- 3 Months Later -
Callie smiled as she heard Connor on the baby monitor. She rushed into his room and smiled down at him as he looked up at her. It'd been three months and she still couldn't believe that she had this little child in her life and that he was actually hers. She kept thinking that she was going to wake up one morning to find out that this was all just a dream.
"How's my little man doing?" she asked him as she picked him up and rested him against her shoulder, breathing in his little baby smell. He cooed in response to her and she couldn't help falling in love with him more.
"What do you say about you and mommy going to the mall, huh? It seems like your growing out of all you're clothes," Callie cooed to Connor as she changed him into one of his last fitting outfits. She finished getting herself and the baby ready and was then out the door and heading to the mall.
"Where should we start, baby boo?" Callie asked Connor as she looked around the expansive mall. She looked down at the baby nestled in his stroller like she actually expected him to answer her.
"I wish you could talk already," she pouted as her thumb smoothed over her thumb. She started through the mall, window shopping mostly as she kept her hands firmly on the stroller.
Ever since she had brought him home, she always managed to keep a watchful eye on him in fear that she would blink and loose him. Mark had him most of the time when she worked and she always had to call to check up on him. It had even gotten to the point where Mark didn't even have to look at the screen of his phone to know that it was Callie.
Callie stopped in front of one store, situating Connor's stroller in front of her so she could keep an eye on him while she browsed. As she reached up to examine a shirt, her arm knocked over Connor's diaper bag, spilling contents all over the ground. She bent down to retrieve the items, her hands bumping into someone else's as they helped her.
"Thank you so much. I've been such a klutz lately," Callie apologized to the other person.
"It's fine. We're all only human," the person responded. "How old?"
"Three months," Callie answered, focusing on picking up the strewn baby gear.
Callie finally looked up and almost fell flat on her ass on who was crouched down next to her.
"Er..Erica?" Callie asked, the wind knocked out of her slightly.
"Oh my God," Erica gasped, her hand flying up to her mouth.
"I um, I'm, thank you for helping. It really wasn't necessary," Callie said as she and Erica both straightened up.
"It's really no problem. I didn't know that you were a mom now," Erica said, a hint of sadness filling both her voice and her eyes.
"Yea," Callie said, smilingly at the mention on Connor.
"He's beautiful," Erica complimented, looking over at the baby and noticing his blonde hair and blue eyes.
"Well, I should get going. Christmas shopping and everything," Erica said, taking a step back from the baby and from Callie.
"Erica," Callie said, looking back over to her former lover.
"What?" Erica asked, her eyes meeting Callie's.
"You're still holding Mr. Ribbit," Callie smiled, indicating towards Erica's hand that gripped a little stuffed frog.
"Oh," Erica breathed out, a small smile spreading across her face. "Here you go."
Callie reached to take the toy from Erica, their fingers brushing against each other's slightly. Callie looked down her hand as she pulled away.
"I'm going to go," Erica said, sounding like she was somewhere in the distance. Callie barely registered that Erica was walking away when she called back out to her.
"Yes?" Erica asked, turning back around.
"Do you maybe want to get a cup of coffee?" Callie asked, her voice shaking slightly as she nervously caught Erica's eye.
"I'd love to," Erica said, smiling slightly.
"What's his name?" Erica asked as she and Callie sat down at a table towards the outside of the food court.
"Connor," Callie answered proudly, looking over at the baby who was sucking contentedly on his fingers. She could almost count the breaths in between before Erica asked her next question.
"Who's his father?"
Callie had known that was going to be asked sooner rather than later. She had always practiced her answer in her head in case she would run into Erica like she had did today, but now none of those answers seemed good enough. She wanted Erica to believe that she had moved on when in reality she was still struggling with it everyday.
"We're not really sure," Callie answered before she could fully process what she said. She looked up and saw hurt and confusion flash across Erica's blue eyes.
"We?" Erica asked, avoiding the end of Callie's answer.
"Connor's adopted. Mark's daughter wasn't able to provide for him so she let me adopt him. She wasn't exactly sure who his father was," Callie said, looking over at Erica to try and read her reaction. She could definitely tell that Erica was relieved to hear that Connor was adopted, which also relieved Callie in a way.
"Mark has a daughter?" Erica asked, slightly amused.
"Yea, it was just as much of a shock to him," Callie chuckled, taking a sip of her coffee. "Sloan came into the hospital one day looking for her dad, and of course Mark didn't believe her at first. But it turned out that she was his and she needed help with her baby because her mom had kicked her out. Mark was hesitant at first but he stepped up and was a good dad when he needed to be. And he's a great role model for Connor," Callie said, her hand resting on Connor's stomach.
"Sounds like you have an amazing family, Cal," Erica said, her eyes never leaving the brunette.
"Oh, Mark and I aren't together. Well, we sort of are, but not like as a couple. Connor's his grandson I promised both him and Sloan that I wouldn't shut either of them out of Connor's life. We're co parents. That's it. I'm single and he has a girlfriend. It just all works out," Callie said, hoping that Erica especially heard that she was single.
"Oh, that's very strong of you, letting Mark help you with Connor. Sounds like it's working out great for you," Erica smiled, but this smile was different, Callie noted. This smile held hurt and sadness, and just a touch of envy. "The coffee was great, but I need to go. Holiday stuff and then hospital stuff, this is a hectic time of year. It was good to see you, Callie."
"It was good to see you, too," Callie offered, watching as Erica stood from the table. She wasn't even a few steps away when Callie called out to her. Erica turned around and met Callie's eyes.
"I know that there's a heap load of stuff between us that we need to work out, but do you think that maybe we could go out one night soon? Like drinks and dancing like old times?" Callie asked shyly, bracing herself for Erica's rejection.
"I'd love to."
"Guess who I saw today?" Callie asked as she walked into Mark's apartment.
"Santa Claus?" Mark asked, immediately going over to unstrap Connor from the stroller. He picked the baby up and rested him on his shoulder.
"Mark, you suck at guessing," Callie said as she collapsed onto the couch and watched Mark with the baby.
"Tell your mommy she needs to be nicer to me," Mark said to Connor as if the baby understood what he was saying.
"Just guess," Callie said from her place on the couch.
"Okay, let's see. Erica?" Mark asked, picking the most random person he could think of.
Mark looked up from Connor and over to Callie. "Are you serious?"
"Like a heart attack," Callie answered, instantly regretting her choice of phrase.
"So you saw Erica Hahn in the mall today?" Mark asked, still not believing her.
"Yep, and we're going out Saturday night," Callie said, avoiding Mark as she said the last part.
"Cal, you do realize who Erica Hahn is, don't you. You remember how she left without saying another word to you? Do you want to go through that again?" Mark asked, his voice raising slightly.
"Okay, I get it, Mark, I honestly do. But I just need to know why she left, and if I can, I want her back. I miss her, Mark," Callie said, looking up at her best friend. Mark laid Connor in his play pen before walking over and sitting down next to Callie.
"I know you do, I just don't want to see you get hurt again," Mark told her.
"I don't want to get hurt again either, but I'm at least going to try."
"Okay, I'll stand by your side and I'll pick you up when Erica drops you again, but I'm not going to like it," Mark said, smiling slightly.
"I love you," Callie said, resting her head on Mark's shoulder.
"I love you, too, Cal."