Legend Speaking: This muse has been bugging me forever so I finally did something with it! Tell me what you think J

5 Hours Before Showtime

Maria Kanellis settled her bags down in the Diva's locker and took a seat on the floor, leaning her head back so it fell on the lap of Lillian. "I'm bored," she said with a sigh, looking up at the singer.

"You're late. Show time is in five hours and you just got here. You still need to shower, do your hair, talk to whoever about what the two of you are doing tonight out there, plus, your make up, the meeting before hand, Make-A-Wish kid is here, get your schedule for next month..."

Re-positioning herself so she faced the blond on her knees, she placed her hands on her friend's knee and looked at her with her green eyes completely open. "I'm bored," she repeated. "Lils, I'm just bored. It's the same thing every day, you know? Wake up, brush teeth, grab breakfast, work out, catch plane, catch sleep on plane, go to show, jump up and down, go to airport, and repeat. I'm bored with my schedule, I'm bored with my life, I'm just...bored. With everything. It's like, I have this mask on, right? And it's this facial expression," she stopped talking to smile, and then rolled her eyes. "I need more choices in my life." Seeing Candice walk in the room, Maria leaned to Lillian's ear, "I don't know if I want to work here anymore."

"Don't be silly," Lillian said with a smile. "If you really wanted to leave this business, then you would've left after you lost the Diva Search, and you wouldn't have looked back. Your life may be boring yourself, but you can change that, Kanellis. Ask Candice, she'll help you. Won't you Candice?"

The former Women's Champion put the tube of mascara back down on the counter where she was standing, fixing her makeup. "I'll help with anything, of course I will. What's wrong, Maria?"

"I'm fine," the Greek mumbled, jerking her arm away before Candice got the chance to touch it. Leaving the room, she stared down at her feet while she walked down the hallway, her eyes catching another pair of sneakers swinging back and forth and off the ground from sitting on one of the large, black, metal cases that were often used backstage as props. Quickly glancing at who the feet belong to, she felt her face go red instantly when she saw him staring back at her, his lips pressed together in a grin while he placed his book on his lap.

"Hi," Jeff Hardy greeted her with a small wave. "Trying to find a place to escape the meeting?"

She zipped up her sweater and wrapped her arms around herself, pretending to be cold even though it was the exact opposite of how she was feeling. "Yeah," she lied. "I don't need to hear how well we did in the last stock quarter or whatever Vince goes on about...I don't pay attention..."

He folded the top of the page of his book and placed in down next to himself on the crate. "I don't either," he admitted. "Maybe today will be different and we'll have a magician that'll magically give us all raises and pull a bunny out of his top hat while he's at it." A giggle escaped her lips and the corners of her mouth turned into a grin. "It wasn't that funny," he mumbled while he watched her still laughing.

"It was! Wow, I can't even remember the last time I even laughed like that," she confessed, standing against the wall across from him. "It's been a while..."

Nodding his head, he continued to swing his feet back and forth against the crate, "you're at that stage, are you? The stage where you feel like you're on autopilot and you just do what you do because you know you're supposed to?"

Her eyes widened and she nodded her head rapidly. "That's exactly how I feel!"


"Yes! I was just telling Lillian that...how did you know?"

Slipping off of the crate, he shrugged his shoulders. "Everyone goes through that stage. Usually after when you've been on the road for longer than you think, and you can't even remember the last time you slept in your own bed or walked around your house barefoot. You're afraid of asking for time off because it might make you look weak and you can't handle the schedule and you don't want to look like that in front of who you work with," he gave another shrug of the shoulders. "You could always fail one of the drug tests, but then you get a month docked off you pay. But at least you'd be at home for a while."

Without realizing it, they walked down the hall together towards the catering area where the meeting was supposed to be held. They sat down beside each other in the two chairs that were placed in the very back corner, to which Maria giggled. "I feel like I'm in high school again," she whispered to him.

"Only the cool kids sat in the back. This is our chance to be the cool kids," he said with a wink and a nudge, causing her to giggle again.

"Excuse me, I was a cool kid," she defended herself. "In fact, I was head cheerleader."

Before he got a chance to make a witty comeback, Vince cleared his throat and started the meeting. Reaching over to the table next to him, he grabbed a loose, clean napkin and dug the pen out of his pocket, quickly scribbling a note to Maria.

No magicianno raise he wrote, placing the napkin on her knee, hoping she would read it. Without looking at her, he could tell by the giggle that caused Vince to stop the meeting she had read it.

"I'm sorry, Miss. Kanellis, but there is nothing funny about how low house show attendance have been lately," he said, glaring at the interviewer with his best intimidation look. "Don't you agree? You wrestle in front of the low attendance."

Jeff stiffed back a laugh while he watched the woman beside him squirm, her face red in embarrassment and the napkin still on her knee. "No, Mr. McMahon. It's not funny," she whispered, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth. "I'm sorry for interrupting." Glaring back at the man beside her, Maria stole the pen out his hand and wrote on the napkin:

I hate you.

With a grin, he casually put his arm around the brunette, finding an unusual calmness go over him when she rest her tired head on his shoulder. "I think we're almost done," he whispered while he watched her eyes slowly close. "Look alive before he yells at you again."

"I am alive," she mumbled, her arm linking through Jeff's while she snuggled closer. "Wake me when it's over."

Her soft talking had his attention that he didn't even realize the scrapping chairs around him and the mumbling voices leaving the room, their feet shuffling across the recently cleaned tiled ground. The small smile that was on his face before returned when she cuddled closer to him and a soft sigh escaped, brushing past his neck. "Maria," he whispered, his fingers barely touching the hairs that were across her cheek, "it's over."

Her eyes fluttered open as she let out a petite yawn, giving Jeff a confused look. "What's over?"

Jeff stood in front of her and held out his hand, waiting for her to accept it. When her hand was placed in his, he pulled her up quickly and allowed her to tumble into him, her body falling against his and knocking him down onto the floor beneath them. While she looked down at his green eyes, the giggle escaped her lips, and she smiled. "Sorry," she said before bursting out into laughter.

His arms wrapped around her body comfortably as they laid on the floor together, both laughing at how klutzy they were. It was when he ran his fingers through her hair did she stop laughing to look down at him softly, her eyelashes batting rapidly. "We should get up," she whispered, rolling off of him and standing up on her own this time. "Before...something..."

"Yeah," Jeff agreed, standing up and wiping the dirt off of his pants. "But uh...you know if you ever need someone to sit with for the meetings...to stay awake so you can sleep.." he gave her a wink, knowing it would distract her while he took her hand in his. "Just...come and find me. I'm usually not doing anything until ring time."

She let out a happy sigh and nodded her head. "Right. I'll remember that."

It left her head immediately.

Vince's bellowing voice distracted Jeff and Maria, stopping any train of thought that was currently going through their minds. "Jeff and Maria, there's been some last minute changes tonight," he began as the duo walked towards him. Her hand began to tremble a little bit the closer they got to the boss, she always hated personal confrontation with a McMahon.

He placed his arm around her hips and pulled her close to him, his thumb continuously brushing over the small spot of bare skin on her hip. "How's it going, Mr. McMahon?" Jeff asked casually, shaking the bosses hand while keeping his other arm loosely around Maria. He could feel her body tremble from the small spot where his thumb was.

"Last minute changes have decided that you and Miss. Kanellis will be in a tag match tonight against Melina and Carlito. This is the starting of a new angle between the two of you, so play it up that you really like each other out there, OK? Make it believable." He left after shaking Jeff's and Maria's hand, his posture straight and the intimidating walk he was known for. She was still shaking after he left the room.

"Aw, Maria! Don't be so scared," Jeff said to her, keeping his arm around her waist. "This is what we'll do, OK? We'll talk to Carlito and Melina, we'll go over the match, and whatever feel natural after…we'll go with it." He looked down at the smaller woman, noticing the scared look in her eyes and how her face suddenly went pale when Vince mentioned a match. "I'll take care of you. For however long this program is…I'll be here for you, Maria. For anything."

She nodded her head while she looked up at him, swallowing hard and sucking her lip into her mouth. "Promise you won't leave me," she whispered, eyeing her feet instantly. "Every time I've been in an angle with someone, they always made me look stupid…I don't want that to happen again…"

His lips met the back of her hand, and he held it close to him, placing her hand over his heart. "I promise."