The Fine Line Between Love and Hate.
Summery: Samantha Edwards is the newest diva brought up from OVW, along with the man she manages Mike Summers. The diva dislikes her in ring appearance, has a strong rivalry with another woman and detests John Cena . What happens when Sam is forced to betray her best friend and work with the man she hates. OC/Cena.
Rating: T or PG-13 for WWE wrestling—mild swearing, violence, and sexual situations.
do not own the WWE or anything connected to it, I'm merely borrowing
it. Therefore, poetic licence has been used with the WWE storyline,
events and characters.
I have not used wrestlers real names or families, as that's not something I'm comfortable with.
The views represented in this story are not the views of the WWE, their wrestlers or the author.
The characters Samantha Edwards and Mike Summers belong to wandaXmaximoff.
The character Cheryl Leigh comes from the amazing fan fiction 'Blessed, Not Unlucky' by Disco Inferno1.
Author's Notes: A huge thank you to the awesome Disco Inferno1, for beta'ing for me, even though you're real busy and for letting me borrow Cheryl. I hope I do her justice.
13/08/06: I've edited Cheryl's
last name in this chapter, as Disco Inferno1 kindly pointed out that
Cheryl dropped her married name towards the end of her story.
I've taken the liberty of changing it to Leigh-Batista, as I feel the married woman would want to keep her maiden name as well as taking on the name of her husband. Thank you for pointing out a detail I'd forgotten.
Chapter One: Unhappy Allegiances.
"My god, if I have to spend one more minute with that man, I might just knock him out," raged the blonde woman to her red headed companion.
The fair-haired diva sat down on the locker-room bench and began to tease her hair out of the ridiculous pigtails she was forced to wear them in for the show. As the other woman, a seasoned diva named Cherry Leigh, raised a questioning eyebrow to her young prodigy.
Samantha, or Sammy as she was known in the ring, had known Cherry ever since she started in the WWE.
The current woman's champion, who's real name was Cheryl Leigh-Batista, was married to World Heavy Weight Champion Dave Batista. Cheryl was Samantha's mentor and, after taking the younger woman under her wing, the two had become firm friends.
Samantha Edwards was the newest diva brought up from the WWE's training facility OVW, along with her life long friend and the man she managed in the ring, Mike Summers.
Mike was the current Intercontinental Champion and was presently feuding with the WWE Champion, John Cena, who also happened to be the cause of Samantha's weekly rants.
"What's he done now?" questioned Cheryl, knowing from experience who had angered her friend.
"He hasn't done anything, it's more the fact he exists," replied Samantha. "It's nothing specific; it's just him in general. The way he struts around the ring, making wise cracks and thinking he's all that."
Cheryl merely nodded, being use to the other woman's outbursts by now.
"And it isn't just an act, like with the others. I've seen him with his running buddies, in the hotel bar, acting like a complete jerk," continued Sam.
All Cheryl could do in way of a response was laugh despite her friend's serious tone; she couldn't help but find it amusing.
Samantha was still fuming as she pulled off her wrestling gear and changed into black pants and a baby pink sweater.
With that week's edition of 'Raw' over, the two women jumped into Cheryl's car. They headed for the hotel, where they had arranged to meet Dave and Mike for drinks.
The hotel bar was, as usual for a Monday night, filled with relaxing 'Raw' superstars.
Dave, who was a 'Smackdown' superstar, had arrived a day early, ahead of the Tuesday taping of his show, to spend time with his wife.
The four people took seats right at the bar itself and ordered drinks. As all of them were on the current WWE roster and performing house shows as well as the weekly tapings of 'Raw' and 'Smackdown', they stuck to soft drinks.
The chatter of people suddenly died down as Cena, surrounded by a group of friends, entered the bar. Most of the people gathered in the room knew him in some way or another, but his presence commanded their attention never the less.
Samantha rolled her eyes as he made his way into the already crowded room.
It was very unlike Samantha to complain about colleagues, and she had a huge amount of respect for the veterans of the business, but for some reason the WWE Champion had under her skin.
After ten uneasy minutes, Samantha made an excuse and departed for her room, which she was sharing with fellow diva Melina.
As she passed Cena on her way out, he stopped her.
Samantha hated her nickname and its frequent use, and for a minute her face was a picture of disdain, added to by who was addressing her.
Pulling herself together and smiling in a way she hoped was professional, Sam replied.
"Hi, err. I'm just leaving. I've got a splitting head ache."
This was partly the truth and partly an excuse to leave as quickly as possible, so Samantha hurried away as fast as she could.
Arriving in her room, Samantha found Melina on the phone to her boyfriend and WWE wrestler Jonny Nitro.
"Love you more," was all she heard of her roommate's conversation before Samantha went into the washroom.
Sam stood staring into the mirror for about half an hour on the pretence of brushing her teeth.
Really, she was contemplating what it was about John Cena that bugged her so much.
"Sammy? Are you almost done?" came Melina's voice, shaking the woman from her thoughts.
The blonde woman gave up the sanctuary and silence of the small tiled room and got into bed.
For hours she lay awake going over that night's match.
Mike had been facing off against Cena in preparation for their title match at 'Vengeance'.
Sam, as always, had accompanied Mike into the ring, where a shouting match between the two men had broken out. The result was Sam almost falling victim to Cena's trademark move, the 'F U'. At just over six foot, being man handled by Cena was a frightening thing; luckily, Mike hit him with the belt before any damage to Sam could be done.
The pair then fled the ring, Mike indicating that come Sunday the title would be his.
What Sunday held was the thing Sam feared the most. Two months before, Mike and his manager had been informed that at 'Vengeance' Sam would be turning on him.
The staged betrayal would lead to Cena retaining his title and Sam joining forces with him.
She wasn't much looking forwards to working so closely with a man she detested, and Sunday wasn't far away enough for her liking.
Disgruntled by the looming situation the diva fell into an uneasy sleep.
Tuesday morning came and, with it, the usual moans from a half sleeping Melina and a hurry to be ready on time. Tonight Sam would be taking part in a house show in Chicago, Illinois.
She would be in a tag-team match consisting of Mike and Cena, with her managing, against the current WWE tag team champions Kenny and Mikey of the 'Spirit Squad', with diva search runner up Rebecca in their corner.
The event wasn't something Sam was looking forwards to, as well as having to team with a man she disliked; she'd be facing off against her old rival.
Ever since the brunette had finished second in the WWE's quarter of a million answer to a talent contest, the two women hadn't seen eye-to-eye. The inexperienced woman had immediately been sent to OVW to improve on her wrestling skills, where Samantha was the reigning woman's champion at the time. Greenness had inflated Rebecca's head and led the woman into thinking that just because she had been handed a WWE contract on a silver plate, she was better than everyone else was. Samantha's respectful work ethic had meant that she had taken an instant dislike to the newcomer.
During their time together in the federation's training facilities, the two divas had had an intense rivalry both in and out of the ring.
Upon being brought up to the main branch of sports entertainment neither woman had much to do with the other, and so their animosity simmered down. Tonight's match was bound to open up some old wounds.
Thankfully, for once the plane journey to Illinois was an uneventful one. The three 'Raw' superstars said goodbye Dave, who'd be staying on in Wisconsin for 'Smackdown.' Before getting into a cab and heading to the airport. Check in was simple enough, and soon the three friends were sitting together on the aeroplane. The flight passed swiftly as the wrestlers spent it sleeping.
Arriving at the hotel, Sam, Cheryl and Mike stopped by the bar for something to eat before going to their separate rooms.
Within no time at all, they had to head to the arena for the show. Sam and Mike travelled together in a cab and were soon at their destination.
It was with a heavy heart that Samantha entered the locker-room that night, but the sight of Cheryl elevated her mood a little.
The older woman would be taking on a veteran of the sport, Trish Stratus, tonight in a match warming up for their confrontation at 'Vengeance'. Even though the prestigious woman's title was on the line, both women were professional enough not to let it cause real hostility.
"Hi, your headache cleared up?" was the red head's greeting.
"Yeah, I think that being almost hit by the 'F U' did more damage than I thought. I'm alright now though, thanks," the blonde replied.
"So, you looking forwards to tonight?"
"Yeah, I can't wait to get into the ring with a man I hate and a woman I despise," answered Sam, her voice laced with sarcasm.
"You'll be fine. You'll have Mike with you, and I'm sure Rebecca won't be a problem. It's been ages since you two fell out, she'll have forgotten it by now," added her friend, speaking from experience as she recalled a rivalry she had with ex-diva Stacy Keibler.
"I guess, but then I have Sunday to look forwards too. Joy of joys, working along side 'Mr. Vanilla Ice wannabe'," Sam sighed.
Cheryl just laughed; something about her friend's dislike of the WWE champion was so amusing that she couldn't take it seriously.
"You may laugh, but it's alright for you. What happened when you joined the WWE? You became part of Evolution and ended up marrying the hunky World Champion. What am I meant to do? Forget I hate the guy and get down on bended knee?"
Samantha stopped dead at the comment; even the thought of it sent chills down her spine.
Back into her consuming dislike, Samantha unhappily changed into her wrestling gear. She hated every inch of the pink hot pants and cute baby doll t-shirt. Add to the mix pigtails and she felt like an overgrown toddler. Samantha saw it as degrading for a woman with a degree in business management to be prancing around like a giant Barbie doll, but that was the price she had to pay for a job she loved.
Seven O'clock came and Cheryl made her way to the ring, leaving Samantha to sit in anticipation.
Not being able to stand the nerves alone, she made her way out of the women only area to find some company.
Crewmembers lined the backstage area of the arena and from out here Samantha could hear the chants of the crowd. Trish, playing heel to Cherry's babyface, was getting a lot of heat and the audience seemed to love their women's champion.
Not seeing Mike around and, assuming he was still getting ready, Samantha walked over to the buffet table to grab a bottle of water. As she did, she heard a familiar voice behind her.
"Hey, Sammy, all ready for the match?"
Samantha looked round and found herself face to face with John Cena.
Perfect, just perfect. As if my life couldn't get worse, she thought.
"Do I look ready? Yes? Then why ask?" she replied, her eyebrows raised in sarcasm.
Without even waiting for a response, Samantha turned on her heel and stalked off. Her mood wasn't improved as she ran into Rebecca.
"Aww, Sammy, don't you look cute with your hair up in piggy tails," said the brunette in a mock baby voice.
Inside Samantha wanted to punch the cow but knew it could wait until they faced off in the ring. If anything good were to come of this Sunday's change of allegiance, she hoped it would be her attire.
Thankfully, Mike arrived in time to save her from a confrontation.
"Hey, Sam, how's your head feeling today?"
"It'll be much better once I wipe that smirk off Rebecca's face."
"I guess this will be one of our last matches together? I'm not looking forwards to Sunday at all."
"And you think I am? Do you know what the prospect of teaming up with Cena is doing to me?" she questioned in an uncharacteristic harsh tone.
"You know he's not all bad. He even came and asked if you were ok last night?"
"Yeah I bet he did. I guess he was disappointed in not having a woman around to taunt in front of his mates."
"You'll see, give it two months and you'll be wondering why you made such a fuss(.)"
"I doubt it, there's about as much chance as Mr. McMahon retiring and handing over the company to yours truly."
Mike stifled a laugh, knowing from fifteen years of friendship, not to push it any more.
Cheryl returned, sporting a cut lip, but claiming her match went really well and she had high hopes for 'Vengeance'.
All too soon, it was time for Samantha's match and she and Mike made their way to the entrance ramp.
Unlike 'Monday night Raw', there was no over the top entrance or commentary from Jim Ross.
Samantha missed the pyros and music of her and Mike's usual approach to the ring.
Something felt odd without the warm heat of the fireworks, sound of Zebrahead and the announcement that Mike Summer, accompanied by Sammy, hailed from Lexington, South Carolina.
Stepping up to the ring, Samantha's body prickled at the sight of Rebecca decked out in cheerleader like attire similar to that of the 'Spirit Squad'.
She was aching for the moment the tag was made and she'd finally get the chance of some payback.
The match got under way with Mike facing off against Kenny. There wasn't much height difference between the two men, but Mike was far more built then his opponent. With a couple of grapple holds, her side had the advantage and Samantha relaxed into the action.
She was uneasy at being in such close proximity with Cena, so she played with the tag rope to distract herself. Soon enough the tag was made and Cena stepped into the ring to a flourish of cheers.
Back with Mike at her side, Samantha was able to take interest in the match.
Half of her guiltily hoped Mikey's punches would connect as he went at it against the Champion.
However, before there was a chance of any real injury, a warm hand slapped hers and she was in on the action.
Cheers, almost as loud as those for her team-mate, filled the air, and Samantha smiled to herself.
The audience loved her and wanted her to lay one on Rebecca almost as much as she did herself.
Although she knew all this would change come Sunday when the fan favourite turned on her ' boyfriend' to join the Champion and enjoy his glory too. A part of her was looking forwards to it though, as it had been so long since she'd played the bitchy heel and it was much closer to her real self that she enjoyed it a lot.
The moment had come and Samantha now held Rebecca by a clump of hair, enjoying the tension as the other woman struggled to get free. With a neck breaker, that was almost too real, the blonde had the brunette down.
Going down for the three count, Samantha didn't notice Kenny jump into the ring with a steel chair until the last second. Getting to her feet, she prepared to dodge out of the way when someone grabbed her from behind and swung her to safety. The touch of the man's hands on her exposed waist was like electric coursing through her body. She felt light-headed at the intimacy of it and thought her rescuer could only be Mike. Samantha was shocked when she crawled to the ring apron and saw Mike was standing there. Then the realisation of who had moved her out of the way hit her, and she was stunned that John Cena had had such an effect on her.
Within seconds he'd hit the 'FU' on a now legal Kenny and the three count followed.
Cena's music played and the trio stood victorious, but Samantha was a little downhearted that she hadn't been given the chance to do more damage to Rebecca.
With emotions running high, the winning team embraced and Samantha felt the electricity again as Cena slipped his hand around her waist. With out knowing why she did it, she leaned in and whispered in his ear.
"Thanks for saving me back there."
Walking back to the locker room, Samantha's head span. How could a man that infuriated her so much cause feelings inside her that she hadn't felt the likes of since her first kiss with a boy named Cody at the high school prom.
"How was your match? Get any much wanted revenge?" asked Cheryl as the blonde sat down.
"Sadly no, but it was interesting never the less," came the semi-dressed woman's reply.
The red head raised a questioning eyebrow, surprised at the lack of annoyance in her friend's voice.
"It was nothing, forget it," said Sam, shaking the thoughts out of her head.
"Are you sure you're alright? You don't look it."
"I guess I'm just still shaken up from Kenny almost be-heading me with a steel chair," said the blonde.
"Jeez, what happened?"
"Cena pulled me out of the way before it hit me."
"I guess his isn't such an arrogant jerk after all," said Cheryl.
"Humm," was all Sam managed to reply with.
That night, needing a distraction from her thoughts, Samantha joined Cheryl and Mike for drinks in the bar. It was strange without Dave there with his wife, but the trio still chatted happily.
As her mood lifted, because of the company, all thoughts of the WWE champion left Sam's head.
After about an hour of light conversation, mostly about the upcoming pay per view, one of the 'Raw' bookers, Dusty Rhodes, approached Samantha and Mike.
The middle-aged former superstar needed a word with the two wrestlers, so they made their way to a quiet room next to the bar.
Dusty informed them that he thought it would be a good idea if they get to the arena early the next day so that they had time to go through some things for that night's house show.
With just four days until 'Vengeance', management at WWE headquarters were keen to road test Samantha's union with John Cena.
It would be unthinkable that if come Sunday the two couldn't work well together, and they also wanted to make sure the two newer wrestlers were prepared for the biggest night of their careers.
Mike and Samantha had only been in the WWE for two years, so for them to be involved in a title match with such implications was a huge deal.
If things went according to plan, by the time 'Monday night Raw' had aired next week, the Intercontinental champion would be really over. Playing the part of the 'scorned lover' was bound to get Mike a lot of sympathy from the crowd, and the push would bring him to the next level in the WWE ladder.
Meanwhile, the change would also give some freshness to the WWE Champion, as he'd be turning from babyface to heel, along with the addition of a woman by his side.
Dusty hoped the betrayal at 'Vengeance' would benefit all those involved and make for some interesting story lines in the coming months.
With this new schedule, Samantha and Mike realised they'd have to be up pretty early the next day; it was a long trip from Chicago to the state of the next show, Des Moines, Iowa.
As always, the two best friends got a cab together to the airport. Cheryl wouldn't be joining them, however, as she had the following day off she'd be flying out to Mobile, Alabama, to see her husband who had a show there.
The three of them would meet up again on Friday, after a well-deserved break, for the last few house shows before the pay per view.
Informing Cheryl of the change in plans, which meant they'd have to skip their arranged breakfast, Mike and Sam bid her good night.
"See you in the morning Cher. Remember don't be late, I'd like the get to the airport with plenty of time," said Sam, which was something of an irony, as she was the one who usually made the group late
"See you tomorrow, sleep well."
The two women embraced and Samantha made her way to her hotel room. Surprisingly, Melina wasn't there and Sam guessed she was still saying goodnight to Jonny Nitro.
Unable to sleep just yet, Samantha changed in to her pyjamas and curled up to read a chapter of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
Half an hour later, Melina returned to the room looking hot and flushed in the face. She promptly changed, climbed into bed and fell asleep.
Samantha ended the chapter titled 'Lyra and her Death', folded down the corner of page 284 and closed her book. As always, reading had done the trick and she felt heavy lidded. Closing her eyes, Samantha fell into an easy sleep.