Her voice pulled him from his thoughts.
"You ok?" she asked "You've been distracted all evening."
Cal rolled over in bed and looked into the eyes of the woman next to him. "I'm fine luv. Just something Emily said."
"Care to share?"
Cal thought for a moment as Emily's words echoed again. What was he waiting for?
He reached out and ran his hand up his lovers body, admiring her naked form before touching her face.
"She asked me if I loved you."
Gillian smiled, the answer written across his face. Even though they had been in a romantic relationship for the past few months, she still found the word love coming from Cal's lips and directed at her hard to believe.
"And what did you tell her?"
Gillian knew the truth. It was in the way he held her, how he looked at her, the words he used but she could also sense unease in him. She recognised that look in his eye. It appeared every time things became emotionally complicated. It was his fight or flight response and it scared her. She could see he was wrestling with something.
He had been strange for a while. More than days it was over a week now. She could actually pin point the exact time. It was after he had visited Zack in prison. Something had changed. He had been nothing short of wonderful during the whole Claire episode, especially that night when he got back from the jail (not that they'd done much talking!) but the next morning he had barely spoken. As the days went on he became distracted. They still shared a bed. He still kissed her goodnight and she still woke up in his arms but they didn't talk anymore. She tried not to over-react as it had only been a week, but her psychology training recognized this as distancing behaviour.
"You're afraid." She said
"Of course I'm afraid." He answered honestly.
Gillian sat up covering herself with the bed sheet and wrapping her arms around her body. Cal recognised the comforting gesture and could see her fear. Oh crap he'd freaked her out. There was no way out of this now. He would have to explain his behaviour. This was it.
He sat up facing her. "It wasn't supposed to be like this…" he began
Cal continued "You deserve better. I wanted this to be perfect for you….Everything should be perfect for you."
Gillian's heart began to pound in her chest. Was he having second thoughts about them? She had thought they were past the 'she was too good for him crap'. So much had changed in the last few months and she had never been stronger or happier since they had crossed that line. They had broken down barriers and she felt she had finally reached him. They had both given themselves in a way they never had before. Had she been wrong? Had she built this into something it wasn't? She knew he loved her, but love and Cal Lightman were a tricky thing. Had she been so naïve as to think that this was it? That they would get their happily ever after? She felt tears prick her eyes.
Cal was so caught up in what he was trying to say he failed to notice Gillian's panic.
"I want to do this right and I'm bloody scared out of my mind because…well look at you…and look at me. I'm…and you're…"
"Cal you're scaring me."
Cal ran his hands through his hair in frustration.
"Oh bloody 'ell…That's not what I…I'm trying to…Christ!...Marry me?
It came out a little more desperate than he would have liked but at least he'd managed to say the words. He searched her face looking for his answer. He only found confusion. After what seemed like an hour of silence, when Gillian was convinced she had misheard him, she managed to say
Cal took her hands in his.
"I've been trying to do this for a while now but I wanted it to be perfect for you. I thought of all sorts of ways to make it special. I was going to take you to Paris or cover your desk in rose petals but nothing seemed right. Nothing was good enough to let you know how much I love you and how much I want you to be my wife."
Gillian sighed with relief and swallowed hard to remove the lump from her throat.
"So you're not trying to break up with me then?"
"God no! What gave you that idea! Far from it. I've been trying to find a way to bring us closer, permanently."
Gillian smiled, the confusion replaced by hope. "All you have to do is ask."
Cal grinned. "Yeah?"
Gillian nodded. Cal moved to take her in his arms but he stopped. This had to be done properly. Their track record for spoke for itself. He held up a finger to signal that she would have to wait just a moment longer. He jumped off the bed and reached into the pocket of his jacket that was draped over a chair.
"Been carrying this around for a while." He said moving back to her holding out a small blue box.
No more waiting, this was it.
He opened the box revealing a beautiful diamond ring.
"Gillian, I love you. Will you marry me?"
He knew her answer before she said it but he was still relieved when she nodded furiously and whispered "Yes."
Cal removed the ring from its case and slipped it on to her finger, kissing her with every ounce of love in his body.
They lay back on the bed, side by side as Gillian admired her ring. She took his hand in hers and kissed it. Turning her body to face his she said
"For the record, that was perfect."
They wrapped their bodies around each other and shared several loving kisses.
Whatever happened next in his life this would be the moment he would cherish. Everything they had been through together, every cross word or missed opportunity had been worth it. He had never been a patient man and it had taken a long time to get here, but some things were definitely worth the wait.