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Part two is finished! I had already written most of this before I uploaded the first part which is why this is done so quickly.
Chapter three is going to take some time because I haven’t even though about where I want this story to go. I’m really happy with the feedback I’ve gotten so far, I hope this lives up to expectation and I welcome any feedback, comments and suggestions any of you have!
July 2006 — Callie
Pulling into my drive after dropping Lexie off I still can’t wipe the smile off of my face, my car is still filled with the smell of her perfume. What is wrong with me? No girl has ever had an effect on me like this, usually when I meet someone I’ve bedded them by now and will already be chasing the next piece of tail. But there’s something about her I just can’t seem to shake, something that’s making me feel… I don’t know. I give my head a good shake before turning the ignition off and making my way into the house.
The second I step through the door the hairs on the back of my hair stand on end, somethings not right. It’s eerily quiet, the lights are on and I can hear the television in the front room but there’s something wrong. “Lana?” I call out for my sister, she should be home tonight. I know she likes to party with her friends, I don’t encourage it but seeing as Dad usually is usually propping up a bar somewhere or is in his study too drunk to function, it’s just the two of us. She makes me aware of her plans and I make sure she gets home safe.
“Callie?” I can hear a muffled response come from the kitchen, it’s my sisters voice but she doesn’t sound right.
When I step into the kitchen I drop to my knees and shuffle to where she’s cowered in a corner, her eyes are red and there are clear tear stains on her cheeks falling across an angry looking red welt.
“Jesus, Lana. What the fucks gone on tonight?” I can’t keep the panic out of my voice as I pull her into my arms, I can feel my baby sister shake in my arms and a surge of rage flows through me. “Did he hit you?”
Dad’s an angry drunk, he usually contends himself with just shouting about something but he’s never hit either of us. He usually acts like it never happened in the morning but the peace is always short lived. I can feel Lana nod against my chest and I pull away.
“Where is he?” I think she can sense the rage in my body by the grip I have on her bare arms, my blue eyes sit on her deep brown ones. Unfortunately I inherited my father’s appearance. Lana is all mum, she has all the Italian beauty my mother had, dark hair, dark eyes, gorgeous olive skin. People never believe us when we say we’re sisters.
“Callie, please don’t. He’s asleep. Don’t leave me.” I pull her to me again and smooth her hair down. I know in that instant I need to get her out of here.
“Go get some shit together, it’s late we’ll go to a hotel tonight and then I’m driving you to Nona’s tomorrow.”
“What about you?”
I run a hand through my hair and pause for a moment, Nona lives a good two hours away and even though I’ve only just met her I don’t think I want to be that far away from Lexie. “I’ll visit. It’ll only be for a few weeks whilst I calm things down here, try and get him sober long enough to make him see he needs to sort his shit out. But you’ll be safe there and I’m old enough to handle daddy.”
We both go upstairs silently, I can hear my father snoring in his room, turning to Lana I hold a finger to my lips to keep her quiet and gesture to her room. I peel off and step into mine and throw some clothes and necessities into a holdall and wait downstairs for her. My car keys are in my hand and my legs feel restless, all the good feelings from earlier this evening have well and truly vanished. It’s taking every ounce of self-control I have not to run upstairs and beat the shit out of the man that gave me life. He was always a drinker but since mum died, it’s gotten worse, there are some days where I don’t even recognise him anymore.
Eventually Lana comes downstairs with a large suitcase, I sling my hold all over a shoulder and take her case off of her and she follows me back out to my car. Filling my boot with our things I get in start the ignition and pull out of the driveway at speed.
“Where are we staying tonight Cal?” Lana’s voice is quiet when she speaks, I glance over at her and take her hand in mine.
“I don’t know, I’m going to drive to a few hotels in the area and hope we get lucky. I have plans in the morning that I can’t cancel but once I’m done we’ll make the journey to Nona’s ok?”
We fall into silence as I drive from hotel to hotel in the hopes of finding somewhere with a vacant room, I’m about to give up when we finally get lucky. It’s a rundown place with threadbare carpets and tired looking decorations but it has a bed, a bathroom and that’s all we need.
Lana climbs into bed without even getting undressed and falls asleep almost instantly, I switch out a light and change into the Kadıköy Escort pyjamas I’ve packed myself before lying next to her and for the first time since dropping Lexie off I check my phone. When I see I have a message from her the panic and anger I’ve been feeling not vanish but ease, like she has some kind of calming influence on me.
I had such a good time with you tonight, I had every intention of waiting for you to get in touch first but I got impatient. I hope you got home safely. Xx
Hey baby, yeah got home fine. I had a good time as well, I didn’t want to take you home but I’m trying this new thing where I actually try and act like a decent human being. I’m going to be frank with you, I’ve had some stuff go on at home tonight and for reasons I don’t want to get into I won’t be alone when we go for breakfast tomorrow. My sister will be with me is that ok? I’m driving her to my grandparents tomorrow and I really don’t want to not see you. Xx
I feel nervous about the way she’ll react to meeting Lana, I mean we’ve had one date. I’ve never let anyone meet my family, for good reasons to be honest. Why would I let anyone close to the train wreck that is my father? Before I can contemplate this anymore my phone chimes in my hand and with bated breath I look down and open the message.
Are you OK? Of course that’s fine, I know you said you don’t want to talk about it but I’ll listen if you ever change your mind. Callie, I have a feeling you’re harder on yourself than you need to be. The person I met tonight… well let’s just say that regardless of any past transgressions, the only reason people have those opinions of you is because I doubt you’ve ever let anyone see the person I saw tonight. I want to see more of this person. I can’t stop thinking about this person. Xx
One day I’ll tell you all about it but not yet. You’re quite the romantic aren’t you? Here’s me thinking it’d be me sending you all the messages in the attempt to charm you but here I am, well and truly charmed. What time do you want picking up tomorrow? Xx
Ha, I wouldn’t say I’m romantic but I have a few moves of my own. Is 9 too early? Xx
I wait with baited breath to see these ‘moves’ (; 9 is perfect. Just like you. Xx
You’re so full of shit. Baby I only hope you can handle my moves (; I’ll leave you with that because I’m going to sleep. It’s been quite the night. Before you ask, yes I will. Sleep well gorgeous. Xx
I don’t reply I just set an alarm, put it on charge and tuck my hands under my head. Staring up at the ceiling I have the biggest smile on my face. For the first time in I don’t know how long I feel like I have this shining light at the end of my long dark tunnel. The last few years have been rough since losing mum, Lana had just started secondary school, I was just about to do GCSE’s. Things at home had never been easy but mum was great, dad drank but he actually wanted to be around his family. He was never the angry, hateful piece of shit he is now. Mum did everything for us, she taught us to speak Italian, she taught me how to play piano and guitar. She cooked with us, sang, laughed and played with us. And after she died… well there’s no point in dwelling on it.
Looking over at the sleeping figure next to me, I take a deep breath and let my eyes close in the hopes that tomorrow will bring brighter prospects forward onto our horizon.
April 2014 — Callie
It’s safe to say things at work have certainly improved, since that memorable Saturday morning. Lexie has ended it with Torie officially and we’re slowly but surely rebuilding our relationship. It’s difficult keeping a lid on things in the office, strictly speaking there is no issue with our relationship but I don’t want people gossiping about my personal affairs.
In front of others she insists on addressing me as Ms. Jenkins but in private it’s Callie which I prefer. I’m impressed that she can still behave professionally when we work together, I find it difficult to keep a clear head when all I want to do is have her in every and anyway I can get her.
That is if we ever get to that point again, it’s been a little over two months and we still haven’t gotten to that point in our renewed relationship. Despite the fact we have had many hot and heavy nights where I get close, she stops me before we go any further. I respect her choice to take things slow but I’m quite literally climbing the walls. It doesn’t help that she insists on teasing me at every given opportunity whilst we’re at work. I think she thinks that she’s subtle when she bends down in front of me to file away paper work when she knows I’m watching. Or when I catch her watching me through the conference room glass walls and she flutters those ridiculously long lashes at me and chews her lip.
But whatever game she thinks she’s playing I play better, when Kadıköy Escort Bayan I talk to her at her desk outside my office sometimes I get so close when I speak into her ear I can see the goosebumps form on her flesh or see the ripples of a shiver flow through her.
I’m staring at the screen on my computer, grinning goofily when the phone on my desk sounds and disturbs me from my reverie. Sighing loudly I pick it up and answer it in a clipped tone “Clarissa Jenkins?”
“Ms. Jenkins I have a Keith Lowry on line one for you?” I smile at Lexie’s voice and chew on the corner of my lips.
“Am I on speaker?” I drop the tone and my voice comes out husky and I can hear her drawer her breath on the other end.
“Good. Let me take this call and then I need you to get your arse in here. I have something for you.”
“I’ll put him through now.” I chuckle before picking up the line and greeting my mentor and father figure.
“Hey old timer what can I do for you?” I sit back in the chair and tuck the handset between my shoulder and my ear as I go back to typing out the email I was focused on before the phone rang.
“Old timer? I think you forget who it is that taught you all you know. Just checking in, I want to see how my protégé is getting on. I’ve been hearing good things, two authors in the Times Best Sellers? Good stuff kid.”
I feel a swell of pride in myself at his praise, his approval has always meant more to me than that of anyone else I know “thanks Keith. We’re actually launching the Phelps novel in the States at the beginning of the next quarter, digital downloads of the first two chapters have done better than we anticipated so we’re hoping to continue that success.”
“You always had a good eye for talent Callie, listen there was something else I wanted to talk to you about.”
I sigh loudly and roll my eyes “well get on with it then.”
“Always to the point, Barb’s is putting an event together for Charity next month and she’s insisting you come.” I inwardly groan, every year I’m invited to this event and every year I go and feel like throwing my head against a wall. I love Keith and his wife like my own parents. They’ve both been there to support me and guide me when my own father wasn’t.
“When and where?”
“The eighteenth and it’s at my club. You know the drill, dress to impress.”
“I’ll be there.” I’m suddenly hit with an impulsive question and before I can stop myself the words fall out of my mouth “would I be able to bring someone?”
The line falls silent for a moment “I don’t believe it. You’ve met someone? Who is she?”
I can’t exactly tell him it’s my assistant “well we re-met actually. We had a fling as kids but things happened. You know, life got in the way. But we ran into each other and the chemistry is still there. I love her as much now as I did then.”
“Well bring her then, we’d love to meet her. I’m going to leave you to it. Let me know how the launch goes. If you need anything you know where I am.”
“Thanks Keith, talk soon.”
No sooner have I hung the phone up when the door opens quickly and Lexie skips into the room and throws herself into my lap. My arms curl around her waist and our lips find each other’s briefly. I bury my face into her hair and take a deep breath in, she smells incredible.
“You said you had something for me?”
“I did, I just wanted to kiss you.” I grin up at her and her fingers trails down my cheeks slowly “but I actually have a question for you seeing as you’re here.”
She arches a perfect brow at me and licks her lips, leaving them looking glossy and so kissable “go on then.”
“I’ve been invited to an event for charity, I go to it every year. It’s just an excuse to get dressed up, drink free champagne, dance a bit. I usually just go and show my face and leave but I was wondering if you’d want to come with me? It’s on the eighteenth.”
“Well that all depends” I feel my heart drop at her words and the pain from the imminent rejection shows on my face before I can speak “don’t look like that Callie, I’m trying to flirt with you. Of course I’ll go with you. What if there are people from the office there?”
I shrug “there isn’t usually but if there is then we’ll deal with it when it happens.” I reach up and cup her chin in my hand and pull her mouth down to mine for a soft but sensual kiss. Sighing loudly I rest my head against her shoulder “as much as I’d love to stay like this all day I need to get on or I’m going to be here till midnight.”
Begrudgingly I let Lexie go and she moves to one of the chairs at the other side of the desk “do you want to go over your schedule?”
I smile widely at her and she flushes a little “what are you doing tomorrow night?”
“And this is related to your PROFESSIONAL schedule how?”
“Humour me Ms. Osbourne.”
“Nothing yet, what do you have in mind?”
I trace my bottom lip with my finger and raise an Escort Kadıköy eyebrow “I’d like to cook you dinner. My place, say… seven?”
She smirks at me and shakes her head “I’ll pencil it in. Now Ms. Jenkins, shall we get back to it?”
The rest of that day flies by, Lexie’s in and out of my office arranging meetings handing me redrafted copies of manuscripts. I take some time to go over what she’s read and discuss her notes on it. She has a great eye and an intriguing point of view, she picks up on things I probably would have missed. Truth is the girls a natural, she has immense potential to go far in this business and I want nothing more than for her to succeed.
The next day at work drags, Lexie spends less time in my company as I spend the majority of the day in meetings or on conference calls. I have a stack of stuff I still need to do but I’m determined to leave early today.
A little after three o’clock I realise that if I didn’t make a move now I never will, and I have big plans for tonight. Piling papers into my briefcase and shutting down my computer I’m disturbed by a knock on my door. Rolling my eyes, I pull my coat on and sling my bag over my shoulder “come in”
Sarah walks in, iPad in hand and looks at me in surprise “you’re leaving? Early? Are you OK?”
I wave her questions off and begin moving towards the door “yes, I have things to do at home and if I don’t leave now they’ll never get done. What do you need?”
“I want to go over the latest digital downloads for the Phelps excerpts in the US.”
I check my watch and motion her towards the door “you have the time it takes me to get from here to my car.”
We leave my office together and I pause at Lexie’s desk “Alexa I’m leaving for the day, could you type up these papers and email me a copy and CC in all the other editors please? Sarah is probably going to be sending over the new data regarding the US release of the Phelps novel over. Can you forward me the information please and copy in John? Once that’s all done you can finish for the day. Any issues you have my number.” I give her a lingering look and a subtle wink as I walk away.
Sarah talks quickly as we walk to the elevator, I see her side glancing me out of the corner of my eye and she’s looking at me suspiciously. What’s her problem, honestly I’ve not taken in a word of what she’s said. My mind is racing over thoughts of tonight, having Lexie alone properly for the first time all week and after the signals she’s been throwing off all week I think I’m in for a pleasant surprise.
I step into the lift with Sarah and no sooner have the doors closed when I feel a dull whack to the back of my head “Shit, what the fuck was that for?” I glare down at my friend as she’s glaring back up at me.
“You’re sleeping with your assistant? Are you stupid?”
My eyes widen at her and I can’t help but laugh “first of all we’re not sleeping together.”
“Oh come off it Callie, I saw the way you two looked at each other. There’s something going on. Don’t fucking lie to me.”
“I mean it Sarah, we’re not sleeping together. I can’t help the way I look at her, she’s an attractive woman.” I look up at the ceiling in an attempt to avoid her icy glare.
“Right, well that doesn’t explain why she’s always giving you moon eyes either does it?”
I shrug non committedly and roll my eyes “I’m an attractive woman, she obviously can’t help it either.”
“You’re full of Shit Cal. I know there’s something going on between the two of you…”
I cut her off with a wave of my hand and stare down at her in a way that almost makes her cower back into a corner “listen to me and listen good Walters, my personal affairs are none of your damn business. Now you can either get on with whatever it is you want to tell me about work, or you can drop this shit so I can go home early for the first time in about two years.”
“Fine. Here if you take a look at this you can there’s a huge spike in pre orders for the book. And that’s six weeks before the release. I think if we were to release another chapter we could see them double.”
“No. If they want to read more they need to buy the fucking book. Anything else or can I go?”
We’re at my car and I have my keys in my hand ready to bolt as soon as she’s stopped talking at me. “Just one thing Callie… if something were happening between you and Alexa…” she trails off when she recognises the look on my face and holds her hands up defensively “and I’m not saying that there is. But for what it’s worth, in the five years I’ve known you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy.”
I run a hand through my hair and smile at her shyly before nodding and getting into my car.
April 2014 — Lexie.
Standing at Callie’s front door I raise my hand to ring the bell and shuffle side to side nervously. I don’t know why I feel so anxious about being here, my stomach is in knots but I’m excited about seeing her.
When the door opens I have to remind myself to breathe, there’s something incredibly sexy about Callie when she’s looking casual. And she looks fucking edible tonight, figure hugging black skinny jeans, a cream thick knit sweater, her hair is bundled on top of her head. And to top it off she has her glasses on and she’s bare foot.
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