“So it’s official, then.”
Christian nodded, turning apologetic eyes up to his former friend. “Yeah. I’m sorry, Rhino.”
Rhino shrugged it off. “You apologized already.”
“You didn’t exactly accept my apology,” Christian grumbled, recalling the rage the war machine had flown into upon catching him in Edge’s arms.
“Well,” Rhino stated roughly, “I’m accepting it now. I knew you loved him. You’ve loved him since you were a kid.”
“Yeah.” Christian stared at his hands. “I never should have let us - ” He paused, swallowing hard. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault.” Rhino sighed. “I remember when I first met you two. We were all struggling, sleeping in freezing vans, eating nothing but a can of tuna a day.” He shook his head. “But you were so in love. I always – “ he paused, taking a deep breath, “I always wanted to be a part of that. I started off wishing I could be with one of you, both of you. But over the years, I wanted, more and more, to be with just you. And you were so unreachable, untouchable. When you broke up with him and came here, I thought, maybe, this could be our chance.” He sighed deeply. “I should’ve known better.”
“Rhino, I – “ Christian began, looking up sorrowfully at his friend.
“I know.” Rhino patted his shoulder, bending down to give him a kiss on top of the head. “If you need someone to talk to, you know I’m here for you. Don’t worry about me. I’m not made out of glass, I’ll mend.”
Christian clasped Rhino’s hand, smiling up at him with watery eyes. “Thank you,” he whispered.
Rhino returned his smile, ruffling his hair affectionately. “I was thinking of asking out that kid, Eric.”
Christian nodded, wiping at his eyes. “I think you should. He’s cute, if a little paranoid. I think he likes you.”
Rhino grinned. “I know he likes me. I’ll let you know how it goes.” He leaned down, giving Christian a quick kiss on the lips, then rising and striding from the room.
Christian gazed at the door after he left, wondering how Rhino managed to be such a saint. Well, when he wasn’t smashing up hotel rooms or spearing him through tables, anyway. He stared off into space for a moment, jumping when his cell phone rang. “Who’s calling me?” he muttered, grabbing his bag and digging through it for the device. “No one ever - ” He stopped, smiling when he saw a familiar number on the screen. “Hi,” he answered, grinning at the sound of his lover’s voice.
“Hey baby.” He could tell that Edge was grinning too. “I’m not interrupting you during the show, am I?”
“No, we haven’t started yet.” Christian moved to the couch, stretching out on the cushions and supporting himself on an arm rest.
“Oh, good. I just wanted to hear your voice. I love you, baby.”
“I love you too,” Christian sighed.
“I know I just saw you yesterday, but I really wanted to talk to you. God, that sounds desperate. Sorry.”
“Hey, if we’re gonna be apart, we can at least call each other.” Christian blew a kiss into the phone, eliciting a chuckle from his lover. “If this is going to work, we have to communicate. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a disaster like before.”
“Before.” Edge groaned. “God, it got bad. It was so hard to be apart from you when they first split us up. I couldn’t believe they put us on different shows!”
“You know damn well why they did that,” Christian retorted, trying to stop his eyes from narrowing as he thought of the person responsible.
“Yeah.” Edge was silent for a moment. “Do you want to talk about that, baby?”
“We have talked about it,” Christian replied, picking at a loose string on the couch cushion.
“Well, yes, but – not without screaming involved.”
Christian sighed. “He wanted you; you started fucking him. End of story. I had an affair too.”
“I know.” Edge didn’t sound thrilled at the reminder. “I’ve talked to him. I don’t see him much, since he’s on Smackdown, but we’re cool. I apologized for going after him the way I did. God, was I every bit the crazy jealous lover, or what?”
“You were worse than Rhino when he caught us,” Christian muttered. “And you didn’t even catch us in bed together.”
“It was just as clear from the way he had his arm around you.” Edge paused, taking a deep breath. “I’m glad I don’t see him much, though. That month when they had us feuding was a strain. It was just too real, except the shoe was actually on the opposite foot than the angle played it.”
“Yeah.” Christian swallowed. “He was really a comfort to me, Edge. I never loved him, but I really needed him when you weren’t there.”
Edge was silent for a moment. “Are you gonna need someone else now?” he asked softly. “I mean, I said we didn’t have to be monogamous, and I meant it.”
Christian took a moment to reply. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “It’s not about sex, Edge. I mean, that’s always a part of it, but what I needed most from Matt was the – the emotional support. Just being there for me. Just wanting me. You were always running off to do something when I tried to call, and I understood you were busy, but I just needed someone to give me some of his time.”
“I know.” Edge’s voice sounded choked. “I know, baby. And if you need some time from someone else, that’s ok. It may just be a reality, in our situation. As long as I know that you love me.”
“I do love you,” Christian whispered. “I won’t lie to you again, baby. I love you so much.”
“I love you too.” Edge’s voice sounded brighter. “I should have a couple days at home next week. Can we spend them together?”
“Of course.” Christian smiled, swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat. “I love you with all my heart, Edge. I want to be with you every moment I can.”
“Me too,” Edge sighed. “Maybe, when you schedule’s not too heavy, you could travel with me. I so miss being on the road together. I miss making love to you in some strange hotel bed, then holding you in my arms all night.”
Christian chuckled, but there were sentimental tears in his eyes. “You’re such a sap,” he chided. “And I love you for it.”
“I’ll call you every day.”
“You better.” Christian chuckled again. “I should go. I have a feeling there’s someone on the other side of that door, debating whether to come in and tell me it’s time to rehearse.”
“You and you’re locker room sense. I’ll let you go, then. I love you.”
“I love you too.” Christian hung up the phone, leaning against the
back of the couch and taking a deep breath. “I’m coming,” he told the
assistant who poked his head in after hearing a moment of silence. He
stood, grinning to himself as he strolled out of the room.
Next E&C fic in series:
Angels in the Storm series