February 27, 2010
He closed his eyes and let the last chords that Richie strummed settle, he didn’t ever want to say goodbye to Callie. All that sat where she’d been was an empty chair. Panic rose in this throat as the lights faded for the next song. He strode across the stage and into the wings, “Callie?” Where had she gone? Was it too much for her? He knew he’d been pushing but he didn’t think she’d run before he got a chance to talk to her.
He dived out into the corridor. “Callie!” Only the janitor with a tatty mop littered the hallway.
“Jonny,” a hand on his shoulder spun him around. He lurched forward and shoved Doc against the wall. “What the fuck did you say to her?” An angry tear hit his hand.
“Nothing! She’s gone I just saw her—she said not to tell you.”
He bunched Doc’s shirt tighter, “and you didn’t stop her I bet,” he snarled and Doc’s eyes widened.
“Jon, it wasn’t like that, let go of me! This wasn’t me. She wouldn’t have stopped for me, of all people.”
He shrugged Doc off and stepped back. “She can’t go—I have to tell her---fuck!”
“Jonny, you can’t up and leave a show like this, wrap it up, you’re three quarters through. Do the hits and then go—but you can’t just walk out.”
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, he hated that the fucker was right.
“Fine!” He marched into the backstage area and stood on the wing. For the first time he could remember, he didn’t want to go out on stage, he didn’t want to choose finishing the concert over finding Callie before she left him. He growled and pounded his fist against one of the beams, the heat zinged up his arm.
“Jonny—what are you doing?” Richie hissed as the David kept building the keyboard introduction. The crowd hummed, they were growing restless.
“I’m coming—I-I,” Dammit. “Count me in, I’m ready.” Damaged hand and all.
He grabbed the mic and he sang the damn songs, he sounded like shit and he knew it. Each lyric, each word was like drawing blood from a stone but he got there. The second the lights blacked out, his feet were pounding down the corridor and out of the stadium. He had to find her, he didn’t care how, he had to.
“Jonny!” The screams split the air as the group of girls thundered towards him, damn he hadn’t banked on that. He spotted the taxi and jumped in breaking all held records of taxi hailing. The taxi driver recognized him and pumped on the gas. He yanked his hand through his hair, please still be fucking there. Please.
His right hand throbbed as he made his way through the hotel lobby and up to her room, he had to make her listen, leaving without her knowing how he felt wasn’t an option. He pushed her door without knocking, blowing out his breath to the empty room. “Callie?” God, no—she couldn’t be gone. The urge to shove his clothes in a bag and follow her back to New Jersey bubbled inside of him.
“Damn.” The wind whistled in off the balcony, whipping the curtains around the open door. He peeked out the door and swallowed down the relief in his throat.
“Callie—“he whispered. She stood with her back to him, her arms hugging her body tightly looking out to the twinkling city lights of the city.
“What do you want?”
He stamped down the need to go to her and settled into one of the chairs. “Why did you leave?”
“I should have never come here Jon.” He wished she’d turn and face him, but as long as she was talking he could wait this out.
“Aww Callie. You know this means everything to me.” He rubbed his hands up his arms,
“you mean everything to me.”
“Don’t—Jon just don’t.”
“That’s why you left wasn’t it?”
“I don’t know---I don’t know anything anymore.” She sniffed and his stomach sank. It ripped him in two that she was crying over him, again.
“Callie—listen to me.” He rose out of his seat and came up behind her wrapping his arms around her waist, she stiffened but he didn’t let go. “Callie—will you let me talk?”
“Why?” She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand but didn’t wriggle out of his grasp. He buried his face into her shoulder, taking in the sweet smell of her hair.
“Because you are worth it. I need to say this, once and for all. I’m not letting you go until I do. Ok?”
Her silence let him continue. “Callie—this whole thing has been fucking crazy, right
from the beginning. We never planned the marriage but we made it work—ok,” he took a deep breath. “I pushed you into it—and I’m sorry about that.”
“I didn’t stop you, did I?”
“Would you have? Callie-you couldn’t even stand up to your father, if I’d known that before I made you agree to it—I wouldn’t have done it. I was so fucking angry at Doc for thinking he had the say and control over what I did---sad reality is he does in some form.”
“You can change that.”
Ironically they both shared the same issues with control on different levels and he knew ultimately that’s what made the connection between sizzle. He was used to not sharing his concerns about his career, taking the load on his own and dealing with it. Callie came along and slotted in without ever being asked and until then, Jon never realized how much he needed someone to.
“You’ve already given me the tools with your arrangement with Doc. I can never thank you enough Callie, you kept on giving and all I did was shit all over you.”
The harsh reality of it burned in his gut, this girl had done wonderful things for him when he was down and out, and all he’d done was treat her like a second –rate groupie.
“It wasn’t meant to be a real marriage, I was the fool for thinking...thinking it ever could be Jon.”
He squeezed her tight and winced, his hand still tender. “No you didn’t, I’m a jerk
Callie. I thought I could have it both ways, keeping Doc happy and having you, without realizing I was hurting you every time. I did hurt you didn’t I?” Fuck he hated to fail and he hated to let those close down. He’d failed himself and he’d failed her.
The eerie silence between them made him nervous. “Yes, you did.”
“Tell me—I need to hear it. You need to tell me how much I hurt you Callie.” He nosed her hair away from her neck and pressed his cheek against her skin.
“I can’t,” she choked. He was the biggest asshole in the world right now, a little selfish—he should let her go like he did before, but he wouldn’t. Not this time.
Callie curled her fingers around the railing. Jon was holding her so tight she couldn’t breathe, he was always so overwhelming. Hot tears splashed against her skin, she wanted to walk right out of here and give him up—but she realized in the middle of that song she couldn’t and that scared her.
She was in denial if she tried to admit that over the last ten months she was happy without him, sure she loved her study –but she’d thrown herself right in and with her father’s extracurricular jobs she’d had no time to think. Part of her knew that’s why she didn’t complain, part of her wanted to bury the fact that her chest ached every time she thought about him. His passion, his brutal truth to her situation had attracted him to her little by little until she was head over heels.
“Tell me. I need to hear it.”
He was warm and his spicy scent enveloped her. “I hated you at first—but a small part of me liked the fact we were pissing off my father. You made the decision for me, it was easier to lean on you. I should have stood up to him a long time ago.”
“Keep going,” hot lips kissed her neck sweetly.
“Then after I got to know you, there’s this fire inside you Jon. And it’s addictive to those who crave the same fire, I wanted what you had.” She should have had what he had a long time ago—but she’d fallen victim to family binds and emotional blackmail. She blinked away the rain. “We should go inside.”
He hooked his thumbs inside her waist band. “No, stay—keep talking I don’t give a fuck about the rain it can piss down.”
She swallowed the growing lump in her throat. “I know I said I wanted nothing more and I wanted you to publically keep your own perks less public.”
“And I didn’t do a great job of that did I?”
“I tried to keep telling myself I was just angry—angry that you weren’t respecting me. But over time, it was because I was jealous. I wanted to be them.” Christ—she hated how honest he was making her be.
“On some level I wanted them to be you,” he whispered. “They meant nothing to me—it was just sex. It doesn’t make it any better but it was...not like our connection, those nights in Florida, blew me fucking away.”
“Then why did you continue to screw around behind my back?”
“I didn’t want to think I was in love with you—I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t prepared for my feelings for you.” The roar of rain along with the ache of heart buckled her knees but he held her up. “I fell in love with you and when that girl, “she rolled her lip under her teeth, the urge to lose it was about to win. Sobs wrecked her throat, “she told me she knew about our marriage arrangement. I felt like everything I thought we had—was thrown back in my face.”
“I’m sorry—I’m so sorry,” he murmured against her shoulder.
The city became a blur and her insides ached as she let ten months of hurt pour as freely as the rain. He gently turned her and his arms sucked her in She held on, held on for her life.
He held her until her sobs became hiccups, her vulnerability should have killed but she felt safe. He tilted her chin to meet his gaze, his eyes glassy and sad. She reached up and swiped her thumb across his cheek. She had missed his strength, he gave her strength, and he gave her a reason to get up in the morning and be the woman she wanted to be.
“Can you ever forgive me?”
The heartbeat hit her knees, she wanted to say yes. “I don’t know. God—I miss you.”
He brought her mouth to his and backed her against the rail, cupping her face. He pressed his forehead against hers, her head was cloudy and her knees weak.
“I need to show you how much I love you, will you let me?” Her face still in his hands, she nodded.
February 21, 2010
Jon lay down and zipped up his pants, the ripped loose tank barely covered anything on his top half, he didn’t mind as it kept him cool and the ladies certainly didn’t complain. He fixed his hair and grabbed his eyeliner pencil, he popped the cap and grinned. When Callie had come out to Florida she’d sat in this dragon’s den and helped him apply his make-up.
“Where’s Callie? Is she outside?”
Richie nodded, “she’s waiting where you left her. Did you sort out things with her?”
Jon picked up the scarves and grabbed his leather jacket. “No, I wanted to talk to her but I got interrupted. I will though.” He made his way out of the dressing room. He didn’t have the time now, but later he’d make sure he talked to her. This thing between them that was still so very there, he didn’t want it to go away. He just had to find a way to make her not want it to either.
He headed up to the backstage area and stopped, she was standing looking out to the opening band. God she was pretty, perfect tight curvy body that he knew well, and her brown hair tousled over her shoulders. And those blue eyes, which he realized now, saved him more than he ever needed to be.
“Hey,” he whispered climbing up the stairs to join her in the wing.
“Hey – what are you doing here? Someone might see you.”
He cupped her chin and lifted her lips to his. “I needed to do that.”
She sighed, “Jon you gotta stop doing that.”
He chuckled, “I can’t help it Callie. You’re beautiful.” He held her chin when she went to look away. “I mean it. But now, I need you’re help.”
Her eyes searched his, “what with?”
He held up his eyeliner pencil and her eyes went big and she laughed. “Oh, I see. Don’t you have make-up artist yet?” She asked taking it out of his fingers.
“Not one as pretty as you. Remember last time?” His hand wound around her waist and he dragged her in, breathing in that sweet smell of women, the one woman that mattered to her. He’d just be so blind for long to see it.
Their lips bumped and she laughed and tapped his nose with the end of the pencil. “You want me to do this or not?”
“I’d prefer this—“The kiss was deeper, right down to his toes he felt her moan as he plunged deeper into it.
She pressed her hands against his chest gently, “Jon---I”
He stood back and looked up, “I’m ready.” He took a breath as she smoothly coated under his eyes with the pencil.
“There, rock star complete.”
He took the pencil back off her and took her hands. “Callie—I wanted to say something to you before. We need to talk, I need to talk—tonight.” He pressed his lips to her hands and held them there for a second. “I love you.” He looked back up at her his belly twisting in knots as tears flooded her sweet eyes, “don’t say anything. We’ll talk tonight but I want you to know, I’m serious Callie.”
He left her there, as much as he wanted to make her say it back, as much as he wanted to tell her how very sorry he was. This wasn’t the time. Hell, he should have never said it to her now, it wasn’t fair.
But she had to know, she had to know she’d become more to him than anyone before. He needed her, even under the old Callie there was something so strong and reassuring to him. But the new Callie was a rock. She was what he needed, and she was what he needed.
“All set?” Doc came out into the corridor.
“Yup, all set to go—Doc just make sure Callie is ok and comfortable.”
Doc nodded and out his hand on his shoulder, “I will Jonny. Least I can do.”
He had a show to do, but it would be nothing compared to the performance of his life he’d have to put on after the show for Callie.
She wiped her tears and made her way back to the side stage once the opening band left the stage. She needed to pull herself together, these kisses had to stop as each one floored her. She raked her hand through her hair, god and then he had to go and say the words.
Callie knew Jon well enough to know when he stared right through you and said something, he meant it. She didn’t know what to do with the information, hell—she wasn’t even sure herself what he now meant to her. She once was in love with him and she once wished the day would come where he’d love her back.
But now? After everything? She wasn’t sure she could handle it.
“Here.” She looked up from her seat, Doc handed her a glass with a brown liquid in it.
She took it, “thanks.” She needed a lot more than whiskey right now.
“I underestimated you Callie. And I’m sorry I did that. I underestimated Jon’s respect for you as well.”
She let it burn her throat. Coming here was a mistake, she wasn’t prepared to deal with this—thing her and Jon had between them. “Thanks,” was all she could manage. Maybe it was true. Maybe he was sorry and maybe he did love her, but hell could she really go back there after all that had happened.
The band soon came out to a thunderous crowd, in just ten months when she saw him last ---things had changed. He was more confident, more in charge of the stage than he ever was. He had no issues before but now, Christ now he was a demon. The lights sliced up the walkways as he strutted and played it for the crowd.
Her lips curved in a smile, god he was in his element. He sucked in every single person in that audience and they lapped it all right up. It’d be easy to get drunk on that power, and maybe that’s what happened when they were together, it was new it was intoxicating. It was never an excuse but maybe things were so big he just couldn’t say no.
Stop making excuses for him.
After a dozen songs he pulled out an acoustic guitar and took the centre of the stage, “this is a song we wrote in Richie’s basement earlier this year.” His eyes met hers and she smiled.
As I sit in this smokey room
The night about to end
I pass my time with strangers
But this bottle's my only friend
His voice was as raspy, she hadn’t really realized that his voice was under strain but remembering the way he spoke last night after a concert, it was apparent this was taking its toll.
Remember when we used to park
On Butler Street out in the dark
Remember when we lost the keys
And you lost more than that in my backseat baby…
He turned and looked through her, the rest of the stadium could have disappeared, as she stared back at him. She remembered the nights they’d made love, no one had ever made her like all that mattered was her. They’d connected deeper on a level she wasn’t prepared to admit, all over a stupid bag of Doritos.
Remember how we used to talk
About busting out - we'd break their hearts
Together - forever
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin' on - we got to try
Holdin' on to never say goodbye
The nights they’d spent in each others arms just talking, listening him to talk about his career, telling her to do the same with hers. The only person that ever believed in her, it was then she realized that it was more than that. It was because he loved her. People that believe in you love you.
Why did he have to go and hurt her like crazy, she fell for every word of it? She had no doubt he meant it, but the actions spoke louder than words at the time. She wasn’t prepared to be made a fool of while her husband went and cheated on her. Why did he have to do that? And ruin everything that they had, and still could have.
Never in her life had she imagined the one person that would be compatible for her, was Jon. But he really was….he was someone that threw her in directions she’d never thought of before, someone that propped her up when she needed it, someone that gave her tough love. Someone that she had fun with.
Someone that she loved.
Tears fell freely as she listened to the chorus build and every note hit her harder in the guts. She bit her lip, but nothing could stop the tears that flowed. She just wanted him; she couldn’t do this---this thing she was in. Juggling her father’s demands, studying for the most important exams of her life and be alone. She needed him, she needed him to tip her scales of sensibility that he did so well. She had never realized it until now.
He loved her, could she have all this back? Was it really not too late to say goodbye to what was ---what was staring her in the face. A future with him?
What if she fell for him all over again and this happened again? Could she trust him? Her head screamed yes, but her heart stomped no.
Could she let the hurricane that was Jon back into her heart and damn the consequences?
We danced so close
We danced so slow
And I swore I'd never let you go
Together – forever
The words blurred, much like her heart and mind. She loved Jon. More than she ever thought was possible, but why did it scare the holy hell out of her? Those nights alone, dealing with her father and while she knew he was off finding the next piece of ass.
She rubbed between her breasts absently, her lungs were tight. She needed to get out, get away from him. He was so overwhelming. She couldn’t think straight. She had to get out of here, to think clearly. She rose and grabbed her jacket and slipped out the back---and ran down the deserted corridor to the exit. She fumbled with the door but it wouldn’t open. “Dammit—come on!”
“Callie.” She spun around her, Doc was standing there.
“Please, just let me out of here. Now.” She wiped her tears and stood back from the door.
He clicked the lock and held the door open, “are you ok?”
“Just ---don’t tell him.” And she disappeared out the door.
February 13, 2010
“It’s fucking off—Tico you missed the upbeat in the first bridge again,” Jon scowled dragging his fingers through his hair.
“Here we go-“Richie whistled, Jon stopped dead in his tracks in front of his best friend.
“What? Is there a problem because we currently sound like shit?” Christ, what was wrong with these guys, everything was off-the sound, the rhythm...fuck.
Richie lifted his guitar over his head, “the problem is you’ve been in a foul mood since we got here, and I fucking know it’s not our playing. I’m not deaf Jon, we sound just fine.”
Jon’s brow winged. “Oh yea? Would you like to inform me of why I’m in a bad mood apart from the fact my guitarist can’t hold a riff and my drummer can’t hold a beat?” He stood with his hands on his hips, ok maybe it wasn’t all them. They still sounded like crap and he had a headache.
Richie put his guitar in the stand. “Look Jonny, I know you’re upset Callie isn’t here—“
“This has nothing to do with Callie, she’s busy. She’s studying and trying to get out dumb ass manager off the hook—there is no problem there.” He really did need to learn how to lie better, he hated that Richie could read him inside out like a book.
“It has everything to do with her, have you tried to talk to her about everything?” Richie asked while the rest of the band stayed silent.
“I-I of course I have, I apologized and she made it perfectly clear she doesn’t want to have that sort of relationship with me---now can we go from the fucking top, or are you giving me another therapy lesson?”
Richie took off his hat and took a step forward, easily leaving Jon in his shadow.
“Jon, one apology isn’t going to make this right. Invite her to the show tonight and she can sit out here on the side, like she did that time she came in Florida.”
Jon sighed, he remembered that time oh so well, she’d had a blast that night and so had he, and they’d had the most fucking amazing sex—fuck. He scratched his head, all of his band mate’s eyes were on him. “From the bridge.”
Richie rolled his eyes and picked his guitar back up, he nodded to Tico to start the beat and they were away. He had to see her when they got back, he had to try something, anything to see if she’d open back up and let him in. They had too much invested history in each other, and he wanted to prove that to her, no matter how much she wanted to shut it off. She couldn’t forever.
Once back at the hotel, Jon whizzed past the fans that were outside the lobby. “Hey Jonny!” He heard Doc’s voice but he kept on walking and found the stairs, he couldn’t even wait for the elevator, he had to see her now.
He struggled for breath at the eighth floor and found her room. He knocked and waited, bracing himself hunched on the doorframe.
“Sorry... just ran up the stairs... that was harder than I thought...can I come in?” He looked up and met her eyes, she was dressed in jeans and a tight tee, her hair pulled back from her face looking fresh and sexy. She nodded and stepped back letting him in, she’d been working again.
“Why didn’t you come? Because of this?” he motioned out to the paperwork and turned back at her, “or because of this.” He took the plunge and hooked his arm around her waist and dragged her towards him, he took one quick breath and covered her mouth with his. Her words muffled against his mouth and she stiffened in his arms but he didn’t stop.
His hand slid up her neck and cupped her jaw and she settled against him as he took the kiss deeper. His thumb scraped along her cheek and her taste flooded him. It felt like something so familiar and comforting, he couldn’t seem to stop. His tongue tasted each corner of her mouth, and she moaned into his. He pulled back barely leaving inches between them.
“Jon—“he pressed a finger to her lips, and his gut twisted as her eyes fill with tears.
“Come to the show tonight, promise me you’ll be there.”
She nodded slowly, her face still in his hand. “Ok.”
He smiled, “good. That’s a start. I’m going to work at this Callie, until you realize I need to make this up to you, if you still have feelings for me...we can make this work. I promise.” He pulled back, letting his arm drop free of her, drop free of her heat he wanted more of.
“I’ll see you tonight then.”
Callie waited till the door closed and sank down onto the bed before her knees gave way. The kiss went straight to her core, rattled her senseless. She didn’t even know what to say, what to do-how to react. She cursed agreeing she’d go to the show, just what she needed to watch, Jon at his most lethality. God, how was she going to survive this and why was it the man still spun her out of control when he touched her, she should have been over this.
She needed to finish her essay and finish more notes about Doc’s hearing, but how the hell could she concentrate on anything but his warm lips against hers, the way he stilled smelled, like Old English leather and soap. She wiped her cheek, not aware a tear had fallen. She could do this, she could survive a concert and do her job and get the hell out of his life again. Just like she’d planned.
It was just going to be harder than she originally anticipated.
She finished up her paperwork, ate and took a long hot shower ahead of the concert.
Her mind couldn’t stop spinning, over analysing everything he said. God, he’d only said about five things to her. How did he exactly intend on making things up to her? He couldn’t undo the things they’d done, and they’d both moved on since then. He was famous, hell was a superstar in his own right now.
Why in the hell, would he care if she still had feelings for him?
She dressed in jeans, boots and an off the shoulder red dress top, that glittered sliver in the light. It was a little racy, but hell, she hardly got to go out much these days. She fluffed her hair and applied some make-up, matching the top with some shiny lip gloss. He hadn’t said how she was supposed to get there.
As she was grabbing her purse, the phone rang.
“Are you ready? We’re leaving in about five minutes, meet you in the lobby?”
She smiled, “ok Jon. I’ll be there.” She shook her head as she put the receiver down, she could just not go, but she’d bet he would be at her door within ten minutes. She had to admit a small part of her did want to see the difference from when he performed last time to now. No matter what, he put on a great show.
Callie took the elevator down to the lobby where she quickly caught sight of the band milling around by the door. Doc watched her walk towards the guys, and gave her no more than a nod.
“Heyyy here she is!” Richie turned around with Tico and David. He grabbed her arms and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you GOD that you are here!”
“I second that!” David said as he caught her in a quick embrace.
She laughed, “Maybe I should come more often if I get treated like this?”
“Oh you should---then Jon might be in a good mood more.”
Her brow winged, “what?”
David gave Richie a look and then turned back to Callie. “The man was a pit-bull when you didn’t show this afternoon, I thought he was going to kill us all...” David patted his heart dramatically. “Least I’ll live tonight.”
“He was huh?” She turned as people started chattering as the man himself made his entrance into the lobby, his face lit up when he saw her.
“You came?” He squeezed her hand and brought it to his lips. She was having a hard time concentrating as she took him in from head to toe. He had on black leather pants that left nothing to the imagination, thick heavy boots and shirt that loosely hung open with a handful of chains that gleamed on his chest. His eyes were rimmed with liner, and his hair looked incredible as it hung freely around his shoulders.
She shivered as his finger tip ran across her bare shoulder. “You look stunning Callie. Christ, amazing.”
She nodded, “you—I mean thanks.”
His lips curved into an impish grin. “Not bad huh?”
Like she said earlier, he was lethal. Those pants were women-killers. Holy hell what was she getting herself into tonight? “You look great Jon, really great.” And that ass...
“Come on, you ride with me. We’re taking a car tonight. See you there boys.” He clasped her hand and tugged her outside to the waiting car. He let her slide in the backseat first and then followed her. “Drink?” he asked handing her a glass of wine.
She chuckled, “you don’t have to smooze me Jon. I’m coming aren’t I?”
“Not the way I’d prefer, but yes you’re coming.” The heat flushed her cheeks as he poured her glass. Damn those pants were tight. She took a long sip of her wine, “ok
I have to ask—how do you breathe in those?”
He laughed and took a drink from his own glass. “They’re painted on, breathings not so bad. Can’t say my cock appreciates them though.”
She snorted her wine, “Jesus...but no I guess you’re right. Was that just a ploy to get me to think about your cock?”
“Did it work?” he asked nonchalantly.
“A little.” She gazed out the window as the night lights of Chicago whizzed on by. Something still hung between them, whether it was chemistry or familiarity, there was something definitely still there. The wine had settled her nerves, and he didn’t try anything in the backseat. He was content to sit and talk to her the whole way.
The car rounded up to the stadium and he opened the door for her, “you play at these stadiums now huh big shot?”
He grinned, “I still thank my lucky stars every day I wake up Callie. This is something beyond my wildest dreams. Believe me.”
She smiled, despite everything she was really happy for him. Knowing how much shit he’d gone through to get to this point, he was her inspiration in some ways and always had been. He took her hand and they were quickly ushered inside the stage entrance past a sea of screaming females.
He took her hands and stopped in the corridor. “Callie, there’s something I want to say while we’re alone. It’s taken me much longer than it should have for me to do this, and mean it the way I do now.”
Her heart raced, and her warning bells went off in her head.
He squeezed her hands, “Callie. I know I messed up everything, and I know how much I hurt you. It was all me why we didn’t work, when we should have. I was immature, I didn’t treat you the way I treat my career, when the truth is—you’re”
She pulled away her hands and looked away as a roadie came bounding down the corridor. She blinked away the tears quickly. This was a bad idea coming here but she was here now, there wasn't much she could do about it so she could at least enjoy the show.
“Jack, I’m just in the middle of something here, can it wait a few minutes?”
“I would—but it’s the mic, I need you to come and take a look, the settings all fucked up since sound check.”
Thank god, she prayed silently.
“Ok. Callie, we’ll pick this up later ok? Come with me, I’ll find you a seat on the side-stage.”
She followed them as they talked shop, relieved to get a minute from what was nearly, she wasn’t ready to have him admit it. Have him lay it on the line what was between them, and she wasn’t ready to admit she was still in love with him.
February 8, 2010
Jon flipped off the covers and sent a pillow colliding with the chair. He’d been awake since four am and he was getting pissed off. He had a show that night to think about but all that he could think about was Callie. There was so much more he wanted to say to her the night before, but he couldn’t get it out. Instead he went for the kiss, and look how well that turned out. It kept going over and over in his head like a broken record.
Who came to your rescue when you’d broken their heart, and came no questions asked? Callie. Who the one person he could depend on, when all others had failed? Callie. Who had he stupidly played around with, not realizing the real consequences of what he was doing? Callie.
“Ugh,” he leapt out of bed. He needed a cigarette-- god a drink, to stop himself from going crazy. He pulled on a pair of jeans and slid into some shoes. He grabbed his jacket, cigarettes and headed out of the room. No sooner had he flicked one into life, Doc came out into the hallway.
“Christ Jon, it’s barely six, what are you doing up?”
“Couldn’t sleep—thanks to you.” That was a lie, but hey-he deserved it. Fucker.
Doc dug his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels, “I deserved that. Callie came and saw me last night.”
Jon’s brow lifted, “oh yea? And?”
“She thinks she can do something –get the charges downsized, if she can prove why I
“You’re lucky she even gives a shit about you Doc. Hell, we’re all lucky.”
Doc nodded, “yes we are. She seems to know what she’s doing. She made me a deal.”
Jon flicked his ash into the one of the nearby trays that lined the hallways. “A deal?”
Doc folded his arms, “if she does this and I get off. She wants you to have full control over final decisions for the band...”
Jon’s belly twisted, god she knew him better than he ever could imagine. “She did huh? And you agreed to this?” Fuck me. She was smart, he’d give her that. And she still had his best interests at heart, even after all this time.
He owed her, and he owed her big if she pulled this off.
“I did. You know I’m sorry Jonny, I didn’t mean for any of this to happen like this... I was stupid.”
“No surprises there, Look Doc, I’m still pretty fucking mad at you so I’m going to leave... but just do me a favor and co-operate with her and give her anything she fucking wants.”
Doc nodded, “do you regret how you treated her?”
Jon’s head snapped up and he swallowed down the urge to grab him by the throat and shake him. “I’ll never blame you Doc, but you sure made it fucking easy for me to cheat on her.” God, he was pathetic. He was the cheat here, he was the one that screwed what they had up, what he didn’t see was that, until now. Did he still have time to put it right?
“Jonny, I’m sorry I just thought the image---“
“Fuck the image, you’ve done enough. For now you shut up and do as you’re told, hear me?”
Doc’s eyes widened but he didn’t disagree.
“Good, I’ll see you at sound check.” Jon left him and continued on. Damn it, he needed to see her and say what needed to be said, or he’d never say it. He found her room and was surprised to see the glow of light creeping out from under the doorway.
He raised his hand to knock and stopped. Was he being unfair? Selfish? She had moved on so well without him, did he need to press her even more? She was here though right? She had to feel something for him...surely. He shook his arms out, Christ anyone would think he was nervous. What if he laid himself out on the line and she rejected him?
Fuck, you’re pathetic. You know that right?
He smiled as the room attendants wheeled down the breakfast cart to another room.
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and tapped his knuckles against the door.
“Callie?”There was no movement, nothing so he knocked again. “Callie?” Maybe in the shower, or maybe she’d gone down to the restaurant to eat. He stepped away but then reached for the door, surprised when he tried it, it opened.
He peered around the door and sighed when he saw her, bent over, head flat on the desk asleep. He crept in and closed the door behind him. He rubbed the niggle in the back of his neck, she had stacks of law books and documents, mixed with medical journals and notes spread all over the place.
“Baby,” he whispered as he pulled the chair out from the desk and scooped under her knees and neck and lifted her into his arms. He placed her down on the bed and pulled the blankets over her. He stepped back when she murmured, but she rolled into the pillow and didn’t wake. He perched himself on the edge of the bed and swept her hair back from her face. God she was gorgeous, pure skin and curls of long dark hair spilling over creamy shoulders.
“I guess I’ll have to wait, but we need to talk you and I.” He trailed his thumb down her jaw to her lips. “I’m sorry you had to be here, but I’m so very glad you are.” He leaned over her, catching that sweet scent of her that he’d missed. “I’m sorry.” He pressed his lips to her temple and backed off the bed. He’d talk to her later, right now she needed to sleep. Right now, he would treat her the way she always deserved to be treated.
Callie blinked as sunshine streamed across the bed, god what time was it? She rolled across the bed and squinted at the clock. Damn, after lunch. She sat up, rubbed her eyes and looked around. How did she get here? Last thing she remembered was trying to articulate the process to check for a broken arm. She was sure she hadn’t moved to the bed, she shrugged. “You’re losing your mind.”
She was losing her mind, last night she came close to giving in. Giving into him all over again. She couldn't let that happen again, be in that situation or let him think he was. She just couldn't go there--again.
She pulled herself out of bed and padded towards the bathroom and cranked on the shower , letting herself wake up fully. She needed to outline Doc’s defence today decide on the strategy for the plea, she twisted her hair up in a towel and flicked over some notes while she brushed her teeth.
A knock at the door soon changed that idea. “Hello?” She asked before opening it, no one needed to see morning Callie.
“Miss Richards, its room service. I have a message for you from Mr Bongiovi.”
She opened the door a little. “You do?” The uniformed man stood sharply and nodded.
“I do, he’s requested that you attend the sound check taking place this afternoon at 2pm if you can make it. I’m to let you know to meet outside in the lobby at 1.45pm if you are interested.”
Callie’s brows winged. “He did huh? Ok, well thank you for letting me know.” She quickly closed the door again. Why would he want her to attend the sound check? So he could attempt to damn kiss her again? She checked her watch, she needed to work. She couldn’t just go off watching sound checks like this, not when she had an essay to complete and a case to draft up.
She changed and ordered breakfast in as she slid back in at the desk.
Maybe he was just being nice? God, concentrate on this not Jon freaking Bon Jovi. It’s over and you’re never going back there. So get over it. She wriggled around and soon she was back in the zone of all things law-related and Jon’s kissable lips or sexy scent was far removed from her mind.
“You ready?” Jon slid on his sunglasses and nodded to Richie.
“I thought we weren’t leaving until two?”Jon asked scanning the lobby as the band started to assemble into the bus.”
“Well we’re all here aren’t we?” Richie asked, “And c’mon you’re usually the one barking at us to hurry up.”
“Yeah, yeah... I just thought...” Fuck. Where are you? And why the hell was he so fixated on her being there? She’d seen him perform before. He smiled as a couple of chicks walked past and waved, and then his face fell just as quick.
Richie snorted, “sheesh---fake smile what? What’s the issue? Who are you looking— Ohh, you invited Callie along huh?” Richie folded his arms looking like he’d just figured out the rubic cube that no one on the fucking bus could solve.
“Yes I did, but it’s cool if she doesn’t come. She’s busy saving our ass—remember?”
“So you’ve talked to her then?”
Jon blew out a breath, “yes I did. Last night. She’s at medical school Richie.”
Richie smiled, “and yet she’s also here defending your honor. God you two need Dr Ruth or something, or hell pay me. Even I can see it.”
“See what?” Jon asked, knowing full well what was on his friends mind.
“This thing you both still have for each other, and won’t admit it. I swear to god Jon. You know chicks, like I know chicks. Why the hell else is she here?”
“She knows how much the band means to me, she hates what I did to her Richie, there is no way.”
Richie thunked his head against the side of the bus. “So you are telling me that she’s here because she cares THAT much about your business, and that only?”
“Hey settle down man, I’m just saying that she’s smarter than that. She’s not here because she loves me, nor would she care that I still love her.”
Richie’s eyes widened and his lips curved into a smile. “Well, well... I do believe my work is done.”
“Yes, but she’s not here is she asshole?” Fuck. He loved her. He fucking loved her.
Richie climbed into the bus after the guys had gone up, “no she’s not. But it will take time Jon...You fucked her up.”
Jon coughed, “Christ. Thanks for the brutal opinion.”
“You’re welcome. Now I’m just saying. Try harder. Now get on this fucking bus and let’s get to sound check.”
Jon sighed and hopped up the step, taking one last look to the empty foyer behind him. Could Richie really be right? Could she still care for him, the way he did for her...Christ. He was still in love with her, fuck. How did that happen? What was worse, the new confident hot Callie...made it ten times worse.