In a one shot kind of mood…at least this isn't a six month gap right?
Hall of fame always rolls around quickly, especially after an unhappy Christmas. The break of a week, those seven long, arduous days together…she was finished. His argument for moving in together had been convincing at the time, back when she loved him. Now? She kept to her parts of the house, if she came home at all. If she came home at all. That was her saving grace, being on the road. He would never understand, indeed he'd never understood her dream at all, just blindly followed. He'd had his own dreams, which took them even further apart.
Her salvation lay in a house in St Augustine. A house that she knew she could turn into a home. Her days off were spent there, drinking and laughing and slowly falling in love. His friends were her friends, his interests were her interests…they matched. He knew they did.
She knew her marriage was over, but nobody believed that she would end it just for him. Her flighty nature had been drilled out of her by the rigorous demands that her job placed onto her, but slowly, thanks to him it had been seeping back in.
Lia. She would be Lia again.
It was rare that they lay out in the sun together, but today they did. A mild, breezy February day, perfect with a few drinks and each other.
"When did you last argue?" he asked, surveying her from behind his sunglasses, "Last night?"
"Yeah…he takes everything so seriously nowadays." She snorted, "Keeps asking me to have a baby."
He choked on his beer, "A what?"
"I know, right? Like I want another responsibility…I'd be a terrible Mother anyway."
"At present, you'd be bloody awful love." He beamed at her, and shot her a wink which she couldn't see, "For one, you're miserable."
"I never feel much like being cheerful anymore…" she paused, seemingly mulling the words over to herself, "Apart from when I'm with you."
He always gets so mad things you laugh at.
"Don't get so worked up" you'd say. But on the
back deck you admit that you haven't felt much
like laughing lately anyway. And so I say, "that
"Are you taking him to Hall of Fame?" They stood together in the kitchen, him grabbing a few plates, her cooking dinner, "I don't think he'd fit in, especially not after that fight you had at the last Tampa show."
She rolled her eyes, "He's coming nowhere near the shows ever again, trust me."
"Come with me then."
"No way, people already know too much."
He eyeballed her, "Cordelia, seriously."
"Did you just full name me?" she laughed, "Stephen."
Hall of fame always rolls around quickly, especially when you're concealing an affair. Lia had made the moves to start divorce proceedings, and planned to serve her husband with the papers just after Wrestlemania. She knew what she wanted, and she knew who she wanted.
Her wedding anniversary fell in March, a week away. She dreaded her husband remembering, but she knew that he had. He still loved her, still wanted her and craved to build a family with her, three things that had died a painful death in her heart long ago.
Emerald. A shining, beautifully rich colour with enough implications to be dangerous. The colour of her hall of fame dress and the colour of the small section of fabric she would fold in her date's suit pocket. Backless and draped, the silk dress clung to every possible curve it could. Lia's blonde curls twisted atop of her head in a makeshift crown, a few tendrils coaxed down to frame her face. The necklace her husband had presented her with on their wedding anniversary was fastened around her long neck, but felt more of a noose than an expensive Harry Winston product.
He estimated it took her roughly thirty seconds to locate him in the room, and although she cut directly across to him, she didn't speak to him directly for a further five minutes. Everybody began to move towards to bar for refills, and she slinked in beside him, leaning against the marble wall.
"You look beautiful Lia."
She smiled, amplified her own beauty, "Thank you. Not too bad yourself."
Their conversation, although just beginning, was cut short by the re-arrival of their friends and their wives. Lia smiled through gritted teeth; every single one of the women judged her and insisted on calling her Cordelia, whilst shamelessly flirting with Ste, even though their husband's stood next to them.
As she lay her left hand onto his right arm, engagement and wedding rings glistening, she realised that she was no different. The move was a mistake; everybody noticed her brazenly touching his arm. In this world, even a touch gives you away.
I noticed how you waste no time making your way
across the room. You leave a wake of tongues
still waving after you. And it isn't no coincidence
where you finally choose to stand. I guess soon
you will be leaving your man.
"Getting divorced then Cordelia?" Stu's girlfriend, whom she hadn't cared enough to learn the name of, spat at her, laced with saccharine, "All about Ste now, huh?"
Those perfect eyebrows rose, a smile appeared, "Of course not. Ste and I just live close by each other, I'm simply being friendly."
Stu winked, "Besides, Lia is happily married, right lass?"
"Of course." She knew she had said it too quickly, and began to fiddle with her rings, "It's just a shame he's too ignorant to be here."
A round of laughter and the timing of the marshals saved her. It was time to walk the red carpet, and be seated.
It's a sweet smile and then a denial. Hey, you
are just trying to be nice. But there is a meaning
to every fleeting action you unconsciously
decide. The clocks they chime. Now it's time.
Whenever a superstar and a diva appear anywhere together, there's always speculation that they're a couple or more than "just good friends". When Sheamus and Lia walked that red carpet, hand in hand, armed with confident smiles they knew the reports that were being written.
The first time she had appeared in public with her wedding rings on, they had speculated that it was she who had married The Undertaker, not Michelle. It had taken her going on record at a radio interview to dispel the rumours; yes, she was married, but not to him. She had been married for a few years, just before she moved to the States, with her new husband of course.
Lia checked her phone the second she sat down in her row, sandwiched between Ste and Finlay. She hid her discomfort upon reading the first headline she saw:
Superstar and Diva together (again?)
For months, there has been speculation that Lia and Sheamus are a couple. As most WWE couples tend to do, they attended the hall of fame celebrations together and are presumably seated together inside.
Lia is married to celebrity chef James Conan, and they live together in Tampa, FL.
By the intermission, everybody knew. Eyes followed her everywhere until she eventually escaped to one of the other function rooms, Michelle and Nattie right behind her.
"I'm not going to ask you how long the affair has been going on," Michelle started, "I just want to know how long you've been in love."
Cordelia scanned the faces of her two best friends, "Does it matter?" Nattie's expression told her all she needed to know. "A few months I guess. Since before the affair began anyway."
"Lia…does he love you too? How do you know you're not just like the rest?" Nattie sat down and leant her head on Lia's shoulder, "Aren't you scared?"
"To leave my husband? To leave the man I've loved for eight years for a man I've known for a year?" Lia's voice rose a few octaves, "I've seen them all come and go, but I think…I know I'm different."
Michelle held onto her friend's hand, "You don't know that. I mean, if you want to leave James then do it, but don't dive in head first with Ste. Make sure there's some reciprocated feelings."
Lia's eyes shone with tears, "I can't do it."
The hotel bar had well and truly been monopolised by the WWE, and by now everybody had meshed together. She sat on one of the huge leather couches along with Ste and their mutual friends; her shoes long since abandoned, long blonde hair unravelled, just like her mind. Her husband had long since called and asked her to come home, her response had been a slurred "Never coming home." and a quick push of the end call button.
Hours later, she lay on her hotel bed, dress strewn on the floor, hard blue eyes trying to focus on something, anything. A sharp knock on the door jolted her from her unmoving drunken stupor, and she slowly made her way to the door, leaning on it for support as she opened it.
"Christ, Lia, I knew you were drunk but…" Ste paused, "Can I come in?"
"No, fuck off." Lia started to close the door; Ste put his foot in the way.
"I was being polite. Let me in."
She turned away from the door and stumbled back to bed, "Whatever."
He shut the door quietly, and came to lie next to her. She knew he was as drunk as her, his eyes clouded over with whisky and something unintelligible. He reached out and tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, "You know I love you."
She nodded, almost savagely, "I know." she rolled over into his awaiting arms, "This is where you tell me you can't be with me, right?"
"No," he looked surprised, "It's where I tell you that you're moving in with me once my ex moves out."
"Which ex, fuck knows there's hordes of them out there." she smiled wryly at him, "I'm not leaving James."
He frowned, "Yes you are."
She smiled, "You're right, I am. I just had to say it out loud to make sure it didn't feel right."
He paused as he leant in to kiss her, "Does this feel right?"
"You know it always does." her porcelain arms twisted around his neck to pull him closer, drunken lips clashing together.
You always regret something from the Hall of Fame. For Lia, it was the amount she'd drank. As she walked downstairs, sunglasses on and hood up, she winced at the thought of returning home. She knew James would know why she hadn't been going home for months, why she was distant and why she spent most of her time locked away from him when she did eventually go home to him. They had a pre nupt., so she wasn't bothered about him trying to get her money, or the fact that she wouldn't get any of his, she was bothered about the fact she was getting divorced. She loved James, and had loved him for many years, she'd gotten through this before…he'd taken her back before.
They way Ste had left this morning, barely pausing to say goodbye, made her question her final choice. Her hangover made all of this worse. She stopped at the dining area for a glass of orange juice and a hug from Michelle before she made her way outside to the waiting paparazzi.
I know you try and play it cool but there are
some thoughts you just can't hide. Only in your
closest friends do you confide. The way you say
you'll be seeing me, oh like it's so offhand. I
guess soon you will be leaving your man.
She arrived at the house she shared with James, dreading what she would find inside. There was already a removal van outside, and she saw a large portion of her belongings were already in it. He had made her final decision for her.
Her husband stopped carrying things out to talk to her, his hazel eyes red and as hung-over as hers. "I wasn't enough for you, was I? I don't think I ever was."
"You were," she breathed, "I'm just too young for what you want. Too faithful to my freedom."
"Yeah. Look after yourself Cord, okay? I'll call you to sort things out with the house when I can stomach talking to you again."
She nodded, "I'll be gone by tonight."
The headlines had barely died down by the time Lia returned to the WWE. After taking a month off to properly move out, find a place and start divorce proceedings, she finally felt ready enough to return. If she'd ever had any doubts about just how famous James was, they were dead and gone now the paparazzi followed her everywhere, trying to catch her in some form of clandestine.
Ste and Lia hadn't seen each other since she'd turned up at his house needing a place to stay, and had found him with somebody else. He hadn't had the grace to look ashamed, and neither had the girl. Lia had seen her around before, hanging in the bar with some of the younger guys. At the time she, Michelle and Nattie had laughed about "smelling a rat", but there she stood where Lia should've been.
She had settled in New York, away from everybody, needing to be alone in a city. She'd moved into an apartment next door to a woman named Cas, who seemed nice enough and had brought her a Mulberry Lily leather shoulder bag after noticing the original Bayswater that Lia was attached to. She'd explained that she and her best friend Izzy worked for Bergdorf Goodman, a place Lia had long been in love with. She was happy in New York, and even James had started to text her again.
The situation with Ste had barely finished before he started it again. They fell into bed more often than they should've, practically every night was spent drunk, tangled up together in some nameless, faceless hotel room.
"You're ruining my life." her blue eyes looked up at him, "I'm happy in New York, I have new friends and James and I are considering putting the divorce on hold."
He laughed, "You were ruined the second you saw me, Cordelia. You know that you were. I create something in you that nobody else ever has, and that nobody else ever will." his hands cradled her hips, "And that I won't ever let anybody else create."
She turned over onto her front, blonde hair draped down onto his chest, "And you? What keeps you coming back? Because I know that nobody can do it like I can, but do you?"
You stare at me so boldly now. You have no lack
of confidence. It's just those lessons on subtlety
you missed. I know you dream of saving me
like I'm some plane that you could land. But
when you fly you'll be leaving your man
Hall of Fame always rolls around quickly, especially when it's been the best year of your career. Lia now spearheaded the Diva division alongside Nattie and Beth, and currently held the Diva's Championship. After the ceremony, real life "awards" were due to take place, and for once she was looking forwards to the spotlight. She had finally grown up, and was even managing to be friends with James and civil to his new girlfriend. He had to move on at some point, she knew that, but a huge part of her couldn't help longing for what she had been used to for so long.
She won Diva of the Year, as she knew she had. Everybody, even those who hated her had remarked just how excellent she had become. Her black Preen saloon stretch jersey gown, worn for the Hall of Fame ceremony, hung in her hotel room in its carrier. Lia had had enough of being respectable, of not showing him what he was missing. She had snuck off in the break between the ceremonies to change, long, lithe legs now exposed by the skintight, bright red Zac Posen mini dress that was intended to shock. As she walked up to the stage, Stu grabbed her arm in a mock serious gesture, "Lia, you've forgotten to get dressed."
She winked at him and wriggled her arm free before finally reaching the brightly lit stage to the tune of wolf whistles and cat calls. Lia cleared her throat to stop herself laughing before she stepped up to the microphone, trying not to squint under the intensity of the lights.
"Thanks for the intelligence, boys." she laughed quietly, "Actually, I want to thank a lot of you. For the last year, you've put up with so much from me. I definitely wouldn't be standing here right now without your help, both personally and professionally. I guess I just really wanted to thank you guys for being behind me when things didn't go right…when things didn't turn out the way they should have done. Without so many of you, I would have crumbled, I know I would. I'm so much stronger now than I was last year, so much better off in my life, by myself, than I ever could have imagined. Thank you."
His eyes concentrated on the amber liquid in front of him, and closed when he felt thin, cool hands close around his arms.
"I thought you were better off by yourself?" he mumbled, "Better off without me."
A small laugh escaped her quickly, "Of course I am. You're more of a wreck than me; look at yourself, alone at Hall of Fame, drinking bad whisky…"
"That's true actually, this is awful." he pushed the tumbler away, "I miss us."
"You ruined us," she shrugged, "You have some serious making up to do."
He turned to face her with a smile, "I have all night, don't I?"
"Sadly for my heart," she breathed, face inches away from his, "You have as long as you want."
He kissed her, "I knew you'd come back. I knew you'd be mine."
She smiled as she looked around the room at all of their friends who had chosen her over him, "I knew you'd fall without me."
They made their way out of the bar, walking slowly up to his room as eyes followed them; his left hand settled comfortably on her rear, her right hand stroking the back of his neck rhythmically.
"I'm sorry, you know? About after you left James." he fixed her to the back of the elevator with his stare, "I couldn't handle that you…you know."
He smiled, "Yeah. That you loved me enough to do that."
"Still do." she shrugged, "What about the rat?"
"Oh her," he laughed quietly, "She came round with Stu that night; he was on the deck and she came to the door with me. I didn't realise how bad it looked. I'm sorry."
"I slept with Drew," she blurted, "After Taryn got released. Sorry."
He shrugged, "I knew. I deserved it."
"It wasn't about you." she rolled her eyes, "I just figured you should know considering he's your best friend."
"Not so much anymore," he laughed bitterly, "He blamed me for making you miserable, only talks to me now when he has to."
She sniggered, "So every other week when Taryn kicks him out?"
"Pretty much," the bitterness was eradicated from his laugh, "I've missed you Lia."
They walked out of the elevator, hand in hand. She turned her head to look up at him and smiled broadly, "I know."
"Of course you do," he ushered her into his room, "You know everything."
"Good answer," she murmured, "Leave the lights off."
Diva and Superstar to Marry?
Reports suggest that WWE Superstar Sheamus and his Diva girlfriend Lia are to be married this weekend in New York. The two have been a real life couple for the past year or so. Lia divorced celebrity chef James Conan two years ago, reportedly to pursue a relationship with Sheamus.