Summary: After leaving Paul Levesque at the alter, Stephanie McMahon is determined to stay single. However, Chris Irvine is set on finding her perfect match.
Paul Levesque looked expectantly at the radiant woman standing in front of him, as was the rest of the church.
"I'm sorry. I can't," Stephanie McMahon said breathily, turning hastily and quickly walking down the aisle with her bridesmaids and mother following in hot pursuit.
"You were planning on running out on Paul at your wedding and you didn't tell your best friend in the entire world?" Chris Irvine questioned exasperatedly.
"Shut up, Irvine," Stephanie sighed. "I wasn't planning it. I just… did."
"Well you put on a hell of a show," Chris laughed.
"You know, I didn't call to get made fun of," Stephanie pointed out.
"I know. I just throw it in as a bonus," Chris retorted childishly.
"How generous of you," Stephanie replied sarcastically. "But seriously, I don't know what I'm going to do when I come back."
"Just talk to the man. I mean, you can't avoid him forever," Chris offered.
"But what am I supposed to say to him!" Stephanie asked in a panicked voice.
Chris shrugged although Stephanie could not see. "That's up to you, Princess."
"Some best friend you are," Stephanie muttered.
"You know you love me," Chris laughed.
"You wish," she laughed, her mood lightening a bit.
Stephanie stepped out of the limo with her father. Tonight was her first night back at a wrestling even since the wedding fiasco two and a half weeks ago. Being such a wealthy and recognized family in Connecticut, the McMahon family was constantly in the local media, and the McMahon-Levesque wedding was no exception. Regional newspaper journalist and television reporters had conjugated outside of the cozy church, waiting for the newly married couple. However, when Stephanie burst through the front doors in a panic with her mascara starting to run, they knew the wedding had not gone as planned. In an attempt to figure out what had taken place, the press followed Stephanie as she ran to the parking lot, climbed into her own vehicle, and sped off. The correspondents ran wild with the footage they had obtained, creating fictional stories to accompany the unexplained clip. In a public statement, Vince McMahon denied all reports as to why Stephanie had fled the church, but did not elaborate on the situation as many had hoped he would.
Nevertheless, that was done with now. She had what were more important occupying her thoughts - like Paul.
Stephanie let out a shaky breath as she linked her arm with her father's extended arm. The pair walked into the building with a glow of confidence emitting from both father and daughter, although Stephanie felt anything but confident about the night that lay ahead of her.
The show was to start in about two hours, so the two went to Stephanie's private dressing room, which was right next door to Vince's makeshift office.
"Are you going to be okay, Princess?" Vince questioned as Stephanie sat down of the plush leather couch. He knew that she had been stressing herself out all day about her return and her first confrontation with Paul.
Stephanie nodded as she glanced up at her father. "Don't worry about me, Daddy. I'm a McMahon, damn it."
"That's my girl," Vince laughed as he touched her cheek affectionately. He then turned to leave the room. "If you need anything, I'm right next door," he reminded her.
"I know, Daddy. Thanks," she replied, watching Vince leave the room and close the door behind him. Wild thoughts ran through her head of how her first meeting with Paul could go. He could be happy that she called off the wedding. Maybe he felt the same way she did and it took him a while to come to that conclusion. Or, he could be depressed. Maybe he was in love with her and her leaving him just killed him on the inside. Or he could be livid with her for running out on him the way she did. Maybe he was so furious that he would -
'Stop it, Stephanie!' she mentally berated herself. 'Paul is a reasonable man. There is no reason to be scared. And remember, you're a McMahon,' she repeated. 'You don't get scared. And more importantly, when you do, you don't show it!'
Suddenly there was a knock at the door causing Stephanie to jump slightly.
"Who is it?" she called out.
There was a short pause. "It's Paul."
"Deep breaths," Stephanie whispered to herself, standing up and smoothing out her short black skirt and equally tight turquoise off-the-shoulder top with three-quarter-length sleeves. She walked to the door - nearly tripping in her black stilettos - and opened the door for Paul. "Hi," was all she could force herself to say.
Paul looked down at the floor for a split second before his eyes darted back up to meet Stephanie's brown orbs. "Hey."
The two stood there for a silent moment, not sure of what to do.
"Can I come in?" he questioned.
"Oh, yeah. Of course," she responded, stepping aside to allow him entrance to her room.
Paul walked in, letting out a deep breath as he passed his former fiancé. "Bischoff saw you and your dad coming in and he told me," he explained.
Stephanie nodded in understanding as she closed the door.
Both at a loss for words, the former couple merely stared at one another.
"Why haven't you returned my calls?" Paul finally asked, breaking the tangible and tense silence.
Stephanie averted her eyes from his gaze and shrugged. "I guess I just didn't know what to say to you. I mean, I've never really had to deal with a situation like this before."
"Neither have I," Paul shot back.
"I'm sorry," Stephanie apologized. "I panicked. I thought that you'd hate me."
Paul stepped closer to Stephanie and enveloped her in a hug. "I could never hate you," he informed her as she tentatively wrapped her arms around his middle. "I love you too much to hate you."
"I love you too," she said in a barely audible voice, refusing to look him in the eyes.
"Then why'd you run out on me like that? And in front of everyone?" he queried.
Stephanie pulled back out of the hug. "Paul, I love you, I really do. But I'm not in love with you. And I guess us in front of everyone in the church saying our vows was just the slap in the face I needed to see that. I never meant to hurt you," Stephanie revealed, tears slowly forming in her eyes.
"I'm not mad at you," he said, virtually reading her mind. "I'm just hurting. I thought you and I were going to be married. I thought that we'd be together forever."
"I'm sorry," was all Stephanie could say.
"Don't be. I've had three weeks to think about this whole situation, and I realized that if you had a reason to run out on me, then we just weren't ready to get married. Or we just aren't meant to be," Paul explained. "And after what you said, I guess it's the latter."
"I'm sorry," Stephanie repeated. By now, her tears had begun to fall freely.
Paul embraced Stephanie gently. "Like I said, don't be."
Stephanie looked up at Paul with wet eyes. "I just didn't know what to do, but I knew that I didn't want to go through with the wedding, but I didn't want to hurt you either, but I just… I just couldn't do it to you and to me, and I'm sorry!" she rambled, repeating things that she had already stated.
"I know," he mumbled into her hair.
"Are you sure you don't hate me?" she sobbed, getting a little overemotional.
Paul smiled. "I'm sure."
"Are you sure you're not just saying that?"
"I'm sure," he reiterated.
"Are you positive?"
"Are you completely and absolutely-"
"Steph," he interrupted, "I'm sure. As long as we're still friends, I'm sure."
Stephanie sniffled, wiping away her tears. "Okay."
"Hey, are you okay?"
"Yeah. I've just been really stressed since…" she trailed off.
"Our wedding?" Paul finished for her.
"Yeah," Stephanie nodded. "Thanks for being so… understanding about the whole thing."
"Well, there's not much I can do about it," Paul laughed.
Stephanie smiled. "Yeah. Sorry, Paul."
"Don't worry about it," he told her. "I got to go, but I'll see you later, okay?"
Stephanie nodded as Paul left the room, giving her a little wave before closing the door behind him.
"How does it feel to be back?" Chris questioned, throwing a sweaty arm around his on-screen enemy.
"Wonderful!" Stephanie cried out with a huge grin on her face.
Chris steered her toward the direction of his locker room. "Same for me. I missed calling you a brutal, dirty, disgusting, bottom-feeding, trash bag ho on national television," he sighed happily remembering their past years insulting each other.
"Me too," she replied sarcastically.
Chris chuckled. "So have you seen Paul yet?"
"Yeah," Stephanie answered queitly. "He came to see me earlier."
Chris looked surprised. "How'd it go? Did you throw anything at him?"
Stephanie gave a confused look. "Why would I throw anything at him?"
"Well, I just figured that he might start yelling, then, knowing you and your McMahon temper, that you would start yelling, and then he would yell some more, then you would throw something at him to shut him up," Chris narrated.
Stephanie shook her head. "No, I did not throw anything at him. And he didn't yell at me either."
"Oh," Chris said disappointedly.
"What, you wanted me to throw something at him?"
"I just think it would have been entertaining."
Rolling her eyes, Stephanie responded, "Well, I'm sorry it didn't meet your expectations, but if he had yelled at me, I think I would've started crying."
"Then you would've thrown something at him," Chris added cheekily.
"Why not?" Stephanie sighed, giving into Chris' imagination.
Chris smirked. "I knew it."
"I'm going to stay single forever," Stephanie declared as she lay on her stomach in her hotel room on the bed.
"Yeah right," Chris scoffed, leaning against the foot of the bed so that his and Stephanie's heads were almost adjacent to one another.
"No, seriously," Stephanie argued. "I mean, I have the worst taste in guys, and-"
"Except when it comes to best friends," Chris interjected.
"Except when it comes to best friends," Stephanie repeated. "And when I do find a guy I think I commit myself to, I always end up backing out of the relationship for one reason or another. So I will just stay single forever," she pledged.
Chris gave Stephanie a funny look.
"What?" she asked.
"Well, I just don't see you as the single type," Chris answered, squinting a bit at the woman on the bed.
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, there are the type of people who can be single all their lives and be perfectly content, and there are the people who need to have someone to love," Chris explained. "And you… well, you're just not a single person."
"Why not?" Stephanie contested.
"Because," Chris replied as thought the answer to Stephanie's question was obvious.
Stephanie waited a moment for Chris to continue. When he didn't, she urged him on, "Because why?"
"Because I've seen the difference in you when you're in a relationship with someone and when you're not in a relationship with someone."
"And those differences would be…?"
Chris shook his head and sighed. "Must I explain everything to you? When you're with someone, you're always so happy, and you have this… glow about you, that is assuming that you're not fighting with him. But anyways, when you're not with someone, you tend to get cranky and bitchy and stressed out a lot more easily."
"And how does the single type act?"
"I am the perfect example of a single-type person. I mean, it was hell for me while I was married to Jessica. Ever sine the divorce was made final, I have been living the single life and loving it. I'm meeting new people, having one-night stands, being commitment free, and having fun with my life again. I could not be happier! You, on the other hand, were made to glow."
Stephanie looked at her best friend as though he were the biggest moron she had ever met and rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
Author's Note: Alright, so here's the first chapter! Tell me what you think! Thanks!