A/N: Thanks to the wonderful Sin (Sinfully Sined) for her list of story starters, which this came from. She requested that the story be called Love Is Pain, and that it must be clear that John Cena is hurting the one person he loved more than he realized he was. So I decided to try my hand at it, plus I've been itching to write a Jaria oneshot.

R&R please…your reviews always make me smile and let me know if you enjoyed or not! Thanks to Vera & Twinny for the encouraging words, they helped me more than you know. I love you girls!

"Where there is love, there is pain."—Spanish proverb.

"Why are you crying?" I asked quietly as the beautiful redhead sitting beside me wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Even though she looked like hell—her mascara was smeared and running down her cheeks, and her eyes were puffy and red-rimmed from crying for hours—she was still the most beautiful sight my eyes had ever taken in. From the sounds of her sobbing, it was obvious that she was upset—very upset—about something. I just didn't know what and she didn't seem interested in telling me. Like a typical woman, she expected me to just know. But really, I didn't. Had I forgotten to pay the bills or something? Somehow I doubted that by the look on her face. I ran over everything I had done in the past week in my mind, but after a few moments of thinking about what I could have possibly done wrong this time, I still came up empty.

Maria sniffled in response and jerked away from me when I reached out to cover her small, delicate hand with my own. Ouch, that stung.

"Come on, Ria, you gotta talk to me," I pleaded, staring into her large green eyes. "Please." I moved to brush a stray piece of her hair away from her face and she jerked back again, this time more angrily than the first time.

"Don't even try to pretend like you don't know why I'm upset," she snapped, her eyes focusing on the wall behind me. "Be a man for once and own up to it, and STOP lying to me!" I could tell with each word that she was getting more and more frustrated, but really, what could I do to stop it? She wasn't telling me and since I couldn't think of anything I could've done to piss her off this much, there wasn't any point in this conversation continuing any longer. I sighed and shook my head in disbelief as I got up off of the couch, grabbed my jacket, and made my way to the door.

"Look, I don't know if this is PMS or you're just in a particularly bitchy mood this morning, but I'm not gonna sit here for the rest of the day, arguing with you about the latest thing that's got your panties in a twist." I said sarcastically, a sigh escaping my lips as I ran my hand over my face quickly. After almost three years of dating the former interviewer, it seemed like we were both the happiest when we were away from each other. It had been purely accident, but somehow or another down the line, we'd grown accustomed to each other and just fell into that comfortable rut that traps most couples. But judging by the expression on my girlfriend's face, things were about to go downhill and turn sour very quickly if this issue wasn't resolved. So, reluctantly, I set my car keys down on the armchair beside of the door, tossed my jacket across the room, and sat down once again on the couch as Maria turned to me.

The sooner this issue was resolved, the better, because I was just worn out from arguing with this girl all the time. Many people had this view of Maria being a sweet, innocent girl who hardly let anything bother her and rarely got angry. I bought into the "sweet as apple pie" thing too, but after spending about a month with her, I learned that TV Maria was nothinglike real-life Maria. Believe me, I wish she was.

"So you're going to pretend like you don't know what's going on here?" Maria asked bluntly. She folded her arms over her chest and stared at me pointedly. "Because if you want to save us both the time and energy of fighting, you could just 'fess up and tell me. It's not like I don't know the ugly truth already anyway."

I scoffed. Was she for real? I love the girl, but if she already knew what was supposedly going on, why did this have to go any further? Women are strange creatures, for sure.

"Well, if you already know what I did wrong, then why don't you enlighten me, 'cause I don't have a damn clue as to what the hell I did this time," I fired back. These constant arguments were getting really old, really fast. If Maria had suspected me of cheating for all this time, and now had "proof", then why didn't she turn and march her ass right out the door? I swear, I don't think I'll ever understand women.

"Oh, right, I'm supposed to believe that?" Maria's voice grew louder and her eyes were wide, and I knew that she'd been itching to do this for a while. "Do the words 'Candice Michelle' mean anything to you?"

As soon as the name escaped her small lips, I knew that I was doomed. There was nothing that I could do or say to get out of this situation. It didn't matter what I said anyway—the ugly truth was out now. For about a year of our supposedly happy relationship, I'd been seeing (I use the term loosely—it was more like hooking up) one of Maria's best friends, Candice Michelle. Now, I'm sure the fact that keeping this from Maria and never admitting to it until I got caught makes me look like a big asshole. I know I should have told her, Randy gave me that lecture long ago. And every morning, as I was leaving Candice's apartment, I kept saying to myself that I would. But really, I had no intention of ending it. The girl was amazing as fuck in bed, plus there were no feelings or any of that bullshit that Maria brought to our relationship involved. We hooked up, said our goodbyes after it was finished, and made plans for the next time.

But now that Maria knew, it changed everything. I had no idea if she'd given Candice hell for this or not yet, or if she just wanted to chew me out for it. But they say it takes two to tango, so if I had to hear it, so should she.

Despite all the late night rendezvous, the secret phone calls and text messages, and the promises to end this before anyone got hurt; I still loved Maria through it all. Sounds like bullshit, right? Yeah, we had our problems, and the relationship wasn't always good, but I never meant to hurt her. Okay, that's not exactly true—I never thought that what I was doing would hurt her this much. I figured she'd yell at me, kick me out for a few days, and then call and ask me to come back once she was over it.

When I met Maria, she was so innocent, so carefree, and so trusting of people that it amazed me. We became friends pretty quickly after doing a few segments together on RAW, and before long the friendship became more. It was impossible not to love the girl—she was just so wholesome, so bubbly, so….dare I say, virginal. I did not plan to fall in love with her at all; in fact, the first time I met her, all I could think of was about a hundred ways I could corrupt the girl. But that damn charm of hers worked on me and we fell in love. How we got to this point, I have no idea. If I know Maria, though, she ain't gonna let this go easily. Great. Maybe I can still get out of this.

"Babe, you gotta listen to me," I pleaded again, as I slipped an arm around her small shoulders. She didn't protest this time, instead allowing me to speak. I had to choose my words carefully—if she had even the smallest notion that I was lying, she'd refuse to hear me out, and then I would be in trouble. I'm not good at a lot of things, but talking my way out of sticky situations is a skill I've always been proud of. Randy calls it "the panty dropper," because of the result it brings. Yeah, I know—only he would come up with somethin' like that.

"Did you honestly think that I wouldn't find out?" Maria questioned, her voice shrill. "That I wouldn't talk to Candice? She told me everything, John. Literally, every single detail." She sniffed.

"I was going to tell you," I mumbled, but it was bullshit, and Maria knew it. She rolled her eyes and nodded her head.

"Oh, I'm so sure you were," she answered dryly, her eyes now on the wall. "How could you do this to me, John? How could you do this to us? What, after almost three years, you decided that you were bored and you wanted to spice things up a little bit by cheating on me with my best friend?" She tugged on the collar of my button-down dress shirt roughly.

"Look at me!" My head snapped up at that, mainly out of surprise. I'd never heard or seen her this angry before and I knew that no matter how many times I apologized, this would be the end of our relationship. She was never going to forgive me for what happened. So all I could do at this point was suck it up and accept whatever the consequences were. I deserved it anyway, I guess.

"I can't believe you did this," Maria whispered, and I could tell she was going to cry at any moment. "Wasn't I enough for you? Weren't you happy? I thought we were happy together…we were going to get married, John. How could you do this to me?"

What was I supposed to say? That I knew that the affair with Candice would hurt her, but that I didn't expect it to affect her this way? I felt bad enough once she exposed the whole sordid affair, but now she was telling me that she had plans for us to get married and that I'd ruined her life and fucked up her view of men. Out of all the questions and accusations she was hurling at me, though, one hurt more than the rest: She thought that I wasn't happy with her; that I'd never loved her. Never once did I think about leaving her when I hooked up with Candice. Yeah, I kept the whole thing a secret from her, but that was because one: I was a chicken, and two: I genuinely didn't want Maria to end up hurt. Guess that plan backfired, huh? Story of my life.

"Look, Ria," I said softly as I lifted myself off the couch, still making eye contact with her as I spoke, "Maybe it would best if I left for a couple of days. Randy said I could stay with him anytime I needed to, and it might be good for the both of us…it'll give us both time to think about what happened and how we can get past it."

"If we can get past it," she interrupted, correcting me. "Because right now, John? I don't think I can forgive you, and if I can't forgive you, I sure can't continue seeing you."

"I know that," I replied gently. "Which is why I think I'm gonna go stay with Randy, like I said. But I want you to know that every day, I thought about telling you. I did," I insisted, the disbelieving look on her face not escaping me. "Take a couple days, think about this, and when you've made your decision, call me at Randy's." I knelt down and placed a small kiss on the back of her hand.

She twisted her lips into a frown, in an effort to keep from crying. I knew that look, I'd seen it before, and the cold reality that I was the one who put it there was breaking my heart even more.

"I think that would be best," she said evenly, as she also stood up and followed me to the door. "I'm really hurt, John. Why did you have to do this? After all the jerks that have come and gone in my life broke my heart, I was so scared to start dating again. I thought you'd be different…"

I didn't say anything, I simply pulled her close and kissed the top of her head, allowing her to continue speaking as I gripped the doorknob with shaking hands and, with a long exhale, stepped out the door.

The last words I heard as I bounded off the porch and opened my car door were soft, and tinged with sadness.

"I was willing to spend forever with you…."

Whew. Took me a couple days to write this because I haven't been feeling well, but what did you think? Loved it? Hated it? Leave me your thoughts please!