October 28, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Eight

The next few days for Callie were filled with endless hospital visits, and family talks. It seemed the family was interested in Daddy’s newest mentor, Callie. She was set to take over his law firm for him, while he adjusted to life post-coronary.

She sat on her window seat and stared out to the world, Christmas Eve snow flanked the pavement as more flakes fell from the sky. She’d missed two calls from Jon over the last couple of days, and she wished he would have left a message as to where he was. She watched the snow fall helplessly and wondered if she was falling helplessly into something that she didn’t want. It felt right for her father, and family loyalty had to always come first. But like snow, eventually it would melt and all that would be left was cold grey hard concrete. Just like how her heart felt.

She sighed, her own law firm was holding a Christmas Eve party, her bosses were sad at her resignation but they understood and saw it, like everyone else as a chance of a lifetime for her career. She should have gone, to say thanks for everything that they’d done for her. But she was too content being alone, watching the snow and listening to Frank Sinatra croon White Christmas and having a glass of wine.

Things were racing out of control, long forgotten was her dream to do what she wanted to, what she came home to do. Long forgotten was feeling of how she felt around Jon, it seemed like weeks they’d been apart, not days.

How was she even going to tell him this? That she’d sacrificed her dream yet again, because of her father’s wishes. Hot tears splashed against her hand as she fought back the bubbling in her throat, to lose it into nothing but pure misery.

The shrill of the phone snapped her head up, she wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand and snagged the receiver off the hook.


The first thing she heard was a clutter of noise and then a distinct laugh that made her knees buckle. She leaned back against the wall and her sweater bunched up as she slid to the ground.

“Hey,” god, it was good to hear his voice.

“God, finally Callie! Merry Christmas baby!” His voice was full of life and full of the hope she had been so desperate not to lose over the last few days.

“Merry Christmas to you too Jon,” her heart tripped as his whiskey soaked voice filled her with heat.

“It’s crazy here, and the snow is incredible Callie. What’s Jersey like?”

She laughed and looked over out the window. “Oh, it’s coming down here too.”

“I wish I was home, Callie. God I do.”

And I wish you were here too. She curled into herself, her apartment was so quiet and so still, no sounds of bells, jingling from Christmas Carols that should be played on the record player. No noisy chatter, along with the hustle and bustle in a kitchen that should be present on Christmas Eve. Nope, none of that. Just the pain.

“I do too,” she rolled her lip under her teeth, biting back the blur threatening her eyes.

“It’s quiet there Cal, why aren’t you out? No office parties, family get togethers?”

She should be at the hospital, by her father’s side. She’d been there most of the week, but today she knew she just couldn’t stand one more plan for the new firm, or how well he’d mapped out her career for the next five years. And here she was again, listening to him so full of life and dreams.

“No, just me tonight. What about you? What’s going on there?” The boisterous voices of Richie and David could be heard, and for the first time she wished she was there. There partying it up, having no cares in the world. Instead of sitting here, shouldered with the responsibility of a lifetime.

“Oh you know, the guys are fucking drunk...of course I’m not.” The smile was in his voice, the one that melted thousands of girls, and her own heart.

“Of course you’re not...” she twisted the phone cord around her finger and sighed. Well there was no time like the present. “Jon,” it came out barely more than a whisper.

There was a crackle and shouting on the line, before a new voice spoke.

“Hey little lady, Merry Christmas!” Her lips curled as Richie’s slurred voice came over the line.

“Hey Rich, having quite the party there huh?” She tried to stamp out the disconcertion that niggled her belly, was there any girls there, all over Jon?

“Of course, but it’s not party without the tequila queen!”

Her cheeks flushed, and she laughed. God, how could she miss something so much that wasn’t her? Ever since she came home she’d missed the craziness, the hustle and the bustle of the tour she got just a slice of. She missed it, hell she missed him. More than she wanted to say. “That was just the one time, I don’t usually...” she cut off by the line being scuffled again.

“Give it back asshole.”

“No, piss off, I wanna talk to Callie. I wanna tell her...”

“No Rich, don’t you dare. It’s gotta come from me.”

Callie’s hear raced in her ears, tell her what? There was a grunt and a slam of the door and the line fell silent.


“Hey, what’s going on there, do I need to come back and sort you both out?”

Jon snorted, “Yeah come and sort Captain Annoying out. Please, fuck.”

She curled into herself as he started to talk about the shows, his voice had fallen low and quiet as he spoke to her. She closed her eyes, god she could fall asleep listening to him. It was as soothing as listening to rain drum down on a tin roof, when you tucked safely in bed at night.

For a second, she lost herself in his voice and his laugh, forgetting the weight heavily resting on her shoulders.

“You ok?” she opened her eyes again, the chill of the wintery air settling against the windows, goosing up her skin.

“No, I’m not ok Jon.” She bit her lip as she heard down the line the door squeak open.

“Gotta go Jonny, the bus is leaving.” The unmistakable sound of Doc came across.

“Yeah, give me a second.” He sighed into the phone. “Callie, I have to go, can I try and ring you later when I get back to the hotel? I really need to talk to you.”

She nodded, and forced the disappointment away. “Sure, I’ve got to go to the store, but I’ll be here.”

“Sorry babe, Doc’s in one of his fuckin moods. I’ll call tonight. I promise.”


And he was gone. Just like that. He’ll call back, he said he would. She pulled herself up and hung up the phone. She wrapped her woollen coat around her and grabbed her purse, she needed a couple of things so she might as well head down to the store now. God knows why when she knew how ridiculous shops were on Christmas Eve, she must be insane.

Thirty minutes later she breezed into the store, grabbing some last minute food items she’d need over the holidays. They were having Christmas within the hospital and then a family dinner at night that her mother and older sister, Chelsea were preparing.

She was picking up some milk when a voice behind her stopped her dead in her tracks.

“Not with Jonny on the holidays?”

She turned around to see a petite blond girl standing popping some gum in a tight yellow spandex top, black leggings and matching bumblebee yellow heels. She had curves and boobs for miles.

“Ah, no sorry he’s on tour.” Had to be a fan, just a fan.

The girl turned and flipped through a glossy magazine. “Aw, such a shame. Wouldn’t want him to be alone again.”

Callie went to walk away, she should of but she stopped. “I’m sorry and you are?”

She grinned, “I’m Krissy. I was with Jonny last week.”

Callie felt her belly clench. “Oh, you went to the concerts? They’re great right?”

“Uh huh, got the full backstage tour, which included the bedroom.”

Callie closed her eyes, and pretended it didn’t matter. “Oh lucky you.”

Oh god, now what? She was his wife, was she expected to scream and carry on. This had to be before she came to Florida. Things had changed, Callie was sure of it, she felt it. She’d felt things she’d never felt before, they just hadn’t had a chance to talk about it.

“What, you’re not going to ask more? You’re his wife aren’t you?” Her knowing grin said way too much, and her fingers curled around the milk bottle tighter.

“Of course I am.”

“Relax darling,” she filed the magazine back on the shelf and leaned into Callie. “He told me all about how it’s just a lie. You’re not really married, married.”

He told someone, a girl he slept with—it had to be Doc, surely. Jon wouldn’t be so stupid.

Would he?

Callie swallowed the thick lump in her throat. “Right,” her voice changed to her courtroom tone without her even realizing it. “And tell me Krissy, when did you see my husband?”

She had to know. She prayed like hell she was wrong, that the few days she spent with him, meant something to him. Like he meant something to her.

“Couple of days ago, downstate.”

The words shattered her heart like ice. A couple of days ago? The isles, of neatly stacked cans blurred, as she fought for her dignity.

“Well, glad he’s still in top form.” She dropped her basket right in the isle and walked ahead, not looking back. She knew if she caught sight of the smug look on the bitches face, it would all be over.

How could he do this? No, he didn’t do anything. He always told her this was how it would be. She fumbled with her keys in the ignition, suddenly unable to simply find it.

“Dammit!” The tears tracked down her cheeks as she finally slid the key in. She had to get out of her, had to get the fuck out of sight.

The drive home was a blur, and all the while her head was screaming.

He told her the marriage was a fake? He told a random girl... just so he could probably get her into bed... the bed, they shared--

Oh god. She pulled off the road and slammed on the breaks. The sobs shook her chest as she gripped her steering wheel. She couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control the urge to cry or scream.

How could she have been so STUPID.

How could she have thought he loved her? Seriously.

She didn’t know how, but she got home. Dumping the keys on the counter she tugged the blinds shut, blocking out the Christmas postcard that was settling outside. She pulled the blanket from off the couch and wrapped herself around it. She stopped in the middle of the room as the phone shrilled through the room. Her eyes brimmed with tears as her machine clicked on, and that voice. That one voice that had the power she never knew it had, filled the room.

“Hey it’s me, where are you babe? I’m back at the hotel... I’ll try again in a bit.”


She closed the door to her bedroom and sank down low into the mattress, how was it that her life within the space of a week, was heading straight to hell?

October 13, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Jon rolled over and scratched his chest before stretching his arms out into the bed. When the blinding headache crept up into his eyes he swore.

“Fuck me.”

The light of day was intrusive and bloody bright. He sat up and yawned, looking over at the woman shaped curve that was left in the sheets. The aftertaste of tequila was still fresh on his lips. God, he couldn’t even remember who was in his bed last night? Betty? Or was it Bridget? Christ.

He stood and shucked on his jeans before padding through to the living area of the suite that the band was sharing, his head screamed for coffee. Now.

David was the only one sitting at the table reading the newspaper, the aroma of fresh coffee had his belly stirring.

“Morning sleepyhead.” He flipped his page and didn't look up.

Jon found a mug and poured himself a coffee, he took a long sip and sighed.

“Hey, where is everyone?” The sun was already high in the sky, it had to be past lunchtime and it was a no-show day.

“Went out for breakfast, Doc felt generous.”

Jon rubbed his temples, “fuck, is there an aspirin around here?” He tugged open the drawer and fished through the cutlery.

“You need more than aspirin Jonny.” And still David didn’t look up.

Jon raised his brow and shook his head, what the fuck was he on about now? He ignored him, he really wasn’t in the mood for pissy band mate moods this morning.

It had been two days since they’d moved on and Callie had left them. It was just five days out until Christmas, and then new years would be upon then and the end of the tour. Thank fuck, he was bone dead tired.

He picked up the phone without a second thought and dialled her number, he had no idea the day of the week, he just thought she might be home. When the call clicked onto her machine he sighed. “Hi Callie, it’s Jon. Thought I’d say hi, see what’s up. We’re moving out of here today so I’ll try again later. See ya.”

“Real smooth Johnny.” David flicked the page over and continued reading.

Jon slammed the receiver down, “ok man, what the hell is wrong? Did I commit a crime or something?”

“Depends what state you’re in.”

God, at times he was sick of living with the guys, he did his best to make this damn band work, and they didn’t have a lot yet but he wasn’t in the mood to hear them complain about more shit.

He opened a cupboard and found a box of aspirin but tossed it across the room when it was empty. “Fuck this. All I want is some fucking aspirin.”

“Guilt is a dangerous thing Jonny.” David folded the paper over and tucked it into quarters.

Jon slammed his palm down on the counter. “Ok. What the hell are you on about Bryan?”

“Did Miss Tits satisfy you last night?”

Jon goggled, “What’s that supposed to mean? You were with that pretty brunette when I left that party.”

David shook his head and chuckled. “Yea, I’m not married Jon.”

Jon’s eyes cast down to the plain band on his finger. Well shit, he wasn’t really married either—well technically he was, but they decided it was just for the show purposes. Right? They’d evidently become friends in the process, he liked her.

“You know that’s not how it really is,” Jon muttered curling his fingers into fists.

“That’s debatable, but that’s not the point. We know that but the general public doesn’t, all they see is a man-whore. A guy that sleeps around from his wife.”

Jon bit back the curse he wanted to let fly. “Why is it debatable.”

David stood, grabbed his mug and headed for the coffee perc. “Please, who are you kidding? That girl cares about you.”

“And I care about her,” he was quick to defend. Christ, he did, what the fuck was his point here.

“You really are stupid Jon, she came all the way down here to take you to a nice hotel and rest and god knows what else.”

Jon cocked his eyebrow, “so what we had sex? Big deal. She knows what the situation is.”

“Does she?”

David’s stare burned through him, right down to his gut. “Of course she did, I convinced her to stay married to me. She doesn’t care what I do, only that its not public.”

“That was when you were married Jon, things have changed a bit from then. And quite frankly you’ve been an asshole since she left.”

He scratched his throat, “I have not. I’m just fucking tired.” He paused as the other half of his sentence sank in, true things had changed since he was married. They’d grown somewhat closer, understood each other a little more, that was it. Wasn’t it?

“Yes you have Jonny, snappy and it’s like you’ve had your period or something.”

“Fuck off Bryan, what the hell is your problem?”

David cupped his mug and stared out the window. “So you are telling me if Callie was going out and sleeping with a bunch of guys, you’d have no problem?”

The growl in his throat surprised him as a flash of Callie in bed with another man, cut through to his knees. Some bastard’s hands all over her, touching making her groan the way he made her groan, sucking on her nipples and plunging into her heat…the way he had.

David chuckled after the long pause that echoed through the room. “Thought so.”

“She’s not with anyone else,” he offered, knowing that it didn’t mean shit.

“You know that’s not the point Jonny, and you damn well know it. Just because Doc’s throwing girls at you, doesn’t mean you have to take them Jon. I thought you had more class than that.”

He raked his hands through his hair, and snagged the packet of the cigarettes. “You know nothing about what we’re doing.” He flicked the lighter into life. Fucked if he knew, he thought he did.

“She’s a good kid Jonny, I don’t want her to get hurt so if you don’t feel the same way she feels about you. Tell her.”

He whirled around nearly sending his coffee into the wall. “The way she feels about me? A friend, she came out here as a friend.”

David raised his hand and slapped the back of his head. “You are so fucking stupid. How many friends come out and take their "friends" away for nights of sex and Christ, when you two were together, there’s a certain way a girl looks at a guy… and you just know.” He took Jon’s cigarette and took a drag. “You just know man.”

“Are you still drunk man? She wouldn't fall for a guy like me, she's not into all this.” Was he asking, or convincing himself? Shit.

“Why would it be an issue, considering you feel the same about her.”

David slapped his back and walked out leaving Jon staring into space, his heart pounding in his ears.

What in the fuck, he didn’t – god he couldn’t, he-

The door clicked open and Richie strode in. “Hey Jonny boy, you missed out on a good slap up breakfast, whoa who died?”

Jon felt the bile in his throat bubble, who the fuck did David think he was? He had no idea what he felt.

“David seems to think Callie and I are in love.” Richie didn't flinch, he laughed and sat down in the chair.

“Oh right, yea – well tell me something I don’t know.”

Jon’s eyes shot to his friend’s relaxed brown ones. “What?”

Richie snorted, “You heard. You love her. She loves you, its not rocket science.”

Jon sank down into the couch slowly. “I do?” His mind was racing, or was it his heart? What the hell was Richie on, still last night's shots?

“If she died tomorrow, how would you feel bro?”

Jon’s belly flip flopped, and the instinct to throw up he smashed down. “I’d be sad, no one deserves to die.” All this time? God, he was a stupid ass. He felt like he could tell her anything and that she understood him, better than some people that he’d known for years. He understood her, well not with her damn father’s manipulative ways, but he damned well cared about her.

He dug his fingers into his eyes as he tried to make sense of this whole shit. They were married. They agreed to stand each other and they grew close together because of circumstance? Could they possibly have fallen in love by circumstance as well?

Well fuck.

“You’ve been a jerk Jonny. Plain and simple. You know me, I love the ladies as much as anyone. But I draw the line when I’m supposed to be in love with someone else.”

“Yeah, I know. Rich – I just… fuck.”

Richie laughed. “Didn’t see that coming huh?”

“Why didn’t you fucking tell me this?”

“You wouldn’t have listened. You’ve been a grumpy bastard the last few days. That should tell you enough.”

“I’m always grumpy these days.”

“Would you be if Callie was here?”

Jon closed his eyes again, “Jesus.” He couldn’t be. He didn’t have time for love, his career was just getting started. Hell, who said Callie wanted to actually live in his life. What happened if he actually made something of himself through his music? How would he sustain a decent relationship?

The hangover competed with the nerves swimming in his belly. Now that it was in his head, he couldn’t shake it. Did he really love her? Weren’t you supposed to just know these things? This was just too much to even consider at this point.

“You really think she loves me?” He finally asked after his head went around and around with the possibilities. How could she, god he’d been an asshole. He hadn’t let up on the girls, and it wasn’t even always Doc pushing them down his throat, or – pants as this case was.

Damn it, he hated when David was right.

Richie grinned, “Dude. She does, trust me.”

He buried his head into the cushion, he was pretty good knowing when females were showing interest, so why the hell hadn't he seen this? God, the nights they spent together had been unreal, even he had to admit that. But wasn't it all just good sex? He jumped off the couch and paced around the room. There was no way, god he'd have to talk to her, not on the phone but face to face when he got home.

"Remember when you used to call her on the road?"

Jon spun around and faced his friend, who was looking ever so non chalent. "Yeah, so?"

"Your moods spin 360 when you' ve talked to her."

"Oh bullshit, this is just ridiculous. It's nice to talk to someone away from all this shit, that's all." Jon chewed on the tip of his thumb nail as it all sank in, and he still needed an aspirin. Fuck, make that two.

"I don't want to talk about this, I need a fucking shower." He stalked off towards the shower only to stop dead in his tracks as Richie had the last word.

"Truth hurts sometimes bro."

He slammed the bathroom door so hard, he was sure that it would fly off its hinges.

Fuck that shit. He was not in love with her.

He couldn't be.

October 10, 2009

Chapter-Thirty Six

For as long as she could remember, Callie loved going to the hospital. Some might say that was weird, as most people have this fear and dread of going to one. A place full of sickness, pity and death, through the eyes of some. But Callie saw it as a place of hope, healing and life. It was the air that hit you first, the crisp clean smell of sterilisation, sometimes with the added touch of pine. Or if you were lucky and came around a meal time, it was the smell of warm mass produced food that got you.

This was home

You just knew where you belonged, and Callie never felt out of place here. She always felt safe and always felt comfort , along with the small buzz of excitement that she felt right down to her toes. As the click of her heels followed her down the corridor, so did the chatter of doctors in long white coats being followed by interns like a gaggle of geese, desperate to learn all they could.

God, how she wanted that.

But no, instead she went through law school at her father’s wishes. She had the grades and the aptitude for law, there was no doubt there and he’d supported her in
every way. How did you tell him that it wasn’t for you, without it sounding like you were throwing it all back in his face? She was good at law, but truly wondered how good of a doctor she’d be, because she whole heartedly loved the idea.

It hadn’t been all awful, her parents had been wonderful parents, and she never had gone without for anything. She grew up in a big house, full of love and family, so she had nothing really to complain about.

She arrived at ICU, her palms growing sweaty as she approached the large white counter.

“Ah, I’m here to see Mr Richards,” she smiled to the nurse that was fussing with charts.

She looked up and her expression didn’t change. “And you are? Immediate family only.”

“I’m Callie, his daughter.” Some bed side manner wouldn’t have hurt, she thought watching the hard faced matron look down at her chart.

“Room 6A, you can stay for 20 minutes, he’s awake.” And she went back to filling out her papers.

Callie wondered if she just assumed she knew where room 6A was, it wasn’t rocket science but still. She began to think how she’d act in a hospital if she worked here, she certainly would at least smile and show some personality once and awhile.

She approached the door and peered through the glass, the lump building in her throat. There was her dad, her strong-minded, opinionated Dad, lying accessorised with tubes and machines. But it was his color that startled her, he was so white and looked like he’d aged ten years overnight. She’d never seen him look so weak in her life. Hot tears spilled down her cheeks as she slowly opened the door.

“Daddy?” The steady beep of his heart monitor, worked in tandem with the shhh of the oxygen.

He turned his head slightly and opened his eyes, steely blue just like hers, but clouded with sleep.

“Callie.” He lifted his hand, but she rushed over to his bedside and covered it with her own.

“Just rest daddy, I’m here.” She stroked his knuckles and propped herself on the side of the bed.

The small smile on the corners of his mouth reminded her of when she was young and used to curl into her father at night, while he read law cases, or watched TV.

“We couldn’t find you.” He croaked, signalling for the glass with a straw in it.

She reached over for the cup and held the straw at his lips, while he sipped.

“I was in Florida, with Jon.” No point lying, her mom already knew.

His eyes fell to hers, and he didn’t say anything more. He didn’t have to.

“How are you feeling? And what happened?”

He chuckled a little, and then took a deep breath. “I was over doing it, your mother kept telling me I was running the place too much on my own and needed help. But you know me, I didn’t listen.”

She smiled, that was her father, one hundred and twenty percent.

“Now you have to Dad, I hope you’re taking time off.”

He nodded, “that’s what I want to talk to you about.” Her heart skipped in her chest, talk to her about? Why? What could he possibly want from her?

His hand tightened around hers. “Callie, I know I haven’t been that supportive of you lately, and I’m not even going to talk about your marriage. But I’ve had to make a decision, and not one I’m going to take lightly.”

She nodded, “right...and?” She had no idea where this was going and still no idea what it had to do with her.

“I want you to take over the firm.”

Her head screamed, and her hand gripped the side bar on the bed.

“But Dad, I’m the youngest, don’t you want to leave this to Chelsea or Michaela, god or even Daryl?” He was the son, for god’s sake, he should get this.

“That’s why Callie, you’re the youngest, you’ve got more to give and I can mentor you.”

Her stomach clenched, this should have been the opportunity of a lifetime, but instead it hung over her like a death sentence. The tears that bit her eyes, she forced into submission. She would not cry in front of him, not like this.

“But, I don’t,” she didn’t even know what to say to him. Her med school papers, were still firmly tucked away in her purse and now they may of well have burst into flames.

“Callie, listen to me.” His voice was gentle and loving not menacing like it had been a couple of weeks ago. “I believe in you, you must know that.”

The lump in her throat was growing, her head felt weak and she was sure she was about to faint.

“I do, but I want to go...” she rolled her bottom lip under her teeth. It was the only thing she could do to force the tears away.

“To med school?” He smiled and shook his head. “I know you did sweetie, but let’s be realistic here, that’s years and years of training ahead of you. You would have to start over from scratch. Callie, I’m giving you an amazing gift here, you’ll never need anything for the rest of your life. Once you’re in, you’re in. End of story.”

She closed her eyes, her whole world was trembling in front of her. She wouldn’t need for anything ever again, and she’d have all the money and power she wanted. The family name in the law industry was a powerful and prestigious thing. Oh god, but she wanted medicine so bad. So bad it hurt.

“It’s not always about the money.” She was proud of herself that she actually said it.

“Is this coming from Jon? He’s telling you to throw away your career, like he can talk, he has no career. He’ll be washed up and over within a year Callie, and what will you still have. A career, and a life for yourself.”

But I’ll be miserable. God, she wanted to say it out loud but she lost the gumption. He lay there, flat on his back helpless and weak, the man of steel flattened to a bed, and she just didn’t have the heart to tell him anything else than what he wanted to hear. She could do this for him, it was the least she could do, for bringing her up right, and he was still her father at the end of it. She couldn’t be selfish as much as she wanted, she just couldn’t.

“He’s going to make it big, I was at his concert Dad, he’s not different to you or I when it comes to commitment.” The need to defend him surprised her, but her father had such a narrow minded approach to what was successful and what wasn’t.

His breath whistled as he closed his eyes. God, she couldn’t argue with him, not here. “Daddy, it’s just a big surprise, that’s all.”

The grey steel returned and locked down on her eyes, “you know what I also chose you Callie?”


“Out of all the kids, and yes they’ve all done so well for themselves, I saw something in you that I haven’t seen in any of them. Fire, Callie. You’ve got a lot of fire in that courtroom.”

How ridiculous was it, that he was right. How ridiculous was it, in the court room she had no problem saying what she had to say, but here, she was railroaded. By her father, of all people. God she was pathetic.

“You’ll make an exceptional criminal lawyer one day. You really will.”

Then it dawned on her, none of her sisters or brother had gone into criminal law, but Callie had kind of edged in that direction as she started out. It was what Pierce Richards was famous for, getting the bad guys off.

She couldn’t lie, she enjoyed the challenge of criminal law, and the odds were more stacked up against you in any given case. But it was simple, she would rather be saving their lives, not saving their freedom.


“Dad,” god, just say it... do it. She’d already decided to do it, but he looked so weak. Would he be devastated? God, would he be angry and have another heart attack?

“Callie, are you going to disappoint me? I understand this is ultimately your choice.” The lines in his face had softened, and gone was the stern law-stricken face that always wore, no matter what.

What choice did she have? If he’d offered this to her brother, or her sisters, they would be over the moon. She felt selfish, like a spoiled little child for even thinking no. The decision she had to make was stabbing her in the chest, and her head was screaming no.

How could she let her dream slip away quicker than a ruptured bleed on the OR table? Her eyes fell to the floor, blurring as she desperately tried to hold herself back in front of him. Memories that weren’t even born yet flooded her head, knowing she would never get to see them play out. She’d never get to see what it felt like to cut into someone, and save their life. She’d never get to experience that loss, when you knew you’d done everything you possibly could have.

The silence was thick, just the hum and beep of the machines kept the room alive. She closed her eyes and wished she was elsewhere, back in Florida? Back in bed with Jon... Anywhere where she wasn’t having a nightmare that she could never wake from.

“I-“ You just have to say it, just have to say no Callie. One simple word, but it wouldn’t be that simple. If there was one thing she knew, it was that her father never took no, as an answer. She’d be out on her own, disowned from the family. Her family, that she loved and adored. It just wasn’t fair.

Life isn’t fair Callie. The voice came from nowhere, but it was Jon’s in her head. How many times had he told her to fight for what she wanted, and what she believed in? And why in the holy hell could she now, at the eleventh hour, not bring herself to do it.

She was at a loss with herself. Her duty, came above all else.

She nodded.

It was done.

Her dream was lost.

Pierce smiled, the widest she’d ever seen and brought her hand to his lips. “You’ve made me so proud Callie Richards.”

A single tear rolled down her cheek, and she wished Jon had been here. She needed him more than she cared to admit, if he’d been here, he would have never let her accept it.

She had to leave, had to get the hell out of there. Now she hated hospitals, and as she walked the corridors, all she saw now was shattered dreams and loss, as doctors consoled loved ones, as they sobbed at bad news. As they lost all hope.

Callie wanted to sob, and she wanted to scream. But she didn’t, the force was so great that she knew when she started, it would rip her in half and she couldn’t here. Not here, in the land of hopes and dreams, now clouded with stormy skies and

Obligation that would kill her in the end.

As a crash cart whizzed past her, she watched as doctors and nurses scrambled into a room. She stood, frozen to the spot and couldn’t move marvelling in how by instinct they knew what to grab and worked flawlessly as a unit.

A unit she’d never be part of.

An urgency she’d never have.

A love she’d lost.

October 4, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Five

Callie felt confident and on top of the world as her key slid into the lock at her apartment. She’d left Jon that morning and slept the entire way home on the bus from Florida. Once inside, she dropped her keys, bag and yawned. God she’d needed that sleep. They had spent the entire night drinking more alcohol, and well...having sex. Alot of sex.

The heat hit her cheeks as she thought about it all over again, what a night, what a few days. Her thighs were still tingling, and her mind still spinning as she sank down on her couch. There had been no time to talk like she’d wanted, but she would just have to wait until when came home from tour. The idea of telling him she loved him seemed right. She had gone over and over this in her head on the way home, and it was the right thing to do.

She kept playing it through her mind the entire way home, as babies cried and people chattered throughout the bus, she had been off in la-la land. It didn’t scare her anymore, she’d finally come to terms with the fact that she loved him. He’d made her see so many things in such a short amount of time, like her career and the control of her father. And it was time to put that right.

She kicked off her shoes and sorted through the mail she had collected on her way in, flicking away bills, junk and nothing of out of the ordinary.

It was a little after seven, so she should probably wait to see her father but the small buzz of realization was still so fresh, she decided she should do it tonight.

While she still had the gumption.

She was still stuck on that morning, what it was like waking with the weight of a man against behind you, his thick arms wrapped tight around you, and the warm breath of him on your skin. It was hard to believe it sometimes, how evolved this relationship had become.

After more dreamy thoughts in the shower, and a few naughty ones, Callie bundled herself up in a towel and slathered some lotion all over her skin. It was amazing how having a lot of sex could make you feel all sexy. She still didn’t believe she was, despite the hot and heavy murmuring Jon had done in her ear all night long.

Oh god, this was just insane. The smile she wore spread ear to ear across her face as she got changed and ready to go see her family. They were going to be angry, he was going to be disappointed but right now she didn’t care.

Callie shrugged her coat on when the shrill of the phone went, she was tempted not to answer it and go but she thought better. It could be Jon, in fact she hoped like crazy it was Jon.

“Hello?” She was horrified her voice had a little purr kicked in her greeting.

“Callie, my goodness where have you been?” The worried voice of her mom filled her ear. Surely her mom would understand what was coming, she was her mom for goodness sake. It was just her father she knew would be the killer.

“Mom, hey...I just got back from Florida. It was a very last minute thing, but I went down to visit Jon.”

“Florida! And you didn’t tell us? I was worried about you Callie, and then I couldn’t get hold of you, and no one knew where you were, and then your father-“

“Relax Mom, I am fine,” she grinned. “No, I am more than fine. Jon and – wait, what about my father?” It all processed in her head backwards. Her mother definitely didn’t sound breezy as usual, not that you could call her mother breezy but she was usually pleasant.

“Callie, that’s why I’ve been going insane trying to get hold of you. You’re father is in hospital.”

Blood pounded in her ears, and the bag she was holding smacked hard against the floor. “What? When? How? God, why?”

So many questions.

“We’re going to be honest with you kids, he’s a heart complication and he’s in ICU.”

“What? But Dad’s fit and healthy? How did he have a heart complication? Has this gone unnoticed? I’ll sue someone’s ass if it has.” The lawyer instinct came out fighting, and that surprised her. Her father was in hospital?

“Oh Callie, no.” Her mother was struggling with the words, another warning bell for Callie. Her mother always in any given situation was a fighter. Panic rose in her throat, this was bad, this was very very bad.

“Mom,” the line fell dead.

“We’ve known about some trouble he’s had for awhile, we were seeing a few doctors and he’s been on meds.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

She had no idea, her father was this weak, at all. Weak and her father were like chalk and cheese. It didn’t go together.

“Callie, darling, we didn’t want to worry you and we had this under control. Well we thought we did.”

She slapped her hand to her head and her eyes closed. Oh god, this means he was like this when I married Jon? Oh god, she caused him unnecessary stress?

“Is he going to be alright?” She twisted the phone cord around her finger and wished to god this wasn’t happening to her right now.

“He needs a lot of rest, he’s asking to see you baby. He misses his little girl.”

The tug at her heart could have ripped her in two. What if he’d died? And she’d been away too busy playing rock star’s wife to know if he’d died? The thought made her stomach wrench.

“I’ll go now, give me the ward and room number.” She swallowed the thick lump forming in her throat and quickly scribbled down her mother’s instructions. When she hung up, the room blurred as hot tears drizzled down her cheeks. She wished to god Jon was here right now, she needed him.


He sat sprawled out on the couch, open beer in one hand and cigarette streaming smoke in the other. The last show in Florida had been amazing, he wished Callie had stayed to see it but he really couldn’t complain at all. She’d done more than enough for him, coming all the way down here and whisking him off to some luxury hotel. And now, he was back in slumsville while people swarmed around him like bees to honey. He was edging on buzzed with his latest beer, so that wasn’t so bad. He took a swig and narrowed his eyes when Richie dumped himself down next to him.

“What do you want asshole?”

“I wanna know what’s up your butt. You’ve been in a fucking foul mood all day bro.” Richie took the cigarette from Jon’s hand and took a puff.

“I’m just tired, a night of straight fucking does that to you Rich. Or has it been that long since you had one?” Jon smirked and swiped his cigarette back from him. “Get your own, thief.”

“Oh I see, big man on campus now that the wife came and put out for you?”

Jon was about to snipe but stopped, when he saw Richie’s face. “Callie’s a nice girl, you miss her?”

Richie’s question was an interesting one. Did he miss her? Of course he did, he missed being able to go back to a hotel room away from all this shit and just unwind, have some sex with someone that he knew wasn’t sleeping with him, for who he was.

“Yeah, and her flash hotel suite. Rich, you so needed to see it. I swear to go, when we hit the big time we’ll be living like that – permanently.” He glugged some more beer and waved to the pretty blond that had been oogling him all night for a new one.

“I’ll hold you to that.” Richie clinked his beer with Jon’s, “but seriously what’s the deal between you both now?”

Jon had asked himself the very same question that morning when he woke, spent and satisfied curled around her. He’d listened to her sleep and the cute little murmurs she made while doing so. It’d been all so rushed once she woke, Doc had called and they interviews all morning and then a meeting about the next album they were looking to record in the first half of the new year. They’d said goodbye over some lazy kisses, and left it as an, I’ll call you, when she left.

He owed her his sanity, for pulling him out of this life for a couple of days. Even now, he still remembered her delicious creamy curves and the way she came for him, over and over. Perfect little breasts that he’d feasted on for the last forty eight hours and the rest of her body. Jon couldn’t remember the last time he’d made love like that. It was fucking ultimately, but part of it had been sensual and slow, each of them taking their time exploring their bodies. And the way her little lips wrapped around his cock, or licking his nipples...

Fuck, and now he was hard.

“I’ve got to go Rich, be back in a sec... little boy’s room.”

He busted up, and made his way stumbling to where the bathroom was. God, he missed her –or did he just need to fuck? Either way, he was about to correct it. He banged into a stall and unzipped his pants taking his hot hard length in his hand. If he could shoot it out and get back to it, it’d be ok.

All he could see was her riding him, like she did last night. Her breasts bouncing , her head back and her hair flying out down her back, moaning his name.

He closed his eyes as he quickly took himself back, her palms were flat on his chest as she rode him hard. His hands cupped her hips and pulled her down each time harder than before, so the sound of their skin slapped through the room.

Collapsing in a twisted heap, they’d slept until he’d felt the sheets move in the darkness, and then hot lips had found his cock and sucked him right out of any dream. She’d licked, cupped and nibbled her way into making him fucking crazy with pleasure. Her mouth was a miracle.

“Callie,” he panted in the darkness. “Oh fuck, right there Callie.”

And then sweet, warm release.

Jon rested his forehead against the cubical door and opened his eyes, to see two brown ones looking right up at him. The blond chick! “what the hell?” he backed away, his cock still in her hands as she was on her knees in front of him.

“I followed you in, you in were in a bit of a state you know, and I figured I’d help you out.”

She stroked his limp dick, which became hard in seconds.

“I can go if you want me to?” She stood, her hand still firmly attached to his cock.

Tell her to go, fuck you shouldn’t have done that anyway, moron.

Her gorgeous tits were spilling out from her top, and he began to wonder what they tasted like, when her legs were wrapped around his waist. He reached behind him and snicked the lock on the door.

“That won’t be necessary.”

October 1, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Four

Drunk chicks were fun.

Well, not when they vomited all over your shoes or your hair. Fuck, there was nothing worse than getting puke in your hair, especially someone else’s.

Jon laughed, he had to admit seeing Callie plastered was pretty fucking amusing. He ran his hands over her back and hooked his thumbs into the waistband of her jeans.

“So feeling a little naughty are we, Ms. Richards?”

She nipped at his chin and her eyes flicked up, playful and blue, they called to him. Fuck. He traced his knuckle around the soft curve of her breast and brushed over her nipple, grinning when it became rock hard.

He shifted his knee between her legs, her breathing hitched when denim ground against heat. Her eyes widened and her slick little lips parted.

He groaned when she kissed him, her thumbs scraping over his nipples.

“Callie,” he growled shifting his hands up her back, her skin warm and silky under his hands.

Tequila agreed with Callie.

He ran his thumbs down the dip in her spine, feeling her vibrate against him. There was something in the power of touch, so simple yet so effective.

His lips traced over her nose, barely touching skin and settled on her lips. She tasted like tequila and sin. His hands slid under cotton until his fingertips brushed against lace.

Lace drove him mad. A woman in lingerie and smelling like sweet seduction was enough to make him wish they were alone so he could sink into her.

“Come on.” He tugged her past Doc, and down the hallway. People were scattered everywhere, smoking and drinking. He pushed through the plumes of smoke and found his room.

“Fuck,” he muttered as two girls sat cross-legged on his bed, wearing tiny tops and skirts.

He didn’t give Callie a chance to comment as he whirled her further down the hall desperate to find somewhere that they could be alone. He needed her now. People blurred by them as her laughter trailed behind them, with an extra hiccup or two.

“Jonny, where are we going?”

He backed her into the swinging door, into a room full of stainless steel benches that stretched across the room. Brass and steel utensils dripped from the racks, along with copper pots. Plates stacked the walls, and the smell of lemon bleach stung his nostrils.

Blissfully empty.

“This is the kitchen!” Her eyes grew wide and she slapped her hand over her mouth. “We can’t do this here!”

Even for a drunk Callie, her animated moves and big gestures were out of character. She was kind of amusing, really.

He whirled her in close. “I don’t care.” He captured her mouth with his and held her tight against him. The heat and smell of her swept him under a spell. His tongue dove in, exploring each corner of her mouth with a taste he only knew now as Callie.

Dark and heady, warm and thick, she punched through him until he felt it in his gut. His cock stretched against the denim of his jeans, god he needed to be inside her.

She lifted her hands onto his cheek and leaned into the kiss, he swallowed the moan that left her throat. Each sigh, each moan shot straight to his belly.

He backed her up, until she bumped against the rounded edge of the large steel table. He hauled her up on the edge and opened her knees, closing the gap between them. His lips teased hers, as his fingers found the hem of her top. He smiled against her mouth when she gasped.

“Cold,” she muttered against his mouth as she shifted from side to side.

He popped her jeans button and slid his hand in until he found her pure heat.

“Hot.” He dragged his mouth up her jaw to her ear.

“Someone could walk in, Jon.”

He chuckled. “Doesn’t that make it all the more exciting?” His hand skimmed up her shirt, until skin replaced cotton. Silk and fire buzzed over his hands as his fingers walked up her abdomen. “That anyone,” he sucked her lobe into his mouth, “could walk in here. Right now.”

She moaned, and his hand was saturated in her juices.

“You are a dirty girl. You know what happens to dirty girls, Callie?”

“Oh god,” she whimpered rolling her lip under her teeth. Nails pierced his shoulders but instead of pulling back he leaned forward, and his fingers slid into her bra.

“They get punished.” He flicked her nipple and as expected, it hardened instantly.
He dipped to her neck. “Oh yeah, they get punished – real good.” He swiped his tongue down the lean column of her neck to her clavicle. He let his fingers flex, surrounded in her dripping heat. He found her breast with his mouth, and sucked through the lighter than air material.

“Oh Jon. Oh god.” She clenched around him, her knees viced his hips as she shook.

Christ, he was going to shoot in his pants at the sight of her. Head tipped back, eyes closed, and lips parted as she groaned her way through the orgasm.

He was hard. Stone fucking hard.

He let her come down, removed his hand, and licked his fingers with a grin.

“You taste like sin.”

Her eyes sparkled and her lips pursed. “I need to taste you, Jonny.” She grabbed his coat and tugged him forward.

But he wasn’t finished with her yet. He stepped back, breaking them apart.

“I’m not done yet.” He winked and turned towards the sleek sliver fridge that crept out along the back wall. He clicked the handle and explored the contents lined on the shelves.

Tomatoes, lettuce, butter...wine. He lifted an eyebrow and yanked the opened bottle out and then grinned as he saw something else.

He lifted the cake and wiggled his eyebrows as he set it down on the counter beside her. He scooped some icing on his index finger and brought it to her lips but she leaned back with a laugh.

“Jon, this could be someone’s birthday cake.”

“Happy birthday then.” He pushed inside her warm mouth and her tongue curled around his finger. Was there really anything hotter? Fuck.

He tugged her top off and unclasped her bra, and before she could protest he swiped the icing across the soft curve, smothering the tight bead of her nipple. He sucked the sweet icing off his thumb and smirked. “Creamy and delicious.”

His mouth hit her breast, using his tongue he swirled around her nipple until all he could taste was butter cream and woman. Her fingers wound through his hair, and her legs clamped around his hips as he continued to suck.


Callie rolled her head back and groaned. The buzz of alcohol and pleasure radiated across her body, making her skin tingle. She curled her toes as he tugged at her nipple and her hands buried themselves in his streaks of blonde and sandy brown.

She felt more alive than she had in years--warm and free. He chuckled against her when she held his head between her breasts. God, he could stay there all day if he wanted.

Fine by her.

She captured his wrist when he reached over to the icing, and pulled him up. She shifted forward, squeezing her legs tight around his hips. His eyes shone with anticipation and his lip quirked. God she loved that lip.

She carefully drew the rich butter cream that still buzzed in her mouth, onto her finger. She traced it across his lips, and watched his tongue flick out to taste.

She painted a line down the middle of his throat and grinned. Leaning forward she licked, from bottom up over his Adam’s apple all the way up to his chin.

“I think I like drunk Callie,” he murmured as her lips grazed his.

“Oh, I’m not done yet.” Through slitted eyes, she ground into him, her heat against his. She lifted an icing covered finger and swirled it around his nipple, he jolted forward, palming the bench as he let her roam him.

Then she was over him. Tasting, licking, and sucking every inch of his chest. The loud scrape of metal across floor echoed around them. Her fingers trailed up his arms, shedding any leftover clothing to the floor. She needed to feel his skin on her, his heart against hers.

His eyes fell on hers as he scooped her in for a long lazy kiss. The kind that summers were made of, warm and breezy. He tasted like a creamy dream--one that she didn’t want to end. She fingered his buckle, and thread his belt out slowly before letting it thunk to the ground.

He grabbed the bottle of wine and took a quick swig.

“Nervous are we?” she purred, pressing herself against him. Ahh there it was--skin against skin.

She curled into him, the cocktail of alcohol and lust blurring her thoughts as she let herself go. She drizzled her finger down his chest and over his belly. Her hands dove into his jeans, finding him hot and hard.

“I do love this no underwear policy you have.”

He growled, arching over her. “Callie, c’mon.”

She massaged his length, slowly rolling her thumb across the tip of him.

His hands gripped her thighs. “Teasing gets you nowhere baby.”

She snorted. “You’re just saying that because you’re not the one teasing. Besides,” she rested her lips against his tight little nipple, “I object. I think it gets me everywhere.”

He groaned, her hand was dripping in his pre cum as his hands fisted in her hair.

“More,” he growled.

She smirked and pulled her hand away.

His eyes shimmered with fire. He cocked an eyebrow at her. “Oh, I see. Like that is it?”

He hovered over her, her gaze fell to his lips but they didn’t touch.

“C’mere.” She grabbed his shoulder and pulled him towards her, connecting their lips. She slid his hand down her, so his fingers were teasing the heart of her. He pushed her flat, until cool metal stung her skin and she wriggled the jeans off.

She closed her eyes and relished him filling her, completely. He draped a leg over each shoulder so her toes pointed to the sky. She cupped her breasts, groaning at the sensation of her own touch and him inside her. He hooked his hand around one of her legs, kissing her inner calf as he moved.

She felt like she was in another world, skin slapped against skin and they matched their groans as he rose within her. Sensation sizzled up her spine, her body so wound and tight, she had to let go.

Callie wanted to let go. Her palms slid across the table as she failed to anchor herself anymore. Their eyes met, and he pressed his nose into her leg as he grunted and spilled himself deep.

The hum that left her throat was primal and low, as her eyes fluttered closed and she shook on the table. Stars shattered in front of eyes as she came back to down to earth, her chest tight as she struggled for breath.

She squeezed her feet at each side of his head. “Wow.”

His hands glided down her shins, as he smiled. “You’re beautiful.”

She was? She was sure her hair was now destroyed--stuck to her face and neck with sweat. Her cheeks her burning, and her skin was clammy. That couldn’t be beautiful, it just couldn’t.

Beautifully destroyed was more like it.

He lifted her up into his arms, letting his fingertips run across her back, causing little jolts to buzz through her. She sighed against his shoulder, the delicious weight of afterglow in her eyes.

She heard the pop of fingers being licked.

“Cake?” he asked pressing a kiss to her temple.

She chuckled, and closed her eyes as she settled against him. She didn’t want to leave. At this moment, all she wished for was that time would stand still and tomorrow would never come.