Go-To Girl

"Oh crap."

She glances up. "Cal?" His back is turned to her but she can see the tension in his shoulders, clear as day. "What's going on?"

He doesn't turn around and he doesn't offer her any form of explanation.

Her concern increases and letting the file she had been perusing slip out of her fingers and onto her desk, she pushes her chair back, stands and then walks over to join him. She places a hand on his upper arm and gently pulls him around to look him in the eyes.

She flicks her gaze over his face despite the line they agreed to draw between them and frowns at what she sees. "Cal!"

"Emily! I can't pick her up this afternoon and she has no way to get home. That idiot, Loker!" He pulls from her grasp.

"It's Loker's fault?"

"Well, no," he admits. "But yeah! It is! He arranged a meeting I can't get out of no matter how hard I try - and boy have I tried - and it's at the same time I'm due to get Em from school." He aims an angry scowl into the empty hallway as if Loker is able to see him. "I can't get to both, Foster."

She runs her tongue over her lips. "That is unfortunate-"

"Unfortunate? It's bloody crap! It's bollocks, is what it is! Em'll be stranded and she'll be mad and I'll not hear the end of it from Zoe, never mind the fact that-"

"Cal! I'll pick her up," she interrupts. "It's okay."

He glances at her and tilts his head to the side slightly, considering her. "You sure?"

"Of course I am, Cal. Emily is like family to me. You know that."

"Didn't you have that thing with that banker tonight?" He waves his hands about.

Fixing him with a determined stare, she gives a nod. "I'll have plenty of time for both. You go to your appointment and I'll pick up Emily from school and drop her home. Everything will be fine."

Nodding roughly, Cal heads for the door. He pauses and looks at her. "Thank you."

"It's no problem. And Cal?" she says before he can turn away.

"What is it, love?"

"Please," she says. "Please, and I can't say this enough, don't screw up this meeting. It's for the Emerson case, correct?"

He nods. "That's the one."

"We need this one," she tells him. She hopes as she looks at him that he can see how important it is to her and she hopes even more that he will listen, not just for her but for the sake of the company.

He frowns slightly - quit mothering!- but offers a quick nod before he leaves.

She takes a moment to gather her thoughts and then starts packing up her paperwork. As she does so, she wonders at which moment she became Cal's go-to girl of sorts and why it so rarely feels like a chore while most of her dates do.