Chapter One: This Morning
Heads turned as four of the most physically imposing men in Chicago entered the lobby of Rockwell Terrace. No, they weren't famous, but they were tall, muscular, handsome, and moving into the building.
The tallest of the foursome balanced a cardboard box under each arm and used his knee to hit the 'up' button of one of the elevators. He placed one box on the floor and ran a hand over his short, sandy-colored hair. "I guess you guys could put the boxes down and rest a second; it looks like the elevator has to come all the way from the twenty-fifth floor." Matt Morgan's raspy, gravelly voice sounded almost exasperated.
"What's that? You said something about resting? You don't have to tell me twice," said the second-tallest man with a smile. He let his two boxes hit the tiled lobby floor with a thud. Tommy Mercer used the back of his hand to wipe the light smear of sweat from his forehead, the product of a typical hot, humid late spring day in Chicago.
John Cena laughed and sat atop the box he'd been carrying. He scrunched his nearly-blonde brows and a frown crossed his chiseled features. "Hopefully it doesn't take too long to get down here. I want to get this whole moving in business finished ASAP before it really gets hot out there." He jerked a thumb in the direction of the revolving lobby door, through which you could see the bustling streets of downtown.
Randy Orton nodded. "I'm with you on that one. It's what, ten-thirty in the morning and it feels like a goddamn sauna outside! I miss L.A. weather; if it's ninety degrees, it's exactly that—ninety degrees. Here, 'ninety degrees' translates to 'ninety degrees plus one-hundred-twelve percent humidity'."
"I thought you guys were excited about moving in," said Matt.
"We are," replied John, "the weather is just kicking our ass, that's all."
Tommy laughed. "Well I'm gonna be kicking your ass if you keep complaining, Mr. Cena."
John smiled as the elevator reached the lobby. "Try me, Tommy."
Matt rolled his eyes as the four of them entered the elevator. "Could you two at least try to save the bullshitting until after we get all our shit hauled upstairs?"
"We are trying," Tommy teased, "and failing miserably."
Frankie Kazarian yawned sleepily and sat up in bed. Looking over to his right, he saw that his girlfriend, Traci Brooks, wasn't there. And why would she be? It was ten-thirty in the morning and Traci was the epitome of a morning person; she'd probably been up for hours already.
Frankie dragged himself into the living room, where Traci was watching TV. The raven-haired beauty looked over her shoulder and smiled at Frankie. "There you are."
Frankie smiled and leaned over the back of the couch to kiss Traci. "Yep, here I am. How long have you been up?"
Traci shrugged. "I don't know. Since seven, seven-thirty maybe. I was waiting for you to wake up to tell you we got invited somewhere."
"We did?" Frankie called from the kitchen. He pulled the carton of Tropicana from the refrigerator and drank straight from it. "Where?"
"To lunch," Traci called back, "Jo Mo, Mel, Ted, and Maryse thought it would be a nice day to go. Are you up for it?"
"Of course!" said Frankie, placing the orange juice back on the shelf and shutting the refrigerator. "I can't believe you'd think I wouldn't wanna go." He made his way back into the living room and plopped beside Traci on the couch.
Traci laughed. "I didn't think you wouldn't wanna go. I just didn't know if you'd be awake by lunch time."
"You and I both," Frankie replied as the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it," said Traci. She hopped over the back of the couch and walked toward the door. As she peeked through the peephole, a grin crossed her face. "I think it's for you," she said to Frankie.
"Who is it?" Frankie asked.
"Alex and Chris," Traci laughed as she opened the door.
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were roommates and lived down the hall from Frankie and Traci. They were the types who threw parties every other weekend and played Xbox for hours on end. Despite basically still being twelve years old at heart, they were good guys and two of the couple's best friends.
"Frankie, Frankie, Frankie!" Alex said frantically. He threw himself on the couch beside Frankie.
Frankie was confused. "What's going on, guys?"
"Have you met the girls who moved in across from you a few days ago?" Chris asked.
Frankie searched his memory. "No." Truth was, he hadn't even noticed that anyone had moved in across the hall.
"Trace, have you talked to those girls across the hall yet?" Alex asked.
Traci nodded as she sat down on the loveseat across from them. "Oh, you mean Lauren and Jamie? Yeah, I was over there yesterday. Why?"
Chris smiled and leaned back into the couch. "What do you mean 'why'? They're smokin' hot, that's why!"
"Oh, here we go," Traci groaned.
"Now that we know their names, we can invite them to the party on Friday," said Alex.
Frankie raised an eyebrow. "You guys are having a party on Friday? Since when?"
Chris grinned. "Since about sixty seconds ago."
A/N: I began this story on an impulse, but I'm hoping you all enjoy it just the same. I'm actually pretty excited about it. A lot of the characters will be addressed by their real names, so if you're not sure who's who, just ask(: Thanks for reading and review please!