So I kinda forgot about this story until I was going through some of my stuff, and I saw it, and I thought I should update. So, I wrote this today. Hope you enjoy!

She could pretend it didn't matter; pretend that her heart wasn't broken into a million different pieces. It would be easier that way, after all. It would be easier to mask the pain with a nasty smirk, easier to hide it behind the ugly names she could call Link and Tracy. It would be easier to hurt them than to ever let on that she herself was in pain. That was the way she had always prepared herself for this; the first time her heart would be broken. She had always told herself that she wouldn't sit around and mope. Told herself that she wouldn't get mad, she'd get even.

Still, as she sat here now, her shoulders slumped and aching from the fall she'd taken from that rocket throne, the one that had rightfully been hers for three years, she couldn't even begin to think about getting any sort of revenge. There was a gaping pain inside of her, where her heart pounded just inside her chest, and it was because of him, because of them. Because even though she'd told herself that what they'd had wasn't genuine, she'd let herself believe it for a while. Being rejected, especially for Tracy was a humiliating experience; one Amber vowed to never let herself be put through again.

She pulled her silky white gloves off, tossing them aside and letting her slender fingers wipe the burgeoning tears from her eyes. Her emotion came out in black smudges, and she sniffled quietly, refusing to look up at herself in her vanity mirror. The pageant had long since been over, and her mother was only a few rooms away, collecting the few things that belonged to her in this studio before she was gone from it forever. Amber knew that if Velma caught her crying, especially over something as petty as a boy, she would be tormented for it. Still, and although she knew that what she and Link had had could barely be called an honest relationship, her heart had betrayed her. She had let herself believe that some part of him had cared for some part of her. Apparently, she'd been wrong.

She heard the clack of dress shoes behind her and clenched her teeth, straightening her posture and turning her face away from the oncoming intruder. She felt a whimpering sob beginning to rise in her chest and pushed it away, letting her eyes drop to the surface of her vanity, desperate not to let anyone see what she'd been doing.

The shoes slowed to a stop almost directly behind her, and she felt her cheeks flush. She could feel a presence behind her, could sense him standing there, his eyes drilling into the back of her head, and it made her angry suddenly. What right did he have to expect anything from her right now? What was he waiting on? She spun on the stool suddenly, her eyes narrowing into slits of blue hatred as she caught his facial expression.

"What do you want, Corny?" She spit the words at him, and he let his arms cross over his chest, watching her with a self-satisfied look.

"Amber Von Tussle has emotions?" He let himself ask the question, his eyes tracing over the tear streaks that had betrayed her confidence.

"Leave me the hell alone." She turned back to her vanity, dropping her head into her hands. She sure as hell didn't need to hear it from him right now. As if she hadn't already been kicked to the ground; it wasn't necessary to let him stomp on her while she was down.

"Is that really what you want?" His voice was taunting now, teasing her for her tears, for allowing herself to showcase any kind of emotion, she was sure of it. She glared at him through the reflection, her cheeks burning in shame and humiliation.

"Yes!" She hissed the word at him, swallowing hard and attempting to remember the breathing exercises that she'd done just hours ago to calm her nerves during the pageant. She dropped her head into her hands, her fingers covering her eyes and attempting to erase the tears, the humiliation, from her face. She let her shoulders slump, and listened as she was sure she heard him walk away.

She felt that pathetic sob rising again, and let herself give into it this time, her chest heaving as the rush of emotion hit her. She tried to steady her breathing, tried to keep her body in control, but she began to tremble as she cried, whimpering softly and pressing her face into her hands. She had gotten into a million fights before; she'd nearly had her eyes clawed out by several of the council girls before, and she'd done little more than smirk at the pain. This hurt, though, was different. It was a form of some sort of emotional torture, she was quite certain. It actually caused her heart physical pain, actually made Amber Von Tussle cry. She couldn't stand to look in the mirror; couldn't stand to look at the wretched reflection of the sobbing girl that looked like her, yet surely couldn't be. That was something she'd never had to deal with.

"Amber…" she heard his voice behind her again, speaking softly. She didn't recognize the tone as patronizing or taunting. It wasn't the tone her mother addressed her in when she was frustrated or annoyed with her. It was a softer tone that Corny used, speaking almost as if were attempting to apologize for her pain. Still, he was invading the little bit of privacy she had, and the personal space that she took seriously.

She turned quickly on him, narrowing her watery eyes at him.

"I told you to leave me alone!" She lashed out suddenly, grabbing a glass figurine that had been sitting nondescriptly on the vanity. She clutched it in her hand and turned suddenly, preparing to throw it at his head; anything to make him give her some much-needed privacy. Her arm rose in preparation as she turned quickly, and his fingers caught her wrist gently, holding it, causing the figurine to drop to the floor, shattering into hundreds of pieces. She raised her eyes to him, her lips trembling. He pulled her to her feet carefully, his eyes watching her face.

"I'm the only one who hasn't left you alone, Amber." His face was serious, and he let his lips twitch into a frown. His words sent a rush of anger through her and she used her other hand to hit him suddenly, slapping her fingers across the smooth skin of his cheek. She pulled back suddenly, glaring at him, and he studied her with dark eyes.

"Get away from me." Her voice was low and threatening.

"No." He kept his eyes focused on her, and she pulled her wrist from his grasp suddenly, hissing at him.

"I hate you," she spit the words at him; "do you hear me? I hate you. You've done nothing but make my life miserable since the moment I've met you."

"I'm going to ignore that because I know that you're hurting, even if you won't admit it."

His words were true, and they hit her hard, leaving a strange stinging sensation in her stomach.

"I'm not hurt," she gritted her teeth. He stepped back, watching her with an expression that she could only interpret as smugness. The idea of it sent a flush through her cheeks, and she sneered at him, her mind crying out suddenly. Her heart was aching now, and she revolted against the unfamiliar feeling, hitting him again suddenly, pounding on his chest, hitting his arms with her hands. She felt the tears burning her eyes, and fought him harder. His arms found her, encircling her, holding her tight to him, his mouth finding her ear.

"It's okay," he hushed her suddenly, holding her to him, "it's going to hurt, Amber. It has to; your heart has been broken."

"No!" She cried the word suddenly, still fighting him, the tears finally escaping again, causing her body to shake with sobs. She sucked her breath in quickly, "This isn't supposed to happen to me!" She buried her head in his shoulder suddenly, trembling with her tears, suddenly wanting, no, needing this comfort he was offering. "This doesn't happen to me, Corny!"

"It does," he hushed her gently, his fingers tracing up her spine as she sobbed against him, "it happens to everyone, Amber." She began to clutch at his shirt, her fingers curling against him as she wept, no longer trying to deny the fact that she felt completely devastated. "You'll find someone better." He spoke the obligatory words; the ones he knew he was supposed to say, "You know that."

She suddenly let him console her; she let him stroke her back and whisper those inevitably comforting words into her ear, shuddering against him. And though her heart still ached with every single beat, the feel of his warm arms around her had already begun to help ease the pain.

Never in a million years would she have believed that Corny Collins was the one person who would help mend her first broken heart; and yet, that was exactly what was happening.