It was just after eleven the morning after he tucked a very drunk Gillian Foster into bed that Cal got the text. He was sitting home alone in his kitchen, laptop open and papers spread out before him as he worked on the book he was struggling to write when his phone buzzed. Grateful for the distraction, he grabbed it and checked the message.
'I have no idea how I got home or why I am naked but I assume I owe you a thank you...'
read Gillian's text. Cal laughed and immediately abandoned his work - the book had been waiting to be written for months, it could wait a little longer - and decided to have some fun with his partner. After all, it wasn't every day that one got to see Gillian Foster drunk, and there was no way in hell he was going miss an opportunity to tease her about it. Plus, he always enjoyed messing with her. She complained about him pushing her buttons but he had a feeling she secretly enjoyed it almost as much has he did.
'You don't remember last night at all, love? '
Cal texted back to her. He momentarily debated calling her just so that he could hear her reactions, but quickly decided against it. She was far better with voices than he was and even if she was hungover, he wouldn't put it past her to catch the humor in his voice and he couldn't have that. Oh, no. She needed to think he was completely serious for what he was planning.
'After you found me on the balcony, no. Why?'
came Foster's quick reply. Cal grinned. Oh, this was going to be good.
'Really? I'm a little disappointed, love. You told me, quite enthusiastically I might add, that last night was the best shag you'd ever had and now you don't remember it?'
Cal paused in a moment of hesitation with his thumb over the reply button. What if this was going too far? He had an idea, but he wasn't quite certain how she would react to something like this. What if she panicked? Or worse, what if she was ashamed and disgusted? He was fairly certain of her feelings for him, her attraction, but what if he was misreading her? Then he remembered that moment no more than twelve hours before when she had swayed toward him on drunken legs, a familiar darkness in her eyes. In that moment there had been no mistaking her attraction to him. But in the moment before she let herself fall against his chest, he could have sworn he saw something deeper than lust, something he dared not name just yet.
With that as his rationale, he felt confident that she would forgive him for teasing her. Besides, the opportunity was just too good to pass up. With that, he sent the message off, then sat back in his chair to await her response.
Less than a minute later his phone rang.
"Cal!" She exclaimed as soon as he picked up. Her panic was evident in the way her voice was a good half octave higher than usual. "Why didn't you call me earlier? Why didn't you stay? You could've at least left me a note! Was I -? What -?"
Cal couldn't help but laugh, he had never heard her like this. He felt a little bad for laughing at her, but at the same time he couldn't help but find it was absolutely hilarious. He could only imagine Gillian on the other line, still reeling from shock and more than likely flushed with embarrassment. Oh, what he wouldn't give to see her face.
"I," She started again, trying - and only marginally succeeding - to sound more composed, "I think you should come over. We need to talk about this. This is - why are you laughing? Cal, this isn't funny!"
Cal wanted to tell her that, on the contrary, it was extremely funny, but he just kept on laughing. In truth, he was not only enjoying himself, he was also waiting her out. Being as intuitive/intelligent as she was he knew it wouldn't be long before she caught on.
"Cal, seriously! This isn't - wait..." Gillian paused; he could hear her putting pieces together. "We didn't really sleep together, did we? Oh my God, I can't believe you!"
"I'm sorry, love, the opportunity was just too good to resist." Cal explained through his subsiding laughter, "you're not mad, are you?"
He heard her huff on the other end of the line, he could practically see her shaking her head at him.
"Maybe a little, but I'm sure I'll get over it eventually," she replied. Cal breathed a sigh of relief at the smile he heard in her voice.
"Good. So how are you feeling?" He knew drinking to excess wasn't something Gillian did regularly and with the amount of scotch she had consumed the night before, he knew she must have a killer hang over.
"I've been worse. I'm queasy and my head hurts, but it's not as bad as when I first woke up. I noticed you left me Advil and water, thank you for that, by the way. It helped."
"No problem." He knew from copious personal experience how bad it could be first thing in the morning, when the hammering of your pulse in your head made even the task of rolling out of bed seem nearly impossible.
"So what really happened last night?" Gillian asked finally. He had been wondering when she would get to that. "I didn't embarrass myself, did I?"
"Nah." He paused, remembering the events of the night before, then quickly amended, "Not too badly at least. Actually, you tried to seduce me."
"What? Tell me you're joking."
"I'm serious. You did a little strip tease for me. It was actually kind of cute."
"Oh, God." He heard her groan on the other line. Her next words were slightly muffled, suggesting that she placed her hand over her face in utter mortification as she spoke, "I'm so sorry, Cal."
"Don't worry about it, it's not like I didn't enjoy the view," he joked. Though they both knew it wasn't really a joke. Still, it was harmless. After all, he was a man and the fact that she was attractive - moreover, that he found her attractive - wasn't exactly news to either of them.
"You were looking? Cal!" She admonished, but it was a little hard to scold given her position seeing as she had been the one taking her clothes off with him watching.
"It was a bit hard not to; you were right in front of me. Don't worry, though, I didn't see much." That was a lie. He had averted his eyes, but not before the image of a very naked and absolutely gorgeous Gillian Foster burned itself into his memory. "And I managed to talk you into bed before you did anything you would regret."
"You mean anything else I would regret." She muttered.
"Well, I guess I do owe you a thank you then." Gillian said with a grateful sigh. He shrugged, though he knew she couldn't see him.
"Don't mention it, love. It was the least I could do." He assured her. It was true; with all the crap she put up with, all the messes she cleaned up for him, taking her home after she'd had a bit too much to drink seemed a very insignificant favor compared to what he really owed her. And it wasn't as though it was an inconvenience, on the contrary, he had quite enjoyed it. Cal could count on one hand the number of times he had seen Gillian Foster drunk over the years, and each time he felt as though he gained ever more precious insight to her inner workings. Last night had been yet another rare opportunity to catch a fleeting glimpse at another side of Gillian. And, of course, the strip tease wasn't bad either.
"Well, I guess I'll see you Monday, then." Gillian said finally, breaking the brief silence that had come over the line during Cal's musings.
"Alright then. Oh, and Foster?"
"When we do have sex, I intend to make bloody well sure it's something you never forget."