Chapter 5

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It's casual, Seth had reasoned. We're casual. It'll work. It hadn't stopped him from second-guessing the text with every heartbeat until Becky replied. Maybe the picture was too much?

Kevin misses me, huh? read her reply, along with an eye-rolling emoji, and it made Seth breathe a sigh of relief. Given his history with leaked photos, he wouldn't have blamed Becky if she hadn't wanted to open the message, but hopefully she knew he was smarter now. Whenever they hooked up, there was a strict no-pictures policy. Seth had to laugh at that: It was possibly the only rule they had set that they hadn't broken yet, and he didn't see that changing any time soon. As much as he would have loved to have some sexy pictures of Becky, he knew that was something that could end up ruining both their careers.

A cute picture of his dog looking forlorn, however, seemed to be safe enough. He does, Seth replied. He'd be super happy if you visited this weekend. He had wanted to ask her in person, but for some reason, both of them were in high demand that Monday night. They hadn't even been able to sneak off for their regular quickie, and it was putting him on edge.

A minute went by, then two. He was almost starting to worry when his phone chimed. I'm still here. Just trying to think of an answer that doesn't sound like a euphemism. Hearing it in her voice, picturing her expression, Seth laughed so loud at Becky's reply that it startled the camera crew setting up for his promo. After murmuring a quick apology, he glanced back down at his phone to see her next text. Fri-Sat I can do, but I have an interview on Sunday that I can't reschedule.

Seth nodded to himself. WWE's schedule hadn't brought them back to California in weeks, and they weren't scheduled to be in Iowa again until the end of the year, so they had been settling for the arena quickies and a few hotel hook-ups, although nearly being discovered by Roman had made them too cautious to push their luck too far. He missed the hours-long sessions, the laughter in between, the meals shared sitting naked on the floor. In the most inexplicable way, he missed her.

He hadn't wanted to say that, though, especially not in a text that could be easily hacked or copied. Enter the cute picture of his Yorkie, Kevin. Pugs were Becky's favourite, but she adored Kevin too and Seth would swear that the little dog actually missed her. Every time Seth came home alone, Kevin looked at the door expectantly, waiting for Becky to follow; when he realized that she wasn't there, Kevin would curl into a ball on her favourite spot and huff out a sigh. Let me know your flight info and I'll pick you up, he replied. When a cameraman signalled him to get in place for his promo, he sent Becky a boxing glove emoji—their quick symbol that meant they wouldn't be able to reply for a while. "Sorry, guys," Seth said, jamming his phone in his pocket. "Where do you need me?"

Just knowing he'd get to spend at least part of the weekend with Becky made the rest of his week better, even if he did have the nagging sense that he was forgetting something. It haunted him all the way to the airport on Friday afternoon, where he wore a baseball cap and sunglasses to try going incognito. When he spotted Becky wearing much the same, he smiled to himself. "Thanks for coming to get me." He had to do a double take because she was using an American accent that was nearly flawless, and she had brushed a quick kiss across his cheek before adjusting her knapsack on her back. "So where did you park?"

"Um. My regular." Seth grabbed her other bag and she let him, and he wasn't surprised that it was a small suitcase she could stow as a carry-on. She liked to make her airport experiences as short as possible, and it wasn't exactly as if a night out on the town was in their plans; for their regular fare, they didn't need much in the way of clothes at all. "Thanks for coming."

"Well, you know. Anything for Kevin," Becky replied with a grin. The mirrored lenses of her sunglasses reflected his slightly dazed expression back at him.

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