Thursday, January 6, 2011
Five: Please Come Home for Christmas
She killed the ignition as she came to a rolling stop outside the garage. Snowflakes splattered on her windscreen as she gathered her things and took a moment. She was relieved to be home but at the same time scared. Scared that when she saw the three faces of the people she loved more than life she'd fall apart. It was over, she'd finished her shift and now she was free. It was bittersweet as all she could think about was that she got to come home and hang with her family, see the joy on her kids faces as they opened their presents while the Phillip's family were going home to silence and grief.
She blew out her breath and tightened her scarf for the trek to the back door. The snow was heavy and the sky grey with the odd brought spot where the sun was fighting desperately to pop through. She jumped as her cell vibrated and smiled when she read.
Are you coming in? Don't think we're coming to get ya. Way 2 cold. Upstairs. J. xx
It was the push she needed as her family were inside waiting. She popped the door open and ran across the backyard, snow crunching under her runners. She dumped her bag and keys, stripped off her layers and jogged upstairs. She crept around the corner of the door-frame where Jon was in bed flanked by Caleb and Stella unaware she was there. Jon was reading them a story but stopped mid-sentence as his eyes met hers over the book followed by their children's.
"Mommy!" They both flew out of each side of the bed and made a beeline for her. She crouched at their level and held her arms out, the last thing she saw before she engulfed them both was her daughter's baby blue eyes sparkling brighter than all the joy in the world. She closed her eyes and sucked them in, the smell of their apple conditioner overwhelming her. Tears spilled from her eyes as she held them tighter.
"Mommy, you're holding hard!"
She buried her face into Stella's hair. "I know baby." They wriggled and squealed as she covered them in kisses.
"Mommy why are you crying? What's wrong?" Caleb asked as he ran his pinkie down her cheek.
She forced the smile, let them go and used the back of her hand to wipe away the tears. "Happy tears darlin'. Mommy's just glad she's home now."
Stella, god bless her daughter always had this sixth sense. "Did you fix the girl like me?"
The lump grew in her throat and she met Jon's gaze from the bed, he nodded. She stroked her daughter’s sunny blond hair and tapped her on the nose. "No honey, she was badly hurt and not even mommy could save her. She's gone to heaven for Christmas." She didn't lie to her kids and Jon didn't condone it either.
Her daughters face screwed up. "I hope they have presents there." She said thoughtfully.
Callie laughed and kissed the top of her head. "Lots and lots. I promise."
Jon stepped out of bed and pulled on his robe. "Why don't you two go downstairs and me and mommy will be there in a few minutes, and we can see if Santa brought us anything?"
Stella folded her arms indignantly. "Of course he did, why wouldn't he?"
Callie bit her lip as Jon shrugged. "I dunno, maybe you weren't good enough. Guess you'll find out when you get downstairs."
Both of her children's eyes widened before they stampeded down the stairs fighting who would get there first. Callie stood up and Jon simply stood in front of her with his arms wide open. "Rough night?"
She nodded as the room blurred and he wrapped himself around her as she fell apart. "I lost her. She laid her cheek on his shoulder as he tightened his grip around her as the sobs came.
"I'm sorry baby. God, I don't even know what to say. I can't even imagine..."
She shook her head and buried her face into his neck. "You're here. That's all I need." She closed her eyes and let her husband's arms wash away some of the weight off her shoulders. "That's all I've ever need." She murmured into his skin as she clutched the lapel of his robe between her fingers. She scraped her teeth over his chin and fused herself to his mouth. The aching inside her bubbled a she pushed him back up against their closet.
"Callie--whoa..." he cupped her cheek and kissed her softly but she wanted more. She needed more. If she could just touch him, if he could put his hands on her it would even herself out. She unravelled the ties of his robe and opened it. He grabbed her hands and stepped back. "Cal...The kids could come back in." She knew he was right but the desperation inside of her to be skin to skin was spilling over. She linked her hands through his and pulled him close.
She wasn't one to beg but god, she needed him like she needed air right now. "I need you but we have to wait." She hated she was so vulnerable but if one person that she could be around, it was him. She hung onto him and sighed. She needed her kids too and she couldn't let them wait, this was their day. She re-tied the robe and smoothed it down. "
He tilted her chin to meet his mouth and kissed her swiftly, dragging her in close. The kiss went from sweet to hot as she rose on her tip toes. Her fingers tunnelled through his hair as she changed the angle letting her tongue slide into his mouth. They groaned in unison as their lips parted but their foreheads pressed together.
"I'll find the moment. I promise." He kissed her nose and dragged her in for another bear hug and she sighed as she became grounded again. He always found the way no one else could and that's what they were always to each other.
"I love you." She patted his heart and he smiled until the corner of his eyes crinkled.
"Right back at you. Now c'mon it's Christmas!" He scooped her up in his arms and carried her down the stairs to cheers from their not so patiently waiting children.
He carried his wife down the stairs and Caleb and Stella waited for them. He settled her onto her feet and nodded towards the kitchen. "You take the kids and get settled in front of the tree. I'll get the coffee and croissants."
"God yes, please." She kissed his cheek as she led the kids away and he watched them all pile onto the couch on top of her. He had no idea what she was going through as he couldn't even pretend what it was like to lose a patient, let alone a kid on Christmas in her hospital. He'd known it was bad when he'd heard the car pull in as she didn't come bounding in like she usually did off a long shift pleased to see the kids and him. The fire in her eyes was gone as well, the one that rarely went out even with the longest days she had in the OR.
He poured two big mugs of coffee, topped hers up with her favourite Christmas creamer and carried the tray into the living area where the buzz of need-to-open-it-now was humming.
"You're a life-saver." Callie accepted her mug and sat cross-legged on the couch as the kids circled the tree like a couple of sharks. He snagged a croissant and grabbed the Santa hat off the large mantel. It was a tradition, head of the household dished out the presents, like it had been in his own childhood. "Ok let's see what we have here..." He picked up a large gaily wrapped blue and silver present. "To Uncle Matt... Nope, he's not here." He picked a smaller red shiny one. "To Grandma Richards...nope she's not here either. Man, I hope there are some for us under here."
He heard his wife chuckle behind him as his two children stared in shock as he picked up yet another one for Callie's sister and brother-in-law.
"Jon..." Callie said with a warning tone, he didn't have to look at her to know she was hiding a smile behind her coffee cup.
He stood up and scratched his head. "Are you sure you guys have been good, I can't see any for you?"
"Dad! What about this one?" Stella pointed excitedly to a big square box donned with a green bow.
He leaned in and squinted. "To Sally....wow, who is Sally?"
She tugged the sleeve of his robe. "DAD! It says Stella silly."
He looked again and grinned. "Oh so it does! Look at that!" He conceded and slid it his daughters way along with a matching sized one her brother's way. And so it began. Boxes, parcels, ribbons and paper went flying as his wife snapped pictures of their kids demolishing their presents. Dolls, accessories for the dolls, cars, a new game centre and various other holiday candy and trinkets littered the floor.
"Well hell is there anything else left under there?" he joked as he flopped down next to his wife and their piles.
"Nope I don't think so. Well done Santa... here's a little something for you." She handed him a slim line sliver wrapped box. He leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. "The gold one you might wanna open first." He winked nodding to her pile.
Jon opened the box which he recognized to be to be from Kenneth Cole. He popped off the lid and smiled at the classy chunky silver watch with a blue metallic face and platinum settings. “This is gorgeous Cal." He flipped it onto his wrist but stopped as the back caught his eye. Engraved perfectly were the words. "Time Stops when I'm with you." He closed his eyes and stamped down the lump in his throat. He met her gaze, which he wasn't surprised was shining with tears. "This is absolutely perfect. Absolutely us." He cupped her cheek and kissed her slowly until a round of ewws echoed from their children.
He strapped his watch on and waited as his wife unwrapped her box. She gasped as she popped open the ring box. "You like?"
"God Jon!" He'd had the eternity ring made. A platinum band with diamonds embedded in the band the entire way around it was smooth so was easy for her to wear at work and not too chunky. She slid it on her fingers and held it up. "It's stunning, so many diamonds...hell Jon..."
He winked. "I figured you just ought to know that you're not getting rid of me now. Ever."
She smiled through her tears, "damn. There goes that idea then. This is perfect. Best husband ever, god this is breath taking. It's so sparkly." Jon grinned. Woman and their rings, Callie wasn't traditionally a heavy jewellery kind of woman but the pieces he did buy her always counted and he was right on the money. Of course he'd also spoiled her with her favourite perfume and a selection of lingerie’s for his benefit too.
She slid up onto his lap and hooked her arms around his neck and they watched their kids play happily with their new toys in a simple moment before it got crazy again.
"I so need a shower."
"You should have a sleep babe, you must be exhausted."
She shrugged. "I'm good. I'd rather be here than asleep."
He kissed her forehead and patted her ass. "Go and have a shower now while we have a few hours and I'll set up the game centre and then maybe...just maybe..." his mouth found her ear. “I can find that moment I promised you while our kids are entertained."
Her eyebrow lifted and her pretty face finally had a true smile on it. "Well with an offer like that..." She slipped off his knee and ruffled her kids hair leaving him to assemble the game centre because oh yeah, he loved setting up new technology. Not. But hell, it was Christmas and his family was at home and they were safe. And that's all that mattered.