Chapter One: The Perfect Stranger
This wasn't where he wanted to be. This wasn't what he wanted to hear. He wanted to be drifting off to sleep on the plane, waiting for it to take off. But, no, his flight was cancelled due to an incoming snowstorm. The thought of crashing at a hotel in Chicago had crossed his mind, but this damn blizzard fucked everything up again. If he stayed in Chicago, he would be stuck here for nearly a week if the storm brought in what was forecasted. He had no choice; he had to drive to St. Louis.
He walked up to the information counter and looked at the woman behind it. "Where can I get a rental car?"
"I can actually do that for you right here," she smiled. "Where are you driving to?"
"St. Louis," he muttered.
"You're brave. They say this storm that's coming in is going to shut down the whole Midwest."
"So I've heard. That's why I need to leave as soon as possible," he said, getting rather agitated before looking at his watch. It was already three thirty which would put him at arriving in St. Louis at eight thirty, nine o'clock and that wasn't taking the weather into consideration.
"Okay, I need to see your driver's license."
He dug in his pockets and pulled out his wallet before retrieving his driver's license and handing it to her. He zoned out as she rambled on about the snowstorm. He didn't give a shit. He just wanted to get home and drink his sorrows away.
She handed him a piece of paper and his license back. "Here's all of your information, Mr. Orton. Just go down to the Enterprise desk and they'll give you your keys."
Randy mumbled his thanks before grabbing his bags and heading the desk the woman had mentioned. He looked down at the paper and noticed the woman had given him a 2005 Dodge Dakota extended cab. Although the truck would handle well in the weather that was coming, it sure did have piss poor gas mileage.
He retrieved the keys and the truck before beginning the long five and a half hour journey to St. Louis. Randy hated driving. It gave him too much time to think about what he wasn't going home to. There was no wife, no kids, no one. Hell, there wasn't even a fucking goldfish. He sighed and turned on the radio to try and clear his head.
"Once again, there is a winter storm warning out, indefinitely. This is a big one, folks. Don't be out if you don't have to be. We're looking at freezing rain, snow accumulation up to seventeen inches, and winds coming in from the west at around forty miles per hour. Make sure you have what you need and stay home unless there's an emergency,"
Randy hit the power button on the radio. Chances were any other station he would be able to get in would be nothing but the same thing. This was going to be a long, silent drive home.
Five hours later
Randy couldn't see a damn thing. The freezing rain had started and the drifting snow was making it difficult for him to stay on the road. He should have only been a half an hour away but the blizzard had come in. On top of that, Randy barely had three hours of sleep under his belt. He could barely keep his eyes open and had no choice but to get off at the next exit: Macomb, Illinois.
He drove around the town for a few minutes before realizing that the best place he was going to be able to stay at was a Super 8 motel. He pulled into the parking lot before pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and throwing on his thick leather coat. He shut off the truck, locked the doors and ran inside to the front desk.
"I need a single room for one night," he said, to the person behind the desk.
"Okay, that'll be forty dollars," she said in a soft voice.
"You take credit cards?" he asked, finally looking at her. She had shoulder length black hair and the most beautiful blue gray eyes he had ever seen.
"Yes, sir, we do."
He reached into his pocket for his wallet only to come up with nothing but his driver's license and his cell phone. He moved to the other pocket of his tracks and then to his leather coat. "What the fuck?" he muttered.
The girl in front of him looked at him, concerned. "Is there anything I can do, sir?"
"No. Damn it!" he said, banging his fist on the desk and startling her. "Sorry for wasting your time," he told her and walked back out to the truck.
He dropped his head on the steering wheel and began to think of where his wallet was. The last time he remembered having it out was at the airport, all the way in Chicago. Randy lifted his head up and looked out the windshield. The weather was getting worse. What the hell was he going to do? He had begun to zone out, trying to think of something that would get him out of this predicament when someone tapped on the passenger side window.
He looked over and saw the girl from inside the motel. He leaned over and unlocked the door, allowing her to get in. He didn't know what possessed him to let her in. For all he knew, she could have been some crazy serial killer.
"Can I help you?" Randy asked after a few silent minutes passed.
"No, but I was hoping I could help you," she said, her full lips quivering from the cold.
Randy started the truck and turned on the heater, noticing that the gas tank was almost empty. "I don't need your help," he lied.
"You don't have anywhere to stay and you don't have any money. I'd say you're in need of some help."
"Are you offering for me to stay with you?"
She nodded, putting her hands in front of the vent.
"But I don't even know your name," he said, studying her every move.
"Colby Taylor. I'm a student at WIU. What's your name?"
He raised his eyebrows at her. She didn't know who he was? He was the WWE Champion. How could she not know? "Randy Orton," he said, holding out his hand and she took it. From the moment her soft bare hand touched his, he had to resist the urge to lean over and plant a kiss on her plump lips.
"Look, Randy. I'm just trying to do something nice here. You seem like a guy who has just hit a rough spot. If I thought you were a rapist or something I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But, in the twenty minutes after you left, I figured out that it was my responsibility as a good person to offer you a place to stay. So, what do you say?"
He sighed, looking away from her for the first time since she had gotten into his truck. He really didn't have any other choice. He didn't have any money, the truck was almost out of gas and the weather was shit. "Okay, but I'm leaving as soon as I can. Where do you live?"
"You see those tall buildings over there?" she asked, pointing just down the road. "I live in the one on the far left."
"What are they? Apartments?"
"Yeah, I wish. They're dorms."