Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chapter Eight

Jon was interviewed (along with his mom - too cute for words) at the game in Anaheim today and said he hopes to be back in the lineup tomorrow.  That's why we love hockey players - you're back from a 2-week injury in 6 days.  Tough guy.

 
____

Sunday morning passed with Jon and Callie hiding, making up for lost time. Jon wondered how he ever could have thought he was past this, ever imagined he was over her. Callie veered wildly between heartbreaking relief and the knowledge that she might not be able to walk for a few days.

Jon resisted the urge to join Callie in the shower and took the time to place the phone call he’d promised: to Tara. He didn’t want to break up with her over the phone; he may not have been in love with her but she was still a nice person. She deserved at least a face-to-face conversation, especially if it would be their last. Her voicemail said she was traveling all day – Jon was so caught up in Callie’s surprise appearance that he’d forgotten Tara was out of town for work. He left a message that he wanted to see her, hung up and hurried in to catch the end of Callie’s shower.

She smiled up at him – he was an absolute Adonis, perfect body and a perfect face. Beneath the warm fall of water she kissed him, promising herself she would do this as many days as possible. Then she leaned forward, hands splayed on the tile, and let Jon take her again. When they finished they had to start getting clean from the beginning.

“I owe you a date,” he said, finally pulling a shirt over the chest that transfixed Callie. He insisted it be at one of his favorite Chicago places, so they went to the original Pizzeria Uno and over a red and white checkered tablecloth put away the biggest pizza Callie had ever seen. It was so easy to talk and laugh with Jon – not Captain Jonathan Toews, just her Jon. She wiped a streak of sauce from his lip and licked it off her finger.

Jon told Callie everything he could think of. If she wanted to know him now then he would happily oblige. She had lots of questions and comments, and then she gave her the story of her last 5 years as well.

“Boyfriend?” he asked. It was only fair – she knew about Tara.

“Eh. A couple, but no one special. Nice guys though.”

“So you weren’t saving yourself for me, pining away in some dorm room? Sleeping in your underwear and a Hawks t-shirt?”

“Those are totally my pajamas,” she poked at his arm. “In fact, I probably have 5 Toews shirts and jerseys. It’s quite a collection. Some of my friends thought I might be obsessed.”

Jon tilted his head. “You didn’t tell them about us?”

Callie shrugged. “My close friends, yes. But I didn’t want to go around advertising to people that were used to be a thing. Everyone in LA name drops like crazy and everyone assumes they’re lying. Plus… it sounded kind of sad. My old boyfriend is a super famous hero athlete and here I am, wearing his jersey and watching him on TV in my slippers. All I needed was a cat and a tower of old newspapers to complete the picture.”

“Did you ever…,” Jon couldn’t finish the question that had been burning in his mind.

“Yeah, I did. You remember that the Hawks didn’t come to LA your first season, and the next season it was when I was in Singapore. But last year I was there, in my Winter Classic jersey, screaming my head off.”

He’d stopped eating. “I wish you’d called.”

“I thought about standing at the glass to see if you’d recognize me.”

“I would have died.”

“I could have made a sign, ‘Jon will you be my prom date?’ But there were like ten of those already.”

They finished eating and Jon hailed a cab to Navy Pier. Hand in hand they walked around the tourist attraction, the weather still unseasonably nice. Jon insisted they ride the Ferris Wheel for the view, but they saw nothing. Callie put her legs across his lap and kissed him the entire time.

They were always touching. It wasn’t urgent or desperate, they weren’t ripping each others’ clothes off even though they each thought about it a few times. Instead they were just being together, relaxed and happy. It felt like they would have forever.

Callie didn’t protest when Jon suggested dinner at his place. Instead she steered them into a market and bought all the food they could carry. She’d peeked around his kitchen and found that half the utensils and supplies still had their tags on. In the condo lobby, the doorman greeted her by name, making Jon squeeze her hand.

Jon followed Callie’s instructions and helped make baked salmon, tarragon mushrooms and wild rice pilaf. It wasn’t as much work as he’d expected, probably because Callie kept taking things away from him.

“I can actually eat this,” he said. “Very healthy. You could cook here all the time, you know.”

Callie laughed. “I only cook when I’m hungry; otherwise you’re on your own.”

Dinner was delicious. Callie even bought the right bottle of white wine to go with the fish, something she claimed to have learned in California. Jon knew she was savvy, but she’d also become quite sophisticated in their time apart. He was glad to see she’d clearly been enjoying herself in Los Angeles. He complimented her endlessly on the food, insisted on clearing the table and then poured two more glasses of wine and joined Callie on the couch.

He wanted to her to stay the night again. She’d have work in the morning and he had practice, so they wouldn’t get the chance to stay in bed together, but he didn’t want her to leave. Ever. It was nearly 9 PM and they were watching Get Him to the Greek on InDemand. He thought when the movie was over, maybe he could offer to drive her to her place to pickup clothes for the next day.

Callie was so, so comfortable. She was curled up against Jon, lying alongside his body to the inside of the wide couch cushion. It took her fifteen minutes to stop thinking about the bicep that supported her head and just as she focused on the movie, Jon shifted and his shirt rode up. The sliver of skin at his waist took another half an hour. She wanted to stay. She could go home quickly in the morning to change. Maybe he would invite her, or maybe he thought he didn’t need to. She figured they might fall asleep on the couch first, wrapped up together like the got to do this sort of thing every day.

“My mom is going to freak out when she hears about this,” Jon said, making Callie realize he wasn’t paying attention to the TV either.

“What will you tell her?”

“That her master plan worked and I am trying to get you back.” His hand stroked along her arm.

She nestled into him. “My mom will just say ‘I told you so.’”

They went back to the movie, and half an hour later they were cracking up watching Jonah Hill drink an entire bottle of liquor so Russell Brand couldn’t have any. It was warm and soft where they lay entwined in the low light. Callie could almost close her eyes and drift off even though it was barely 9 PM.

Jon felt more relaxed than tired. He was drowsy from the feel of holding her tight and the workout that she’d given him that morning. The thought of it made his whole body quiver. He knew know that what the guys all said was true: it’s different when it’s with someone you love.

They were both thinking about each other, about snuggling and sleeping and waking up to do it all over again tomorrow. So they were slow to react when a key scraped in the lock. Jon didn’t hear it at first, laughing at the movie. Then the door was open and Tara was standing there.

“What the hell?”

Jon jumped to his feet in a single motion. Callie was a little slower, rolling into the void he’d just left and having to lever herself up from the cushion. She wore jeans, flip flops and a borrowed t-shirt, but they’d still been in a compromising position.

“Tara!” Jon said.

They stood there for a moment, all looking at each other, not knowing what to do. Callie and Tara sized each other up – she had shoulder length blond hair and a pretty face plus a little more junk in the trunk than Carrie carried. She was definitely hot.

Tara regained her senses first. She simply gave Callie a dirty look and said, “The first night I stayed over, that’s the shirt he lent me too.” Then she marched through the apartment, presumably headed for whatever stuff she had left inside. Jon’s eyes pleaded with Callie to stay put then he chased Tara into the master bedroom.

Callie felt awful and angry. Obviously Tara was more important than Jon had let on – she had her own key for Christ’s sake! The look of shock on her face kicked Callie in the stomach. And worst of all, Jon had lied. Callie scooped up her bag and jacket and hustled out the door. He could keep her top and lend it to the next girl.

“See you soon, Miss!” the doorman called as she hurried past.

“Unlikely,” she said to herself.
____

“I’m so sorry, Tara. I wanted to see you so I could tell you. I… I didn’t think you’d come over.”

Tara came out of the closet, two pairs of high heels gripped tightly in her hands. Jon had never before noticed how sharp they looked – he took a step back. Her face was set with a look like he could eat shit and die.

“You asked me to come over. But I think you forgot to tell your date.” She shoved the shoes into her purse and went back to check for anything else. Her voice carried out to him. “Only you, Jon. Only you would fucking cuddle with someone watching a movie – that is your idea of cheating. Anyone else would have a regular one night stand with someone they can’t remember and fucking get it over with.” She reappeared with a t-shirt and a pair of her underwear. “You had us all fooled.”

He started to explain, but she was already in the hallway. “Wait, Tara, I….”

“You what, Jon?” She stopped dead in the middle of the living room and turned to face him. She was smaller by a foot but the moral high ground gave her quite a boost. “You what?”

“That’s Callie.”

It was all he said. All he had to say. The fight went right out of Tara and her shoulder slumped.

“Shit.” She closed her eyes.

“She called me three days ago and said her work was moving her here. Yesterday I saw her on the street. There wasn’t any time to tell you and I didn’t even know what to say….”

Tara released the death grip on her bag and let it drop to the floor. Jon had told her about Calllie, about his high school sweetheart, the one that got away. She’d always thought it was such a nice story even if it didn’t have a happy ending. She and Jon had been seeing each other late last season, then he called her again when he came back to Chicago. He was loyal like that; didn’t need a lot of variety, just wanted something stable. Tara wished that one day maybe Jon would talk about her the way he talked about Callie. He obviously still loved her, even after so long. The only difference was that Tara hoped to still be around to hear him.

“Shit. I thought she was a fucking puck bunny, not the goddamned love of your life,” she threw up her hands. Now that Callie was back, Tara knew there was no way she could compete with that.

“We haven’t seen each other in five years and I didn’t know if….” He sat on the back of the couch with a thud.

Tara opened her eyes. The confused, sad look on his face said it all. “Well you know now,” she said. She scooped up her things from the floor and dug into her purse. A tiny thwap landed next to Jon: she’d tossed his spare key onto the couch. Then she left.

Jon stayed there, the hard back of the couch digging into his thighs like penance. He had done things in the wrong order, gotten swept up in Callie and now she’d seen something terrible. Something he never meant to happen. She would think he was an asshole now.

He called her five times before she turned her phone off.
____

Callie sat on the hotel-grade carpet in her bedroom and cried. From such a high to such a low in a single day. She berated her heart for not listening to her brain – he’s different now, he’s a star, he can do whatever he wants. Tara obviously thought she was more than a casual date, and Callie had willfully ignored the clues: anyone who leaves multiple pairs of big-night-out shoes in a guy’s closet has been there a lot of times. And she’s coming back.

Fucking figures, Callie told herself. Never should have called him. Should have left it alone. At least I’d have my old Jon to remember.

Her phone rang incessantly. She turned it off one second before she would have thrown it out the window, then climbed into bed and stared at the wall until she finally passed out.
____

Jon went straight to bed, knowing sleep would be a long time coming. He contemplated going to Callie’s apartment – there could only be one Oakwood on Silver – and relying on his famous face to get him in the door. But he remembered how stubborn Callie could be and knew it would be another mistake to add to the list. If she was going to hear him out, she would need time to cool off first.

In the morning, he called her first thing. No answer, but this time he left a message.

“Please Callie, call me.”

At the morning skate, he had trouble keeping his head in the game. This is just a rough patch, right? An argument when she finally returns my call and we could move on? But Jon had lost Callie before and so the fear was already woven into his DNA. To have her back for a single day and lose her again would be the cruelest fate.

“Jon… Jon!” Sharpie waved a hand in front of his face, snapping him out of it. “How was yesterday? Callie seemed pretty happy with you.”

Jon whipped a shot at the net, missing high with enough force to scuff the glass. “I fucked up. I didn’t have a chance to talk to Tara and she showed up last night, while Callie and I were…”

“She caught you having sex with someone else?!” Pat’s voice got very loud, very quickly.

“No! Thank God. We were just watching a movie but we were all tangled up on the couch and it was pretty fucking obvious what was going on.”

“What did Callie do?” Pat asked the right question. Not ‘what did Tara do?’ because ultimately that wasn’t the point. Jon felt bad about that but it was done. Callie, he hoped, was not.

“I had already told her about Tara, and that I would end it. I was so wrapped up in Callie being there that I didn’t do it right away. Then she left. Tara came in and immediately started getting her stuff and Callie just left without a word. Won’t pick up the phone.”

“Wait, how did Tara get in?”

“She has a key.”

Pat sucked in a breath like he was in pain. The realization hit Jon like a piano falling on his head.

“SHIT. She thinks Tara had a key!”

“Uh, Tara did have a key.”

“But, no… she waters my plants when we’re on the road and stuff – she volunteered for it. The co-op has to approve the person and they sure as shit weren’t going to approve Kaner. Fuck. Callie thinks Tara had a key like ‘you’re my girlfriend, here’s a key to my place.’” Jon put his foul smelling glove right over his face. “She thinks I lied to her.”

Pat smacked Jon on the leg with his stick. “Better do something about that.”
____

6 comments:

  1. PLEASE UPDATE ASAP

    i am just speechless. i have no words. to put a twist in the story like that and make everything jon does look bad is...wow

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  2. I HAVE BEEN WAITING SOOO LONG TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS GOIGN TO HAPPEN AND BOY I GOT IT LOL THAT WAS BAD ASS!!! LMFAO

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  3. pls update soon i love love love love love love love love love love love this story!!!
    i really what to learn how to write like you!!!

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  4. First of all- as always you have been able to make things coomlicated in a almost perfect relationship good job lol
    Secondly- Callie needs to hear jon out before being rash
    Lastly- PLEASE UPDATE SOOONN I CANT WAIT ANOTHER THREEE DAYS lol

    Great fucking job!?!?!??!!

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  5. Ouch. Not good.
    Hopefully he can make it up to her? I hate sad endings.

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  6. Jon better get his butt in gear and get over to Callie and explain everything and not leave until she hears him out!and tell her everything about why Tara had a key to his house! He better woo her off her feet!
    Can't wait for the next chapter, please update soon!!! :D
    I love love love love it <3<3<3<3<3

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