faithful readers (hopefully you're still out there!), this is one of my latest pieces; a 2-part romance/lust fic titled "The Distance". It's been so long since I wrote one of these introductions I really have no idea what to say. Aside from I'm sorry about all off the typos in advance, and forgive me for my horrific author's rot. Tthis is the first work I've written in a very LONG time.

Read and review! The second part will be up sooner than you think.

Love, Candy

The Distance

the sky glows... I can see it shining when my eyes close.

I can honestly say I don't know what I'd been thinking...if the sparse scramble of motion in my mind at the time could even be considered a thought. I'd heard it all the time, from random lose girls that'd find their way into the doors of the WWE and onto the beds of its' finest stars. "I don't know how it happened," they'd say. And from the others; "It is what it is." I, being a level-headed woman of self respect, would scoff and roll my eyes. Sex doesn't just happen.. it has a motive, a life, an execution. Its an ever-existant flame fueled by lust, low self-esteem, false promises. And no matter what the shallow blondes, still sticky with aftermath, would say with swollen eyes in the locker is still a big deal. Sex, in its entirety, can never be considered 'nothing'.

Now I, the blond woman who kept her legs closed, found herself suddenly thrown into the shallow wake of drunken, careless sex..and could think of no greater excuse than what the faceless girls threw around like their disgarded tops. It was was nothing.

My legs still trembled as I drove down the empty streets of our town, the low streetlights yet harsh against my eyes, long attached to the darkness of the bedroom. My body was drained, both tired and tense from the sudden climax of the night. My subconscious mind spun rapidly, turning and tossing against the numbness like an ocean restless before a storm. Time, as it's always done, pushed me forward relentlessly.

I didn't want to think about what just happened...there was no way to make sense of it. There was an odd tug at my heart I tried my best to ignore, and a distant sense of innocence lost within my chest. I sighed as I came upon a red light, and took the moment to rest my head against the steering wheel. Hypocricy had sharp claws, karma's appendage digging into the marked skin of my neck. Who did I think I was for all these years.. sitting in the locker room on my high horse, beliving I was above casual sex and its tide of desperation?

Now, as I remained bound and broken on the ocean floor, I realized that not only was I never above any other woman, chaste or not, but I was also more human than what my superhero persona sometimes lets me believe. Was I a different woman than who I always thought I'd been because of this? Does my perhaps non-existant regret of this night change everything?

It took a few moments for my mind to register that the light had turned green again, any thoughts blocked from both a large amount of alcohol and an aftermath of haze. I drove onto the empty road at a sharp speed, wanting to avoid the vulnerability of the lonely streets. He had left the apartment just the his girlfriend's car, speeding off into the darkness, the scent of every piece of me lingering on his lips. What would he be thinking, crawling into the bed he shared with her tonight? Would she know..?

I thought back to the day I first saw her, and the small seed of guilt that has since been thriving in my core... Carlito and I had been driving around before a show when he decided he needed to pay a visit to the neighboring hotel where Jeff and Matt were both staying. "I just need to drop off something.. it'll only take a minute." I remember his words clearly as he knocked on the door, Matt's dark hair and chest, covered in beads of sweat, greeting us only moments later. We walked in, I with upmost hesitation.. Jeff didn't like me, or anyone else for that matter, around the places he stayed.. I turned the corner, and found the reason.

She was laying on her side upon an unmade bed, flipping through the channels on the tv while the contents of Jeff's suitcase lay strewn out across the room.

"How you doin'?" Carlito asked cooly, his hands on his hips as he stopped infront of their bed. I half hid myself behind his large form.

"Tired," Her words came out in a high-pitched sigh, her hand moving to rest on the large, exposed swell of her stomach. Three tattooed stars stretched over the growing skin, another large generic tattoo rested on her shoulder. She was polite, yet seemed uncomfortable.. the room was hot, my eyes unable to leave what he had created inside of her.

"This is Amy, by the way," Carlito turned to me, finally motioning towards the redheaded, pregnant woman upon the bed. "Amy, this is Kelly,"

We both said our girly "hi's" before Carlito's attention was turned towards Matt, who remained within the other room. I followed him with haste, hoping not to seem rude... yet no longer possessing the heart to look at Jeff's unborn child and the woman he put up with any longer.

Ever since that day, she had found her place within my core of guilt.. and I could think of nothing else now than the pain she never knew she was enduring. This isn't the first time Jeff has done something like this.. hell, he was barley home before 3 on most nights. Was there a way she could know?

I remember so clearly something he'd said to me, on a summer night after a show in Wisconsin.. we sat on the balcony of Carlito's hotel room with our cigarettes and ice packs, speaking of his twisted past.. and perhaps distant future. "They know," He began.. leaving me no hint to who 'they' might've been.. "I can't promise I'll be around."

I felt a burning in the backs of my eyes as I pulled up my driveway, trying my best to avoid the gentle sleep of my roommate. She would scold and punish me to her lesiure had she heard me sneak in at 4 in the morning, the scent of alcohol and sex still lingering in my hair.. on my skin, swimming within my veins. How did I let this happen..?

I hadn't expected sex tonight... in fact, I was looking for some time to cool down, have a few drinks, talk on the porch with Carlito.. a friend I hadn't seen, somehow, in weeks. But when I opened the door to a place that seemed almost my own, the only form that remained locked in my line of vision was Jeff, mixing margaritas while his brother lay limp on the living room couch, playing video games. Carlito, alseep after a night of alcohol, remained passed out completely in the next room..lacking the coherent ability to remember that he'd called me just ten minutes earlier.

I remember looking at Jeff, my heartbeat quickening, his cool words flowing against my face with the strong scent of beer. I'd been clear they'd been drinking all night... the party had all but left when I arrived. But his tolorance was more than impressive, and my eyes fluttered bashfully as he slipped a cold beer within my jello-like palm..his face ever so close to my own.

I loved his eyes, such a bright and glorious green that pierced a soft, romantic innocence within me whenever I dared to take a second look. At times I couldn't help it.. it was like a window inside of him he was too naive to know existed, nor that a fragile woman stood before him.. wanting nothing more than to tear the heartstrings out of his visable, broken chest.

And thats how it all began. One beer sweating within my palm. Ultimately multiplying into six, most of them poured into red plastic cups placed in a haphazard triagle upon a thin green table. I won the first two games, and to this day I remain unconvinced he didn't let me win..just a little bit. He controlled the rest of the games, for both my heart and vision began to blur around the outskirts. A deep and nervous pain began to form at the base of my abdomen.

What happened next followed a night from less than two weeks earlier, when once again I'd stopped by their hotel room in the midst of pain and boredom. Carlito was drunk and suddenly angry, stomping around the hotel room like a deamon without a purpose. One couple left, and the other went to take a walk around the city.. which left Jeff, slightly drunk, and I to pick up the pieces of the night. We ended up doing nothing more than sitting on the crooked, broken chairs of the patio talking for hours.

Carlito wandered in and out from time to time in nothing but his boxers, patting his fuzzy head of hair as if confused. We'd pause mid-sentence and just watch him as he wandered aimlessly, eyeing us both suspiciously before stumbling back inside. The major portion of our conversation existed of mostly his childhood.. his torn and unfortunate youth that somehow brought him here, to the WWE, where wealth and fortune managed to find him, perhaps undeservingly. My voice was hoarse and uncomfortable, so I let him do most of the talking..loving how easliy he let me slip into his world, no matter how shallow, how foggy.

We talked about our families, our siblings..those we traveled with. He leaned in real close when I spoke, and I remained unsure if he was examining my makeup-less face within the moon light or just figuring out if he wanted to try finding that counterpiece somewhere inside me.. the same as I did to him when I believed he wasn't paying attention. It was then, with this new found comfort and broken boundaries, did the conversation flip to its dark underside.

Without even the word 'sex' or 'hook up' mentioned, we managed to make an invisible, unspoken pact that night.. a pact that spoke different volumes of secrecy and lust. It all made sense now, the way he looked at me all along.. the easy entrance into his heart. Pieces of his mastery formed together to strengthen a non-existant bond between us, for he knew as well as I did that if I'd really, truly wanted..I could absolutely ruin him. His career, his relationships, his forming family. But it was this risk that he was willing to take for me that turned me on to him.. I wanted to kiss him then, ever so badly, desperate for any form of true innocence before we dove into a dark depth of water we could never reverse.

Even now as I reflect upon that night, it tugs mercilessly at my heart.. faulters the beating and sends my veins trembling. Like a breath caught within my chest. We both wandered back to our own hotel rooms that night, after the three hours spent innocently yet irreversibly together. Any thought of him after that was no longer the same.. never again was he just Jeff Hardy.. he was a distant and encasing stranger carrying such a big portion of my heart.

I slipped into my bed, loving the comforting and familiar feeling of cold sheets against my tainted skin, the cool breeze through my window rushing over my back like a gentle massage. My mind began to throb, the alcohol starting to pain me more now that time had sunk in. I reached for an old water bottle to my side, yet let my hand fall before it could be reached, too tired and weak to care any longer. I let my eyes flutter shut, my head buried into the soft surface of my pillow, and my mind sunk back into the hazy night only hours ago.

The feeling that had sprung alive inside me at the first sight of him only grew, even with the alcohol drowning in my system, failing to numb me from the outside in as I hoped it would. My entire body trembled with a nervous storm, my stomach turning inside me, my heart beating harshly against my chest. And yet, I stumbled around, knowing the opprotunity we'd both been looking for had finally fell around us.. I wasn't so sure if I'd wanted this anymore, while an entire other being thriving in a distant part of me knew this was something I never knew I needed.

After the beers were gone, the plastic cups emptied, we took our cigarettes and managed to find our way upon the porch. And no matter the distance, the weather, the scenery..most of these hotel patios were one in the same. A suspended slab of concrete with two chairs and perhaps a table. On this certain night I sat with my back against the stone wall, Jeff adjacent to me in a dark wooden chair of his own. The night was warm, but I clung to my sweater mercilessly, watching the ripples dance on the man-made pond before us.

I could barley talk.. my throat and system already dried and irritated. And so he went on about his brother and his career choice, his voice filling both the quickly vanishing space between us and taking up time. I forced my mind to succumb into lost intentions, alcohol, and darkness until only my body thrived. My body, willing and afraid, continued to tremble... from anticipation, the unknown.

Just when my mind managed to drift off completely in a current of beer, Jeff's demeanor changed. I glanced at the screen on my phone hesitantly; we were running out of time. He leaned forward in his chair, and the warmth of his fingertips gliding innocently down the skin of my calve alarmed me. At first, I pretended not to notice.. but that too failed me. I shifted into his quickly rising touch, loving the speck of admiration in his eyes as he discovered the smoothness of my leg.

I do not remember much of what was said after that, nor how I ended up leaning against the balcony with his body pressed flush against mine. I ignored his tainted breath as it flowed across my neck, avoided his drunken kiss. Then, finally taking that final step to the edge of the broken cliff, I silently walked inside, knowing he'd follow.

There were two seperate bedrooms in the hotel room; Carlito remained passed out on the couch while Matt had drifted off to another room in the midst of boredom. We paused there for a moment, in the middle of the living area, my hand finding the zipper of my sweatshirt before allowing it to fall from my shoulders. He glanced around impaitently as I silently waited for him to say something, anything.

He spoke then, in a slight whisper, and I remained too distant to catch what he'd said to me. But I nodded anyway, taking one last peek over that edge..and jumped.

"Then you lead the way," I'd said. He slipped a hand behind him, somehow finding the perfect surface of my open palm and guiding me slowly into the darkness of the hallway.