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A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed. A bit of a filler. Please review after reading.
Celebrity Rehab With Jeff Hardy
Chapter 6: Phonecalls
"Talk to me."
"Hi Dad," Free replied to her father as he answered his phone, sitting on the small bench below one of the pay phones.
"Hey beautiful! This number comes up private on the ID..." he mused.
Free smiled, happy to hear her father's voice. Though Jeff had served as a comfort while in this facility, she missed being home, missed the familiarity. "It's a pay phone. We don't even have to pay to use them though. They give us the money. But like, the calls are monitored or something I think."
"Yeah maybe. How's it going sweetheart?" CC questioned, relieved and genuinely happy to hear his daughter's airy voice.
"It's okay I guess. Right now. I just got out of a single therapy session." Free inspected her short fingernails, this action reminding her they were there, fueling her nasty habit of biting them. "We had group earlier. This guy Jeff that's here is really... nice. I don't know. He's... comfortable. He's like, a pro wrester."
"Yeah? That's good you have a friend already. Just remember why you're there babygirl."
"I know. Hey, Bret's got a fan here," she chuckled into the receiver, her nail biting ceasing as she settled for twirling a strand of her crimped, blonde hair.
Her father's throaty laugh made her smile, and the knot of tension she'd felt from her session with Dr. Callahan faded away. "Oh jeeze. I'll haveta tell him."
"Well, I'm gonna go eat now. Tell everyone hi for me." She could smell the food coming from the dining room.
"I will. I love you."
"I love you too Dad." With that, Free hung up the black phone, sighed, then picked it up, hanging it up once again. The way it felt was too uncomfortable the first time.
"So, how'd it go?" Veronica asked eagerly as Free sat at a table with her and Kevin during dinner, right after her meeting with Dr. Callahan. The young blonde's blue eyes scanned the area for Jeff, but he was nowhere to be found, so Free settled for this seating arrangement, though these people did not give her the same comfort Jeff did.
Setting her tray down, Free spent a moment arranging her utensils in a straight line on her napkin, unable to concentrate on anything else. Veronica eyed Free unsurely before attempting again. "Free? How did your session go?"
Finding comfort in the arrangement, Free was able to look up at her two tablemates, embarrassed at the way they were staring at her. Of course, Kevin was already well aware of her condition. "Sorry. Um.... it was.... okay I guess."
Veronica just nodded, seemingly forgetting the compulsive behavior and began eating, starting to chat about nothing of any real importance. Free listened wearily, eating neatly and slowly, sure to cut her chicken carefully, each bite approximately the same size. Eating was such an ordeal sometimes.
"Hey." Free jumped and looked over as Jeff carelessly dropped his tray beside her, sitting in the unoccupied seat to her left. She couldn't fight the smile that tugged at her lips, a wave of relief washing over her. That feeling was unusual in the presence of people she hardly knew.
"Hi," she responded quietly, watching as Jeff dug in to his food, resting his temple on his fist as he chewed. Free just gazed at him, unnoticed by the wrestler as he spaced out.
The way he looked began to strike a bit more familiarity than just her brother's wrestling t-shirt. He looked like someone she knew. The way he was sitting, the far off look in his eyes. It was just then that the resemblance struck her.
She cleared her throat at least three times before looking away and continuing to eat. She didn't want to compare Jeff to him.
Unfortunately, the resemblance Jeff Hardy had to her... boyfriend of sorts only fueled a nasty symptom of OCD that didn't flare all that often.
Free burned holes in to her food as she glared down at it, unable to ward off the images in her head she was getting of being underneath a shirtless Jeff. Being kissed by him. Like he loved her or something.
Her front teeth clamped down on her lower lip. Pushing her half eaten food away, Free got up form the table and left to go outside, being followed by one of the nurses, of course. Stopping at the front desk, she retrieved her cigarettes and continued into the back, lighting the slim stick and inhaling a big, lungful of smoke.
She hated when she got these frenzied images of sexual situations in her mind, no matter how mild they may be. She couldn't control it though. It was humiliating, even though she knew Jeff had no idea what had just happened.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder was a curse as far as she was concerned.
Jeff sat in the dining room a little puzzled. He wasn't sure what had just happened. But Free stormed off.
Jeff had every intention of going after her. And if it was anyone else, he would've. But this sixth sense that had sparked when it came to the young woman told him she needed to be alone. So Jeff tried his hardest to push the curiosity of what had upset her out of his head and continued eating, in a world of his own.
He didn't even hear the Tammy as she stood behind him, trying to get his attention. It was only when she placed a hand on his shoulder he broke out of his trance. "Jeff. Your brother's on the phone for you."
"Oh, uh, sorry," he apologized, without need. It's not as if it wasn't something he did constantly. The nurses and other patients had grown used to it already. The young Hardy stood and followed Tammy into the lobby where the phone booths were. One was off the hook, receiver resting on the small shelf below.
Of course, Jeff glanced around to see if Free was out here, but she wasn't. He picked up the black phone and sighed. "Hey man," he greeted his older brother.
"Hey, how's everythin' goin'?" Matt called at least twice a week. Jeff had only called him once since his arrival, only to complain about the facility, though he had checked himself in.
It was then that Free came in from outside, a nurse following behind her. She gave her pack of cigarettes to the front desk and headed to the dining room again, but not before hesitating once she noticed Jeff.
He held up a finger to her, signaling he would join her back at dinner when she was finished. "Jeff?"
"Uh, yeah. Sorry. It's... good."
Matt chuckled on the other line. "Good now? Wow, last time I called you said almost unbearable. We're makin' progress I see."
"Yeah, yeah. Well..." Jeff was about to tell his brother all about Free, and how insane their connection was. But he stopped. He had no idea why, but he didn't want Matt to know about her. "Well, I'm just gettin' used to it I guess."
"That's good man. So when can I visit ya?" Visitation wasn't something that happened at specific hours during the day or anything like that. There were three visitation periods throughout the time Jeff would be staying here. That's it.
"I'm not sure exactly. But I'll let ya know." Jeff's fingers drummed at the shelf as he balanced the phone between his shoulder and his ear. He didn't know what to say...
"Arentcha gonna ask about Beth?" Jeff snorted as soon as the words left his brother's mouth. Beth hadn't even called once since he'd been here. Some girlfriend.
That wasn't really fair though. He hadn't called her either. And he had been the one to fuck up.
How any woman could put up with him was a miracle. But for some reason, Beth was always there.
Jeff felt like an ass for reacting like that to his brother's question. "How is she?" He totally left her at his brother's house, alone, with nothing. After a tragedy had just struck them. Beth had loved Jack just as much as Jeff had.
He was the bad one in this relationship.
"She's gettin' by. Doesn't talk much. But she's eatin' a steady three meals again at least." Jeff nodded, though he knew his brother couldn't see. "She'll call man. She's just upset about everythin', ya know." Beth hadn't really wanted to speak to Jeff after the whole suspension. She was just so disappointed. And on top of that, the fire had devastated her as much as it had him.
"Yeah. We'll see I guess. Matt man, I gotta go. I was eatin'," Jeff ended the call, ready to get back into the dining room and talk to Free. Maybe he'd confide in her a little.
He hadn't actually, technically mentioned Beth to her. At all. He'd been too interested in knowing everything about Free.
"Sure thing bro. Hey, take care of yourself there." Jeff smirked and shook his head yet again. How his brother was still sticking by him after everything he'd done was beyond him.
"I will. And if I don't, the hounds here'll do it for me," Jeff tried to reassure his elder brother. "Later bro."
"Bye man." Jeff hung his phone up and moved from the small cubicle, heading back over to the dining room and gravitating right over to Free, who seemed to be very uninterested in her food and more so involved with separating the pieces of her salad. A pile of lettuce, a smaller one of chopped tomatoes, the sliced olives stacked up, crutons next to them.
Sure, some of her behavior was unusual, but Jeff found it slightly charming. Cute in a way. He was sure Free didn't look at her compulsions like that, but he thought it gave her... character. When he sat, it was obvious she noticed him inspecting her little project, but she didn't stop; she couldn't. A blush appeared over her high cheeks and she sighed, stacking another slice of olive on to the others.
"That was Matt," Jeff announced, trying to stop her from being so discouraged. "He's gonna come for visitation. You don't know when it is, do ya?"
Free's forehead creased as she struggled to remember the date Tammy had recently told her, but no dice. "I can't remember."
Jeff chuckled and shook his head, taking another bite of his food. "Yeah, me neither. I'll just haveta ask and call him back." Jeff scratched the back of his neck and leaned forward onto his elbows. "Hey, do you wanna watch wrestlin' with me tomorrow night?"
He felt kind of scared asking her this. Jeff expected her to laugh in his face. Clearly, wrestling was not something she was interested in. Why on earth would she want to sit in front of the TV with him for two hours when she could do... anything else? She was a freakin' model for god's sake! Jeff felt stupid.
Until Free's dark pink lips pulled into a bright smile and she nodded. "Okay."