Ember sat in the hallway with her head between her knees, crying silently. Her younger sister sat beside her, rubbing her back.
"You didn't deserve that, Sissy. Justin's an ass."
She looked up at her younger sister, smiling slightly.
"I know, Gemma Bear. But I'm still an idiot."
"No, Justin is."
Chris Jericho walked down the hallway and Ember looked over at him as he passed. Their eyes connected and Chris's narrowed.
"Why are you crying?"
"Guy trouble. Nothing important."
The Canadian tilted his head.
"I saw what happened. You deserve better, sweetheart."
Chris walked away with a nod and Ember sighed before Gemma started poking her.
"Yeah Gummy Bear?"
"Justin's calling you out."
The ravenette turned to look at the monitor where her now ex-boyfriend was angrily shouting her name.
"Ember, get your ass out here!"
Badass began to play and Ember stalked out, sliding into the ring and snatching the mic from Justin.
"The hell do you want, Gabriel?"
Justin smacked her across the face and Ember's head whipped to the side.
"Don't you talk back to me, Ember. You're mine."
Ember licked her lip and tasted blood before turning to stare at Justin.
"You hit me."
"Watch your mouth, bitch. You do not get to break up with me."
Tilting her head, she started to laugh. Insanely.
"I don't get to break up with you? Really? Considering you made out with Haylee Slater while you were still with me, Justin, I think I have the right."
Another slap and Ember was on the ground, staring up at Justin.
"Aw is that all you got, Gabriel? My mom hits harder than that."
Justin snarled and began kicking her in the ribs, causing her to yelp in pain.
"Am I hitting hard enough now, Ember? Huh?"
The ringposts exploded in fire before Chris's theme began to play and he walked down the ramp with a steel chair, eyes blazing in possessive fury.
He slid into the ring and stood in front of Ember, staring Justin down.
Justin tried to bolt out of the ring, but was cornered by Kane, Tristen, AJ, Ash, and Gemma.
"You're not going anywhere," Tristen growled as she slipped on her spiked brass knuckles.
Satisfied that they had it under control, Chris turned to Ember.
"Taken worse to keep me down," she said before coughing up a little blood.
"Yeah, no. You're not okay."
"I'm fine, Lionheart."
Chris picked her up carefully before setting her down outside the ring and sliding out, picking her up and carrying her backstage.
Ember groaned as she threw up blood again, looking over at Chris.
"This ain't the first time I've been here because of that assclown, Jericho."
Chris growled slightly before closing his eyes.
"How many times?"
"Seven. Four of them were matches that got out of hand, three were just him beating my ass for no reason."
"Why didn't anyone say anything? Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because everyone was dealing with their own problems and I handled it."
He gestured to the bruises covering her ribs.
"This is handling it?"
"I handled it! Okay?"
Chris could hear her voice quiver and he hugged her carefully.
"Shh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get mad. I just don't like seeing pretty girls get hurt, okay?"
Ember buried her face in his shoulder and closed her eyes.
"I should have ended it the first time."
"Yeah no kidding."
Kane walked in and leaned against the doorway, tilting his head.
Ember looked up at him and ran over, hugging him tightly.
He put his arms around her and closed his eyes.
"Why didn't you tell any of us, baby girl?"
"I thought it was just because of Nexus. I didn't think he'd actually hit me."
Justin limped in, face and body bloodied, then gulped as he saw Chris and Kane.
Chris snarled and started for Justin before Ember spoke up.
"He's not worth it, Chris."
"But you are."
Ember pulled away from her father and grabbed the baseball bat from the doorway, walking over and jamming it into Justin's nuts.
"That's for every time you hit me, you limp-dicked little bastard."
Justin threw up and fell to his knees, curling up into a ball as Chris smiled.
"Still got a little fight in you, huh Spitfire?"
"Damn right I got fight in me," Ember said as she glared and spit on Justin.
She walked over to Chris and hugged him again, laying her head on his chest.
He carried her out to the parking lot, setting her on the bench.
"You could stay with me tonight, in case he tries anything."
"Yeah. That way I can keep you safe."
"You don't even know me."
Chris put a hand on her chin and tilted her face up.
"I know that you need to be protected, Ember."
"I'll be okay."
Sighing, he kissed her before putting her in the car.
"Just for tonight? Please?"
Ember smiled and nodded.