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Caleb Holmes
Uncomfortable Meals
Thu May 26, 2005 21:51

He… chuckled.

Caleb’s gaze narrowed as the man stepped further into the house. This really couldn’t be anyone other than the infamous Medici. After all, what man would walk in with his own Italian lackey? Well, besides Caleb and Lucy, apparently. Lofting a brow at the way the older gentleman surveyed the damage, little done by the ‘small’ tumble Devon took down the stairs, and more from the baseball bat that was still on the sofa. For a few long moments, he eyed it thoughtfully, wondering if Lucy would really appreciate that.

“I think, cara mia, that this wedding business must be handled by a professional. It is painfully obvious that you are in way over your head. A bride should not have the stress of planning a wedding put fully on her shoulders. Two weeks, Luciana, and you will wed your spy.” What the hell was this fool talking about?! Caleb’s head snapped up, wondering where Medici got his information. Did the bloody walls talk now? “If you will still have him.” Oh shit, he did not just say that, damn it! Muttering a few choice things beneath his breath, half hoping that the old goat would hear, Caleb snorted when the man went on a tirade.

“Did you really think I would stand by and see my granddaughter shamed? If this had been a proper courtship with none of the problems that you have dealt with, I would have simply come to the wedding to give gifts and a blessing. She deserves to walk down that aisle looking like a fairy tale princess to marry her prince. Why she chose you is beyond me, but she did choose. Therefore, as the grandfather of the bride, I will spare nothing to make sure she is happy.” That bastard! A litany of curses rolled through Caleb’s mind, ones that couldn’t roll off the tongue because he was already delivering a retort.

“Oh HELL NO! She had to run because of YOUR MEN, Medici! You should have kept the leash tighter than you have been! Lucy deserves the best in life, not her grandfather's associates attempt to kill her! Indirectly, it is because of YOU that we've lost everything, that SHE'S lost everything! I place the blame for the last year of hell at your feet!” Perhaps many people did not raise their voices to this man, judging by the look on the Italian lapdog’s face in the background, but he could’ve cared less.

“MY men? The people who work for me have been living in Italy. I swore to that son-of-a-bitch who fathered the man who took my daughter from me that I would not interfere at all in their lives. I swore this oath on the steps of the Cathedral where they married. I have NOT been back to the New England area since then, Mister Holmes. The ... leash, as you put it, was not mine to hold. It was Bernardo's! And HE failed MY family.” Ooh, the big-bad Italian said a curse word! Tsk, such a naughty Don. Caleb rolled his eyes when the man stalked out, feeling rather childish, but justified in doing so. Figures that Lucy had the last word.

“You will apologize to my grandfather for that. And mean it! He is doing his family duty the only way he knows how, and I love him for it. Please don’t make me choose between my love and my family a second time. Please.” Ouch. Damn her! Why’d she have to go and throw in that particular dramatic barb? He was feeling rather caustic at the moment, and figured that he’d need to at least get his temper under control. Ah-ha, perfect!

“John, what the hell is going on here?” Yes, he was demanding, self-assured in the thought that he was still well above this man. But that was partially the problem here. Caleb was no longer truly with the government, just like John. Simply two men.

“You wouldn’t understand,” the hulking Italian muttered, glancing outside while shaking his head. Caleb didn’t have to act as if he were offended, he actually was! What would this brute know? John must have noticed the look, because he shot a glare. “You’ve been a lot of things, Caleb,” the man said quietly, watching Lucy and Matteo through the open door. “But it’s been years since you’ve fully immersed yourself in a family, and never as an adult.” His soothing tones were meant to take the sting out, but it didn’t quite work. “And never in an Italian family, let alone one that was Catholic. Trust me, you don’t understand. You won’t for a while yet.” But then the conversation was over.

“Show me to your room, my dear. We will have you packed in no time.” What?! For the umpteenth time, Caleb’s head snapped around, jaw tight and eyes wide with the statement. She wasn’t leaving him, was she?!

“You referred to me as your betrothed. I cannot, in good faith, stay here until we are wed, Caleb. Grandfather wants to hold the wedding in two weeks. That is … if you still want me.” Crap. Doing his best not to hang his head when Lucy’s voice cracked, he shot a look at the Italian thug, before glaring at the destruction he had wrought through the home he had bought; with dirty money, he supposed. It hadn’t been honest pay, but he had followed orders. Shit, why was he even bothering to go off on a tangent? Anything to get his mind off of… this.


Twenty minutes later Lucy’s tears had dried on the ride over to the restaurant, and he had refused to raise his voice, even minutely, to the girl. Instead he had driven the entire way with one hand intertwined tightly with hers, not wanting to let go. Hell, the hug hadn’t lasted as long as he would have liked, whispering apologies into her ear. But it didn’t get any better from there.

Who the hell were the dozen people Matteo had reserved the tables for? Caleb, somehow, felt mildly unsurprised that his family was sitting there. All looking rather anxious and stiff, understandably. Who could blame them? Yet another Italian thug, one that had likely gone knocking at their doors and demanded their presence at the restaurant. But one person was suspiciously missing; Devon. Had he been left out intentionally? Or had the foolish man not answered the call? Six to one, and half a dozen to the other, to be honest. It was enough that the men had a ‘fed’ sitting here at the table, perhaps they couldn’t take a police officer as well. Oh, Caleb wasn’t going to disillusion himself into believing that the Medici knew nothing of his family. No, just like Bernardo, the man would have done his homework. Which was an infuriating and respectable quality, all rolled into one.

John, at least, had the temerity to wander over when the men began speaking with Lucy in Italian. God, he really needed to learn this language, and in a hurry! With no horrid tourist lines, if at all possible. Of course, Caleb received the truncated version of the quick conversation, but it was enough. A bodyguard? What the hell sort of agreement had Lucy made with this madman?! Trying to school his expression to one of serenity, and failing miserably might we add, he held Lucy’s chair for her like the gentleman he normally was, slipping into the one on her left. Partially because he wished to be close to her, but also because John and Sean had opted for seats on that side. An interpreter would not be amiss at this point.

Oh, but wasn’t this uncomfortable! Silence ensued, the Holmes clan shooting covert glances under the cover of menus, obviously wondering what the hell was going on. Well, Caleb couldn’t have this happening, and opted to introduce the lot of them so he wouldn’t be such a crass and callous fool. Now he was damn well determined to prove to Matteo that he was not some American jackass, and a federal official to boot. God, he had retired! Why couldn’t he get a week’s fukking peace through all of this?

“Sir.” What, Caleb could be cordial? And he didn’t even grit his teeth when addressing Matteo! Oh, it had become a game in his mind now. “Obviously you know of my family. Allow me to introduce…” He went down the line, eldest to youngest. The Holmes seemed to be put a bit more at ease by this small portion of normalcy that there were accustomed to; Moira even offered Matteo a kindly smile that was more fitting to favored grandfather or elderly uncle than a mob boss from the old country.

Conversation waxed and waned throughout the splendid meal. Every topic imaginable was covered; from John’s shoulder injury, and all the details of how long he would be in the restraining sling, to the new wedding date. Oh, that had been greeted with wide eyes, but what could Caleb say? They were going to fly out to Vegas instead? Not only would they have Matteo to contend with at that point, but James as well. Frankly, he feared his father more, if only because the man knew his history. Every sordid detail, he had held nothing back. And it was going to bite him in the ass if he wasn’t careful.

The farewells… God, it tore him up inside to see Lucy willingly go with Matteo and his lapdog. A hug and a kiss was all he got, and was all he would get until their wedding night. This was fukking preposterous!

Caleb already missed her.

That was it!

“Caleb, where are Lucy’s keys?” There the man sat on the edge of the bed, disheveled in his bed clothing. A hand despondently pointed toward the closet, muttering something about a peace keychain. Ah-ha! Found it. John wasn’t ashamed to say he ran.

But how the hell was he going to drive the vintage Bug with one hand? Muttering to himself as he weaved a path through Italians cleaning and moving things in and out of the home, a few murmured words of greeting in their own language. He had been the one to answer the door that morning, properly chewed out by Caleb for even answering it. A gift from the grandfather, those men had claimed, before swarming into the house like ants on a hill.

At least the cars hadn’t been blocked in. Popping the door, he had enough of a mind to push the seat back before getting in. God damn that was a tight fit! Quickly taking stock of the car, he was astonished to find that the transmission was an automatic and not manual. How much had Caleb sank into this car for Lucy’s sake? Shaking his head, John was pulling out of the drive like a madman, rushing off down the street.

But where the hell was he going to go?

Visiting Lucy wasn’t exactly an option at this point. Well, it was, but not one that he would employ at the moment. That was the problem, he knew so few people in this area. A visit to the home area would be amiss; he hadn’t been there in too long. It was too dangerous, especially while he was injured. There was truly only one choice left, and one he felt terrible about imposing on. But he had to get out!

Bang! Bang! Bang!

John stared at the door gloomily, wondering if he had made a mistake in coming here. Sean obviously wasn’t here, and he was just wasting his time. Sighing, he began to turn from the door, only to finally hear a stumble and watch it wrench open by—Oh God. Boxers! Well, at least they weren’t tighty whiteys. That just would’ve been amusing. But, before he even realized it, he was shouting.

“Caleb is driving me NUTS!” Shit, he hadn’t meant to say that, had he? Any rise in libido that he had felt around Sean was currently nonexistent at this point in time. Standing there, he could only fume silently before being offered entrance to the small apartment. Why did the boy live in such a tiny box?

“Sit, make yourself comfortable. Can I get you anything? A beer?” This early? Still muttering to himself, John shook his head and took a seat on the futon, incidentally managing to tangle himself up with a sheet. Damn it! Oh, that was it, he gave up on this. Kicking the bedding to the floor, he chanced a glance toward Sean. Boxers and a smile. He had obviously woken the man up, and felt horrible about it.

“I’m sorry…” John murmured, sighing as he drank in the image of Sean shirtless. Nice, almost good enough to—Gah! Bad Italian, bad. “It’s just… After dinner last night, and everything that’s happened with Devon, Caleb has been on edge. God! Signore Medici,” he couldn’t help but give the man his proper Italian title, “had men come to the house this morning to clear out everything Caleb destroyed.” It sounded like the older federal agent was having a temper tantrum.

“Come here…” A crooked finger before he could tug on Sean’s hand, pulling the sleepy man over. Right onto his lap! John buried his face in the crook of the actor’s neck, inhaling deeply of his scent. He couldn’t believe his forwardness now, but it was comforting. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.” Mumble, mumble! But it was true, even if he was snuggling Sean into a more wakeful state. It was sad to realize that he wanted comfort, even in its basest sense.

Surely he could do this…

  • Mutiny on the BountyItalians, Irishmen and A Lady, Tue May 24 22:21
    Lucy had fretted in silence the entire time she sat next to her grandfather. It was exceedingly unusual for someone to just swoop down out of nowhere and claim relations. At least, it had never... more
    • Uncomfortable Meals — Caleb Holmes, Thu May 26 21:51
      • Frustrated FedsCaleb Holmes, Thu May 26 21:52
        Caleb couldn’t believe it! Seated there on the edge of the bed, he listened to the sounds of Italians working downstairs. Once already he had shouted at them to leave, moved them toward the... more
        • Nothin' Like a DameLucy and Penny, Thu Jun 2 10:51
          “Ciao, innamorato…” The first sight of the hulking agent just about did Lucy in. Sure, it had been exactly two days since she had agreed to all this fuss, and let me tell you, the wait was killing... more
          • Helping the NeedyCaleb Holmes, Fri Jun 3 06:26
            “So its some production about war and all the nonsense it entails on a more humanistic level, coupled with everyday prejudices that all people must overcome?” Caleb paused, pulling a drag off the... more
            • Surprising DiscoveriesJohn Slepchoski, Fri Jun 3 06:27
              How the hell did he get here ? It had all began so innocently just a few days ago. Finding comfort with Sean on the morning that Caleb began his rampage, which led to obtaining sanctuary for the... more
              • Flashing StalkersCaleb Holmes, Fri Jun 3 06:27
                He was going to go nuts! It had been nearly a week without seeing Lucy, and there was only so much he could do to occupy his time. The theater was running as smoothly as it could at current, the... more
                • Pantaloons and tunics!Medicis, Sun Jun 5 16:05
                  One week from today, I will go to sleep a married woman. Lucy stared at herself in the bathroom mirror, suddenly wishing she looked older than sixteen. Sure, she could appear in her early twenties... more
                  • Courtesans and eunuchs!Sean Cafferty/Penny Alexander, Sun Jun 5 16:09
                    Thunk! “That makes three in a row, Legs.” Arms shot forward to catch the orange ball as it rebounded off the garage door, then cradled it against a curvy chest. “Yeah. And?” Penny had been mouthier... more
                    • W Wedding Tonight!Cast of Thousands, Sun Jun 5 16:11
                      Moira was an evil woman, Lucy decided. Sitting on her ass in the middle of the parlor, while Penny, the redhead, Jane and several Italian relatives of the female persuasion piled wrapped gifts on her ... more
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