DISCLAIMER: As much as it breaks my heart to admit it, I do not own anyone or anything connected to Vince McMahon and his awesomeness. I can only claim property rights of OC.
Randy twirled his keys around his finger as he waited for the elevator. All in all he'd had a pretty terrific day. Any day that started out with waking up next to Claire was a good day indeed. She didn't even complain when he'd woken her up before the alarm clock. She'd happily consented to show him just how much he'd been missed. Just to show her how much he appreciated her, he'd brought her coffee in bed. He never did that for any one. And Claire promised she wouldn't get used to it. He'd dropped her off at HQ before going to the WWE's private facility in town. He pushed himself through a hard work out. No sense in losing focus when a big night was waiting for him. Stepping onto the elevator he punched the button for the eighth floor. Whistling to himself he watched the numbers light up. The doors finally opened with a smooth motion. He stepped out onto the cream colored carpet. Just being back in HQ gave him the hives. Being in the middle of the place where the daily decisions were made him nervous. It would be too easy for something to happen here in the lion's den. He was going to talk Claire into joining him for lunch and then he was getting the hell out of there. The less time he spent there, the less opportunities there was for something bad to happen. He smiled as he saw Rachelle waddling back to her desk. The petite blonde held one hand to her back and one was holding her belly. She was breathing as if it took all of her energy just to move. Claire had taken to given him daily updates on Rachelle's impending delivery. So far it looked like Claire was winning the bet on the baby pool.
"How can you still be walking around?" Randy asked as he leaned a hip against Rachelle's desk.
Rachelle laughed as she eased herself to sit in her chair. "I'm not even sure I can do anything other than a quick waddle."
"That bad, huh?" Randy glanced at Rachelle. He had to admit, the woman may be ready to pop but there was something incredibly attractive about her flushed cheeks and rounded figure. God, what he wouldn't give to see Claire heavy with his baby. He had the feeling that he wouldn't let her be more than five feet from him the entire time. He would be even more protective if she were pregnant. No man alive would be allowed to so much as even look at her.
"Worse. I will be so glad when this kid comes out!"
"How much longer?" Randy asked.
Rachelle laughed softly. "No way. I know when this baby is due but I'm not helping you help Claire win the baby pool! She'll have to win it fair and square!"
Randy couldn't help but laugh. He was impressed that as miserable as Rachelle was, she still had a sense of humor. Hopefully she would keep that sense of humor until the end.
"Is Claire around?"
Rachelle nodded as she leaned back in her chair. Unconsciously she rubbed the swell of her belly. Randy's gaze was drawn to her hand. He watched in fascination as she rubbed a slow circle over her belly. Rachelle made a soft sound as the baby moved.
"This little one kicks like a mule. Must get that from his father." Rachelle smiled softly. She was surprised to see Randy's blue gaze locked on her. "Do you want to feel?"
Randy shook his head. No way in hell would he put his hands on another woman. Especially a very pregnant one.
"Come on, it won't hurt." Rachelle reached for his hand and pulled it across the desk. "Give him a second."
Randy didn't realize he was holding his breath until he felt the baby move under his hand. He felt the motion, almost like a wave, pass under his palm. The movement was much stronger than he thought it could be. He didn't know what to expect. His experience with expectant mothers was practically next to none. He'd always considered mothers-to-be off his list of possible bed mates. There was just something so untouchable about a woman with the glow of impending motherhood. Yes, even a Viper had his standards.
"I see you're rubbing Buddha's belly for luck."
Randy froze in place at the sound of Claire's voice. He swallowed hard and looked up. Claire was standing just across from Rachelle's desk. She was trying very had to keep a straight face. Randy stood quickly and snatched his hand away. He guiltily looked at Rachelle then back to Claire.
"I came to take you to lunch." Randy said quickly.
"Oh, did you now?" Claire crossed the room and sat a folder on the corner of Rachelle's desk.
Randy swallowed hard as he looked at Claire. He didn't know why but he felt incredibly guilty.
Claire eyed Randy then turned to Rachelle. "Do you want us to bring you something back?"
Rachelle smiled faintly and shook her head. "I'm leaving early to go to the doctor."
Claire smiled faintly as she reached across the desk and patted Rachelle's hand. "Tell him you want this baby out no later than the first of next month!"
Rachelle laughed as she nodded, "I know you do."
"Well, just remember who has brought you ice cream every day for a week."
"I will, Claire. I promise."
Claire nailed Randy with a steady look. She was trying so hard to play it straight. She inclined her head toward the hall and turned sharply on her heel. She strode down the hall with Randy close on her heels. She moved to stand by her desk as Randy came to stand behind her. He reached for her, pulling gently on her arm.
"Don't be mad, baby."
Claire placed her glasses carefully on her desk then turned to face Randy. She stared up at him with unblinking blue eyes. Taking a step toward him, her hands came up to rest on his forearms. She picked them up one at a time and placed them around her waist. Once she was securely wrapped in his arms he stood on tiptoes and kissed him. Her tongue traced the seam of his lips until they opened for her. Without waiting for permission, her tongue dipped inside to taste him. Groaning low in her throat she continued her gentle assault. Her hands skimmed over his buzz cut. The short hairs tickled her palms. With a soft growl Randy crushed her to him. Her soft curves molded to his hard planes. After all this time he was still amazed by how perfectly they fit together.
It took all of her willpower to finally pull away from Randy. He was getting a little carried away. And truth be told, so was she. She might be tempted for a little lunch time loving but certainly not in the middle of the very department she had to work in. There was just too much at risk. Apparently Randy didn't share that sentiment. Before Claire could protest Randy backed her against the desk. He continued pushing until she was forced to sit on the edge. He stepped into the vee created by her slightly parted thighs. Claire pulled him close for another kiss. His lips brushed across hers then slid down the column of her throat. He lightly sank his teeth into the sensitive spot where her neck curved into her shoulder. The scraping across her skin made her shiver.
Randy's fingers dug into the soft flesh of her hip as he pulled her tighter against him. He wanted there to be no doubt about what he was thinking. He made a soft reassuring sound in the back of his throat. It took all of his self control not to strip her naked then and there. He wanted her with a wildness that should have scared him. But it didn't. His passion intensified as he pulled back enough to look down at Claire. Her blue eyes were wide and watchful. He could see the depths of her desire reflected there. He slowly traced his fingers down her cheek.
Claire blinked hard. Once and then again. She wasn't sure she had heard him correctly. Surely he wasn't being serious. "Marry you? Randy, are you ..."
"I'm serious, Claire. Dead fucking serious. I want you to marry me."
Claire shook her head slowly as she looked up at Randy. She looked deep into his ocean blue eyes and what she saw took her breath away. He was being serious. More serious than she had ever seen him before. He had that look in his eyes that said he was a man on a mission. Nothing would stop him from getting exactly what he wanted.
"You want me to get down on one knee?" Randy asked softly. "Fine. Have it your way."
He pulled away and shoved his hand deep into his pocket. He dropped to one knee and looked at the little box in his hand. He'd carried the ring with him since the day he bought it. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would give it to her. After a long moment he looked back up at her. "Claire Elizabeth Davis, you are the most amazing woman I have ever met. I will never love anyone as much as I love you. I can't imagine living even one more day without you as my wife. Will do you me the honor of making me the happiest man on the planet?"
Claire was absolutely speechless. This was probably the only moment in her life that would have true meaning. After all of the hell they had been through nothing would mean more to her than this. He was willing to put aside the past a means to look toward the future. The least she could do was meet him halfway. Unable to find her voice, Claire nodded.
"Say it, baby."
Claire couldn't stop the laughter that bubbled up. Even in the most romantic moment of their relationship he was being demanding.
"Yes." Claire blinked back a wave of tears as she looked down at Randy. She saw the honest emotion shining in his eyes as he stared up at her. Without looking he pulled the ring from its velvet nest.
"Say it again." Randy demanded softly as he placed the ring on her left hand.
Claire rolled her eyes and forced herself to take a deep breath. "I said yes, Randy. Yes!"
Randy rose to his feet and pulled Claire to hers. She wrapped her arms around his waist and lifted her face for a kiss. Randy willingly obliged, gently pressing his lips to hers.
The sound of someone clearing their throat was loud in the otherwise quiet room. Guiltily Claire looked over Randy's shoulder to see Stephanie standing in the doorway of the office.
"Claire, I want to see you in my office. Now. And bring Orton with you."
As if they had been caught doing something illegal, Claire jumped away from Randy. Nervously she ran a hand over her hair. She looked up at Randy only to see he was trying to hold laughter at bay.
"Guess we have to go to the principal's office."
Claire swatted Randy on the arm then turned to pick up her glasses. She flicked him a heated glance as she moved past him. Unable to resist Randy patted her ass as she slid by. She glared at him over her shoulder as she left her office and took a right down the hall. She walked through the door that Stephanie had left open. She looked up from a stack of papers she was moving to the opposite side of the desk. She pointed to a chair with an elegant finger. Claire complied without comment. Randy, however, sprawled nonchalantly in an empty chair. His long legs were stretched out in front of him and he folded his hands behind his head. He studied Stephanie with a vacant look.
"I suppose you have something to tell me?" Stephanie's face was the picture of composure. Only her eyes gave away what she was feeling. They were slightly narrowed as she looked between Claire and Randy.
Claire took a deep breath as she glanced at Randy. Without looking he reached for her and laced their fingers together. "We're getting married."
Stephanie nodded once as she looked at the ring Claire sported. "Congratulations."
Stephanie's shrewd brown eyes nailed Randy with a hard look. "Can you at least pretend to be civil?"
Randy made a great showing out of sitting up straight in the chair. He mockingly returned Stephanie's glare. He was not impressed when a McMahon tried to pull a power play. Besides, he was pissed Stephanie had interrupted his big moment. He wasn't interested in playing nice.
"Is there any particular reason why you decided to pull your little stunt in the middle of my offices?"
Randy opened his mouth to tell Stephanie what she could do to herself. Claire squeezed his hand harder than he thought she could. He decided maybe it would be better if he let Claire do the talking. Maybe that would be enough to keep him from saying something they would all come to regret. Instead Randy just shrugged and looked at Claire. Her skin was pale except for the two bright spots of blush in her cheeks.
Stephanie picked up a heavy gold pen and quickly signed her name on a form. She tossed the pen back onto her desk and leaned back in her chair with a heavy sigh.
"I hope you understand that this is a business. We are not here for your personal entertainment. We all have jobs to do and we all have people depending on us. I hope this decision doesn't interfere with your duties."
Claire shook her head and opened her mouth to speak. Stephanie held up a hand to silence her. "You know how much I depend on you, Claire. The Senior Creative Team would be lost without you."
Suddenly speechless Claire nodded. Stephanie didn't hand out praise unless she really meant it. The woman didn't have time for empty words or pretty promises.
"In light of how important you are to this office and to the overall success of our department I'm being forced to make a very important decision."
Randy shook his head and he laughed, "Cut the crap, Steph. If you've got something to say, say it."
Stephanie didn't miss the fact that Randy's words were a challenge. She arched a delicate brow as she returned his stare. Claire quickly looked between the two and realized they were in a battle of wills. Stephanie was trying to prove she had the upper hand and Randy wasn't ready to admit that she actually had it. They were at one hell of a stalemate.
"I swear this won't change anything."
Once again Stephanie held up her hand for silence. "I can't afford to lose you, Claire. I also can't afford for you not to have your head in the game. You're more important than you realize. So I've decided that it's time for you to move on."
Move on? "What the hell does that mean?" Randy snapped. "Nothing is going to change."
Stephanie laughed softly as she shuffled through a stack of folders on her desk. After a moment she found the one she needed and flipped it opened. She pulled two pieces of paper and handed one of them to Claire.
"Effectively immediately you are no longer a part of the Senior Creative Department."
Claire stared at the piece of paper in her hand. She looked at Stephanie in confusion, "I don't understand."
Stephanie couldn't help the smile the crossed her face as Randy pulled paper from Claire and quickly skimmed it. He too looked at Stephanie in confusion.
"Since you came back to Stamford you haven't been yourself. It's all because of this jerk. I can't stand to watch you sit here day after day and wish you were with him. This company needs you, Claire. I need you. That means effective immediately you are now the On-Site
Stunned Claire looked at Stephanie. "We don't have an On-Site Production Manger."
Stephanie laughed as she leaned forward in her chair. "We do now. Honey, only God knows why you'd put up with this asshole day in and day out. You're a better woman than I'll ever be. At least if you're on the road with him, I know you're happy. When you're happy you do your best work. This is one of those situations where giving you what you want gives me what I want. It's a win-win situation."
"You can't do that." Randy was surprised to hear the words leave his mouth.
"Have you forgotten that I can do whatever I want? Including making your life miserable?"
Stephanie taunted as she looked pointedly at Randy.
"You're serious? Claire is coming on the road?" he asked.
Stephanie nodded as she leaned back in her chair. "Of course I'll need her to stay in Stamford for a while to train her replacement and learn how to do her job. After that she'll be my eyes and ears on the ground. I need somebody that I can trust to be on hand 24 hours a day. I need to know that somebody there is looking after my best interest. Claire is my best option."
Stephanie stood and came around to the front of the desk. She perched on the edge and leaned forward to look at Claire. "You're not happy here, Claire. I want you to be happy. If being with him makes you happy, then so be it."
Unexpectedly Claire launched herself from her chair and hugged her friend. This was the best news she heard today. Make that second best Claire thought as her engagement ring caught her eye. She hadn't had a chance to really look at it before, but she did now. It was a Princess cut diamond set in what had to be platinum. It was a perfect match to the diamond solitaire necklace Randy gave her the night of the Hall of Fame Ceremony. She had to give the devil his due, Randy had exceptional taste in jewelry and he had absolutely no qualms about giving the gift of diamonds. Claire laughed softly as she felt Randy's arms wrap around her. Randy pulled both of them into a solid bear hug.
Stephanie made a soft sound in her throat and quickly pulled away. She straightened her jacket as she glared at Randy, "Just do me a favor and take care of her, okay? She loves you, you know."
Randy pulled Stephanie in again for a quick hug. She liked to play the hard ass but it really hid a soft interior. Stephanie was a hopeless romantic at heart. She cared deeply for the people in her life. For once, that worked in his favor. "I promise I'll take care of her."
"I mean it, you better take care of her."
Randy laughed softly as he turned to Claire and pulled her against his side. He tucked her into the crook of his arm as he looked at Stephanie. He held his hand out to her, "Truce?"
Stephanie stared at Randy for a long moment. She took the hand he offered and they shook. After all the years that Randy had gleefully tortured the company and done whatever he damn well pleased, they finally had something in common. At least their something in common was something they both deeply cared about. Claire was lucky to have them both in her life. No longer was she in the position of having to choose between them. Not that there would really have been a choice. As much as she loved the WWE and as much as Stephanie meant to her, she would have gladly traded it all for a chance to be with Randy. He was the piece of her heart. He was the gravity that kept her world in order. She had a taste of what life would be like without him. Frankly that wasn't the way she wanted live the rest of her life. She wanted to be where she belonged. She wanted to be with Randy. Now, she was finally getting what she wanted. Once she learned the secret to happiness, everything had fallen into place. It was amazing that Randy had taught her the one thing that had made all the pieces fall into place. Once she had taken Randy's advice, the world was hers to tame. And really, the answer to it all was rather simple.
All she had to do was Own It.
***A/N – OMG! I just can't believe it! We've finally come to the end of our story. What a ride it's been! I certainly never expected Own it to get as much attention as it has! You guys have been totally awesome! Without you, Randy and Claire's story would have remained a daydream! I owe you so much for helping me bring them to life. Their story is as much yours as it is mine. Thank you, each and every one of you, for all of your support. Without you none of this would have been possible. Since Own It was such a hit, I am just tickled pink to announce that Own It will now have a sequel. Very soon you will be able to read Cody and Hannah's story – Bring It. You'll also see more of Randy and Claire in Bring It so make sure to keep checking back soon for the first chapter! Again – THANK YOU! ***