Playing Charades by Disco Inferno1
Summary: Stephanie McMahon is receiving death threats that seem to be an inside job. Therese Blair is hired to protect her while the culprit is being weeded out. Therese must pose as Stephanie's college friend to get on the inside without suspicion. Easy? Only in Stephanie's and Therese's dreams, especially when they can't stand each other and Shawn Michaels decides to show up and play matchmaker, dragging Kevin Nash into the fray.
Rating: PG-13 for the usual warnings for WWE wrestling—mild swearing, in-ring/arena violence, and sexual situations.
Disclaimer: I do not in any way lay claim to any name or character in the WWE. This is not-for-profit fiction. The only profit received is pure entertainment. Basically, what you see on television is what you get. Poetic license has been taken with character personas, along with television canon.
Chapter I: Letters and Plans
Stephanie McMahon's hands trembled as she folded the stark white paper and stuffed it back into the matching envelope. She turned it over and placed it on the desk, staring at her name in bold type on the front. The woman felt that if she stared hard enough, her mind would sort everything out. She licked her parched lips that had suddenly gone dry in effort to moisten them. Her dark blue eyes began to focus on the emblem in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope. The WWE logo only returned her gaze instead of spewing forth the answers she wanted. Her slender fingers turned the envelope over again but the back was still immaculately white.
A small startled cry escaped from her lips as someone burst through her door. She tore her eyes from the envelope to see her brother striding across the room with a smile on his face. When her mind finally registered that it was Shane in her office, she nervously glanced around looking for a place to hide the paper. She finally shoved it under a pile of folders on the other side of her desk from where Shane was standing.
When Stephanie looked up at his face, his smile had dissipated. His hands were on his hips in a demanding manner. "What is wrong?" he emphatically asked.
"Wrong? Everything's just fine," she responded in a shaky voice and slowly stood, hoping that her legs wouldn't give way. She reached out her arms to him and, after a minute of scrutinizing her, he returned her hug. He tugged her over to the black leather sofa and sat her down.
"There's something that you need to know, although it's a little too late to be telling you." Stephanie held her breath at his words. "You are not good at hiding your emotions…ever. Now, tell me what's going on."
"It's nothing really. I'm just nervous about the reaction of signing Mr. America. Hogan signed the finalized contract this morning. Be it Hogan or 'Mr. America,'" she made the quote marks in the air with her fingers, "Dad's going to be pissed but it's the only way I know to get Hogan back on TV. I'm not happy about having to play stupid but I don't know what else to do. That's all." She finally stopped rambling and picked at her manicured nails.
"I've played poker with you before. You're not good at lying either. What was in the envelope?"
The immense weight of the letter physically fell down upon her and the fear forced her to yield to his demands. "I received a…a letter," she started and stumbled to the desk in an ungraceful manner unlike the usual, recent Stephanie McMahon. "I…well…here, just read it." She jerked the letter out from under the files, sending paper cascading down her desk. She left them where they landed as she watched Shane unfold the letter.
At first, his face betrayed no emotion but then his dark eyes widened but quickly narrowed in anger. By the time he was finished, his cheeks were red with fury. He slammed the hated paper down on the hard wooden desktop, the noise causing Stephanie to jump. "And you weren't going to tell me about this?" he shouted. She stuttered something unintelligible and began to cry as she plopped down in her desk chair. "I'm sorry. Shh…We're gonna fix this. You're safe," he cooed and stroked her hair, crouching before her. Shane waited patiently while she had her cry out, then he prodded her.
"There were others," she bluntly stated.
"How many?" he quickly asked.
"Maybe three," she replied, shrugging her shoulders.
"Past couple of months, I think," she answered, shaking her head and trying to remember.
"Where are they?" Shane shot out another rapid fire question.
"I threw them away," her irritated reply came.
"Why do you think? It's not exactly something you keep, twit," she answered, her voice rising a little.
"Tell me about them." He returned to the couch to listen, taking the letter with him.
"They basically said the same thing but were much less graphic and there was no…no death threat." She shuddered at the thought of this last letter and what could happen if the desires of the stalker were carried out. She and Triple H had not engaged in some of the activity listed in the letter during their marriage. That's not to mention the description of her death that the stalker had concocted.
"Why didn't you go to someone before now?" he asked, sounding a bit accusing without meaning to do so.
"Like you or any of the wrestlers hadn't received a 'stalker' letter before?"
"Okay, you've got me there. What about this one?"
"I just found it in my mail that Sherry brought in earlier today. I opened it, maybe, five minutes before you came in," she responded, raising her voice.
"Alright! Calm down! I guess we better call the police."
"I don't think so. You remember the last time we called the police in on something like this. There's nothing I can tell them," Stephanie responded, bending over to pick up the spilled files on the dark green carpet.
"But, if this is the fourth letter, this guy could be planning on…on…you get the drift," he replied, waving the letter in the air.
She jerked back up with the files in her arms and threw them down on the desk. "I know and that's why I'm scared now."
"That's why we need to get the police involved."
"Shane, look." She took the letter from his hand and tapped the company's letterhead. "It's someone at the office."
"Steph, I wouldn't limit it to the office only and that's why we have to get someone in now."
She furrowed her brow in question. "What do you mean 'not limit it to office only'?"
Shane rolled his eyes and leaned back on the couch. "Because last year, your Christmas present to everybody was company stationery."
"Did I really do that?" Shane only closed his eyes and shook his head 'yes.' "See that's another reason we can't call in the police. The inside
investigation will be hell."
"Let's call Dad," he quickly responded.
"Let's don't." Shane gave her a quizzical look. "He is not going to be happy with me after he finds out about Hogan."
"Okay, okay…" Shane trailed off, tapping his finger to his lips in thought. After a moment of silence, he looked back up at her. "How's this? We get through the show tonight. I'll stay with you at all times and, in the morning, well go see a friend of mine in New York that I think can help."
Author's Notes: Original characters of Therese Blair and Evan Blair are copyright of Disco Inferno1, 2003.