A little on the angst side, but still a great read.. and not to mention award winning!

read & review. (you know i love em)

-Candy

You Were Not the Plan

Author: Candy

Rating: PG-13

Distribution: WWELibrary, others.

Characters: Maria / Carlito, few others

Disclaimer: Vince McMahon owns all recognized characters, nothing is mine. The song used belongs to Bon Jovi.

Song used: Next 100 Years, by Jon Bon Jovi

Summary: She was desperate for life, and he would do anything for her. The story of one woman's journey of finding the life with herself, and stealing it from another.. leaving him withn a grave she'd never return to. Carlito Maria

Take that look from off your face ,

'Cause you aint ever gonna burn my heart out.

I once killed a man to save my own life.

It was selfish, cold and bitter... carried out to fill the thick mass of hollowness in the void of my heart. It happened so far back that now as I think about it, the empty spots due to the age of the memory are filled with fanciful details brought upon my own hope - hope that things were not as monstrous and ugly as my subconcious screams to me so.

But it was.. I know it was. It was terrible and horrific beyond the stretch of the most rampant imagination.. and still, it's not that I don't really regret it, it's just that I don't really know.

The pain that memory has caused me has been long since permanent, my death wish finally answered as a redress of the life I stole, and all the fading reverie does now is numb me from the outside in. Funny thing is, the more I think about it, the more apparent the irony becomes. I am no longer connected with his harsh demise, and I no longer recieve sympathy on his behalf. I - like he himself - have all but completely dissapeared in the passing of slow time and fading minds. We are the past, we are the blackness that brings upon the fading.. we are not alive anymore.

January, 2004.

It was a cold morning, the moisture from the chill of night fall lingering within the mist on the windows, the droplets of dew covering the world outside the thin glass of our hotel room. All seemed silent, the sky covered in light clouds as they released a thin blanket of white upon the life below, but it was gorgeous.. soft, as if anything above a whisper would shatter the frozen moment into billions of little pieces.

I held a lazy smile on my face, my nakedness worsening the cool temperatures all around.. and after gently rubbing the goosebumps that adorned my arm, he bound his arm around me, bringing himself closer for warmth. We breathed together, his chest moving rythmically against my back..and yet no words were spoken. The moment hung perfect, as if dangling from a soft string above us, ceasing time in it's raging tracks as it did so.

Slowly getting up from his spot at my side, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and slipped on a pair of shorts, and I followed him in my mind with the sound of his plodding footsteps across the room. He went over to the window, swishing back the curtain lightly to take a small peek at the world far below, then turned and grinned at me slyly.

He'd always enjoyed being above all else.

I smiled right back at him, my hands tucked beneath my cheek as my eyes fluttered shut, then back open again. The sharp coldness of the room chilled me so, and without his body heat against me, I curled into the blankets for all the warmth I could muster up. Seemingly noticing this, he approached me slowly, sitting on the edge of the bed as he layed his form upon me.

"Baby?"

His voice came soft, curious-like.. and it almost startled me as the silence was broken for the first time in what seemed like so long. "Hm?"

He was quiet for a moment, contemplating his words, before he shifted his lips to my cloth-covered shoulder. "I love you."

Now it was myself who brought upon the silence, the quiet flutter of still time like the fragile wings of a butterfly. My deep eyes flew open, landing upon his face as he peered down at me, then smiled at him gently. "I love you, too."

Time ain't nothing but time, it's a verse with no rhyme
Man, it all comes down to you.

Change ain't nothing but change, just the faces and the names
But you know we're gonna make it through.

It was nearly eight at night as I sat outside the arena all in my loensome, watching the blues in the fading sunset as the streetlights turned on spasmodically all around me. From behind, I could hear the cheers of the crowd and pyros inside the dome, each going off respectively at random times. I should've been in there cheering him on at ringside, as any good valet would, but I came out here instead.

Inhaling the last puff if the cigarette that lingered between my fingertips, I flicked the bud as far away from me as possible, watching it roll off to the side against the darkened concrete.. the world around me would just crumble if it knew it's little Maria actually smoked.. and drank, and swore profousley.

Releasing the smoke from within my chest as it swirrled in the light, chilly air before me, I wrapped myself tighter in his oversized sweater, now unsure of what to do with myself. Night was falling rapidly, and I could already see the silhouette of the moon as it hung high in the light-colored sky to my left.

Guiltless, I dug deep into the pocket's of my sweatshirt and again pulled out my cigarettes, bringing another one to my lips as I set the end afire. It calmed me, but did almost nothing to fill the emptyness within.. my life moving ever so slowly around me as I waited for something, anything to happen. Anything that would help me get out of this grave of lies and bitter hatred..

Clinging to the facts that although I had a high profile job, I had almost no money, and but a parter that pinned me to his side.. I was pinned to the ground by a force greater than myself, thrashing at the sides of my cage like an enraged and bloodthirsty animal locked up against it's will. I needed to get out of here, it was killing me to stay.

Despite my absence from earlier in the night, Carlito approached my smoke-soaked form with that child like smile upon his face, the beads of sweat dipping down his broad chest glistened in the light. And I smiled, too.. taking his open arms into my own as we continued the walk down the long hallway, time around moving slower and slower as my mind tried catching up with my racing thoughts.

But all I could seem to concenrate on were the arms that clung me tightly against a body I'd known all too well. The indents.. the curves, the muscles, I knew them all and their rippling effect on his form, each carving their way into my memory forever as my fingers ran all around and in-between them.

He nuzzled me gently, his fuzzy hair tickling my forehead as I giggled, my heart fluttering inside me. His words spilled from his mouth in a language I'd never known, but from his late night whispers while running his hands through his hair, the littest words became somewhat familiar.. and I could now pick up on the sweetest little things he'd say.. making everything that much harder.

But the smile I held on my face quickly emptied, it's shell remaining as a mask to cover my empty sorrows. My heart was draining, my laugh almost plastic, the life within me finally spiritually releasing to the man at my side. I held him still, knowing I had already let him go.. but I clung to him yet, a heat rising within me.

And it was then I finally realized how hard it would be never to feel his arms bound around me, his soft whispers in my ear.. his passionate kisses and the heated nights of love-making.. If, of course, I could live without him at all..

I'll never know why I didn't turn around that moment.. throw up my arms in defeat and crawl back to the man that I knew, somehow, I actually loved. I'll never know why I didn't force myself from the trance that forever changed me, the horrible nightmare that seduced me into it's misery. I'll never know why I killed him.

And you, you know that it's true ,
After all we've been through, theres nothing I wouldn't do.

A week had already gone by slowly, the heartless pit of my mind gnawing at my insides with each passing day. I had been careful not to faulter my usual manor, still smiling and kissing him as much as I usually done, no matter how much it hurt me to do so. And yet, the plans of escape and murder dwindled in my mind like a ficious epidemic demolishing a population.. it became more detailed and horrid with each passing moment.

Again, it was Monday night... and I found myself walking down the empty hallways aimlessly, the voice in my head battling with the quiet words from my lips only I could hear.

Carlito had been around elsewhere, preparing for the match I was scheduled to be at his side for.. but in my usual fasion, I'd find myself the darkest corner in the arena and hide there until I was sure the show was over, then I'd sneak out into the night until Vince himself would call, demanding to know where the hell I was.

I was never here, Vince. I'd say.. When have I ever really been here?

My job was in jeapordy, dangling on the edge of the quickly deminishing paitence of the WWE staff.. but I no longer needed them as much as they needed me. My fans had turned their backs over a month ago, and the few remaining I would leave dissapointed.. but that didn't seem to bother me much. I had stashed away the generous amounts of money I'd been paid for my merchandise sales and pay-per-views.. it'd last as long as I needed it to. No, I didn't need them anymore.

I came to a dead end down the hallway I'd found a short while ago, but I hadn't seen a trace of even one person in at least an hour.. and I decided to stay.

I pondered my escape as I sat there, alone in the darkness, for what felt like forever. I'd already canceled my credit cards, cell phone and any other membership I had quietly, so as Carlito would not notice. I wasn't sure of where I was going or when I'd finally depart just yet.. but just a few days earlier I'd walked around the house and noted of what things I could manage to bring with me.. and those I'd have to leave behind.

I had forced Carlito to move from his childhood home in the Caribbean to buy a house with me in Illinois, a gesture that angered his family greatly. I guess he had promised to keep the home within his family for the rest of his life, and when he moved from it to join me in the States, it was the end of some sort of family legacy. But at the time, he would've done anything just to make me happy.. at the time, we'd planned on being together forever.

A soft echo of a gruff, angry voice shattered my thoughts.. sending my heart into a rapid panic as it pounded against the chest. Although the voice, as I could recognize, did not belong to the man I called my own.. the man it did belong to was something I feared worse. And he wasn't alone.

I darted to the side quietly, shifting around the side of a parked semi as I peeked over at the approaching forms.. Vince stood ridgid with one of his partners at his side, grumbling something under his breath angrily as his eyes searched the area. I watched him for only seconds before I ran around the truck and down the hallway behind them, turning onto an unknown area and finding myself breathless within a fully populated area of the arena.

I thought I'd been safe, free from the brutal words of my boss, when I'd heard a harsh voice booming my name from behind me, sending an unsteady chill up my spine.

"Maria.." One of the presidents grumbled between clenched teeth, his cold eyes locked upon me. "You've been a no-show at ringside for the past month, what the hell is going on?"

My heart pounded frantically, a panic causing beads of sweat to adorn my skin.. I looked behind me, only to found Vince McMahon stampeding towards me also. Turning back towards the other man, I shrugged stiffly.. unsure of what to do or say, wishing I could just dissapear. "I'm sorry."

Vince approached me then, offering me a cold glare that ticked the nerves inside me into a frantic speed. Clearing his throat, almost as if to calm himself, he straightened his jacket and turned towards me. "Didn't you have somewhere to be tonight?"

My eyes flew about the area, searching desperately for Carlito to appear from nowhere and save me from this mess, as he'd done so many times before. "I'm here, aren't I?"

"He means in the ring." The man beside Vince piped up cooly, his arms folded across the width of his suit-adorned chest.

I turned back towards Vince, my posture buckling under the pressure.. I picked at my nails timidly. "Oh.. I'm - I'm sorry. I didn't think it was that important, I guess."

"Not that important?" Vince retorted with a curl in his snarl, "You find your job not that important?"

I could feel their eyes upon me as I shrunk back into a mere nothing, beads of sweat dripping from me as I wrapped my arms around my trembling form. "I don't need it." Was all I could think of to say.

The elderly man sighed deeply, pintching the bridge of his nose, then appeared somewhat amused at my comment. His assistant looked at him expectantly, making sure to keep this situation to Vince and Vince alone. But it was when I heard that familiar, accented voice frantically yelling from behind me did anyone flintch.

Carlito came barrling through the barrier the two men had subconciouslly made around me, wrapping my tired form into his arms as he whispered to me sweetly. "Maria, where have you been? Are you okay?"

"I'm sure shes just fine," Vince added from behind us, his arms now folded across his broad chest also with a stack of papers between them. "Good think you're here though, Carlito. I was just about to give Maria these."

He reached out cooly and handed me the papers that were in his arms.. Carlito and I looked at them unsurley, before he finally looked up and asked "The hell are these?"

"They're her release papers," He stated in a low tone, seemingly somewhat amused, by what I did not know. "Quite frankly, I don't have time for someone in this company if they're not going to give 100 percent in return. We've given her far too many second chances as it is."

"You can't fire her!" The man beside me suddenly yelled, forcing the papers back against Vince's chest. "We're a team. If she goes, I go."

The two suited men each sighed respecively, sharing a look with eachother before turning back to Carlio. I stayed clutching him from behind. "Maria has to go one way or another.. Now, she can come back with you if you decide to stay with the company, which would be the appropriate road to take in my book. However.. if you really feel you need to leave too, then theres another release form that can be printed."

I could feel Carlito's muscles tighten as I clutched him from behind, my head buried underneath his arm as it found it's way around my neck. He looked down at me then, as if not expecting much at all.. and I shrugged ever so slightly. Turning back to Vince, he sighed deeply, seemingly sure of his decision. "I'm not leaving Maria."

I shifted moreso behind Carlito now, so as I was out of sight to the rest of them.. they all walked off, Vince to get the papers with his assistant, and Carlito to sign them. I would follow later... at the moment, I was too overwhelmed to accept the fact that each of my devious plots were finally working. I would finally get out of this place.

I'll believe when you don't believe in anything .

Carlito and I had drove miles across the state that night, our bags in the backseat of the rental and the wind whistling through the windows, before we finally stopped at a hotel along the boarders of Illinois and lower Wisconsin. He seemed lighthearted, and along the quiet roads he told me about his saved up money.. how we could finally settle down, how he never blamed me. And although he seemed truthful, I knew a part of him was wondering what the hell he was going to do when the money he'd saved ran out.. or how he'd just lost his dream job in the midst of his glory days.

But I listened intently, my mind spinning off in different directions.. my money was all taken out of the bank the day earlier, stored in different compartments around my car and home. I'd have to convince him to pay for everything for the next few days.. or weeks, or however long it took.

We stepped into our room that night full of energy and life, excited for our lives to come. Carlito immediately dropped our luggage on the floor, throwing me onto the bed and ravishing the exposed skin of my neck and shoulder. I whimpered as the unknown words slipped from his mouth and against my ear, clinging to him desperately.. needing him now more that I'd had in a long while.

We continued to make love that night, the expierence far more passionate and lustful than I'd ever expected. It left me breathless, tired... yet somewhat uneasy as we laid in bed much later that night. Carlito fell asleep almost immediately, his soft snores somewhat of a comfort as I gently stroked his fuzzy hair..and yet I couldn't do the same.

Thoughts ran rampant in my mind, like a lone locamotive screaming though the town at midnight. I looked down at my bare stomach, tracing a pattern along the slightest little buldge, before finally resting my hand gently upon it. I looked over at Carlito, at the perfect man in his dreams, and cried.

I'm gonna hold you 'til your hurt is gone ,
Be the shoulder that you're leaning on .

Over 3 weeks later.

Carlito was sitting outside painting a picture of the fading horizon when I stepped out onto the patio behind him, finally home from my trip at the bank and cell phone company. I smiled weakly, binding my arms around him as I nibbled at the darkened skin below his ear. He shivered, goosebumps adorning his skin, then turned in his seat to pull me upon his lap.

We kissed, softly.. and I found his lips warm and comforting, as they usually were. I pulled away then, running my hand over his hair and down his cheek, smiling at him in a familiar silence.

He smiled back childishly, innocently.. seemingly confused. "What?"

"I have something to tell you." I said simply, keeping my eyes locked upon his so as they wouldn't shy away when I finally told him. I brought myself closer to him again, bringing his lips to my own shortly.. waving off the seconds as they passed by.

Carlito just looked at me, an amused smile adorning his tanned face.. he shrugged, shaking his head, seemingly saying he wasn't quite sure what I was going to tell him.

I opened my mouth to speak, but found the words were elsewhere at the time.. my eyes fallen away from his as my heart beat hard against my chest, as if killing away the seconds of our life together right then and there. I huffed with a smile, then lifted my face towards his again when I felt his thumb hook under my chin. "I.. I'm pregnant."

His face suddenly dropped, his dark chocolate eyes widening with shock as I looked back at him with an unsure smile. "You.. you're serious?"

I simply nodded, and was about to speak once more but found my words taken from off my lips as Carlito grabbed me and spun me around against him, a laughter filling the air around me. He hugged me tightly, and I found myself grasping on to his neck for the life of me.

"How far long?" He asked eagerly against my ear, my feet still off the ground as he held me captaive in his embrace.

"Two months." I whispered breathlessly, before I found myself suddenly dropped back down into the fluffy patio chair by the man above me, who was seemingly more beside himself than I'd ever seen him before.

"Lo siento.." He mumbled with a grin in his thick puerto rican accent, touching my face gently.

"No, no.." I brought his lips to mine once again, fighting for the air he stole from my lungs just moments earlier. "I'm fine." And again, a kiss, before he finally pulled away.

"Wow.." Was all he could seem to say as he stared back at me, the sun lighting up my features as I wrapped my arms around his neck.

I looked down unsurley then, clearing my throat of the thickness..letting the arms I had bound around him dangle lifelessly. "It was somewhat of an accident.."

Carlito shook his head, running his hands down my arms. "No..." He bit back his smile for a mere second, then broke out into another hearty laughter as he brought me into his embrace, swinging me into the crisp air all around us. I kissed him, living off the air straight from his lungs.. before he pulled away and whispered softly into my ear. "..you are my entire life."

Stand by me, and I would gladly give up everything..

almost 2 years later.

I left a mere 3 months after Sophia was born.. all my money and belongings packed into my truck in the middle of the night, where I drove along the countryside and finally settled in rural North Carolina. I bought a small home in a small town, only a short drive from the big city, and lived peacefully... volunteering some of my time to a shelter for puerto rican abuse victoms, a part time job at a book store, and my little girl.

Granted, I had been nothing like what I used to be. I had lost a daring amount of weight after I'd settled in North Carolina, dying my hair almost a jet black as a small attempt to be unrecognizable to those who might've known my past. The bright life within me had dimished with the days leading up to my escape and murder. And yet, I didn't dare think of going back.. I had little friends, little money.. it was the infant that kept be going each day. She was the only life I knew.

I hadn't heard anything from or about Carlito.. sometimes I found myself wondering what he was doing, where he was.. and yet fearing that someday he would show up upon my doorstep and demand the life ripped from within him. I could mask the fact that I ruined him completely, stole everything he had and tossed them aside for the wind to carry away. I could mask the fact that I stole his love, his life, his only daughter.. But I missed him. I couldn't mask that if I tried.

I looked behind me as I came to a stop at a red light, towards the sleeping little girl in the back seat.. her lips were pouty, slightly parted as she slept soundly, her soft snore almost melodic as it filled the silence around me.

I'm not sure what compelled me to once again pack up some of my belongings and Sophia into my truck and drive back across the states.. even if it was just for a short while. I was restless, compelled.. drawn there by a force greater than anything I'd ever know.

I pulled off the highway only about 20 minutes from the home Carlito and I had shared in those 3 short years. I was still debating the thought of driving past it... but then quickly tossed the idea aside. What if he saw me? What if he chased after me and demanded answers? What if he demanded us back?

Parking on a side street, I gathered my purse and my tiny sleeping daughter into my arms and began the short walk down the busy, quiet city street.. hoping to get to the ocean without any sort of problems. Sophia murmerd in her sleep, and I hummed a soft song in her ear as means of comfort.. when I told her about our little trip, she made me promise we'd see the ocean.. and my promises to her were the only ones I'd always kept.

The air was chilly, the wind fierce and cold as it flew over the hunched over population of the busy city.. I lifted my head up to take a look at the passing crowd, wondering what everyone was doing out on such a cold day... and thats when I saw him.

At first, it was just the tops of the limp, fuzzy hair unmistakable above the crowd from so far away.. but as it came closer, I could catch glimpses of the bowed, dark figure between the people... and knew all to well who it was. I stopped in the middle of my tracks, my body unallowing me to even move the slightest bit.. and yet, he came closer still.

Finally, Carlito looked up.. his half-lidded eyes instantly landing upon me. And it was there, a few yards away from my own form, did he freeze himself.. our eyes locked upon eachother in a clash I'd never knew I'd expierence again. And it hurt, it bled.. like a knife searing into the depths of my hollow soul. I choked back a gasp, feeling suddenly faint and light headed.. my heartbeat keeping beat inside my head.

I had forgotten long ago how much I actually loved him..

I looked down at the little girl in my arms, the little girl with perfect dark skin and light hair.. the only remains of what our love had been.. And I pulled her closer, my heart breaking as her soft little cheek brushed up against mine, her childlike warmth saving me from the chill.

I looked back up at Carlito as he stood frozen in his spot a few yards away, which was - despite our delicate past - the closest we'd been in far too long. His fuzzy hair blew around in the wind, his eyes squinting as he soaked in my image.. his lower lip slipped between clenched teeth, and I could tell from the fire in his eyes he was recalling the way we'd adorn eachother's body's in touches and kisses so many years ago.

And yet, he remained still, his hand reaching up to brush away the stray hairs from his aging face, the other in the pocket of his long winter jacket. My hair blew over my eyes also, blurring the familiar site of him as the little girl in my arms began to murmer quietly. I looked down at her, brushing my hand along her cheek to soothe her, and when I looked back up at the man I loved, his eyes were upon her also.

I could practically hear his faint, hollow gasp from my distance.. and had I not been already dead myself, it would've nearly killed me.

His eyes welled, matching my own as the tears blurred his distant form.. I wanted to run to him, jump into his arms and hold him, revive him, tell him that I still loved him and I wished I'd never let him go.. but I did not even make the slightest movement towards him.

My eyes clamped shut fiercely, fighting back the burning tears as they threatened to spill.. but when I opened my eyes only a mere moment later, he seemed further away than I'd thought.. his form barley visable through my tear-filled orbs.. before the crowd finally seperated us one final time.

I'll know it was worth the fight

And we'll be standing here, for the next 100 years.

Carlito was never brought back into the closed doors of the WWE, nor did he ever go back home to the Caribbean.. instead, as I'd heard through my passing of the town, he lived in a small home no larger than our living room had been, still alone, still silent... still dead as the day I left him behind.

And as I reflected back upon our love.. the lives we both used to hold within us, a part of me knew he would never change.

He was my everything, my life, my very soul.. and I killed him. I injected him with a murderous poison that flooded his veins with horror and death. And when I held his dying form in my very arms, I laughed wickedly, tears flowing from my eyes as they fell upon him.. I kicked the dirt into his grave, I enscribed the heartless words into his tomb stone.. Then I told him loved him, and joined him in his death.

He was the emptyness in the void that I tried desperately to fill with his own life.. he was the hollowness within me, he was the love I never knew. We are not alive anymore.

I'll know it was worth the fight.

-FIN