Chapter 6

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Normal got a bad rap, as far as Becky was concerned. Adventure was great and all, but life on the road gave her a greater appreciation for the so-called simple things, like a cozy home and sleeping in her own bed. She tried not to take them for granted, and she figured that was part of the problem she had with what she and Seth had agreed on. Sex was part of an ordinary romantic relationship for her, but so were a million other little things, and having the sex without everything else was throwing her off balance. She still wanted Seth and she still wanted the sex—very enthusiastically so—but she wanted all the other regular things that most relationships had as well. She wanted to surprise him with—or be surprised by—fresh coffee upon waking. She wanted the simple, silly joy of walking into her favourite cafe and spot him waiting for her, his face lighting up as soon as she came in. She wanted to find out how he would irritate her, what their disagreements would be like, how they would make up and move forward. There were some things she knew just by virtue of being his friend—favourite foods, pet peeves, those sorts of things—but they just reinforced all the other things she wanted to be part of.

Her father had told her once that a good relationship was like an artist's palette. Every colour needed to have a spot, but you also had to know how to blend them. She didn't want her relationship with Seth to be sex on one side and friendship on the other with an unfathomable chasm between. She'd rather have everything blend and bleed together into one beautiful, baffling mess. After the weekend at Seth's, now she had hope that he wanted the same, or at least something similar. Was it enough to be on the same page? Becky wasn't sure, and now she couldn't even find Seth to ask him how he felt.

Backstage action was conspiring to keep them apart. Their interviews were scheduled just close enough that there was barely enough time to murmur a greeting as they passed behind the cameras. Their matches were back to back. Either the universe was working against her or someone at head office had figured out what was going on and had decided to bring it to a crashing halt. So after pacing and thinking and fretting, she decided there was only one course of action: she was going to ask him out on a date.

The idea was laughable. They had known each other for over half a decade. They'd had sex more often in a few months than she had with some partners she had dated for years. Going on a date seemed like it would be a regression, but maybe they had to go back to move forward. As long as it doesn't mean giving up EVERYTHING, Becky thought, wringing her hands together as she kept up her search. Whenever doubts crept in, she pinched herself. He can't be the one making ALL the moves. From their first hook-up at his house, he had instigated most of the big moves in their relationship. Now it was her turn.

Eventually she caved and approached Roman, who was taping up his wrists in preparation for his upcoming match. "Hey. Have you seen Seth lately? I need to talk with him."

"Thought I saw him in Catering," Roman said, giving her a quick hug as he straightened up. "What's up? You look . . . conflicted. Anything I can help with?"

Becky shook her head. As much as she would have loved to get some advice or even just have someone to confide in, Seth deserved to hear it all first. Besides, if he turns me down, then no one else knows, she thought darkly. "No. But thanks. Have a good match." After patting his shoulder, she headed towards Catering, hoping the scents of reheated food and stale coffee wouldn't turn her stomach against her.

Her heart soared at the same time her stomach plummeted, making her core feel alarmingly empty. Hardly anyone else was in the room; Seth was sitting by the coffee urns, looking content—and gorgeous, of course. And sitting across from him was Samoa Joe. Do it, she ordered herself. She hadn't wanted or planned for an audience, but now she thought it might not be a bad idea. If nothing else, it would prove that she was serious, and if someone had to be present, she was glad it was Joe; for all his menace, he had one of the most unshakable moral codes she'd ever witnessed. If they asked Joe not to say anything, he wouldn't, end of story.

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