beat faster without any warning. It didn’t hurt, but it definitely caught the Viper by surprise. "What, what's your name?"
"The name's Amanda, and now that this guy has been handled, I'll be finishing my morning jog now," she told them as she began backtracking to the exit. ". . . Bye boys!"
"You're gonna leave . . ?" John asked, incredulous. "Just like that?"
"You two seem like you have the situation all covered, so . . . yeah. Bye!"
"Even though she does make a good point, it still feels like we're being ditched . . . We're already running late as it is!” John complained as Randy watched her leave. "The audacity . . ."
"Yeah, if you say so. . ." Randy absently mumbled as he continued to stare off into the driveway. John shot him a disbelieving look before shaking his head, giving up on reasoning with his friend before even trying. As he walked off to deal with the vampire slowly recovering from his mental episode, the Viper continued to look off with a wistfulness in his eyes before joining him.
She had already caught his interest before, but after what he just witnessed, 'Amanda' had piqued his curiosity even more.
A/N: Leave a comment if you like!
Chapter 4: The Mission
Randy, Cody, and Ted find out about their next mission.
"Randy, you okay?"
It was the first thing that passed his lips as soon as he heard his friend's voice, looking up to see John watching him with curious eyes from his spot in the driver’s seat.
After their encounter with Amanda and the blonde vampire, they continued on their way to work, soon finding themselves in one of the more industrialized districts of the city. When Randy realized that his friend was expecting an answer, he decided to humor him with one. "Oh, yeah. I'm fine John. Just peachy."
"You're just peachy. . . Yeah, that doesn’t fucking sound like you," John mumbled as he shook his head. "Doesn't sound like you at all. You're not the kinda guy who says things like 'peachy'. What gives?"
"Maybe I'm just trying to expand my vocabulary. . . Have you given that idea any thought John?" Randy challenged, crossing his arms over his chest. He would have been the one driving, but John complained well enough that it made him hand over the keys just to shut him up.
"No need to get all defensive! What I'm trying to say is that you've been awfully quiet ever since we encountered Amanda back in that driveway. I wonder why . . . Has she really been plaguing your thoughts that much in such a short amount of time Ran?"
"You have no idea . . .”
“Well aren’t you bossy,” the vampire grumbled.
“I hear it’s one of my more endearing traits,” came John’s cheeky response. “Now spill!”
"Fine, but trust me. I don’t think I can really give you a full explanation,” Randy answered, pleading his case. John looked unconvinced, so he finally gave him what he wanted, somewhat. “Um, I just don’t know, to be honest with you. . . Including today, I've only seen her twice, TWICE! I’ve seen her so little, but she’s been in my head so much these past few hours now and I just can’t explain it."
"Randy, has this ever happened to you before?" John asked as he turned them onto a street lined on both sides by boarded up warehouses that had graffiti tagged on their walls.
"Did any other girl have a profound effect on you in such a short amount of time like how Amanda has an effect on you now?" John cautiously asked, not sure of how he would respond.
"The only other person was Sam," Randy mumbled, neglecting to notice the shocked look that crossed on John’s face. "When I first met her, I thought about her night and day. I just couldn't keep my mind off her."
"And now the same thing is happening again, but this time with Amanda," John mumbled, his mind racing with this latest development. "Hmm, well this is interesting . . .”
"Yeah," mumbled Randy as John began to take his foot off the gas, the Hummer slowing as he did. "You're telling me. . . It’s a mystery if you ask me."
"You know what I think is a mystery?" John challenged as he pulled the car to a stop right by a largely unassuming, multi-story, gray building with a large garage door right in the middle of its front wall. It was the only entry point to be seen. "The guy that was following her."
"Oh yeah, him," Randy mumbled, scowling at the mere thought of the man they encountered earlier. "You think we’ll see him again?"
"Who knows?" John conceded as he cut the engine. "He does seem like a wily one though. He ran off as soon as both of our backs were turned. Poof, gone without a trace! If this was an official mission, I’d be more embarrassed than I am right now."
"And he didn't leave a scent that I could trace." Randy added, shaking his head. “That’s the most troubling thing . . .”
"That’s worryingly odd," John stated, quickly joining his friend on the sidewalk. "Everything leaves a scent, especially people, no matter what species they are."
"True," Randy conceded as John locked the Hummer and turned on its alarm before handing the keys back to him. "But not having a scent for others to track isn't an entirely impossible concept. There are ways to hide one’s scent. It's also possible, but very rare, for someone to be born with a scent so unnoticeable that it gives the illusion that they don't have a scent at all."
"So, the guy may have a scent, it was just faint enough that not even you could sniff it out?" John asked as they walked over to the garage door, scowling when Randy shook his head in the affirmative. "Great, just what I wanted to hear!"
Randy shook his head as he did a series of knocks on the door. Once done, he took a step back as the door started moving upward. John and Randy slipped through the opening once it was large enough to squeeze through. They were greeted with the sight of their fellow co-workers milling around the large space. Most were talking amongst themselves; a couple were busy typing away at computers at the far end of the room, and some were busy sparring with each other in the center of the floor.
However, John and Randy couldn't care less about what was going on around them. Their eyes were mainly trained on the two men walking toward them. "Morning Cody, Ted. You two are early."
"Nah, we’re not early. You two are just late," said Cody, brushing down his moustache with his fingers. "We arrived at our usual time, and we would ask you two why you came here late, but that's pretty much null and void thanks to good ol' vampire hearing huh?"
"What have I told you two about listening in to others' private conversations?" Randy grumbled as he shot the two a disapproving look. "Especially mine?"
"That if you ever caught us listening in to said private conversations, you wouldn’t hesitate to kick our fucking asses all the way to Canada?" Ted suggested, trying in vain to look innocent.
"Exactly!" said Randy, already cracking his knuckles, mostly to stoke some fear into his friends. "I think I’ll save the beatings for later though. . . What's on the agenda for today?"
"Good to know that you can focus on the right objectives,” Cody mumbled, already bracing himself for the incoming beatdown. “Anyway, Hunter wants to talk to the three of us upstairs. As for you John, I hear you have a ‘date’ with Stephanie. She’s waiting for you in her office."
"Yeah, and I can already guess why," John grumbled as he patted the bag that he kept strapped across his shoulder. "I got some papers to deliver, so I'll be seeing you guys later. Wish me luck."
"Luck!" Randy halfheartedly called out, watching as his roommate jogged down one of the adjacent hallways before disappearing around the corner. He then turned his sights on Ted and Cody, who were looking back at him with blank eyes. "Hopefully Stephanie won't chew his ear out too much . . . Anyway, what are you two leaving out? What are you not telling me?"
"You think we left something out?" Ted asked, looking shocked as he brought a hand to his chest. "We know better than that Ran. We don't hide stuff from you. You know that!"
"Cody, what are you and Ted not telling me?" Randy asked, turning his ire to the mustached man. "I’ll admit. You two have gotten better at keeping straight faces when you need to keep a secret. But when it comes to me, you know that nothing really gets past my attention when I sense something amiss. So, I’ll ask again, and this will be the last time I’m asking you kindly. What are you guys keeping secret from me?"
"Damn, you are good . . ." Cody grumbled, his poker face faltering as Ted slapped a hand to his forehead. "What gave us away this time around?"
"The miniscule glance you gave each other from the corner of your eyes when you thought I wasn't looking."
"Dammit! I thought we had you this time," Ted whined as the three went over to one of the steel staircases that went up to the second floor, taking the steps three steps at a time. "I really thought Cody and I had got one over ya Ran!"
"Unfortunately for you both, I just managed to catch the one thing that gave you two away, and it happened to be the one thing you two usually do when you want to keep something from me," said Randy as the three reached the top of the stairs. "So, again, mind telling me what the fuck you two are trying to hide?"
"Well, McMahon's here," Came Cody’s eventual answer, which made Randy’s eyebrow go up slightly. "But can you guess which one?"
"Hmm, Shane's probably. He always comes to the different HQs on his old man’s behalf," he answered as they walked past a few, eventually walking into the hallway on their left. The mischievous grins on Ted and Cody’s faces told him otherwise. "Judging from the looks on both your faces, I'm guessing that's not the case this time around."
"Not in the slightest my stoic friend," Ted agreed, smirking as they finally reached the steel-infused door that separated them from Hunter's office. "The old man himself has finally decided to grace us with his presence this time around."
"Wait a fucking minute! Vince is here?!" Randy asked, shocked by this latest development.
"I'm here alright, now can you three jackasses get your asses in here so we can start this debriefing already?!" called a gravelly low voice from behind the door. "I only have 90 minutes to work with here before I have to get on my flight, so stop wasting my time and get the hell in here!"
"I see he's still as patient as ever . . ." Cody mumbled under his breath as Randy opened the door.
Once he got it open, the three vampires walked into Hunter's office, which was way more decorated and furnished than the building as a whole. The walls were decorated with photos of different landscapes while the floor was carpeted in red. The room’s centerpiece was its large oak desk, situated a few feet away before the room's curtained windows, the latter being an obvious clue to how much Hunter’s wife Stephanie had a hand in decorating the space.
Of course, the boys teased him on this, but Hunter always got the last laugh, especially when he started mentioning their paychecks.
Sitting in the leather chair behind the desk was a stoic looking man with slick-backed hair colored in various shades of gray. He wore a simple gray jacket with a white button-down shirt and a dark grey tie, the outfit hiding the ridiculous amount of muscle his body held despite his somewhat advanced age. His eyes showed both annoyance and cunning as he glared at the three mercenaries standing before him, his eyes landing on Randy last.
"Hmm, it's nice of you three to finally come in to greet me," said Vince, his voice echoing through the room. "Time is money, and now that you are here, we got some serious business to get into."
"Okay, this should be interesting. Besides, it's not every day we get to have our mission personally come from you Vince."
"Orton, what have I told you about calling me by my first name?" Vince asked, his annoyance coming out immediately. "We don’t know each other like that, and don’t try to. As an employee of this organization, you are to refer to me as Mr. McMahon, or Boss. That’s it, you hear me?"
"Crystal clear," said Randy, expertly hiding his agitation. He wasn’t one for being talked down to, even by his own boss. "Anyway, what mission do you have for us today, Mr. McMahon?"
"Good . . . A few days ago, a couple of our informants discovered that a small Romanian mercenary cell with connections to the main branch of the Romanian vampire coven arrived in the city via airport three days ago," Mr. McMahon explained as he picked up his briefcase, placing it on the desk. "Now, the Romanians are notorious for not sending their mercenaries across the Atlantic for jobs. They usually outsource them to outside groups who happen to work within the area that has caught their interest. . . If they do send their own people, the job is usually of very high importance, tasked to people they really trust."
"Did the informants find out who hired them or what the cell’s main objective is during their time stateside?" Ted asked, raising an eyebrow. “It’s not like they were ordered to take a vacation here.”
"We have no word on who they're client exactly is. Apparently that info is kept on a need to know basis . . . Best guess is that it's someone who's a high ranking member of the Romanian Coven, and there are plenty of those bastards to go around," Mr. McMahon griped as he opened his briefcase, taking out a crisp manila folder out from inside. "However, we do have an idea on why they’re here. They’re after someone."
"So, it’s a kidnapping mission huh?” Cody grumbled as he started twisting the end of his moustache, though there wasn’t much for him to twist. “Any idea on who?”
"This folder contains a photo and all the information we managed to gather so far on the person they're after." Vince announced as he handed the folder to Randy, who quickly took it before returning to his spot in between his fellow vampires.
"Who's the client were working for exactly?" Randy ventured to ask as stared Mr. McMahon in the eye. “I’m sure you didn’t get this job from out of the blue after all. Someone must have contacted you about this, and considering it is you yourself that is assigning this mission to us, whoever hired us must be quite a big deal.”
"He is. However, just like all the other clients that have come to us to use our discreet services, this particular client wants to remain anonymous," said Vince as he weaved his fingers together. "Anyway, back to the folder . . . Go ahead, take a look inside. It's not much, to be honest, but it's a decent start."
"C'mon Randy, open the folder!" Ted urged as he nudged the taller man in the arm. "We might as well see who this person looks like after all."
"You're only saying that because you want to see if this person is a hot chick," Cody exasperatedly grumbled, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. "Think with your brain, not your balls you idiot!"
"Don't worry you three. The person the Romanians are after, well, she is indeed quite attractive!"
The voice came from somewhere on their right, so everyone turned their heads in that direction to see a man dressed in a simple black t-shirt and jeans walk out from the shadowed corner. He cut an imposing figure with his muscled arms, broad chest, tall frame, and recently shaved head. However, the small smirk on his face bellied a more easy-going personality that not many were privy to.
It was a juxtaposition that may have weirded some, but for the four other men in the room, they were already well used to it. “I’ll admit, I don't know how much you'll take my opinion into consideration since I am a married man after all but trust me when I say this. Take my word for it! I’m being entirely truthful here. . . Have I ever led you guys wrong?"
"For the most part Hunter, no, but in this instance, I guess we’ll just have to look and see . . ." Randy conceded as he opened the folder. As soon as he looked down to see what was inside, his eyes widening at the sight of the photo in front of him. ". . . No fucking way."
"No fucking way is right . . ." Ted mumbled, his face a mirror image of Randy’s. "We saw this girl just last night!"
"Wait, are you serious?!" Vince asked as he stood from his chair. "You’re not fucking with us here right?! Be real with me here. You three have seen the target before?"
For some reason, the way Vince addressed Amanda as a “target” was irking the Viper’s nerves, though he managed to hide it well before anyone could sense that something was off.
"Yeah, we did see her alright. Last night in fact. We saw her walking behind two other women across from Correa Park. I’m not too sure, but they’re either friends or close associates of hers." Cody explained as Randy slammed the folder shut.
"To add to that, I saw her again this morning, just before John and I arrived," Randy admitted, all eyes now firmly on him. "A blonde vampire with a thick Eastern European accent was following her as she was jogging through my neighborhood. . . His accent could have possibly been Romanian."
"If that’s the case, then they are already on the move, and moving quickly," Vince grumbled, not liking this development one bit. “Did you confront him?”
"Yeah, I confronted him," said Randy as he shook his head. "He managed to escape though, but not before Amanda messed with his mind first. Made him not remember her or me and John before jogging off."
"She messed with his mind?!" Ted asked. "So, she's psychic?"
"I believe that’s pretty much what he said Ted, just not in simpler terms," Ted scowled at the dig, but Cody was unperturbed. "And if she's capable of doing something that skilled to a vampire's mind, she must be one hell of a psychic too."
"Which could be the reason as to why they're in town in the first place," Vince added as he sat down. "Our client hired you three to protect the girl at all costs, and yes, you will all be paid handsomely for it. . . Now get moving. Her address was one of the pieces of information we managed to gather on her, so I suggest you use it and get going."
"How long do we have to protect her?" Randy dared to ask, staring the older man down.
"As long as necessary. The client is willing to compensate you three for the full time served on this job. If you like seeing big bucks in your bank account, you’ll make sure that this mission in a successful one," Vince answered, his tone final. "Now get out of here! You got a job to do!"
"Yes sir . . ." said Randy, doing a small salute before following Cody and Ted out the door. Once the three were gone, Vince turned to Hunter, who was watching him with a smirk on his face as he walked over to the desk.
"So, be honest. Do you honestly think those three idiots will be successful?" Hunter asked, no evidence of malice in his tone. He honestly liked the three mercenaries, but Vince was an entirely different story.
"They have to, or else they won't get paid," Vince grumbled as he stood up. "Even though I personally don't like him - Don’t bother to ask me why Hunter. I have my reasons! - Orton is one of this organization's best. . . We both know how much he hates the idea of failure. That alone will drive him to get the job done. If he's able to step up and kill Heyman - even with the inevitable consequence of Lesnar seeking revenge once he finds out hanging over his head - he'll certainly be able to handle this operation."
"What about Cody and Ted?" asked Hunter as he raised an eyebrow. "Don't you have any faith in them?"
"I have faith in them, more or less," Vince admitted as he picked up his briefcase. "They have a good success rate in their missions, and they’re some of the few capable enough to calm Randy down whenever he ends up going off the deep end, which, thankfully enough, is a rare occurrence. . . No one wins when that happens, and we both know how bad he can get, especially when someone mentions you know who. Just look at what happened to Brooks all those years ago . . ."
"You're right on that one," Hunter conceded. “However, Randy and Phil never got along with each other in the first place. They always bumped heads. It was only a matter of time before those two would really get at it."
"And now you've seen my point," said Vince as he walked toward the door. "Anyway, I have a plane to catch. Goodbye Hunter."
"Goodbye Dad!" Hunter gleefully called out, how words stopping the older man in his tracks. "What? Was it something I said?"
"Let's get this one thing clear you numbskull! You may be married to my little girl, and you may be part of this family, but that doesn't mean I have to like you. . . It's father-in-law to you Hunter, not Dad. You hear me?!" Vince growled, his voice as cool as ice as he opened the door.
"I hear you loud and clear Vince," said Hunter, still smiling as Mr. McMahon stepped into the hallway. "Don't forget to tell your daughter goodbye before you leave!"
"Like I would ever not say goodbye to my little girl . . ." said Vince, sounding a little put out by the insinuation as he walked down the hallway. Hunter, hearing that, let out a gruff snort as he closed the door, muttering something about uptight father-in-laws as he moved toward his desk.
A/N: Leave a comment if you like!
Chapter 5: Target's House
Randy, Ted, and Cody start their mission, heading to the home of the one they're assigned to protect.
"Huh, now that I think about it - and I mean, I really thought about it - we've basically been assigned a babysitting mission?"
Cody and Randy shared a quick glance with each other before turning their sights on Ted, who, after ending up with the short end of the stick, was forced to sit in the Hummer’s backseat, again.
After leaving HQ, the three of them piled into the vehicle and drove toward the residential part of the city where the target made her home. Ted had remained silent for most of the drive so far, leaving Cody and Randy to talk about typical topics like sports and the weather. It was the first thing he had said since they left, and what he managed to say earned him perplexed looks from his fellow vampires.
"And you bring this up why?” Cody asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer or not. "It's not like this is the first time we've been given a babysitting job . . . Is there something about this one that's bothering you Ted?"
"I don't know," he admitted, laying back in his seat. "All I know is that it's quite a coincidence that the person we’ve been assigned to protect ends up being someone we've seen once before, particularly just last night. . . Quite spooky if you ask me."
"Ok, fair point. I’ll admit that," Cody conceded. "However, I believe that the fact that you and I saw her once before isn’t what makes this spooky Ted. The fact that Randy saw her twice is what makes it spooky. . . Like seriously? TWICE??"
". . . The second time happening in In his own neighborhood, might I be so bold to add," Ted stated, crossing his arms. "Uh, just making sure here, but you haven’t seen her any other time besides last night and this morning Randy, right?"
"Nope; last night and this morning were the only times," the Viper confirmed as he looked around the street they were currently on. "Anyway, according to her file, the target lives somewhere in this neighborhood, but likes to jog in different parts of the city."
"Huh, she's someone that likes to mix up her normal routine then," Cody concluded as he looked down at the folder in his lap. Randy had given it to him for safe keeping as soon as they got into the car. "Now then, let's see what else this folder has on our target?"
"It shouldn't be a lot," said Ted. "Mr. McMahon did say that there wasn't much in the folder."
“It’s still worth a look. Open it!" the Viper commanded, his voice calm as he turned the car onto a different street. Despite his outwardly serious demeanor, Randy couldn't help but be curious on the inside.
He was interested in hearing more about the girl they were supposed to protect, and not just because it was a part of his mission, which was a bit of a shock to him since he has been so focused on work these last few years.
"Well, we already know that her name is Amanda. Last name Evans; middle name Genevieve. Raised by a single mom her entire life. No info on her father . . ." Cody listed as he read through the small biography compiled on her.
"Nothing on her dad?"
"Not even a first name Ted . . ." Cody clarified, keeping his eyes on the sheet in front of him. "But she does have siblings; an older brother and a twin sister to be exact. Her brother lives in New York and works as a detective."
"Well that’s nice . . . What about her sister?" asked Randy as he raised an eyebrow, not liking the fact that their target’s sibling was a part of law enforcement. Randy had a bad history with cops in general, stemming from his younger years.
"Nothing on the sister . . . Yeah, the guys in the Intel department really had little time to put this file together," Cody sadly admonished, shaking his head. "Anyway, all that's left in here is her address and her occupation."
"Well we’re already heading to her address, so the remaining mystery is the occupation,” Ted mumbled. “So, what does she do for a living?”
"She splits her time between modelling and working as a martial arts instructor at a gym downtown,” Cody answered as he closed the folder. "She's a third-degree black belt in both karate and taekwondo."
"So, she can basically kick people's asses and look good while doing it?" Ted asked as he shook his head. "Now that's what I call a mean combination."
"At least she’s not someone that would be completely defenseless if her psychic powers were hindered . . ." the Viper mumbled as he spotted the house they were looking for. "Here's the place!"
"That's such a nice house! Modelling must have really worked out for her . . ." Ted stated, vaguely impressed as Randy slowed the Hummer to a stop right in front of the property. It was a white, two story home with a porch that covered the entire front, and a dark blue tiled roof in the pointed style associated with colonial architecture. In front was a well-maintained lawn, complete with a pathway lined with small flower bushes every two feet on either side.
If the boys had to conclude one thing from looking at the home alone, it was that their target definitely has some money in her possession.
"To be honest, I figured she owned a condo or something," Ted mumbled as his eyes went to the driveway. There were two cars parked there, one after the other: a sleek black Camaro and an ocean blue Camry. Both looked relatively new, or at least, recently clean. “. . . I didn’t expect this!”
"Well, if Amanda is wealthy enough to have a two-story home and two cars parked in her driveway, she should be wealthy enough to also own a condo as well, don’t ya think?" Cody sarcastically asked as he took off his seatbelt. "So, how are we going to do this huh? As the leader of this operation, the choice is up to you Ran."
“Aw, I feel so special.”
"Wait a minute. We’re missing something here. . . Does this woman even know that we’re coming?? She’s probably not aware that three tall, intimidating, mercenary vampires have been sent to her doorstep to protect her from our Romanian equivalents?!" Ted reminded them as he shook his head.
"Well boys, if she’s not aware of us right now," Randy started as he opened his door. ". . . She’s going to be well aware of us now!”
"You can't be serious!?" Cody exclaimed; his eyes wide as the Viper walked over to the sidewalk. He and Ted quickly followed after the taller male, who was already halfway up the walkway by the time the two other vampires caught up to him. "We're usually a keep-to-the-shadows kind of trio. We only show ourselves only when it's either absolutely necessary, or when it just can't be helped!"
"Cody's right Randy," Ted confirmed as the three climbed the three small steps that led up to the porch. "This isn't the usual routine!"
"True, but it doesn't hurt to mix things up a little right?" Randy asked. He knew Ted and Cody were making a good point, but something in his gut told him he was better off being upfront instead of shadowy and aloof.
"Besides, she’s psychic, remember? It's not going to take her long to get wind of things if she becomes suspicious enough, you know?!"
"Oh, that is a good point," Ted mumbled as he began to think over Randy's words. "Psychics are notoriously hard to catch off guard."
"Well, unless they’re a rookie of course,” Cody sheepishly added. “Which I have a feeling that Amanda is definitely not.”
“I’m right there with you on that one Cody,” the Viper agreed as he faced the front door. It was simple in design, with three windows on the top half in the shape of a fan, giving anyone who was tall enough a chance to look inside if they wanted to. "Well then, let's see if she's home."
"This should be fun . . ." Cody mumbled under his breath as Randy pressed the doorbell. The sharp ding echoed out throughout the inside of the house, the noise sounding crisp and clear to all of their extra-sensitive ears. "Do you even think she's home?"
"I can hear two heartbeats inside, so someone is definitely home," said Randy as the sound of light footsteps approached the door. "Their presence seem familiar enough, but neither of them feel like they're Amanda."
"Then, who are the people inside then?" Ted asked, his body slowly going into a defensive stance, just as the doorknob was turning. Once the lock clicked and the door opened, he instantly relaxed as he looked down at the smaller woman standing before them. "Oh wow . . ."
"Hi there . . ." said the woman as she tucked a few strands of her blonde hair behind her left ear, her bright blue eyes a contrast to her tanned skin. "Can I help you gentlemen? Are you three lost?"
"No, we’re not lost, so to speak. . . We’re looking for someone, actually," said Randy, his voice all business. "Does an Amanda Evans live here?"
"Yes! She lives here. I’m her roommate Barbara," the woman explained, her face giving nothing away, save for her eyes, which held her unhidden suspicions. "What exactly do you want with Amanda anyway? It’s not every day that three tall, imposing men in black come to this doorstep asking for my roommate after all.”
"Kelly! What's taking you so long out there?!"
The three men looked on in bemusement as the scowl appeared on Barbara/Kelly’s face in response to the new voice. It was curious and feminine, with a twang that was undeniably Texan.
The four turned to see a second woman walk up with a confused look in her eyes. She was around the same height as Kelly but was more muscular where Kelly was slim and trim. The front half of her long curly hair was as yellow as the sun, but the back half was a rich chocolate brown. "Oh, we have guests?"
"I wouldn’t be so quick to call them ‘guests’, Celeste," Kelly mumbled as her friend arrived in all her sports bra and sweatpants wearing glory. ". . . These fine young men are looking for Amanda."
"You do know I prefer Kaitlyn remember?" Kaitlyn sarcastically mumbled as she crossed her arms. “We had an agreement after all. I will call you be your preferred name as long as you called me by mine. I thought we settled this already?!”
"Sorry; it tends to slip my mind."
"You guys use different names for yourselves? And neither of them connect to your actual names in any way?" Cody flatly asked, not believing what he was hearing. "Well, isn't that suspicious. . ?"
"Look who’s talking?" said Kaitlyn as she placed her hands on her hips. "You don’t inspire any feel-good feelings yourself Mr. . . . I’m sorry. I didn’t really get your name.”
"It’s Cody. The guy right here next to me is Ted," said Cody as Ted waved in greeting. "And the taller guy in front here is Randy. . . Look, we're just here to talk to Amanda about a couple of things that concern her. That’s all."
"Seriously though, is she here or not?" Randy asked, already getting a sense that the girls were trying to waste their time.
He couldn’t blame them though. Considering the circumstances, he would be suspicious as well if the roles were reversed.
"Amanda went out on a run. She should be back any minute though," Kaitlyn admitted. "So, how do we know that you three aren't here to do something sinister hmm?"
"Kaitlyn?! REALLY?" Kelly asked, rolling her head back in exasperation. "Do you have to do this now?! And be so blunt about it too?!”
"Hey! I’m just being cautious here!" Kaitlyn argued, a smirk crossing her face.
"We’re not offended. To be honest, your friend has every right to be suspicious," said Ted. "She's just looking out for your roommate after all. We promise you we're not here to cause any problems. We're just here to look out for Amanda. . . She's in danger."
"Danger!?" Kaitlyn asked as Kelly looked at the three men in shock. "Hmm . . . Well, if you're here in Amanda's best interests, then I guess you guys are okay, for now. . . Come inside! No need to continue this conversation out here after all.”
"Really Kaitlyn?" Kelly asked as Kaitlyn moved out of the way to let the three men enter. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Relax," her friend mumbled as she closed the door behind them. "It won't hurt to at least hear them out. Besides, I can handle them if things go awry."
"Oh really?!" Kelly challenged; her tone blunt. Randy, Cody, and Ted ended up standing awkwardly in between the two, all of them curious to see how the girls' conversation would turn out. "How exactly are you going to handle yourself against three freaking vampires for crying out loud!?"
"WAIT! You know who we are?!" Cody exclaimed as Ted visibly tensed up. Randy was the only one who stayed calm. "How long have you known this!?"
"I didn't. I just guessed," Kelly admitted as her eyes narrowed. "Thank you. You just helped to confirm my suspicions vampire!"
"Nice going Cody . . ." said Randy, his voice void of any anger. "Way to give away our species."
"Well I didn't mean to . . . It just slipped out."
"You may be vampires, but you're here to look out for Amanda, and that makes you three good in my book. However, . . ."
Kaitlyn’s eyes closed shut as she clasped her hands together, her hands glowing an eerie silvery gray. The atmosphere began to have a static feel to it; the men feeling a sudden tingling sensation dance along their skin. All eyes were glued on Kaitlyn as she unclasped her hands, revealing a small ball of condensed lightning circulating within her grasp.
If the men weren’t wary of Kaitlyn before, they were certainly wary of her now.
"I have a positive view of you guys right now, but if you do anything to screw Amanda or us, in anyway, I will not hesitate to shock you three until your fangs pop out of your gums, you hear me!?"
"Crystal clear!" said Cody, who looked the most spooked among the three, his eyes never leaving the lightning ball as it dissipated into thin air. Ted had looked on in wide eyed fascination, and Randy . . .
. . . His expression never changed.
"Good!" said Kaitlyn, showing off a big grin. "C'mon! We can wait in the living room until Amanda gets here!"
"That sounds like a plan." Randy mumbled, speaking before either Ted or Cody had a chance to.
Kaitlyn and Kelly led the three down the small hallway, allowing them into the living room first. It was simple in its design, with royal blue walls, a silver couch with matching armchairs on either side, a mahogany coffee table covered by two stacks of old magazines, and a 42’-inch plasma screen standing on a small table across the room from said couch. There was also a large bookcase in the far corner of the room, and the wooden floor was waxed to perfection. "Huh, the living room looks very meticulous."
"You can thank Amanda for that," said Kelly. "One of her big house rules is that we have to keep the cleanliness at high quality . . . She's not really a neat freak, but she really loves a clean home."
"Sounds like someone else I know," said Ted as he snuck a look at his mustached contemporary. "Isn't that right Cody?"
"Shut up!” Came his friend’s quick response. "At least I know what it means to have a clean home. I can't say the same for you in that junkyard you call an apartment."
"My apartment is not a junkyard!" Ted exclaimed, clearly offended. "It's . . . aesthetically pleasing to those who actually have an eye for art. Unlike you, who wouldn’t know good artwork even when it smacks you in the face!"
"Art?" Kaitlyn asked as she unceremoniously dropped herself onto the couch. ". . . Is that your fancy way of saying that you're a complete slob?"
"How rude of you to insinuate that I’m a slob!?" Ted grumbled as he pointed Kaitlyn’s way. "And excuse me?! Cody and I were having a private conversation here!"
"Well, it's not really a private conversation if you're saying it out loud for the entire room to hear," Kelly pointed out. ". . . But that's just my opinion."
"Yeah, don't say another word Ted," Randy ordered as he turned his eyes on him. "She got you beat on that one."
"Hm, so I guess it’s safe to say that you are the boss within this trio huh? Kaitlyn dared to ask as she faced the tall man.
"Guilty as charged!" Randy answered, just as the sound of keys jingling from the front reached his ears. "Sounds like someone's here."
"That must be Amanda now!" said Kaitlyn, jumping out of her seat before running into the hallway.
"By the way, you never told us why you have to look out for Amanda in the first place," said Kelly, turning to Randy specifically. "What's the reason? Who’s after her exactly?"
"You won’t have to wait long for an answer Kelly," came the Viper’s easy reply as the sound of Kaitlyn and Amanda’s voices mingling together came up from the hallway. "All will be revealed in just a moment."
A/N: Leave a comment if you like!