Mark ran his hand through his hair. The loss to Vladimir Kozlov earlier was weighing on his mind a little bit, but that was being replaced by annoyance at the locker room and concern for one superstar in particular. Up next was the brother vs. brother match. Matt vs. Jeff. Everyone had gathered around the monitor to watch the showdown. This was what they had all been waiting for. Ever since the Royal Rumble, both brothers had been the center of the vicious gossip mill within the company. It sickened Mark because they all talked about Jeff like he wasn't even in the room half the time. Nobody besides himself, Maria and Eve seemed to care that Jeff was dangerously close to losing it completely.
Matt went out first. Mark glared at the monitor. He could hardly believe that Matt would dare to do all this to Jeff, especially since the two brothers used to be so damn close. That was why Jeff was so damn torn up about this whole thing. He thought the bond between him and Matt had been unbreakable. It wasn't until Matt broke the bond himself that Jeff found out how wrong he had been.
Jeff headed to the ring next, but he wasn't dressed to fight. Mark sighed. He knew that Jeff hadn't been excited about being in his match, but he hadn't considered the possibility of Jeff just refusing to go through with it. Looking back, maybe he should have.
Jeff got in the ring and grabbed a microphone. Mark could hear the pain in his voice as he pointed out that he had done nothing to deserve all this, he was still Matt's brother no matter what Matt said and then he refused to fight his own brother. Everyone else in the locker room started looking at each other, because for the first time, they were truly seeing just how torn apart Jeff was over all this.
Matt grabbed the microphone from Jeff and started going off on the rant that was becoming his theme song. Jeff wasn't his brother anymore, he was tired of being overlooked, he was tired of taking care of Jeff…blah, blah, blah. Mark wasn't really paying attention to all that until Matt slapped Jeff across the face.
Mark's vision went cloudy with rage. He stood up so fast that he knocked his chair over and he scared several people around him. He watched as Matt slapped Jeff again. This time Jeff actually dropped down to his knees. Matt was demanding that Jeff fight back but Jeff wouldn't do it. He just gave Matt a sad look and walked away from the fight.
Mark immediately started heading towards the entrance curtain. Jeff was going to be there any second. Maria and Eve were following him. They were good girls with big hearts, and they hated seeing Jeff like this too.
Jeff had his head down as he came back through the curtain. He reminded Mark of a puppy that just got kicked by its owner. "Oh Jeff," Maria said compassionately. She pulled the distraught man into her arms. "I'm so sorry."
"I couldn't do it," Jeff confessed quietly. "I couldn't hit him back."
Mark grabbed Jeff by the arm and started leading him through the hallways. He knew they had to get him out of there before Matt got back. The last thing Jeff could handle at the moment was another ugly confrontation with Matt. "Girls, can you go grab Jeff's bags real quick?" he asked. "I'm going to get him out to the car."
"Sure," Eve said as she and Maria nodded. They took off, knowing that the faster they moved, the better.
Jeff didn't say a word as Mark got him out of the building and into his car. Mark got into the driver's seat and sighed. "Jeff?"
"Is there anything I can do?"
Jeff's lip began to tremble. It looked like he was about to lose it completely. "Make him not hate me anymore,"
Mark sighed. "I don't know if I can do that. I can try, but I don't think he's listening to anyone at the moment."
Jeff put his face in his hands. Even though Mark couldn't see it, he knew Jeff was crying. He pulled the younger man into his arms and held him tightly. It killed him to see Jeff in so much pain, but he didn't know what to do about it. Kicking the crap out of Matt wasn't going to fix anything.
Or maybe it will, a voice in the back of his head said. Maybe sense has to be beaten into the idiot. Maybe it's time for me to pay Matt a little visit and make him feel Jeff's pain.