Loyalty Comes First
Summary: Sequel to Where Loyalty Lies and Loyalty of Friendship. Samia Carlsen's boring but satisfied life apart from the WWE is rudely interrupted when she is blackmailed into returning to RAW and becomes the pawn of Vince and Shane McMahon in their schemes against D-Generation X. Upon her return, Batista is charged with her protection.
If the only reason you don't read this is because it's the third part, I will gladly send you a summary of the first two stories if you let me know.
VERY IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ! This story will make much more sense if you have read Where Loyalty Lies and Loyalty of Friendship first. I don't say that just to get you to read it but to help you better understand the third installment of what I am now calling my "Loyalty" series. For those who have read Loyalty of Friendship, completely disregard the epilogue. This sequel considers the ending of the second to be the dismantling of Evolution, the return of Batista, and Eric Bischoff firing Samia. Loyalty Comes First will pick up almost two years after Loyalty of Friendship ends sans epilogue.
Rating: T for Teen or PG-13 for mild swearing, sexual situations, and violence. Sexual situations are intended for a mature audience and sections of this are rated M. If you don't think you should be reading it, then skip on down (Now that's going to make you want to read it, right?).
Disclaimer (1): 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. Original characters of Samia Carlsen, along with other various peripheral characters, belong to Disco Inferno1, 2003-2007.
(2): Personalities presented within are not necessarily those of the characters in real life nor are the views presented within necessarily those of the author.Poetic license has been taken with character personas and television canon. This is written from the standpoint that wrestling is real in every way. I have not used wrestlers' real names or their families' names (which I have subsequently made up). I am highly uncomfortable doing so since it feels as if I am writing a fic, for instance, about Jason Isaacs instead of "Lucius Malfoy."
Vince McMahon sat behind his solid oak desk in his lavish office at the Titan Towers and nervously tapped his pen on its surface. The green glow of the DX logo painted on the building still showed through the window despite his best efforts to have it removed. Glancing at the window raised his ire another notch. What he had done to Triple H and Shawn Michaels on Monday during RAW was not enough before Unforgiven. They slaughtered him at the pay-per-view. He honestly could not remember being so humiliated. Rubbing a hand over his face, he swore he could still smell the Big Show's ass over a week later. The stink was directly proportional to the size as well. When he had said on RAW that he had been broken, his statement had been misconstrued. His spirit had been broken for that moment but he had meant that all restraint was gone. They reduced him to a feral state where there were no more rules. Now with this defeat at Unforgiven, he was never more set on destroying the pair. He had to separate them, drive a wedge between, and he suddenly knew, as if he was granted an epiphany from god, exactly what the first step would be. More accurately, he knew who would carry out his first step. Shifting in his seat to turn on his speakerphone, he groaned in pain from the match and pressed the speed-dial button for his lawyer. "I need you to pull a contract on a former employee," he said, hardly hiding the hope and glee in his voice.
Chapter I: Everyone Can Be Bought
Samia Carlsen had finally found a degree of happiness in her life. She had not seen the inside of a wrestling arena in exactly one year and ten months, not since she had been fired from the WWE by Eric Bischoff. She had wisely invested her money and was learning to live quite contentedly on a small budget without having to work as a wrestler or a lawyer. Some would call her a loafer or lazy but she was enjoying her time off, making a break and healing from the persona that was once the wielder of an inverted surfboard Indian deathlock called the Angel of Death.
The woman had a daily routine that worked and gave her satisfaction. Her mornings began with a long jog and a trip to the gym before volunteering at the local YMCA, helping to organize and oversee their athletic programs. Then, the former lawyer spent the evenings studying newly instituted laws, dispensing free legal advice at the center, and, if it was baseball season, using her Atlanta Braves season tickets. Weekends were enjoyed with her friends that she had not lost contact with after joining the WWE. Through all her schemes and scams, they had stayed loyal to her, considering all her actions in the wrestling business to be for their and the fans' entertainment. Her presence had been requested for several grand openings to promote the new businesses and to sign autographs and she had agreed. She had also spoken for some fundraising groups.
Yes, Samia Carlsen, the former infamous Mia, was quite content with her life now, she thought as she tossed aside a flyer for a local independent wrestling event. Taking the rest of her mail, she climbed back into her Honda Accord and drove the extra five minutes to her apartment from the post office. She had set up the post office box years ago to protect her identity from overzealous fans. It was the first suggestion of WWE's personnel department. The former wrestler pulled into her complex parking lot, gathered up her satchel, and climbed out of her car. She waved at a neighbor but dropped her mail in the process. Picking up the envelopes and standing up, the blonde came face to face with one of the most dreaded men from her past.
"Hello, Mia," Vince McMahon greeted in a sing song voice.
Samia began to backpedal but was met by an unexpected barrier. She quickly turned around into Shane McMahon, a man she had had the fortunate luck of never meeting. "Angel," he said as if he hadn't seen a good friend in years. Shane took her by the arm and began to lead her forward as Vince flanked her on the other side.
"I don't think you want to cause a scene here, do you?" McMahon asked. In all truth, Samia knew that she couldn't survive the Chairman on his worst day and her best. Although he and Shane looked like they had been put through a meatgrinder, she couldn't retaliate and escape from both father and son.
"Wh-what do you want?" she asked in a wavering voice, trying to suppress the fear bubbling up inside her.
"How about we go into your apartment and discuss this?" Vince said, hardly meaning it as a question.
In her apartment, they could do anything to her and she wouldn't be able to call for any help whatsoever. "What are you going to do to me?" the blonde asked, bowing up and stopping as they escorted her down the breezeway to her home.
"Just to talk. It'll be worse if you yell for help," Shane replied and then jerked her forward.
Keeping a tight grip on her belongings, the former diva continued to her door and inserted her key into the lock when the McMahons finally released their hold on her. "Please, have a seat anywhere you like," she sarcastically said, dropping her things by the door and heading straight for her refrigerator. The woman desperately needed a cold glass of water. "Can I get you something to drink?" she angrily asked.
"Sit down, Miss Carlsen," Vince ordered and she hardly saw a choice. Taking a seat would probably be for the best as her heart pounded and her legs were tingling with dread. The Chairman settled across from where Samia sat at her kitchen table and his son took a seat beside her in an effort of intimidation.
She had stared down giants, including the man glaring at her now, survived excruciating Singapore cane matches, and been in more fights than she cared to count. Why was she suddenly so terrified? The former lawyer of the nWo and Evolution drew herself up to her full height and lifted her chin, putting on an air of superiority. She coolly said, "The two of you look like death. Shawn and Hunter really did a number on you." From the look in Vince's eyes, the comment hit home. However, he showed no other outward signs of his irritation with her. "What do you want?"
"For you to come back and work for me."
"I'm sorry but that's a definite 'no.' Why exactly would you want me to come back when the last you saw of me was the bottom of my boot kicking you in the ass?" Shane bristled at the comment but Vince didn't seem to be fazed. "I made your life a living hell. Remember that? I made and broke matches in the nWo. I wrote their contracts and the Wolfpack's contracts. I was Triple H's personal advisor. Don't make me remind you of the night you wrote me up?"
She didn't have to as Vince remembered when she had defiantly stuffed the pink slip up his nose. "Do I need to remind you of the match that I put you in immediately after?"
No, he didn't and that's what worried her now. She had barely survived the Elimination Chamber when she had turned on Evolution during the match. Randy Orton and Triple H had their eyes set on decimating her and she could still feel the metal grate as she had bounced off of it. "So, tell me, then, what is it that you can't do that you need me to take care?"
Vince laughed at her question. "There is nothing that I need you to do that I can't handle myself. I would just rather have someone else do my dirty work."
"Well, you are going to have to give me a damn good reason to come back to work for you since I have no intention of ever doing it again."
"Everyone can be bought for a price."
"Not me," she replied with a composed smile and lifted the glass of water to her lips.
"Yes, even you, Angel," he replied, making a dig at her by using her former moniker with the nWo.
"Try me," she seethed.
Vince McMahon grinned that evil smile that said he knew more than his opponent. "Shane," he said, nodding at his son. The younger McMahon reached one hand inside his suit jacket and withdrew a thin packet of tri-folded papers. He slowly smoothed them out on the table before sliding them the few inches over to where Samia could see them.
The woman had to restrain herself from jerking the papers away from him as he took his time unfolding them. She now reached for them, glanced at her last contract with the business, and tossed it down on the table. "I have my own personal copy, thank you very much."
"Then you apparently didn't read it very closely. You see, if you break that contract by quitting, I have the right to sue you for all projected profits your failed appearances would have brought in, along with a hefty sum for damages."
"I'm so sorry you made the trip all the way to Atlanta," she smugly replied, leaning forward in her seat and placing her crossed arms on the table, "because I broke the contract by failing to meet my requirements for employment and was fired, by your general manager no less I didn't quit."
The senior McMahon picked the contract up and tossed it back at her. "Please read aloud for me the clause with regards to the termination of an employee."
With those words, Samia knew there was something she had missed. Plastering on a self-righteous smile, she shrugged her shoulders and picked up the papers, flipping to the last page where the termination agreement was located. It may have been more than two years since she had written or read a WWE contract, but she would never forget where that clause was located. The woman then began to read in her best courtroom tone before her voice began to falter, "An employee's contract cannot be terminated by anyone other than the Chairman of the WWE, Vincent K. McMahon, despite the party who…instituted and…engaged the employee…in the contract." She had agreed to the contract under Eric Bischoff's supervision and had given little thought or care to this particular clause. It wasn't like she was worried about who would be firing her. The point was not to get fired.
"Shane," Vince said again and the younger man withdrew another piece of paper, carefully smoothing it out as well before sliding it over to the stricken woman.
Trying to act as composed as possible, Samia picked up the schedule that detailed all the projected profits for the length of her contract that she had not completed and the proposed sum for damages. The former wrestler had never seen this much money, even at the height of her run with the nWo and Evolution combined. Even bankruptcy rules would not negate all of these figures. She licked her lips and dropped the paper on the table. "I can't argue with this."
The Chairman's lips turned up into a smug grin and he barked out a short laugh. "I love it when you're at a loss for words on account of my doing."
"Why am I coming back?"
"To jump when I say 'jump'," he replied. "You're first job is to serve as the referee for all of Degeneration-X's matches."
"No," she responded, shaking her head.
"I own you now," he countered, pushing the schedule of figures back towards her.
"I want a contract. One that negates this one," she tapped her finger on the papers, "and clearly defines my job description."
"You are hardly in the position to be demanding anything," Shane growled out at her, inching his chair closer.
"That's quite alright, son," his said, waving the younger man off. "I already have one in the works as I anticipated as such. Expect its arrival sometime at the end of this week." McMahon then stood, straightened the lapels of his jacket, and then held out his hand towards Samia. "I'll see you in Springfield next Monday."
The woman folded her arms across her chest with a glare—she would not shake his hand. "I'll be there," she ground out, pissed that he would doubt her.
"Shane, let's go."
"Coming, Pop," he replied and stood as well. As he walked around the table, he swiped at her half finished glass of water, which then crashed and shattered across her kitchen floor. "Oops," he meekly replied. "My bad." He bent over and picked up one of the shards, studying it for a moment before leaning down close to Samia's face and tapping her cheek with it. "Not a word of this to anyone, you hear me?" She swallowed hard and nodded. "Good," he said and tossed the piece of glass on the breakfast table. The two McMahons then burst out laughing as they made their way to her apartment door before slamming it behind them.
Samia dropped her head into her folded arms and tried not to cry. She couldn't go back, she didn't want to go back. The first six months after she had been fired were the most depressing as she missed her friends and the excitement of the business and attempted to find a routine that fit her life, who she wanted to be, and who she really was. From the time she joined the nWo until the moment she was fired by Bischoff four and a half years later, she didn't know who she was as a person. It sounded stupid and mystical but she wanted to find herself and now she was just happy being, simply being. She wasn't sure she could say the same for the rest of her friends in the WWE.
Of all her friends from her former life in the company, she could count them on her fingers—Rob Van Dam, Dave Batista, Lita, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, the Undertaker, and Bradshaw. She hadn't spoken to Bradshaw since he became "JBL" and she didn't want to be associated with the asshole that he was now. The Undertaker had been moved to SmackDown! before her return to destroy the remaining members of the defunct nWo. They had gradually drifted apart as his problems became more serious than hers at the time—and that was indulging her selfish desires to see those people who hurt her be in as much pain as possible. That plan obviously backfired.
Kevin Nash was now engrossed in his new marriage and his new son, both a surprise to all, while he worked for TNA. He lived close to the arena in Florida and spent the rest of his time with his family. There was the occasional phonecall and she visited when the baby was born. They had ranted to each other about the DX reunion once but that was it. Speaking of DX, she and Shawn Michaels had not spoken again since the night he reunited with Triple H. She would never forget their heated argument on the phone as HBK attempted to explain his rationale. While her intentions had been to destroy Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H, Shawn had been hellbent on returning the favor to Helmsley. In her plans, the former lawyer worked her ass off to see the two of them wipe each other out. In the end, her conscious got the better of her and she sided with Michaels as they broke up a beaten Evolution.
Samia was completely shocked to see Shawn join with his bitter enemy. She felt betrayed, as if all her work was for nothing and the older wrestler had only used her. HBK claimed that Triple H was a different person and they had talked things over. Both of them regretted their previous actions toward each other and had made everything all right. "So, he has no problem with me anymore?" Samia had asked Shawn, wondering how exactly Hunter could have forgiven his former friend after what the woman had done to the both of them.
"We didn't talk about you," Michaels had quietly replied.
"You might want to get that straightened out. But then again, as long as you're teaming with that man, you'll never see me again." It wasn't a threat, it was simply a statement. Shawn Michaels was a headstrong individual but he had a tendency to let others control him. Kevin Nash was the brains and leader in both the nWo and the Wolfpack. He could convince Shawn of anything. Samia had no doubt that it could and would be the same in DX. Triple H had the charisma of Satan himself and would probably have no trouble swaying Shawn in any direction he chose.
Shawn and Lita were no longer together. Their affair had been hot and torrid but then they realized they had absolutely nothing in common beyond hot sex. Shortly after deciding to split ways, Lita had picked up with Edge. The Rated R superstar hardly factored into Samia's time with the WWE. She remembered him as staying away from her but quite the congenial man. At first, their romance was so sweet and perfect but then Lita began revealing things to Samia about Edge. He was not who she thought he was and she was not the woman the fans saw in the ring. Edge held a sway over her that she couldn't break. He forced her to do the things she had done out of fear for her well-being. Things had finally gone too far and Unforgiven was supposed to have been her retirement match as well as Trish's, just no one but Samia knew that she was quitting. She was going to retreat to her family's home in North Carolina, hang up her wrestling boots, and work with pet shelters permanently. She was disgusted with herself over Edge and her actions but when it came down to telling him last Sunday night, she chickened out. "Next week, I promise," she had said to Samia, who was trying to not yell at the woman for failing to break it off. She was a broken spirit and she had to get away from Edge who was drawing the life out of her.
Even Dave Batista's life sucked while Samia was on her quest for peace. When he revealed his ruse to side with Melina and Johnny Nitro, which made Samia cringe at the thought—his nose was still just a tad bit crooked from when she broke it—in an effort against Mark Henry, things went downhill quickly. Part of the plan was the so-called sexual harassment case. It looked great on the surface but Dave neglected to tell his wife, Samantha, about the kiss he would share with the Latina. He had kept putting it off and putting it off in an effort to figure out how to explain it to her until it was upon them and he still hadn't told her. That was the end of the line for Samantha. Suddenly, she was accusing him of having an affair with Samia, which was the furthest thing from the truth. They had contemplated it individually but Dave was too committed to his wife and setting his marriage right. Sam called him a hypocrite, took their daughter Kiersten to her parents' home, and filed for divorce. Batista was barely out of the surgery from the injury that required him to relinquish the belt when he received the notice of filing.
Samia had specialized in pre-nups and divorce law and immediately offered to represent him but Dave wanted to make the marriage work, especially for the sake of his daughter. The second the former lawyer walked into that room, Samantha would immediately balk, given the supposed faux relationship she had once had with her husband that his wife now believed to be true. At first, Dave contested the divorce until Sam threatened to take Kiersten away from him completely. Still Samia offered, knowing the marriage was over and willing to take a chunk out of her savings to pay the exorbitant bar fees to be reinstated, but the wrestler knew it would be over if Samantha so much as got a whiff of Samia and he held out hope until the moment the ink dried on the papers from his wife's signature that she would change her mind barely two months later.
Dave's beautiful baby girl was now eleven years old and playing soccer for the first time in her life. Samia had been a godsend when she helped him turn on Evolution and take the half million dollars that Triple H put up to keep the Wolfpack from the final match of the series that was to tear the factions apart. It was more than they needed to take the child to the best clinic in the United States. Kiersten had a rare blood disease that compromised her immune system, keeping her sick all the time. Her blood couldn't regenerate the white blood cells needed to combat the disease because she was consistently sick. The key was to keep her healthy and her own circulatory system would clean itself up. Any major illness, however, would set her back and the little girl's diet and medicine had to be strictly regulated. Samantha used this against him in the custody proceedings prior to the divorce but he managed to get custody of her for the full three days of the week that he was home. While he hated that she had to be watched so carefully, he never felt like more of a father than when he was taking care of her. Samia had met Kiersten only three times because of her mother's dislike for the diva and the negative role model that she was, which the blonde could not deny.
Dave's love for his daughter was what surprised Samia when he showed up at her apartment the evening after signing the divorce papers. He claimed that Sam had gone on vacation to Hawaii with Kiersten with the alimony and child support he now had to pay as a celebration that the marriage was over. Samia doubted him but he needed a friendly face that wouldn't judge him and understood part of what he was going through. Both of them were no strangers to mistaken betrayals and relationship heartache.
Batista stayed on her couch most of the time in his jogging pants and a t-shirt with the exception of cooking their meals, which were absolutely divine. He was extremely pathetic and Samia felt terrible for him. After a terrible late night phonecall with his parents, the woman demanded that he take the bed and she sleep on the couch. Feeling vulnerable, he needed a solid human being and asked her just to hold him. They feel asleep on her bed and, in the middle of the night, Samia woke to him stroking her hair and softly kissing her neck. "I'm sorry," he had muttered, "I didn't know where I was at." Dave hurried away to the couch and Samia didn't fall back asleep until the early hours of the morning, trying to work out what had happened. In the haze of a deep sleep and a dream, he must have mistaken her for Samantha. When Samia woke late, she found an empty living room and a note from Dave that said he needed to leave. Nothing else. That was only four and a half months ago and they had spoken maybe five times since then, neither mentioning the incident. It wasn't like she was doing anything wrong and, in her mind, neither had Dave.
Rob Van Dam saw it another way. Samia had worked diligently for a year and a half to show him that he could trust her and then she made the mistake of not telling him that Dave had stayed with her for a week after his divorce. Two days after Batista had left, apparently Lita or Dave said the wrong thing and Rob knew about it. The couple had been casually dating since he forgave her the night Bischoff fired her. They never said they were exclusive but neither dated anyone else and that was what Samia wanted to know after they had argued over Dave's presence in her apartment.
"Where are we going?" she had asked and Rob shrugged his shoulders, still angry at her. "Do you get what I'm saying? I'm not asking if you plan on marrying me but I want to know if we have a future together or are we just around to keep each other company? Rob, are we going anywhere?"
RVD had looked away from her for a moment and then his gaze settled on her. He finally lifted his eyes to hers and shook his head. "No. I've had my heart broken by you too many times."
"Okay," she said with a sigh, trying to come to terms with his response. They carried on for another month as if nothing happened until he was arrested with Sabu for the possession of marijuana.
Rob's and Samia's arguments were fairly subdued. He was too laid back to for her to provoke him into any kind of a fight. This one was different. Rob had once taken her sleeping pills from her because she was chasing them with alcohol when she was going through the worst insomnia of her life. He had given her a speech about drugs and now here he was being arrested for pot. Since they were going nowhere and he didn't have a problem being a hypocrite, she decided they were through. He said 'no problem' and walked out the door. Two days later, he called to apologize but agreed with her that it was best that they were finished as a couple.
Samia heavily mourned their break-up for a short time, knowing they were finally through, but realized that they were oil and water. They were never meant to be. They had spent six years trying to make their relationship work and only about three months out of that time were they ever really happy. It was not to say that she did not love him but he would remain like a first love in heart—gone but never forgotten.
With no man in her life, Samia Carlsen sailed right on, finally finding her niche…until Vince McMahon walked back into her life. Without raising her head where it was buried in her arms, the woman snaked a hand out and crumpled up the graph detailing McMahon's threat before throwing it across the room. It wasn't enough. She reached for the contract and jerked the stapled pages apart, violently wadding them and throwing them at the door. "Damn you!" she screamed and dropped her head to the surface of the table, terrified of what the WWE had in store for her this time.