Chapter 24

After greeting Cody and being introduced to Beth along with Ted's girlfriend, Callie, the six of them headed out of the hotel, needing to get to the arena. The entire ride, Austin held Randy's hand while Cody and Beth argued, Ted and Callie making out heavily. Austin knew Randy was nervous about them running into John, but she couldn't very well stay away from her husband's line of work. She rarely saw him as it was and wasn't passing this opportunity up to be here with him in his moment of glory.

"Beth, I'd like to pretend you didn't whip my ass in public." Cody sighed, burying his face in his hands, groaning when she just giggled at him. He peeked at her through his fingers, grinning in spite of himself. "You're so mean to me."

Randy groaned when the sounds of even MORE making out reached them and turned on the radio. "Kids." He joked.

Austin laughed softly, knowing if they were in the backseat, her and Randy would put all four of them to shame. A smirk tilted the corner of her lips at the thought while Austin's green eyes took in the sights of Phoenix. It was beautiful, right in the middle of a desert, and lively. The closer they got to the arena, the more butterflies erupted in her stomach, knowing almost everyone in the company knew the reasoning behind John and her not wedding.

The reasoning was nobody's business and if anyone so much as LOOKED at Austin wrong, Randy had no problem in making their WrestleMania dream a nightmare. This was a special night and he'd be damned if someone ruined it for his wife. "I love you." He said softly. "Everything will be fine, Aussie."

"I love you too." She murmured, eyes shining with the truth of those words and squeezed his hand before nodding, taking another deep breath. Once she was in the arena and inside the safety zone of Randy's dressing room, everything would be fine and she would calm down. Austin watched as they pulled into the arena parking lot, which was underground, and Randy pulled into the spot with his name on it before cutting the ignition, Cody and Ted with their women sliding out. 'Here goes nothing.' She thought and slid out; shutting the door behind her while Randy gathered his bag. A few seconds later, they were heading inside the University of Phoenix Stadium.

"Damn..." Randy whistled. How busy things got at WrestleMania never failed to astound him, always making him feel like this was his first time stepping into the building, lacing his boots for the first time.

"Smile for the camera." Beth laughed, wrapping an arm around Callie and Austin, beaming as a photographer darted past them, halting to snap the three's picture.

Ted just groaned.

Austin managed a smile before going back to Randy's side, smiling up at him and allowed him to guide her down the hallway, sticking to his side like glue. When they arrived in Randy's dressing room, Austin actually breathed and let the relief flood through her body while Randy looked around. She was glad he had a couch and walked over, sitting down on it, crossing one leg over the other just as Ted and Cody walked in with Callie. Beth had a match that night for the Women's Championship.

Callie was slightly uncomfortable with the wrestling scene, smiling at Austin, and walked over to sit with her. "So you're married, right?" She asked, trying to make conversation.

"Because she's nuts."

"Marrying Randy...what was she thinking?"

Randy knew damn well they were trying to get a rise out him and just grinned. "She has good taste."

"Yes I do and I couldn't be happier." Austin beamed as she showed off her wedding ring, watching as Callie's eyes widened to the size of saucers, eyes sparkling. "How long have you and Ted been together?"

"About a year now actually. We met at..."

Cody cleared his throat, shaking his head frantically.

"Where did you two meet?" Austin was confused, seeing Randy was tensed slightly and sighed. "Just tell me."

"We met at your dinner rehearsal when you were supposed to get married to Cena."

Austin smiled awkwardly at Callie, but she wasn't lowering her head, patting her hand gently. "At least a few good things came out of that experience." She winked at Randy.

Cody face palmed himself.

Callie returned the smile just as awkwardly. "I know John, sort of. We went to school together when we were kids, never really good friends, but his mom invited everyone and this is a subject I probably shouldn't be talking about, isn't it? I'm sorry."

"Callie's mouth runs and runs, we call her motor mouth." Randy teased gently.

"No, no it's fine, really. I don't regret what happened between me and John. It saved both of us from a failed marriage and a huge mistake." She shrugged nonchalantly and smiled as Randy dropped a kiss on her lips before leaning back against the couch, folding her hands in her lap.

Ted decided now was a good time to find other uses for Callie's mouth, engaging her in a little banter that soon led to another steamy make out session in the corner of the room.

"Oh get a room..." Cody grumbled, turning to Randy and Austin. "So when do you two plan on popping out a few rugrats?"

Randy started laughing.

Austin blushed as she cleared her throat, not expecting that question as Cody sat down beside her, grinning like a fool. "We've actually decided that if it happens, it happens, but we're not forcing anything." She answered softly, causing Cody to chuckle.

"I wanna be an uncle; you two need to get crackin'."

Austin smiled sweetly back at him, knowing how close Randy was to both Cody and Ted. "When it happens, it'll happen." She snuggled against Randy as he sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her waist, and kissed his lips softly. "Who knows? Maybe we'll make a baby tonight."

Cody snorted water out of his nose.

"Mmmm...maybe we will." Randy agreed, glancing at his friend and started laughing, holding a hand over his eyes to keep from crying. "Christ Codes, you're supposed to SWALLOW."

"Need some pointers?"

Cody was just shaking his head, holding his nose.

"Will you go with me to the cafeteria really fast, Austin?" Callie asked softly, hesitantly, needing some water and space away from Ted before he ended up dehydrating her. "Girl talk."

Austin looked back at Randy, smiling when he nodded, and kissed him again before standing up from the couch. Callie was used to the backstage area since she'd been traveling with Ted for the last couple of months. "Sure, we'll be right back." She winked over her shoulder at Randy before walking out the door, arm linked with Callie's.

Callie smiled at Austin, navigating the hallway with ease. She was uncomfortable, but used to this…somewhat. As used to it as a person ever got anyway.

"It's not usually this busy." She explained as they stepped aside to let some people swarm by. "But it being WrestleMania and all...the Super Bowl of wrestling and all that..." She trailed off, smiling awkwardly, knowing Austin probably thought she was a bit out of her mind.

Austin just returned the smile politely, though wishing she would've stayed with Randy, looking around and taking the atmosphere in. They arrived in the cafeteria as Austin was lead over to the water machine, tucking a strand of red hair behind her ear, nodding when Callie asked if she was alright. Austin just wanted to be back in the arms of Randy and waited for Callie to finish grabbing some snacks before they both headed out, this time Austin trailing behind Callie, who was rushing to get back to the dressing room. She could see her barely through the craziness and sighed heavily.

"Hey watch- Oh hi, John." Callie cleared her throat hesitantly, glancing back at Austin, who apparently had just realized who they had almost walked into, taking in the look on the other woman's face and sighed.

"Cal-Cal." John greeted, his eyes straying past her to Austin, managing an awkward smile. "Aus." He nodded his head at her, knowing she was married to Randy and, as much as it hurt to admit it, she looked very happy.

"Hello John." She greeted softly, staring back into his blue eyes, refusing to look ashamed because there was no reason for it. She chose the right man in Randy and nothing would ever make her doubt or regret that decision. "How are you?" Austin asked, smiling softly when he said fine, nodding and looked back at Callie, who was watching them apprehensively. "It's good seeing you again." She started to walk away, needing to get back to Randy, heart thundering against her chest like a rapidly beating drum.

John stopped Austin by reaching out and gently but firmly grabbing a hold of her wrist, pulling her back so she was once again standing in front of him. "Look, there's no hard feelings." He said, knowing they required some kind of closure. They probably would never be friends, but also didn't need to go out of their way to avoid each other, or force themselves to be polite on the off chance they did run into each other.

"I wish I could say I'm sorry, but I'm not." It was the truth and Austin wasn't going to say anything less than that. She didn't sugarcoat anything and seen the understanding in John's blue eyes, letting out a shaky sigh of relief. "I know I should've been straight with you as far as Randy went, which I'm sorry for. We both know deep down it would've never worked out between us, even if Randy wasn't in the picture, John." Her voice remained soft and low, seeing him nod, and cracked a small smile. "Thank you for being understanding and respecting my decision."

"Yeah well it wasn't easy, to be honest. I did love you, well; I still do, just not IN love with you." John corrected hastily, beginning to stumble over his own tongue.

"Keep going Cena." Callie encouraged, sounding amused.

"Shouldn't you be playing tonsil hockey with Teddy somewhere?"

She groaned, rolling her eyes.

"I know, I love you too and I'm sorry I ruined yours and Randy's friendship." Austin still felt terrible about that, but there was nothing she could do about it, chewing her bottom lip as he slowly released her wrist. "Take care of yourself, John." Austin turned and walked away from him, needing Randy in the worst way, and actually beat Callie back to the dressing room. She just walked over, acting calm, cool and collected, sitting down beside Randy and leaned against him. "I love you." She whispered, wrapping her arms around his neck and crawled on his lap sideways as she buried her face in it, sighing shakily.

Frowning, Randy wrapped his arms around her, wondering what on earth had...he looked up when Callie entered and seen her mouth 'John', nodding. That explained it. "Did he give you a hard time?" He asked softly, figuring John wouldn't, but then again he wasn't sure. Especially when it came to injured pride and John's ego had taken a beating at being left at the alter.

"No, he just wanted some closure, told me he still loved me, but he wasn't IN love with me and there was no hard feelings." Austin sighed as Randy ran his hand up and down her back, sniffling softly, and felt a few tears slip down her cheeks. "I never meant to hurt anyone." Cody, Ted and Callie left at that moment, giving them time alone, and slowly pulled back as Randy wiped her tears away, careful not to smear her makeup. "I don't regret what happened, I really don't, but I feel terrible that I not only broke his heart, but cost you guys your tight friendship." Her head lowered and wiped a few more tears away, wondering why she was emotional all of a sudden. "I told him I loved him and I do because he helped me learn how to trust in myself again, to make me feel like I was good enough for a man, and he brought us back together." Her eyes locked with Randy's, pressing her forehead to his. "It hurt and felt good at the same time, if that makes any sense."

"You shared three years of your life with him, it's natural you feel something for him." Randy said softly, knowing Austin needed love, comfort and reassurance. "John and I might eventually become better friends again, but it's not your fault. Things happen for a reason, Austin. Maybe John was supposed to be the way we got back together." He kissed her tenderly.

She sighed gently against his lips, nodding and wrapped her arms around his neck again, hugging him close to her. "You're right, I'm sorry I'm just glad he's not angry about it anymore. He didn't even seem bitter. He's a great guy, but he wasn't the one for me."

She slowly pulled back, running her finger down Randy's cheek, swallowing hard and kissed him passionately. Their love was unstoppable and nothing was ever going to change that. Even after nine years, Randy and Austin couldn't forget about each other and fought tooth and nail against their feelings when she was engaged to John while he was stuck with Samantha in a meaningless marriage. Her husband was right; everything happened for a reason and Austin knew they would be unstoppable together until the day they died.

The End.