bed of lies

Disclaimer: Lyrics by the wonderfully multi-talented Rob Thomas of matchbox twenty, and Matt Serletic. I seem to be addicted to songfics at the moment. And mb20 seem to have plenty of angsty lyrics that fit well into everything. Pretty good, huh?

Dedication: Who else but Gorgeous B? This is for her finally coming around to the whole Steph/Jericho thing!

bed of lies

no I would not sleep in this bed of lies
so toss me out and turn in
and there'll be no rest for these tired eyes
I'm marking it down to learning
I am

This isn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last. But before I close the door behind me, I can't help but look back at her. She has stayed on her side of the bed, with her back to me and the covers pulled high against her chest. Even though I can't see her face, I know that she's not sleeping. She's probably thinking about him. Again.

With sudden anger and bitterness, I look away and slam the door close. It's hard to believe that it's come down to this. It took us years to finally realise that maybe us having gotten married wasn't because of our need for power and revenge, that it was fate. That we were meant to be together. And for the longest time we both truly believed that, and we were happy. We were a family.

On the way to the guest room I stop by our twins' bedrooms, feeling bad about the sudden noise. I hope I didn't wake them. Their doors are partially open, and all I need to do is push it in a few inches to check up on them. Thankfully, they are still fast asleep. Alexis Caitlyn Helmsley and Cade Michael Helmsley. The day they were born was the happiest day in our lives, and for me it will always be special. Not just because we were finally a family, but it was the day I fell in love with my wife. That was five years ago. Five years of absolute, true happiness.

And then he came back.

don't think that I can take another empty moment
don't think that I can fake another hollow smile
it's not enough just to be sorry
don't think that I could take another talk about it

The past five years have been absolutely wonderful for me, and I truly was happy. I never thought I could experience such happiness, but I did. The birth of our twins was the catalyst for our somewhat quiescent marriage, and for that I will always be thankful. Before our children arrived, I had always cared deeply about him. But then I had our twins. Together, if we could produce something so beautiful and amazing, then maybe we were meant to be. Holding our children in my arms for the first time, I had looked up at my husband and fell in love.

Two months ago, he came back. I had thought I was over him, although I knew that he would always hold a special place in my heart. But I was wrong. His return had shocked me. I had never expected to see him again. I recall moments during the past five years when I didn't even want to see him again. For the first time I can remember I was truly happy, and for the longest time I didn't even think about him.

But he did come back, and suddenly my happy family was slowly crumbling. I was surprised at how quickly it all happened. It hurts knowing that it's my fault. But what hurts the most is the knowledge that this is hurting my husband. Every now and then Alex and Cade would come up to me and ask, 'Why is Daddy so sad?'. I never know what to tell them. I would force a smile and say something along the lines of, 'Daddy isn't having a very good day, honey' and hope that they would be satisfied with that. Most of the time they aren't. The past two months have been hard. Suddenly, it seemed as if we were just playing family.

just like me you got needs
and they're only a whisper away
and we softly surrender
to these lives that we've tendered away

All she needs to do is say the word, and I would gladly return to her arms. But she isn't saying anything. I wonder if she'll ever say it. She says that she's over him, and that she has been for the longest time. She says that she loves me now, and that nothing will ever happen with him. I want to believe her. For the most part I do, but there's this little part of me that just can't let go of what happened in the past.

Lying on the guest bed in the dark, I can't help but turn my head towards our bedroom, towards her. With her, I can't help a lot of things. I can't help but picture her smiling face, I can't help but remember the sound of her voice, I can't help but ache for her touch. I can't help but love her.

And I can't help but think back to when everything started with him

'What the hell is going on?'

Stephanie and Jericho pulled away from each other so fast that he stumbled and fell heavily on his ass.

'Hunter!' Stephanie cried out, suddenly very pale.

He had come home early after suddenly deciding that he didn't want to be spending his long weekend talking business when he could be spending some quality time with his wife. And what did he come home to? His wife in the arms of another man, in his very own home. He wasn't in love with her, but he was extremely hurt.

'Guess you didn't expect me?' Hunter asked coldly, staring at Stephanie.

'Please, you don't understand! It's-'

'Understand what? You're having an affair, Steph! What's not to understand? We are meant to be married, or had you forgotten?'

Suddenly she was angry. 'I wasn't the one who forgot, Hunter! It was you! All you care about is her!'

Hunter narrowed his eyes at her. 'This isn't about me!'

'The hell it isn't! Everything has always been about you, otherwise you would have noticed something a lot sooner!'

Hunter had never hit a woman in his life before, but he had never wanted to hit anyone as much as he wanted to hit Stephanie right now. He took a step towards her, his hands curling into fists.

Jericho must have sensed his thoughts as he quickly scrambled up and stood protectively in front of her. 'Don't you dare,' he said, his voice dangerously low.

Hunter glared at him. 'Get the hell out of my way, Jericho,' he threatened.

'Is that how you get your kicks?' Jericho taunted, referring to Angle's belief that Hunter did indeed hit his wife. 'Beating innocent women?'

I can't remember ever having hit someone so hard before. Surprisingly, he was a lot tougher than I gave him credit for. Our living room had suddenly turned into a mini battle zone, and me accidentally hitting my wife was the only thing that stopped it. She had rushed in between us, but I had been too slow to react and I ended up shoving her violently against the glass coffee table.

I told myself everyday that it had been an accident. That her having lost his baby wasn't my fault. Still, it doesn't stop me from feeling guilty.

no I would not sleep in this bed of lies
so toss me out and turn in
and they'll be no rest for these tired eyes
I'm marking it down to learning
I am

I'm dead tired, but I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning for the past hour, but my mind just doesn't want to stop buzzing with thoughts of him. With a heavy sigh, I finally push the covers away and sit up. I glance over at the other side of the bed. This is the fifteenth consecutive night that he hasn't slept beside me, and it hurts. Everything is just hurting at the moment. I'm the bad guy here, but he's the one who seems to be running away. I reach over and glide my hands along his unslept side. It's cold. I miss my husband.

Although he was only here for half a day, the effects of his visit are still being felt two months later. When he showed up at our front door you could have knocked me over with a leaf.

'Hey, Steph,' Chris greeted with a smile. 'It's been awhile, hasn't it?'

Stephanie could do nothing but just stare at him. At his amazing smile that so long ago used to send thrills down her spine. It still did.

'Mom, who is it?' Alex called out from behind her, jolting her out of her daze. 'Is it Catey?'

She shook her head, unable to stop looking at Chris. 'Uh, no, honey!' she called back. 'It's not Catey.'

However, Alex had already come running towards the front door in hopes of greeting her bestfriend. She stopped beside Stephanie when she realised it wasn't Caitlyn. 'Oh, hi. I thought you were Catey.'

Chris raised an impressed eyebrow down at the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl. 'Hi, there. No, I'm not Catey. My name is Chris. I'm a friend of your Mom's.'

'Alex, why don't you go back to your room and finish packing?' Stephanie suggested. 'You want to be ready when Catey comes to pick you up, don't you?'

'Sure,' her daughter readily agreed. She turned back to Chris. 'Bye, Chris. It was nice to meet you.'

'She's pretty,' Chris said when Alex left. 'She takes after her mother.'

Stephanie couldn't get over how relaxed he was being. 'What…what are you doing here, Chris? I never expected to see again. After you just left…' She trailed off, the pain of having lost him all those years ago suddenly resurfacing.

He lost his smile momentarily. 'How are you, Steph?' he asked. 'I just wanted to see how you were.' He paused. 'I've missed you.'

'Chris-'

'Yeah, I know. You're happy now, you have a family,' he interrupted. 'Everything is working out really great for you and Jerky.'

She winced at his nickname for Hunter, but didn't say anything.

So he continued. 'Actually, I'm here to talk to him. Is he around?'

Watching him talk out by the pool with the man I married, I couldn't help but remember all the times we spent together. Watching him, all I had wanted to do was grab him and hold him, just to make sure that he was really there. Watching him, I never realised how much I had missed him. After my husband had found out about me and him, things were a little difficult. A couple of months later, he quit the WWF and moved back to Canada. For so long I had wanted to visit him, to follow him. But I didn't. I had stayed, and a year later, I had fallen in love again.

After their little talk, he came back into the house and found me waiting. He had looked sad but serene, as if he had just put something to rest. It's a little difficult to describe, but that was the feeling that I had gotten. He wouldn't tell me what they had talked about, and he asked that I not question my husband about it. He then hugged me, and being in his arms again…I had thought that maybe I was back in heaven. He had wanted to talk in private. How could I say no? I had looked outside to where my husband had stayed, and he was just sitting there. I had wanted to tell him that I was going for a walk, but he stopped me.

'He knows,' he had said. 'He expects it.'

I had nodded, and we spent the next few hours at the park a few streets down. Talking with him again, after all those years…I felt like everything was suddenly right again. He was my first ever love, and nothing will ever change that. As the day slowly made way to evening, he walked me back to our house. Then, with a final kiss, he left.

I have a family now – my husband whom I love very much, and two wonderful children. But as for himhe will always be a part of my heart, my soulmate.

don't wanna be the one who turns the whole thing over
don't wanna be somewhere where I just don't belong
where it's not enough just to be sorry

I don't want to lose her. Just the mere thought of losing her makes me grow cold. But I know that if I tell her the truth, that is exactly what will happen. I'll lose her.

'Hunter.'

Hunter turned around from where he was keeping an eye on Cade, a smile of greeting forming for his wife. 'Hi, honey.'

'Hey, Mom!' Cade greeted loudly with a big grin from across the spacious pool. 'Look, I can swim all the way to here!'

'That's great, baby!' Stephanie called back to her son. 'Why don't you come on in with me for awhile!'

'What's going on?' Hunter asked, confused. They'd only been out by the pool a few minutes, and he could tell that there was something that was on her mind. Her smile looked forced, and she was avoiding his eyes. 'Steph?'

'Someone wants to see you,' she said simply. He watched as she picked up the large fluffy towel and wrapped it around Cade. 'It's him.'

He froze. He knew exactly who Stephanie was talking about. But he could do nothing but watch as she picked up their son and walked into the house. A few minutes later, Jericho walked out the back door and headed towards him.

Hunter stared at him. 'What are you doing here?'

Jericho stared right back at him. 'That day, she was pregnant, wasn't she?'

He was surprised at the other man's forwardness. However, he began to feel a little sick to the stomach. Is that what he was doing here? Was he here to tell Stephanie? 'What are you talking about?' he asked, hoping his guilt didn't show.

'You know what I'm talking about,' Jericho replied, sounding slightly angry. 'She was, wasn't she? With my baby!'

Hunter looked towards the house, hoping that Stephanie couldn't hear them. He couldn't see her. 'How-'

'How I found out isn't the issue,' the other man interrupted. 'All I want is to hear the truth from you. She lost the baby, didn't she?'

It had been so long since he had last thought about that day. He thought briefly about lying, but realised that he couldn't. Not anymore. For the longest time he had kept the painful secret to himself, and now he had a chance to finally tell someone. It was just too bad it had to be Jericho.

'Yes, she lost the baby,' Hunter admitted.

Pain flashed across Jericho's eyes. 'That baby was mine, I know it.'

Despite the last five years of pure bliss, he was still hurt by the memory of Stephanie's affair. 'She had been four weeks pregnant.'

'You never told her.'

Hunter shook his head. 'I begged the doctor not to. I didn't want to upset her anymore.'

'You didn't want her to leave you,' Jericho corrected coldly. 'She had the right to know, and you took that away from her. She had the right to know that she had just lost her child, our child.'

I had been surprised at how well he knew me. He had been right. Even back then I hadn't wanted to lose her. That evening when she came home, I couldn't look at her. Suddenly, it seemed as if everything had been a lie. Had she known the truth, she would have certainly left me six years ago.

But what hurt the most was seeing the 'glow' in her eyes and in her face when she returned after her afternoon with him. I knew then that I had lost. She would always be his. If I told her everything, nothing would ever be the same again. I knew that she would never forgive me for what I had done. I would lose her. And if I didn't tell her? Could I live with the fact that it was me who took her freedom to choose away?

Staring at the darkened ceiling, I think 'yes'. As long as she loves me. As long as she doesn't leave me.

don't you know I feel the darkness closing in
tried to be more than me
and I gave till it all went away
and we've only surrendered
to the worst part of these winters we've made

I had been the one who had the affair all those years ago. Had it not been for me, all the problems we're having now wouldn't exist. Yet, I know that not everything had to have been my fault. But I know it is. Yes, he hadn't been paying much attention to me, and yes, I had been hurt by the knowledge that my husband was still in love with another woman. But that was no reason to have an affair, was it? I had suspected that he was the one who had started the cheating, with her. It wasn't until much later that I realised how wrong I had been.

I didn't do it to spite the man I married. I did it because I fell in love. It was him who had found me drinking my problems away at a seedy bar. It was him who I had found me passed out one night in the middle of an empty ring when I had found about her. It was him who had defended me, and it was him who had tended my wounds after I picked a fight with a man who reminded me of my husband. It was him who had saved me, my knight in shiny T-shirts.

He knows nothing about those wild nights, and he will never know. After we became a family, we never talked about it again. It was too painful.

Not for the first time I wonder what it was that he had wanted to talk to my husband about. I'm dying to know. On the way to the guest room, I stop by our children's rooms. They are fast asleep, and for awhile I just stand there and watch them. I can't imagine not ever having them. I love kids, and I want more.

For the briefest second I can't help but wonder what would have happened had I gotten pregnant with him, and what our child would have been like.

I am all that I'll ever be
when you – lay your hands
over me but don't go weak on me now
I know that it's weak
but God help me I need this
I will now sleep in this bed of lies

All of a sudden, I'm very tired. The past couple of months have been extremely tense, and I've hated the feeling. Alex and Cade are beginning to notice something isn't quite so right with their parents, and I can tell that they're worried. They're sweet kids. The last thing I need is for them to be voice their concerns to their grandparents.

All I want is my life back the way it was before that day, two months ago. I miss her. I miss seeing her smile, I miss hearing her say 'I love you', I miss her gentle touch. But I know it's more than that. I need her. More than anything, she is what sustains me. She is who I live for.

*

I watch him as he sleeps, but I know he's not getting any rest. I love him. I really do. I never thought it was possible to feel this strongly about anyone before, but obviously it is. He may have been my first love and my soulmate, but the man I married…?

This man, my husband, gave me two perfect children. This man makes me the happiest I've ever been in my life. It's then I realise something I should have a long time ago. This man completes me.

With as little movement as possible, I slowly pull back the covers and climb into bed beside him. Having his body next to mine again is the most wonderfully indescribable feeling in the world.

'Tomorrow,' I vow as I drift off to sleep in a warm bed, finally. 'To hell with him, to hell with the consequences. I want my life back. Tomorrow, we talk.'

Notes: This started off as a Steph-cheats-on-Hunter story, but halfway through turned into a Hunter-keeps-something-big-from-Steph one. Oops. Hope everything still flowed on well together though. Also, sorry about all the italics-ed him's and he's.

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