Authors Note: Hey guys, remember this story? No? Don't blame you. Real life has severely gotten in my way, so I certainly apologize for the INSANE wait for this next chapter...Perhaps you may want to go back and re-read the previous chapters as a refresher course...anyway, chapter title comes from Sarah McLachlan's Don't Let Go.
After that amazing first date, Callie and I became pathetically inseparable, with not a day going by where we didn't see each other. Even though Callie had assured me that Abigail wouldn't be an issue in our relationship, I still made sure to keep them as distanced as possible in the initial phase of our relationship. I didn't really want to, but if I was completely honest, it was nice to have a life separate from my kid. Plus, I wasn't ready to explain to Abbie why her mother was a horny teenager all over again.
3 months in and an official "are we girlfriends?" talk later, I knew it was time to integrate Callie into our family. Luckily, it didn't take much to mesh my two worlds together...
It had been an exceptionally stressful day at work, but during a much needed lull, I found myself watching as Calliope stood at the surgery board, apparently taking some notes on today's schedule. Smiling softly, I wheeled up behind her, resting my hands on her hips as I nestled my chin on her shoulder.
"Hi" I greet her giddily as she leans back slightly into me.
"Hey you," she coos. "You're perky today" she laughs as I roll around to meet her face to face.
"Always! It's been a super day! Abbie no longer looks like a mutant, and you're you. Things are good!" I bounce up and down for good measure as I place a kiss against her cheek.
She beams back at me, taking my hand in hers. "Speaking of good…I'm going to tell my family about us." She glances at me nervously before continuing. "I told my Dad I had big news to tell him tonight…" Callie trails off as she ducks her head.
I bend down to meet her downcast eyes, pulling her chin up slightly with my finger to meet her gaze. "Calliope. It's a big step coming out. If you're not ready, it's totally okay."
"No. I want to do this. I'm just…nervous. They're super Catholic. And this" she gestures between us before continuing "…super isn't". I laugh in spite of myself, which seems to calm Callie down slightly as a smirk ghosts her face.
"Yeah, well you've never been one to follow the rules..." I respond coyly as she playfully shoves me back against the surgery board, before placing her hands on either side of my head, effectively pinning me to the spot.
"I don't see you complaining" she husks in my ear as she leans in to start trailing wet kisses down my neck.
I allow her pleasurable assault to continue for a few moments before taking her face in my hands to bring her attention back to our conversation.
"I'm definitely not complaining. But this is a big deal, so I just want you to know...I'm here for you. Whatever you need, I'm here" I smile softly as I press my lips to the corner of her mouth.
Almost as if on cue, Callie's phone rings. She glances at it nervously, before taking a shaky breath and popping open the phone.
"Hi Daddy. I thought we were going to talk later..." she trails off, her brow wrinkling in confusion as she listens to her father on the other end of the phone.
I squeeze her shoulders and mouth good luck as I head back to work, giving Calliope space to talk to her father. As I roll away, I say a silent prayer that her coming out goes as well as it did for me.
I walk into the on-call room, instantly noticing my visibly upset girlfriend hunched over on the couch.
"It didn't go well, huh?" I gently ask as I close the door behind me.
She looks over at me sadly as I make my way to her, her voice quivering as she speaks. "Well, at least now I can move on with my life. Stop entertaining any thoughts of my family actually understanding us. Whatever, I don't need a father. Not one that won't accept me." With that, she breaks down again, her body slightly shuddering as emotion overwhelms her.
I press a kiss to her temple before pulling her in to cradle her head as it rests against mine.
"Oh honey…" I whisper as she continues to grieve the loss of her family. All because of me. She doesn't deserve this. She's amazing, and fearless…so incredible. Why can't her family see that?
Tears start to prickle my eyes as I pull us down on the couch so Callie is resting on top of me, her head burrowed in the crook of my neck. I slowly start stroking her hair, something I've done to soothe Abigail down for as long as I can remember, until Callie's sobs slow to a stop.
In the silence of the room, I notice how intimate, how right this feels. Sure, we've had sex before, and sure, we've had our share of special moments, but this is markedly different. Lying with her in this raw moment, I realize for the first time just how connected I am to her. Just how deeply I feel for her.
After I'm convinced she's calmed down, I break our silence. "Abbie calls you the mystery woman, you know? If you weren't her orthopedist, I'm pretty sure she'd be convinced I was making you up." She picks her head up to look at me, her chocolate eyes glazed faintly with leftover tears.
I reach over to wipe away the mascara tracks from her face. "Come over for dinner tonight. Abigail and I were going to watch trashy television and eat our weight in ice cream. There's always room for you to join."
She purses her lips together. "Are you sure? I don't want to intrude."
"Calliope Torres. I want you to listen to me right now. You, now and never, will be an intrusion. Please come over. If nothing else to prove to my daughter that you are in fact my girlfriend."
"Fine, but only if I make dinner. Chicken Piccata?" she questions as I giggle at her insistence on making her 'intrusion' as minimal as possible.
"I won't argue with that." I reply as I press a chaste kiss to her lips, before wrapping my arms around her body again, needing to comfort her for a few more minutes before we head out to face the world again.
Callie had come over later that day in a remarkably better mood. Despite the events of the past afternoon, she seemed happy, almost relieved, to be spending a night with Abbie and I. She refused to let Abbie and I help prepare dinner, so we had spent the better part of an hour perched on bar stools as Callie milled around our kitchen, handling my daughter's interrogations with incredible ease.
Finally, dinner was ready, and we found ourselves gathered at the dining room table.
"Oh my God. This is what food tastes like. I've been missing out all these years." Abigail exclaims as she digs into the rather elaborate spread Callie has prepared for us. "She's a keeper Mom."
I smile over at Callie as she blushes at Abigail's stamp of approval.
"And Callie, either you're going to have to cook for me every night, or you're going to have to teach Mom how to cook. Or make many, many leftovers. Because this is incredible." Abigail gushes, her mouth stuffed with food.
"Hey! I'm not that bad of a cook" I interrupt indignantly.
My daughter stares at me blankly. "You set spaghetti on fire, ma"
Callie snorts into her glass, as I let out a whimper.
"Aw sweetie, I'm sure it wasn't your fault" my girlfriend consoles me, resting her hand on my thigh. She doesn't disguise the wink the sends to Abbie across the table though.
I shake my head at the both of them before pushing away from the table. "Whatever, I'm going to watch TV. I'll clean this all up later"
"Don't worry about it Mom, I got it. You and Callie go pick out something good to watch" Abbie shoos us into the living room, much to Callie's protest.
I settle down into the couch, Callie following suit and snuggling into my side as I begin flipping through the channels. By time Abigail joins us on the couch, we've decided on So You Think You Can Dance.
"Cool! I love making fun of the really bad ones!" Abbie exhales as she flops over the back of the couch, her head coming to a rest in my lap.
For the rest of the evening, Abbie provided a hilarious running commentary on everything and anything, and soon, Calliope joined in, their banter proving to be more entertaining than anything ever seen on television. With my girlfriend tucked into my side and my hand running through my daughter's brown locks much like it had in Callie's earlier, I was pretty sure this was the best "date" a girl could ever ask for.
Eventually, Abbie lifts herself off my lap and leans in to kiss my cheek. "All right, time for me to hit the sack. Night Mom. I love you"
"I love you too, kiddo" I smile as she moves in front of me, leaning down to envelop Callie in a hug.
"Goodnight Callie. Thanks for dinner!"
Callie glances as me surprised, before wrapping her arms around my daughter tightly to reciprocate. "Anytime. Gotta make sure someone feeds you" Abigail laughs heartily as she makes her way down the hall, before gently shutting her door.
Calliope sits up on the couch, rubbing her eyes. "I guess I should probably get going to...it's been quite a day"
She looks at me a little sadly as she reaches out to entwine our hands.
"Stay" I blurt out, squeezing her hand for emphasis.
Callie looks at me shocked. "Really? What about Abigail" she questions, pointing down the hall to Abigail's room.
"She'll be fine. She's a big girl. Plus, if you make her breakfast tomorrow, I think she may boot me out as her mother and adopt you as her new one."
"I don't know Arizona..." I can see the fear in Callie's eyes, intermixing with unmistakable desire.
I glare at her sternly, plowing through my own nervousness. "I don't know about you, but I wake up every morning and turn over, wishing you were there besides me. I'm not asking you to stay. I'm telling you."
"Okay" she concedes softly, reaching up to tuck a stray hair behind my ear.
"Good" I pull her up off the couch, leading the way towards my bedroom.
Just before we enter, she tugs me back a little. She must notice the perplexed look on my face, because she smiles gently as she presses a passionate kiss to my lips.
She pulls back as we run out of breath, our foreheads resting together. Her eyes meet mine, and she smirks as she whispers against my lips.
"So we're clear...I wake up every morning wishing you were in bed with me too"