November 28, 2009

Chapter Forty-Two

October 1986

“Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.”

Those were the words that burned through Callie’s head, on days like today. Towers of papers loomed around her, and text books were splayed open all over what she used to call a dining room table. She glanced at the clock, god knows how as her eyes were about to cross.


She needed coffee and she needed to finish learning about cardiovascular cellular interaction. Her exam was at ten am, sharp. She’d been studying for weeks now, so she knew she was well prepared, but well prepared wasn’t good enough when you’d risked everything to do what she’d done. She had to ace this, without exception.

She glanced over at the smaller pile; she’d have to sort through that tomorrow. She sighed and she straightened the little stack of case notes, her father still having managed to have her locked into a small part of the business. But hell, she needed the money. Practicing law on the side, part time is what paid her bills and let her live while in the background, the student loan she’d taken out to do this was piling up.

She rubbed her eyes and slid out of the chair, padding for a direction that was hopefully her bed. Her father hadn’t taken her decision lightly but she’d stood her ground, and told him this is what she was going to do. And like a thief in the night, she didn’t see it coming when he’d managed to keep law in her life. She knew in the back of his mind or he expected her to drop out, or fail. This was only phase or a silly little fancy of the moment as he’d so elegantly phrased it.

It gave her money, so it wasn’t all bad. But inch by inch, he tried to suck her in a little more, but Callie in her new found determination was juggling. She sank into bed and made sure her alarm was set before tugging the covers up tight around her. It wasn’t a bad life, she just hoped she could survive.


The words thundered through her room at 5.55am, and she couldn’t help but smile. Jon’s band was no stranger to airplay on the radio now, and they’d been burning it up for the last few months. She’d been able to block all of Jon out of her life for a few months, and she was surprised when he didn’t call, and maybe a little disappointed if she had to be honest. She missed him like crazy, even though her heart still tugged each time she thought about what happened.

It was August she first saw them, on some TV special with the release of their album Slippery When wet. He still looked the same, his hair still wild and crazy and his eyes still blue and full of excitement, not like the last time she’d seen him. His pants were tighter than they ever had been, not that she had looked of course, and her cheeks hadn’t burned either.

She was happy for him, she really was. Despite all that had happened, he deserved his dream he’d worked so hard for. And in reality, he’d made her see that she could have her own too, finally.

“And that was the new single for Bon Jovi, you guys can’t get enough of these guys. We’ll play them a little later, got to give the other bands a chance right? I hear they’re in town this week so you never know ladies when you might see them, just follow the swarm.” The DJ laughed and started to plug another band.

Her stomach flipped, he was back in town? Now more than ever, she knew she wouldn’t just cross paths with him by accident, and she didn’t need to think about Jon right now. Christ, now that he was famous, he was probably bedding a woman a night.
Callie sighed and rolled over, flipped herself out of bed and headed to the kitchen for coffee before sliding back into her chair. She had a good few hours before the exam, so she’d cram just a little more. It had been two hours, when the phone shrilled through the apartment. Her heart drummed against her ribs as she rushed over and grabbed it. “Hello?”

“Callie.” Her heart sank as her father’s voice filled her ear. Really, who had she been expecting, He hadn’t called in 10 months, he wasn’t about to call now.

“Hi Dad.”Maybe for once though, her father was going to recognise the fact she was studying medicine and called her to wish her luck for her exam.

“Can you run by this afternoon with the Emerson files? I’d really like to discuss that case with you.”

She closed her eyes, of course he didn’t.“I can’t today Dad, I’ve got an exam this afternoon.”

“Oh, ok then well tomorrow?”

“Yes, I can do tomorrow; I’ve read them already so I’m prepped on the situation.” Bradley Emerson III was up on sexual harassment charges from his service staff. The files all pointed to him guilty, as it wasn’t the first time he’d dipped his wick in the house staff.

“Great, swing by about ten. I’ll have morning tea ready for you.”

She hung up and bit her lip, she’d made the move but it didn’t help that he still didn’t respect or even acknowledge she was serious about this. Callie, unfortunately for her was a damn fine lawyer, and her Dad used her mind, a lot, and obviously still her service.

She closed her eyes and found the words.

“Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.”

One day she would stand up to him, once and for all.

One day.


He smiled and waved to the catcalls, thankful his shades were shielding his eyes from being burned out by the gazillion flashes as he walked through the Plaza downtown, through the sea of fans and press. He bumped his knuckle with Richie’s as they climbed into the waiting car together.

Life was good.

“Holy shit, could there be any more people in there? I thought I was going to get mauled. One girl grabbed my junk.”

Jon raised his eyebrow, “and that is a problem for you since when...”

“I prefer giving out my junk, not having it on a buffet.” Richie grinned, leaned back and stretched out his girls.

“Looked like a buffet last night to me,” Jon smirked remembering at least three girls that disappeared into Richie’s room over the course of the night and no one ever came out.

“What can I say, they love the Sambora.”

Jon rolled his eyes and looked back over his shoulder, “Doc in the other car?”

“I think so.”

“Good, because fuck me—when do we get to damn rest.” He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “I so need a quart of coffee about now.”

“He’s been running around like a mad man, I don’t think he sleeps.” Richie passed comment.

“Well Fuck. I appreciate the fact we’re hot in demand right now, believe me but make people work a little for us. Sheesh.” He rolled his head against the back of the seat. He was tired, the string of concerts had been unreal, and they were just starting out with a full blown tour to Europe next month, Europe? He couldn’t really quite believe this was happening some days.

Other days, fuck yea. He’d worked his ass off for this moment and they’d sacrificed a lot to get here.

“So what about you and Penny, was it?” Richie asked with a gleam in his eye.

Jon snorted, “Yeah she was hot. Average in bed, maybe I wasn’t really into it.” He’d got drunk, picked a girl and gone for it. He’d got female attention before, but since they’d released this album, it had been fucking unreal. Females were throwing themselves at him, crying, begging for anything. A kiss, a night in the sheets. At times, it was overwhelming but hey, that was rock and roll right?

The car pulled up at the hotel.

Richie laughed, “We live in Jersey and we’re staying in a hotel. I can get used to this bro.”

Jon snorted, “Yeah well don’t. This was one was free, we’re still watching the dollars but hopefully it won’t be for long.”

Richie stopped, “Should I be worried you know more about that shit than I do?”

“Do you want to know more? Or just want to get paid and have a blast.” In some cases, Jon wished that he could do just simply that, but fuck now was he going to let Doc just run everything without him at least seeing what was going on.
Richie chuckled. “Good point, you were always better at that sort of thing that than I was.”

Jon shrugged, “you were always better at guitar than I ever will be.”

Richie cupped his shoulder, “damn right sunshine, alright I need a shower and then some booze, we’ve got some fancy to do thing tonight right?””

“Yup, we sure do. And I’ve got three phoners to do,” which meant sleep was off the fucking menu this afternoon. Jon found his room and threw down his things before landing on the bed. He closed his eyes, and tried for just a minute to stop his world from turning. It’d been spinning constantly for the last six months, between recording the record then releasing it, it all happened so fast. And now, the record had shot to international success beyond his wildest dreams. It was still the beginning, but the possibilities were they’d struck gold.

He reached for his cigarettes and swiftly lit one before laying back and kicking off his shoes. He only had a moment, and fuck he’d take it. He groaned when there was a knock and Doc walked in.“I know, I know...I’ve got interviews.”
He sat down in one of the chairs, and pulled out his own cigarettes. “I know Jonny, they’re a pain in the ass, but they’re working. Besides. I’ve got good news.”

Jon sat up and flicked his ash into the tray. “Yea?”

“Tomorrow, you’re having a day off. I’ve rented a bowling alley and we’ll have a day just to relax and booze.”

“How did you afford all that so quick? I thought we had no money.”

Doc shrugged, “you let me worry about that. It’s not bands’ money either, let’s just say a sponsor stepped in.”

Christ he wasn’t in the mood for riddles. “A sponsor? What sort and what do we have to do in return?”

Doc waved him away, “Nothing Jon. Seriously you guys deserve a down day. So you’re getting it. Ok?”

A down day? Fuck, he needed a down week at this point. Jon nodded, “yeah the guys would appreciate that. Thanks.” Jon looked out the window that mirrored the city and rubbed his forehead. How things had changed in months, they were still broke but record sales and tour sales had to be stacking up and soon, he hoped to god so they could move somewhere in this industry.

Maybe one day he’d even manage the band himself, he glanced over at Doc.

One Day.

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although I am not from the US, I am blessed to have friends that are and understand the importance of this traditional holiday for all my US readers.

I am thankful that I have such great readers from everywhere, and ones that are never afraid to share their opinions on my stories, and the characters. That as a writer is the greatest gift.

I wanted to wish you all a great holiday and if you have extended time off, relax and spend it with the ones you love, and no we all can't turn up in Redbank or NYC tommorrow LOL. ;) And think of me when you eat crap-loads of turkey and pumpkin pie!

And if you're not from the US, let's have a drink anyway ;) *cheers*

I tried to have this one updated for you by tonight but between some family commitments and a brand new project for work, (blah) I couldn't make it. I started it and it should be up by the weekend, so check for it then.

As for me back in Kiwi-land, our Xmas party for work is tommorrow and it's a Wild West Theme so I'm kicking on my cowgirl boots and dusting off my hat, Yee-ha! hehe.

So that's me, and I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving and just a hey, for everyone else. :)


November 19, 2009

Chapter Forty-One

Callie sat huddled on the park bench tugging her coat tighter around her. She buried her nose into the wool and watched the snow fall slowly, and like her tears they slowly dissolved into the concrete. How had her life gone from being normal to this crazy whirlwind, where her heart was being ripped in every direction?

She wanted to pack a bag and disappear, god who wouldn’t? The logical side her knew that wouldn’t’ solve anything, but just prolong it. In the last few months, she never expected to fall in love and then have her heart broken by two separate people. Her father didn’t know what this was doing to her, she lived in hope that if she truly told him, truly showed him how much this was killing her. He’d take compassion, but she was too scared to be rejected by it.

As she twisted the belt in her fingers, she knew the problem was that she would never have the guts. Jon was right, he was walking all over her and she was letting him. But so was Jon.

She sighed and closed her eyes. Jon.

What the hell did she do now? Somewhere deep inside her, she knew she loved the guy. No one had ever bothered to believe in her, enough to tell her to follow her own dreams. The one thing she loved more than anything was his passion, and it was the one thing that she was jealous of.

Could she forgive him for this? Maybe.

It was a fucked up situation, from the beginning when he made the decision that they’d stay married to piss people off and make a stand. Another decision someone made for her.

She wiped her cheeks, her heart felt so deep and hollow. She wasn’t sure she had much more to give anyone. What did you do when everything around you failed you?

You look out for yourself. That’s what you do Callie.

God, could she? The thought rankled in head as she imagined what it would be like to take some control over her life. Days ended grey and miserable, and then the next they were sunny and bright. Could her own life be just like that?

God how much she wanted it to be.

Jon had least shown her, that if she wasn’t going to take control, no one else would.

Maybe that’s what she finally had to do.

She stood and dusted off the snow and walked slowly back to her apartment, her belly flip flopped when she stood at her door, her heart raced in her chest, if she didn’t do this now, she never would.

Her fingers rolled into her hand, and she walked in. The apartment was eerily silent, had he gone? His bags weren’t where they were by the door when she left. She clicked the door closed behind her and shrugged off her jacket and dropped her keys.


She looked up to see him standing in ripped jeans and an old football sweater, leaning against the doorframe in the kitchen. His hair was loose, and his smile warm, she wanted to forget all this and fold herself into his heat. God, she did.

“Hi.” She swallowed against the large lump in her throat.

Could she really give up the only good thing that had happened to her?

God, she didn’t want to be alone again. Her arms shook as she folded them. His eyes were sad and tired. She knew he felt bad, but right now it wasn’t enough.

“You ok?”

She sat herself down on the couch and let the coffee table blur in front of her. “No, I’m not Jon.” He moved to her but she shrugged away from him. “Don’t, please.” It took everything for her to dig deep inside her and find her gumption. “You hurt me Jon. You broke my heart.” She couldn’t’ look at him. Refused to look at him, if she did she’d never get it out.

Jon clasped his hands to together and rested them on his knees beside her. “I know, I was stupid Callie and if I could change it, I would.”

“You can’t change it Jon. Maybe I was naive thinking you meant something, and I meant something to you.” Her chest stabbed with the hurt still so close to the surface. Had she really been that stupid? She wasn’t built for this life, booze, girls, and the constant insecurity that she never knew she had.

He grabbed her hands in his. “C’mon you do mean something to me. Callie, baby. Fuck, listen to me.” Her heart twisted tighter, his baby blue eyes shone with earnest. “You, do.”

“Why, because you are now off tour? Need something to play with back home?” She almost took the words back but didn’t.

“I deserve that and a whole lot more.”

“Damn right you do.” She stood and walked over to the window that looked over the street. She gnawed on her bottom lip. “I was there when no else was. I took you away, with money that was given to me for our marr-” she blew out her breath. “Fake marriage and I can’t do it anymore,” she whispered. “I can’t do any of it.” The weight of hurt just wanted her to bury herself under the covers in bed, and forget about the world. She felt her behind him, the snowy postcard outside blurred when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her from behind.

“I don’t want to lose you Callie.” She felt his breath puff against her neck. She blinked away the tears as he nosed her shoulder and kissed the side of her neck. “You’re the only one that gets me.”

She shook her head and tried to undo his clasp around her belly. “No, I can’t be Jon. I can’t be it for anyone anymore.” He didn’t budge, his grip only constricted tighter the more she tried to pry open his fingers. “Jon, please don’t make this hard as it always is. I was never meant to fit into your life. I can’t -- I can’t bear it. Knowing that you’ll always have girls all over you, and wonder if you’ll take what they so desperately offer you.” Her voice cracked, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I can’t, and you shouldn’t ask me to.”

The sob jolted her out of the silence that hung between them. “Callie. Don’t do this. You need me.”

She twisted around, still caged in by his arms. “No, you need me Jon.” Tears rolled down her eyes. “You always have.” She swallowed her emotion and placed her palms flat on his chest. “I’m sorry Jon. It's over. I have to do this, for me. I have to.”

The strength inside her was fading, if she didn’t end this with him now. She knew she never would. It was cruel, as he was the only one that finally understood and believed in her, and maybe he did love her. But that didn’t make this right.


Before him was the girl he’d met just months ago, so fragile and willing to go along with his stupid idea of his marriage and what kind of stand it would take.

And now here she stood, broken because of her fucking father.

When he’d met Callie she was so shy, and over time with him she’d come out of her shell. But now, here she was, quiet, her eyes had lost all sparkle and he was to blame.

He was a fucking idiot. All this time he’d been worried far too much about the game, how the game affected his life and his reputation in the game. When he should have been worried about her.

He was used to getting what he wanted, and he’d just lost the only thing he realized he actually needed.


Sweet, innocent Callie who had come into his by a drunken mistake, he was too fucking blind to see what a blessing it had truly been. She’d unconditionally looked out for him, and fallen in love with him. He was no better than fuckin Doc, playing her like a puppet. He popped his knuckles, and cursed under his breath.

She was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and none of it was her own. He didn’t know too much about rejection from parents, so he couldn’t exactly stand on the soap box and tell her to stand up to her father like he’d been so easily doing. Maybe it wasn’t that easy to tell them the truth. God knows, he’d never of had to thank god.

“Dammit, Callie.” He pulled away from her, short of shaking her, he didn’t know what else to do. What else he could say to convince her to stay with him. He raked his hand through his hair and scoffed at the few tears that ran down his cheeks.

Did he fucking fall to his knees and beg her to give him another chance? No, that wasn’t his style and she knew it. Fuck, had he been so blind to not see that she knew him, more than a lot of people did. He needed her? Part of him wanted to tell her, she needed him before her father ran her into the ground.

Maybe it was too late.

That’s not what the songs he wrote said, they talked about hope, love and second chances. So why the fuck wasn’t this working now? Was life really that different than music?

It was killing him how destroyed she looked. “Is this what you want? Is this what you truly want Callie?” He turned her into his arms, and tilted her chin to meet his gaze. Her eyes were flat, and void of any affection for him. How could he have been so fucking blind to not to seen this earlier? Every time she looked at him, it’d made his heart trip. He’d give anything for her to look at him like that now. “I don’t believe you.”

She rubbed her chest and shook her head, before the tears fell from those beautiful eyes. “Don’t Jon. I can’t take much more.”

Jon wanted to push, he probably could have. But then how was that going to help her? She was doing the one thing he’d accused her for not being able to do. But he never expected her to do it to him. He couldn’t force her, that’s how this fucked up situation started in the first place. “Ok, I’ll go, on one condition.”

He found his bags, god he didn’t want to walk out the door without another night of holding her. Another night of hearing her laugh, and having her close to him. He could keep digging at her, and she’d give him for one night. He was sure of it. But he had to do something for her, for once.

“What?” she asked, her pretty blue eyes shinning with tears.

He cupped her chin and rolled his lip back under his teeth. “Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.” He kissed her forehead and pressed his own against it.

“Don’t let him destroy you. You stood up to me.” His eyes fell to hers. “Now stand up to him.”

He shouldn’t have but he leaned in for one more kiss, salty and sweet and everything that was his Callie mingled in his mouth. “Bye baby.”

And he didn’t look back.

November 16, 2009

Chapter Forty

She pressed her nose into his shirt, the heat of his chest soothed her more than it should. He smelled like she remembered, spicy and fresh with a little kick she could only associate with Jon. Why couldn't things be different? Why? Her tears blended with the soft cotton of his shirt, as she finally lost the battle to hold it all in.

Her heart was breaking inside her, piece by piece. Through Jon, and through her father, her will to fight anymore had all but melted away. She'd been preparing herself for this moment over the last few days, forcing the tears into submission every time she'd thought about him walking right through that door.

But she'd lost.

The sight of him, in his ripped jeans, red leather boots and loose blue button down shirt had made her heart leap before she could catch it again. Mixed in with the misery, the hurt and the betrayal of what he'd done, she'd let go.

She hated for him to see her so weak, when he was the one person she'd been able to show her weakness to and lean on him as a pillar of strength, and a pillar of hope.

But not now.

He was so beautiful when he'd walked in the door, and her belly churned when all she could do was picture those girls all over him, touching him and him responding.

“Callie, talk to me.” He buried his nose into her hair, she had to pull back and break the connection or she never would.

“No, Jon...” she folded her arms and backed away, breaking the heat and the comfort she'd submitted to.

“Baby, please...I can explain everything.” He took her hand, and she tugged them away.

“No Jon, it's over. I can't do this anymore.” Her eyes stayed on his boots, she was too afraid she’d lose her nerve if she met his.

“Callie, I've been a jerk... Can we at least talk?”

She turned away, searching for her keys, searching for a reason to leave.

“No Jon, I have to go. Dad's been in hospital. He needs me.”

He'll always need me.

He grabbed her arm and twirled her around. “Hospital? What the hell happened?”

His eyes were wide and red rimmed. Her heart twisted at his emotion as she swallowed down the ever forming lump in her throat. “Heart attack, he's been there for awhile now. He's getting better.”

“Christ, Callie, you should have told me! Should have,” he raked his hand through his hair and stopped looking back over at the stacks of paperwork that her life, smeared all over them. “Are you doing work for him?”

She looked away and finally found her keys, “sort of.” She wasn't in the mood to hear how disappointed he was in her for not following through with her plan, she'd finally brought herself to carry out.

He gave her space, but blocked the doorway. “Sort of? What's going on baby?” His tone dropped, and she wanted to crumble. Into his arms and into his strength. She didn't know how much longer she could do this, pretend she was ok with this.

When she clearly wasn't.

“Jon, please. I have to go. He'll be waiting.” She wiped her cheeks and took a deep breath to even out her own emotions.

“You're not telling me something.”

“Like you can talk,” the venom snapped off her tongue fast.

He held his hand up, “I deserved that. But putting that aside for the minute. Did you tell him about medical school?”

“I asked you to leave Jon.”


“I mean it, I don't want you here anymore...” The room blurred as she fought again, dammit. She wiped her cheeks, and tried to get shove past him but his body weight held true.

“Callie, I'm not going anywhere.”

His grip locked her legs, and she crumbled. Her knees buckled and she slid to the floor. Her chest tightened and the sobs came, and so did Jon. Wrapped around her, he sank to the floor holding her tight against him.

He stroked her back gently, as she hiccuped through the hurt that she'd held onto for so long. The grief of losing her dream, was so her reality. Could she also handle losing him?

“Oh sweetheart, shhh... it's ok. I'm here. Just let it go baby. Let it all go.”

It shook her body like a freight train, as she sobbed so hard it stabbed her in the gut. “I can't,” she wished for a moment that this was all a dream, a very horrible wrong dream that she would wake from any minute.

She wanted to pull herself up from the floor and walk away from him, but she was done, she had neither the strength to fight him or her father at this given moment.

“Callie, please...tell me.” She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to block out the concern in his voice. His hands cupped her back, and stroked her as she settled against him. “You're worrying me baby... tell me.”

She pressed her cheek against his shirt, now damp from her tears and didn't look up. She had to tell someone, and probably the only person that understood. Her mother was disappointed she even felt this way, as she'd been offered a gift, a chance to make the big time. And her sisters and brother, well they only saw envy that she was chosen for this. She was a brilliant lawyer, and people knew she had the mind of one but she lacked the heart of one.

“Dad asked me to run the firm, he's making me partner.”

She felt her lungs collapse, as if the words had been choking her were finally set free.

Jon's hands stopped. “He did? And did you tell him that you were already going to medical school?”

The heavy silence that hung around them, answered for her.

“Callie, you can't do this. You're throwing your life away to be strapped to some miserable existence you know you'll end up hating.”

Her fingers bunched in his sleeve. “You don't know what it was like,” she whispered. “What it was like to have him lying in the bed, telling me this is what he wanted because he believes in me. The man that gave me life, telling me he believes in me and my ability to do the one thing he actually respects in life, you can't tell me you'd of walked away from that.”

“You should have, Callie.”

She pulled back and met his eyes, the hurt and misery bubbling inside her to anger. “Do you even know what it's like having the whole damn world against you, to do what you want to do? No. Your parents support you Jon, they support you in every way no matter how crazy you wanted it.”

His eyes clouded over, “can't you see your father had you right where he wanted you? The one person he is afraid that will say no to him, he asks for your life on his sick bed. That's cruel Callie, just plain fuckin cruel.”

“Like you can talk. You do it every day your up on stage Jon, you have the girls right where you want them. How can they not buy your album if you throw your cock at them?”

It was the anger, it the aching inside of her that caused the words to fly.

“That's not what I do and you know it.”

Callie laughed, “Sorry I forgot you actually bury your cock inside of them.”

His hands stilled around her, locked into fists. “No one said this was going to be easy, I fucked up Callie. I'm sorry, I'll say it a thousand times, but I am sorry.”

“Saying it won't make it go away, you told that girl what our arrangement was Jon, how could you even do that?”

Jon pushed up from the floor dragging her with her, he pulled he close to her chest so their lips were inches apart. “I'm sorry, I was an idiot. I didn't know Callie, I didn't know I was in love with you.”

Her heart leapt into her throat, it didn't make it right but she wanted to believe him.
Wanted to believe that this, thing between them could really work. She had nothing else, nothing but him now.

He didn't give her a minute more to think, crushing his lips against hers. She melted into the kiss, letting her hands slide up around his neck. His warmth and heat curled around her like a fist, as she let his tongue cut through her lips. He backed her against the wall, but kept the kiss slow and deliberate.

The hardness in his jeans pressed up against her belly, “Callie,” he murmured as his lips left a hot trail of destruction down her neck.

“Oh god,” she moaned as she arched back letting him lap at her skin. Bringing her leg up she wrapped it around his hip to steady herself, closing the gap between their bodies to less than inches.

She groaned when his hungry mouth found her breast, teasing relentlessly through the cotton. “Jon,” she clutched her fingers into his hair as she held him there, her nipples instantly hard as he sucked through the fabric.

For one moment she wanted to let go, let him have her, let her feel like she felt in Florida under him, around him, lost inside of him.

But she couldn't.

She pushed him away, “no Jon. I can't.” She couldn't go back to that. Or she'd never come back.

“You should go...”

“No, I'm not going anywhere, I know I'm responsible for this but while you're like this, I can’t just leave you alone. You've been left alone enough. I'm not going, so get used to it.”

“Fine, suit yourself.” She snatched her purse and walked towards the door.

“I want you gone when I get home Jon, I mean it.” She closed the door behind her and leaned back against it. She hugged her arms around herself and closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

She had to leave, had to get out, he was so overwhelming that she couldn't think, let alone breathe. It was best he was gone, but a tiny part of her hoped to god, he was still there when she got home.

November 4, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Nine

January 1986

Jon rolled his head back against the headrest in the bus. Thank fuck they were nearly home. It was just after New Years, and it was over. The tour was finally fucking over. He closed his eyes, would his head ever stop spinning from the last few months? It’d been hell and awesome wrapped up in the same package.
He felt like they were as a band well on the way to be noticed. Meetings were already underway for their next album that would be recorded in the early part of next year.
Strike while the iron is hot.
He just needed a minute. To stand still and stop the world spinning so he could sleep. Christ, he needed to sleep. He folded his arms and dug his fingers into his bicep, were they home yet? This was taking forever. It was bad enough he had to be away from his family for Christmas and New Years, he was away from Callie as well.
He frowned thinking how hard it had been to get hold of her in the last few days. He’d left her countless messages and one even with a return number and she still hadn’t returned any of his calls. He popped his knuckle against his arm, maybe she didn’t feel the way he did?
Had Doc been right? Had he been cruel to tie her up in his world after all? She was a welcome relief at times for Jon, he just hadn’t realized it until now. The freeway turn off finally came into view. Thank god, he wanted to talk to her, hell he wanted to show her exactly how much he’d missed her. No amount of stupid head he’d received from any pretty blond was a substitute for her. He wanted more, he needed more from a woman.
It was a different concept for him. He wasn’t used to that need, but when he thought of Callie, his belly twisted.
“You alright Jonny?” he opened his eyes to Richie’s worried brown ones looking back at him.
“Yeah, just tired bro. It’s been a long few months, but we’ve kicked some major ass out there on the road.”
Richie reached around and bumped his knuckle against his. “Fuck, we did!”
“I’m looking forward to being home though.”
“With Callie?”
Jon chuckled and his lips kicked up. “Yeah, have to admit I am.”
“Thank god for that. You two need to get your shit sorted out.”
Jon ran his finger across the worn our window framing. “Who falls in love with their wife after they get married anyway?”
Richie snorted, “least you admit it now.”
“Fuck off,” Jon laughed and closed his eyes again. He didn’t want to think about anything, not Doc, not how much money they now owed people from this tour. Not the band, not Richie, no one. He’d be quite happy to shut himself in a room for a week.
Twenty minutes later he hauled his bag out of the bus and waved goodbye. He tugged his coat tighter around him as the chilly night air whipped right through him.  He made his way up the stairs to Callie’s apartment. He tapped his knuckles against the door and waited, he had no idea where his key was.
After no one answered he knocked again, “Callie?”
But nothing.
He was surprised when he tried the handle, the door pushed open. He let himself in and closed it behind him. “Callie?” He dumped his bags and walked through to the kitchen. He cast his eye over the stacks of files and papers that littered the small dining room table. Christ, she must have a big case on. He stopped dead in his tracks when he got to the kitchen. She was busy scrubbing something in the sink, with her back to him.

He smirked, as he appreciated the rear view of her curvy figure and took a few steps forward. He'd never really noticed how well she could fill a pair of jeans until now.

“Don't even touch me.”

Jon's head jerked up as he stood, glued to the floor. What the fuck?

“Callie. It's me.” He took another step forward but blinked when she barked at him to stop again, never turning around once.

“I know who it is. You can stay here tonight, on the couch and then I want you gone tommorow.”

Jon swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. Was it because he didn't talk to her around Christmas? What the hell had happened? “Callie, turn around and talk to me.”

His belly bottomed out when her shoulders slumped, and he heard a small hiccup from her. Fuck this.

He reached for her shoulders and spun her around, “Callie-.” His heart tripped, as her normal beautiful big blue eyes, were rimmed red and her face was drained of all color. “What happened baby?” He was quick to tug her in, but she shrugged out of his grasp.

“Just leave me, dinner is in the oven. It'll be ready in twenty minutes. I'm going out for a bit.”

The heat bubbled in his throat and straight to his head. He gripped her shoulder, “Callie for god's sake what's happened?”

She looked up with sad eyes, and he knew in that moment he would never forget them as long as he lived. “You happened, Jon.”

Why the hell were woman determined to be mastermind puzzles when it came to emotions? For the love of fuck.

“Callie. Listen to me. Tell me what's going on?”

Fear crept in, for a moment he thought about the possibilty of losing her but pushed it aside. Wasn't going to happen.

She bunched her hands into fists on his chest when he pulled her in tightly, and he pressed his lips against her forehead. She may have well as been ice in his arms, she was so damn stiff. “Tell me... please Callie.” His voice dropped to a whisper, “I've missed you so much.”

God, what the hell had happened?

Her fingers twisted the collar of his shirt. “You haven't missed me.”

He pushed her back an inch, and tipped her chin to meet his gaze. His belly swam with nerves, and the sweat dripped down his temple. “I have Callie...more than you know. I should of told you in Florida... I should of told you that I--”

“Don't even say it. Don't you fucking even say that to me.”

Tears squeezed out from the corners of her eyes, and down that pretty face. God he wanted to take that away. Wanted to make it better. “I mean it Callie, I'm in love with you.”

His eyes widened when she laughed, more tears spilled freely down her face. “Is that why you still slept with girls and told them about our marriage and the arrangement we had?”

Jon felt his face drain, and his stomach hit the floor. He had been drunk, one night – stupidly drunk to tell that stupid girl to sleep with him. Aw, fuck. How did Callie know all this?

“How do--” he cut off realizing it didnt matter. It didnt matter how she knew, she knew and it hurt her. He closed his eyes, remembering Richie's voice. She loves you man. It's so obvious. He'd fucked up. Big time.

“Callie, I was drunk and I made a stupid mistake...I don't want-”

“Let go of me Jon, you know what damn well you want. You want an unlimited supply of pussy but a wife to still come home to and smile for the cameras when it suits you.”

He dropped his arms, “that's not what I want. I've been an idiot Callie but this hasn't exactly been a normal situation.”

“So it's my fault now? You're the one that decided on your own, we'd stay married without even consulting me. You announced it over the radio, without a god damn thought on how I felt.” She paced down the kitchen, the anger was melting out from her. It was a side of Callie he didn't know existed.

He rubbed his forehead, he couldn't even defend himself. He had been the one that decided that they would stay married, like she said. Without consulting her. In a fucked up way, he did it for her, to show her she could make her own decisions without her god damned father.

“I'm sorry.” What else could he possibly say at this moment? “Callie, I took advantage of you and then I realized I love you... and I do. Honest.” He bit the back of his thumb as he watched her, arms folded. Shut off completely from him.

“It's over Jon. I can't do this, I can't do any of this.” His heart ached when more tears slid down her cheeks. He couldn't bare the thought of being without her. In a strange way, over the tour they'd become close friends, he could tell her anything. Anything that he couldn't tell Doc or his bandmates. And he couldn't stand to lose that.

“Callie, please...” Panic rose in his throat. All the way home he wanted to be alone, he wanted nothing more than to close of the world. But now, because that reality was crashing down hard on him. He feared it the most. “Callie, I need you.” He winced how lame it came out, how insincere and insenstive could he possibly get?

“No you don't. I'm not being used anymore by you Jon. It's over.”

She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand, “I have to go.”

“No,” he held her this time and didn't let go. He buried his nose into her silky hair, the smell of apples and home comforted him for only a moment. He couldn't let her go. He had to tell her what she'd become, it was more than needing her. He loved her.

“I love you Callie, I was too stupid to see it when you came out to Florida and saved me. Too stupid to see how much you cared for me. And I was too stupid to see, how much I cared for you. I'll make this up to you. I promise, just please don't make me leave.” His voice cracked, and he didn't care how desperate he sounded. He had to get it across to her, she mattered.

Like no one else had ever mattered before.

His arms sucked her in tight, and she began to tremble with sobs against him. He hated himself, that he was the reason she was so destroyed. He'd played the game, and fucked her up. It wasn't too late, it couldn't be too late.

“You matter so much Callie, I wish I could show you. And how much I believe in you and want to support you as much as you supported me.” Her body shook more, he was the biggest asshole on the planet right now. And he knew it.

His own tears didn't surprise him, he was exhausted, and he was scared.

He couldn't do this alone.

Not anymore.