The Undertaker regained his strength in half the time the average man would have. All through his recovery, the young woman was there for him as he had been for her, giving care and succor. The subject had never arisen again of her leaving. The Undertaker felt she was where she should be, as did she.
Many times that same long black car would pull up outside, inquiring as to whether the Undertaker was able to do battle once again. Always, the young woman would crack the door ever so slightly and bid them go away. The Undertaker needed time to recover. Never did she let herself be seen by the car's occupant, who never ventured very close to the dark foreboding house. Instead she chose to stay hidden by the door. Until the Undertaker was well to stand by her she did not wish to encounter anyone.
Finally the day came when the girl was surprised by the presence of the Undertaker next to her at the door. She had never heard him move near. He grabbed the door above her and opened it further to stand within it facing the sole occupant of the car. The girl quickly jumped behind the door. Undertaker lowered his hand from the door, without looking, found hers and squeezed it reassuringly.
"I will be ready by the next match." He told the driver, who nodded and jumped back into the car, which couldn't seem to move fast enough pulling away, spinning the tires.
The young woman looked beseechingly into the Undertaker's eyes after he closed the door. Still holding onto her hand, the Undertaker placed his other palm against her cheek.
"I will be fine," he said softly. She feared he would not. The angry bruise by his rib cage said otherwise, but she would never argue against him.
For the rest of the week the Undertaker worked relentlessly, using the huge stone slabs, which served as weights, restoring the strength to his muscles.
The young woman was a bit saddened by this and though he assured her he would be fine and that never again would they be able to take him by surprise as before, she still feared for him. She remembered all too well how badly he had been injured before. She had even asked if she could accompany him, but the only answer she received from him was a stolid stare.
The Undertaker, on hearing her request, felt an odd fear well up inside of him. He did not answer her because he was torn for the right answer. He feared if he said no that she would think he meant to imprison her here with him, which could not have been farther from the truth. While he did not wish her to leave, he did not want her to think she could not.
On the other hand, if he said yes, he faced two fears. One, that the vile creature who imprisoned and tortured her before had not expired and was still slinking about. The second was that she would see him when he was filled with the blood rage of battle, out of control. Undertaker was unsure of which he feared worse.
When the day finally arrived and the car pulled up outside, the Undertaker sighed, then acted on instinct. He bade the girl come with him. Smiling, she grabbed the hooded cape she had fashioned out of some cloth the Undertaker used for lining the coffins he made. In the time during his recovery, she had made herself a pair of soft leather boots from some scraps she found in a trunk and refashioned his shirt she wore into a dress, which now came to, above her knees. She also made a leather belt. All of this was in hopes of accompanying her large savior on one of his outings.
As they walked to the long black limo, Undertaker prayed he was not making a mistake. When the driver of the car looked questioningly at her, the Undertaker simply said, "She goes with me." From then on the ride was a silent one with the Undertaker holding onto the young woman's hand, toying idly with her fingertips. His mind seemed to be in some far off place and the young woman instinctively knew not to disturb him.
When they arrived at their destination, which the girl saw was a large arena; Undertaker led her to a dressing room through a crowd of onlookers clad in many colorful tights and robes. Once in the dressing room, Undertaker explained to her how he would be called for his particular match and bade her please stay within this room.
"I have heard rumors that that vile creature the Voo Doo King has been lurking about once again. It seems I did not destroy him after all." He said with a sigh. He took her cheeks in his palms, turning her face so she looked into his eyes, "I could not bear it if he regained control of you. You may watch the matches on this monitor. Please - say you will do as I ask."
"I will," she quickly agreed. The young woman was just happy to be allowed to accompany him this far and being privy, finally, to his occasional nocturnal activities.
Soon there was a knock at the door. It was time. He turned with one last look at her before he left.
"I will stay." She assured him. He inclined his head slightly, then went out without another word.
The girl sat in anticipation of what she was about to see. She heard the announcer call out "The Undertaker" and swelled with pride at the cheers, which accompanied his entrance into the ring.
She watched in awe, the match between her Undertaker and a young man with long blond hair who seemed to get the upper hand first. The Undertaker soon rallied and the young woman was amazed at the swift agileness of her large friend. She watched with mouth agape, as he would seem to fly through the air and bring his opponent down with what the announcer called a flying clothesline. She admired his agility as he twisted the arm of his opponent, then climbed to the top rope of the ring and walked it with perfect balance.
Just as the Undertaker had his opponent immobile, ready for the pin, the young woman saw another enter the ring with a chair, raising it far above his head. The girl drew in her breath, but the Undertaker seemed prepared for this new aggressor. He left the still form on the mat, reached out his hand claw fashion and grabbed the throat of this new opponent before the chair ever reached its mark.
The Undertaker lifted the struggling, choking form high above him with one arm. Another came at him from the other side but met with the same opposition. He discarded them both like so much rubbish.
The young woman's eyes widened. Instinctively she knew something had gone terribly wrong. She distantly heard an announcer yelling over the speakers.
"He's killing them! He's killing them!" He said excitedly. "Without the control of Paul Bearer, The Undertaker seems to have gone mad! Oh my God - is there no way to stop him? - He's killing everyone!"
The girl was instantly on her feet and out the door. She followed the sound of the melee within the arena. No one stopped her; all were too occupied with the Undertaker's frenzy. When she reached ringside, the sight that met her would have turned most women away. Seemingly lifeless forms lay strewn about the mat in odd broken positions. She saw the Undertaker holding a small man high above him, shaking him like a rag doll. Somehow she knew he could not stop himself. He was in a blood rage.
Others entered the ring attempting to subdue the Undertaker, but to no avail. The girl took a deep breath and rushed into the ring.
"Oh my God - What is that woman doing in there?" She heard the announcer's voice echoing through the speakers.
"Hey, I'll bet that's the woman everyone said they saw arrive with the Undertaker." Another said.
"I doubt that matters," screamed the first, "she needs to get out of there!"
By that time she had reached The Undertaker. From behind, she grabbed his arm. - She knew, somehow, she had to stop his madness.
Undertaker swiftly dropped his last victim and before she could speak, clasped his hand tightly around her throat, lifting her high above his head. The girl pulled at his fingers trying to loosen them enough so she could speak. If only he could hear her voice, maybe she could break the spell. The arena grew silent, all one intake of breath.
"Undertaker," the young woman rasped, "Undertaker - please - Stop." He wavered a bit; the hold seemed to loosen slightly. "Undertaker - I love you."
Something stirred in the Undertaker's mind. He began to tremble; his vision still hazed with the blood rage. A hint of recognition, the Undertaker's grip released as he quickly put a supporting hand under her arm. The young woman placed her arms about his neck as he slowly lowered her to the floor of the ring, sliding her body against his full length.
As she reached the mat, she stepped back and slid her hand down his arm, stopping as his fingertips reached her palm. She closed her hands around his.
"It's OK," she assured him. She felt him tremble with the last vestiges of the rage. His vision seemed barely focused. His chest rose and fell massively and the sound emitting from his throat was almost a growl. "It's OK." She repeated. "Come," she beckoned slowly leading him to the ring's edge.
The announcer finally broke the silence. "Who would have believed it! Ladies and gentlemen, I sure wouldn't have. - The beauty has tamed the beast."
The girl shut out all other sounds, gaze locked with the Undertaker's, as she led him from the arena. She feared if that gaze was broken, he would go wild again. Neither was aware of the beady eyes watching their departure with interest.
The young woman led the Undertaker to the dressing room, retrieved their cloaks, then after assuring herself one was available, led him to a waiting car. The ride home was once again a silent one. While he never let go of her hand, his other lay palm up in his lap in a claw like fashion. He starred at it, deep in thought. The girl was a bit frightened, -- not of him, -- but for him.
Once inside the house, the young woman led him to a chair, where he sat while she went to the counter and poured him a cooling glass of water. She brought it to him, -- he took it, -- then sat it straight on the table, untouched. He looked down at both of his upturned hands.
"You saw what I become," He said finally. "You saw the monster, -- I cannot stop myself." The girl swore she saw a real tear on his cheek. "You saw, -- and yet you could say," he swallowed hard, "you could say what you said to me?" He still did not look at her.
"Yes," she replied firmly. She got on her knees in front of him, closing the fingers of both their hands around one another. "Yes - because it is true."
"I - I could have killed you," He said emotionally, this time looking into her eyes.
"But you did not," she said, "and I know you would not - because it is true - and nothing you can ever do will change that. I do love you." She repeated softly.
In answer he stood, lifting her from the floor, scooping her into his mammoth arms and rewarded her with a full mouth kiss. That night they shared his bed once more, but this time it was not to sleep.
As the weeks passed the young woman reveled in the Undertaker's company. She loved accompanying him to his matches; always there at ringside; always ready to intervene when his rage got the better of him. (On those particular nights, the young woman sometimes would hold back any interference, sensing the growing energy within the Undertaker as his blood rage took hold. She had discovered the deeper his rage - the more intense their love was on returning home.)
On this particular night of a match, Undertaker bade the young woman stay home. She was in the middle of a full-fledged cold and feeling quite miserable. After much assurance from him that all would go well - his opponent was not one of great challenge - it would not hurt for her to miss one match - she reluctantly agreed. Besides, he told her, he would spend too much time worrying about her at ringside to concentrate on his match.
So as the car pulled up to take him away, Undertaker turned to the young woman with an upraised warning finger and an admonition to stay warm; stay in bed and get some rest. He kissed her gently on the forehead, then went off to his match. As he closed the door of the limo an uneasy feeling crept into the pit of his stomach. - Did he see something move in the bushes by the house?
Undertaker gave a wry grin and shook his head, chagrinned. What strange feelings this thing called love gave one. He knew it was just his anxiety at his first separation from the young woman since their acknowledgement of their feelings for one another.
The young woman drifted off into a sound, well-needed sleep to the drone of the limo's engine as it carried her Undertaker away. So sound was her sleep that she never heard the door open nor detected the creature who stealthily crept to her bedside. When a cloth was placed firmly over her nose and mouth, only then did she awaken to a foul smell that permeated even her clogged sinuses. With fading ether tainted vision she found a face she had hoped never to see again.
Undertaker entered the arena as his entrance music began. All evening in his dressing room he was hard pressed to shake the uneasiness which stayed with him from the time he left the young woman at home. He knew he must put that aside if he were to have a successful match. Opponents were quick to tell if another were not one hundred percent in the ring and would use that to their advantage.
He stood in the ring awaiting his opponent. The man's entrance music began and the spotlights turned to the entrance for his appearance. It seemed to go on for quite a while with no sight of the man. Then the music stopped abruptly.
"Undertaker," a voice rang out across the speakers. The arena grew hushed. Undertaker went rigid. He recognized that voice even before its owner chose to show himself. "Undertaker," the man called out again, this time revealing himself. - It was the Voo Doo King. "Your opponent is - unavailable." He continued with an evil chuckle. "Instead, I propose a special match - you and I." Undertaker raised his head and glared disdainfully at him. "A match with a special prize." He seemed to draw this last out.
Voo Doo King motioned behind the entrance. The sight that met the Undertaker's eyes made his heart sink. Two of the Voo Doo King's henchmen came into view. Between them they drug the young woman, shackles on her wrists and ankles, a gag in her mouth. She struggled valiantly. As she reached the side of the Voo Doo King, she managed to get a good kick in at him before the ankle shackles caused her to loose her balance and fall to the floor. On the floor she managed to use her hands to pull the gag away.
"Taker!" she screamed as the Voo Doo King pulled her up by her hair.
The Undertaker started for the ropes. He wanted to tear the vile creature apart. Voo Doo King raised a cautioning hand.
"If you come at me now - she dies now." The Voo Doo King motioned his henchmen who drew her head back by the hair and placed a knife at her throat. A low rumble emitted from the Undertaker's throat.
The referee placed a cautioning hand on the Undertaker's chest. While he held a deep-seated fear of the Undertaker, he also held great respect for him and understood his turmoil. "He'll do it Taker. - You know he will." He cautioned.
"What say you?" Voo Doo King rang out his challenge. "In there - now. - You win - she lives. You loose," - for a finish he made a slashing motion across his throat.
The Look in the Undertaker's eyes was unmistakable. You could almost see the red haze growing there. For an answer, he stepped back a few paces, inclined his head and with a broad sweep of his arm he motioned the Voo Doo King into the squared circle.
The Voo Doo King leered evilly as he made his way to the ring. He motioned for the girl to be brought along. He wanted her on the edge of the mat so Undertaker would be distracted by her torment. He knew he could not defeat the man from the darkside with his skill alone.
Undertaker was ready for him. No sooner had the man entered the ring did the Undertaker's arm shoot out, clenching his hand about the Voo Doo King's throat. He raised him high, then brought him down with a choke slam.
The Voo Doo King was back up in an instant and circled the Undertaker, causing him to turn so that the girl was in his line of vision. Whenever he looked in her direction, the henchmen would clout her about the head or shake her violently as were their instructions. The Voo Doo King used this to his advantage, catching the Undertaker off guard, -- striking a blow, which knocked the Undertaker off his feet.
"Undertaker - No!" He heard the girl call out to him. Her voice seemed to give him renewed strength.
With a lightning swiftness, the Undertaker was on his feet and in a continuation of the movement, grabbed the Voo Doo King by the throat once again. This time he held him high above his head, clenching his fingers around that vile throat. The Voo Doo King made a gargled choking noise.
The henchmen saw their master's struggle and also saw his strength fade. One of them grabbed the gag, which had now fallen about the girl's throat, and began twisting it tightly. The Undertaker's back was to them. They knew they had to get his attention. With one final twist the henchman felt the girl go limp.
"Undertaker," he called out, holding the girl with both hands above his head. As the Undertaker turned in their direction, still clutching the Voo Doo King, the henchman threw the limp form of the young woman into the ring. She hit the mat with a terrible thud, then lay motionless.
The Undertaker dropped the Voo Doo King and ran to the young woman. He fell to his knees beside her, raising her limp body to him. "NO!" He cried out in heart wrenching wail. His head dropped against her. His shoulders shook spasmodically.
The Voo Doo King regained some of his strength. One of his henchmen had slid his staff to him. The Voo Doo King got to his feet, then rushed toward the Undertaker, staff raised over his head.
Before he could connect however, the Undertaker's arm shot up and once again had the creature by the throat. Without looking at him, the Undertaker lay the young woman gently back on the mat, and placed a loving kiss to her still lips. As he turned to the Voo Doo King, slowly raising to his feet, the referee saw in the undertaker's eyes a far deeper blood rage than he had ever seen there before. He knew there would be no stopping him. Nor did he wish to. He knew the Undertaker would destroy the Voo Doo King and all who followed him, finally ridding the wrestling world of this horrid creature. It was what would come after that the ref feared, for he knew the Undertaker would not stop there but take out all in his path, be they guilty or innocent. There was but one chance. The referee saw something the Undertaker had not. With the Undertaker's kiss, the girl's chest rose ever so slightly, drawing in a breath. The choking gag had fallen limp, allowing air to her once again.
The Undertaker had slammed the Voo Doo King to the mat several times. Finally, with a snap that was heard throughout the arena, the Undertaker broke the Voo Doo King's neck. He then turned his attention to the henchmen who had been frozen with fear, immobile on the edge of the mat. Before they could react, Taker snatched them both high into the air.
The referee slipped behind the Undertaker's back and dropped to the side of the prone girl. He shook her gently, -- noted a slight movement, -- then shook her again. Her eyes opened.
"Call to him," the ref urged her. "Quickly, before it's too late."
The young woman's head swam but she understood what she must do. With assistance from the referee, she raised to one elbow. "Undertaker," she said but her voice was but a whisper.
The ref knew the Undertaker would never hear her. He looked toward the announcers sitting at ringside and motioned to them for a microphone. This little man, they thought was either very brave or very stupid. One announcer edged his way to ringside, ever keeping his eyes on the Undertaker.
The referee saw the announcer slide the microphone across the mat. It fell just short of him and the girl. Gently releasing support of the young woman he crawled toward the microphone. He sensed a movement, then saw the henchmen, first one, then the other, their limp broken bodies fly past him. He must act quickly. Just as he lay his hand on the microphone, he felt a vise like grip on one of his ankles. Suddenly he was whisked into the air. On his way up he threw the microphone toward the young woman.
The Undertaker grabbed the referee by the ankle and held him aloft. In his rage, all he could think of was to kill. His love was gone. All must pay.
The crowd roared with excitement. The Undertaker did not realize they were trying to tell him something.
The young woman weakly grabbed the microphone. Instinctively the crowd grew quiet. They knew the Undertaker must hear her. A very soft, weak voice came across the speakers.
"Taker," the voice was a little stronger this time. "Taker - stop," the young woman bade. "Taker - I live - for you."
The Undertaker turned toward the girl. She dropped the microphone, still propped on one elbow, and reached out to him with upraised palm The Undertaker unceremoniously dropped the ref and covered the distance between him and the young woman in two massive strides. A few feet from her he dropped to his knees and slid to her side, scooping her to him in his powerful arms. The young woman felt the last vestiges of his blood rage leave him as he shuddered against her. They touched foreheads; both openly showing tears streaming down their faces.
"I cannot lose you," the Undertaker told her, voice raspy with emotion.
"Never," she whispered to him. She placed her arms about his neck and pressed her head against his broad shoulder.
The Undertaker stood, lifting her with him and without a backward glance, carried her from the arena to his waiting limo.
As focus slowly returned to the girl's eyesight she immediately recognized her surroundings. She found it very reminiscent of the first day she opened her eyes here - same room - sink - table - stove - but a difference. Only one bed now - one which they share together. Now she found herself safely enfolded in his mammoth embracing arms, her head resting on his massive chest. She felt great comfort in the sound of his strong heartbeat.
The young woman could tell by the steady rise and fall of his chest that the Undertaker slept. She remained still, perhaps burrowing a little deeper in his arms. She felt more secure there than she ever had anywhere in her life. Her brother could have their entire inheritance and any other riches he could procure, if that is what truly made him happy. She had no need for any of that. She found her true happiness right here, entwined within the Undertaker's embrace.
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