Rae's heart was beating so loud, hard and fast as she led Randy by the hand up the stairs to her bedroom. What she had thought had turned into the worst day of her life had suddenly turned into the best.
Randy loved her? And more than that, he actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with her? What a big mess they'd made of everything! If only they'd just talked to start off with, then none of this shit would have happened.
"Baby... I don't know what to say," Randy started when she'd closed the door behind her.
"Then don't say anything."
"What?" he asked; clearly puzzled.
There was no need to explain anything, at least not right then. She was still trying to get her head around the fact that he loved her....
"Do you really love me?" she asked, craving to hear those words from his lips again.
"Of course," Randy answered without hesitation. "I'm sorry I did all those stupid things to make you doubt me, but I couldn't live without you, Rae. I love you more than words can explain."
"And I love you," she whispered, walking forwards until she stood right in front of him. "I never stopped. I never cheated on you, or lied. I'm sorry. It was my fault, too, for just making assumptions. This has been just one big, very fucked up misunderstanding."
Her hand came up to the side of his face and he leaned into it. Was this shit really over? This shit that they had brought totally on themselves? She was almost afraid to believe she could be happy again, that he would be in his life again. She'd been foolish and almost ruined it by not talking to him in the first place, like John and Jeff had begged her to do.
"It was all my fault," Randy said, looking away before he swore under his breath and started pacing the way he had done outside.
She'd known him long enough to know he did this when he was extremely anxious.
"No, baby. It was mine. John told me what was happening, I should have believed him and come kicking your parents' door down," she said softly as she put her hand on his arm to stop him.
"But today... that shit out there... I was way out of line; I've probably scared you off now."
She chuckled a bit at that.
"Sweetie, you go psycho on me at least once a week. If that shit scared me, I'd never have been your friend for so long," she smiled.
He searched her eyes as if he was trying to see the truth of her words, then he let out the first smile she'd seen on his face since he'd discovered Jeff in the backyard.
"We do have a lot to talk about, Randy," she said, biting her lower lip, "but I'm not really in the mood to do a whole lot of talkin' right now."
She saw the way his eyes instantly darkened. God, she'd missed him! She'd come a long way in a short space of time, from going from bed to bed to craving just this one very sexy man. She couldn't help wondering if, had she not had the cancer scare, she would ever have realised how she felt for him. And if she hadn't got with Jeff, even if it was briefly, if she would have recognised these feelings as more than lust. And if she'd have had the guts to do anything about it if she had.
Randy stood a little away from her, still looking at her intensely, sending shivers down her body the way only he could. She was trapped in his gaze, falling deeper in his smouldering baby blues as he slowly came to stand right in front of her, towering over her as his tortured breath mingled with her own. He didn't even touch her but she could swear she came a little right there.
"I will never hurt you again, baby. I promise," he whispered.
"And I will never hurt you again," she promised.
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her so deeply and thoroughly she felt the earth moving at her feet. This man was her life, and she would never let him go ever again. She would never give him reason to ever doubt her love.
Slowly, her fingers found the bottoms on his shirt and started undoing them. She was trembling all over, feeling safe and loved again in Randy's arms; feeling things she had never thought she would feel again as her limbs weakened from feeling his lips on hers, his tongue dueling with hers. Finally, her hand found his flesh and they both let out a gasp at the contact. It was like a million sparks going through their bodies, connecting them, moulding them into one and envoking a whirlwind of emotion in every nerve in her body.
It had been way too long since she had touched him, and for once in her life, touching anyone else had been completely out of the question. Two months back, she would never have believed she would be in this position; in love, with only one man, willing to spend her whole life with him.
As if he sensed her thoughts, he gently pushed her away.
"Wait," he said breathlessly against her mouth as he broke the kiss.
"Shh," he whispered, quickly kissing her again to silence her. "I've fucked everything else up. Let me do this right."
A bit dazed, she watched him search his pockets before he knelt down in front of her. Her hands went up to her mouth and she started tearing up when she realised what he was doing.
She had expected this, she had known it was coming from when he'd blurted it out and taken the box out during his little rant, but this moment was the most beautiful she'd ever known. Randy, the gorgeous sexy beast, on one knee in front of her, his shirt hanging open and revealing his toned stomach as he held up a perfect looking diamond ring.
"Rachael Taylor Calaway," he started, holding her gaze the entire time, "I can't imagine my life without you. I'm sorry it took your illness to make me admit how I really feel about you, and I regret thinking even for a second that I could let you go. I love you, Rae, and I will till the day I die. I've been yours since we met at the playground almost twenty-five years ago; will you be mine? Will you spend the rest of your life with me? Will you make me complete, and marry me?"
"Yes!" she cried without hesitation. "Yes, yes, yes."
Randy was on his feet like a shot, his eyes tearing up as well as he held out his hand for hers. The ring was a perfect fit, they both stood to admire it for a second before she was in his arms again, just holding him and relishing the feeling that he was his for always.
"You've made me so happy, Randy. I love you so much, and I promise I'll never make you regret taking a chance on me," she whispered.
"I'm not taking a chance, Rae. I'm a complete asshole at the best of times but you've put up with me near enough your whole life. You're it for me."
She believed him. She believed he'd never look at another woman again because she would never look at another person, man or woman, again. Whatever the future brought, whatever heartaches came, Randy would always be the one she would love forever. She knew life wasn't a rainbow, it wasn't all peaches and cream, but for that moment, it was.
"I love you so much, Rachael Taylor Calaway," he added. "So, so much."
He lifted her into his arms and walked over to the bed, carefully putting her down. His eyes never left hers for a second, even when he slowly slid his shirt off and threw it on the floor, even when he undid his belt buckle and his zip before sliding his jeans down his legs. For a moment he stood completely naked in front of her, like a scultpured god with his rock-hard abs, huge chest and large muscular thighs. His chest was rising and falling with his laboured breathing and his erection proudly twitching as her inspection of the prefect male specimen turned him on a lot more. Her mouth watered. Damn it, she still couldn't work out how he did this to her. How had she got to be the lucky one who had him for always? He was perfect. He was huge. He was hers. She was shaking, nervous like this was going to be her first time again as he slowly advanced on her. In a way, it was. They'd fucked up royally and were being given a second chance; at love, at life.
He lay on his side right next to her on the bed, his body searing hers, even though she was still fully clothed. She felt his rock hard erection prodding her thigh and moaned. She couldn't wait to feel him inside her again. Then his hand came up and he let his fingers trail her body from the side of her face, past the vein throbbing at the base of her neck, between her breasts, all the way down to the zip on her jeans. It felt like fire, irresistible fire; she couldn't help arching her body to his fingers as she helplessly moaned for more. Her body came to life, craving this touch that she'd only dreamed she would have again.
Then his lips started on the same trail, this time the contact more like larva that brought a little mewl from her lips even as it made her breathless. He was being so gentle, taking his time, kissing and licking a hot trail until he got to her jeans. Without breaking the contact, his hands went on either side of her and urged her to lift her hips up as he gently peeled the jeans and the panties she'd worn underneath them off, his lips following them as they kissed almost every inch of skin he exposed.
She was already beyond ready, but she could tell Randy had brought his 'A' game to her. He was going to tease her until she begged. Then he would tease her some more. She didn't think she could handle that, not when it had been so damn long since he'd touched her.
"Please..." she moaned, writhing underneath his lips.
But Randy only smirked as he came halfway up her body, completely ignoring where she wanted him the most. He lifted her wife beater up just a bit, and started his assault on her bare skin. She couldn't help but arch her back again, and he used this to his advantage as he pushed the top up her body. All the electricity, the weakening limbs, the blood rush that they wrote about in romance novels and movies... that was nothing compared to this. She had no word to describe the surge of feeling in her body. It had never been like this before, not even the first night they'd come together at Flair's party.
Again, he completely denied her breasts any attention even though he could probably see the hardened nipples straining against her lacy bra. He had the top off her in seconds, although it seemed like forever under his sensual assault. And all she could do was moan and groan and take it. And whimper helplessly.
The lacy bra went next, but still, even as her breasts were exposed, he was careful to avoid kissing her where she wanted him.
"Randy..." she tried again, this time bringing her hands around his neck an all but pushing him down.
He relented, but only for a second. Kissing one nipple, he gently took it in his mouth, earning a loud cry from her, and gently sucked it before letting it go. Then he blew on it. He was using all the tricks, driving her so wild she started to mumble his name, begging him to stop teasing her, begging him to fill her. He gave the other one the same treatment, this time she clawed his back as she tried to get her body closer to his. But he kept his pulsing erection away from her, only teasing her with it occasionally when he let it glide over her, moaning against her when she screamed.
And he wasn't done.
He went down her body again until he was only an inch from where she needed him. Her eyes had been shut, her lids heavy with desire, but she opened in protest when he stopped moving, only to drown again in his eyes. With her full attention, he went down on her. She didn't think she'd ever had it so good before, even when Randy had done it before her stint at the hospital. Her hands immediately left his body to clutch at the sheets beside her, her knuckles whitening.
He brought her closer to the edge, had her wriggling on the bed, screaming his name and throwing her head from side to side as she sort her release. His groans against her mingled with her own and she could feel his eyes still on her face, burning into her. She was so close to getting to the top of that peak, so close to going over the edge...
But then he stopped.
"You fucking bastard!" she swore breathlessly, earning a little chuckle from him before he moved his body up over hers.
He was just as breathless as she was as he hovered over her, positioning himself, his eyes still on hers.
"I love you," he whispered, just before he finally brought her the connection she craved.
The first thrust was just as slow as his whole assault on her senses had been, but he went in deep. She couldn't help screaming his name. In just one movement she completely lost her mind. The size of him, the feel of him as he slowly pushed himself all the way in... He filled her up so thoroughly, so completely.
"Baby... so good," he groaned, as he slowly pulled out of her again.
She screamed again, unable to put any words together as she pushed her hips up against him. He plunged into her again, and his cries echoed her own. It was too much for her. She'd never thought she'd ever see that day, but Randy inside of her felt so good it really was too much. She wrapped her legs around him, pushing him deeper and clenching herself tightly around him.
"Fuck!" he gasped when he tried to pull out again. "So tight... I can't..."
That was all she heard before she tipped over the edge and felt the most intense wave wash over her. And as she convulsed and tightened more around him, she heard him scream her name as he released his seed deep inside her.
Whoa, she thought to herself as she clung onto him for the exhilarating ride down. This had been more than making love, more than a deep connection. How could it be possible that something so good, so intense existed?
"Wow," Randy said breathlessly, still buried deep inside her as her muscles milked him for all he was worth. "I think we broke some kind of record."
"Orgasm in two strokes?" she chuckled.
"And quite a few others, I'm sure," he chuckled as he finally rolled over so she could lie on top of him.
"I missed you so much," she whispered to him, her head on his chest, listening to his erratic heartbeat as it struggled to slow down.
"And I missed you," he said. "I never want to go through that again."
They lay there for a while longer, still joined, enjoying the feeling of being back in each other's arms.
"There's a beautiful little baby that's been named after you," Randy said when he'd recovered enough to think. "Her dad told us to stop by whenever we wanted. I'd like to."
He explained the story, how that morning he had felt the first bit of hope since the whole nightmare had started, and that man had been the only one not to look at him as if he was crazy when he thought things would be okay.
She kissed him lingeringly, thanking God that he had been right, knowing his life would have completely sucked had she been taken away from him. She wasn't being big headed, only stating a fact. Had the shoe been on the other shoe, had it been Randy who'd been facing death in the face, she would have felt the same way.
"So I was thinking," he continued. "Small wedding on the beach or something, maybe just before the sunset? Sometime real soon?"
"Sounds perfect," she smiled. "I can't believe we're actually going to do it."
"And if I'm lucky, I might have just made you pregnant as well," he said smugly. "My shit is really potent!"
She hadn't gone as far as think about kids but the idea of carrying his child was suddenly very appealing.
"But just in case I didn't, I think we should try that again," he smirked.
She felt him harden again and shivered. She'd hardly had time to recover from the first time, but she was more than ready for him again. She kissed him softly.
"We have people outside probably waiting to find out how our 'talk' went," she chuckled against his lips.
"I'm sure they have a pretty good idea."
He stopped kissing her for a second as he said, "Maybe we should go downstairs. I have this inexplicable urge to have a word with your Daddy dearest."
But it was hours later when they finally walked out to the back, hand in hand and freshly showered. He had a stupid grin on his face that he knew would probably alert everyone what he had just spent hours doing with Rae, if they hadn't guessed already. Sara was back with the kids and Ethan had come to join in the fun as well. He was standing over the grill that someone had fired up and thrown steaks on. He was willing to bet that had been John's idea. Food was always John's idea.
Mark was sitting with his wife as they watched the kids run around and the rest of the guys were standing together, laughing and talking.
"Told you they wouldn't miss us," he said to Rae as they lazily walked over to her dad and step mum.
The first thing she did was kiss her dad and hold him tightly. Mark held her just as tight, it looked almost as if he was about to cry. Rae did actually release a few tears, which Mark tenderly wiped away as he smiled at her.
He felt like he was intruding on a special father-daughter moment. Mark was letting go of his little girl, trusting another man to love her unconditionally. It was a bittersweet moment.
"So?" Sara questioned when they finally let go of each other.
Rae let out a squeal, immediately forgetting how she had felt only seconds before as she showed Sara her hand with her shiny expensive engagement ring on it. Sara immediately fawned over it, the way only women did. He could only chuckle as he watched the two of them walk away to where Ria was standing with John. Amid the excited squeals and screams that came from Ria as the three of them huddled together over her hand, he turned his attention back to the man in front of him.
First he held his hand out, and a set of keys was placed in it.
The Dead Man then grinned at him in amusement.
"I don't think you're funny at all," he huffed as he sat himself down on the chair Sara had just vacated. "You knew what was really going on, and instead of setting me straight you let me make a fool of myself."
"I only regret not having a camera to video it," Mark chuckled.
"Don't you dare tell anyone! It's bad enough they saw me out here," he said quickly.
"Oh, somehow I doubt they'd believe me," Mark answered. "You beg? That's unheard of!"
"They'd believe it if it came from you."
"Yes, they would, wouldn't they?" Mark said.
The older man started laughing again. He scowled, turning away from him, his eyes immediately catching sight of Rae.
She was positively glowing, happier than he had ever seen her. And it was because of him. How had he wasted so much time, how had he been so blind when she had always been his one and only? He felt like kicking himself for it. It humbled him to no end that she was willing to spend her life with him after all he had done. Or not done.
Jeff was standing next to her, laughing with her as he examined her ring. He watched them for a moment and realised he had absolutely nothing to worry about. Whatever had been there before them was long gone. They just looked like good friends, friends who'd been through one hell of a roller-coaster ride that had cemented their friendship for a lifetime. He could live with that. After all, Jeff had been there when he hadn't. For that alone, he would forever be in his debt.
"You've made my girl really happy."
He turned from watching his beautiful angel to see that the Dead Man had stopped laughing and was looking at him seriously.
"I don't think she could be happier than I am," he said truthfully.
"You two have been forced to do a lot of growing up lately," Mark said. "I've always known she would end up with you, no matter how much I prayed it would be someone else."
"Hey!" he protested.
"What? I'm just telling you I never thought you were good enough for my daughter. In fact, you're still not good enough," Mark stated. "But she loves you and you've made her so happy, so I guess I have no say in it."
"No, you don't," he agreed vehemently, knowing if he had been in Mark's shoes, he would have picked someone else entirely for Rae.
"I'm just messing with you, kid. You were always my first choice. I just thought it'd be a while before I ever saw this day, you know, my daughter getting engaged and all," Mark said gruffly. "And I'm touched you even thought to ask me for her hand. I didn't think you would."
He patted the man on the back, realising the Dead Man was more affected by this than he had been letting on.
"I know how much she means to you. I had to be your middleman for years, remember," he said. "I respect you a lot, Mark. I'd have come to you to ask for your blessing anyway."
Mark looked up at him and smiled briefly. Then the tender moment passed as they turned to watch the others again.
"Will you still babysit?"
"No," he answered quickly without even taking his attention away from Rae.
"Will you still be my bitch?"
"Definitely not," he answered with a disgusted grunt.
"Will you at least consider taking my name?"
At this, he looked at the older man, who just easily bit into an apple he'd picked up from the table next to him and continued watching the boys playing in front of him.
"He doesn't love me. I know him better than anybody. You know nothing. Blah blah blah blah," John mimicked, his one hand on his hip and the other pointed and waving in her face.
"Shut up," she laughed as she went into her long ting friend and confidant's arms.
It was a shame she had given into herself and slept with him, she thought that had somehow tarnished the perfect friendship they'd had. But maybe she'd had to go through all of that, to get it out of her system before settling with Randy. Well, that was one way of looking at it. She certainly hoped it wouldn't come up and bite her in the ass in the future.
John held her tightly and kissed the top of her head.
"I'm so happy you finally have your heart's desire, baby," he said seriously. "That's all I've ever wanted for you two."
She smiled up at him, remembering how he'd always said how she and Randy were meant for each other.
"Thank you, John" she said, kissing his cheek.
"Are you sure about all this, though? That is one seriously psycho dude you're tying yourself to," Ethan laughed as he came to stand next to them. "I've just seen the video to prove it."
"He gets away with it only because he's so pretty," she laughed as he pulled her into a hug.
"Congratulations, sweetheart. You've been part of the family so long, I suppose we had to make it official," Ethan chuckled when he let her go. "And I can't thank you enough for putting Randy and all of us out of our misery. I was this close to dragging you over to our house and locking you two in a room together."
Well, she'd certainly learned her lesson. She hoped to God they never went through anything like that again, even if the make-up sex had been off the charts.
She accepted hugs from everyone else before she came to stand in front of Jeff. He was smiling at her, and she could see in his eyes he was being genuine.
"Told you it would work out, didn't I?" he said as he pulled her into a hug.
"That you did," she smiled.
Another time, another life, she would probably have settled down with this man. She truly hoped he would work his own issues out and find happiness for himself, he deserved it.
"I've never seen you so happy," Jeff smiled.
"Well, we met under quite unhappy circumstances, but I'm sure I was never this happy even before that," she said.
"It suits you," he stated. "I'm happy for you, I really am. I hope you and I can still be friends."
"After all the trouble I've brought to your door, I'm really honoured you'd still want to be my friend," she smiled at him. "Does that mean I can start calling you at stupid hours again?"
"Yes," he smiled. "As long as Randy doesn't threaten to kill me again."
He walked up to his brother, who immediately hugged him and congratulated him.
"Now, don't you feel like a dick for not listening to me in the first place?" Ethan teased.
"More than you know," he answered seriously.
"Mum and Dad will be here soon. I told them you had something to tell them, figured you'd want to do it yourself," Ethan said as he turned some steaks over. "And before I forget, I burnt your stupid letter, so Vince is still calling the house, asking when you'll be 'well enough' to return to work."
He had been willing to give wrestling up for the love of Rae, but he was so grateful his brother hadn't done as he'd asked. He would need his job to support his wife... and their babies. The thought of it made him smile.
"Thanks, bro," he said. "I owe you for that."
"What's taking you so long with my damn steaks? Some of us have to go to work in a little bit," John teased as he came to stand next to him by the grill.
"Do them your damn self then" Ethan laughed, knowing John would be the first to eat but the last to offer to cook anything.
He looked at his friend, the man who'd been through so much with him and Rae. It still bothered him that he'd slept with her but he understood why it had happened and he understood it would never happen again. Not if he had anything to do with it!
"You're lucky I'm in a good mood. Finally," John teased, directing this last bit at him. "Dude, it took you long enough! I hope you understand that after all this, if I'm not your best man there'll be huge problems."
"I'd guessed that much," he laughed before he accepted a manly hug of congratulations.
"You have a lot to answer for, though," John said after.
"I know," he said. "I'm really sorry."
"The sorriest!" John agreed, teasing him again. "Now, go on, I know you're dying to get to Rae. You and I can talk later."
He smiled at his friend as he continued on to where Rae was standing with Jeff, after pausing briefly for a hug from Ria and handshakes from Matt and Shane.
Jeff smiled at him as he put an arm around Rae and dropped a kiss on her lips.
"I, uh, I want to apologise for earlier," he started, looking at the man he'd unfairly blamed for his unhappiness.
"It's already forgotten," Jeff cut in, waving it off. "I understand where you were coming from. I saw it coming, actually, after that stuff at the hospital. But for the record, Rae and I can never be more than friends. We were both meant for someone else, and I knew this from the very beginning."
He nodded his head at the other man, happy for this reassurance.
"You're welcome here anytime you want, Hardy. I will never forget what you did for this family when we were going through that hell."
Jeff smiled at him and was about to turn away when he stopped and pulled something from his pocket.
"I almost forgot," he said, "I found this when I was doing my laundry the other day."
"Oh, my God! This is what started all this yet I haven't even thought about in a long time," Rae said as she looked down at it.
The famed Bucket List. He'd never got the chance to read it.
"I'm sorry I invaded your privacy by reading it," Jeff said. "But it opened my eyes to a lot of things. You're one lucky man, Randy. She's a keeper."
"I know," he smiled, looking down at the woman who'd taken pity on him and agreed to be his for a lifetime.
He'd done a lot of shit in his lifetime, but none of it had pushed her away. He'd be forever thankful for that. He couldn't believe how incredibly lucky he felt that he got the chance to spend the rest of his life with her, showing her every single day how much he loved her. She was his best friend, his lover and soon she would be his wife.
It was a new beginning, a new chapter in their lives. A second chance. He was never going to mess it up again.
"Do you have a pen?" Rae asked.
"Are you kidding me? When I do finally die, I'm going to make sure this baby has at least a thousand things on it, maybe even more. This bucket list was just pathetically short."
"Did it serve it's purpose, though?" he asked, turning her round in his arms so she was facing him.
"It made me realise what's important in my life," she answered softly. "You. Dad. My new family. My friends. So, yes. It served it's purpose."
He bent his head to kiss her softly.
"I know what you can write down on it next," he told her.
"Become Mrs. Randy Orton and have his five babies."
"Yes. Five. If you give me any lip I'll make it six," he smiled against her lips.
"Five it is then," she chuckled, kissing him again, oblivious to the other people around them again.
For the moment, all was well in his world.
AN/ So... this is it. I'm kinda sad now. So sad I've been thinking of a sequel, you know, when they'll have normal problems like cheating and stuff, instead of death scares. I don't know... We'll see.
So I would like to thank all of you for reading my work, even the ones that stopped reading/reviewing. I'll give myself a week or so till I post my next fic, so you can put me on your alerts if you want. I have a million ideas in my head and about the same number of started fics, I might just do two at the same time. Or maybe just one. We all know how bad I am at updating....
Anyway, my loyal readers/reviewers, you made this possible. I can't thank you enough stripes31, Enigmatic Lotus Leaf, Cena-holic8, ShannonxMoore'sxLoverx, Mababy, LegacyChick, Bingobaby, Alethea293, LadyWTF (still chuffed I was your first!), Orton Addict, perfectly., OrtonCenaHardyChick, grleviathan, hotpocketbandit, virgil-t-stone, alana2awesome, wwelover1995, VASHORTYGIRL, Crystal Vanzie, HighFlyinJeffHardy, littleone999, purerandomosity, iluvmycena, AngelRose82, Breeface, Mrs Bridget Orton, gurl42069, VolcomStoneBabe, Lolita Smiles, ortonfanatic56, MiSSYMISSz, Roxxi-Dynamite, AuntieTwister08,HardyDXEvolutionChick, berrycharismatic, nothingsnobody, Angelus242, Mrs Bass-Malfoy, PepaMynt, BatistasPrincess, sailormama, LinKiePu, Neon Love, johncena1wifey, tly0227, The Niki Reid, MorphineGirl82, w8ing4rain, MissUnlucky, cameronchick. Thank you for my 216 reviews so far. Don't forget to review this one and let me know what you think of this ending.
Well, it's been fun. Catch you all next time.