[[A/N: Thankyou to everyone who reviewed my last chapter. For those of you who guessed at the question I asked, you were 100% correct, but that won't be resurfacing for a while yet... Sorry! :P I really hope you enjoy this chapter my lovelies! xx]]
+ BELLE'S POV [Cont.] + 17th September 2010 (Friday) +
Peeling back the curtain briefly to stare out at the sky, I couldn't help but laugh and face-palm myself. Despite my earlier anxiety, we'd made it to Salt Lake City in plenty of time. Now we were safely on the plane to Chicago and I felt nothing but excitement at the thought of what was to come. I quietly munched on some biscuits that a stewardess had given me, smiling at my boyfriend who was busy reading a newspaper. I sneaked a peek at his watch and grinned - it was six o'clock, so we'd been in the air for half an hour now - then accidentally bumped elbows with him as I sat up properly.
Daniel promptly put down his newspaper and turned to me. "I was just going to ask you something... How did your first kiss happen?" he said, pausing for a moment before continuing to speak. "I just realised I didn't say how mine happened... It was our second date and I'd just walked her home from the restaurant we'd eaten at, we were standing on her front step and I went to kiss her cheek but she turned her head and it kinda just... happened".
I giggled without even thinking - it sounded like such a cute story, and I could imagine it right inside my mind (with myself in place of that horrible ex-girlfriend of his). "My first kiss went a little like this..." I started, laughing softly before adding "Like I said, I was fifteen at the time, I'd just gone to a movie with him and then we went to this fifties-style burger place... We walked outside and I hugged him before Dad's car pulled up, then he just leaned in and kissed me before I got to open the door..."
Daniel and I both smiled, reaching out for each other's hands instinctively. I explained that it had been awkward because I certainly wouldn't have made the first move - which was why I was still surprised by my actions from the other night. The very thought of those kisses sent shivers through my entire body. I closed my eyes for a while, perfectly content with my daydreams.
Later on, I spent a few minutes begging Daniel to tell me where we were staying, but he wouldn't have a bar of it. I even tried it again after the plane landed at eight o'clock but he still wouldn't listen, though I whined playfully until we stepped out into a tunnel to the airport. Why won't he tell me? I wondered to myself when he led me to an inspection area after we found our suitcases. We got through fairly quickly as it hadn't been a particularly populated flight, and we were on our way out by 8.45pm, which I thought was quite the success. As soon as we ventured outdoors, Daniel hailed a passing cab and muttered something to the driver in a voice inaudible to my ears. Grumbling quietly, I climbed into rhe car behind him, our suitcases safely stowed away in the trunk. I stared out the window relentlessly and as soon as the driver announced, "We're here", I looked out the window, realizing at once why Daniel might have wanted to keep it a secret.
The hotel he'd chosen was absolutely beautiful, especially as it was all lit up, and there was a bridge leading to the entrance and over the road, with trees decorating the area. It was unbelievably picturesque - an artist's dream - and I already knew I'd want to return someday. The cab driver quietly dropped us off at the entrance and I let out a soft little gasp after he disappeared. "Where are we?" I asked Daniel, clutching my suitcase and carry bag excitedly. "We're at the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel," he announced, smiling at our breathtaking surroundings. Then he led me inside, grinning happily as he checked in and showed me upstairs. Our room was amazing in every conceivable way - two plush sofas, a stunning view of the streets, high speed Internet... And that didn't even cover it.
"Daniel, this room is amazing, I... I love it," I said slowly, walking over to the window and looking out. He occupied himself by surveying the room, and I turned around once I heard him speak. "This is not right..." he muttered. I was confused; this room was lovely, what could possibly be wrong? I asked him this and he sighed, pointing to an open door in a corner of the room that I'd ignored so far. The doorway revealed one spacious double bed, the only bed in the whole entire room...
"This is a complete mistake... Once I knew you were coming with me, I asked to have a room with two singles, I don't know how this happened..." Daniel replied somewhat flatly, looking embarrassed that he was even complaining. Letting out a soft sigh, I went to hug him gently and smiled. "I'm sure they don't mean anything by it" I reasoned, letting go of him and walking to the centre of the room. "Besides, we have these sofas, I'll just sleep on one of those, they look pretty comfortable".
After sitting on the closest sofa and kicking back to demonstrate my point, I was joined by Daniel who sat across from me, shaking his head. "I don't want to let you sleep on the sofa, you can have the bed and I'll sleep here" he said quietly, letting out a soft yawn as he headed to the linen cupboard and pulled out some spare pillows and blankets. I took them from him, leaving them stacked on top of the coffee table between the sofas, then walked over to the minibar and inspected the contents. There was a bottle of Block Nine red wine in there and I decided to bring it out after overhearing Daniel ordering something from room service. I walked back over to the couch, this time sitting next to Daniel and opening the bottle, pouring some of the wine into each glass.
"I ordered us both the spaghetti, is that alright?" Daniel asked, picking up his glass and taking a sip. I assured him it was fine and as we waited for our food to arrive, we spent the time discussing and making plans for tomorrow - the last day before Night of Champions. He seemed a bit concerned about possibly encountering Mike before the match due to the tension between them, and I just shook my head. "Everything's going to be fine babe, whatever he'll say won't matter. Know why?" I asked, smiling serenely. "Why?" he murmured.
"Because he doesn't matter now, and I can tell you what does... It's just you, me and Chicago. That's all that matters, don't worry about anything else because I'm not going to".
By 10:30pm we'd eaten our dinner and gotten through the bottle of wine. Daniel was yawning despite every effort he made not to, and I couldn't help but laugh. He was just so cute when he was tired, and as I didn't usually drink much, the red wine was already going to my head. Looking over at Daniel resting on the couch, I nudged his shoulder. "The couch is miiiiiine, Mister Daniel Bryan, I would liiiike you to get up pleeease" I whined, slurring a few of my words and sitting down haphazardly.
"Belle, I know the sofa is super comfy and all, but I still think you should sleep in the bed... Waking up on one of these with a headache is no fun, and I'm not liking your chances there" he replied calmly. How is the Block Nine not going to his head? I wondered, shrugging lightly. I kicked up both feet on the coffee table, folding my arms across my chest and giving him a stubborn glare. "My couch!" I hissed, giggling again; despite the fact that I was trying to be serious, I just couldn't help it. Damn wine!
Daniel huffed quietly, and I just stuck out my tongue, pretty sure he was just messing around. Stretching out my arms to their full length and tilting my head back, I let out a rather impressive, ear-splitting yawn as I nudged my glass accidentally. He laughed and said, "Come on, Belle... You're obviously tired, go to sleep". I smiled, now knowing he hadn't actually been annoyed - he was just looking out for me. I smiled lazily and pushed myself up off the couch, picking up my bag and walking into the bathroom to get changed. Settling on a blue and white striped pair of pajamas, I quickly pulled them on, putting my day clothes in the laundry sink on my way out. I honestly would have been happy to wear sweats and a baggy shirt but I'd decided not to, imagining him running over the bridge once he saw what I really found most comfortable. Probably just paranoiaaaaa! a voice inside my head sang, to which I just shrugged.
After walking over to the bed and climbing in under the covers, I sighed happily and stared up at the roof. "Hey Daniel, do I get a goodnight kiss?" I shouted - and that remark was definitely influenced by the wine; it just wasn't something I'd normally call out. I could hear him laughing from where he sat, and within ten seconds he was on his fest and making his way over to my bedside. Bending down so he was presumably crouching - or maybe kneeling; I couldn't actually see too much from the midst of my blanket cocoon - he reached for my hand and leaned in, kissing me deeply and lovingly. "Goodnight, beautiful" he whispered, smiling and making his way back to the sofa. I couldn't see him as well now as I figured he'd be laying down now, so I raised my hand sleepily and waved as one last goodnight gesture before eventually succumbing to a rather deep sleep.
My dreams that night were filled with possible ideas of what could happen and Night Of Champions. I saw myself wearing the pink and black dress I'd worn earlier this week as I'd already decided on wearing it, and my hair appeared wavy and bouncy. Sometimes I saw myself arm-in-arm with Daniel, walking down the hallways and talking to our friends. In other moments, I saw myself with Eve, Natalya, Gail and the other girls, giggling excitedly as we swapped stories from the last few days, Eve looking particularly excited to hear what I had to say. Other parts of my dream showed Mike verbally overpowering me and almost making me cry, while Alex just stood in the corner, expressionless save for the tiniest smile possible. Santino and Oleg kept popping up too, which was fun - they were both lovely in their own individual ways, and I liked gradually getting to know the tall, quiet Russian. I would have been deathly scared but whenever I saw something going wrong in my dreams, Daniel or one of my friends were always there to back me up and give me support... If not for that, I'd have undoubtedly woken up screaming.
+ BELLE's POV + 18th September 2010 (Saturday) +
Upon waking the next morning, I was still very confused. I lay there for a while, rolling around and mumbling different things like "Go away Mike!", "I'm being serious Eve!", "You're such a loser!" or "Shut up and leave Daniel alone, he's my boyfriend!". It must have been pretty funny because when I was properly awake I could hear some deep laughter echoing from the sofas, then Daniel sat up and smiled.
"DANIEL! You're alright!" I shouted excitedly, somehow bolting straight up out of my bed and running to his makeshift one, swerving and diving diagonally over the end of the couch as I crash-tackled him to the floor below. Giving him a big hug and kissing his cheek, I then rolled onto the floor lazily and smiled. "What's so funny?" I asked upon noticing that he was grinning like a Cheshire cat. He scratched his head, sat up with his back against the couch cushions and pulled me into his lap, his arms encircling my waist.
"I heard all the stuff you were mumbling in your sleep just now, I thought it was kinda funny, and it made me wonder what you were dreaming about" he replied. I had to think for a moment, smiling once snatches of my dream started to come together in my mind. "I was dreaming about different things that could happen at Night of Champions... Sometimes we were walking and talking to people, or I was chatting with the girls and Eve was all excited and making jokes... But there were other parts where Mike was yelling at me and Alex did nothing to stop it, I think he might've been threatening to beat you... It wasn't too scary though because whenever something bad happen, you or one of my friends were there to back me up," I explained, moving out of his lap and sitting cross-legged in front of him.
Daniel sat there for a moment in silence, clad in nothing but a pair of black boxer shorts. I already knew I wasn't ready to sleep with him just yet, but I knew that if I were, I'd be all over him right now; it was quite a sight. He entranced me further with a smile, and I was lucky he chose to speak again; otherwise I might have kept staring. "Are you worried?" he asked simply. I shook my head slowly, reaching for one of his hands. "You don't need to be... I'll be there with you as much as I can. And if he gets in your face without me around, I think you'd be able to stand up to him just fine" he added, shaking his head and laughing again. After I nodded in agreement, I stood up and walked back into my room to get changed and go on Facebook. Oleg had posted on my wall asking how I was, so I quickly replied by saying that I was fine and that I was in Chicago now, before returning the question. After closing my laptop, I went into the kitchen and ate breakfast with Daniel, before we decided on our plans for the day.
A few hours later Daniel and I were strolling through the streets of Chicago, looking for somewhere to eat lunch. Deciding on a quiet little sandwich shop, we walked in and sat down quietly until a waitress came to take our orders. When she went away, I asked Daniel what he wanted to do today. He laughed and shrugged, saying, "I was just about to ask you the same thing!" As I tried to think of some things I might want to do today, an idea hit me once I thought about my outfit for tomorrow night. "This might sound a bit random but after we're finished here, I want to go to the mall or wherever, I need to find a place that sells fabric and stuff like that..." I suggested, smiling mysteriously. Daniel said it shouldn't be too far away, and after we ate our lunch we went looking. Ten minutes later, we ended up in a small store in a side street around the corner from the main mall, where I picked out some pink and black fabrics and purchased those, planning to make some woven bracelets.
On our way out of the somewhat nondescript store, I literally bumped into a young girl who was looking through the shop window. Feeling incredibly guilty, I proceeded to apologize profusely before she would have had the chance to give me a dirty look. Once she finally straightened herself out and looked our way, her eyes widened and she smiled. "Wow, um... Hi Belle, Daniel, my name's Laura... I'm a big fan of you both, it's so cool to meet you!" she gushed. I was thrilled; I absolutely loved to meet fans, and she was one of the first few I'd met after moving up to the main roster. The three of us got talking for a while and it was discovered that she lived in the area and wrote for her school's newspaper, doing feature stories.
"If you don't want to do it, I totally understand, but could I please interview you two for the paper? A lot of kids at my school watch wrestling, I think they'd really enjoy it," she said all of a sudden. Daniel looked rather intrigued, so in a matter of seconds we both agreed to do it, thinking it would be fun. "I don't have any questions ready though, since this was just a spur of the moment idea..." Laura said quietly. I looked at her thoughtfully for a moment and then nodded.
"I need to go for a few minutes to buy something else, how about I meet you two in that cafe?" I suggested, pointing to a quiet little cafe a short distance away, which appeared to have booth seats - that way the three of us could have a little more privacy. Once we'd all agreed on it, Daniel kissed my cheek in a goodbye gesture and I went inside the mall, walking around and stopping every time I saw a map, until I found the liquor store and purchased two bottles of Block Nine. Once they were safely wrapped up I marched right out of the mall and to the cafe, I thanked Daniel for the hot chocolate he'd bought me, and then sat down as Laura set up her tape recorder and the interview began.
One lengthy interview, a walk around town and five hours later, Daniel and I were sitting in the hotel lobby, just watching people walking in an out. A few people had recognized us and stopped for photos and autographs, which we were only too happy to do. One little boy who looked to be four even came running up to me and hugged my leg, saying, "Mommy, look! It's the wrestling princess!" I gave his mother a questioning look and she explained by saying "He saw RAW the other week when Chad Ochocinco was guest hosting, noticed your tiara and thought you were a princess". Holding my arms out for a hug, I looked at Daniel briefly for a moment then hoisted the child into my lap as I suggested the lady take a photo with her camera phone. The boy pointed at Daniel as he said "Can you be in photo too, pwease?", and Daniel moved right in and wrapped his arm around my shoulder, the child resting on our knees. After the woman was satisfied with the photo, she thanked us profusely and walked away with her son, who was waving goodbye.
"Cute kid, huh?" Daniel asked, after we'd sat in the lobby for a while longer. "Yeah... And such nice manners too" I added, sighing contentedly as he nodded in agreement. Most kids at that age usually hadn't developed manners yet - something I'd mainly noticed while going shopping - so it was always a pleasant surprise when a young child was polite to an advanced degree; I always hoped that when I had children they'd be like that.
"Wanna go back upstairs now?" Daniel asked, to which I replied that I would. I figured that maybe we'd watch a movie, maybe have something to eat with the wine I'd bought - though, as I reflected, there wasn't actually any substantial food in the kitchen (just snacks), so we'd be ordering room service again. Once we got back to our room we kicked up our feet on the sofas and read the menu aloud, Daniel frowning a little as he struggled to make up his menu - on our second glance, we realised the menu wasn't too much more vegan friendly apart from the spaghetti we'd ordered last night, so he was having a lot of trouble. Once he looked to have found something, I told him to call room service though I hadn't made up my mind completely yet.
"Hello, this is Mr Bryan in room 905, I would like to order a Greek Salad with extra salt, but could you please replace the feta cheese with soy cheese?" he said. I threw down my menu in abnormal frustration as I gave up on trying to choose and shouted out that I'd have the same, figuring that it would probably taste alright and that even if I hated it, Daniel would probably finish it for me. Once he ended the phone call, he placed his phone on the coffee table and rested his hands behind his head for a few minutes, before sitting up straight and beckoning me over to him. Slowly rising from my seat, I meandered my way around the coffee table and plopped down next to him, resting my head on his chest.
"That kid from before did have a point..." he said out of nowhere. I looked up at him for clarification, not understanding one little bit what he was talking about. Sensing my confusion, he cleared his throat before saying "He called you the wrestling princess... And he's right, you are a princess. You're the prettiest, nicest girl in the locker room, you've got King singing your praises, and Cole hates me but even he thinks you're brilliant... It makes me wonder sometimes why you're with me, when all the single guys on the roster must want you" he said. "I'm just glad you're with me... you're my princess".
"Then I guess that makes you my prince and knight in shining armor" I said, smiling and turning around so I was on my knees as I wrapped my arms around him in a comforting hug. I proceeded to tell him he was being silly - I didn't want any of the other guys in a romantic sense at all. He seemed perfectly placated with my answer, and we just sat there quietly together until the doorbell rang. I stood up, rolling over the back of the couch and running over with Daniel hot on my heels. "Mr and Mrs Bryan, your dinner..." the waiter said once we'd opened the door, carrying two covered plates over to the dining table.
"I, um... you... she..." Daniel sputtered, a faint tinge of pink in his cheeks as he spoke. I placed a supportive hand on his shoulder and looked at the waiter kindly. "We're not married, Sir... We're just boyfriend and girlfriend" I explained, taking Daniel's hand in mine and smiling. The waiter apologized sincerely, muttering and shaking his head as he stalked out of the room. Daniel looked at me and started to apologize but I shook my head, indicating it wasn't necessary - after all, we had just been placed in a very awkward situation; though it was nice that someone else thought we looked so right together that we might as well be married.
After we'd eaten our dinner - which, to my surprise, I'd enjoyed just as much with the addition of the soy cheese - I went and looked through the selection of DVDs belonging to the hotel room, waving a copy of Scary Movie 3 in the air. "Fine by me!" Daniel called out from the kitchen, as he wrenched open the fridge. "You want some of this?" he added a few seconds later, holding out one of the bottles of wine I'd purchased before our interview with Laura, laughing a little. I told him to bring them both over, and he was sitting next to me on the couch he'd slept on last night within minutes, holding both bottles and a corkscrew. I took the corkscrew and opened both bottles as the movie started, smiling brightly. It had taken me a while to make up my mind on what movie to watch, but I'd settled on this one because while it still had its dirty moments, it was still funny enough to override any awkwardness they might cause.
"Thanks for the extra bottle, Belle... This stuff's really good, I've always preferred red wine" Daniel told me. I reached for his free hand after taking a lengthy sip from my own bottle, and then leaned in to kiss him. Watching the movie and screaming once one of the blonde girls was found dead, I clutched the neck of my bottle tightly so I wouldn't drop it. "Not gonna lie, some of this still freaks me out... All my friends made fun of me when we saw it in the cinemas because I dropped my popcorn, it went everywhere..." I admitted, staring straight at the TV and taking a deep breath.
"What are your friends like?" Daniel asked, drinking up a little more red wine. I smiled, still keeping one eye and ear trained on the screen as I started to talk. "There's Mia Martinez, she's your classic party girl... She has a twin brother called Jayson who's the level-headed one, he's engaged to one of my other friends Andrea Jameson, and they're at Harvard now, studying to be lawyers..." I told him, pausing in the middle of my explanation to smile, remembering Jayson and Andrea's engagement party from last year - I'd just started to feel better after going through a break-up, and it was a lot of fun. "Then there's Hollie Albright and her cousin Mark Albright-Cook, they're both music teachers... They're all the ones I'm closest with" I stated, soon going on to name a few other people. However, I stopped once the rap battle had started and George was onstage. Daniel nudged me, winking slightly as we both started rapping along in time to the movie.
"So maybe I'm wack 'cause my skin ain't black... But you can't talk smack, 'cause whitey just struck back!" we shouted, laughing hysterically once George had stopped rapping and we'd caught our breath. It was so hard not to laugh like idiots during the rest of the movie; every time I thought I could keep it together, I'd see Daniel waving his arms around in a bad imitation of ten different rappers rolled into one inside my mind again then bite down on my lip, trying not to laugh the walls down. Daniel seemed to feel much the same way, though he was almost completely quiet during the last twenty minutes. I'd nudge him occasionally to make sure he was awake and he'd nod lazily, a small smile on his face.
Once the movie finished, I eased myself down onto the floor and turned off the TV after putting the DVD back in its case and stacking it away. Standing up and stretching both arms out over my head, I yawned loudly and exhaled for a few seconds, checking the time on the wall clock - my phone was all the way over on the kitchen table and I really didn't feel like going and grabbing it. I'd heard it ringing a few times during the day and had ignored it, as I had a fair idea of who it had been every single time. I took a look at Daniel and groaned when I saw he was asleep. His bottle was three-quarters empty so I re-corked it once I'd managed to prise it out of his hands.
After I'd re-corked my bottle and stuffed them both back in the fridge, I sauntered over lazily, burping a few times as I licked my lips and relished the taste of my wine-stained lips. Daniel had a lopsided smile on his face and I laughed, instantly thinking of an idea that I knew he'd never expect from me. I ran into my bedroom and yanked down the covers, and then left the door wide open as I ran back into the living room and pulled away Daniel's blankets. Sliding my arms underneath his, I lifted him up and let his back rest against my chest as I lugged his 192-pound frame across the floor, really hoping I wasn't giving him carpet burn. As I took a deep sigh, I heaved his body up into the bed and tucked him in awkwardly, leaning in to kiss his lips that now tasted entirely like Block Nine.
Shaking out my arms, I groaned and walked back out to the couch where I'd wanted to sleep last night. Daniel was by no means fat or heavy - and if I was in a clearer state I'd probably have been able to carry him easily - but I'd had a little too much to drink so quickly and I was pretty tired myself. With that in mind, I flopped down onto the couch and wrapped the blankets around myself in a very haphazard fashion, just laying there as my brain started running at one hundred miles a minute. I remembered the way my dad used to tuck me in at night when I was little and it brought a smile to my face; he was a kind, loving man who loved my mother so deeply - I saw them as the ideal role models for how married life should be.
Content to remain lost in my thoughts for quite some while, I didn't bother rolling over or looking up for a while... But when I did, I noticed that I'd left the bedroom door wide open and as I pulled myself up so I was sitting, I could see Daniel sleeping. His head was tilted to the side, his mouth closed as his lips formed a serene, dreamy smile. Holy shit, he's gorgeous... I thought to myself, silently thanking God for granting me such a beautiful sight. I sat there for a while longer, wondering what he was thinking about until an idea came to mind, and I shot up out of "bed" immediately, ignoring my blankets when they fell to the floor. I turned the lights out, then strolled into Daniel's room and crawled right into bed next to him. It was a completely random idea - maybe it was just the red wine going to my head - but it felt so right.
I wasn't sure if he really knew I was there but maybe he was thinking about me, because I felt his arms reaching out for me, which I accepted all too readily. After spending a few anxious minutes hoping that Daniel wouldn't get mad at me in the morning for joining him, I kissed his cheek and rested my head on his shoulder, falling asleep and looking forward to tomorrow with a smile on my face as wide as his.
[[A/N: There you have it guys... The next chapter is Night of Champions and will almost certainly be written in Daniel's POV, as I've had a few of his thoughts planned in my mind for ages :P I'm really excited for it and I hope you are too.
Just a random fact, the name "Hollie" is taken from a good friend of my brother's who's going through a rough time at the moment. Keep your chin up babes, those of us who have hearts are keeping you in our thoughts and just want you to smile (L)
Please go check out my new story "Bourne 2 Fly" if you haven't already, I'm looking forward to writing more of it soon. I hope you had fun reading this latest chapter, and don't forget to review and let me know what you thought! Toodles xoxo]]