At Last Paradise. Diary of a Love Story

Chapter Twenty-One

Kane still could not comprehend all that was happening. He looked over at his brother who was in a state of shock, unaware of where he was. It seemed like such a short time ago when he first knew about the woman Mark had met. He had to admit he was skeptical about this new woman. Kane couldn't imagine him being with someone ten years older. Kane at first thought she must be a golddigger, Mark wasn't hurting for money. When he met her, she was nothing like what he expected. She had spunk. She had to to put up with Mark. He smiled to himself. She treated him as someone who was more than an object to be seen with. The one thing different about her was the way she looked at him, or rather, the way they looked at each other. It spoke volumes, more than words could ever say. He thought people wait a lifetime to meet that one person. It had taken Mark twice.

They were escorted to a private room. As soon as they walked in, realization hit like a ton of bricks. There was a black and blue figure on a bed of white, tubes everwhere. Kane saw a look of pain on Mark's face he had never seen before. Just then the doctor came in. Kane told him who he was. The doctor's face was grim as he described her condition.
"She can barely breathe because of the damage done by the caustic substance. It was just enough to do damage to her vocal cords and throat. It's possible she may never speak again; only time will tell. She does have 2 fractured ribs. She's fortunate they weren't completely broken and punctured a lung. From the way the bruises look, she had to have been beaten with a club. Whoever did this was trying to kill her. I've been in the medical practice for a number of years, but I have never seen anyone done this way. Speaking unprofessionally, I hope they catch the bastards."

Mark hadn't heard a word the doctor said. All he saw was the woman he loved unconscious, perhaps dying. She couldn't leave him now, not when he had just begun to live. He kissed her lips, the only place that hadn't been bruised. Memories came back to when they first met; of her walking down the aisle; how she would surprise him whenever he came home; and those eyes that perhaps might close forever. Kane could see Mark was about to collapse. He caught Mark and put him in the chair closest to the bed. Mark continued to hold her hand.

Kane was getting tired. This had been a rough 3 hours. He would be glad when Sharon finally got there. For now he would stay the night. He stepped out of the room for a couple of minutes. He noticed two policemen were outside the room. One of them said its possible she may have caught a glimpse of one of the attackers. They were taking no chances. Kane hoped the police caught them first. If Mark ever got his hands on them he would kill them.

Sharon got there early the next morning. She told Kane she had heard from the rest of the sisters; most of them were on their way. Edge and Betty would be there in another hour.

About mid-morning those who could make it were waiting in the solarium. Just about all the wrestlers and her sisters had made it. By early afternoon Vince and Linda had arrived. They asked how Mark was doing. Kane told them how he was when they first arrived. When they asked about Margaret, no change. The WWF office had been getting phone calls and faxes from everywhere asking how she was. Kane told them no one was allowed in the room except him and Mark for right now.

Mark hadn't slept all night. He was pale and his eyes were bloodshot and swollen. He refused everything they offered. When they asked if he would like to leave for a couple of minutes, he just shook his head. He was not going to leave, even for a minute. Kane didn't think they would mind if he let some of the people there stay at the house. Some of them stayed and others went to the house, coming and going in shifts. This went on for about 4 days.

There was a buzzing noise in her head. She was feeling pain in her chest and somethng tight felt like it was wrapped around her. Her throat felt raw and sore, and somehow she couldn't swallow. She opened her eyes halfway. She saw a head of red hair resting near her hand. She started to stroke that red hair.

Mark felt something in his hair. He lifted his head and saw her half opened eyes. She looked liked she was trying to say something but couldn't, there was pain in those eyes. He finally was able to figure out what she was trying to say, "Kiss Me."

The doctor had came in to check on her during his usual rounds. He saw what was going on. He backed out the door, thinking this was not the best time. He went to the solarium and told everybody there that she was waking up. Seems she would make it after all. There was a chorus of sighs of relief. Someone called the house and told the rest of the group there. You could have heard them all the way across the room. He made it plain that not everybody could go in at the same time. Maybe in groups of 3 or 4, but not for at least a couple of days. They all decided to go back to the house.

When they finally got a chance to see her, some of them still couldn't believe it. She was still weak from the beating and the bruises were still dark, but she was alive, nonetheless. Kane had to physically force Mark to clean himself up as he hadn't moved in the last week. During that time she received flowers and tons of getwell cards and letters. The girls saw to it they were taken home. Everyday she was gaining strength back but she still could not talk.

After about another 3 days, the doctor felt it would be better if she were at home despite the fact that she was still weak. He believed in the theory of home recuperation. Kane brought the car to the hospital. Outside a group of people had gathered to cheer her. When she got to the entrance, she motioned she wanted to walk the little distance to the car. Mark was reluctant but he relented. When the crowd saw her they let out a big cheer. It was slow and painful but she made it with Mark holding on to her. When they had gotten in the car, they went home.

Chapter Twenty-Two

They were home in a matter of minutes. Margaret was going to walk to the house, but Mark would have none of it.
"You are in no shape to be doing anything. And don't give me that 'I will' look."
With that he carried her into the house. Kane had had Sharon tell the maid to fix up the couch for Margaret. Mark had just got her into the living room when everybody yelled "Welcome Home!"

She was surprised to see everybody there. She thought they had left. She looked at Mark with a quizzical look.

Kane spoke up.
"They've been staying here for at least a week. They weren't going to leave until they saw you were going to be okay. I hope you didn't mind them using the house."

The flowers and cards were all around the room. Mark put her on the couch, the pillows propping her up. She winced a little. She looked at Betty and Sharon and noticed they had gained a little weight since she last remembered. She raised her eyebrows at them.
"Yes, we're both pregnant. Seems like both our husbands know how to time things." Kane and Edge turned red, but they were grinning. Margaret gave them both a look as if to say "why didn't you tell me."

Kane pulled Mark aside and told him of what the police had said about her possibly being able to identify one of the attackers. This meant they could find out about her being alive. Mark had time coming to him. He asked Vince for a leave of absence. Vince said it was okay.
"Kane, you'll have to carry things in the ring for a while. There is no way I'm leaving her, not now. From what you tell me they haven't caught them yet. I'm not letting her out of my sight. I can't risk that."
"Why don't you and Margaret go to Montana, to my house. Sharon wouldn't mind. She could use the company.
"Only of the doctor says she can travel."
"Well, in the mean time, why don't you hire a couple of bodyguards to be here. But, don't make it obvious. Say they're distant relatives or something. I know of two that would be right for the job. They don't mess around."
"Who are they and where do I find them?"
"They have their own company. As they are friends of mine, they won't mind. Their names are Middi & Jim Dotson. Here's their card. Call them, for your own safety as well as hers."

Mark had no intention of letting Margaret know what he was about to do. About a week later, there appeared at the door a strange couple. Mark let them in. He went over what they were supposed to do. He put them in the guest room. Margaret had looked at them rather oddly. Mark told her Jim was a distant relative whom he hadn't seen in a while. Funny, she thought, he hadn't mentioned him before.

The bruises healed, but her ribs were still wrapped. It was going to take another 8 weeks longer. But she still couldn't talk. The doctor said it may take as long as a year. The longer the "cousins" stayed there, the longer she felt that they weren't cousins at all. She motioned Mark to tell her who they really were.
"They are really bodguards. I'm not taking any chances. I hired them to protect you in case I'm not here. They still haven't caught the attackers yet, and since you might be able to identify one of them, I can't take the chance they won't try to harm you again."
"A woman bodyguard," Margaret thought.

Ever since Margaret came home from the hospital, Mark was never very far from her. His arm was around her constantly, as though someone was going to take her from him. The doctor said she still could not travel as her ribs were taking longer than usual to heal. Sharon called everyday to see how they were and when were they going to come.
"I don't know. Her ribs haven't healed enough yet. But I still don't feel safe, even with the bodyguards around. I may just go ahead and we'll all fly up there. Have you got room for two more people?"
"I have plenty of room. Besides, the fresh air and change of atmosphere will do the both of you good. I need company to help me get through this pregnancy. See you when you get here."

Mark had been feeling guilty that her assault was somehow his fault. When she wrote on paper to ask what was troubling him, he told her.
"I feel all of this is my fault. If I hadn't been on the road so much, this would never have happened. When we married I had promised to be your fortress, to protect you." Margaret wrote back.
"You did not know this would happen. Neither did I. None of this is your fault. You always have been and always will be my fortress. I love you, and no one can take that from us, ever."

She kissed him. His arms were gently holding her. He was kissing her passionately. It had been a while for them, but they knew it was going to be a while longer.

Mark made arrangements to fly up to Montana. The bodyguards were to go with them. Mark had the maid pack their suitcases. They would be leaving the next day.

Other flight arrangements were being made, but these were not made by Mark.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Montana was a beautiful change. Being away from the hustle and bustle of Houston was just what they needed. Sharon was in her third month. Margaret was so hoping that one day she could give Mark a child, but she guessed it wasn't meant to be. Well, she would be an aunt, that was good enough for right now. Kane had gotten there the day after they arrived.

Snow was still on the ground. Margaret hadn't been around this much snow in years. She had to be careful when she walked as her ribs still had not healed yet. Every now and then she would feel a twinge of pain.

Sharon had shown them the nursery and what plans she and Kane had for the baby. They had found out it was a boy and were to be the godparents. Margaret was planning already what to get their godson.

Mark still could not get rid of the feeling that somehow it was his fault. He would talk to Kane on their many walks to the woods. They were supposed to be hunting, but actually it ended being just another walk as they usually came home empty handed. Of course, they always told the girls about how they had almost bagged a big one. Margaret knew they were telling a tall tale and just rolled her eyes and smiled.

She still could not talk so she would mouth the words so they would understand what she was trying to say. Mark still wouldn't let her out of his sight without someone being right there with her. At night he would hold her tight, but not too tight. He had almost lost her once, he didn't want to lose her again. They also were feeling those familiar pangs of intimacy. Sharon could see it in the way they looked at each other. She and Kane would leave them alone as much as possible. Middie and Jim could also see the signs. They tried to keep a respectful distance but not too far.

One day Sharon and Kane were going to do some shopping, they said they would be gone for a couple of hours. As nothing had happened so far, she felt it was safe enough for them to stay at the house by themselves, so Middie and Jim went along.

They were alone. Just the two of them. Margaret decided to take a nice hot shower. She never heard the bathroom door open. She felt something on her back. She recognized the touch and smiled. She turned around. Mark began lathering her all over, using familiar, slow massaging strokes. She was holding on to him as she was ready to collapse. Then she began doing the same, using the same slow, massaging strokes. Mark was going out of his mind.

He carried her to the bed, both of them dripping wet, kissing her gently at first, his tongue exploring the of her mouth. Then he ran his tongue down her neck, licking her with soft feathery-like strokes til he came to her breasts, licking them one at a time and gently sucking on each pink-colored tip. He felt her body writhing. He kept going lower. When he came to the center of her thighs he tasted the essence of her, not wanting to stop. Mark could feel her fingers dig in his hair and hear her irregular breathing. Then she felt him come back up. She looked up at him, seeing the fire in his eyes. She cupped his face and brought his lips to hers, kissing him with every ounce of passion that had been held back. He entered her slowly, not wanting to hurt her, taking his time. As she would return his passion stroke for stroke, he kept going deeper and deeper. Neither could hold back. He called her name at his release as she bit his shoulder. Both were breathing heavily from their passion. "I love you," he said, kissing her all the while. Though she could not say the words, her eyes told him all he needed to know. He covered them both and soon they were asleep, wrapped in each other's embrace.

Neither heard the front door open nor the footsteps coming up the stairs. Their bedroom door happened to be open. Sharon saw them sleeping. She smiled and shut the bedroom door.

It was sometime later Mark woke up, still holding her. He kissed her lips lightly. She nestled closer.
"I love you so much. You mean more to me than I could ever tell you." He lay back and closed his eyes.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Mark came downstairs the next morning. Kane didn't say a word but Mark could tell he was thinking about something.
"I didn't know you were that tired." Kane smirked.
"What do you mean?"
"Let's say you two didn't come down at all last night. In fact, I should say since yesterday afternoon."
Mark turned red. Kane laughed.
"I'm surprised you have the strength to come downstairs." Kane was smiling. It wasn't often he had his brother at a disadvantage. The two of them went out to the garage. He wanted to show Mark his new bike.

Unknown to Mark, Margaret had Sharon call the leather shop in Houston. It was arranged to have the belt delivered instead of waiting til their anniversary. When it arrived, Margaret hid it.

Towards mid-afternoon, Margaret wanted to go for a walk. She was getting cabin fever, so to speak, and just wanted to have a few minutes alone, which of course was imposssible. She wrote a note to Sharon saying she was going for a walk and in what direction she would be going. She wasn't going to go far, just a little ways.

About an hour later, Mark came in the house. He saw the note. He ran out the door in the direction Margaret had gone. For some reason, he felt there was going to be trouble.

She hadn't gone all that far when she felt a hand over her mouth. She knew it wasn't Mark. There was a smell of stale body odor, like someone hadn't bathed in a few days. Where were Middie and Jim? Then she felt a blindfold go over her eyes and found herself being led through some brush. It was about twenty minutes later she heard voices. She thought she heard a woman's voice talking to what sounded like 3 or 4 men.
"Well, well, well. So we meet again."
The blindfold was removed. She thought she was seeing things. It was Tori, and there were 4 men with her. They were dirty and smelled awful. One of the men looked familiar. It was Austin.
"It's amazing what you can hear over the phone. What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? Seems that acid you forced down her throat did what it was supposed to, Austin. Too bad she recognized you the first time. Tie her up til I can figure out what to do with her."

Mark found Jim and Middie just getting up. They were both rubbing their heads.
"What happened?"
"We were hit from behind. Last thing I can remember is a man grabbed her from behind and took her off in the brush."
Kane came then, having found the note and not finding Mark around.
"Margaret's been kidnapped!"
"How many were there?"
"I don't know. All I saw was one man grab Margaret and take her off into the brush that way." He pointed south.

Kane saw a look on Mark's face he had never seen before. It looked like evil incarnate. She had better be okay, or someone was going to die when he caught up with them.

They followed the footprints til they came to a clearing. They started to hear voices. They ducked behind some brush. One of the voices was a woman's voice that sounded all too familiar.
"That sounds like Tori. What is she doing out of jail?"
"I don't know and I don't care. If Margaret's hurt so help me..."

From the looks of the men, they were good size, but still they were not as big as Kane or Mark. They decided to wait until dark, then rush the cabin.

Just after the sun had set, they started toward the cabin. One of the guys had turned around and saw them coming. He yelled for the others. Middie made her way toward the cabin while Kane, Mark and Jim were busy with the four men. Jim took out one of the men. He had been no real match as Jim was a martial arts expert. Kane had no trouble either. He threw the man to the ground a couple of times and knocked him out. While Kane and Jim were busy, the other two were going after Mark. Mark had made short work of one of the men, but the other he recognized. He had fought Austin in the ring before. Austin had been fired because he failed to wrestle when he was supposed to. Despite the fact that Austin had not wrestled in a while, he was still in pretty good shape.

Mark and Austin traded blows, each blow more powerful than before, but Mark had kept himself in better shape. Soon his blows were wearing Austin down, but Mark didn't stop. He kept pounding and pounding on Austing, picking him up and throwing him down to the ground. He kept doing it over and over again til Austin was nothing more than a lump of flesh and blood. Still Mark didn't stop. He kept pounding and pounding, and when he wasn't pounding, he was throwing Austin to the ground. He just knew Austin had to be the one who grabbed Margaret from behind, and no one was to ever put a hand on her. Kane tried to stop Mark, but he was brushed off. Mark kept on pounding Austin with his fists. Finally Mark stopped, Austin didn't move. If he was alive it was only by the grace of God.

Middie in the mean time had entered the cabin. She saw Margaret was tied to a chair with leather straps bound so tight that her circulation was cut off. She also had bruises where Tori had been hitting her. Middie and Tori went at each other like alley cats. Middie matched her blow for blow, having trained with Jim helped her there. During the fight, a lamp was accidentally knocked over setting the cabin on fire. Middie knocked Tori to the floor. Middie tried to loosen the straps but she was unable to loosen them. The cabin by now was almost completely ablaze. There was no way Middie was going to get her out. Just then Mark and the guys burst in. Mark and Kane carried Margaret out still tied to the chair. Middie and Jim got Tori out of the cabin just in the nick of time. Jim had a pocketknife on him. He cut the straps and then used them to tie up Tori.

It took a few minutes to get the circulation going again. Mark noticed the bruises where Torri had hit her. He wanted to kill Torri himself for what she did, but Margaret mouthed she was okay. Mark picked up Margaret and kissed her, almost forgetting her ribs were still a little sore. Just then they heard sirens. It was the police.

Kane had showed Sharon the note, and fearing the worst when he didn't find Mark, had her call the police. Sharon explained the whole story to them. The police knew where to find them as the blaze from the cabin pointed out where they were.

The men were handcuffed and put in cars. Austin was a different story. Austin was so messed up it was felt he may not make it. As for Tori, she was again led away, but this time she would not be getting out for a long, long time. In all this Mark did not let Margaret go. The police took them back to the house.

Sharon had been waiting, worrying about them, wondering if they were okay. When she saw the cars coming, she breathed a sigh of relief. She saw Middie and Jim first. Then she saw Kane and ran to him. Last she saw Mark carrying Margaret, not noticing anyone there but her.

He put Margaret on the couch and looked at the bruises on her. Margaret took a hold of his hand. He finally began to calm down. Kane had seen him angry before but never like this. Margaret was mouthing to Mark she was tired but okay. It seemed everyone was tired. Each couple retired to their own rooms. It had been a hectic afternoon and evening.

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