Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Rating: VERY strong R for content
Pairings: Mostly canon for the show with Alex/Addison
Summary: Alex and Addison have a dinner date at the swankiest place in town. George finally uses his words.
A/N: Heh, this part was fun to write. And whew ... things are about to get pretty hot in Seattle. :)
George opened the door to the Emerald City Bar and scanned the room, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw that Callie was indeed safe and sound. She was speaking to his mother, who had her elbows on the table and was giving the younger woman her rapt attention. He paused for a second, enjoying that his two favorite women appeared to genuinely like one another. He waved at Joe and walked confidently towards them. His confidence was short lived, however. His mother glanced up at him and narrowed her eyes. "What do you want?" she snapped.
"Hello to you, too," George said, sliding into the booth next to Callie. He put the package on the table and glanced from one to the other. "What's going on?"
Louise picked up the ticket, ignoring him. To Callie she said, "You come by Harold’s room later. He wants to see you."
"Let me give you money for my coffee," Callie replied, setting her cup aside and reaching for her purse.
"Nonsense," Louise told her. "I enjoyed our conversation." She glared at George again. "Even if I didn’t like everything I heard."
"What?" George held his hands up in mock surrender, but his mother stalked away. He turned back to Callie. "So, am I being written out of their will? Or is this one of those women solidarity things that will pass in a couple of days?"
"I don’t know what you mean." She shrugged and drained what was left in her cup. "I have to go."
"You’re stuck." He grinned at her, not budging when she lightly pushed against his shoulder. "Now you’re cornered and you have to listen to me."
"Cornering someone never has good results, George."
"I’ll take my chances." His hand instinctively covered his manhood, however.
She sighed and put her head in her hands. "Why won’t you leave me alone?"
"My dad always gives the best advice. He suggested that I should make nice with you and I’m one hundred percent determined to do that."
"I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep fighting with you!"
"Then stop fighting and let me win."
"Not gonna happen."
"You asked me earlier what you were to me. I know what I want you to be." He brushed her ponytail over her shoulder and leaned down a little so he could see the side of her face. "I want you to be the person I make love to and the person I call when I’m having a bad day. I want you to be the woman I proudly introduce as my girlfriend and I want you to want me the way you used to. I want you to be the woman who knows me better than anyone else and I want to know you that same way. I want you, Callie. All of you."
She could feel the tears building behind her eyes and quickly rubbed them away. "Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t you just let me go?"
"I made that mistake once before. I won’t do it again."
"All we do is fight!"
"There are some things worth fighting for. I think we’re one of them."
"Stop saying things like that! You can’t just hate me one day and want to be with me the next! It doesn’t work that way and-"
"I got you something," he cut her off, sliding the package toward her. "Open it."
Leaning back, she shook her head. "I don’t know how to make it any clearer to you, George. We’re *not* okay. We can’t *be* okay."
"Just open it." He waited several seconds for her to take the package. When she refused, he peeled the tape back himself and tore the paper off. Smiling at her, he opened the box and held it out to her. "Go on. Please?"
Tissue paper covered whatever was inside and she lifted it, frowning a little when she begrudgingly pulled the baseball glove out. "I don’t get it."
He grinned, proud of himself for his ingenious idea. "I’m ready to catch you now."
She remembered all too well the speech she had given him, telling him not to chase her anymore unless he was ready to catch her. It moved her and she had to force herself not to smile, cry, and throw herself into his arms. Something had been written in the middle of the glove. Upon inspection she realized that it said ‘I Love You’ and her heart skipped several beats entirely.
Taking a deep breath she slowly laid it back in the box and closed the lid. It was all too much. Less than twenty four hours before he had gone out of his way to be completely horrible to her and now he was trying to profess his love. No, there was no way she could allow herself to believe it for a second. This was sympathy over her childhood and nothing more. "Thank you," she said softly.
George knew that she had seen what was written inside it. His grip tightened on the box and he said, "I meant it. I - I mean it. I love-"
"Callie, I’ve been rehearsing this all morning. Let me say what I have to say." He put the box on the table and moved a little closer, tilting her chin so he could look at her. "I asked you once before to give me time to mean it. I’ve had enough time. I am completely in love with you. I love everything about you and I want you to let me prove it. I’m asking - no - I’m begging for one more chance. Not because you owe me anything, but because I owe it to you. Let me love you the way you deserve. Please?"
"You don't have to say these things to me just because of what happened to me."
"You are the one who keeps dwelling on that! Not me! This isn't about what you went through. This is about you and me right now. This is about me finally listening to my heart and realizing that you're in it and you have been for a very long time! Yes, I care about what happened to you, but it has absolutely no bearing on what I'm trying to tell you. I want you. I -"
"We’ll figure it out as we go." He slid his hand down her jaw and cupped the back of her neck, gently urging her toward him. "I love you. I'm prepared to keep chasing you for as long as it takes, but I'm even more prepared to catch you now. Let me? Let me in. Let me love you."
He kissed her softly and leaned back, gazing into her eyes. When she didn’t pull away he kissed her again, harder this time, cupping both of her cheeks as he poured his emotion into it. He felt a hot tear against his face and didn’t know if it was hers or his. He didn’t care. When he felt her fingers thread through his hair he could have shouted with relief. Instead, he reluctantly broke away and pulled her into his arms, hugging her as tightly as he could. "Oh god," he whispered against her ear, breathing in her subtle vanilla scent. "I missed you so much."
Callie was crying. She buried her face against his neck and held onto him. Her heart won the battle of wills and effectively silenced her mind’s protests. She surrendered to him, giving up the fight. "I missed you, too. I’m so sorry, George, for what I did and for-"
He eased back, drying her cheeks. "Let’s make a deal. Starting right now the past stays in the past and we never mention it again. We make new memories instead. Okay?"
"Okay." She sniffled and pointed at the box he had given her. "The glove was really sweet, by the way."
"I was aiming for a better metaphor. The last one I attempted didn’t go over very well."
"You called me a pig."
"You called her a what?!" Louise O’Malley was suddenly standing next to their booth. "I forgot my purse and I’m damn glad I did! What is wrong with you, Georgie?"
George ducked when she swung her purse and slapped him on the arm with it. "Oww! What do you have in there? Rocks?"
"Apologize to Callie."
George glared at Callie. "Will you please tell her that I did not call you a pig?"
"I’m not going to lie to your mother."
"It was a *metaphor* and it was *weeks* ago."
Louise hit him again and drew back to go one more time, but Callie held her hand up. "It’s okay, Mrs. O’Malley, he was just about to apologize for it."
"Let’s hear it then! Right now!" Louise snapped, crossing her arms and tapping her foot. "Go ahead."
The look on his face was all the apology Callie needed. When he turned toward her to say whatever he was about to say, she kissed him and said, "You’re forgiven."
Louise was positively beaming when she led them across the street to see Harold.
Addison stared at her reflection in the floor to ceiling mirror that covered the closet. No matter how she tried to dress it up, the horrible brace on her leg was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. Her pretty dress slacks wouldn’t fit over it and she wasn’t about to try to fit it on top of such expensive designer clothing. She had settled on a black, slim Versace skirt, but the tan brace peeked from beneath it. Swearing so colorfully that she blushed, she used her crutches to hop away from the mirror and sat on the edge of the bed. It wasn’t technically her fault that she had great legs and liked short skirts to show them. She wished, however, that she had something a little longer.
She was attempting to slide her heels on, knowing that she’d only have weight on one of her feet anyway, when the someone knocked on the door. Gasping, she checked the clock and swore again. She had lost track of time as she tried on every article of clothing in her closet. She'd had lunch with Alex that day and now they were meeting for dinner. Her hair was still a mess and she had barely touched her face with makeup. With a defeated grimace, she hobbled to the door and opened it. "Hey," she said, pouting prettily.
Alex took in her appearance and grinned, holding out the bouquet of flowers he had picked up from a street vendor. Not only had he spent his rent money, the flowers effectively took his lunch money, but the smile that lit her features as she accepted them was well worth it. "Do you like them?"
"Wildflowers are my favorite! Everyone gets roses, but no one appreciates the simple beauty of wildflowers. Thank you."
"Let me have them back so you don’t fall." He took the flowers from her, watching as she turned and enjoying the view of her backside in the tight little skirt she wore. "How do you feel?"
"Exactly how I look."
She grinned at him. "I’m a mess. You can say it."
"You’re the most put together gorgeous mess I’ve ever seen."
"You’re not so bad yourself." She eyed him up and down. He was wearing the same tie he had worn earlier in the day and while it was still busy and not very appealing, the rest of him more than made up for it. She met his gaze as he set the flowers on the bureau and walked toward her. When he stopped in front of her, she took a deep breath and said, "Stop doing that."
"Doing what?" He asked, his gaze never leaving hers.
"Eye sex! You’re totally having eye sex with me."
"Do you like it?"
"Yes. No! I - shut up!"
"If my eye sex can do that to you just imagine what the rest of me can do."
"I’m just saying." He leaned forward, planting a chaste kiss on her lips. "We had reservations, right?"
"I am hungry," she replied, wanting nothing more than to devour him on the spot. "I need to finish getting ready. I can’t handle crutches and my hair brush and the balancing act in front of the mirror when I put my crutches down. I never want to be crippled again."
"Sit down." He nodded at the bed and walked past her, into the bathroom. When he returned he was carrying her silver handled hair brush.
She waited to see what he would do and bit her bottom lip when he slipped his jacket off and eased behind her on the bed, gently pulling the clip from her hair. She closed her eyes, moaning a little when he ran his fingers through her hair, massaging her scalp. Slowly, gently, he pulled the brush through, leaning forward to breathe her scent. She felt a tightening in her womb when he planted a kiss on the sensitive spot where he neck and shoulder met. His breath against her ear caused a fluttering in her stomach and she gasped.
Behind her, Alex smiled. His pants were suddenly far too tight across his groin and he let her soft, fiery locks slide through his fingers as he pulled the brush through. "Can I tell you something?"
"You can tell me anything as long as you don’t stop," she replied, tilting her head into his touch.
"I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want you. I can’t stop thinking about you. You’re burning me alive, Addison."
Swallowing hard, she turned to face him. "If I’m burning you it’s because you set me on fire."
He eased a lock of hair over her shoulder and studied her, drinking in her features. He could hear the change in her breathing, could see the lust in her eyes, but he shook his head. "Dinner. You said the reservation was at six o’clock. It’s ten to six now. We should go."
"Or stay." Addison reached out, touching his arm. "We could stay right here."
He kissed her softly, then brought her hand to his mouth and pressed another there. "We could, but the best fires are the ones that rage for a while, getting hotter and hotter. Those are the ones that take forever to quench. And I’ve got all night."
She felt like she was in a daze when he slipped off the edge of the bed and helped her to her feet. He leaned down, smoothing her skirt and checking the placement of her leg brace. When he stood up again, he winked at her and she heard herself say, "We are so skipping dessert and coming right back up here."
"Whatever you want," he told her, holding the door for her.
The Archfield Hotel was touted as one of the most impressive architectural designs in the United States. The lobby contained two very fine clothing stores, a coffee shop, an internet cafe and a casual steak house. On the top floor however, was Cloud Nine. Every reviewer had given it four stars and guaranteed that the wallet raping experience was well worth it.
Alex was eternally grateful that he had never charged anything on the one credit card he kept for emergencies. It had a decent spending limit and considering that his bank account was rapidly approaching the negatives, he thanked his lucky stars that he had signed up for it. The elevator that they took to Cloud Nine traveled up the outside of the building and he purposely kept his back turned to the window and faced the doors. When his ears popped, he knew he was high enough to have a heart attack if he looked down so he took a deep calming breath.
Addison turned away from the view and glanced his way, about to comment on the lightning storm in the distance. When she saw how pale he was she gasped. "Oh my god! I completely forgot that you’re scared of heights! Oh, Alex, we go to the lounge downstairs."
"No." He shook his head, not daring to turn and look at her. "This is fine."
The doors opened and he quickly stepped out of the elevator only to regret the move the second he realized that the entire room was glass and had a panoramic and very high view of the city. He took another deep breath and stepped aside to let her exit beside him. He watched as the Maitre ‘D greeted Addison by name and asked if she wanted her regular table. She quickly declined and spoke in a low voice that he couldn’t hear.
Addison watched as a table was prepared near the kitchen and a folding screen that was usually used to block the sun effectively blocked the window and the city below. She nodded her approval when another screen went up to block the kitchen and give them a ton of privacy. She stepped closer to Alex and said, "I’m sorry. I should have remembered."
He smiled at her, willing his legs to stop shaking. "Well, if I have a heart attack at least I’ll die happy."
"Your table is ready, Miss Addison," said one of the male hosts.
Alex glanced up and felt instant relief when he saw where they were heading. They were seated in a quiet corner and the screens blocked everything from his view. Except Addison. And he could stare at her for hours. "You come here a lot?" he asked, trying to sound casual as he waited for his anxiety to pass.
"I do. It’s quiet and rarely crowded." She reached across the table and took his hand. "So, have you always been scared of heights?"
"I fell out of a tree when I was four and broke my leg. From that point on I get a little freaked by just climbing a ladder."
"You must have fallen pretty far."
"Not really. I think the beating my old man gave me forced me to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground." He shrugged it off, but his tone gave away more than he realized.
"I’m sorry," Addison replied, watching him struggle to keep the emotion off his face. She couldn’t imagine anyone spanking a wounded child. It made her heart hurt.
A waiter appeared and rambled off the specials of the day. Addison ordered a glass of wine and Alex asked for the same. He normally would have requested a beer, but he wasn’t exactly sure if that was an option in such a swanky place. Glancing down, he studied the menu and was less than amused to see that it was written in French. Or possibly Italian. Either way he had no idea what was what. The prices on the other hand were crystal clear and he tried to calculate the interest on his credit card. He be paying for this meal a good seven years.
Addison saw the frown on his face and hid her smile behind her own menu. Bless him, he was certainly trying to impress her and she remembered all too well what an intern’s salary consisted of. Lowering the menu, she sighed. "You know what? Why don’t we have a couple glasses of wine here and then order pizza? Callie and I had pizza from that new place a few days ago and it was incredible. The breadsticks are to die for."
Alex narrowed his eyes at her. "Pizza?"
"I’m not in the mood for snails."
"Oh my god!" He made a disgusted face. "Who would be?"
"They’re actually pretty good. An acquired taste, but really not bad."
"Then you get snails." He scanned the menu again. "I can have pizza any time. Maybe I should have studied more languages in college. If we were going to the Mexican place I’d be fine. I’m fluent in Spanish."
"Do you like chicken?"
"Real chicken or something like snails dressed up as chicken?"
She had to laugh. "They make a very nice barbeque glazed chicken breast here. Just ask for a number nineteen. It comes with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley."
They placed their order when the waiter returned with their wine. He left the bottle in a pretty crystal wine dish and another waiter brought a basket of fancy croissants. As Alex buttered his bread he said, "So, Addison Forbes Montgomery, where did you grow up?"
"New York," she replied. "I’m an East Coast girl through and through."
"But you stay in Seattle?"
"There’s really nothing back there for me."
"Derek’s family was really the only family I had. My parents died when I was still pretty young and my grandparents raised me. They both passed away a few years ago."
"I’m sorry to hear that."
She nodded. "What about you?"
"My mom split when I was a kid and left me with my dad."
"Were you close to him?"
Alex usually guarded his secrets with everything he had, but something about Addison and the nonjudgmental look on her face made his defenses drop. "No. He resented me. I was inconvenient. We lived over a bar and it was hard for him to bring random women home when I was asleep on the sofa."
Addison had experienced a very different, very pampered youth, but she could still put two and two together. "He abused you," she said softly, not asking but confirming that she knew.
"He was an alcoholic."
"That doesn’t make it right."
"No, but it helps to say it." He took a sip of his wine and smiled at her. "You probably grew up in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan, right?"
"Close. My grandparents had an estate just outside the city."
"Ooh, an estate."
"Trust me, Alex, no one gets out of their childhood without scars. No matter where they grew up."
He held his glass up. "I can definitely drink to that."
She clinked her glass to his and smiled. "So, why did you become a doctor?"
"Because a doctor saved my life. My old man started to get really physical with me as I got bigger. When I was twelve, he put me in the hospital. One of the doctors refused to believe that I fell down the stairs *again* and convinced me to talk. I went into foster care that same night and a few months later that same doctor welcomed me into his home. I figured becoming a doctor would say thank you better than anything else I could do."
"Did they adopt you?"
"They tried, but they couldn’t find my mother to sign her rights away. I was allowed to stay with Dr. Gilbert and his wife, though. When I turned eighteen I was no longer a ward of the state and Dr. Gilbert paid for medical school."
"He’s the reason I want to go into Plastics. He basically put my nose back on after it had been broken a dozen times."
Addison shook her head and put her glass down. "Do you ever hear from your dad?"
"No. I wouldn’t want to, either." He reached across the table and took her hand again. "That’s enough deep and disturbing talk for one night."
She leaned a little closer to him, resting her chin in the palm of her hand. "So, what else do you want to talk about?"
"What color panties are you wearing?"
"Who said I was wearing panties?"
Alex loosened his tie, watching her through hooded eyes. "Is it getting hot in here or is just me?"
She chewed her bottom lip, remembering the way his hands had felt in her hair earlier. "It’s not just you."
"Let’s get boxes to go," he suggested.
"What happened to the best fires being the ones that burn the longest?"
"I was talking out of my ass. I can’t take it another second."
She smiled when the waiter appeared, setting the elegantly displayed food down in front of them. Alex looked at her expectantly, but she picked up her fork and took a bite of her lobster, closing her eyes in ecstasy. He watched as she assured the waiter that everything was perfect and that they didn’t need anything else and then she smiled innocently at him. "I think you better eat, Alex. You’ll need your strength."
He was actually glad they would be there a while longer.
He needed a little time to coax the raging hard on away.