Inside of Me
Chapter 14

Mina hefted the duffel bag on her shoulder as she walked behind the booths in the autograph session, intending to find hers as soon as possible. The ride to the plaza it was taking place with had been a silent ride; no words being exchanged between her and Randy. Deep down, she knew it had everything to do with the conversation they'd had before going into the hotel last night. She couldn't help but feel like she'd failed Randy somehow, and it brought an emotion forth that she wasn't comfortable with.

She let out a sigh of relief when she spotted her booth. Today was not a day when she needed to be left alone. The autograph session was perhaps the best idea for today. She just hoped she wouldn't face probing questions about what had happened on RAW. Oddly enough, being at one of these, a place where you met hundreds of people was, at times, the loneliest job. No one asking for an autograph really knew you, and those that did were booths away, focused on their own tasks.

When she approached the booth, she realized that someone was sitting in her chair. The hairs on the back of her neck bristled, her shoulders tensing. Mina was fully expecting Gail or someone to be sitting there, but instead she found it to be occupied by Vince McMahon's grandson and the man in charge of recruiting new talent, Mike. She remembered the first day that she'd met him. He'd been the one to interview her after the WWE had gotten her application. His job was to make sure she was fit for her job and to have her sign all of the appropriate contracts, but he went further and that like he always did, setting up and attending meetings to get her firmly wedged into the WWE: introducing her to the way things worked and to the people she worked with. They had a good rapport between them, and she felt guilty that she couldn't call it a friendship. It was her uneasiness and distrust of people that kept them as friendly acquaintances at the end of the day.

"Hey Mina!" he greeted, his brown eyes twinkling. Mina smiled as she set her bag down. He was effortlessly cheerful in the mornings. He had Shane's face, but he was far more relaxed and content than Shane had been in his heyday. "Thought I'd stop by, make sure you're doing okay."

"Yeah," she smiled, dropping her duffel by the seat. "I'm doing…fine," she strained a smile. Mike got up and gave her a quick hug.

"Listen, I really want to talk with you, but I have to go," he told her.

"I'll be fine, Mike," Mina told him reassuringly.

He squeezed her shoulder, never breaking eye contact with her. "You'll be fine," he echoed, but they both knew he wasn't referring to the autograph signing. As Mike walked away, she plopped down on the seat and pulled out a few markers. The signing wasn't due to begin for another fifteen minutes, and it gave her a little time on her own to think.

She had to talk to Randy. He'd done so much for her in the past week. She'd only known him a week. It seemed like she'd known him her whole life. Randy was so kind to take her under his wing, and she'd done something to offend him. As much as she'd like to believe that it was as simple as something she had told him, she knew it was what she'd done to Gail. Kane had encouraged her to hit Gail with the chair, but it had been Mina's decision. When she thought of what happened, she felt dirty, guilty. She knew Gail didn't deserve that, as annoying and antagonistic as Gail happened to be. It was simple morals, simple logic.

But why should she have to follow it? There was an anger within her, a deep crevice in her heart of emotions she'd never let out before last night. In all her life, hardly anyone had held to those morals. They'd done everything in their power to reduce her to nothing. None of them even knew the first thing about her. So why was she expected to hold up these morals? They didn't have to.

Was this the anger that Kane had within him? Was this the anger that drove him to be so merciless? When he was in that ring, he didn't have a heart. He was a powerhouse; a force to be reckoned with and a model of a wrestler. One day, she wished she could be as dominant of a force as he was. But there was something else, something that didn't settle right. It all kept going back to attacking Gail with that chair. Her emotions were running all over the place, and she couldn't gather them up long enough to think logically. On one hand, the thrill, the resolve, the happiness it gave her, bringing that unforgiving steel down on a helpless body, as something new, something she'd never felt before and something that she liked. But now, hours later, she felt sick to her stomach. She'd never done that before. It felt wrong. But what confused her most of all, what tormented her, was how everyone's attitudes had changed toward her: Randy, Mike, everyone in the back… Randy wouldn't even speak to her much anymore. She knew he wasn't doing it pettily, or maybe he wasn't even realizing it, but he was upset with her. Mike treated her as if she had made a mistake, ventured into territory that she should never go in again. And everyone in the back…when she'd walked back there last night, it had been different. The warm air of welcome she'd so loved in the WWE was replaced with an air of caution.

"Hey." She jumped at the deep voice and turned to see Kane standing beside her. Swallowing tightly, masking any emotions on her face, she gave a little wave and smiled.

"Hi. What are you doing here? I mean…duh. But I didn't think you were coming…" she trailed off.

"Last minute change," Kane replied. "I have to go to my booth, but I wanted to make sure you were doing okay."

Mina smiled. 'See?' she told herself silently, 'He's a good guy. He's done nothing to you; you just don't understand him. All he has tried to do is be a good father.' Her smile faltered at his statement. "Actually…" she hesitated, looking into his eyes. She wanted so badly to tell him how she felt about what happened, but sitting there, looking into his eyes…all she could see in them was herself. "I'm fine," she told him instead, forcing the smile back onto her face.

"That's good," Kane said, seemingly oblivious to her inward struggle. "I wanted to see if you wanted to come to the house show tomorrow night with me. Normally there isn't much action, but… Connie has a match versus Christy. I thought you'd be interested."

It took Mina a moment to realize that Kane was talking about her interest in Connie as an enemy. She'd been excited to see a match of Christy's, but the enthusiasm dwindled when she apprehended that she'd be going to the match to study Connie, not to support a friend. 'But…there's nothing that says I can't do both at once,' Mina thought. "Yeah," she said aloud in reply to Kane's invitation. "I'd love to come."

Maybe she'd have some answers by then.

Author's Note: I feel horrible for taking so long to update, but I've got very fickle muses. My apologies, everyone. All of my wrestling stories are on 'hold' - sort of. Basically, it's my way of not promising anything. I've been updating "Blue Nova" and hopefully now that this chapter is up I can be back on track and update this story. It just depends on how inspired I am, and I don't want anyone to suffer because of it. Anyway, thanks for your patience everyone and I really hope you enjoyed this chapter. I might be going back and fixing up some typos and the like in earlier chapters. It's so horrible now that I look back on it. :) I'll stop rambling now. Please review!