Reunion Ch. 02byBigBadWolfyBoy1013©
Since I got so many wonderful reviews, I decided to award everyone by writing the second chapter as quickly as possible.
Again, constructive criticism is always appreciated.
Standing in front of the mansion that was Amelia's home, I realized that I was probably being a little too rash. Things had changed. I'd grown up with everything that I ever could've wanted...well, until middle school. Due to a series of events my family and I had ended up in a run down area of L.A. and the wealth we'd had was gone. Hell, she was the only thing that had gotten me through those years. Sighing, I rang the doorbell once more. "Probably takes about five minutes just to get from the kitchen to the door," I mused.
"Can I help you?" a male voice asked from behind me and I found myself turning to see another familiar figure.
"Uh, yeah. Who are you?"
"You live here with..."
"Hey babe, we need to get going if we're..." Mia's voice trailed off as her eyes came to rest on me. I looked at the two, not being able to hear anything but my heartbeat in my ears. Timothy Dalton and Amelia Hatchet -- the high school sweethearts had stayed together. My eyes shot down to Mia's left hand and suddenly a ring had formulated there.
Tim cleared his throat and I looked to him. "I asked you a question."
"Still as polite as ever, Tim."
I shot a glare to Mia. "You..." It took all my strength to keep cool. "We need to talk. Now."
"Kalli? Wow, you look...wow."
"Yea thanks Tim as always your input is appreciated," I snapped then took in a calming breath.
Tim scoffed. "And you're still a bitch. What the hell are you doing here?"
"This has nothing to do with you," Mia piped in, looking to her fiancé.
"Actually it has everything to do with him." I looked back to Tim. "I've come here to speak with Mia."
"After ten years? Why?"
"None of your business."
Tim took a step toward me. "It is my business. You're talking to my fiancé after all."
I took a step towards him. "And what? She's not allowed to speak for herself?"
"Guys..." I heard Mia say.
"No, she's just not allowed to talk to you."
"OK, that's it!" Mia said, causing both of us to look over to her. "Tim, go inside. Kalli, come with me and we'll talk."
Despite how strong my urge was to give Tim another taste of my right hook -- having already shared with him that little beauty back in high school -- I followed Mia. I couldn't handle being around Tim and last night was the more important issue. She led me out to their pool house and once we had gotten settled she cleared her throat.
"Sorry?" I said, not trying to hide every inch of malice that I felt. "For what?"
She sighed. "Look, last night..."
"Was a mistake?"
"Are you going to let me finish any of my sentences?" she asked, glaring at me.
I shrugged. "Depends. Are you going to stray from what I already think you're going to say?" Silence fell between us for a moment. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I'm not sure," she replied.
"You weren't wearing a ring last night."
"I took it off."
She adverted her eyes to the floor. "I'm not sure."
"Why did you tell me you lived alone? Why did you lie?"
"I'm not sure."
I shook my head then stood. "You know what? I knew you were going to say that. In fact, I knew this was going to happen...and I don't know why I bought into your crap about it'll be ok to complicate things."
"No, Mia. Last night you told me that you loved me. Did you mean it? Or was that just something you said due to being in the throws of passion? And don't say that you're not sure, because I know that's not true."
Her gaze met mine. "I did mean it."
"So, was last night really a mistake?" I crossed my arms, watching her.
"I honestly don't know."
I nodded, suddenly feeling my anger wilt and tears prick at the backs of my eyes. "Do you love him?"
"I...I'm not sure. I'm not sure of anything right now." My eyes narrowed. "I'm serious."
Blinking back the tears, I looked away from her. "You going to tell him?"
She shrugged, "I don't know."
"Look, I've got business to do here. I'll be here for a week. How 'bout you call me when you've decided what you're going to do, who you're going to be with," I said then turned to leave.
"A week? You're giving me a week?" she asked, causing my hand to stop halfway to the door handle.
"Yes. Although you've had longer than a week. You've had ten years."
"Whoa, wait a minute." Glancing over my shoulder, I saw that she had stood. "You've had ten years too."
I turned to face her. "I wasn't the one to cheat. I wasn't the one who decided to take off my engagement ring. And coming back to my question, why did you take it off in the first place if you and Tim are so happy, huh? You must've been wanting to meet someone... or must've been waiting for someone." Looking down to the tan carpet, I felt a tear slide down my cheek. "Waiting for me."
She sighed. "It's like high school all over again."
"Funny how history repeats itself, huh?" I took in a breath. "You know where I'm staying. I leave from LAX at 8 pm a week from today." With that, I turned and left the pool house.
I'd lied. My flight was due to leave later that day. Once back at the hotel, I'd arranged to stay for another week and booked another flight to Chicago. Now I'd sit back and wait. I laughed at that thought. Me wait? The person whose patience wore thin, wait? Right. But I knew I had to. True I was at the risk of having my heart broken -- yet again -- by her, but I doubted that the pain I was already feeling could get any worse.
Having stopped blaming myself for what had occurred and settled for finding some other reason or person to blame, I sat on the couch staring at the blank TV screen. Just when I thought that maybe a little TV couldn't hurt, a knock sounded on my door. I felt my chest tighten. Was it her? Had she made her decision already? There was only one way to find out. Standing, I walked over to the door and opened it. To my dismay, I found myself face to face with Tim again.
"Oh, it's you."
"What the hell did you do to her?'
My eyes narrowed. "Excuse me?"
"What did you say to Mia?" he said, pushing past me and walking into the living room area.
"Sure, make yourself right at home," I mumbled, shutting the door. Joining him in the room, I kept myself a few feet away. That urge to remind of him of the punch I did pack having risen once again. "And I told you, it isn't any of your business." Yet.
"Like hell. She's not even coming out of the damn pool house."
"Maybe she just doesn't want to face that ugly mug of yours," I said with a smirk.
"You know, you've always managed to make things harder for her. What good have you ever done her?"
"Aside from making sure that she never found out how many times you cheated on her and putting up with her talking about you 24/7 like you were some sort of god? Hmm, I guess nothing."
He took a step towards me. "You listen to me. I want you gone, you hear me?"
"Sorry, Timmy, not going to happen."
Another step towards me; I held my ground. "Don't make me do something stupid."
"Don't make me make it so you can't chew stake without hearing your jaw pop again."
Blue eyes glared at me. "You don't think I know how you feel about her? How you've been in love with her since we were kids?"
"I know you have." I said, meeting his gaze. "That's why you worked so hard on making me out to be the bad guy. What's the matter? Scared that she'll see you for the bastard that you really are? Or are you still not secure enough with your man hood?"
"Bitch!" he spat, a fist coming my way and I ducked.
"Guess so," I replied. "Now it's my turn: Leave. I doubt you'd stay on Mia's good graces if she found out about this."
"Just returning your kindness." I straightened. "Get out."
I knew my command had come too late and soon found myself on my back, pain flaring in my side. Wincing, I tried to get up but was stopped by the sole of his shoe stomping down onto my stomach, knocking the wind from me. Strong hands grabbed both sides of my shirt, pulling me up a small ways from the tile floor.
"You have two choices, Kalli. Do what I say and leave or this is going to get a hell of a lot worse for you."
"Big strong man," I managed to say. "Has to beat up a girl in order to feel like he's got things under control. Impressive."
Anger flared in his eyes then the world went dark.
I'm not sure on how much time had passed, but when I woke up I knew that going out in public anytime soon wasn't going to be an option. The happenings of the day flashed slowly in my mind as I tried to keep my eyes open, tried to sit up. Pain shot through my side and my head, causing the blurry images around me to start spinning. The sudden jolt of pain in my side had been so strong that my breath caught and I knew that I must've had a least two broken ribs.
The cool tile floor pressed against my back, causing goosebumps to rise on my arms. I'd thrown on a wife beater and pair of jeans earlier that day. I'd known this would be the price for coming back. The only difference was that I'd expected the ass kicking to come from her instead of Tim. What was even worse, was that this wasn't my first time. Memories of the excuses I'd used to not see her after Tim and I had gotten into an all out brawl one hot summer night sounded in my mind.
I don't know why I had ever protected him...but deep down buried under all the hate I had for the guy I did know why. It wasn't him I was really protecting -- it was Mia. Tim had been her first relationship and if she'd found out about his cheating and what he did to me then she'd get hurt. Gritting my teeth, I pushed up onto my elbows slowly. Her get hurt. That's all I ever cared about back then. I'd never considered what I wanted for myself until I'd had enough of being led on then disappointed. Had enough of trying to make sure she was happy at the sacrifice of my own. Although, love made people do crazy things...and with her, what I did do for her got even crazier. Mia had a power over me, one that I doubted she even realized she did in fact have and if she did, she gave no indication of such knowledge.
My head throbbed, my ribs screamed their distress, my heart ached. Yep, she'd been right, it was just like high school. I placed a hand to the back of my head, feeling a damp spot just at the base of my neck. Blood. Not surprising. Tim could've killed me if he'd wanted, he had been certainly mad enough. Deep down I knew he wouldn't do such a thing, after all, that would hurt Mia too much...or at least I was hoping he wouldn't.
Finally up on my feet, swaying slightly, I made my way into the bedroom. A hospital would ask questions, questions I couldn't answer. A voice in the back of my mind said that I should go to one, should answer those questions, that I should let Mia know what kind of man Tim really was. I tuned the voice out. It'd sway her decision...a decision I wanted her to make from the heart. Sighing, I sat down on the bed and then picked up the hotel room phone, my cell having been on the small table near the door, which had been too far away for my liking.
A friend that I had stayed in touch with happened to work at the local hospital and I knew I could call in a favor. Hell, he'd practically been my physician since the whole love triangle came into place. He'd been the only friend from my once opulent lifestyle to not shun me for who and what I was. I dialed his number and waited for him to answer.
"Dr. Nathan," the voice said.
Somehow I managed a smile. "Hey Shaun, remember me? Your very first patient?"
A small sigh. "What happened?"
"What do you think."
"I'm guessing that's leaning more towards a 'whom' instead of a 'what', right?" I didn't answer him. He sighed. "Where are you?"
"At the hotel three blocks from your office."
"Possible concussion, broken ribs. You know, same old same old." My attempt at trying to keep the mood light failed miserably as another sharp pain ripped through my side, causing me to wince. "Just hurry, huh?"
"Yea, I'll leave right now. Stay awake, ok?"
"I know the drill."
"I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch lately."
I sighed lightly, a small smile forming on my lips. "Don't worry about it."
"Well Kalli I can certainly say without a doubt that you are much stronger than you look," Shaun said, offering a smile.
"Thanks. I think."
"So, back in that triangle, huh?"
I nodded lightly. "Odd how easy it was to slip back into it after all these years."
"You had help," Shaun said, a hint of resentment in his tone.
"I'm sorry, Kalli but you know that I've never agreed with how she treated you. It hurt me to see you hurt, both physically and emotionally. If she truly cared then she wouldn't have done all of this to you."
"She didn't throw the punches," I said, watching him.
"No, but she was the cause for them."
"Oy." I mumbled and relaxed into the downy softness of the hotel pillows propped behind my back a little more. "Things are..."
"Complicated between you two, I know."
"So I've used that argument before, huh?"
Shaun nodded. "And I never bought it. All of you were to blame for this whole debacle."
"For the record, if you're trying to make me feel better, it's not working. I suggest you work on your bedside manner a little more, Shauny."
"I suggest that you listen to me for once."
My eyes narrowed. "I did. I left."
"You said leaving would be good for me."
"Kalli, I meant for a weekend in Palm Springs with me and some of our friends back then. Not ten years away."
"Friends? Aside from you who did I have here, Shaun? No one wanted to hang out with the girl who had suddenly realized her sexual identity and had gone from riches to rags." I took in a calming breath. "Mia was the only one who was kind to me in Chino."
"She's your poison, Kalli. You both know this."
"I hear what you're saying Shaun and I know that it's smart and I know that you're right, but I can't deny or ignore the fact that I love her. I haven't come back into this 'debacle' blinded. I know what I could gain or lose...and she's worth it either way. Getting closure, finally figuring it all out, is worth this."
Shaun watched me for a moment then let out a relenting sigh. "Fine. Just...take it easy, ok? You've got those painkillers in you so you will be able to sleep and wake up after doing so. I'll swing by later to check up, all right?"
I nodded. "Yea."
"And don't worry, I swear myself to secrecy."
"I trust you."