It had been a long day. A long and very stressful day if she was being honest with herself. Lately life had been a bit too carefree and not as stressful as past months. Cal had been behaving and not getting into too much trouble. She should have known that that wouldn't last too long. Afterall, this was Cal. He was a master at finding where the trouble was.
She sensed that something was wrong as soon as Heidi had paged her to inform her that Cal's book publisher was on her way. Her immediate thought was that there must be some mistake. What book publisher? What book for that matter? And then she had met the woman in the hallway on her way to grab a fresh cup of coffee and her questions were answered. Of course he had signed a book deal and had not even thought to mention it to her. Why would he? She was only his business partner. And sometimes his best friend. She really thought that in the past few months they had been getting closer and establishing a more open friendship. This recent news left her a bit deflated. And hurt. But she wouldn't let him know that. Instead she decided to enter his office earlier in the day and remind him that they had a business at stake. She was pissed at him and she was hoping that it came across in her words and facial expressions.
And then he had the gall to get involved in a bank robbery case. What the hell was wrong with him? Why couldn't he just go to the bank like a regular person and make a simple transaction without diving head first into this new debacle? Yes, she froze their assets. For his own good though. And he knew it, too, but he would never let her in on that because he had to act out against her in some way. At least he had admitted that he had practically begged her to be his partner. She was admittedly taken aback when he told her he remembered hiring her but not marrying her. For some reason, well for many reasons, those words stung a bit too much for her comfort level. But those words were nothing compared to what he had told her as they waited in the kitchen of Mrs. Salinger's kitchen. "You mess with my finances again you and I are through..." She could still hear the serious tone in his voice. One he never used with her. Yes, she had heard him use it with Loker and Torres. Even Zoe when they were still married. But he had never dared use that tone with her or look at her with that angered stare.
Of course that hurt her and he damn well knew it would before he even let the words leave his mouth. Cal was never one for speaking without thinking and she knew that sometimes he chose to say things that would cut deep to the core of someone. That's exactly what he did to her today and she was still reeling from it. Why was he trying to hurt her and push her away, especially after they had been doing so well recently? Whatever it was left her staring into space while she sat at her desk after everyone else had left the building, including Cal with his new detective friend...
She decided that she had tortured herself enough for one day and shut down her computer that was now hibernating since she had not touched it for an hour or so. Standing up a bit too quick she felt her exhaustion set in. The day had been too long indeed. Shutting off her desk light and gathering her bag and jacket, Gillian made her way into the hall. It was definitely time to go home. Maybe she would even indulge in a soothing bubble bath and glass of red wine. Or maybe she would just pass out in complete exhaustion on her bed in the clothes she was wearing now. Only time would tell.
As she reached the front entrance of the office she was not so pleasantly surprised when Cal entered. Alone. "Where was his new friend?" she thought to herself.
He had his head down in typical Cal fashion until he realized she was standing in front of him.
"Hello, love. What are you still doing here? I thought you would have been gone by now. Maybe clearing out any other accounts we have." He looked at her with his usual cocky grin. She didn't know if she wanted to smack him or just walk right past him. Both options seemed practical and warranted at the moment. She was probably too tired to swing at him though.
"Very funny, Cal. I was just heading out obviously," she pointedly said as she gestured to her bag and coat, indicating her readiness to depart for the evening. "Why are you here? I thought you would still be out with your new friend, Wallowski, hmm?"
Cal raised one eyebrow at her and tried to read the subtext of what she was saying. She was obviously angry with him. He didn't have to be an expert in facial expressions to realize that. But there were a few reasons why she could be angry with him and he wondered which reason was at the top of her list.
"Oh... Yeah. No. We just had a short dinner and closed up her end of the bank case. Though I think she was trying to get into my knickers, if you know what I mean, love." He tried making light of the moment but it definitely fell flat. Her expression was one of contempt.
"Well I'm glad that you had a nice dinner. I'm going home now. I'll see you tomorrow, Cal," she plainly stated and moved forward in order to get past him. He quickly grabbed her arm and spun her halfway back to face him.
"Gill, I know you're mad at me, and quite honestly you have every right to be. About a few things that happened today actually. But don't leave while you're angry. My mum taught me never to go to sleep when you're angry cause you never know what could happen during the night. So don't leave. Let's talk it out." He softened his touch on her arm as he ended his plea to her.
She had to admit that even though she was mad as hell with him and certainly hurt, he still had a way of chiseling away at her defenses. But she stopped herself from this train of thought and reapplied her mask of anger when she spoke. "You know what, Cal? I do have every right to be mad at you and you coming in here at 10 o'clock at night and coincidentally catching me on my way out is not going to smooth things over. It's really great that you went out and had a nice little dinner with... whatever her name is, but I've been here all night working on our finances. YOUR finances. Since YOUR name is on this damn building facade. So forgive me if I'm tired and I want to go home and not listen to your bullshit tonight. Ok, LOVE!" Her words came out so fast and she was so enraged that she actually stunned herself. She hardly ever got this riled up.
Cal was stunned as well. He was definitely not used to seeing or hearing Gillian get worked up like this. She was always the calm and collected one. She hardly ever raised her voice, especially with him. And she was using his words against him. This was a pissed off Gillian if he had ever seen one. He had to admit he was kind of scared but a bit turned on. Damn his attraction to this woman!
"Ok, I know you're tired, though you look bright eyed and bushy tailed," He tried to soften the tension that surrounded them. "How about this - you head home and take a bath or whatever it was you were intending to do before I delayed you. I'll check on somethings here real quick and come by your place. I'll bring that bottle of wine we bought last week but never drank and we'll talk. We don't even have to talk about how I'm a bloody idiot for treating you the way I did today. Or we can. It's completely up to you. What do you say? Maybe I'll even throw in a nice back massage as sort of an olive branch." He smiled meekly at her and she could see how he truly felt sorry for how he had treated her. Damn, he was good and so manipulative! A bottle of wine, back massage... He knew she couldn't say no.
She narrowed her eyes at him pursed her lips as she contemplated her response. "Fine, I will agree to this little peace offering of yours but I'm not sure I want to discuss the events of today. If I get started you may not want me as a partner anymore, Cal." She was trying to convey to him that while she was still extremely pissed at him, she would try to rise above her anger and accept his half-assed apology.
He held his hands up to let her know that she was in complete control of the situation. "Like I said, it's completely up to you if we talk about today or not. We could talk about the newest episode of Dancing with the Stars for all I care. I just want to make today up to you. Ok, love?"
She let out a small laugh at his expense. "Cal, I can promise you that I will never, ever want to talk about Dancing with the Stars. So I'm going to get going. Come over in about an hour and I'll be ready to talk. Or not talk. We'll see."
He gently took her hand in his and gave it a light squeeze. "Ok, I'll be over in a bit. Be careful driving. You know what they say about driving when you're angry..."
She smiled and squeezed his hand back before reclaiming her hand as her own. "I'll be careful. You be careful, too. You know what they say about driving with your head up your ass..."
He had to admit that was good. Sometimes she really surprised him. Even after all these years of being partners. "Ouch! That hurt, Gill. But I know I deserve it so I will take it and file it away in my mind to use on someone else when the situation calls for it."
She just shook her head and moved toward the elevator. She almost had her finger on the down button when he spoke, "Oh, and Foster. I don't think there's anything you could say or do that would make me not want to be your partner. Even if what I said earlier was contrary to that. Just to let you know..."
Without even turning back to look at him she pushed the button and the elevator door immediately opened. She stepped in and only then faced him. He looked a bit like a lost puppy. A lost puppy who just happened to be a jackass some of the time as well.
"Bye, Lightman," She said as she stared at his name on the wall. "See you at my place."