January 24, 2010
Callie lost her appetite and wheeled out the half-eaten food for service to come and collect it. She had to get back to the one thing that would save her thinking about Jon, working. Besides, that’s what she was here for. As much as she didn’t want to see Doc, she needed to find out what the hell she was up against, and what the hell he’d been up to.
She dressed again, casually with jeans a tee and her suit jacket. She grabbed her files and slipped out into the hallway.
She smiled into deep brown eyes that often than not always had a sneaky smile accompanying them. “Hey Richie.”
“Where are you off to, I hope Jonny’s looking after you.” He propped his elbow against the wall as his lanky frame rested there.
Richie chuckled, “code for don’t go there huh?”
She sighed and straightened up the folder packed with papers, “I guess. I’m not here for anything but to help him out Richie.” As long as she kept telling herself, she’d eventually believe it.
“Uh huh, and why did you come in the end?” He popped his knuckles and lifted his brows.
“To save his career, no one deserves this – not him, when he’s worked so hard for this. I can separate emotion from reason Richie, I do it every day.” She was surprised she almost sounded believable.
Richie snorted, “Yes you may be able to Callie. I can read people, and I read you.”
Her brow winged, “you do? And what exactly do I say?” That was dangerous, she wasn’t in the mood for reality checks.
He reached out and brushed his thumb down her arm, “you’re here because you care about Jonny, you want to care more because you’re in love with him but you’re scared to get your heart broken again.”
“It hurt so much the first time, you’re not sure if you can manage it again, and you’re wondering now if he even cares for you the way you care about him. I can tell you, he does. Jonny doesn’t love easily, and when he does, he makes ridiculous mistakes but I can tell you one thing Callie…”
She wanted to get out of here now, this was too much…she couldn’t’ even refute the source, it was Richie for god’s sake. One of the most generous and kind people she knew. Her fingers gripped the folder, god it did still hurt, Callie didn’t love easily… hell she wasn’t even sure if before Jon she had loved, like this. “Richie, I have to go…” she didn’t even look back as she walked down the corridor to Doc’s room, but she heard it.
“When he loves, he loves for life.”
She closed her eyes as she stood outside the door, trembling and desperate to hold some form of composure. She heard another door open, and then silence. He was gone, but he’d left his words, she doubt she’d ever forget.
Take a deep breath and do this, do this and get the hell out of here.
She rapped her knuckles against the door and forced a smile on her face when Doc answered.
“Callie – what a surprise?”
Oh god, she remembered how much she couldn’t’ stand the man but that wasn’t what was important here, god, it wasn’t as if she was defending Hitler... “Hi Doc, I’m here to help.”
The surprise registered on his face, “you did? Wow, that’s very kind of you but we’ve got another lawyer looking after this.” He paused and held the door open. “Your loyalty to Jon impresses me though. He’s moved on from your little marriage.”
Once a rat, always a rat.
“Actually Doc, no I’m the lawyer now, since you have no money. Sherwood Manning is not interested in clearing your name for free unless there is a massive media circus with him as the star of the show. So I’m here, as I don’t want Jon’s career marred by his stupid manager thinking he can make a fast buck on the side from trafficking drugs.” She smiled smugly, “so do you want my help – so your career isn’t washed up and your sorry ass isn’t thrown in jail – or not?”
Take that ass. The man was a snake, Jon had this amazing loyalty to people sometimes she couldn’t’ understand, but then maybe that was one of the things that made her lov-respect him.
His eyes widened and he blew out his breath. “Wow, ok – of course I do. Come in.”
She settled her things down on the desk in the corner of the room, first thing she noticed is his room had a hell of a lot more “features” than Jon’s did, typical. She could do this, she could move the bubbling anger in her gut and do this for him – for Jon.
“So tell me, everything and don’t lie. I need to know what we’re dealing with here.” She clicked her pen and waited for him to sit in the chair.
“Well, it’s true – I was trafficking drugs. I’ve been doing it for a few months now,” he scratched the back of his head as Callie imagined a man like Doc didn’t admit his mistakes that easily. “At first it was meant to be a one-off, I got paid to take some drugs from one place to another, as we were travelling with the band. I got paid generously for it, and didn’t think anything of it until the recipient offered me more work and more money – and it just kind of spiralled from there.”
She scribbled away as he talked about times and dates, as they could map them to what shows the guys were doing at the time. “And what did you do with the money?” It was irrelevant but she sure as shit couldn’t imagine he’d be generous with it.
“We were broke, god you know how broke we’ve been doing this. I used it to get by – buy the band a few things here and there.”
“Can you prove that? Receipts etc?”
He shrugged, “yea, I’ve kept them but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to this.”
Callie made a few quick notes, “if we can prove what state your finances were in and what you were using with this money, it will show a little of your character, even though you’re doing something highly illegal—you’re not using the money to guy and buy issues of playboy and piss it all away on drugs etc.” She met his eyes, “well all of it.”
He nodded, “right – ok. Well I can probably find some things for you.”
“You’re in control of all the finances for Bon Jovi?”
He nodded again. “I was, Jon wants some changes with that after this. But for the time in question, yes.”
Smart man, she thought as she compiled the sorry ass story down. She finished the details of the drugs and dealers. Her mind was quickly spinning, and calculating. If he had no criminal records before this, and no evidence pointed to that – it helped. She could try and plead guilt and play Doc a little dumb. It was worth a shot, he might get limited jail time or even community service. The jury could take compassion on him, and he could get a smack on the hand, but she doubted that as it wasn’t as if he was doing it to feed his starving family or something.
“Ok, so no criminal convictions I need to worry about?”
He shook his head, “nope this is it. What do you think? Honestly?”
“I think you’re first of all a stupid man for thinking you’d ever get away with this. Secondly, you’re stupid for doing this and risking these boys’ careers, especially when they’ve just made it. You jeopardised everything they’ve worked for – their dreams…” She paused as she let the guilt wash over his face and seep slowly into him. “But that all being said and done, I think I can do something here. I can try, and I will. For Jon’s sake.”
“Really? What am I looking at worse case scenario?”
She pushed her papers back into the folder, “Five years inside—if anymore damning evidence comes to light, and you’ve got anything else you haven’t told me about…however, the way I want to spin this, I think there is a good chance you’ll get away with a hefty fine and community service time. Just …maybe.” What was the harm in making him squirm just a little? Serves him damn right.
“Wow, I – “he clasped his hands together. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
“You can thank me by not screwing with Jon’s career in future, and this does come with one condition.”
“After this is all over, if Jon for whatever reason decides to keep you on – god forbid. I’m drawing up a new contract that gives him all final rights over the band. He can decide the financials of it all, but it puts him in charge, to hire and fire.”
“I must admit, I under estimated you Callie. Wow…” He nodded, “I’ll agree to that.”
“Good, then there will be no fee for my service if you can give me your word on this. And if you play me Doc, I can make your life hell, you have to know that.”
“I do, shit…ok…I’ll take it.” They shook on it like a business deal.
Not bad for a days’ work she thought as she left him for the night, they could continue tomorrow, they had one more concert tomorrow night and then they were moving on. She’d arrange to have this tried back in Jersey if she could manage it.
She had him right where she wanted, god knows she had a lot of work to do for this to play out right. But she knew this game like the back of her hand, and knew what buttons to push when it came to the court of law.
He deserved what he got, she knew that. But as long as his name was connected with Jon, she had to do what was best for Jon, and the band. She slipped back into her room, she glanced longingly at her bed. She was beat, but she had a paper to finish for her study. She picked the phone up and ordered a pot of a large pot of coffee, and sank into her books.
It was going to be a long night.
January 13, 2010
Callie clicked the door behind her and dropped her bags, her arms shook and she sat down to regain her composure. She knew seeing him again would be hard, but not this hard. She buried her face in hands and took a deep breath. She could do this, she came here to help him legally so she could do this, and then go home.
God, he looked so good, didn’t he? And he smelled good too, just as she remembered. His blue eyes had sliced right through her, waking old memories that had long been buried. She didn’t need this, she didn’t need to reopen that box she locked away. It just couldn’t happen. She peeled off her clothes and stepped into the shower washing away the flight and the day. She’d grab some dinner and then find Doc, and make a start on compiling their case to see what she was dealing with.
She wrapped the hotel robe around herself and padded into the kitchen, it was a basic room but had all the comforts you needed. She flipped through the room service menu and settled on a burger and fries, and ice-cream for dessert. God, she also had her damn assignment she needed to get finished as well, so it was best she make a start on that while she waited for dinner.
She set out the text books and notes on the desk in the room and set to work. The rap at the door knocked her out of anatomy hell, hell, how many muscles could there possibly be in an arm? She slid out of the chair and unlocked the door expecting to see a man with a tray but didn’t.
The smile he flashed sizzled down to her toes, “hi—sorry I was expecting room service.” She hugged herself and rolled back on her heels. “Is there something I can do for you Jon?” She hated that she sounded so damn cold but she couldn’t let him in, she wouldn’t. That’s not why she was here.
“Callie, I just wanted to –“he peered over her shoulder, “working already?”
Callie shrugged, “yeah, I’m a little behind. You wanted to what?”
He dug his hands in his pockets and grinned, “Callie...I wanted to talk—well thank you for coming. You didn’t have to.” He held his hand up when she went to talk, “but I’m glad you did. You know I don’t trust easily, but I trust you.”
She nodded, “thanks...I guess I couldn’t stand by and let your career slide over this. Not when I know how much you worked for it.” She tightened her grip around herself, not sure if it was because she wanted to touch him, or to stop herself from shaking.
“I appreciate that more than you know.” He stood aside as the bellhop did arrive and wheeled the cart in. She picked up her purse and handed him some bills.
“Thanks,” once he’d left she rested her hand on the door, she was going to regret this but she couldn’t exactly close the damn door on him. “Do you want to come in, I’ll split my burger with you.”
His lips kicked up and she felt her gut churn, damn it.
“Sure, if you don’t mind.” He closed the door behind them and she lifted the covers on the cart breaking the burger in two she offered him half.
“Thanks, I’m starving.” He sat on the edge of the bed and ate the burger in record time.
“Jeez, Doc not feeding you or something?” She plucked a French fry into her mouth and sat at the table with her half of the burger.
“I forget to eat sometimes, it gets so crazy...”
She lifted her head towards the phone, “order some more then...you may as well eat while you can.” Crap, did you just invite him to stay longer?
“Callie,” his face dropped. She always slid into the easy role of looking after him, she knew it and she didn’t mind it. Damn, she should do though.
“Sorry, I just meant – I’m paying for it so you might as well eat now while you’re sitting still. That’s all.” That’s it, try and sweep it under the carpet like it was an empty gesture. She was failing miserably.
“Thanks, I think I will. Besides, I want to know what’s been happening in your life apart from your father still having you where he wants you.”
She lowered her eyes to her burger and picked out the slither of tomato, “actually. I’m not where he wants me, exactly.”
Fail Two: You told him something personal about yourself. Damn, she couldn’t stand his smug attitude.
His brow winged, “really?” He glanced over at the desk and his eyes widened.
“Med school?” Her heart lurched into her throat as his eyes sparkled bright, the first actual person to get excited over this...god she’d wanted that so bad. So very bad.
She nodded, “yes. I started this year in Jersey.” Her lips curved into smile as she fought the urge to stay neutral and professional.
“Well fuck,” he rested down the remains of his burger and reached for the phone.
“Yeah, hi. Can I have some more fries and a burger and a bottle of your best champagne –ok ok just a reasonable bottle...”
Callie bit her lip, he was excited, someone was actually excited for her.
“Sorry, didn’t want to go overboard since you’re paying... I owe you though... I owe you big time, so what happened? Tell me everything – and how Daddy took it?”
It was completely unprofessional now, but she didn’t care – she wanted to relish that time to gloat, god just to talk to someone that understood. She crossed her legs up under her on the chair and flipped her hair back. “Well, I finally decided enough was enough after-“ you broke my heart. She swallowed as their eyes met. “After everything," she dismissed but the flicker in his eyes told her he’d known exactly what she meant. “I just did it Jon, I had to. I was going insane and Dad, well it took as you’d expect. He’s not happy – and worse, he thinks it’s just a phase I’m going through. “
Jon reached over for a handful of fries. “A seven year phase,” he snorted.
“Exactly,” she sighed. “I’m still doing odd law jobs for him...probably out of guilt.” Why was it she could tell him anything, so freely even though she knew he was about to get angry at her, but deep down he understood.
“Seriously Callie, I know shit about medical school but it’s gotta start getting stressful at some point, you’ve got to say no to him.”
“I know,” she smiled when he looked surprised. “Yes I know you’re right, I’m just figuring it out.”
“God and now you’re here doing this for me, if I’d known –“
“Jon, it’s ok. I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t handle it.”
He nodded and clasped his hands. “So how is it?”
She smiled, “wonderfully hard.”
He laughed and then nodded. “I’m really happy for you Callie – I mean that.”
“I know, I know you are.” It was because of him she did it, pushed herself to do it at any cost. She’d seen what his music had done to him, and how much joy he got from it despite the being broke, and the hard times. He loved it.
“You’ve changed too.”
She lifted her eyes to his. “I have?”
“You marched in here ready to take over the world Callie, so strong... so firm...that’s not the Callie I knew. You have this shield, no vulnerability at all.”
That’s because you broke my heart.
“I see, well I am a lawyer Jon, sometimes unfortunately for me there is a difference between who I am professionally and who I am personally.” She smoothed down the robe. She didn’t want to get into this now, especially with him.
“It’s sexy.” He grinned as he polished off the French fries just in time for the next lot to arrive along with their champagne. He popped the bottle and poured two glasses, “here—sexy lawyer.”
She smiled and took the glass. “Watch it boy.”
They both stood, “here to Cal—no no, Dr. Callie Richards.” The glasses clinked and they both drank. And damn if Dr Richards didn’t a good ring to it.
“God knows what you’ll be like as a doctor. Handing out that Bad Medicine...”
“God, Jon you so did not just do that!” She snorted through her champagne as they both laughed. God it felt good to laugh, good to feel comfortable again, good to be with him.
Maybe they could be friends after all this? Who would know? She couldn’t go back to where they were, she couldn’t let herself fall into that storm, and as much as she wanted it... she couldn’t. Not after everything that had happened, she wouldn’t open herself back up for that.
“Maybe we were still in tune somehow, you at med school... me writing that song.”
The laugh rolled out of her, “stop it...god. Jon.” They drank the wine and ate, talked like a couple of old friends, it amazed Callie that they could just pick up this so easily.
He stopped, lifted her glass from her and tugged her in close, their lips barely millimetres apart. Her heart pounded against her chest and her belly clenched. It would be so easy to sink right into him, take what she knew she’d missed.
“Callie, I’m –“ She pressed her hand against his chest and pushed him back.
“No, don’t.” She closed her eyes, but he took her hands in his.
“I’m sorry...that’s what I really wanted to say. That’s all.” He lifted her hands to his mouth and pressed his lips against them. “Thanks for the food, I’ll let you get back to your study.”
And like magic, he was gone and she was alone again. In the same damn state as she was when she first came to her room. “Damn you Jon,” she whispered as she slowly sipped the rest of her wine. She couldn’t afford to let him get that close again, she was here to help him...perhaps she’d been wrong about the friends thing. Maybe they really couldn’t be friends without it slipping into anything else, and Callie wasn’t prepared to let that happen.
January 2, 2010
Callie arrived at O’Hare International Airport a little after six, she collected her case and made her way to grab a taxi. The band still didn’t know it was her defending them, she told Mr Manning she had it under control, once she had the hotel that they were staying.
She popped her knuckles as the taxi made its way into the city, the chill of the fall biting through the poorly insulated cab. What if this was a mistake? She’d never hear the end of it from her father; especially that she borrowed ten thousand dollars for bail money. He thought it was for medical school, so he already had given her the lecture on how it was a waste of money, convinced she’d always come back to law.
If he knew her as well as he should have, she wasn’t borrowing a dime off him for her study that would solely be her responsibility and her success. The car rounded the corner and slowed in front of the hotel. Well, they’ve certainly moved up a little in style. She paid the driver and grabbed her case, and headed for the front desk. She could see out of the corner of her eye a few men mingling around with note pads. She’d bet her bottom dollar they were reporters, Jon was so not going to be happy if this was already in the media.
“Hi, I’m Callie Richards, I’m here for -“God, did she say Jon, Doc or the band? Jon wasn’t expecting her, and neither was Richie, but he’d be easier. “Richie Sambora. He’ll be expecting me.”
The receptionist eyed her carefully, thankfully Callie figured her suit and the way she presented herself was a far off cry from any groupies trying to get in.
“Just one moment please m’am.” She made the call and then nodded, “you can wait just through in the bar if you don’t mind.”
She nodded, “not a problem, Thanks.” She made her way to the bar and waited at a
table. She smoothed her hands down her skirt. God, it was only Jon.
Only Jon who had turned her world upside down.
Only Jon who she’d shared the best sex she’d ever damn had with.
Only Jon who had been the one to believe in her.
Only Jon who she’d given her mind, soul and heart to.
Only Jon who she’d accidently fallen in love with.
Only Jon who had broke her heart.
“So can I buy you a drink? Or are you looking for something a little more serious?”
Warm brown eyes and a cheeky grin beamed down at her.
“Richie!” She leapt up and he wrapped his arms around her tight.
“I’ve never been so happy to see you.” He pulled her back, still in his embrace.
“But why are you here, when you said—“
“I changed my mind. Don’t ask.”
“I already know babe.”
“No- it’s not like that, I don’t-“
“Come on, let’s go and see Jonny and Doc, see if you can’t sort this mess out.” He rested his arm around the top of her shoulders, took her bag and led her to the elevator. Two girls, who were waiting for him, grew restless as they came closer.
“Hey girls. Want me to sign anything?” He laughed when the blonde one, slicked with hot red lipstick and big blue eyes pulled her top down to reveal her bra. “Ok, signing the boobs it is.”
Callie amused, shook her head. Richie loved the attention, he was so relaxed around these girls where as that was very different to how Jon was, she noted. They slipped into the elevator and he grinned back out at them.
“Don’t worry she’s more like my sister.”
Callie punched his arm as the doors slid shut. “Gee thanks. You’re saying I’m not hot now?”
Richie cocked his brow, “actually no. In that killer suit and those shoes, I was going to say earlier you look like you’re ready to do some damage.”
Pleased with herself she smiled. “Why thank you.”
Her belly twisted as they reached the floor, what would she say, how would Jon react? “He doesn’t know you called me does he?” She asked as they reached the door.
“Nope, he doesn’t. Or that you’re here now. This is Jon’s room.” He rapped his knuckles against the door.
God, no need for time to prepare myself. Sheesh.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me Jon, Rich.”
“Alright, come in then.”
Richie turned the doorknob swinging it open.“Ladies first.”
She took a deep breath, gripped her purse and walked in. “Hello Jon.”
His head snapped up at the sound of her voice. “Callie?” He shifted off the couch to his feet, “W-what are you doing here?” And how did you become even hotter? The dark brown suit hugged her figure perfectly, and the skirt showed off just enough of her long legs, down to the matching heels she was wearing. Damn and he always did like heels.
Her hair was wrapped up, back from her face, and her face prettied with some makeup that made her blue eyes shine. He stuffed the need to go to her away, she looked incredible.
She set down her briefcase. “I heard you might need some help.” He watched Richie appear in the doorframe slowly behind her.
He rolled his eyes, “you rang her? After I told you—to”
“Yes he did ring me Jon, and I gave him the name of the lawyer that visited you, Sherwood Manning. He was one of my father’s top associates.”
Jon’s brow winged. That made sense why he didn’t like the guy, he was pompous, and clearly in it for the money and any possible fame he might gain out of it. He folded his arms, “so then why are you here. Mr Manning seemed to know what he was doing.”
She unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it off her shoulders, the creamy blouse she was wearing accentuated the soft curve of her breast, one he’d once known well.
“You couldn’t afford him Jon, and when I spoke to him...I didn’t trust he was going to do this for the right reasons.”
There it was, straight in the gut and he didn’t even deserve her. She cared enough to know how much this meant to him, and how ridiculously relieved he was but at the same time, guilty. “You did huh? Was it you that posted the bail money?”
Her eyes softened, “yes it was.”
“Dammit Callie.” He raked his hands through his hair, he was pissed that she had to bail them out, more pissed at himself for not being able to.
“Told you she was a keeper.” Richie’s eyes danced as he slipped out of the room.
“I asked Dad for it, he doesn’t know what it’s for.”
His jaw clenched, “And how is father dearest?” He cursed himself for sounding so ungrateful. But the thought of that man, even though in foresight he’d done something just as bad to her, made his blood boil.
“He’s ok Jon. So do you want to tell me about what happened?” She snapped open her briefcase and pulled out a pad. She was being professional, and how clipped and confident she was glowing, was just driving him more insane.
“I don’t know what happened Callie, one minute I was finishing one of the best concerts in my life and the next I was tied up in a drug ring, with that son of a bitch who I should have never trusted.” He swore as he kicked over the small coffee table sending its contents flying.
“Ok, Ok, look just calm down. Look...” she walked across the room, Christ the way she moved so undeterred. She clicked open the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of scotch. “I’ll pay for it, so don’t worry. Here... Drink it and sit down for a second.” She held it out to him and smiled.
She was so calm and so not fazed by him? Was she over all that happened in their past? There was something so different about her, and it was bugging the shit out of him. He took the glass and sat down. He felt the warm liquid burn to his belly, “mind if I have a smoke?”
She shook her head. “Go right ahead.”
He dug for his cigarettes and swiftly lit one. “How’s it all been going, anyway?” He had to assume since she was here, she was still practicing law and working for her father.
“Fine, it has its moments. What about you, Mr Hot Shot Rock star?” She smiled genuinely. “I see you’ve made quite the name for the band over the last year.”
He grinned and took a long pull from his cigarette. “Yea. We’re in demand. Demand is great, not quite where I want to be, but we’re not far off it.” He blew out another breath, “and we’re working our asses off for it.”
She moved to the chair near his and sat crossing her legs. Her hair, neat and woven up leaving the long line of her neck exposed, made his mouth water. “You’re looking good Callie.
“Thanks.” She checked her watch. “Look, if you’re not ready to talk, I’ll head up to my room and freshen up. I’m starving as well; it’s been a long night for you I understand. So maybe we meet up in a couple hours or so? And you can tell me what happened, and then I’ll need to talk to Doc.”
He nodded, “sure. No problem.” She collected her things and his belly growled, man he hadn’t eaten in hours either. Was it too much to expect them to get a meal together? “I haven’t eaten either,” he quickly blurted out, but the small smile and nod was as good as a slap in the face.
“See you in a couple of hours Jon.”
He couldn’t blame her, hell she was here, ready to defend his honor after everything that had happened. What else could he possibly expect of her?