When the lights came on, he came on. Chris Jericho, premiere athlete and showman, one of the best in his craft, a shoo-in Hall of Famer when the day came, perhaps one of the greatest of all time... it was a role he was born to play, his niche in life. Everyone loved him and respected him. The lights would shine, and he would shine along with them.
But when the lights went down, so did he. He would lose his aura, lose that special something that pushed him across the unperceivable boundary that suddenly transformed him into Chris Jericho. The lights went down, and he became… ordinary. Another guy traveling for his job. Married for seven and a half years. Three kids to show. He was Chris Jericho without the electricity that made him shine. He was just…Chris Irvine.
There were no lights that shined here.
He lowered his baseball cap over his eyes, waiting. He was calm to the world, almost unperceivable as he waited. But the world didn't know much about the man behind Chris Jericho; all they had was his book to go on, not realizing that he stopped it where he did for a reason. There were some things that the fans just didn't have to know.
There were things that no one had to know.
He watched the last ring crew member that was at the arena get his things together as he prepared to leave. Chris checked his watch. Five more minutes. He took a deep and steadying breath as he continued to wait. Waiting was always the hardest part for him. Time had a nasty tendency to drag. Make him think about his life. What he was doing. Right and wrong. People he was hurting. Decisions made up until this point. Promises made. More broken than kept.
He was caught in a cycle that he couldn't stop, and that was his own fault. He knew that very well, and he felt bad, of course. He wasn't a complete asshole. He felt remorse, but not enough remorse to make him turn around and leave the darkened arena. So he stayed and watched the last lights go out, knowing he was just digging his hole deeper and deeper. He didn't care though. He was content to let the darkness wash his doubts away.
When the ring crew member disappeared through a side exit that led to the parking lot, a wave of loneliness washed over Chris. He supposed that being in an empty arena that was meant to seat tens of thousands of people could have that effect on a man. He knew it was only a temporary feeling and that it would soon be gone with all the rest of his thoughts and inhibitions. He hated the feeling anyways, but it came with the territory.
He could feel her nearby before he could see or hear her. That was how uncanny their relationship had become. They weren't friends, they weren't even acquaintances; if they saw each other in the hallway, there was a courteous nod maybe, if anything. A polite exchange if her family or Paul was nearby, for appearances. But whether he acknowledged her or not, he always felt her presence.
He slowly sat down on the steps that he had been standing on, steps that led up to the nosebleed section of the arena. It was completely dark this high up. The fans had left hours ago. No one was there, except him, and one lonely worker who was probably deciding what CD to play on the ride home that very moment. The lights to the rest of the arena, for the lower seating sections and the area that had housed a wrestling ring only a few hours ago, those lights were dimmed. The doors were probably locked by now.
Good thing he had connections.
He could hear the clicking of her heels now. It was close. It was close… and then the sound stopped. Chris kept his eyes down when they did, his ball cap hanging down over his eyes.
If the world could only see him now.
He felt her tilt his head back and remove his cap. He looked up, catching just a glint of light off her bluish gray eyes. It drew him in and made him slowly stand while she tossed his hat to the side. He closed the distance between them, feeling the heat rising between them and inside of him.
No words. They weren't needed; they had never been needed between them.
He reached out to her and drew her close to him, his mouth seeking out hers, her breath already mixing with his before he could even register it. He asserted his control with his kiss, reaching up with his other hand so he could cup her face and deepen their kiss. She moaned into his kiss, and the sound was so familiar to him, but it aroused him anyways just like it always did. She pulled him even closer to her by his t-shirt, lifting it up and making him let go of her momentarily to pull it completely off before resuming… whatever this was between them.
It wouldn't matter tomorrow. They were both married. They both had children. She was his boss's daughter. He was her husband's archrival. It was never going to go anywhere further than this. They both took comfort in that as he lowered them to the floor right where they were. Physical. It was all physical. Everyone has needs. Chris and Stephanie just got creative in how they met theirs.
He moved so he was on his back, even though he knew this was going to make him sore as hell tomorrow, and they had a show to work. He didn't care though. Just like he didn't care that his wedding ring was still on his hand, the same hand that was groping her breasts through her blouse, breasts that did not belong to the woman he had vowed to love and protect. She didn't seem to care either that her own wedding band was on the hand that was busy unhooking his belt from his cargo pants. He fisted some of her hair as she took control of the kiss. The turning point. The belt gone and to the side. She was in control now as she slipped her hand down his boxers.
This was wrong, it was very wrong, but damn, did it feel good. He groaned and rested his head back on the concrete as she slowly trailed her tongue down his body.
His wife, his wife, what about his wife?
As soon as that thought came to mind though, all the fights came to mind too. She didn't like that he traveled. He didn't like the way she was raising his kids. She had shouted back that maybe he should be helping her raise them. Like he didn't fucking know that already, he thought bitterly. He did his part. He did the best he could. If there were any people he did right by, it was those kids. She had no grounds to call him a deadbeat father like she had insinuated he was.
His eyes rolled back into his head and thoughts of his wife disappeared as Stephanie's tongue finally found him. She made him feel so good, just like she always did.
So what if this was wrong, it felt right to him, and no one could judge him, not his wife, not his family, not anyone. He was a human being. He wasn't perfect and he had never claimed to be. He wasn't forcing Stephanie to do anything against her will. Both of them led their own lives and they never crossed paths otherwise; sure, they had in the beginning, but that was a long time ago. It didn't matter… it didn't matter… he closed his eyes and couldn't think of anything else except the heat of Stephanie's mouth.
He didn't even know her story. Part of him wanted to know what drove her here to him every week. Part of him didn't care to know the reasons. He assumed it was something back home with Paul, maybe something along the lines of his own reasons with Jessica.
She never told him though, and he never asked.
He lifted her back up towards him, pulling off her blouse expertly in the process before unhooking her bra. They resumed their kissing, their tongues both conceding to each other, the power battle done for now as he roamed his hands down her back. Her skin was so smooth and so addicting, he would probably remember the touch for the rest of his life, even if they never did this again. Jessica never satisfied him like Stephanie could. Maybe his reasons all boiled down to that. He didn't know, nor did he care as he slowly turned them over so he was on top again.
He was just lowering her dress pants as his phone rang. He looked around almost drunkenly, his breathing heavy, but Stephanie reached up to him and pulled him closer to her, her arm wrapping around his neck and shoulders as he gave in to her, the heat of their skin together making them both groan. He kissed her exposed neck as she held him to her, both of them feeling and needing the other. It was fairly intimate; perhaps more intimate than either of them cared for as he finally reached down and clumsily tugged at her pants.
The phone rang in the background, lost, forgotten on the floor somewhere in the darkness as it kicked into his voicemail. Stephanie let him go long enough for him to tug her pants and panties down, both of them knowing who was likely on the other end, but neither of them caring. It was just them, only they existed for that night in the dark arena, only them.
She reached up to him and he was suddenly distinctly aware of her wedding ring, but that didn't stop him. He wasn't turning back now, he needed her now, he couldn't turn back unless of course she wanted him to… but by the looks of things, she didn't want that. She was moaning now as he rocked against her, while he watched her, mesmerized by her. Why the hell couldn't it be like this with his wife?
She was beautiful in the dim light, sweaty and hot for him and only for him. He reached down to her with his left hand, his thumb grazing over her top lip as she arched up against him to feel more of him. He lowered his thumb and she opened her mouth, sucking on it as his phone went off again. He groaned, partly because of his wife's persistence, but also in part due to Stephanie sucking his fingers so expertly. She pulled him towards her again, and he was only vaguely aware of her removing his wedding ring from his hand. He was too drunk with lust to notice as he continued setting their pace.
The third time his cell phone went off, though, he could feel her tense beneath him.
"Shhh," he said, his now ring-free hand moving down to her breasts again as he kissed her neck. That was the first time she had said his name during one of these… meetings… in as long as he could remember. He didn't particularly like the raw intimacy with which she said his name. Likewise, he didn't like how this whole thing had an air of intimacy about it. But he just wanted to reassure her; that was the only thing that mattered right then, just reassurance. He didn't know why he felt the need to do so, but he did. "It's alright," he whispered to her as he slowed his pace down a little, wanting to make it last.
But it wasn't alright. They both knew that it wasn't. Hiding in the dark, sneaking in the shadows, a distinguished business woman, a world-renowned professional athlete. It would be better if they had no one else, if they were both alone in the world, but they weren't. They had jobs. Responsibilities. Things and people that depended on them.
And what were they doing?
They were on the floor like teenagers. Needing each other like they shouldn't. Touching where they shouldn't. But this wasn't new to either of them. This had been the routine the last three years Chris had been in the company before his hiatus. This had been the routine since his return. How it started, they both remembered well, but didn't talk much about it. After all, there wasn't anything to say about it now. The present result of what their relationship had become spoke for itself.
He leaned down and kissed her again, the control back in his kiss as he asserted himself that way while she touched him everywhere. Yes, it was too good for either of them to think much about how and where it would end, even though deep down they both knew it had to. It would eventually come in its own due time.
They just didn't know how short that due time would turn out to be.