"The Rock asked you a question!"

"I already told you! There's no one, I swear!"

"That's not what I heard!" Rock growled, grabbing his lover by his long blonde hair. The blonde was kneeling before him, his body trembling, his eyes fixed on the carpet. "I heard that you and Angle have been sharing hotel rooms!"

"It's not true," Chris whispered. He cried out as Rock yanked his hair, his voice raising. "It's not true, I swear! Kurt wouldn't even look twice at me, he's head over heels for Edge! Ask anyone! I swear, I haven't even looked at another man while you've been gone."

"Haven't you?" Rock growled, glaring down at his lover.

"I haven't!" Chris insisted. He shivered, his eyes darting up to Rock's hand, which was stained with a small streak of blood from his split lip. The cut on his mouth and the bruise on his cheek were both throbbing, painful reminders of just how wrong their relationship had gone. He didn't understand how they had reached this point. When it first started, nearly a year ago, they had been crazy for each other. They had exchanged looks for weeks, both too shy to approach the other. Then, one fateful night, they had met outside Chris' hotel room, and the next thing they knew they were falling into bed, making love like wild animals. The sex had been too good for either to walk away, and eventually, they had fallen in love. They had done all the romantic things that lovers do, exchanged all the expected words of love.

It was hard to pinpoint the moment it had begun to fall apart. But, gradually, the romantic evenings had become few and far between, and they found themselves quarreling regularly. Then, the abuse started. Chris could vividly remember the first time that Rock had hit him. They had been in the middle of a particularly heated argument, and suddenly, there it was. A slap across the face. Rock had apologized immediately, saying he lost his temper, promising it would never happen again. But it did. It happened again, and again, and again. And every time it happened, it got worse. Chris had hoped for a reprieve when Rock had left to promote his movie, but every time they saw each other, the beatings just got worse. Rock was convinced Chris was sleeping around in his absence, and seemed determined to beat a confession out of him.

"You're a lying slut!" Rock hissed. "Who is? Hunter? Kurt? Edge?" He punctuated every name with a slap to the face, making Chris cry out in pain as every blow connected.

"No!" Chris sobbed. "No one, I swear!"

Rock looked disgusted, shaking his head and shoving Chris back onto the floor. "I'll get you to tell me," he growled, his eyes narrow. He smoothed his shirt down, turning and heading into the bathroom. "You'd better tell me who it is tomorrow!" he shot back over his shoulder. "I'm going to take a shower, and when I get out, you'd better be ready to make this up to me!" He slammed the door, leaving his bleeding lover lying on the floor, trying to choke back his tears.

Chris sat up, taking a deep breath and leaning back against the bed. He knew the way Rock wanted him: lubed, stretched, and spreadeagled across the bed. And if he wasn't in that position by the time his lover emerged, he could expect another beating. He knew he should hurry if he wanted to be ready, but he didn't know if he could take another night of Rock's humiliating treatment. Recently Rock had been treating him more like a whore or a blow up sex doll than as his lover. The last few times they had been together, Rock hadn't even allowed him to come, telling him it was penance for his alleged adultery.

"No." Chris pulled himself to his feet, taking a deep breath, then walking to the door. He had friends he could stay with, friends who would understand, and would protect him. He didn't have to take Rock's abuse, and he wasn't going to anymore. He heard the shower shut off as he set his hand on the doorknob, knowing it was his last chance to do as Rock had commanded. Shaking his head, he yanked open the door, practically jumping into the hall and slamming the door behind him. He paused to take another deep breath, then bolted down the hall, too afraid to look back even once.

Kurt sat bolt upright as someone pounded on the door. Eyes wide, he climbed out of bed, pulling a robe on over his boxers and hustling over to the door. He glanced through the peephole, quickly unlocking the door and pulling it open when he saw a familiar blonde head.

"Chris?" he whispered as the door opened, his eyes growing wider still when he saw the bruises already forming on his friend's face. "Oh my god, what happened?"

"Can I come in?" Chris asked, glancing nervously down the hall.

"Yeah, sure." Kurt held open the door, taking Chris' arm and leading him right into the bathroom. "Just be quiet, my roommate's still asleep," he whispered, quickly closing the door and helping Chris to sit on the counter. He shook his head, taking a wash cloth, wetting it, and dabbing at Chris' split lip. "What happened to you?" he whispered. "Do you want me to call the cops?"

"No." Chris swallowed. "Can I stay here with you?"

"Well, sure, if you don't mind sharing a bed with me," Kurt replied. "Chris, what's going on?"

"Nothing." Chris sighed, closing his eyes and letting Kurt tend to him. "I can't talk about it right now."


Chris jumped as a soft tapping came at the door. Kurt patted his arm, walking over to the door. "What?"

"Do you have someone in there with you?" came the voice through the door.

"Just Chris. Don't worry about it, go back to bed," Kurt told his roommate.

"Jericho? Why is he here?"

"Don't worry about it," Kurt repeated.

There was a sigh from the other side of the door. "Fine, whatever. Goodnight."

"Thanks," Chris whispered, when he was sure Kurt's roommate of the night, apparently Hunter, by his voice, was gone.

Kurt just gave him a soft smile, returning to tending his wounds. "You sure you can't tell me what happened?" he asked softly. Chris shook his head. Kurt sighed and shrugged. "Ok, but remember, my ear's open if you need it." He set down the washcloth, helping Chris slide off the counter. "Did you bring your bag?" he questioned.

Chris swallowed, the color draining from his face. He hadn't thought to take his bag; all his things were still back in that room, with his abuser. "No, I forgot it," he whispered.

"Well, you'll survive one night without brushing your teeth." Kurt shrugged it off, opening the door and leading Chris back into the main room. "You're wearing underwear, right?"

That almost got a smile out of the terrified blonde. "Yes," Chris whispered, stripping down to his boxers at the Olympian's behest and climbing into bed next to him.

"Good." Kurt folded his robe neatly on the nightstand, giving Chris a small smile. "Just stay on your side of the bed, kay?"

"I will," Chris whispered, laying his head down and closing his eyes. At least for the night, he was safe.

"So what's he doing here?"

"Keep your voice down, you're going to wake him!"

'Too late,' Chris thought, keeping his eyes tightly closed as the voices continued.

"Yeah yeah. What's he doing here? I thought you weren't into that kind of thing?"

"I'm not!" Kurt replied indignantly. "He just showed up last night and needed somewhere to stay, ok?"

"What happened to his room?"

"Would you stop being such a bastard? He got beat up pretty bad, I didn't want to push him."

"So who do you think did it?"

"Hunter, really! That's none of our business!"

"Well he's sleeping in our room, doesn't that make it our business?"

"No, it doesn't! And don't you dare ask him about it, either!"

"Oh come on!"

"I mean it Hunter!"

"And you have say over me since when? If we were sleeping together, that'd be one thing, but last I check you were keeping your legs together."

"How dare you!"

"Oh come on Kurt, you know the attraction's there. You know you want me."

"You can just get that thought out of your head right now! You know damn well that I don't believe in casual sex, and I'm not going to be another one of your boy toys!"

"We'll talk about this later, when we're alone."

"No, we won't! Look, I only agreed to room with you because you PROMISED you'd be a gentleman, and I think there's no question that you're NOT living up to - mmph!"

Chris opened one eye just a slit, quickly shutting it again when he saw Kurt and Hunter locked together in a kiss, Hunter's arms wrapped securely around Kurt's waist. He winced when, a second later, Kurt pulled away from the tall blonde, delivering a ringing slap to his face.

"How DARE you!" Kurt sputtered. "I want you out, NOW!"

"Aw come on Kurt."


"Fine, fine, I'm going!"

Chris heard the door open and close, then Kurt sighed, sinking onto the end of his bed. Figuring the Olympian would never believe he could've slept through that, Chris opened his eyes, giving Kurt an apologetic look. Kurt sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "You heard?"

"Sorry," Chris murmured.

Kurt sighed again. "Can you believe that guy? How many times do I have to tell him I'm not interested?"

"You're still going out with Edge, right?" Chris questioned.

"Yep." Kurt shook his head, a frown on his face. "Like Hunter would care. Men like him have no respect for anything! Don't even ask why I was rooming with him last night. It's definitely not going to happen again!"

"I won't," Chris replied. "So how are things with you and Edge? Last I checked, you were head over heels in love with him."

"I know." Kurt smiled, clearing his throat a little self-consciously. "I still feel that way. Edge is the sweetest, kindest, noblest man in the world! I really really like him, but we haven't - um - well I don't know if there's a polite way to say it."

Chris raised an eyebrow. "Been intimate?"

Kurt blushed, his eyes shifting down to the mattress. "Yeah," he said softly. "Never mind, this is stupid. Let's talk about something else."

"No way are you changing the subject now. It's just getting good!" Chris exclaimed. He pasted on a smile, hoping that Kurt couldn't tell he was really just trying to avoid talking about what happened to him. As much as he trusted Kurt, he wasn't willing to admit, to anyone, what Rock had been doing to him.

"Ok." Kurt swallowed, his cheeks growing a little more red. "You're gonna think I'm the biggest dork in the world. But, uh, I - well I kind of never have before."

"Seriously? Never?" Chris was genuinely surprised. "Not with anyone, ever?"

"Never." Kurt bit his lip, glancing up at his friend. "I just never met anyone I felt I could trust that much. But Edge - I don't know. Maybe."

"Just don't let him push you into anything," Chris advised, thinking bitterly of the way Rock had begun to push him around, leading up to the beating he had suffered the previous night, and a dozen others like it. "You can't let a guy walk all over you, Kurt. If you let him get away with it once, then he'll do it again, and again, and again." He swallowed hard, trying to still his rapidly stirring emotions, but unable to stop his tongue from saying far more than he wanted to. "He'll start to think he can get away with treating you like crap, and he'll start doing it all the time. And in the end you'll just get fucked over when he starts treating you like some two dollar whore instead of a lover and expects you to put up with it!" Chris took a deep breath, raising a hand to wipe away the tears in his eyes. He looked up, coming face to face with a very pale Kurt Angle.

"Chris, I - " Kurt began, his words cut off when Chris leapt to his feet, snatching his clothes and yanking them on, not bothering to do up his shirt or jeans.

"Don't. Just don't!" he snapped, walking out the door and slamming it behind him. He took a deep breath, telling himself he'd find a way to retrieve his bag and wallet, somehow. He stood frozen for an instant, then took a deep breath, forcing his legs to move in the direction of his lover's room.

"You know you've been standing here for a good 15 minutes."

Chris jumped, taking his eyes off Rock's door for a moment to meet the gaze of Hunter Hearst Helmsley. "So?" he snapped.

Hunter crossed his arms over his broad chest. "So are you gonna go in, or what?"

"It's none of your business!" Chris told him sharply.

Hunter raised an eyebrow. "So it was Rocky, eh? What'd he beat you up for? Fun?"

"Shut the fuck up!" Chris exclaimed. "Just go away."

"Couldn't do that," Hunter smirked. "Why don't I stay and help you patch things up with the old ball and chain? Or, if you want, I can beat him up and get your bag for you."

"I don't need your help!" Chris snapped. "And - and it wasn't Rocky! There's nothing wrong between us, I just needed some space! And I got into a fight at some bar, that's how I got banged up."

"Right." Hunter rolled his eyes. "I'm not stupid, Jericho. So if it wasn't your boyfriend that beat you up, why don't you go in and get your bag?"

"I will." Chris stood up straight, pulling out his key and sliding it through the lock. He took a deep breath, then pushed open the door, ignoring Hunter as he stepped into the room. His heart instantly began to beat quickly, his stomach clenching with fear. The first thing he saw was Rock, sitting on the bed with his arms crossed over his chest, a look of poison on his face. "I just came for my bag," he squeaked out.

"Oh, you'll get more than that!" Rock growled, rising to his feet and approaching the quivering blonde. "How DARE you leave like that!" He grabbed Chris by the front of his shirt, shaking him savagely and delivering a stinging slap to his already bruised face. "I'll show you what you get for disobeying me, you little bitch! You're going to be so sorry, you'll never even think about disobeying me again!"

"No!" Chris squeaked, dismayed to find himself completely paralyzed with fear. "Rocky, baby, you don't understand! I - I didn't mean to leave, but I got a phone call and had to leave right away! It was an emergency! I'm so sorry I didn't leave you a note, I just forgot! I'm sorry!"

"Now you're lying to me!" Rock hissed, slapping him again. He grabbed Chris' arm, dragging him over to the bed and flinging him down on his stomach, climbing on top of him and fumbling with his belt. "You're going to learn not to pull this kind of shit!"

"No! Please, baby, I - I'm sorry, I, please!" Chris begged, unable to stop the tears from trickling down his cheeks. "Please Rocky, I - I love you!" He cursed himself a thousand times for coming back into the room, when he knew something like this would probably happen. He tried to brace himself for the agony he knew was about to come, unable to stop the sobs from tearing out of his throat.

Then, Rock's weight on his back was gone. He heard shouting, managing to turn himself over in time to see Hunter nail Rock in the face with a balled up fist. The tall blonde quickly spotted Chris' bag and snatched it up, slinging it over his shoulder, then walking back over to the bed. He offered Chris his hand, frowning when the pretty blonde hesitated. "Come on, don't make me throw you over my shoulder," Hunter warned.

Chris swallowed, then took Hunter's hand, letting the tall blonde pull him to his feet. He yelped as Hunter swung an arm under his knees, the other supporting his back as the tall blonde picked him up completely. Hunter quickly carried his charge from the room, striding quickly through the hallway towards his own room. Chris buried his face in Hunter's strong chest, too ashamed to even think about looking his savior in the eyes. His cheeks were burning with humiliation, his eyes still wet with tears of shame.

Once they reached his room, Hunter carried Chris over to the bed and set him down gently, sitting on the mattress beside him. He stroked the blonde's hair as Chris continued to cry helplessly, staying silent and allowing Chris to cry himself out.

"I - I'm so stupid!" Chris choked out miserably. "So now you know what an idiot I am. What a stupid, helpless, pathetic idiot!"

"Aw, Chris, I don't think you're stupid," Hunter said softly, rubbing the blonde's back gently. "I think you were brave as hell to walk away from him last night and come to Kurt for help."

"But I went back." Chris swallowed, his body still shuddering with sobs. "I knew what would happen if I went into that room, and I still went back! I thought that maybe I'd have grown a set of balls and would be able to fight back, but I was too scared too! I'm so fucking weak!"

"Chris." Hunter pulled the blonde into a sitting position, setting his hands firmly on the other man's shoulders. "You are not weak. This kind of shit happens to the best of people sometimes. It's not your fault. The important thing now to stay away from him and let yourself heal."

Chris hiccuped, gazing at Hunter with his wet eyes. "I never thought I'd hear something like that from you," he whispered.

Hunter shrugged. "Well people can surprise you. Just know that I'm here for you, ok?"

"Thanks." Chris smiled sadly, wiping at his wet cheeks. "You saved me. I can't thank you enough for that. You didn't have to."

"And let him hurt you?" Hunter smiled, raising his hand and pushing a lock of Chris' golden hair behind his ear. "Never. You're too beautiful for that."

Chris shook his head. "I'm not beautiful. I'm not even pretty. I'm just an ugly loser who doesn't deserve anything, especially not you. Maybe I deserve it, maybe that's why he keeps beating me."

"Don't you ever think that," Hunter chastised softly. "You are a great guy Chris Jericho, and you deserve the best." He paused, swallowing, then moved forward, meeting Chris' lips in a soft kiss. Chris' eyes widened, but he didn't fight it. Instead, he wrapped his arms around Hunter's neck, pulling him into a deeper kiss. Hunter pressed forward, forcing Chris to lie back on the mattress.

Chris smiled when they drew apart, licking his lips as he gazed up at Hunter. "Do you actually want someone like me?" he whispered.

"Are you kidding?" Hunter grinned. "How could I not want you? As if you being utterly gorgeous wasn't enough, you're also smart, funny, and charming. But maybe we shouldn't do this." He sat back on his haunches, gazing down at the beautiful blonde "You're really vulnerable right now, I wouldn't want to take advantage. And I'm sure Rocky wouldn't like this."

Chris frowned, his eyes flashing with anger. "Fuck him," he spat, grabbing Hunter by his shirt and pulling the bigger man down on top of him. "If I want you, then I can be with you, and he can go fuck himself! I want you Hunter. Make love to me, now!"

Hunter grinned, already yanking his shirt up over his head. "Gladly," he purred.

"Ah! Hunter! More! Oh god! More! Uh!"

Kurt rolled his eyes as he pulled out his key. He didn't care if Hunter had tricked some young tart into his bed, it was still his room as well, at least for a few more hours, and he wasn't going to be shut out of it. He cursed himself yet again for being stupid enough to room with Hunter, even if it had only been for one night. "I swear, that man will never learn to keep it in his pants," Kurt muttered as he pushed open the door. As expected, Hunter was in bed, some young man's legs wrapped around his waist. Kurt was about to walk into the room when he saw a flash of blonde hair. He thought for one horrifying moment that it might be Edge, but quickly realized that Edge's legs were longer and slimmer than the young man's. However, he was more than a little shocked when he realized that it was, in fact, Chris Jericho.

He gasped, slowly backing out of the room and closing the door behind him. He didn't think either Hunter or Chris had noticed him, and for that he was glad. He leaned back against the door, frowning as he digested what he had just witnessed. He jumped when he felt a hand come to rest on his shoulder, heaving a sigh of relief when he met Edge's sparkling green eyes.

"You ok?" Edge questioned. "You looked about a million miles away."

"Yeah, I'm fine." Kurt swallowed. "Just a bit confused." He glanced around, stepping away from the door and lacing his fingers with Edge's, smiling at his beloved boyfriend. "Can we go to your room."

Edge raised an eyebrow. "I thought you told me none of that?"

Kurt flushed, swatting Edge in the shoulder. "Not like that! Just to talk!"

"Well, ok, I guess." Edge chuckled, keeping his fingers intertwined with Kurt's as they walked down the hall. "Christian's out somewhere or other," he explained as he unlocked the door and let them both in. He led Kurt over to the couch, plopping down and making himself comfortable, then looked to his boyfriend expectantly. "So what's bugging you, babe?"

"Chris Jericho." Kurt sighed. "Last night, he shows up at my door, beaten up pretty bad and pretty much terrified. Then I was talking to him this morning, and he just totally flipped out. He started ranting about how I can't let you push me around and about how a guy'll walk all over you if you let him. I tried to talk to him after that, but he just ran out on me. The next time I saw him, he was in on his back in Hunter's bed!"

Edge raised both eyebrows. "Seriously? Hunter and Chris?"

"Uh huh." Kurt shook his head. "I'm not sure what's going on, and I don't know what to do. I think that Rock's been beating up on him, but I don't understand at all why he'd sleep with Hunter!"

"I could see reasons." Edge shrugged. "Maybe he wants reassurance that he's still attractive and desirable. Maybe they've been having an affair all along. Or maybe Hunter someone played on his weakness and seduced him."

Kurt gasped. "You don't think Hunter would actually do that? I mean, to take advantage of a guy who'd been abused like that? That would be awful!"

"I don't know." Edge shrugged again. "I don't know Hunter all that well. But I don't think I'd put it past him."

"Well he'd better hope it's not that!" Kurt scowled, shaking his head. "If he did take advantage of poor Chris, I'll kick his ass myself!"

"Remember to ask them about it later." Edge scooted closer to Kurt, raising his eyebrows suggestively. "In the meantime, you and I seem to be here all alone."

Kurt blushed, smiling at his boyfriend. "Yeah we are." He swallowed, glancing at Edge a bit shyly. "So..."

"So." Edge grinned, leaning close to Kurt and pulling him into a kiss. Kurt happily kissed him back, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend's neck, but keeping a respectable amount of distance between their bodies. He continued to kiss Edge, slapping the other man's hand away when it began to creep towards his ass. Edge withdrew the offending limb, settling for resting his hand on the small of Kurt's back. Kurt let him get away with that, sighing happily as they continued to kiss.

"I'm shocked."

Hunter raised his eyebrows, glancing down at the blonde head resting on his chest. "About what?"

Chris grinned. "I'm shocked that you cuddle. I expected you to be a wham-bam-thank-you-mister kinda guy."

"Well, I am normally, but I'll make an exception for you," Hunter replied, delivering a sigh kiss to the top of Chris' head. "That was incredible."

"Isn't that what I'm supposed to say to you?" Chris chuckled. "God that was nice. I haven't done something like that in ages! I haven't even gotten to come in ages."

"Why's that?" Hunter questioned.

Chris sighed. He rose up on his elbow, raising his head from the tall blonde's chest. "I guess I might as well tell you, already know half if it. You see, Rocky, he - he wouldn't let me come. He wanted to punish me, and he - " Chris had to paused to take a deep, calming breath. "He would have his way with me, then make me stay in the bed while he went to sleep or watched tv or something. He said I didn't deserve to have an orgasm because I was cheating on him, which I wasn't!"

"Aw, that's terrible," Hunter murmured. "How could he treat a beauty like you that way?" He moved closer to Chris, pressing his lips against the pretty blonde's neck. "I may be a slut sometimes, but I would never you deny an orgasm. If you have to go through being stretched out and having a cock up your ass, you deserve one."

"Thanks," Chris whispered, smiling as Hunter's lips moved across his neck.

"You're welcome." Hunter raised his head, arching an eyebrow. "So when was the last time someone gave you head?"

"Um..." Chris swallowed. "I dunno. A long time, probably."

"Well I'll make you a deal," Hunter offered, smiling softly at Chris. "I'd be glad to please you, if in exchange you'll agree to let me protect you from that abusive bastard of a boyfriend you've got. Or should I saw ex-boyfriend?" Hunter looked Chris questioningly.

Chris bit his lip. After a moment, he nodded vigorously. "Yes, to both questions! I don't ever want to see him again."

"Excellent." Hunter winked at Chris, hovering over the other man's body. He started kissing at Chris' neck, trailing his lips down the blonde's body, gradually approaching his nether region. Chris' breath was getting shorter all the while, his eyes closing in bliss when Hunter finally reached the area of his desire.

"I'm telling you Sean, the guy is incredible in bed," Hunter was saying.

Kurt crouched by the bathroom door, his eyes narrowed as he listened to Hunter's conversation. Hunter was talking on his cell phone, apparently chatting with his buddy Sean Waltman. He had entered the room a moment ago, and was apparently unaware that Kurt was in residence in the bathroom. A week had passed, and Kurt was still rooming with Hunter, but this time he had a good reason. He was there to be a friend to Chris, who was also staying with him. He had grown more and more suspicious of Hunter's motives over the course of the week, seeing as Hunter had been acting far too sweet and understanding whenever Chris was around. If there was anything that Hunter Hearst Helmsley was definitely not, it was sweet and understanding. Kurt had been doing his best to discover exactly why Hunter was putting on such an elaborate act, and he was seething now that he apparently had.

"Not only that," Hunter continued, "but he gives the best head! Always up for a nice 69, too. And I can thank good old Rocky for pushing him into my lap. Stupid bastard, had a doll like Chris and just threw him away! What a moron."

Kurt gritted his teeth. Not wanting to listen to any more, he flipped the shower on for a moment, ducked his head under the spray, then shut it off, grabbing a towel and drying off his wet hair. He slung the towel over his shoulder, pretending to have just emerged from the shower as he pulled the bathroom door open. He feigned surprise when he saw Hunter, noticing that the tall blonde hastily finished up his phone call and tossed his cell back into his bag.

"Hey Kurt," Hunter greeted, flopping down on the couch and flipping on the tv. "Have a nice shower?"

"Sure." Kurt shrugged. "Where's Chris?"

"Went shopping with Edge," Hunter replied. "We ran into him at lunch and he offered, so I turned Chris over to him. Nice guy, that boyfriend of yours. If you're not gonna give me any, you should at least be giving him some."

"That's none of your business!" Kurt snapped.

"Well you're my roommate and potential lover, can't we talk about personal stuff?" Hunter teased.

"I am ONLY staying with you for Chris' sake!" Kurt informed him. "And I'll warn you right now Hunter, if you're only using him for sex, then not only are you despicable, but you are in for one serious ass kicking from yours truly! I heard what you were saying on the phone just now!"

"Oh come on Kurt," Hunter replied, sounding a bit defensive. "Yeah, Chris is great in the sack, but that's not the only reason I'm interested in him. I think he's a great guy, and he sure as hell didn't deserve to be treated the way he was by Rocky."

"Are you so stupid that you can't see the way he's been looking at you?" Kurt snapped. "He's falling in love with you!"

"In love?" Hunter snorted, rolling his eyes. "Gimme a break Kurt! Geez, it's been, what, a week? What you're seeing is just the starry-eyed gaze of a man who's never been more sexually satisfied in his life."

Kurt scowled, giving Hunter an look of poison. "You know darn well Chris is getting a hell of a lot more attached than that, Hunter! If you just want him for sex, you have to tell him that now. He's my friend, and I don't want you to build his hopes up only to take it all away! I'd rather he found out now, preferably when Edge and I are around, so that we can comfort him and give him real support."

"Oh come on Kurt, you are really over dramatizing this!" Hunter exclaimed. "He understands that I don't want some romantic connection."

"No he doesn't!" Kurt snapped. "And you've done nothing to try and shake that idea from his head, either. As a matter of fact, you've been encouraging him at every turn! If he finds out about you, he'll probably go running right back to Rock, and we'll be right back where we started!"

"He's not gonna go back to Rock," Hunter replied nonchalantly. "They're through, and Rocky knows that. Chris would never go back to him."

"Wouldn't he?" Kurt challenged. "Abused wives go back to their husbands all the time. And Chris was so in love with Rock, he probably still feels a lot of that. You can't just be magically out of love, Hunter, not like you'd know anything about that."

"Would you spare me the freaking lecture?" Hunter snapped. "I'm not some stupid teenager, I know what I'm doing. Now just back off and leave me alone! If it makes you feel better, I'll talk to Chris, ok?"

"Ok." Kurt hesitated a moment, but, deciding there would be other times to continue this, left Hunter to his own wiles, settling down with a book and doing his best to ignore the tall blonde for the remainder of the afternoon.

"Chris, I need to talk to you."

Chris raised his head from Hunter's chest, his blue eyes wide and expectant. "About what?" He was still flushed with a post-coital glow, his lovely blonde hair tousled but still wildly sexy.

"Kurt seems to have this silly idea that you're - get this - " Hunter snorted, " - falling in love with me!"

"Oh." Chris looked a little unsure. "Would that be a bad thing?"

"Well, come on, we've only been sleeping together for a week," Hunter replied. "And it's just sex, right? Like comfort sex to get you off of Rocky. I know I sure as hell don't want a relationship, and you're just getting out of a bad one, so I figured - "

"You figured what? That you'd use me as your whore and throw me away when you thought I was 'better'?" Chris shoved Hunter away from him, wiping furiously at his watering eyes as he grabbed his clothes and pulled them on. "Thanks a lot, Hunter! Thanks a fucking lot! I should've known all you wanted from me was sex. I suppose that's why you saved me too, isn't it? Because you thought you could use it to get in my pants? Just because you wanted to have sex with me?"

"Not JUST because," Hunter replied defensively. "I honestly didn't want to see him beat you up. And yeah I might've thought about laying you, but you're blowing this way out of proportion! Besides that, you didn't take a minute to jump right into my bed, did you? You obviously wanted it bad, since you weren't getting it from Rocky."

"You asshole!" Chris wiped at his eyes, trying to glare to Hunter while tears slid down his cheeks. "You fucking led me on and you know it! First you play hero, then you get all sweet and cuddly with me, and now you tell me it's been nothing but meaningless sex! I should've listened to Kurt and stayed away from you instead of becoming another one of your little toys! God am I an idiot!" Chris sniffed and wiped his eyes again, snatching up his bag and stomping over to the door. "I'm swear off men! I'm never going to trust another bastard like you or Rock again! Go to hell Hunter!" He left the room, slamming the door hard behind him.

Hunter was scowling furious at the closed door. He picked up the phone, yanking it from its socket as he hurled it at the door. "Fine! Good riddance, you little bitch!" he hissed, flopping down on his side and continuing to glare angrily at the wall.

"God am I stupid." Chris had moved down to the lobby and was sitting in a secluded corner. His knees were pulled up to his chest and he was rocking slightly, taking deep breaths to try and calm down. He had told himself he'd get his own room as soon as he got himself under control, but he didn't yet feel ready to face anyone, even the clerk at the desk.

"Falling in love," he muttered. "I wasn't falling in love. I just thought he might give a fuck about my feelings! Guess I'm just a fucking idiot."

"Chris, baby."

Chris froze, his eyes slowly rising, widening as he saw who was before him. "Stay away from me!" he cried, shrinking back against his chair.

Rock knelt down beside him, a pleading look on his face. "Chris, please, don't be afraid of me. I love you baby. You're everything to me. I know I treated you like shit, and I could not be more sorry! I was an idiot and an asshole. I swear baby, I'll never, ever act that way again. Just give me another chance, please!"

"Why should I?" Chris quavered, his body shaking slightly from fear.

"Because I love you," Rock whispered, reaching out and taking Chris' hands in his. "I really love you. Please, just let me take you up to my room, love you, hold you. The last week has been like hell without you near me. I'll make everything up to you baby, I swear! I'll be the best lover you could ever ask for, and I'll never hit you again in my life."

"I don't know," Chris whispered, swallowing hard. "I love you Rocky, but you put me through hell. I can't take that again."

"I know, and you won't have to," Rock said softly. "Never again, baby. Please, please give me another chance."

"Well, I - I guess maybe," Chris replied reluctantly. "I'll try it tonight, but I will leave again if you do anything!"

"Oh thank you!" Rock grinned, giving Chris a peck on the cheek. "You'll never want to leave again, I promise. Come on my love." He picked up Chris' bag, sliding his arm around Chris' waist as the pretty blonde stood. "I love you," he said against as they headed up to his room.

Chris smiled, sliding his arm around Rock's waist in return and resting his head on the big man's shoulder. "I love you too," he whispered.

"This was the best night ever." Kurt stopped outside his room, smiling at Edge like a lovesick schoolgirl. "You know you're the best, right?"

Edge grinned. "Why thank you. You're not so bad yourself. Tonight was wonderfully romantic, I loved every minute of it - mostly because I was with you."

Kurt blushed, glancing at the floor, then daring to raise his eyes and meet Edge's gaze. He swallowed, then stepped forward, wrapping his arms around Edge's neck and drawing his boyfriend into a deep kiss. Edge murmured his approval, wrapping his arms around Kurt's waist and pulling their bodies together as they kissed.

Kurt was brushing prettily when they drew apart. "You wanna come in?" he offered.

"Won't Hunter and Chris be here?" Edge questioned.

"Maybe." Kurt shrugged. "We can always go to your room if they are, or we can just kick them out."

"Sound good to me," Edge agreed, following Kurt into the room.

Kurt glanced around. Seeing no one, he inspected the nightstand, picking up a note that had been left there and reading it triumphantly. "Went out. Back later - Hunter." He grinned as he set the note down. "Looks like we've got the room all to ourselves."

"So what do you want to do?" Edge questioned, picking up the tv guide and flipping through it. "Wanna watch a movie, or just cuddle and talk?"

"Actually..." Kurt swallowed, sinking down onto the bed and gazing nervously at Edge. "I think - and I'm not, like, 100 percent positive, but I think I'm ready."

Edge nearly dropped the tv guide, staring wide eyed at Kurt, who now had his full attention. "Are you serious? You want to..."

Kurt nodded. "Yeah. I know I've made you wait a long time, I'm sorry about that. But I love you, and I'm ready to be with you."

"That is the best thing you've said to me since your fist 'I love you'," Edge stated, a wide grin taking over his features. "You sure?"

Kurt swallowed again, then nodded. "Yes. I'm sure. Make love to me?"

"It would be my pleasure," Edge replied. He walked over to the bed, slowly sinking down next to Kurt, then pulling the other man into his arm and drawing him into a passionate kiss. Slowly they undressed each other, taking their time exploring each other's bodies. Kurt was in heaven as Edge's hands and lips ran over his body, equally enjoying his exploration of Edge's lanky, firm body. He loved the way the gorgeous blonde's flesh felt under his fingers, the new sensations overwhelming him and drowning him in bliss.

Then, just as he had rolled onto his back and spread his legs to be the prepared, came the unthinkable - a knock at the door. Edge groaned, looking between Kurt, the bottle of lube in his hand, and the door.

"I guess I should get that," Kurt muttered, looking at Edge longingly.

"Yeah, you should," Edge sighed. "If it's Hunter, he's about to get his ass kicked!"

"By us both," Kurt affirmed, slipping out of bed and pulling on his robe.

Edge slid under the covers, catching Kurt's hand before the brunette could go far and kissing the back of it. "Don't be long," he whispered.

"I won't," Kurt assured his to-be lover, feeling himself flush with heat again. He strode over to the door. Pulling it open just a crack, he was about to tell whoever it was to go away, when he was met with a horrible sight. Outside the door stood Chris, bruised, bleeding, tearstained, and clearly borderline hysterical. "Oh my god!" he exclaimed, opening the door all the way and helping Chris hobble into the room. "Jesus, what happened?"

"I - I was - he - he said - and - and - " Chris couldn't say anymore, breaking down in helpless sobs.

"It's ok. Come on honey." Kurt led Chris into the bathroom, sitting him down on the counter again and tending to his wounds. "You just calm down, ok?" he whispered. "Then you can tell me what happened. Geez this is bad!"

"I - I'm sorry," Chris stuttered, looking at Kurt with wide, tearful eyes. "You were so right Kurt! I shouldn't have let him, shouldn't have let him hurt me! I - I need someone, someone who cares, someone like, like you!" Without warning, he moved forward, pressing his lips against Kurt's. Kurt's eyes widened, his body momentarily freezing. He snapped out of it when he heard a gasp from the doorway.

Tearing himself away from Chris, he whirled around, dismay overcoming him when he saw Edge's golden hair rapidly retreating from the door. "Edge! Wait!" he cried, running after his lover.

"Oh, don't mind me!" Edge snapped, snatching his clothes up off the floor. "Just go back to your 'friend'! He looks like he needs comforting, and obviously you know how to provide that!"

"No! Baby, it's not like that!" Kurt insisted. "He kissed me! We've never done anything like that before! Edge, please, don't go. I love you, I still want to be with you tonight." He put his hand on Edge's arm, gazing at his lover pleadingly with his beautiful blue eyes. "Please trust me Edge. I love you I've never lied to you."

Edge hesitated a moment, then nodded. "Ok. I believe you. But I should still go, let you deal with this."

"No," Kurt told him firmly. "I'm ready, and this is our night! Nothing's going to ruin this. Look, just give me a minute to deal with him and we'll get back on track, ok?" Edge looked a bit unsure, but Kurt didn't give him a chance to reply before he headed back into the bathroom. He grabbed a towel and handed it to Chris, patting him softly on the back and telling him, "You just take a nice long shower and calm down, ok? Take some time to think, and I'll be right out there when you're calm enough to talk, ok?" Not giving Chris a chance to talk, he quickly left the room, after briefly checking to make sure there were no razors or other such things in the bathroom. He closed the bathroom door behind him, smiling at Edge as he let his rope drop to the floor. "Now where were we?" he murmured, jumping back onto the bed and pouncing on his lover.

Chris stood under the hot water, staring off into space. The spray felt good on his sore and bruised muscles, but his mind was still a million miles away. Or, more specifically, it was reliving his mistake over and over again. He had stupidly believe Rock's promises, following Rock to his room and letting his lover romance him all night. He had been so enchanted, he had allowed Rock to talk him right back into bed. Then, all hell had broken loose. Rock's sweet facade had vanished instantly when he discovered Chris had already been with someone that night. He had screamed and shouted, beating Chris until the pretty blonde had finally confessed that Hunter had lured him into bed. After that, Rock had gone crazy, calling him every name in the book and continuing to beat him, culminating the attack by throwing Chris on his stomach and having his way with him, purposely being as harsh and brutal as possible.

Chris had just lain there and cried, not moving a muscle until Rock had finally drifted off to sleep, then grabbing his clothes and stumbling to Kurt's room, praying that Kurt would be there and Hunter wouldn't. And now here he was, alone in the shower, while Kurt finally consummated his relationship with Edge. Even with the shower running and the door closed, he could still hear the noises from the other room. Kurt would loudly expressing his pleasure, and that fact just made Chris feel worse.

"Why can't I have someone like that?" he gulped, more tears filling his eyes. "Why can't a sweet, wonderful, incredible guy fall for me? Why can't anyone love me that much? Why the hell do I only get assholes like Rock and Hunter? It's not fucking fair!" He wiped at his eyes, trying not to stop himself from crying again. "Who am I fucking kidding? A guy like Kurt could never love me! Look at him, he's with Edge, another perfect guy! God." He stuck his face under the hot spray, letting the water wash away his tears. He let himself cry in silence, simply wallowing in his own misery until he heard a third voice from the main room.

"Woah! What's going on here?"

"You weren't supposed to be back 'til late!" Chris heard Kurt cry.

"Well I didn't know you were going to - geez! Now I wish I hadn't come back early. I'll just go take a shower or something until you two're done."

Chris froze. Before Kurt could say anything more, Hunter was stepping into the bathroom, closing the door tightly behind him. "Wish that'd been me," he commented. " 'Bout time Edge got Kurt into bed. Damn do I wish it were me with my dick up that boy's ass." He chuckled, pulling off his shirt and pants, running a quick hand through his hair, then stepping towards the shower. He frowned when he finally realized that the shower was already on. "Kurt leave this on?" he murmured, grabbing the shower curtain and yanking it open. His eyes widened when he saw Chris standing inside, standing completely still. The blonde was staring back at him with wide eyes. "Chris! What the hell?" Hunter looked over Chris' naked body, shaking his head when he saw all the fresh bruises. "What happened to you?"

Chris managed to jolt himself into action at last, quickly shutting off the shower and wrapping a towel around himself. "None of your fucking business!" he snapped.

Hunter sighed. "You went back to him, didn't you? And he beat the crap out of you."

"As if you give a fuck?" Chris hissed, glaring at the tall blonde. "You're one to talk, considering how you used me as a fuck toy when you knew how much he'd hurt me!"

"Excuse me if I like getting laid," Hunter shot back. "But really, I'm not that bad a guy. Bet I'd treat you better than he ever did."

"Too bad you're not available for anything but meaningless sex," Chris shot back. He was still standing in the shower stall, his anger at the tall blonde who had used him overriding any pain, physical or emotional, that he was currently feeling.

"I could do the relationship thing," Hunter replied defensively.

"Sure you could," Chris snapped bitterly.

"Hey, I made you feel a hell of a lot better this past week, didn't I?" Hunter reminded the pretty blonde.

"You were just acting to get me into bed!"

"Not completely." Hunter shrugged. "It was kinda fun being sweet with you and all."

Chris rolled his eyes. "Oh, I'm sure you enjoyed that a lot more than fucking me, didn't you? Cut the bullshit Hunter. You wanted sex from me, and you got it, so just forget it and move on to your next conquest."

Hunter looked uncomfortable, shifting on his feet. He was silent for a moment, his eyes moving all over the room, then he met Chris' eyes. "If he ever tries to touch you again, I'll wipe the floor with him."

"I can take care of myself!" Chris informed him. "I made a fucking stupid mistake, and I'm not gonna make it again! Now just fuck off and go back to your meaningless, shallow life!"

"I would." Hunter sighed deeply, "I just don't think I can. Fuck me if I don't actually like you!" Chris was quiet, too surprised by the tall blonde's revelation to know what to saw. Hunter took a deep breath, then continued, "Look, I admit that at first, I only paid attention with you to get you into bed. And yeah it hasn't been very long either. I sure as hell am not saying something stupid like I think I'm in love with you, but I do think that I could go out with you. And I mean like a real boyfriend, not just some fuck buddy. I was an asshole and I'm sorry, but if you'll give me a chance, I'll try to actually be a good boyfriend and all. To be honest, I haven't done that since I was just a kid, and I'm getting pretty sick of meaningless sex." He looked to Chris, holding his breath while he waited for the blonde to reply.

Chris couldn't stop himself from staring. "Are you seriously telling me that you want, like, a relationship? With depth, and genuine emotions, and hand holding?"

"Well, uh, I don't know about the hand holding, but I'd kind of like to try it again." Hunter shrugged, running a hand nervously through his hair. "I'll probably suck at it, but I can sure as hell promise you that I'll never in my life hit you or beat you up."

Chris still looked a little unsure. "How do I know this isn't just bullshit to get me back into bed?" he demanded.

"I don't know." Hunter shrugged. "I'll do my best to prove it to you, Chris."

"Ok." Chris crossed his arms over his chest, giving Hunter a smug look. "I'll except your offer, but on one condition. No sex."

"What? You can't be serious!" Hunter shook his head. "Aw fuck it, I can't do this! I'm not a relationship guy."

"I knew it!" Chris looked disgusted. "You really are that shallow, aren't you?" He stomped over to the door. After listening for a moment to make sure that Edge and Kurt were done, he walked out into the room, throwing himself down onto one of the beds and pretending to go to sleep. When Kurt, who was cuddled up in bed with Edge, asked if he was alright, Chris told him he was tired and needed to sleep, asking him to inform Hunter that he was welcome to the sofa. With that, he closed his eyes, only just managing to stop himself from crying yet again. There were only two men who showed any interest in him, one of them being the savage abuser he was rapidly falling out of love with, the other being a shallow sex monster who didn't want anything but mindless sex. He sighed deeply, wondering what he'd done to deserve such a crappy life.


Kurt opened his eyes to the sight of Hunter bending over him, the tall blonde shaking him gently. Kurt scowled, moving closer to Edge's warm body. "What do you want?" he whispered.

"Can I talk to you for a minute?" Hunter pleaded, gesturing towards the bathroom. "Please?" he added when Kurt didn't move.

Kurt sighed, glancing at his brand new lover, then climbing out of bed, careful not to wake Edge up. He followed Hunter to the bathroom, speaking as soon as the door was closed. "What is it?" he demanded. "Are you gonna tell me what the hell happened to Chris? If you did that to him, I swear I'll - "

"No, nothing like that!" Hunter sighed. "I talked with him like you asked me too, and he got pissed and left. Next time I saw him he was standing in the shower, looking like he got the shit kicked out of him. He wouldn't tell me, but I know Rock did it to him. What I said made him go back to the asshole."

"Didn't I tell you that would happen?" Kurt snapped. "I told you not to use him! I told you that blow would be enough to make him take that asshole back."

"I know! You were fucking right, ok?" Hunter ran a hand through his hair, looking pleadingly at Kurt. "But the thing it, it was more than sex. I mean, I want it to be more. I could see myself spending some time with the guy, you know? But now he fucking hates me and thinks I'm just a shallow bastard who doesn't give a shit about anything but getting laid. Do you think you could talk to him, just tell him that - "

"Tell him that you like him?" Kurt chuckled. "Why do I feel like I'm back in third grade?"

Hunter glared at the brunette. "I'm serious! I want him to be with me, Kurt."

"Then tell him that," Kurt informed him.

"I did, but he didn't believe me," Hunter muttered. "He said, sarcastically, that he'd gladly date me, as long as I agreed that there'd be no sex!"

"So take him up on the offer," Kurt replied, starting to get antsy to get back into Edge's arms.


"Take him up on the offer!" Kurt snapped. "If he says he'll date you with the condition of no sex, and you really like him, then do that!"

"But - but no sex?" Hunter frowned.

"Yes!" Kurt rolled his eyes. "It's not really that hard. Hell, I went 30 years without ever having sex! That's actually what convinced me to finally be intimate with Edge. I didn't want to sleep with him before I knew that he liked me for me, and would still want me if we never had sex. So if you're honestly not that shallow and you finally want to have a real relationship, then put away your condoms and really get to know him. If you can't do that, then just forget him and don't hurt him any more, ok. I've got a hard enough job ahead of me as far as Chris goes, I don't need you messing him up any more. Got it? Now go to sleep and let me go enjoy my first night in Edge's arms!" He yanked open the door, turning around briefly before he departed. "And Chris has the other bed, so you get the couch." With that, he left, leaving the door open for Hunter.

Hunter sat on the counter, leaning back against the wall and sighing deeply. "Being shallow is better than this shit," he muttered to himself. He almost wished his interest in Chris would disappear, but really, he didn't want it to. He wanted to be with Chris, he just had to figure out whether he had the self-control to handle it.

"Ok, here's the thing."

Chris yawned and opened his eyes, looking up at Hunter with a bit of confusion. "Mmph?"

Hunter was sitting on the bed, peering down at Chris. "About what you said last night," he began.

"What?" Chris sat up, rubbing his eyes and looking around. Edge and Kurt were gone, their bed neatly made, presumable by Kurt. "Where are Kurt and Edge?" he questioned.

"Oh, they left," Hunter told him. "I would've woken you up earlier, but I had to figure out what to say. And here's what I came up with."

"About what?" Chris asked, still a little out of it.

"About us," Hunter replied, taking a deep breath. "Are you awake enough for this, or should I wait a few minutes."

"No, I'm ok now," Chris told him, yawning again. "Go on."

"Well, I've thought about it all night, and I want to be with you," Hunter told him haltingly. "It'll be kind of weird for me, well, it'll probably be kind of weird for you too, but I still want to try it. I haven't had a real relationship in a long time, and I want to have one with you. I'm gonna be there for you and make sure that scumbag Rocky keeps his hands off you, and I'll do boyfriend-type things. Kurt's gonna help me out with that one. And if you say no sex, well, I'm gonna try that too."

Chris was wide-eyed by the time Hunter finished his speech. "Are you for real?" he questioned, hardly able to believe what he had just heard.

Hunter shrugged. "I really want to try it, Chris. I'm not promising I'll be any good at it, but I at least want to try. I honestly like you, and I honestly have good intentions. We can take it slow, because, well, you're getting off a really bad relationship, and I'm kind of just learning how to have an actual relationship."

"Wow." Chris took a moment to let it sink in, looking at Hunter with interest. "I don't know if this can work out, Hunter. But, what the hell, we might as well give it a try. Most importantly, I need you to stop me from going back to Rock, 'cos I'm still afraid I will. I don't want to, but I fell for his shit just yesterday, maybe he could sweet talk me again."

"I promise, he won't lay a finger on you," Hunter assured the pretty blonde.

"Good." Chris felt a smile coming across his face. "If this really is a new leaf you've turned over, I like it," he told Hunter.

"Oh, it really is," Hunter assured him. "Or will be, anyway. From now on, I'm gonna be hands off and charm on!"

"Charm?" Chris chuckled. "Well, we'll just have to see about that! I wasn't under the opinion that you had any."

"Ha ha ha." Hunter rolled his eyes. "I've gotta have a bit somewhere, I'm sure I can find it."

"I hope you do," Chris replied, feeling hope start to rise in him again. He wasn't going to let himself get too optimistic, not just yet, but he was starting to believe that maybe he would have a shot at happiness after all.


"You don't understand Kurt!"

"I do understand," the Olympian claimed.

"No you don't!" Chris shook his head. "I really, really, really want to have sex with him!"

"I do understand, because a few months ago, I was in the same situation!" Kurt exclaimed. "I really wanted to sleep with Edge, but I wasn't sure I should, because I wanted him to really love me, sex or no. When I felt he'd proved that he did love me and didn't need sex to want to be with me, then I decided it was time. So do you think Hunter's proved that yet?"

"I don't know." Chris nibbled on his fingernail, a bad habit he had picked up recently. "He's been great. Not a perfect boyfriend, by any means, but he has been straight with me, and he's made me feel a hell of a lot better about myself. I think if we split now, I'd still be strong enough to stay away from Rock, and any man like him."

"Not that he'd go after you, with that Helms kid as his new playtoy," Kurt stated, rolling his eyes. "Now those're two men who royally deserve each other!"

Chris chuckled. "Definitely true! But back to Hunter. He's not perfect, but he's Hunter, you know? And he's really sweet, in a way. I don't know. I feel like it's kind of too soon, since we haven't even said 'I love you' yet. I don't know if he'll ever say it, he's too damn macho. But there are times I just want to jump his bones, he can be so wonderful, and with that body too! I'm really thinking about discarding the 'No sex' rule."

"There's nothing wrong with that, if you think the time is write. If it makes any difference, I've been keeping tabs on him, and as far as I know he's not cheating. He really does seem to care about you," Kurt put in.

"Maybe I'll give it another week," Chris mused. "It feels like forever since the last time I had sex, and I miss it like crazy! Plus I know how good Hunter is in bed from before, and I can't wait to have that again."

"Well if you show up some morning with a healthy glow, I'll know why!" Kurt teased. "But I want to know *everything*! It'll be great, we can swap stories about Edge and Hunter."

"I already know the story of your first night together Kurt, I was there!" Chris teased in return. "You are so loud in bed, I don't know how Edge puts up with you!"

Kurt flushed. "I am not that loud!" he insisted.

"Are so," Chris teased.

Kurt huffed and crossed his arms. "Well if you'd ever slept with Edge, you'd know that it's impossible not to be loud! He's absolutely incredible in bed. Besides, I bet you're loud too!"

Chris shrugged. "Maybe. I probably will be when Hunter and I finally go to bed together just for fun." He laughed and smiled as he and Kurt continued to tease each other. He had taken a gamble when he put his trust in Hunter, but it had definitely paid off. His self confidence and optimism were both way up, above normal levels even, and he was enjoying teaching Hunter the ins and outs of a real relationship between two men. For the moment, life was good. Very good.


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