Uncommon Bond

Prologue

Rated – NC-17/MA

Author: Batistafan(given name, given on request)

THIS IS THE SEQUEL TO UNCOMMON SENSE – If you have not yet read the first story, doing so may better help you to piece together the events and characters of this fiction…enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is a mature fanfiction intended for mature readers. This story contains violence, coarse language, as well as mature, consensual sexual situations (though not explicit), and these would not be deemed appropriate for all readers.

I do not own nor claim to have any affiliation with the WWE, its characters, wrestlers, staff or other affiliates. I do own any original characters that I have created, as well as scenarios that ensue throughout the course of this fiction. However, since both my characters and scenarios are inexorably intertwined with those of the WWE, my ownership of them is not autonomous.

I do not endorse nor do I discourage the use of any brand-name products that might be referenced in the fiction and have no claim to them as they are property of their respective companies of license. Thank you kindly for not suing.

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"I'd rather get my brains blown out in the wild than wait in terror at the slaughterhouse." – Craig Volk, Northern Exposure, A-Hunting We Will Go, 1991

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Tuesday 8:40 p.m.

December 23rd

Portland, Oregon

She stared forward in stony silence, the only sound being the occasional gust of the cold wind and the steady tapping of rain drops on the windshield melding with the wipers and the sudden crunch of the tires on the gravel as the Cadillac STS left the road. Her heart was rapping out an uneasy cadence as the vehicle rolled past the line of trees just off of the main road and then wound its way deeper into the backwoods of the Oregon side of the Columbia River. No interior lights could aid her in a soundless appraisal of her injuries or verify the filthy covering of grime that she knew was on her body already. Inside of the handcuffs, her wrists were chaffed and raw…sore. Fingernails, once manicured to perfection were split and chipped beyond repair. Every bone in her body ached with an intensity that determined to rob her of her resolve to concentrate on her surroundings, and all that was left of her clothing were the tattered remains of the satin chemise that had been underneath her periwinkle bridesmaid dress.

None of that mattered to Barren O'Neil. Not the dress, not the wedding ceremony where she had been the maid of honor less than 48 hours prior to this very moment. The veiled state of panic that she was in didn't matter much either, for Barren knew why the car wheeled into the clearing deep in the Oregon woods. She knew her body would not be found for a long time, if ever and that after tonight everything she had done to achieve her objective would be in vain. Her body jerked as the car came to a halt, but she continued to stare forward, knowing that there was nothing that could be done on her part to stop the inevitable.

No words were spoken as Teke Shaun slid the gear shift into park and slipped out of the driver seat and into the torrential rain. The tall middle aged man, clearly knowing his duty, rounded the back end of the car with purposeful strides, undaunted by the mud beneath his Italian leather boots and completely impervious to the sheet of rain-water soaking him from head to toe. He opened the passenger door and tugged the auburn-haired beauty out of the seat by her arm. Teke wasn't gentle in his acquisition of her and he hadn't needed to be…his instructions were crystal clear and he had no intention of deviating from them.

He shoved Barren roughly and watched as she stumbled in the mud and then quickly righted herself. Teke made certain that she could feel the muzzle of the 9mm Beretta in the flesh of her lower back as he led her toward the front of the car, he didn't want her to summon any bravery and the constant stab of the tip of the gun against her skin assured that. Rain drops lit up like tiny falling glass beads in the headlights as they steadily pelted the already muddy clearing. Teke's hand on her shoulder was insistent, as he clamped it sharply and she hit her knees when he forced her to the ground. He would rather not have her facing him; would rather not be looking her in the eyes when he spilt her skull open with the hollow-point bullet that sat obediently amongst the others in the magazine, awaiting the slide action's mechanical command to move. The wind lifted the wet strands of her crimson hair and he watched her shiver in the cold night air. And as always, Teke felt no remorse for what he was about to do. There was no forethought to her feelings now and there would be no contrition after.

"Once more, Barren…" His voice was a mere growl, laden with the thick evidence of his Dublin, Ireland origin. He could barely be heard over the sound of the rain and the wind through the tops of the trees, but even if she had been deaf, dumb and blind…she damn sure would have known what he'd been asking for. "The key." His voice rumbled.

Barren licked her cracked lips and braced herself, facing away from Teke and the gun. She made no move to speak, had no intention of telling him what he wanted to know. Her body hit the ground forcefully when he kicked her between the shoulder blades, as she kneeled.

"Still holding your own, Barren?" His breath made clouds in the cold air as he spoke. He spat and then whipped his damp, coal-black curls out of his line of sight. "I suppose it doesn't matter," Teke laughed as he leveled the gun on the back of her head. "I rid the world of one O'Neil already…killing another is just a service to society, I suppose."

Barren felt her ire rising and the heat of the blood pumping through her veins, at the mere mention of what she had known all along. 'One O'Neil already…' Teke had murdered Duncan…he had just admitted it. Her big brother had suffered the same fate that she was surely about to be consigned to. She pushed her body back up to the kneeling position, muddy water dripping down the entire front of her lean, muscular frame…she was determined to die with what was left of her dignity.

"If you're gonna kill me, then just do it…" Barren hissed and she was suddenly racked by a fit of chills. "Stop fucking around."

Behind her, she could hear Teke's laughter. "Gladly, Barren…gladly…" He raised the gun and pressed the wet muzzle into the stringy mass of scarlet hair at the back of her head, preparing to finish the job and tie up the loose ends of a major problem that at present was unraveling.

Barren closed her eyes, resigned to the knowledge that she was about to die, grasping for the memory of Duncan…the way he had looked the last time she had seen him…In the park on his lunch hour, when she had surprised him with a couple of hoagies, intent on enlisting his help with painting her apartment. Barren envisioned him laughing as he dove for the Frisbee she had thrown. She could see the carrot red hair that had never failed to fall into place perfectly, no matter how hard the wind had been blowing; the trail of freckles that led from one cheek to the other across the bridge of the proud aquiline nose, so uncommon to their Irish heritage.

She could remember Duncan clearly, fondly…her only brother and she smiled despite her ill-fated circumstance. In her mind she could see his snapping blue eyes somewhere between a cool sapphire and a sparkling cerulean, beneath the fringe of strawberry blonde lashes…her heart conjured up the memory of his strong jaw-line and the square chin…the white teeth with a gap in between the top two…the way his eyes squinted shut when he laughed…yes, she missed her brother…and yes, she would be seeing him again soon. She heard Teke pull back the 9 mm's slide, rudely snatching her from her peaceful thoughts…felt the vibration against the back of her skull as the action chambered the first round…the first of a few bullets she was sure would be inside of her brain and beyond in less than a few seconds. Barren squeezed her eyes shut tightly, holding on to the image of her brother.

"Sorry Duncan…I tried." Barren whispered tremulously just before the earsplitting blast from the gun cut through the darkness.

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Tuesday 8:40 p.m.

December 23rd

Rose Garden Arena

Portland, Oregon

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"He's a pretty stubborn old man…I'm sure he'll pull through just fine." Randy Orton stated, as he stretched his long, muscular arms over his head giving in to a yawn that hinted toward his exhaustion, a result of the rigors of his WWE traveling schedule.

"He will…" the affirmation came from a seated Dave Batista who nodded and viewed Randy through the slight tint of his trademark sunglasses, that he as yet had not shed. "He's a tough old bird."

The two men had been referring to the recent heart attack and subsequent double bypass surgery that Randy's father, Bob Orton had undergone. The travel schedule had kept Randy away for so long, and he couldn't help but feel a measure of guilt for not having been there when his father had succumbed to the attack. It was little consolation that the landscapers had been present and seen him take the fall from the swing on the wide sweeping porch in front of the ranch that Cowboy Bob Orton called home. But it was a damned good thing that they had…the paramedics had credited the quick thinking of the landscapers with their CPR and their call for help, for saving his life.

Dave slipped his suit coat onto a padded hanger and slid it with smooth ease over the clothing bar in the open side of his locker. "Two days till Christmas…" He noted, placing his sunglasses in their case and then the case into his bag. "If you don't have plans, you can always come spend it with us." He offered.

"I wouldn't wanna impose." Randy shook his head and sank his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

"It's not an imposition." Dave admitted. "If I promise not to let Nancy cook, will that seal the deal?" He joked affectionately, reaching over to splay one hand on his wife's prominently round belly. He was rewarded by a sidelong glance complete with an arched brow and a good-natured wink. Everyone was well aware of Nancy's lack of skills in the kitchen and fortunately she never pushed the issue and attempted to become a culinary genius. She was simply content to let her husband cook for her when he was in town and to eat take-out food or ready made microwaveable entrees when he wasn't.

"I'm sure you two have your hands full already." Randy grinned…he liked the lighthearted repartee that the pair shared…it was a definite spark in their relationship…a relationship that had gone through hell and high-water in the very beginning but had made it through just fine. It gave him hope for his own future, despite the fact that his fiancé, Samantha had called off their engagement only hours prior to tonight's show, citing Randy's frenetic itinerary as her reason for doing so. "Besides I should probably head back to Mom and Dad's and help out around there during my time off." He knew his help would be appreciated even if it wasn't imperative. Most likely his sister would have already whipped the household into shape without him. She was a master of taking situations into hand with military precision…she was also a master of making Randy feel like a third wheel and reminding him of it every chance she got.

"Are you sure?" Dave offered again, and then glancing sideways at his wife, he joked again. "I think there'll be enough food…maybe."

Randy watched Nancy grin and roll her eyes and then his gaze fell to the roundness of her belly and he smiled. "Oh, that's right…" He said, nodding. "You are eating for two, huh?"

"Well—" Nancy began, but was interrupted.

"She was eating for two before she was pregnant." Dave snickered, unable to resist another genial jest about his wife's hearty appetite.

"You're due, like any day now, right?" Randy dared to touch her stomach gingerly with a flat palm, staring with a mixture of wonderment and fear.

"No, I have another five weeks." Nancy informed him.

He felt the slight tremor of movement where he had placed his hand, and his expression changed to shock and then amazement. "That's so incredible…" He assessed almost wistfully. "Do you know whether it's a he or a her?"

"It's a her", Dave piped up as he shuffled through one of his bags.

Nancy furrowed a brow. "It could be a he. We don't know yet."

"I have a track record of making hers…trust me it's probably a her." Dave announced with certainty, holding up two fingers to indicate Vanessa and Audrey, the two hers to which he was referring. "And since she won't show us on the sonogram…we can't verify, but I'd bet money that I'm right."

Randy felt a twinge of sadness over his break-up, watching the prospect of marriage and family fading farther into the future. He pulled his hand away from the firmness of her belly. "Well whatever you have…I'm sure it'll be healthy…and spoiled rotten."

"If I have anything to do with it, he will be." Nancy said. "And if you change your mind about spending Christmas with us…you know you're always welcome." She patted his arm and then turned to her husband to give her 'goodbyes'. "My flight leaves in about an hour." She told Dave.

Randy stepped away from the pair to give them a moment of privacy and resumed the task of gathering his own belongings, readying himself for the long drive to his family's home in Missouri.

"Showing up here was a nice surprise…" Dave told her, enfolding her in an embrace. "But you're not supposed to be flying this late in your pregnancy." He chided and kissed her forehead.

"I know, but it was only an hour flight…" She smiled, "Besides, I feel great."

"You look great." He told her quietly, touching the strap of her white satin top. "Is this new?"

"Old—made new." Nancy boasted. The white satin top had been a vintage wedding gown that she had restyled to use as a maternity top, by shortening it and altering the empire waistline. Her talent for restyling clothing had turned into a full fledged business. Nancy had been the former Wardrobe Manager for RAW and then Smackdown, but due to the influx of design requests and contracts with different designers, she had been forced to pull away from the WWE and open her own design firm working out of their home.

The demand for her services and the ensuing workload had spawned a necessity for more studio space and more man power, forcing Nancy to hire her former assistant Max Hadaway to oversee the out of town affairs. The high volume of design orders were much easier for her to manage after Dave had gifted her with the addition of studio space that he'd acquired by purchasing the adjoining condo and having it remodeled for her as a surprise. He had believed in her talents and invested in them…and his belief had rewarded him not only with a very happy wife, but a substantial monetary return to boot.

"You're so good at that." He grinned, fingering the hem of the fabric, appraising it, realizing to his dismay that he didn't really want her leaving, not this late and not alone.

"I need to call a cab, so I can get back to the airport." She smiled. "I have to get the girls from Angie's tomorrow morning…I promised them that we would get our last minute shopping done."

"Randy?" Dave spun around addressing his good friend. "You're heading out, I-5 south, past the airport, aren't you?"

"Yeah." Randy responded, making an attempt to stack his bags. One which became futile when his suitcase, offset in weight, kept tipping over.

"You could drive Nancy…couldn't you? Just to the airport?" He suggested. "I don't want her in a cab this late."

"No problem." Randy said nodding. "I'll even take her to the gate if you want."

"I appreciate that." Dave said turning to his wife, kneeling down to whisper unintelligible words to his unborn child.

Nancy's hands fell to his shoulders, as she smiled at his habit of telling secrets to their child. "What are you saying?" She asked looking down on him.

"Just stuff." He told her winking, content to keep his secret. "I will see you tomorrow around lunchtime." He framed her face with strong hands, ignoring the presence of his friend, and grazed his lips gently over hers. "Call me the minute you land." He instructed her and then prepared to hand her over to his friend. "Randy." He began as he placed his hands on Nancy's waist and peeked over her shoulder. "Take good care of my girl." Dave then reluctantly let her leave.

"Oh…don't worry." Randy began in his most cocky and self-assured voice. "I'll take very good care of your girl." He then lifted his own bags and grinned as Nancy smiled and rolled her eyes.

"Keep your hands off my wife." Dave smiled and said in jest, tipping his chin. The two of them had a running joke about how Randy always got the girls and that if not for the fact that Nancy was expecting a child, he would have already stolen her away.

Nancy winked and said one last goodbye, before passing Randy, who also winked back at Dave and wagged his brows suggestively, inciting a snort from the man himself and a small wave as he watched his wife and best friend retreat through the locker-room door.