Lines of Control by Djinn
Sometimes she regrets the lines she's drawn. Like now, when Cal's at his obnoxious sexiest, and he and Clara were practically tearing each other's clothes off with their eyes, when they couldn't wait for her to leave them alone. Or later, when he'll be at dinner with Zoe-Gillian shouldn't know this, but she does, because she happened to overhear them talking, or maybe she stopped and listened deliberately, she really can't say anymore.
It's Cal and she's in love with him. Even when he's contemplating Clara the way he has been. Even when she knows in her gut that he'll be screwing Zoe to within an inch of her life, the way he always does every time they cross swords. He'll be with Zoe, knowing he'll be with Clara if she'll have him. And then flirting with Gillian again the minute he walks back into the office. Even flirting with Torres, his protégé. Gillian wishes that didn't bother her, but it does, more and more, even though she doesn't hold it against Torres.
It's not the girl's fault. Cal has no impulse control. In fact, he's all impulse, primal and out there, and Gillian's better off just letting go and admitting that. That he's not hers and he's not going to be hers.
And that it kills her that he called her his Leo.
She just happened to hear that, too.
His Leo. Someone you work with. Someone you build a business with. Someone you ask to kill you.
Someone you love, just...not like that.
It's her fault. She keeps redrawing the line and he keeps saying, "Fine, love. See you later." And off he goes with the latest skirt.
She thought that she wasn't exotic enough. Not dark and mysterious. But Clara's blonde for God's sake. Clara's not exotic, no more than she is. Poppy was blonde, too.
Is she too bland? Is she too familiar?
Or is she fine, just has worked too hard to draw lines that have become fences and then walls, and now there's no way over them?
"Are you all right, Gil?" Cal's standing close, the way he does. Because she's his Leo and that's what you do.
She feels tears beginning, blinks them back and does not look up, can't look up. "Hmmm?" Her best distracted voice, and she tops it off by reaching for her coffee, not looking at the mug, bringing it over, drinking as if she's very busy and very thirsty and just can't be bothered.
His goddamned Leo?
"I said are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Just finishing up." Her voice sounds almost okay. She hopes he's too distracted by the prospect of all the sex he'll be getting from women who aren't her to notice anything off.
That's a stupid hope. He leans in.
"You're crossing that line, Cal." Her voice is harder than she means. But he's so close and she wants to hit him or maybe kiss him and tell him not to go to dinner with Zoe, not to see Clara in the future when the pretty, young blonde needs someone she can trust-and why does it have to be him anyway?
Because any fool can see he'd be good in bed. Only Gillian doesn't know that, she just thinks it, believes it, fantasizes about it enough that Cal probably knows that about her, too. But she doesn't know it because she hasn't let him in and he never, ever pushes. Does he respect her too much-or not care enough?
Right then, she hates him.
There have been lots of moments like this, where she hates him, wants him gone, wishes she could leave.
And then he touches her, like this, on her shoulder. The gentle squeeze.
"I'll leave you alone, then. Call if you need me."
She nods. But she won't do it. She needs him now. Only she doesn't know how to tell him.
"Cal?" She turns and finds him watching her-waiting for her to do this?
"I know, love." He smiles, that sad, regretful smile that she wants to wipe off his face with her coffee in his face or maybe by kissing it off-she's not particular at this point.
"What do you know, Cal?"
"That you're not my Leo." He's not breaking the gaze and she can't look away, won't look away.
"What am I if not that?"
"Well, that's entirely up to you, Gillian." He waits and she closes her eyes, feels the line being redrawn just by not moving, not reaching out, not saying what she wants to say.
When did she become such a coward?
"I'll see you tomorrow, love." And he's gone, not hurrying, not lingering, just leaving.
Leaving her line intact, her control still absolute.
She goes home alone. Again.