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Caleb Holmes
Overdue Discussions
Sun Apr 17, 2005 00:46

“Nope.” Nope?! Oh God, he was going to hyperventilate.

“I’m deliriously joyful, Caleb. Happy isn’t lavish enough to describe how I feel about you.” That had to be one of the most equally romantic and decidedly disgusting things he had ever heard Lucy say. It was more disgust with himself as his insides melted at her words, though. He was not supposed to be a romantic! Resisting the urge to whine, he began to feel marginally better as Lucy bestowed affection upon him in a tender fashion. Yes, he knew damned well he was an attention hog. So what? Ooh, kisses! It was difficult to not begin squirming right then and there, deciding that his fingers could trail along the girl’s bare legs.

“I love you, Caleb Holmes. That won’t change because you sprung a family on me. It won’t change when you’re old and gray.” And then she had to go and start nibbling on his neck! One hitched breath later and he simply had to exact revenge. It really wasn’t his fault that they ended up on the ground! They just sort of… tumbled. Right, that was it! But just to show exactly what Lucy was doing to him, Caleb rotated his hips in small, circular motions, watching for her reaction.

“Ahem!” Caleb froze, trying to identify the voice through a haze of lust. Crap. Who was it?! He wasn’t willing to look, not yet. “No one answered the front door.” Now he really did want to whine! Gaze carefully lifted, following Lucy’s until two sets of eyes rested upon… Moira. Damn that girl! She should know better than that! “I’ll just wait inside. Help myself to some coffee.” Right… What the hell was going on here?

“Uh, we’re going shopping? And… we’re all having dinner tonight at Scalos?” Wait, we? Oh shit. That innocent expression wasn’t helping him any here! “It was Moira and your father’s idea!” Sure it was… Of course, there was no other suitable reply but retaliation for Lucy’s ‘forgetfulness’. And he loved every moment of it.

“I love you. Have fun with your… uh, day.” Why’d she say it like that? And Moira had been smirking at him the entire time she waited for Lucy in the kitchen! It was enough to drive any man insane. But at least the kiss made up for it, while they had a voyeur! Hmph.

“Oh, dad’s coming by to visit in a bit! Byeeee!”

… Uhm.

“What… the… hell?” Caleb gaped at the empty spot that the two women had just inhabited, wondering what he missed. Moira took off with his fiancée, and his father was coming by? From what he remembered, the only time that man dropped in for a visit was to reprimand someone. Shit! Refusing to give into the urge to yank his hair out by the handfuls, he knew he had to find a way to rid himself of the nervous energy. Shower time!

Of course, this led to the same fanatical cleaning that he always found himself doing before and after a shower in the bathroom. Even Caleb wasn’t quite certain why he did those things, but at least Lucy would never have to complain about dirty towels on the floor, the toilet seat left up, or any other number of complaints that normally plagued women. But now the oaf was clean shaven and smelling like some sort of herbal soap. Perhaps he had been a hippie in disguise all these years? Really, he could only blame Lucy for the hidden character flaws in him; he could be himself when around her, and they happened to surface during that time! Yes, all of her fault.

Caleb only got as far as a pair of shorts before the doorbell rang. God, Moira really had been serious when she said Dad was stopping by! Well, at least he had had fair warning, otherwise it was likely he would have gone back to sleep like the typical male. Grinning at the thought, he bound down the stairs and skidded on a rug in the foyer, sliding neatly to the door like it was all planned. In reality his heart thumbed in his chest, absolutely certain he had been doomed to fall on his ass. Gingerly stepping off the flying carpet, he snatched the doorknob, and threw the barrier open.

“G’morning…” It was a safe sort of statement! Gesturing for his father to come inside, the door was shut and locked behind his entrance. Unlike the other night, James wasn’t in dress uniform; apparently he had opted for the casual look, which consisted of a polo shirt and khakis that looked like they had been starched one too many times in the laundry. But the older gentleman was glancing about the house curiously, as if inspecting it for the first time. Of course, he had seen it filled with people that night; theater rats at that. It had to be slightly unnerving, seeing his eldest son with those type of people. “Have you eaten? Or would you like some coffee?” Scary. Homemaker Holmes.

“No… Thank you.” The pleasantry seemed to be an afterthought as James eyed his son. “Do you always run about barely clothed?” Uhm… His eyes widened upon realizing that he had forgotten the tank top on the bed upstairs. Crap! “I’ll wait.” Maybe it was Caleb’s flummoxed expression that caused the retired man to grin. Was he blushing?! Mortified at having reverted to being an eighteen year old once more, the man practically ran up the stairs and dove into the bedroom for cover.

“Three different productions of Phantom?” James asked loudly, peering toward one of the glass cases in the parlor that held a number of theatrical trinkets. A few from Caleb, far more from Lucy; fond memories all in one. Yes, clothing! House slippers as well, and he was hopping down the steps two at a time. “Two at the Playhouse and one at… the Bay Theater of Performing Arts?” He really hated that name, it sounded like something Ray had picked himself.

“Mmhmm. After closing night here, we had to leave. The first place we went was San Francisco, under the guise of a married couple that were actors. When they found Lucy there, we were sent to this little place in the middle of nowhere. Fargo.” The seemingly extravagant shudder really wasn’t over-acting. He had hated it that much. “But then she found Rob’s contact information, and we were shipped out to Santa Fe, though I’m not sure how Lucy managed that.” Caleb shrugged slightly. “Things got a little… hairy after that.”

“How so?”

“Well… Are you sure you wouldn’t like some coffee? Tea? Juice?” James seemed resigned to the fact that he would have to give in to get the rest of it out of Caleb, and motioned onward. The kitchen! “Rob had taken me from cov-ops to information exchange, and then the nonsense with the Avellino family. Regular or decaf?”

“Regular. What do you mean, cov-ops?”

“Uhm…” Rattle, rattle. Ah-ha! Holding out two kinds of coffee and making his father choose one, Caleb continued, happy to be able to do something. “The Agency recruited me after my first four years, and it went from there. Uhm… Right. Just think nasty thoughts, and you’ve got it. Afterward, I spent a few years in London under the guise of an analyst, and eventually returned here. With no downtime, I was tossed into the utter tripe that consumed the families in this area.” The coffee was brewing, but he didn’t stop moving. Breakfast! Hey, he was famished. “Once Lucy and I were in Santa Fe, Rob began grooming me for his job. At least, I think that’s what he was doing. At the office, he was the only one that had more authority than I did. How do you like your omelet?”

“Whatever you’re making is fine, Caleb. So you were a suit on the west coast. That still doesn’t explain why you were Gino Maurizio again.”

“Well… no. In my spare time, I had made it a project to dig up information on the Avellino case, trying to find out who would help Sonny get Lucy.” That only helped to muddle matters further, expressed by James furrowing his brow. “All right. After the last performance, I dropped Lucy off at the Avellino home. I wasn’t but a few blocks away when I saw her bag in the car. Considering I was trying to get into Bernardo’s good graces, I went to return it. When I got there though…” For a moment, Caleb’s gaze darkened in memory, so easily able to picture the tableau that had unfolded before him.

“The eggs.” Huh? “They’re burning.”

“Oh, shit!” Quickly turning off the flame and flipping the potatoes one last time, he continued with the routine. “Sonny – Sonny Piazzo – was on top of Lucy in the middle of the street, beating the shit out of her. I don’t even think I knew it was him at the time. His face met with the lamppost though, and I tried to help Lucy. Bernardo was already dead, and I had promised him that I’d take care of her.” Spooning out appropriate portions of food and pouring the coffees, Caleb settled down at the breakfast bar, completely unaware he was jumping around in the timeline. “The little bastard shot me! So I put an end to it.”

“Well…” James eyed the arm that his son had gestured to, and shook his head. “While that isn’t a bad example of patching yourself up, you still should’ve gone to the doctor.” Shrug. “Sonny Piazzo’s body was found in the Avellino home’s rubble, but apparently there were signs that he had been beaten…” Pause. He eyed Caleb for a moment, easily coming to the conclusion. “Ah. Point taken. So one elaborate and hardly necessary death hoax later…”

“… We got screwed. Hard.” Caleb punctuated the word by stabbing a bit of his breakfast, only to chew thoughtfully. “Things had come together in Santa Fe for us. Lucy was finally singing again, and we were expecting. But once I had put the pieces together as to who was helping Sonny, Rob and I were heading back to New York to put an end to it all. I lost the fight when I tried to refuse to be bait. Cannon fodder! So Gino had a horrible accident, just woke up, lots of melodramatic soap opera bullshit. I did everything I could to get word out that Gino had returned, and started at the Playhouse.”

“Where it all ended. How’d it happen?” It was amazing how easily Caleb was goaded into telling the story.

“It was long before practice started, and I was killing time like I did every day. Three men entered, asking if I was Gino. When I confirmed the statement, they opened fire on me in the theater.” God had been kind that day, because no one beside himself and the three Italians had been harmed. Small pittance. “Only one talked, and he demanded to know where Luciana was. Apparently they thought to wrench it out of me or some silly nonsense like it was a movie. I was hit in the arm as I got one of them, then another went down. I just didn’t have the cover I needed, nor did I manage to kill one the first time. By the end of it all I had been shot… Four times? I think that’s right.”

“Devon didn’t even recognize you with all the blood. Nor was he entirely pleased about the medics in suits. Then again, he has a horrible tendency to wear a set of blinders.” If that wasn’t the truth! “But there’s something you’re not telling me.” It wasn’t the dodgy look that Caleb had about him; James was simply an intelligent man, and saw loose ends here.

“I guess I was out for a few days, something like that. Rob had flown Lucy out to Fort Hamilton, and everything fell apart. She smacked Rob for using me as bait, an MP subdued her, and a few hours later I was waking up. But then she was miscarrying. It was too late…” Oh hell no, he’d be damned if he cried now! “I don’t remember much until later. Apparently I beat the MP with a steel rod from the bed and demanded his demotion.” He had definitely lost his appetite now. Shoving the plate aside, Caleb shook his head. “Everything’s been such a mess.”

“It certainly seems that way.” Thanks for the pep talk, pops! “It isn’t for us to question God and what He does, son. Perhaps it was His way of saying that neither of you are ready for that step yet.” Ouch. The truth hurts. “The way you’ve spoken tells me that you haven’t had much experience in this. Or relationships in general. You explain in great detail the technical aspects, but can’t seem to explain the more intimate ones. What were you doing for the Agency?” Apparently he thought the answer lay in that question.

“Well… That’s a long story. More coffee?”

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    • Overdue Discussions — Caleb Holmes, Sun Apr 17 00:46
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