Randy Orton lives life in the fast lane. He has everything a 27 years old man could ever hope to want. Money, fame, a supermodel girlfriend and a job he loves. When his dream life is shattered with a repercussion from his past, how will cope? Will he rise to the challenge, or finally free himself of the last ties to his past?
A/N: New story folks. For those of you know, I've been planning this story for a while based on an idea I had for something else I was writing. I hope you guys enjoy. As ever, I disclaim ownership on anything you recognise.
Please R&R and tell me what you think!
The shrill cry of the telephone interrupted what had been a peaceful sleep. In the darkest recess of his waking conscious, Randy Orton clawed at oblivion. He wanted to so much to stay in the warm embraces of sleep, to be dead to the world and that ringing phone. Inevitably, the phone won.
Floating, as if upwards to the surface of a warm pool, Randy came to his senses. His icy blue eyes peered into the blanket of darkness that enveloped his room. The clock on the bedside table was incandescent with eerie green light, pronouncing the time as eleven forty-two in the night. Realising he had been sound asleep for a good two hours, Randy grimaced as he stretched his arm out to the side. Whoever this was, he was going to seriously kick their ass.
Being a professional wrestler meant he was exhausted for most of his time. On the road for the majority of the year, he certainly lived the high life. If the high life meant nightly bumps, bruises and injuries, not to mention the thousands of miles he had covered in the USA alone, he had it made. As some reprieve, he had been granted an extended break by the management. Well, he'd been told by the creative director Stephanie McMahon that he 'looked like hell.' That had been good enough for Randy.
An extended break from the WWE was like gold-dust to come by. Having a whole week to yourself in the Sports Entertainment industry was practically unheard of. You were either injured, suspended or unemployed to have that amount of time free from work. Maybe by someone with a nine-to-five job it wasn't anything special. To Randy, it was almost heavenly.
Arriving home at his newly purchased New York penthouse from the European Tour he'd been on, Randy had immediately headed straight to bed. He hadn't even bothered to unpack he was that exhausted. His six-foot-four frame had collapsed head first onto the bed and that had been it. Two glorious hours, and now this. Sighing, Randy knew he should have realised that it was too good to be true.
The flat of his palm slapped at the table, doing it's best to get a purchase on the offending noise that the phone gave off. After an eternity of stretching and clasping, he finally caught the receiver in his hand. Pulling it free of it's stand, Randy's thumb punched the red button connecting to whoever it was that had disturbed him.
"Yeah." He grunted into the receiver, placing it awkwardly against the side of his head. Still being face down on the pillow, his mouth was squished out of shape, causing his speech to be slurred.
"Yeah." Randy repeated, blatantly yawning. Shifting his head to free his mouth, his cheek rested on the damp patch of the pillow where his mouth had been. Realising he had drooled in his sleep, Randy lazily rubbed the back of his hand over his mouth, smearing saliva over his chin.
"This is Detective Inspector Alan Carter. I'm with the New York City police department."
Becoming more alert at the description, Randy's eyes which had been fluttering to a close suddenly remained open. "Can I help you with something Detective?"
"I'm afraid I need you to come down to the station sir."
Reaching for his beside lamp, Randy clicked the light on. The room became flooded with a soft glow, casting long shadows across the blue carpet. Pushing himself to rest his weight on his elbow, Randy did his best to mentally shake himself. "Is there a problem?"
"There's been an accident Mr. Orton, and we need you to come down to the station. I'd prefer to discuss the details with you in person if I may sir." Randy could easily here the impatience in the detective's voice, deciding it best not to argue. "Can you make it to the station sir? I can send you a car if you need it."
"No, I can make it. I'll be there in twenty minutes." The first seeds of concern were starting to blossom in the pit of Randy's stomach. What could possibly have happened to cause a Police Detective to call him at home at this hour?
"Okay Mr. Orton. See you in twenty minutes." Abruptly, the line went dead. Realising the Detective had hung up, Randy replaced his own telephone receiver. His brow furrowed, he kicked back the covers and got out of bed.
"Mr. Orton, thank you for coming." Heading into an office within the department building, Randy shook the hand of the man he guessed to be Detective Carter. He looked to be in his late forties. Wearing a blue pinstripe shirt, his brown hair looked slightly dishevelled with streaks of grey cutting through the main colour.
Taking the seat offered to him, Randy noticed they had been joined by another Detective. Shutting the door behind himself, he crossed to stand behind the front of the desk where Detective Carter was sat. Resting his folded hands on the flat of the desk, Carter sighed heavily. "There's no easy way to say this son, so I'm just coming to come out with it."
"Alright." Randy's face remained neutral, his expression unreadable.
"At ten-thirty this evening, your girlfriend was involved in a car accident in Manhattan. It seemed a drunk driver veered into the wrong lane and hit your girlfriends' car head on. " The Detective hesitated briefly, swallowing in a creeping gulp. "The paramedics did everything they could for her sir…but I'm afraid she didn't make it. She was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital."
Randy sat rigidly in his seat. His hands gripped the frame of the seat beneath him, his knuckles draining to a white colour. Both crystal blue eyes stared before him blankly, focused on the Detective in front of him. Remaining silent for a full two minutes, Randy could only hear the sound of his own heart pounding to a crescendo inside his ears.
Clearly uncomfortable with the silence, the Detective loosed the already loose tie at his neck. "I'm very sorry for your loss Mr. Orton."
"I don't understand," Randy finally spoke. "It's not possible."
"I know this hard to accept sir," it was the turn of the other Detective to speak. He had remained silent leaning against the wall, but now he was taking command of the situation. "It was a tragic accident. We have counsellors available for you if you'd like -…"
"No, you don't understand," Randy cut the man off mid-sentence. "That is impossible. I just spoke to my girlfriend his afternoon. She's in Paris on a fashion shoot, and isn't coming back till Tuesday. How could she possibly have been in Manhattan?"
The Detective's looked between one another in confusion. "Your girlfriend is in Paris?" Carter replied. "You girlfriend, Elizabeth Mills?"
"Beth?" Randy uttered in a confused shock. He knew the name very well, but it was a name from his past. "Beth and I were together six years ago. She's not my girlfriend. I haven't seen her since we broke up about five years ago." Detective Carter looked accusatorily towards the younger Detective. As if the words finally sunk in, Randy breathed gently. "Beth…is dead?"
"I'm sorry Mr. Orton," Carter replied. "It seemed Detective Knowles here had a mix-up with your relationship to Ms. Mills."
"He was marked as her next-of-kin sir." Detective Knowles defended. Turning to Randy, he blushed a deep crimson. "I'm really sorry about this Mr. Orton."
"That's alright," Randy nodded in a daze. Maybe Beth wasn't his girlfriend, but that didn't mean he wasn't devastated to learn of her death. He had to get out of there. He had to be by himself and try and process what all this meant. Beth was dead? The words in his head sounded so unbelievably stupid. He couldn't stay here any longer at any rate. "I can go now though, right?"
The look on Carter's face told Randy he was going nowhere. Exhaling through clenched teeth, the aging Detective looked less than thrilled at having been utterly embarrassed by his junior grade officer. "There's the matter of your daughter, Mr. Orton."
Randy shook his head. "My what?" He wasn't sure he had heard the Detective correctly.
"Your daughter Mr. Orton." Shuffling for something on his desk, Carter finally retrieved what he was searching for. "Juliet Anastasia Mills?" Randy's face remained blank as he looked at both Detectives' for an answer.
Making a mental note to fire Detective Knowles later, Carter carefully rose from his chair. "I think you'd better come with me Mr. Orton."
"Juliet Anastasia Mills. Five years old. Attends Kindergarten at Rushmore Elementary in Manhattan. She had been staying with a friend of Ms. Mills when the accident happened." Randy barely took in any of the words the Detective was speaking. His voice was cool and efficient, as though he were reciting a training scenario to junior Detectives.
"Ms. Mills worked several nights a week in a bar downtown. It was a regular occurrence for her to leave Juliet with the friend." His back to Randy, Carter peered through a large rectangle window. In opened into a room obviously created for children. The walls were pained to resemble rolling fields of green. Bright flowers were imprinted across the canvas of green and blue. Friendly face animals were littered across the walls. The floor was carpeted in what looked like a huge snakes-and-ladders board. In each corner of the room were small mountains of stuffed animals and other assorted toys, ranging from Barbie dolls to toy cars.
In the centre of the room were a plastic red table-and-chair set, obviously created for a child. And sat on one chair, busily constructing something out plastic blocks was a little girl. Approaching the window, Randy looked into the room in a mixture of fear and awe. She was tiny, reminding Randy of the cherubs he had seen in pictures. A mane of golden blonde hair had been separated into two pigtails. Hanging down over her shoulders, the blonde hair splayed out over a pink tee-shirt and three quarter length pants. Her frilly white socks were pulled up onto her ankles, peeking out of a pair of shiny pink shoes.
She looked like a little doll. Without realising it, Randy was leaning against the glass, his hand flush against the cool wall. Dumfounded, he could only watch her in silence as she continued to build. Sat across from her at the table was a female police officer, smiling in encouragement at the little girl. "You didn't know about her, did you sir?"
Disturbed from his revelry, Randy could only shake his head. He didn't even look at the Detective, his eyes transfixed on the little life before his eyes. He had no idea she had even existed. Randy couldn't help but find himself thinking about the way he and Beth had broken up. He had been twenty-two years old, she twenty-one. They had been together during his run-up to appearing on WWE television, when he was coming to the end of his tenure in OVW.
Beth had been his first serious girlfriend. Randy could even remember the first time he had seen her. It had been a rainy day in the January of 2000, and he had a stop over in New York before heading off to an independent booking with a small wrestling company. Randy remembered how he had just stopped to get a burger when he had seen her. She had been sat in the window of a corner coffee shop. Her blonde hair had been pulled back to reveal a beautiful, porcelain face that was creasing with delight due to the book she had been reading.
She was the most beautiful thing Randy had ever seen. Despite himself, he had gone into the coffee shop and sat down opposite her. Despite the absurdity of the situation, they had hit off straight away. Beth had given Randy her number so he call her for a date on the weekend. Driving back especially to meet her for a date, they had begun dating.
It was the first time Randy had ever been in love. Of course he had had girlfriends before that, but no-one inspired him like Beth did. Struggling to remember why they had broken up, Randy remembered all to well their last conversation.
Her beautiful face had looked so serious as she had demanded to know just how deeply he felt for her. Randy had not handled it well, assuming she was trying to corner him into proposing to her. Of course he loved her, but he was barely twenty-two years old. He'd finally been called to move up to the big leagues of World Wrestling Entertainment, and it seemed like she was doing everything in her power to hold him back. After the worst fight he'd probably ever had with a woman in his life, he had left her alone in their apartment to fly to the Smackdown taping. Randy had won his match, but lost his girl.
When he had finally returned back to New York, he found their apartment completely empty of all Beth's belongings. There had been no note, not even a forwarding address. That had been it. Randy had tried several times to call her, but the cell phone number had obviously been disconnected. After losing himself into the depths of heartbreak, Randy found he had no choice but to move on. His on-screen career had been progressing rapidly and he had no time to look back and reminisce. Or to even wonder. Much to his shame, Randy realised he hadn't though about Beth in a long time.
Now confronted with the news that he would never have the chance to see her again, to apologise for the way he had yelled and the things he had said, was soul-destroying. It was almost a cruel revenge, a punishment even for acting the way he had that night. Randy would never have the chance to make it right with Beth.
And if it could worse, it seemingly already had. Beth had given birth to a little girl - his little girl. Maybe that's why she had been so desperate to hear that he was going to be with her, that he was committed to their relationship. Had Beth known she was pregnant that night? Was that why she had tried to hold him so close, only for him to push her away? It seemed he would never know. And Randy knew it would torment him for the rest of his life.
"You're sure she's mine?" Randy turned his head to look at Carter with misty eyes.
Knowles nodded in answer. "We've checked her birth records. You're listed as her father Mr. Orton. It seemed Ms. Mills had every eventuality planned for. We've spoken to her lawyer, and she had strict instructions for you to be contacted in the event of anything happening to her."
Randy turned back to peer into the room, his mind churning with questions. "I didn't even know she existed." Sighing softly, Randy realised after only ten minutes of knowing he was a father, that he had missed important years of her life already. Sniffing back the tears that were waiting to fall, Randy finally managed to tear himself away from the window. "What happens now?"
"Well, you're Juliet's father Mr. Orton. You are her legal guardian." Knowles looked searching into Randy's confused eyes.
"Are you saying I have to take her home with me?" Randy heard the alarm in his own voice as he posed the question. It was all too much to take in at once. Finding out his first love was dead, and that she had kept the fact she had given birth to their child to herself. And now he was supposed to take this five year old home with him and live happily ever after?
Not only was it impossible, but it was impractical. He was a wrestler. He was on the road the majority of his life and wouldn't have the childcare ability. Not to mention the fact that he had absolutely no clue what it meant to be a father. Hell, he had enough stress just trying to look after himself. Now he was responsible for the life of another? Someone who would look to him to nurture her and help her grown into a human being? It was as though someone had placed the weight of the world on his entire shoulders, and he could feel his knees buckling from the strain.
Carter was clearly not impressed. "You don't have to do anything Mr. Orton." Carter stuffed his hands into the pockets of his pants. "If you're not prepared to take her, then I can get in touch with Social Services."
Randy's face faltered. "What…what exactly would that mean?"
It was Knowles' turn to step in again. "Most likely? Juliet will be placed into foster care system for the meantime until a suitable guardian can be found for her." Randy's face visibly dropped at the explanation. "Ms. Mills had no siblings, and we've been unable to get in touch with her parents. It seems they're on vacation in Peru."
Randy carefully rested himself against the wall as his mind took in every eventuality of what was being presented to him. Who was he kidding, even entertaining the notion that he could care for a five year old child? There was just no way he could cope. He'd be leaving the kid in danger of several years of intensive therapy if he did. And yet, could he really, in good conscious leave this child in the care of the foster system? Just turn his back on her as though she had never existed? Considering everything he had lost tonight, was his newly-found daughter destined to be one of them.
Despite the internal struggle Randy was fighting, it seemed Carter had already made his mind up. Turning his back on Randy, he began giving orders to his junior. "Detective Knowles, give Shaun over at Social Services a call first thing in the morning. Explain that we've got a five year old here that needs immediate care. She'll just have to stay here tonight. Tell Amanda to prepare the conference room to -…"
"Detective Carter, wait." Interrupting the older man, Randy didn't realise he had spoken until Carter had turned around to face him.
Standing up to his full height, Randy exhaled slowly as if trying to prepare himself. "Juliet..." He started. "…my daughter. She's coming home with me."