DISCLAIMER: I don't own anyone from either TNA or the show Ghost Whisperer.
RATING: T (Language, violence, references to adult situations, and character death.)
PAIRING: Karen Angle/AJ Styles
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Fiction and reality are somewhat blurred in this story.
"I never thought of you as the wrestling fan type," Melinda Gordon remarked as she sat in the audience with Professor Rick Payne, a good yet quirky friend of hers. Going to a TNA event was a favor to him and not something she planned to make a habit of. Try as she might, she simply couldn't understand the appeal of wrestling.
Rick shrugged. "Yeah, well, I'm just full of surprises, aren't I?"
Melinda smirked. "You owe me big time for this."
"I'll make it up to you, I promise. I might even buy you food for a change."
"Seriously?" Melinda raised an eyebrow and tried to think of even one time the professor had paid for anything edible.
She lightly punched him in the arm and settled down to enjoy the show as best as she could.
It was difficult, though, because a wrestler by the name of AJ Styles was being bloodied by someone named Tomko—who, Rick had informed her, was AJ's former tag team partner and a current enemy. Melinda cringed. It didn't matter that wrestling was fake. She would take a ghost over blood any day of the week.
And speaking of spirits…A beautiful brunette in a long red dress had appeared at ringside without warning. She slipped into the ring and knelt beside AJ, cradling his head in her hands. When Tomko reached for AJ, the woman put herself between them protectively.
"Stay away from him!" she screamed at the heavily tattooed wrestler. "I won't let you hurt him ever again!"
Tomko tried—unsuccessfully—to get to AJ a few more times before giving up. He wore a bewildered expression as he walked away. The fans were equally confused and unusually quiet. To them, it must have appeared that Tomko had a sudden change of heart.
Melinda's attention was focused elsewhere. She watched the woman, who was now sobbing, try to revive AJ. Who was she? Melinda wondered. A fan turned stalker? Another TNA employee? A lover, perhaps?
AJ slowly sat up and wiped the blood out of his eyes. He looked directly at the brunette to his right, as if he, too, could see her, then staggered to his feet. The spirit followed him backstage, still tearful but apparently relieved that the damage hadn't been worse.
"I just saw a ghost," Melinda confided to Rick. "A woman. She was trying to help that AJ guy."
"Yes!" Rick was pleased and, apparently, not the least bit surprised by her news. "If I were a betting man, I would be filthy rich right now."
"Wait a minute. Your friend didn't have other plans, did he? I bet you never invited anyone else, because you knew there was an earthbound spirit here all along!"
He smiled sheepishly. "Guilty as charged." Then, in a more serious tone, he added, "Strange things have been happening on the show ever since Karen Angle's death. Technical problems, people acting out of character…It always happens whenever AJ Styles or Kurt Angle has a match. Coincidence? I think not."
She gave him a description of the spirit. "Does that sound like Karen?"
"That's her, all right."
"Tell me more about her."
"Well, Karen was married to Kurt, but she fell in love with AJ. Rumor is, they had an affair. Of course, they both claimed they were just friends, and it was only a storyline, but—"
"How did she die?" Melinda wondered if the storyline had indeed become reality. That would certainly explain Karen's concern over AJ's condition.
"She was in a car accident about a month ago…Hey, are you hungry? We could grab a bite to eat on the way home. Your treat, of course."
A car accident. Not murder. She eliminated Kurt as a suspect in his wife's death, ashamed at herself for jumping to conclusions.
Melinda got to see the infamous Kurt Angle in the main event. Bald, muscular, and serious—and an Olympic Gold medalist, according to Rick—he was the complete opposite of AJ Styles, who had boyish good looks and wore a crown to the ring.
Karen reappeared at ringside shortly after the match began. Even from a distance, Melinda noticed the look of pure hatred on the ghost's pretty face. Ten minutes later, the lights flickered and went out briefly. When they came back on, Kurt was down and his opponent, Samoa Joe, took advantage of the situation and pinned him. The referee's hand slapped the mat three times. Kurt wouldn't be getting his championship belt back tonight.
Karen stood over Kurt and laughed. There was no mistaking the pleasure she got from her husband's loss.
"Murderer!" she shrieked. "I'm going to ruin your life the way you ruined mine!"
A stunned Melinda turned to Rick. "I thought you said Karen died in a car accident."
"She did. I read her obituary on the Internet. TNA Wrestling dot com: Your one-stop source for everything TNA—and not just the Knockout division."
"Then why did she just accuse her husband of murder?"