A/N: Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who reviewed or favorited this! It really means a lot to me. I apologize that this chapter isn't quite as long as the others, but the muse decided that this was all for now. Let me know what you think!
His hands cupped her face as he pressed their lips together, his duffel bag falling to the floor in the process. It took his brain more than a few seconds to catch up to what was happening, but when it finally did, all hell broke loose. It seemed to Chris that there were warning sirens suddenly blaring inside his mind, along with the sound of his own voice, screaming at him – demanding to know what the hell had gotten into him. Meanwhile, Stephanie was squirming against him, pushing her palms against his chest to try and create some distance between them. The trick of the situation was that he wasn't even holding her that tightly, so if she really wanted to break free from him, she could.
The fact that she wasn't entirely pushing him away registered idly in his mind as their lips were still locked. He was ready to break away for a good, deep breath, but on the same side of the coin he didn't want to break his contact with her because he was afraid of what was going to happen once he did. He knew that he was at least going to get slapped. That was a given. If she wasn't extremely pissed about it, then maybe the worst he would have to endure would be a match against Viscera or something. If she was extremely pissed…well…he'd probably have to fight everyone in the entire locker room next week before being fired. Either way, it was too late to fix what he'd done. He was going to have to live with it. He waited until the last possible second and then finally broke the kiss.
She stared at him for a moment, her eyes locked with his as they both took deep breaths to steady themselves. Slowly, he dropped his hands from her cheeks. They both blinked a few times and she finally took a step back. He looked away in the direction of the floor. He reached down to pick up his dropped bag and it seemed to him like he was moving in slow motion. He slung it over his shoulder again and turned to look at her. She was turned partially away from him, staring into nothing it seemed.
Chris opened his mouth to say something, but found that there were no words that he could think of to say. Part of him wanted to plead with her not to fire him for what had just happened. He could just imagine her firing him and adding a sexual harassment suit on top of it. Looking at the expression on her face though, he didn't think that's the route that she would go. Her expression was one that he wasn't familiar with – not entirely.
The best he could tell was that he was no longer seeing the "Billion Dollar Princess" version of Stephanie McMahon at that second. No, this expression…this was the sweet and innocent expression that Stephanie had worn back before Hunter corrupted her. The expression remained for a moment, before she wiped all emotion from her face. She turned back to him briefly and then walked over to grab whatever it was that brought her in here in the first place.
"Are you…okay?" He asked her timidly. He wasn't sure why he cared, really. He was more or less making sure she wasn't going to pull a handgun out of her bag and shoot her the moment he turned around. She slung the bag over her shoulder and faced him. Before she had the chance to say anything, Hunter came walking through the door.
"Honey, did you remember to get my-" Hunter started, but trailed off when he saw the man standing across the room from his wife. "What the hell are you doing in here?" Hunter began to growl. Stephanie put a hand on his chest.
"Chris was just talking to me about how he was displeased with his matches tonight." She said, her previous demeanor returning in a flash. He was surprised at how quickly the change had occurred. "He thinks that he deserves a rematch."
"I never should have lost the title in the first place." Chris said, speaking up quickly. He wasn't sure why Stephanie wasn't mentioning the fact that he had just kissed her, but he wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. "This whole stipulation was bullshit, and I doubt that it came from her." He said, glaring at Hunter.
"Why? You don't believe that I'm capable of making matches without my husband's help?" Stephanie asked him, feigning hurt.
"That just isn't your style, sweetcheeks." He said to her with a smirk.
"And how exactly would you know what my…style is?" She asked him. Something about that question made déjà vu pass over Chris. He ignored it and smiled.
"Oh, come on Stephanie, everyone has seen a hooker on a street corner before." He said. Her face flushed in anger. "If you were going to screw someone over, you'd want your name plastered all over it so everyone knew that it was your doing. This whole 'behind the scenes' stuff just doesn't have the same ring to it." Stephanie set her jaw and glared at him.
"All right, Jericho. You'll get your rematch next week…but don't think that it comes without a price." She warned him.
"Really? What's the going rate for someone like you these days, Princess?" He asked her, taking a step towards them. "Do you have different package deals for your preferred customers?" He asked, looking at Hunter. Stephanie glared at him as Hunter finally snapped. He lunged towards Chris, who side-stepped the move easily, walking through the doorway as Stephanie put herself in between them.
"Save it for next week." She told Hunter, trying to hold him back.
"You're dead!" Hunter promised him, pointing a finger in his direction. Chris just smiled at him and gave a quick wink to Steph before finally walking away.
He was still thinking about the whole situation hours later, lying awake in his hotel bed. He was puzzled not only by the fact that he had kissed her with no rhyme or reason, but also by the fact that she had refrained from telling Hunter once he entered the room. He was thankful that she hadn't said anything, but it also made him suspicious. If there was one thing that he had learned about her, it was that Stephanie McMahon never did anything without a reason.
It just didn't make any sense to him. She hated him – he knew that. Why would she keep from saying something to her husband about him kissing her? Hunter would have willingly tried to pulverize Chris – all he needed was a reason. Hunter had come out the stronger man in their confrontations thus far, but that was usually thanks to Stephanie's interference in one form or another. Up until today, Chris thought that she always enjoyed seeing him get put in his place - that she dreamed about him getting hit in the head with a sledgehammer every night.
Chris shot up in his bed suddenly.
"The dream." He whispered to the empty room, realization flooding him. His mind replayed all of the dreams that he'd had in the past few weeks of making out with her before finally calling up the memory of what had just happened. One of the dreams had ended like that. Just like that. That was why their little spout at the end had seemed so familiar to him.
He had a feeling like that should have cleared everything up in his mind, but it only succeeded in confusing him further. He'd had a dream about making out with her for three weeks and then it just…happened. Without his knowledge or realization, really. He walked in there with the intention of giving her a piece of his mind, letting her know how crappy of a job he thought she was doing. He hadn't walked in there with the intention of kissing her.
He sighed angrily and fell back against his pillow again. His thoughts started rushing at him at a million miles an hour, so he closed his eyes and started to think about something else. He started to think about that look on Stephanie's face – that chink in her armor. He started to think about who she had been before Hunter.
His last thought before sleep claimed him was, how in the second before he broke their kiss…
She had kissed him back.