Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Joe watched as his wife of just six months angrily paced the living room floor of their three-bedroom Pensacola home. He had spent the last hour trying to explain to her the direction that WWE Creative was taking in his latest feud with the self-proclaimed "Eater of Worlds" Bray Wyatt. With Father's Day just around the corner and a need to have some kind of meaningful feud for the next pay-per-view event, Creative had decided to write an angle that involved the use of the couple's 7-year-old daughter JoJo. Joe had tried to convince Lina that their daughter wouldn't be harmed and that the angle only really required the use of a picture he'd taken with JoJo during the fatherhood PSA commercial that they filmed together last year. However, Lina wasn't thrilled in the least about the idea of exploiting their young daughter for profitable gain.

"Lina, that's not what this is about. This is a good opportunity for me to build the depth of my character."

"Joe, are you listening to yourself?! You wanna use our daughter to further your career! That's just selfish and irresponsible as a father! You're supposed to protect her!"

"Don't you ever call me irresponsible again! I work damn hard to provide for you and JoJo. I'm on the road all the time, busting my ass to give you two a comfortable life!"

"That's just it, Joe! You're never home!"

"Lina, this isn't new! You knew exactly what would happen when I got the call up from NXT!"

"Yeah, I knew, but you're letting this WWE shit change you, Joe. I'm really starting to think that you believe you're Roman Reigns!"

"Did you really just say that?" Joe asked incredulously.

Lina shook her head in frustration and grabbed her car keys.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"I can't even entertain this shit right now. I'm gonna go pick up JoJo."

Joe rolled his eyes and blew his own breath of frustration.

"She's fine where she is. We need to finish this."

"There's nothing to finish. You're obviously gonna do what you wanna do," she said, walking to the door, and then turning to face him once again. "Sometimes, I wish you'd just be JoJo's father."

She watched as his eyes turned an intense shade of gray. When she said it, she knew it was a low blow. There was nothing in this world that he loved more than her and his daughter, but sometimes she doubted his loyalty to their family. Joe's WWE persona was charismatic, commanding, and alluring to women all over the world. However, as Joe, he was the love struck husband and doting father, but lately, she was starting to think that he was having trouble discerning the difference between the two. His career was demanding and kept him away from home so much, that she felt that after just six months of marriage, they were starting to drift apart. Her mother had told her that the first few years were the hardest and with Joe on the road so much, things would be even harder. However, her love for him overruled any fear or reservations she had about being with the extremely popular superstar, convincing her to marry him back in December. Here it was June, and their arguments seemed to be getting worse and happening more frequently. As much as she hated to admit it, she knew from the beginning that this was an argument she wouldn't win, but she had to let him know how she felt. It was important that he was reminded that she also had a voice.

Lina froze at the door when Joe's baritone voice rang out in a low growl.

"There are a lotta things you can say about me, Lina," he started, walking towards her until they were face to face, "but one thing you won't ever say to me again is that I need to be a father to my child. Do you understand?"

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