Off to the show, hope you'll enjoy reading this part…


CHAPTER 17C

The Deadman woke Jeff up quite early so they could get to the airport and join their friends, Jeff's physical condition was nearly back to full power, it was the mental state that worried him the most, Jeff was hiding under the covers and not showing any sign of future movement, Mark sat down next to him and pulled on the covers "Jeff, get ready", there was a weak, sleepy mumble "Don't want to". Mark sighed and slapped him gently on the head, before leaning against him and whispering straight in his ear "Ok, so now you don't want to get another shot", Jeff shook his head and pushed him away, his mood all pessimistic and low "Won't get it anyways, now that Adam has the title", "Stop it, you were first contender, you still are", "Pffff", "Move it or I'll make you", "Well make me", the Deadman sighed and grabbed Jeff by the hair, pulling him up, making sure not to hurt him too much "Don't play with me kid, seriously… I understand that you're pissed, very much even, I'd be just as angry, but don't vent it on me", "I'm not venting anything, I just feel so… so…", he saw the despair in Jeff's eyes and melted, letting go and hugging him "We'll make whoever it was pay", "And if you don't find out?", "We will", "They haven't found out anything Mark, whoever attacked me will get away with it…", "We will find him Jeff… And then there will be hell to pay", "Promise?", "Yes, and you can have your vengeance kid", "Ok…"

Once they got there Mark and Jeff checked in and drove to the arena, Jeff's mood still pretty mellow and dropping with every mile they got closer, Mark pulled Jeff along to Stephanie's office to get some type of arrangement since Jeff was back in the game and ready to wrestle, but Stephanie had already thought of something and arranged for a couple of matches to take place and was working on getting everything set up. On his way to his locker room, tailed by the Deadman who kept an eye on him Jeff saw Raven leaning against the wall next to his locker room and beamed for the first time today "Raven", the called one looked up, only his head moving a couple of inches and his eyes locking on Jeff, there was an imperceptible smile that flickered on his face for a moment before Jeff flew into his arms making Mark frown even more and shake his head as he followed him, keeping back from grabbing Jeff away from Raven. But one look and he knew it would be hell, and he didn't want to get Jeff inbetween them so all he did was stop next to them, and glared at the man he really despised seeing here "We need to talk", Raven gave Mark an arrogant smirk "Really? Wouldn't know about what Deadman", "Don't get funny Raven", "Funny? Never believed to be funny… Do I look like a fucking clown to you?". Mark didn't grace him with more thana head-shake "You didn't change". Still hugging Jeff Scott laughed "Why change… There was nothing to change…"

Jeff fidgeted between them, not really enjoying their little verbal brawl even if neither were yelling "Can I leave you two without you guys killing each other?", "Of course", "I'll get ready, see you in a couple of minutes", he gave Mark a hug, whispering "Please, I know you can't stand him but I really like him, so please ok… Be nice", "I'll try" then turned to Raven and gave him a hug too, repeating his words "Please, I know you can't stand him but I really like him, so please ok… Be nice", "If it's asked so nicely…", "Man, I'm so glad to see you", "Get ready Hardy, I won't disappear".

They both followed him with their eyes, Mark pushing Raven brutally against the wall the second the door was closed "Don't piss me off, got that…", Raven pushed him away, ready to fight him all the way "Fuck you Deadman, I'm not impressed by you, so keep your attitude to yourself". Mark measured him darkly for a moment before he poked him in the chest "Don't get in my way, that's my only advise" only to receive a poke back, arrogant smirk included "And you better don't get in mine, you call yourself the Topdog and Jeff gets assaulted, great job your doing… That kid could be dead, and you didn't get the signs… That's pathetic and a real low".

Jeff looked out and pouted a little "Stop it, both of you" before slamming the door shut again, and sighing, glad Shawn was with him "It's ok… They'll calm down after a while, it has always been that way with them", "I'm so happy to see Raven and I just don't want them to kill each other", "They won't…". Jeff continued changing, grinning when he saw marks on Shawn's body "Uhu… You've been with the bird", "Don't tell me you're not aroused to have him around", "Well, I guess I won't be able to get with him… I mean Mark won't let me get close, and Matt sure as hell won't either", "Well, want me to tell you something?", Shawn hugged Jeff and smirked "Hunter is very, very jealous", "You're kidding", "No, he's afraid you and Raven will get together", "Really?", "Yup… So even if you don't get fucked by Raven, you'll soon be with Hunt", "I so hope so… But first I'll get the title".

Now it was Raven's time to open the door "Guys, could you sound less girly… Seriously… And Jeff, stop whining", "I didn't whine", "No, and now you're not whining either…", a little offended Jeff continued changing, ignoring Raven until he closed the door and left both men alone. "He's an ass", "Yeah, well, we were behaving like women though, but still, that doesn't change the fact that Hunter likes you Jeff", "Now I need to show him I can beat him", "Yeah, but you will, I know that, you finally going to end up lucky", "Hope so", "No pessimism kid", "No, no pessimism".

For some of the guys the fact that Raven was there was a nice change to their routines, Dreamer jumped him full force, keeping him on the floor and laughing "Yes baby… Hardcore is back", Raven smirked and tried to detach him from his back, grumbling for the form even if he too was happy seeing his friend and even enjoyed their little brawling on the floor "Asshole, you got me bruised now", "Oh my, became a whiner ha… Indy not becoming you, you're getting all emo again", "I was shooting a movie", "Oh yes, true, how was Australia?", "Better than this floor", Tommy pulled him up and hugged him "Man, I really missed you backstage, still can't believe you're really here", "Can't say the same", "Love you too… So, already on someone's tail?", "Nope", "Seen Jericho already", "No, just Jeff", Jeff who was pouting a little and cuddled against Raven who amused put an arm around him under Mark's glare, but before he could say something the next "Raven, there you are" was screeched, this time John who let Mike stand there a little lost and not sure he trusted the man, followed reluctantly, annoyed by Raven's smirk when he looked at him.

They finally made it to the catering area, Jeff and Raven talking about what had happened as they took something to eat and sat down, Chris nearly fainting on the spot when he saw them, Lance immediately leaned over and pale, whispered "Is that who I think it is", "Yes, Raven, I wonder what he does here", Lance looked as if he was ready to cry "Man, this is not good, not good at all, damn", "He's just visiting, probably was around", "Uhu, and what if he's here for something else", "Then we'll have to keep a very low profile and start by not talking about anything, got me… And not getting spooked would be a good start, that man reeks fear at a mile", "Oh yes, he'll know, and you know that", "There's nothing to know, nothing happened, remember", "Yes"

The show was about to start and Jeff and Raven followed the others to the screens, Raven waiting a moment to smirk into Jericho's face "You lost your manners boy, I was waiting for you to come and say hi", "I'm not on the best of terms with that moron you sat with", "Jeff? How come? You guys have always been friends", "None of your business…", his voice got sarcastic and Cade prayed for the floor to open and to swallow him whole, he fixed the floor, gulping a little when Chris continued "So Hello your Majesty Raven… They've let you out of that retirement home for old losers?". Raven stared at him for a good minute before bursting into a laughing fit "How bitter do you have to be to talk to me like that?", Lance moved a little to the side, not wanting to end as collateral damage and seeing that Raven's eyes had taken an icy-evil expression he prayed for someone to come and save them from the doom Jericho had called upon himself. "Lost your tongue Irvine?", "What do you want Raven", "You on the floor, resting in your own blood and gasping for air while I choke you… But that will unfortunately stay an imaginary vision for now, as for what I want now is to go and kill myself by watching mediocre wrestling, that's all…"

When Raven arrived, Jeff was sitting in front of the monitor, growing more impatient and restless by the minute, hearing that idiot spill all of his venom, Matt was keeping him back, security standing around the ring protecting the evil duo and his brother's chances way to slim, but unfortunately Vickie and her "excuse me" made Jeff jump again, hissing "Yeah, under investigation, my ass" and with all that followed, Raven made Matt let go of Jeff and laughed "Knock yourself out, but take them with you kid" and Jeff was on his way to the ring in the blink of an eye, Matt glaring a little as he ripped his arm free "He could get hurt, what were you thinking", "He already got hurt, and just for the show he should be out there fighting Edge and his hog", Matt looked at him quizzically "Just for the show? That guy pushed him down the stairs… That wasn't for…", Raven shook his head and interrupted him "It wasn't him Matt", "How can you be so sure", "I know, that's all, it wasn't Copeland", "But then who was it? He's the one who benefited the most", "Yes, but he's innocent, and now stop discussing me". Matt was still pissed but didn't want to start it with Raven, and he wasn't the only one being pissed, Hunter had been sitting in his lockerroom watching the same scenes and was on his way too, Adam had just gone too far, using Jeff's accident/assault to create a stupid storyline, they all would have preferred not talking about it on screen, Mark stepped into his way "Remember off the record Paul, you go there to punch him for screwing you over for the title, not for punching Jeff down and all, I know you want your title back but not at the dispense of Jeff, remember that", "Never forgot that, but we're opponents so he'll have to go down, now excuse me", the Deadman smiled and stepped out of his way making it quickly to a monitor, he didn't want to miss the spectacle that would soon unravel…

Jeff had some trouble making it even to the ring, Vickie hadn't been dumb, she had guys posted in the alley too, in case someone would dare come to the ring to interrupt her, and there were enough guys ready to do just that, Jeff being the first to make it out, immediately stopped by several security guys, well immobilized, he was far from being done with the couple in the ring, he managed to get closer, but it was at that moment that Hunter appeared, far from happy either, and pissed Jeff had beat him to the ring, the first thing he did, since he could approach the ring pretty close, all the security on Jeff, was knock Jeff down before trying to make it into the ring, he too stopped by the security guys…

The first thing Jeff did as he got up was try and get his hands on the Game, forgetting momentarly about Edge and Vickie, the security guys now trying to keep the two men of each other, Jeff and Hunter both ready to tear each other apart on the spot, their outlashings only interrupted by the arrival of Kozlov. Both Hunter and Jeff halted and stared at the ring, listening to what the third guy in line for the title had to say, or thought he had to say, but Vickie cut him short announcing their beat-the-clock match, Jeff gazing over to Hunter wanting to know if the Game had known, but he seemed just as puzzled as he was, he knew Stephanie had been working something out, but never in a million years he would have come up with this…

Jeff was kind of happy to just be able to start and get done with, he was wondering who the evil witch had set up against him as he was shoving back the security guards, they had some trouble getting both men backstage to grant Vickie and Edge a safe passage, Jeff and Hunter not making their task an easy one, Matt helped them keep Jeff back and Hunter was pulled away by a good ten men. Once he was out of sight Jeff started calming, the adrenaline rush slowly fading off, "Jeff, listen to me… I'm set up against Kozlov", for a second Jeff's heart had skipped a beat in the belief he'd have to face his brother, but Kozlov wasn't better news either, he pulled a frown, getting a slap from his brother "Hey… A little faith please…", "I just don't want you to get hurt", "I won't, and I'll prevent him from winning bro", Jeff grinned like devilment personified, hugging him "Thanx, wish me luck on a fast kill", "I know you will Jeff, just stay focused", Jeff nodded and got ready, making his way to the ring, wondering what the stupid fat woman had in store this time…

Jeff waited for Brian to make it to the ring, sitting in a corner, his mind equally divided on Hunter and who he'd have to face and the best tactic to get Brian down as fast as possible, that mountain playing shadow, the guy being one thing not to let out of thought, hpe didn't want to end knocked down by Ezekiel behind the referees back, he was hurt enough as it was. At the bell ring he pushed up, knowing Brian loved to chicken his way through a match he knew he had to be fast to get him, and the idiot's stupid teasings weren't helping, the constant tic tac of the clock running in the back of his mind along a pair of brown eyes that he knew was watching him intently too…

Hunter was focused on seeing how Jeff would fare, he wasn't the only one, Raven was just as concentrated, Shawn sitting next to him "You watch us?", "What?", "You watch WWE", "You're crazy? No, I do not hurt myself like that", "Asshole", "Sell-out", Hunter rolled his eyes "Shut up, I'm watching Jeff's match", Shawn flipped him the bird while Matt pulled him back and put his hand over his mouth "Shut up Shawn, I want to concentrate on his match too", far from their bickering Jeff couldn't believe Brian was playing catch-me with him, and when he rolled out of the ring and hid behind Ezekiel, Jeff threw all caution to the wind and followed him, Ezekiel not touching him but not letting him pass either, it all just build up to a certain level of frustration, and they were only or already, depending on who it was you'd ask, at one minute thirty. When Brian made it back into the ring, Jeff was ready to hurt him in order to get the pin quick, and he made his opponent feel just that, Brian took a nice beating for a good two minutes before he managed to slip out of his grip and make it out, into his comfy place behind Ezekiel, and Jeff just passed to the next level of frustration, feeling like a fool waiting for that clown to make it back, so he went and got him, not keeping back on his punches and not giving Kendrick the slightest chance on revearsing the situation, that was until Brian kicked him off the turnbuckle and pulled him down, making him crash on his neck, and going on from there it was Jeff's neck he was mostly concentrating on, using his injury to make him quit the match…

Brian was starting to feel cocky, sure he had weakened him enough to have an easy kill, that was without counting on the limitless drive the younger Hardy possessed, his endurance and the fact he was way more hardcore than he was, and having him turned and locked to the floor with a nice view of the ticking clock, he sure provoked Jeff to the point where he started fighting back, not feeling the pain anymore and not caring if he'd injure him or not, and not even Ezekiel could stop him by getting Brian out of the ring, Jeff greeted him with his middle finger after he finally managed to pin Brian, 12:13 not exactly what he had planned on, and as he sat in the ropes letting his dejection and his dissappointment show, he had let himself down, and catching his breathe he knew he had given HHH a good opportunity in beating his time and Matt one to get a decent beating. He made his way back, lost in thoughts, until he felt a hand on his shoulder, squeezing "He'll have to do better first Jeff, don't look miserable already", "Oh come on, twelve minutes are enough for him to Pedigree Shelton ten times around the globe… Listen, have you seen my brother?", "Abducted by Eve", at least that information made Jeff smile, even if it was just for a second, his neck hurting like hell and now that the rush from the match was weighing off he started feeling a stinging pain "I have to talk to him", "Go get checked, he'll find you Jeff", "No way, I'll wa…", Mark grabbed him by his arm and pulled him along "He'll find you", Jeff knew the discussion had ended before it even had started and moved along, at least he'd be allowed something against the pain if he was checked…

Matt finished his interview quickly, he had said all he had to say, and started looking for his brother, finding him pouting and being kept down, the stitches he had gotten were already pretty much healed, but still Brian's poundings on that spot had left Jeff with not only a pounding headache but also a stinging pain in his neck, pain the pills he was handed were supposed to calm, at least the pouting stopped, Jeff turning his head slowly and seeing his brother, who immediately snapped "Stop moving that head of yours bro", he stopped next to him, giving him a smile as he saw Mark calmly nod that everything was ok "How you're feeling?", Jeff whispered "Like a sore loser", "Last time I checked you won", sighing dramatically Jeff got slowly up "Yeah, in like the best time ever ha, I mean you'll have to endure Kozlov and Hunter will have time to come to the ring five minutes late". He knew it was hard for Jeff to be proud of something and that even the slightest and tiniest negative effect could ruin a huge positive one "Jeff… I'm looking forward to beat the crap out of Kozlov bro, and Shelton ain't no walk in the park either, so why don't you just let things unfold, you can't change them anyways", Jeff sighed "Ok, whatever", "Good kid", "Hey", he helped him back to their lockerroom, and waited with Mark as Jeff took a shower, letting the warm water flow over him, still a sour feeling deep inside, and that hadn't evaporated as he stopped the water and started drying, at least the physical pain had stopped by now, he got dressed not saying a word until Matt came and hugged him "See you after my match bro, and stop worrying, this one won't beat your time", he was glad he saw Jeff smile and whisper "I know, but watch your back out there, ok" before going back to brooding, Mark pulled him in an embrace, kissing his neck tenderly "Stop pouting like that kid" and pushed him outside "Go watch his match Jeff, I need to have a word with someone", he knew him well enough to clearly sense that he needed time to himself, in many ways he was like him, there were moments when nobody could say something that could help, and he wasn't far from their couches and the screen so he wasn't risking getting attacked again…

Mark caught up with Raven and pulled him into his locker room where Hunter and Glen were waiting, Raven pushed Mark away and evaluated his chances against three men, especially those three "What the hell? A beat-up? Classy guys", Mark sighed and sat down "No, we need to talk Scott, and don't get funny now… I need a seriously word with you…", Hunter interrupted Mark before he could continue "And I do too", Glen just took in the man in front of him, visibly liking what he saw and licking his lips, and the attention was reciprocated, Raven's eyes roaming him too as Mark was finally continuing, amused by his brother and Raven's attitude towards each other "You find something out, you tell us before something happens, we all want to hurt whoever touched Jeff", not taking his eyes of Glen who had his locked with Raven too he nodded "Sounds fair, but I get a piece of that mf's ass too guys, even if I'm not around Jeff anymore, I still won't accept someone touching him", Mark knew this was a compromise on both sides, not to mention he knew Raven had been there for Jeff when he was in TNA "No problem", "You have any idea on who it was", "Not yet, give me a day or two and I'll come up with suspects", "Good…", Mark got up, but before he left he gave a last piece of advise "And before I forget it, Jeff is off-limits Scott…", "Why?", Hunter moved towards Raven, but the cold glare he got made him stop, but it didn't shut him up though "Because asshole, stay away from him", "Ok ok, damn Hunter, you could scare me…" he smirked adding "… in another lifetime", "Stay away from Jeff, I mean it", knowing Jeff and knowing from discussions with the younger man that he had a huge crush on Hunter Raven nodded, but not without whispering dangerously "Treat him well Hunter, I'm not kidding… I get one phonecall that you hurt him and I'll make you history, I won't tolerate anyone hurting Jeff, got that?", a little taken aback and offended Hunter mumbled, without thinking "I won't hurt him", Raven smirked "Good, that's what I wanted to hear, would hate to hurt Jeff's object of affection…".

Mark pulled Hunter with him, knowing Glen didn't have any conflict with Raven and not afraid they'd kill each other if left alone, all the contrary, once the door closed, Raven locked it and gave Glen a smirk. They both moved in sync grabbing each others troats and starting a domination game which Kane won since he had a couple of inches on him, he pinned Raven against the wall, their mouths crashing hard and their kiss bruising and lip-scratching, Raven was the first to speak "Hummm, I'd love to finish this in my room tonight", biting his neck, Glen snickered "I hope you can handle me bird-man", "I hope you can handle me", they both spend a moment staring into each others eyes before Raven opened the door and walked off, leaving Glen smirking dangerously "Oh I can handle you Raven, but you'll feel quite dominated boy"

Matt made it to the ring with as only target make the match last longer than Jeff's, nothing more, nothing less, if in the process he'd kick Kozlov's Russian ass through the ring the better, and he magnifically played cat and mouse with the man, making him chase him, just like Brian had done with Jeff, and the second the time was run out he grabbed his precious belt and took off, a little hurt and glad he just helped his brother, now all they could do was hope that Benjamin was eager to stand his man…

Jeff had watched his brother's match and was relieved to see him make it back sound and safe, and with the wanted result, he turned but didn't get very far, Hunter had been standing behind him for a good five minutes, both amazed and amused that Jeff hadn't sensed his presence earlier, but at least he had been in the position to take a good look at the younger man, mainly his ass, that was one part of Rainbow-Haired Warrior that he sickly enjoyed looking at and was now given one hell of an opportunity to drool over since Jeff was slightly bended, eyes glued on the screen and following every move with all of his attention, that perfect shape that just made him want to bite down and grab him to make him his, Paul wasn't gay but Hardy's ass sure would be one reason to completely forget that fact and try a relationship with a man, and those beautiful and oh-so-often troubled green eyes he loved to lose himself in and who were now scrutining his face over and making Hunter feel all fuzzy, Jeff frowning at the man who had the audacity to come and block his way, he felt the tingeling feeling that overwhelmed him everytime he and Paul were alone and in a stare-down, images quickly flooding his mind, Hunter making him his, brutally, savagely, he pushed them away pretty fast, knowing it could end painfully if he wasn't focused around the Game, they were standing nose to nose, eyes locked and searching for any trace of fear and submission but finding none, Hunter showing Jeff he wasn't going to let him win and Jeff showing Hunter he was ready to be crowned champion, the man giving him one of his thoughest stare-downs had finally risen to be a real opponent and a real menace, Hunter just didn't see the necessity of informing him of that little fact and the one that he had long gone back to liking him, his stare staying cold and full of threats, they were opponents, so they had to behave like that, at least when cameras where around…

Jeff went off looking for his brother after Hunter had smirked at him in the hallway after their on-air encounter "Nice job kid", "Stop the kid crap Hunt please", "You know I'll beat your time", "Whatever, I need to find Matt" and he took off to find him, but hearing several men laugh he approached the monitor and had to keep back a loud chuckle, Miz and John were playing around with Festus and the bell, and he momentarly forgot about both his brother and Hunter, getting down and laughing his ass off, getting a gentle slap from Phil "You're evil", Jeff turned his head and looked at him, they weren't exactly close, a polite hi when they crossed paths but nothing more, they were just too different, but that wasn't a reason for not talking to each other "I know, but since I'm not the one perpetrating the act, I think I'm safe when I claim my innocence on this", "Yeah, at least they are a bunch of disrespectful idiots who can't sink lower, but laughing at that, just is as mean as what they are doing", "You're laughing too", "I'm feeling very guilty because of that" and bursting out in laughter Phil added "Very very guilty", "Oh, really", "Say Jeff, how are you feeling?", "Kind of ok, thanx for asking", mentally Jeff was on fire, a volcano ready to errupt any second, but the little intermezzo the two goofballs had given his brooding had done him some good, and focusing back to the screen he giggled "Man they're evil".

Phil laughed, Festus going after both men "Yes, ouch watch it", "Ha, karma just stroke back", "Seems that way". Matt had been a little worried Jeff hadn't joined him at the medics, and was a little pouty as he heard him laugh alongside the other guys "Ah, there you are, I go and risk my ass for you and you're not even checking on me, and where do I find you? Laughing your ass off, mind to tell me what's so funny bro?", Jeff needed some time to turn his head, wincing a little "Mike and John just played around with Festus and the bell, and I knew you were ok Matt, I just wanted to see what they could come up with", "And was it any good?", "Brilliant", Jeff got up, he wanted to see the next match in privacy, Phil giving him a reassuring smile, he didn't like Hunter and was "cheering" for Jeff on this one…

He didn't make it to the private screen, Mark pushing him back and back down next to Phil "Stay here for the interview, you'll miss it if you start wandering around now", "Damn, why do you always have to be right on everything", Miz grabbed him, pulling a fake pout "Hey, we're good company", CM Punk couldn't say it without laughing "Yeah, you're unfortunately going to turn up crumbled the second Festus will get back", Morrison bowed down, amused "I'm in need of a shower anyways", "Me too, we'll be back guys, keep us the coziest spots please". Jeff followed Hunter's interview, Matt torn between a shower and staying with his brother, he figured the shower could wait and pulled a chair behind the couch the guys had pulled in front of the screen and sat down, arms around his brother's neck, his head resting on his shoulder, whispering "It will be ok, don't listen to the idiot Jeff, he won't beat Shelton under 12:13, and that's what we'll watch… Edge is yours and yours alone", Jeff leaned back, his arms coming to rest on top of Matt's, legs crossed and pulled up, Phil grinning at them "Geez, how cute you two", "Cut the bull", Matt could feel Jeff's heart racing before he got up "See you later guys", Matt took his place, his eyes following Jeff for a moment, hoping he'd be ok…

Jeff entered but couldn't sit down, too anxious and hyped-up, his eyes followed Hunter walking to the ring, his heart starting to beat faster again, every nerv in his body on edge…

Hunter's only thought on his way to the ring had been that he needed to put a quick end to the madness with a quick pin, and Jeff would have learned not to mess with him, perhaps he'd give him a title shot later, if he behaved that was, he glared Shelton down all along his way to the ring, and was ready to finish this in three minutes, unfortunately he too fell victim to the cat and mouse game, Shelton sliding out of the ring, trying to get out of harms way, he clearly sensed his opponent was meaning business, and he didn't want to risk a too early pin, especially since he was after the win himself, so he made his way around the ring, Hunter fed up with the bull and following him, at the opposite of Jeff he didn't have to watch out for a bodyguard and he easily got the upperhand, throwing Shelton back into the ring, but taking too much time and being greeted with a nice kick when he followed him, Shelton immediately punching him a couple of times before Hunter could reverse the situation and get Shelton ready for a Pedigree, one that was countered, but HHH managed to go for a pin, before Shelton rolled out of it and launched his next attack…

It was around three minutes into the match that Hunter was faced with the fact that he was wrestling a champion, one who was good, very good even and had just managed an excellent move on him, leaving him winding on the floor and rolling out of the ring, landing hardly and holding his hurting head, Shelton in a little better shape but also slightly hurt…

The next revelation Hunter got was around five minutes thirty left on the clock when Shelton put the sleeper hold on him and kept him securely in it. Jeff was still glued before the screen, making Raven grin as he brought him a bottle of water and kissed him since everyone was busy and he didn't risk to get caught, Jeff passionately answered, a smirk on his face when Raven started nibbling his neck "Stop it, it isn't the moment, the camera crew could get here any minute", "Sorry kid, your lips just called for it", "Really?", "Yes, and I have a feeling Jeff, you'll face Adam", "I hope so, but Hunter is…", "He has less than five minutes to pin Shelton and Shelton isn't going to go down easy, so relax", he gave him a smile and pulled his hoodie up, zipping it half way "You're mezmerizing like this Jeff, don't you ever lose that sparkle", Jeff wanted to answer but he had already left so he turned, eyes following every move both men were doing, all his hope on Shelton now, unfortunately the Game wasn't that easy to get down and he broke free, punching him hard, Jeff flinching, and looking at every second that went passing without a pin by HHH, Shelton managed to get him down again and went for a pin that Hunter broke free from too, in his mind a could hear a clear tic tac and he wondered for a second as he was catching his breathe and took a look at the time remaining if Jeff had heard that too, since he had been first his time had been somehow far from being trivial in their bout, he couldn't finish his thought, Shelton pulling him by the hair and punches raining down, Hunter using the next best moment to use his strength and push Benjamin roughly into the corner of the ring following that push with a powerful punch to the head, move resulting in both men down, Jeff counting mentally the seconds as they passed, glad for each and every single second they stayed down, Hunter up first but Shelton still ready to fight…

Hunter got him down and went for a pin, Jeff dying backstage, his heart racing and his head pounding, his respiration had started coming out in small gasps as Shelton kicked out and rolled outside, HHH immediately following him and catching up with the leaving man, pounding his head into the barrier before catching a glimpse of the clock and rolling him into the ring again, only to find him gone, out the other side as he got back in too, he followed him, getting frustrated, he sensed the urgency of a quick pin as he pulled Shelton up and threw him over the announcers table and back over a second time, Jim Ross complaining about those actions, but Jeff wasn't, the more he was taking with Shelton outside, the better his chances stood, he had never experienced that long three minutes, he had started quivering, his breathe still far from regular as the clock was closing on on two minutes left and Hunter was still chasing Shelton…

In Hunter's mind rage was boiling, he wasn't going to let this opportunity to get his title back slip, and he put all of his strength into delivering a spinebuster to Benjamin, getting immediately ready to put an end to it and give Shelton the courtesy of his Pedigree, Jeff saw it too and started losing faith for a moment, he jumped a little as Shelton managed to avoid it and Hunter went crushing down on his back, the clock was going on one minute as Hunter and Shelton were both hanging in the cords, Hunter going for him as he was defending himself, the referee went down the same time Shelton did, but Hunter knew he couldn't let himself get concerned with that fact, he had to terminate his opponent in less than forty seconds, and he was triumphing mentally as he finally got his Pedigree performed without any resistence, he went for the pin, but the referee was still trying to figure out what had happened and was a little lost, Jeff was nearly breaking his knuckles with all the strength he put into his fists, his mind racing, just another few seconds and the win was his, just a few…

In the ring Hunter was thinking the exact opposite, just move it man, he couldn't believe the referee took his time like that, he was looking at the time counting down as the referee started too, there was a moment of incertitude but his hand was raised, Jeff already on his way to the ring, fueled, he wasn't going to let that one pass, that was a draw at best, and he wasn't going to let HHH bully his way into Armageddon like that, he wasn't the only one seeing it like that, a second referee entering the ring and saying just the same, Hunter not believing his ears as they were showing the pin again, no way, this was just plainly not possible, that couldn't happen, and seeing the replay with both pins simultaniously it became blatantly obvious, Hunter's frustration at it's paroxysm as the referee announced that there was a tie, and Jeff's entrance music only made his fury grow…

Jeff had come to terms with what had happened and made his way to the ring feeling a lot better and a little proud, relishing what had just happened, it was just fate giving him another shot, and he wasn't going to let someone cheat him out of it. Hunter stood in the ring and stared at him, not quite believing Jeff's nonchalancy as he walked to the ring, with an invisible aura of pride and strength about him that made Hunter feel all fuzzy… The two referees, one on each man were trying to avoid carnage as Jeff stepped in front of Hunter who pointed to his wrist and the screen, to him there was no way it had been a tie, it just couldn't be, it was impossible to time matches like that and he was ready to insist on his win, they held what seemed to both men as their trizillionth stare-down as the referees were trying to keep them apart. Hunter couldn't but keep back a snarl of lust as Jeff was standing in front of him, hoodie up but not completely zipped, pouting at him, eyes on fire and showing he wasn't going to back down anytime soon, and the fact he was defiantly chewing on his gum, imitating him, made Hunter's blood boil, man he was teasing him 'till the end that kid, he couldn't believe the brat had managed to make a match that would be a "piece of cake" into something that would errupt into chaos and major drama. He had really clawed his way back into the game, now that was remarkable and Hunter would admit it if asked, but it just didn't fit HHH's agenda, and Jeff started becoming his biggest nuisance, if he hadn't those stupid feelings for him he'd demolish him right there, but he just couldn't…

They made their way backstage, Matt pulling Jeff into a hug and smirking towards HHH "See, you couldn't beat Jeff's time, the title is his now", "Shut up, the clock didn't work", "Right Hunter, the clock didn't work", Hunter gave Jeff a last look and left them standing there, he needed a moment to digest what happened in silence and solitude.

Once they had changed and were outside next to their cars, Hunter pulled Jeff into a hug "You're aware that we managed to finish them at the same time", Jeff blushed and shyly blinked at him "Yes, told you I was as good as you", letting his hands rest on Jeff's shoulders he gave him a little smile, the rage about his loss had vanished and had been replaced by a certain pride for Jeff, that he had managed something like tonight and that less than a week after having been knocked down and out "How are you feeling". Jeff tried not to blush too much "A little better…" and quickly changed the subject, ignoring Hunter's arms on his shoulders "Found anything out?". Hunter shook his head "Not yet", biting his lower lip Jeff mumbled "Damn, I feel like carnage". Hunter stepped back, put his hands on his hips and gave Raven a more than arrogant smirk "And there Shawn thought you'd find out quickly", "Well, I can give you a list of innocent guys, and a couple I'm not sure about… I'll catch him faster than you", "Wanna bet?", "Sure… A night with Jeff". Jeff blushed heavily "Heeeyyyy, both of you, stop it" and Hunter stepped up to Raven, anger clearly showing "You stay away from Jeff". Jeff moved in between them "Hunter, calm down, he was joking". Raven shook his head, braids flying and an evil smile on his face "No he wasn't Jeff", Jeff blushed, torn between really passing the night with Raven and staying with his brother, or perhaps Hunter, he bit his lip "Stop it Rave, please", "Ok, but damn you're awfully cute when you blush". Mark decided to step in before the massacre would take place "Ok guys, let's get back to the hotel, there's a bar waiting". Jeff was pulled along by Matt who didn't want him around anyone anymore, Mark joined them along with Hunter and Shawn, Raven was having his own car and Glen joined him with John, Mike and Phil, who wanted to spend some time with his old friend too…