I'm hoping that this chapter doesn't seem too rushed... but there's about three major things that are in this chapter, and didn't want it to drag on. Enjoy!
Gillian had made it as far as the couch, where she put everything. The ride home was barely remembered as she walked up the stairs and collapsed on the bed. As soon she closed her eyes, she was out.
When she finally woke, it was hours later and she felt dazed for the longest time. It took her awhile to remember what had happened at the hospital, but she was so tired that the kiss that Cal gave didn't even faze her—now she was thinking about it.
She was thinking about it all the way down as she made herself a sandwich in the kitchen: picking and nibbling on it when the doorbell rang. Gazing over at the kitchen clock, Gillian found that it was nearly seven-thirty in evening and was a little cautious at who could be at the door at this time.
Peeking through the curtains, she saw a familiar face and immediately took off her sling.
"I was in the neighborhood—" Anna responded, upon seeing the look on her face. Gillian laughed, welcoming her in. "Truth?" Anna inquired, as she watched her nod. "I had a meeting in D.C., and I couldn't get myself to go home just yet." She looked at the sling in Gillian's hand. "New fashion, I see."
"That's actually a long story. Coffee?"
They walked into the kitchen, Gillian shoving the sling into a nearby drawer. They made basic conversation, but nothing deep beneath the surface, until Anna asked the next question."
"I feel like I was interrupting your dinner." She gestured over to the half eaten sandwich. "Sophie sleeping?"
"Truth?" Gillian took in a deep breath, and felt her heart flutter as Anna nodded back. And that's when she told her everything: going to see Cal when Sophie had a fever; sleeping at his house, only to discover that Sophie wasn't breathing; Rushing Sophie to the hospital; The heart diagnosis; Going out to eat with Cal, then getting into a car accident; Elena and her mother; Signing the adoption papers; Cal kissing her—which is when she couldn't help turning away as she pulled out two mugs out of the cabinet.
Anna stayed silent for a moment, assessing everything that she had just been told. "That is quite the week. I can't even imagine what you've been through, and you're still standing. Where do I even begin?" She teased, making them both chuckle. "So you're adopting Sophie? The last time we talked, you weren't sure about that."
Gillian gave a subtle shrug. "I'm still not sure about it. All I know is that I don't want to lose her again."
"Fair enough. Do you trust him? Cal. There seems to be an awful lot of him, in your rather long story." Anna let her cheek rest against her hand, with a subtle hint of a smile on her lips.
"Cal and I . . . we're business partners."
"Then let me ask you this—answer truthfully—why do you think he kissed if you're "just" business partners? Has it ever occurred that he cares about you more than he lets on? Don't get me wrong. . . I think he has more than respected the boundaries you've set up, but I think it's time for you both to make a decision, whether you like it or not. Things between you have definitely changed, and it sounds like maybe he's only a little more comfortable than you are about it."
"There's something you have to understand about Cal . . . he's brusque and follows his own rules, but has a good heart."
"Then what are you waiting for?"
The next morning after their conversation, Gillian woke feeling a slight weight lifted off her shoulders. It had taken half of the night to think about it, that she knew what she had to do. At every twist and turn that her life had taken, he had been there—and she knew in her heart that she didn't ever want to lose him either.
So just a little after seven in the morning, she hailed a cab; her heart fluttering when she saw that he was already sitting up in bed.
"You alright, Love? I didn't think you would come back after yesterday." He addressed her as she crossed the room with significant strides that were wild and fierce; eyes teary and moist. She shook her head once to let him know that she wasn't. Her bottom lip began to tremble as he then patted the bed beside him. A tear ran down her cheek as their eyes met; his thumb brushed over her cheek. "Is it the kiss that made you a bubbling mess?"
She gave a sobbing laugh, playfully swatting his shoulder. "No."
"Come on then—you know better than to keep me in suspense." A lopsided grin appeared on his expression.
Tears welled up in her eyes again, as her hands gestured the importance of her words. "It's you, Cal."
He brushed his thumb over her cheek again, silence between them. "I never thought I would ever hear you say those words."
Sighing, she decided to change the subject. "I'm going to stop over at the office, before heading back home. Need anything?"
He looked at her hungrily, while groaning from the back of his throat. "Just you." She felt her cheeks grow warm.
Gillian stood and brushed off, when there was a knock on the door. "Emily. How long have you been standing there?"
"Less than twenty seconds."
"Is your mother with you?" Cal asked, wincing as he adjusted in bed.
"Yeah, she just went to get some things from her car. We brought some clothes—oh and some shoes for you when you're released on Tuesday." She showed him the sack of clothes, setting it on his bed.
"Then why all the serious looks?"
Emily shrugged. "Mom has a business conference that she has to go to tomorrow in Chicago, and she won't let me stay at the house alone."
"I should go." Gillian began walking towards the door, hoping to be excused from the pending argument that was looming ahead.
"No. And she has every right not to let you stay at home by yourself." That stopped Gillian in her tracks, as she turned around to see him glancing between her and Emily.
"She wants me to stay with some friends, so I was thinking of asking Danni—"
"Danni is a girl that I've only been friends with since I was in the first grade." Emily chimed in, making a face. "Besides. It's just for a day, and then you'll be released from the hospital."
"Right. So, its Danni having the problems, not you is it?"
"Why would you even think that?"
"Because I know you're hiding something." He searched his daughter's expression. "And so does your mother."
"I know what?" Zoe inquired, stepping through the door.
"That our daughter is hiding something."
"Perhaps we could talk about this later?"
"You wanted me to talk to her, so here's me talking to her." He read the expression on his ex wife's face. "Except for you want me to talk to her alone."
"I never said that."
"Yeah. Except for the fact that it's written all over your face." He licked his lips, noticing that both Gillian and Emily were still in the room. "Foster . . . give us a minute. Take Emily with you." She read what he was trying to say as both walked out of the room.
Gillian sat down in a nearby chair, just outside of the room. She caught words here and there, but was focusing on Emily who was folding her arms and walking back and forth.
"They're only fighting because of me."
She gestured to the seat next to her as Emily shifted uncomfortably. "Tell me what's really going on?"
It took a moment, and with a sigh she began. "My friend's parents are divorcing, and I don't think she talking to anyone—"