Okay guys, I pondered on whether or not to make this the last chapter...I think I will, I think this is the best way to leave it x I hope you have enjoyed x I may well do a sequel to this, not sure yet x Thank you to all those who have read and reviewed this fic...love you guys, you keep me writing xxxxx
Shannon awoke to the incessant shrill pitch of the hotel alarm, his head was fuzzy due to a severe lack of sleep and his back felt like he had just spent ten minutes in the company of The Big Show. Rubbing at his tired eyes, he swung his right fist out to silence the irritating noise before stretching his aching limbs. Not fully conscious at such an early hour, Shannon struggled to comprehend where he was or why he was awake, he knew he wasn't at home because it didn't smell like home and his coffee machine wasn't whirring into action at the sound of an alarm, but he was also acutely aware that he wasn't on the road, having been given this week off to spend with Jeff, Nicole and the baby. The fuzziness in his head seemed to dissipate as soon as he recalled his phone call with Jeff last night, the next logical step, of course. Jumping from the bed with renewed vigour, Shannon hurried to freshen up and change before setting out for the long journey across country, to Florida, to Tianna.
Tianna moaned and cursed the alarm that had rudely awakened her from her slumber, not since she, herself was training for the Olympics, had she had to rise at such a ridiculous hour. It was 4:15am and the start of yet another long day for her, but the silver lining was that it was Friday today and that meant no early morning start tomorrow as she had the day off. What, exactly, she planned to do with her day off she had no clue. She had no family or friends to call on or who would deign to pay her a visit, no she had made sure of that the minute she had taken off from them once again. It had been two months, two long solitary months since she had driven away from her home and her heart, every day she went into work hoping that today would be the day that something would happen to convince her heart that she was enjoying being here, an exceptional student perhaps or a chance meeting with a gorgeous stranger who would steal her heart away from Shannon's grasp. But it didn't come and no matter how much she tried to tell herself that she was here doing what she had always wanted to do, she knew damn well that she would give anything, all that she owned, just to be back in Cameron and back in the strong comforting arms of the only man who ignited the fire within her. Rising slowly from her single bed, chosen purposely by Tianna to really push home her new life, she made her way towards the bathroom to grab a quick shower before heading out to the training facility.
Handing over the ten dollar bill, Shannon smiled at the young cashier and took the scalding coffee from her hand, blushing furiously she dropped his change over the counter as she attempted to control her teenage urges. Giggling despite himself, Shannon threw her a wink as it finally landed in his palm and turned away. Hell, if nothing else, he knew he still had a strong female following out there, should he ever require it. Sipping the hot brown liquid, Shannon winced at the strong mud like taste and cursed service stations in general, but needing gas he had decided to grab the coffee in order to try and prise his sleepy eyes open. He had been on the road for a little over 3 hours and, by his calculations, was only just over half way to his destination. Sighing heavily he glanced at the clock radio in his Hummer, the red digits flashed 08:40am confirming his earlier math, he wanted to get to the training institute before midday, knowing the hours that professional athletes kept, he was aware that anytime after that, the place would be deserted as they ventured home for their 'lunch' and he would have missed his chance. Finding her now wouldn't be that hard, given that there was only one training facility for swimmers in Florida, if she was indeed there. But if he was late, if the place was locked down for the day, Shannon knew that finding her house or apartment in a sate that large would be like finding a needle in a haystack and he would be renting another hotel room for one! Draining the last of the awful coffee, Shannon threw the empty carton in the trash bin before heading back out onto the road, the quicker he got there, the faster his anguish and anticipation would come to an end, no matter the consequences.
Tianna could feel the ache in her lower back increasing and her eyelids drooping as if weighed down with lead, this meant one thing, that it was nearly time to call an end to this morning's session. It had gone badly from the start, first off she had been informed that one of her finest students would not be returning to the programme after finding herself in the 'family way' and choosing to play happy families with her pre pubescent boyfriend, rather than concentrate on, what was promising to have been, a very lucrative career. Then she had slipped on the slippery tiles on her way toward the pool and sprained her wrist badly upon impact, which only further darkened her mood and to top it all off, not one of the students was putting any effort in this morning, it was like working with twelve human submarines. Their timing was off, their turning sloppy and their attitude appalling. Frustrated beyond belief, Tianna let out a huge sigh of relief when she saw that it was just ten minutes until the session was over. Glancing up at the sound of the door to the indoor pool opening, Tianna smiled as Greg, her colleague and new found friend sauntered over to her, but the smile fell from her face as he uttered his the words she had been dreading.
Shannon paced back and forth across the plush crimson carpet that adorned the reception floor, this place was huge, and it was a miracle that anybody knew who anyone else was here! Luckily for him, a nice, if not ever so slightly condescending, young man by the name of Greg had been passing by reception as Shannon was pleading with the unresponsive receptionist to check her system again to see if Tianna was here. Whether he had taken pity on Shannon or the receptionist, Shannon didn't know, but Greg had politely informed the receptionist that he had it under control and led Shannon to a deserted waiting room. As soon as the door shut, Shannon steeled himself for another confrontation, he was sick of hearing the old line of 'we can't reveal any personal information about our staff or clients Sir' and he wasn't about to take it from this smarmy looking oik, but to his surprise and ultimate relief, Greg had turned to him and offered his hand as he very calmly introduced himself.
"Sorry about all that, security you know? I'm Greg White, manager of this here training facility. I couldn't help overhearing that you are looking for Tianna?"
"Greg? Nice to meet you Sir, yeah I'm looking for Tianna. Could you tell me where she is please?"
"Well that really depends on who is asking Mr …?"
"Moore, Shannon Moore"
Greg's eyes grew wide as the well built blonde confirmed his worst fears, he'd had an inkling that this was the one man that Tianna wanted to run and hide from, the tattoo's were a giveaway even before you took in the enormity of his muscular frame. Her instructions were quite clear, if he came looking for her, he was to be told that she had moved on and left no forwarding address. Greg knew that he should be following her wishes, but from the snippets of information he had managed to glean from his newest employee over the last eight weeks reference her sudden change of mind to accept the job, he also knew that this guy had a power over her that she was scared of. At first he had thought that it was a fear of him physically, now he knew that it was, but not that he would hurt her body, but more her heart. He knew that she had lost her daughter a while back and that she wasn't close to the father anymore, and if he was putting two and two together correctly….this was the father. Against all better judgement, Greg decided to let hearts decide on this one and made his mind up.
"Ah I see. You would be the one then?"
"The one she is running from. She has told all the staff here in no uncertain terms that we are to tell you she has moved on…but I can see that it's not you she is scared of, it's herself"
"Look, I know very little about the situation. But what I do know is that you are a high profile pro wrestler and businessman and you wouldn't have the time or the patience to trek across half of America to find someone who didn't mean the world to you…am I right Shannon?"
"I can't…I haven't…look Greg, I don't know what you know and I haven't really got time to explain the last 24 years or so, just know this….I love that woman with all my heart and I need to see her….please?"
Greg eyed the man in front of him and noted the moisture forming around his piercing blue eyes; even if he wanted to, he couldn't deny this man a chance. He knew that letting them see each other was a risk, he would surely lose one of his best staff to this man, but although he had been chasing her talents for as long as he could remember, there was no point in attempting to keep her here, not when her heart was thousands of miles away…where it belonged.
Tianna recoiled at the words coming from her boss, she knew without doubt that he hadn't heeded her warnings about letting Shannon know where she was, and panicking her eyes began to dart about the space, the need to escape now overwhelming. She couldn't see him, she just couldn't, she knew that her resolve would weaken the minute her eyes connected with his perfect baby blues and her heart would be broken into a million pieces all over again. Tears began to flood her vision and her heart was thumping so hard, she was sure that the assembled masses could hear it beat.
"Why Greg? Why didn't you tell him I wasn't here?"
"Tianna, you need to face this honey. I'm doing what's best for you"
"NO! You're not! I can't see him again, I just can't. Please, I have to go…just please let me pass"
"No Tianna. I don't know why you feel you have to keep running from him! Why do you deny yourself the chance of love? I don't understand Tianna, that man up there is in pieces, he's driven for days and covered thousands of miles in the hope that you might be here…let alone talk to him! He loves you Tianna, why can't you let him do that?"
"I …he doesn't...he can't! I don't d-deserve….please Greg, I need to go…"
"You don't deserve what?"
"I don't deserve the chance; he needs to be free to find someone worthy of his heart. I'm trying to do that"
"And that person isn't you?"
"Yes it is, always was and always will be"
Tianna's head spun around at the sound of the familiar voice, her heart seemed to stop as she looked upon his handsome features. Feeling a dozen pairs of eyes on them and hearing the whispers behind her, Tianna knew that without doubt she had nowhere left to run. The tears began to flow down her tired withdrawn features as she battled to keep the sob from escaping her throat. Closing her eyes against the pain, Tianna wasn't aware of how close he had gotten to her until his familiar scent filled her lungs and his whispered words floated through the fog in her mind. Placing a hand gently under her chin and turning it up to face him, Shannon spoke so softly, Tianna thought that her heart would break right there, in that instant.
"Tia, I love you baby, I always have. I don't want anyone else, I want you. You hold my heart in your hands and I'm begging you Tia, please don't break it again. I can't live without you and I need you by my side, every day, for the rest of our lives. I don't know who I am without you Tia; please….p-please say you'll have me back? I'm sorry I ever hurt you baby"
"Oh God Shannon, I…"
"Don't say no baby please…say you'll be with me, forever Tianna. Marry me?"
Tianna couldn't help the sob that escaped from her throat as her eyes connected with his, he had her drowning and she couldn't stop. Her heart felt full with joy and she knew in that moment that it was no good denying her feelings a moment longer, the man she loved was standing before her asking her to share his life, his good times, his bad and she wanted nothing more than to fall asleep every night with this man and wake up to his beautiful face. Slowly, but surely Tianna nodded her head yes, her throat so tight words were impossible. Shannon beamed at her and the lone tear that ran down his cheek brushed against her own as they came together. Pulling back to look her in the eye once more, Shannon dipped his head so that his lips were skimming hers.
"I love you Tia. You complete me"
With that his lips came crushing down upon Tianna's and years of frustration and desire were behind the most passionate kiss either had ever received. A silent hush fell over the students, who by now were mesmerized with the spectacle, before they retained their composure and the hall erupted into a chorus of cheers. Sliding his hands down to cup her firm ass, Shannon lifted her up and around his waist and began the walk back to his car…and the rest of their lives.
Well there you have it...please read and review xx