The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, no guest drowned and there was only one lobster burn that happened. AT five o'clock, Frankie and MJ called them down form the stand.
"We're throwing you a party," MJ said simply to Callie, "Tonight on the beach."
Before Callie could protest, Frankie interrupted, "Don't even try to say no!" he ordered, "You're coming."
"Both of you," MJ added with a wink at Callie.
When Frankie and MJ walked away, Callie sighed. "Oh great, a party with a bunch of people I don't know."
Gabe laughed, "I'll be there. You know me."
"So you're coming?" Callie asked excitedly, "Really?"
Gabe nodded, "Sure, It'll be awesome!"
- - - -
Callie checked her reflection one last time. She wished her stomach was flatter, but then again, who didn't? She sighed and turned to the side. Tonight she wore her a red and white floral sundress with her hair down, but curly. She had on just enough make-up to know it was there from close up. She knew she was dressing up for Gabe, but she didn't even try to deny it. She walked out of the bathroom where Jason was waiting to escort her to the party where MJ and Frankie were already.
When they arrived, Callie looked expectantly around for Gabe, but she saw him nowhere. She was introduced to other staff members like Tessa and Nicole. Callie nodded and continued the polite conversations but kept craning her head to see Gabe anywhere. He's probably just late, she told herself. He's coming.
- - - -
"He's not coming is he?" Callie asked MJ. The party had died down and Callie and MJ were sitting on the beach together.
"I don't think so hun," MH patted her shoulder sympathetically, "I'm sure there's an explanation. He probably just got hung up."
Oh my god! Callie thought, What if the guy he borrowed money from beat him up? She stood up.
"I gotta go, MJ! Thanks so much for this party, it was great!" Callie ran through the hotel grounds heading for the path she had been told led to Gabe's house. When she turned the corner, she saw him standing outside a bungalow with just his shorts on. She sighed in relief that he was okay and came closer.
"Hey Gabe," she waved and he looked up. Just then the bungalow door opened. A young woman with a towel wrapped around her snaked an arm around Gabriel. "You promised me a shower too...lifeguard."
Callie gasped. So this is where he had been. Gabe looked up guiltily.
"Callie wait!" he yelled, "I can explain!"
Callie turned around angrily and walked away as fast as she could.
"Callie!" Gabe shouted jogging after her, "Callie wait! Please let me talk to you!"
"Why?" Callie asked angrily as she turned around, "To tell me what that girl is like in bed?"
Gabriel came up to her, "Look, Callie I'm sorry, I really am."
"You know," Callie went on, ignoring his apology. "I thought you were different. When you said you didn't want anymore meaningless flings, I believed you!"
Gabe interrupted, "I meant that!"
"Oh really?" Callie questioned, "Then why did you sleep with that girl?"
Gabe opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
"Oh, good answer," Callie commented as she started to walk away.
"Callie, I'm sorry," Gabe said pathetically.
"Sorry for what?" Callie asked, suddenly changed, "You have nothing to be sorry about. There was even anything between us. And now there never will be."
That got Gabe's attention. "Callie, I can explain to you why I missed your party."
"Because you were screwing her," Callie said, "I got it."
Gabe grabbed her arm so she couldn't walk away from him, "I wanted to come," he explained honestly, trying to look into her eyes,
"What did she do, handcuff you to the bed?" Callie demanded meanly, "But then again, you probably like it like that."
"Will you just let me explain!" Gabe yelled, exasperated. He calmed down, then whispered, "Please."
Callie crossed her arms across her chest. "Fine."
"I wanted to come really bad," Gabe started, "But it was too complicated."
"Yeah, because walking to the beach is really confusing," Callie countered.
Gabe waited a second and then continued, "I couldn't go because I'd see you."
"Do you want me to hate you?" Callie questioned.
"Please let me finish," Gabe pleaded. When Callie didn't say anything, he kept explaining. "Seeing you scare me. I care about you- I like you a lot and I've only known you for two days." He looked down at his feet.
"So rather than face your feelings, you had sex with a random woman. God, you're such a coward." Callie told him.
"I know," Gabe nodded, "I know. But..." he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I don't know what to do with you, Callie. I just..." he looked at his feet again, "I'm sorry. And if it means anything...the entire time I was with her, I was thinking about you."
Callie didn't respond.
"I was," Gabe whispered. "I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?"
Callie glared at him, then sighed. "I don't know. Not tonight. Maybe in the morning."
Gabe sighed and then watched her walk away.
Gabe turned and saw MJ wandering around looking for Callie.
Gabe ran up to her, "She went that way," he pointed out.
"Hey, why didn't you come to the party?" MJ asked, "She really wanted you to be there."
"So did I," Gabe sighed again. "See you in the morning."
MJ shrugged and kept walking down the path until she spotted a figure slumped on a bench.
"Callie!" MJ yelled, running up to her. Callie looked up, wiping away a few tears.
"Oh Callie, what's wrong?" MJ asked, putting an arm around her.
"Nothing," Callie sniffled, "I just misjudged someone."
"Gabe?" MJ questioned sympathetically.
"Yes," Callie nodded, "But I'll be okay."
"Are you sure?" MJ asked.
"Yup," Callie stood up, "His loss, right?"
MJ agreed with a big smile, "Yeah!"
They linked arms and walked brightly back to where Frankie and Jason were waiting for them.