This is going to be the last chapter! I know it's long, but I didn't want to break it up.
3 months later…
Gillian had just brought in the last box into the new apartment. Utterly exhausted, she plopped herself on the sofa and closed her eyes. Just as she felt she was going to get a little rest time, Olivia came running, or better yet, flying into the living room and landed on Gillian. She pretended to be asleep, in which Olivia didn't believe for one minute. "I love you mommy!"
How could you ignore that? Gillian peeked open one eyelid and then cracked a smile. "I love you too!" She brought her in for a great big hug and a kiss on the forehead. "How do you like Washington DC so far?"
"We just got here mommy, I haven't seen anything!" She held out her hands and pouted her lips.
"Well then let's fix that, shall we?" Both girls looked around to the male voice. Cal had come in quietly through the front door and was leaning against the wall leading into the living room with a bottle of wine hung by his side. He placed the wine on a table next to where he was standing.
Olivia jumped off of her mom and squealed, "Daddy!" She ran into his arms, in which he gladly accepted her. She leaned in and kissed his cheek. "Mommy was pretending to be asleep, but I woke her up! She can't trick me!" She shook her head and pursed her lips. "Where's Emily?"
"I'm right here." She came in through the door right on time. "Joshua just called me. He's going to meet us up at-"
"Shhhh! Don't let tha cat outta tha bag? It's a secret." He held his finger over his lips and looked over at Olivia feigning innocence.
She instantly started to whine, "No fair! You're not supposed to keep secrets from me!"
Gillian got up from the couch and walked over to the crowd of people. "Cal, you might as well tell her. She won't let go of it. She's very stubborn, just like someone I know…" She squinted her eyes and leaned into his personal space.
"It's what came with the ears, darlin'. He leaned in closer and kissed her on her nose. Surprised at his closeness she stepped back.
"'Scuse me, but I wanna know where we are going!" Her mouth hung open to make her statement more dramatic.
Cal looked back at his younger daughter and calmly said, "You're just gonna have to wait till we get there." Olivia put on her pouty face and crossed her arms. Cal pointed at her and looked at Gillian, "You know she got that from you."
Every once in a while they would play this game of listing off Olivia's traits and who she got it from. Oddly enough, it gave Gillian a cozy feeling in her heart. "Well then you better hurry up and give her what she wants."
He handed her off to Gillian and said, "Then get her changed, woman. Make sure she has long socks on her feet."
Gillian just nodded and she took her upstairs to Olivia's bedroom.
Once they were upstairs, Cal snaked his arm around Emily's neck and gave her a mini-noogie. "You almost gave it away."
Emily tried to push him away but was unsuccessful. "Stop dad, I was just gonna say that Joshua was going to meet us there. Jeez, lay off!" She gave him one big push and he stopped. "And by the way dad, it's too soon for kissing. Gillian's not ready yet and that little stunt you did made her feel uncomfortable. Make sure you give her some space."
Cal pushed his hands into his pocket and looked up at the stairs. He all of a sudden became nervous. "You really think it was too fast. I thought she wanted it." Emily simply shook her head. "You know, she is the hardest person to read. It drives me bonkers mad."
Emily linked her arm with her dad's. "It's because you love her so much. Just give her some time, she'll come around. And believe me, she will."
"How do you know?"
"She moved to DC three months after Olivia was kidnapped." He still looked worried. She patted him on the arm and smiled. "She'll come around."
He looked over to Emily and cocked his head to the side. "And why do you want to become a guidance counselor again?"
She rolled her eyes, "Dad, I've explained this to you like a million times, it's where I think I'll be happy."
He kissed her on the cheek and said, "Just as long as you're happy, I'm happy."
"Same here dad."
"I'M READYYYY!" Olivia came flying down the stairs with her mother staring at her from the top.
Gillian placed her hands on her hips and said in a stern voice, "Olivia Louise, you better come back up here and walk down those stairs or I will sit you in time out for 10 minutes." Olivia looked up at her mom with puppy dog eyes, and obeyed by climbing the stairs once more, but more slowly this time. After she walked down the stairs, Gillian followed after and said to Cal, "We're obviously ready for the secret place." She winked at him as she walked to the door.
When Cal pulled into the parking lot of the ice rink, Olivia clapped her hands together and squealed. "Mommy, mommy, mommy, are we really going skating?" Her eyes were wide with a mixture of hope and anticipation.
Gillian turned from the passenger seat and nodded her head. "We're really going skating."
"YAY!" Olivia kicked her feet up and clapped her hands. "I have always wanted to go skating!" She sighed contently as she looked out of the window.
Cal couldn't help but stifle a laugh as he parked the car. Once everyone was out of the car, they all walked together to get their tickets and then to get their skates. All the while Olivia just kept bouncing on the balls of her feet. After tying up their skate laces, Emily took Olivia by the hand and helped her on the ice.
Gillian and Cal stayed back in the bleachers watching their daughters skate. For about 10 minutes not a word was passed through them. It was an awkward silence, but not an uncomfortable one. Gillian was the first to speak up, "I noticed that you didn't get any skates for yourself."
"I would look like a bloody wanka out there."
"Olivia's gonna come up to you and ask you to join her." He nodded to her statement. "For some reason she has been very taken with you." She wasn't trying to be mean, she was just being observant.
Cal replied back quietly, "I'm her dad."
Gillian turned her head so that she was staring at Cal. "She loves you very much."
Cal looked over at Gillian, "How about you?" He saw out of the corner of his eye that her hand was looking a little lonely on the bench. He wanted so desperately to touch her hand.
She lost her eye contact with him by looking down at her lap. "I don't know if I can love you again like how I used to love you. It's… it's just too early."
He placed his hand over hers, giving it a gentle squeeze. "I haven't been with anyone else since you left."
"That doesn't change what you did." He appreciated the fact that she was being brutally honest with him, but it hurt him all the same. He noticed however, that she didn't move her hand from his. Thank goodness for small victories. "I just got here, though; fresh out of my second divorce and a scary situation where my daughter was kidnapped by my husband's mistress. I need a little time to get my life back in order."
"I love you." He didn't mean to say it out loud, but it tumbled out of his mouth. He wasn't ashamed of it though. He held his chin higher and used his two fingers to bring her face around so that she was looking at him. "I love you still, after all of these years; I don't want to be with anyone except you." He noticed that she was about to interrupt him so he trucked on, "I know you need time and I'm willin' to give it to you, but I don't want you to think that I was bein' flaky that night." He was referring to the night that Olivia was rescued, but Gillian knew what he meant.
They sat in another silence, with only the sounds of the people from the ice rink serving as background noise. "You know, after all of these years, I've never stopped loving you. I think that's what made the kissing thing with Diana harder to get over. I still don't know if I can trust you. I know I love you, but it's the trust that will keep our relationship afloat. As hard as it is for me to say this, I have figured out the hard way that love isn't the only thing that will keep us together."
Cal opened his mouth to respond but was cut short by Olivia screaming, "DADDY! DADDY! I want to skate with you!" She was hanging onto the rail while Emily held one of her hands.
Gillian smiled at the pair of girls. "I told you, she was going to ask you to skate with you. And let's be honest, how can you say no to that loving face?"
She was right; Cal was having a hard time forming the words to tell his young daughter that he didn't want to skate. "Oh alright!" Gillian laughed at his response. Cal gave Gillian a playful death glare and yelled down, "I've got to go get some skates!" He turned back to Gillian and pulled her up from their still clasped hands. He brought his hand around to the back of her neck and whispered, "Let's have a date tomorrow. Emily can watch Olivia while I take you out and show you what you've been missing the past couple of years."
Gillian was having a hard time breathing, let alone thinking, being so close to Cal's lips. God, how she had missed those lips. Then, as if reading her mind, he leaned in and kissed her cheek. His lips lingered next to her ear and said one simple word, "Please?" With that one little word, she heard his vulnerability mixed in with his growing excitement by being so close to her. Her heart melted and her stomach became a jumbled mess of butterflies and jell-o.
She leaned in herself and kissed the corner of his mouth and said, "Yes, I would love to go on a date with you."
He let go of her hand and captured both of her cheeks so that she was looking straight into his eyes. "Really?" He wanted to make absolutely sure.
Her smile reached her eyes as she nodded her head, "Really."
He returned her smile with a grin of his own. "I know the perfect place to take you where they have a dessert called 'Chocolate Orgasm'."
"Mmmm… sounds appetizing." His eyes instantly darkened by her comment. One of her hands moved to his shoulder and said evenly, "Let's get you a pair of skates before Olivia has a temper tantrum." She reluctantly took a step back and turned towards where the skate rentals were. Cal followed her, bouncing on the balls of his own feet with the prospect of going on a date with Gillian.
A/N: I know some of ya'll are expecting a big romance from Cal and Gillian, but to be honest it wouldn't have seemed real. They obviously still love each other, but I wanted to leave it off as 'is it enough'. And just like any other couple who goes through a hard time in their relationship, they have to start back a square one.
I might do a follow up story to this, but to be honest, I like how this one ended.
Thank you for all of your lovin'! Don't forget to review! :)