A/N: Here of course is yet another story I haven't updated in ages and ages, but I had this chapter laying around and decided to update. Hope it meets with the approval of you guys. And thanks to Crimson Coin, Sierra-Raine, DreamingCowgirl, jennybenny, Prime Time, Legend Champion, Jennifer, ImissTrishStratus, CM Punk's sXe Diva and XtreMePeroXwhygeN for the reviews thus far. You guys rock! ;)
The morning came mercilessly, it seemed to Chris. He awoke feeling an odd combination of horror, disgust, contentment and warmth all at the same time - horror and disgust at the memory and knowledge of what Christian had done to Lita and what he'd dreamt he had done to Trish - and contentment and warmth due to the little blonde who lay still asleep in his arms.
God damn it... Would the feelings stop plaguing him? Ever? He knew Edge had to be feeling even worse... After all, it was his brother who had committed such dasturdly deeds. The slimy, creepy little bastard had to be put in his place - not to mention in prison, where he belonged! Jericho thought he would be damned if he allowed it to happen a second time. And he would sooner die than allow Christian to choose himself another victim in Trish Stratus.
He stiffened at his own thoughts, reluctantly releasing the tiny blonde but feeling he had no choice. He had sit up - he was too tense to lie down now.
Trish stirred and came awake, rubbing at her eyes and yawning sleepily. She blinked and peered up at the man she loved, her head cocking to one side.
"I have to do something, Trish... Edge and I..."
She nodded as she thought she had an idea of what he was talking about. God, how restless he'd been in his sleep for hours the previous night. He'd been positively tormented.
"... We have to stop him." He turned his crystal blue eyes toward her, fixing them to her brown orbs with an intensity that touched her heart.
Trish sucked in a breath, fear coursing through her. Christian was still out there, of course. Edge had tried to confront him last night, but he'd gotten beaten up instead - and then Christian had run off. He was still at large. It chilled her to the bone just thinking about it after the way he'd so brutally and callously attacked Lita. For goodness sake, he'd recently claimed - although it had all been an act - to actually care about the redhead!
"Come on," Chris said, penetrating her thoughts, pushing back the blanket and getting out of the bed. There was a glint, a definite purpose in his blue eyes. "Let's shower and get out of here and back to Edge and Lita."
The little blonde nodded wordlessly and left the bed as well.
Lita opened her eyes reluctantly, but with much effort. She didn't feel rested at all, but how could she after what had happened to her? Her body was wracked with pain, her head no exception.
Initially, her vision swam but then cleared and she saw his face... He was gazing directly into her own with such concern and tenderness in his emerald eyes, she almost cried out.
Edge was awake, his face so near hers. His breath was warm against her face, his arms wrapped around her as she'd slept... And she felt so safe with him - so very safe.
"Lita..." he breathed. "... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"No," she protested, "you didn't." She lowered her gaze for a beat, then raised it and met his eyes again. "Th-thank you."
The blond man arched a brow in confusion.
"What are you thanking me for?"
Lita nearly winced as she kept her steady and unwavering gaze on his brilliant green eyes. She raised a hand to his cheek in spite of the horrible things she'd been subjected to the previous night.
"For being here," she said softly. "For making me feel so safe... for... for trying to protect me."
Her final five words echoed in the tall blond man's head.
'For trying to protect me...'
He felt like crap. He shouldn't have merely tried, he should have succeeded. He blinked with emotion as he gazed into her hazel eyes, fully aware of her small hand still on his cheek and, crazily, inappropriately, considering the circumstances, felt his lips being drawn to hers. They were mere inches away when a sudden knocking on the hotel room door startled them both.
Edge bolted up while the redhead scooted slightly away to the opposite side of the bed. He made his way to the door, his breathing slightly heavy.
"Who is it?"
"Edge, it's us," Jericho called from out in the hall.
The tall Canadian cast a lingering glance at Lita from over his shoulder as he unlocked the door to let their friends in. The redhead met his gaze instantly, emotion clearly written on her face.