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"This is gonna be so great!" the man insisted, a wicked gleam in his blue eyes. He grinned almost maniacally at the thought of getting his hands on her - the bitch... Finally...

"I really don't know about this, man..." Y2J Chris Jericho ran a hand over his face, not concealing the displeasure he was feeling.

"What's with you?" Christian demanded, giving his friend a look. "Are you getting soft or something? I would think you'd be happy for this opportunity - to get *physical* with Trish!" He laughed loudly, his lascivious meaning crystal-clear.

Jericho shifted his blue eyes down, a feeling of regret running through him. Damn it, he hated that he and Christian had ever made that stupid bet. And for a whole Canadian dollar, at that! And it had all led up to this ridiculous Battle of the Sexes match tonight at Armageddon - himself and Christian against Trish Stratus and Lita. It was sheer madness, and Chris didn't want to take any part in it. The *last* thing he wanted to do was hurt Trish... Sweet Trish...

While the bet had started out as very real more than a month earlier, Y2J had to admit to himself that things had changed - *he* had changed. The little blonde diva had changed him, and for what he hoped was the better. Trish had seen the real him, the *real* Chris Jericho...

...And while he hadn't planned on it, he had fallen in love with her...

Chris raised his crystal gaze back up to meet the blue eyes of his friend. Christian looked way too excited about the impending match. Damn it, if only that jackass Eric Bischoff had allowed him a word in edgewise...

"I am gonna make Lita *so* sorry for messing with me! Or maybe for *not* messing with me..."

Y2J ran his hand over his long blond hair. This whole thing just felt so wrong...

"Christian, look..."

When the other man stopped his tirade, Jericho continued.

"Just take it easy out there tonight, okay? Let's not lose our heads and forget that these are two *women* we're going to be facing tonight."

"Oh, don't worry about *that*, Chris...I am totally aware that they're women. And I won't forget it, either," the other blond man said, a smirk coming to his face.

Chris arched a brow at that, suspicion filling him. What exactly was the other man thinking?

"Look...we'd better get out there," Christian said, swatting at his chest with the back of his hand. "Our match is next..."

Y2J stood rooted to his spot for a beat as his friend headed for the door. Worry of an even deeper intensity coursed through him as he realized the inevitable had come. There would be no turning back - or *would* there?

He decided then and there that if Bischoff and Christian wouldn't listen to reason, then maybe - just *maybe* - Trish *would*.

Moments later, as he made his way to the ring, anxiety churned within him. Memories of events of the last month and a half played themselves through his mind... He and Trish... That first night, when he'd run out to the ring and rescued her from the clutches of Victoria and her boy toy Steven Richards... The three weeks after, when they'd met in the hallway while waiting for their respective matches - Chris had realized his feelings for Trish were genuine the night she'd teamed up with Jon Heidenreich. He recalled how very jealous he'd felt as he'd watched the petite blonde leave with the big man to go to the ring for their match against the psychos. And then, after their victory, Heidenreich had had the nerve to pick Trish up in his arms - as though she was *his*...

A few minutes later, and after Christian and Lita had arrived to the ring, as Trish made her way down the ramp, Chris swallowed hard - and with painful acknowledgment, he reminded himself that the diva wasn't exactly *his*, either. It broke his heart...

...Yet at the same time, he had no one to blame but himself. He had fucked up big time, and he hated himself for hurting Trish so badly.

Chris blinked as he kept his gaze on the petite blonde. She looked so beautiful in her gold and black outfit, her long hair in a slight bodywave.

Shit... He wanted to hold her, kiss her - not *fight* her!

Then, as she entered the ring, as she'd evidently decided to start the match for her team, Chris took a step toward her. He doubted she would be in any mood to listen to him after what he'd done but maybe she'd listen to reason...




Part 2

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