Author's notes – Wow…more than a year since I updated this fic. Sorry about that. I guess I just lost my muse for it, but it's back it seems so joy! I should have a few more chapters and then this one will be done, so bare with me folks!

I would like to thank everyone who has reviewed this fic…however long ago it was. I thank you all and hope you'll continue to review! And to everyone else out there…please review, really, I do thrive on feedback!

Disclaimer – I own nothing that is recognized in this fic and it is in no way real. This is fiction (meaning not real) and was written for my own, odd pleasure. Please do not sue me, you really wouldn't get much.

Swallowed Pride

Chris paced in front of the locker room door he was about to knock on unable to believe what he was about to do. He had to be crazy for even considering this but Chris knew what had to be done, even if it killed him in the process. Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door and then seriously thought about running away when the door opened only to be slammed shut again. Sighing loudly Chris knocked again.

"Come on Paul, I need to talk to you," Chris said through the door. After a moment it opened again.

"I seriously doubt there is anything you have to say that I would want to hear." Paul glared at the blonde man a moment before attempting to shut the door again only to be stopped by Chris' foot.

"That's where you're wrong, what I have to say is very important and you need to hear it."

"I'd move my foot if I were you," Paul grumbled before slamming the door on Chris' foot.

"Ow! Damn it Paul!" Chris jumped back in pain as Paul shut the door. Chris hopped back to the door and started to pound on it. "Paul just hear me out it's important! It's about Stephanie…" The door quickly opened again and Paul motioned for Chris to come in. Chris hopped into Paul's locker room and sat down on the plush couch and looked at his foot.

"What's this all about Irvine?" Paul demanded.

"You know I think you broke my foot. Do you have any ice in here?" Chris looked around the spacious room before lifting his leg at Paul. "Does this look swollen to you?"

"Damn it Chris you said you needed to tell me something important about Stephanie." Paul slapped Chris' foot down and couldn't help but smile as he winced in pain.

"Right to the point, okay, I'll tell you." Chris took a deep breath before continuing. "I have reason to believe that Stephanie is still very much in love with you."

"Really, and what makes you say that?" Paul said not believing the other man's story yet.

"Well she told me, kind of." Chris started. "See when I left her in bed last night…"

"You what? So help me Chris if you did anything to her I'll kill you." Paul looked as though he were about to choke the life out of Chris when he realized how badly he worded his statement.

"I didn't mean it like that man! It came out wrong! I wouldn't think of doing that with Stephanie…well, maybe under different circumstances I would but not now I swear!" Chris had his hands up in front of him in a defensive position as Paul seriously contemplated punching him.

"Okay, go on," Paul said lowering his fist. Chris sighed in relief and took a breath before restarting his story again.

"Last night Stephanie was a little upset with that little stunt you pulled in the ring and when we went out later she had a few drinks so I took her up to her room to make sure she'd be okay. When she was settled in bed I went to leave and she said 'I love you Paul.'" Chris looked at the taller man to see his reaction.

"Is that all?" Paul asked. "She said she loved me when she was drunk and half asleep."

"Paul, some people get more honest when they drink and she really didn't have that much." Chris explained. "Besides, there are other ways I can tell she still loves you."

"Like what?"

"Like the fact that every time we go out she's constantly looking around, like she's expecting you to come out of nowhere and beat the hell out of me for even looking at her. She's always talking about you. She misses you."

"If she loves me and misses me then why won't she just come back to me?" Paul asked.

"It's not that easy," Chris sighed. "She thinks you still don't understand why she left in the first place. If she comes back to you, what will have changed?" Chris looked at Paul who was looking at him with a nearly clueless expression. "You still don't understand why she left do you?"

"I guess not really," Paul sighed, "I thought we were happy."

"Stephanie thinks you don't appreciate her and that you take her for granted. Do you even know what day it was that she left you?" Chris asked.

"It was a Monday about three weeks ago," Paul said as Chris pulled out his cell phone and went back through the calendar to the day Stephanie left Paul.

"What day is that?"

"February 14th."

"Does that day possibly mean anything special?" Chris said rolling his eyes. "Valentine's Day you idiot."

"Oh come on, that's just a stupid Hallmark holiday," Paul groaned.

"To you yes, to Stephanie it meant so much more."

"But that's just one day."

"One day yeah, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back." Chris explained.

"So what do I do? Show up on one of your dates and beat the hell out of you?" Paul suggested.

"No, I have a better idea," Chris said with a smile, "but you'd have to trust me."