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Won't Give Up Easy



Callie walked into the meeting room. A bunch of Blackhawks were already there. One in particular caught her eye; Patrick was sitting alone away from the group. He had his head in his hands. She plopped down next to him. He looked up and gave her a small smile.

“Hey, Cal.” He was so quiet. It was so different of the man she had met, the one who was filled with confidence. It made her mad at herself. It was her fault he was like this.

“I’m so sorry, Pat. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have let her drag me out that night.” He gave her a confused look and wrapped his arm around him. It was friendly, comforting.

“Cal, what are you talking about? It’s not your fault. You couldn’t control Kennedy. I’ll be okay, don’t worry about me.” His words mirrored Jon’s. The two men where better friends than they would ever realize or admit.

“I just don’t want you to be sad.” She shrugged. Jon walked in and eyes the two, giving her a wink and Patrick a nod and a stern look. But he moved on to sit with the other guys.

Callie was really glad that Jon had taken her up on her whole friendship offer. They’d been spending a lot of time together. Despite her general lack of enthusiasm when Kennedy lived with her, she was lonely. After work, he would always come over with her, watch a movie, and she would cook for them. At the end of the night, he never pushed her. He kissed her forehead or cheek and left.

Her own warnings to take it slow were crumbling; she could feel herself falling for him. If he pressed the subject on moving forward into a relationship again, Callie knew she wouldn’t object. Concentrating with him around was nearly impossible. His smell, the heat that radiated off his body, everything about him just made her feel intoxicated. It was almost too much. Even now, with him all the way across the room, she could feel the heat between them.

“Why don’t you just say yes already? You two are already playing house.” Patrick whispered. Callie rolled her eyes. The team meeting was brief. The GM and Coaches talked about the importance of dedication and hard work. It was to get the guys pumped but they already were. They were all ready for the season to start and Callie could not be more on board with them.

After everyone started to filter out, Patrick grabbed her hand and held her in place. “I’m going to be worried about you, while we’re gone on road trips. Being all alone in the city is a bad idea.” Callie sighed, Patrick’s concern was misplaced.

“Pat, I’m a big girl. I came to the city by myself. I can be here by myself.” She smiled at him but it didn’t help remove the scowl from his face.

“By the looks of it at the bar the other week, you didn’t seem to be able to handle it yourself.” She glared at him. “Look, hear me out. Stay someplace closer to the rink. My place is even farther out than yours, stay at Jon’s. I’ve already talked to him about it. He said it’d be a good idea.”

This was all Jon’s idea, she knew it. He was going behind her back and making plans without discussing them with her. She was a little pissed about it. Why didn’t he just come up to her himself, he had been coming over every night that week. He went around her and told Patrick and thought that their friend could convince her. Well, he would be hearing about this.

“Thanks for the suggestions, Patrick. But I’m fine. I’ll be fine.” She walked out of the room and made her way to the locker room so she could go sit on her spot on the wall and calm down.

By the time practice was nearly over, Jon decided to make his way over to her. He had a shit eating grin. After seeing her glare, his skating slowed. When he reached her side, Callie remained silent. “Is something wrong?” He acted so innocent, if she weren’t so mad at him, she might actually want to kiss his boyish face. Hell, she still did.

“I’m mad at you but you’re at practice. We’ll talk about it later.” With that Callie dismissed him, he skated off, bumped into Patrick, and they talked before he shrugged, leaving Jon to his own thoughts.


Jon dressed slowly, while he wanted to know why Callie was mad at him, he was afraid of messing up and ruining what was starting to develop between them. When he finished, he found her in her office. “Are we going to hash this out here? Practice is over.” Callie wrinkled her nose.

“That would be distasteful to fight in a workplace.” She breezed past him. The vanilla scent he always smelled on her caught him. As always, it almost brought him to his knees with need for her. By the time he made it out to the lot, she in her car and making her way onto the road.

Being alone in the car, Jon came up with various situations that would cause her to be mad at him and could come up with none. What had he done? By the time he made it to her place, he was convinced she was just messing around with him. His own little world was ruined when he walked in and saw her fuming on the couch.

Callie sat with her legs tucked under her, leaning against the arm of her couch. Her hand was abusing the buttons on the remote, flipping channels faster than she could possibly see them. “You shouldn’t have gone behind my back and come up with a little plan with Patrick for when you’re away.”

“Oh.” He knew it was a lame response. A part of him knew she was right to be a little mad but another part of him raged at the fact she was upset with him being concerned about her safety.

“I’m a grown woman. I can make decisions for myself.” She was standing in front of him now, she didn’t look all to angry, just a little miffed. Of course, she was still the most adorable creature. Her cute little button nose was flaring and her eyes grew smaller as she squinted at him.

Jon grabbed her hips and pushed her against the closest wall. He placed his arms on both sides of her, she was trapped. They were so close he could feel her hot breath on him. Leaning in to her, he skimmed his nose on her cheek and smiled as he heard her breathing hitch and accelerate slightly.

“Is it so wrong that I’m concerned about you and want to keep you safe? Would it be so bad if you stayed at my place while we’re gone?” He whispered to her.

“I might have considered it if you had just told me yourself instead of recruiting Pat.” Her own lips rubbed against his cheek. If he wasn’t going to get to take her right then and there, this had to end. Jon pulled back and placed his hands on both sides of her face. Callie turned her cheek into his hand, rubbing her nose to his thumb. It made his heart melt.

“I’m sorry. I’ll talk to you first from now on.” He rubbed her cheeks and kissed her forehead. Glad their first fight was over; he led her to the couch. Callie for once snuggled into his side instead of retreating to the other side of the couch. Jon wrapped his arms around her. It felt right. Callie belonged with him and he wondered what it would take for her to realize it.

Callie’s phone rang, instead of leaving him, she turned so her back was pressed against him, and he kept his arm wrapped around her waist. For where he was sitting he could hear what the person on the phone was saying. From the husky voice, he could tell it was Jeremy.

“Hey, Jeremy.” Jon could hear the smile in her voice.

“What’re you up to little lady?”

“Oh, Jon’s over. We’re just watching some TV.” That’s not exactly what they were doing but he’d let it go for now.

“I see you listened when I said it was alright for you to date players.” The piqued his interest. She had asked Jeremy if it was alright to date him. Why didn’t she tell him? Callie made a noise that neither agree nor denied. “Well, you better be packed for tomorrow. Don’t let the boy be a distraction.” Callie shot out of his arms and sitting straight now.

“Jon’s not a distraction.” He smiled. “And pack for what?” From the side of her face, he could see her eyebrows were scrunched together and she just looked generally confused. He couldn’t hear Jeremy anymore since she moved. She just made agreeing noises into the phone before thanking him and saying goodbye.

Callie turned and smiled at him. “So, I guess there was no reason for me to really get mad at you or for you to even try to get me to stay at your place.”

Jon’s smiled turned shit eating. She was going with them on their first road trip. “You’re going with us.” Callie scooted back into his arms.

“Yeah, I’m going to pack a little later. Jeremy told me we’re leaving right after the game tomorrow. I didn’t know I was supposed to go. He never told me before.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re coming with us. Maybe since we have an extra day off, we can go sightseeing. It’d be fun, you know, to see this nation’s capital.” Immediately, he felt Callie stiffen against his side. The hand that had been rubbing slow, soothing circles on his abdomen stopped. He even heard her breathing hitch. “What’s wrong?”

There was silence for a minute. “I’m going home for the first time in five years.” He let that sink in. Jon knew that she didn’t get along well with her family, he thought about what that might do to Callie. Would she be sad or angry being forced to go back?

“I’ll be fine.” He must have spoken aloud. “I guess I can finally see my baby brother for the first time since then.”

“Baby brother? I thought you didn’t get along with your family.” Jon wasn’t accusing, just curious. No matter how many conversation they had, she never really talked about her family, just her sister. He didn’t even know that she had other siblings.

“Yes, well, he’s not really a baby. He’s twenty one. In the Navy, I’m proud of the kid.” She looked up and smiled at him. He could see that he loved the boy, it was in her eyes.

“Do you have other siblings?” She nodded but he waited for her to elaborate.

“Along with my sister and the brother I just mentioned. I have one other older brother, a younger brother, and a little sister. But it’s been years since I’ve spoken to them. They agreed with my parents.” Callie left it at that cryptic note; Jon knew not to push her when she was willingly sharing. “You know, I don’t really know who I’m going to cheer for when you play the Caps. They’re part of the reason I love the sport so much, you know?”

Jon raised a brow at her. Was she really going to cheer for the rival team? Was she really going to root against him? He thought about it for a moment. “How about you just cheer for me? You know, just cheer for me to do well.” She smiled at him and reached up to kiss his cheek and whispered yes against his cheek. It felt like they were a couple. It felt like they belonged together.

“Damn, I just bought stuff to make cookies.” He laughed at her. Of course she would be worried about that.

“I could definitely go for some cookies now.” She smiled up at him.

“I guess I could make them for the guys?” He just nodded. “If I can make the cookies and pack in time for sunset, can we go on your rooftop?” Her eyes were so hopeful; he couldn’t have said no even if he planned to.

“Of course.”


Callie waited for her little brother to pick up his phone, she smiled when she heard his deep voice.
“Hey, baby brother. Guess who’s coming in town to visit.” There was silence.

“You’re not Callie. Are you really? You haven’t been home since you left.” Her little brother, Jason sounded shocked. She couldn’t exactly be mad at that, she made it her every intention to never go back.

“Yeah, well, the Blackhawks are playing in DC and I thought I’d visit you. Where are you living? I want an address shithead.” That was accompanied by more silence. She wasn’t going to like the answer. For the first time since she got home, she was glad she was alone and that Jon had gone to check on the cookies while she packed.

“I live at the house.” Now it was her turn to be silent. She wanted to visit her brother but she was not going back there if her parents were. “They don’t live here anymore, Callie. They actually went through with the whole RV thing. They left me the house.” That should have stung, the fact her father didn’t leave his firstborn the house should have stung but then again, it was the man who kicked his step children out, even though he claimed to love them so.

“Where are they now?”

“They were in Nevada last time I talked to them. They’re visiting Cathleen. It didn’t sound like they were coming for a visit here anytime soon, especially since it’s getting so chilly.” Her brother paused.

“Please, I’ll see you either way. Just come visit the house. I want you to meet someone.” She couldn’t deny her baby brother anything. Callie agreed and hung up. It was a relief to know her parents were gone.

After putting the last of her things in her suitcase, Callie carried it out to the front and headed into the kitchen where Jon stood against the counter, staring at the timer for the cookie. The smell of chocolate permeated the apartment. “Staring at the timer will not make those cookies bake any faster.”

“You don’t know that.” He continued to stare.

“I’m going to visit my brother in DC.” He nodded, Jon had heard that much earlier. “I’m going back to the house, I spent the last two years of high school in.” His head spun so fast she was afraid he would get whiplash. “Careful, don’t move to fast, you have a game tomorrow.” He just nodded, staring at her. “And maybe I’ll stop by my high school, take a spin on the track again.” Jon smiled at her.

“Do you want to come with me?” The words were out of her mouth before she even thought them. Callie wanted to take them back but Jon looked so happy, nodding his head, eyes excited. If she weren’t so mad at herself, she might laugh at how much he actually looked like a puppy at that moment.

The timer dinged. As she got the cookies out and laid them on a cooling rack, she thought about the huge mistake she just made. Callie turned to him about to tell him it was a mistake but he had stolen a cookie and his mouth was full of it. His eyes went wide and his cheeks flushed with the embarrassment of being caught.

When he finished chewing, he grabbed her and pulled her close, just holding her. His breath smelled like chocolate. “I’m twenty five and I just got caught stealing a cookie.” He smirked.

“Those were for your teammates.” Callie playfully scolded him and he ducked his head into her neck. If it didn’t feel so good she would have laughed at how it tickled or pushed him away like she should.

“Thank you, for taking me to meet your brother and where you grew up. It means a lot that you’re showing me that part of you.” Right then she knew she couldn’t take it back. If she did he would be hurt. A part of her didn’t want to go alone anyways. She gave in to Jon and hugged him back.


It took him ten minutes for him to convince Callie that she should just close up her place and stay at his guest room that night. It would be easier for her if they went to the arena together and since they left after she wouldn’t have to worry about her car. By the time they arrived at his building, there was just enough time to go to his apartment and let her get settle before the sunset.

She was silent as he opened the door for her, Callie gasped. “The view is amazing.” It was a quiet whisper. Looking at her and they way her eyes lit up as she looked out the floor to ceiling windows, he had to agree. Jon let her sink in the moment for a bit. It was a shock for him to when he first moved in. He never thought a city could be beautiful, but the view of the skyline and the single river that ran through it proved him wrong.

Callie turned to him and smiled. “You have a nice place.” She said as she looked around.

“You should probably thank the lady who designed it for me.” Her laugh rang through the apartment, it was a good sound. It made him feel at home, not just like he did there in Chicago, but the belonging he felt back in Canada. “I’ll show you to your room.”

Everything in Jon wanted to walk her to his room, but he knew it was too soon and she could book it back to her apartment. So he led her to one of the guest rooms, specifically the one that was across the hall from his. Inside, he had a large queen sized bed. He could imagine Callie tossing and turning on the blue comforter and the image made dirty thoughts pop into his head.

“I’m just going to give you time to freshen up. I’ll be in the kitchen when you’re ready to go up.” He had to get away from her. It all became too much, how long was she going to torture him? How much longer did he have to wait before he could actually kiss her lips again, before he could pull her close and relish the feeling of her body against his? It had been too long since he’d been with anyone and the thought of touching a woman other than Callie made his skin crawl. Jon hoped with everything that she would give in soon.

A warm hand touched his arm. He turned to find Callie smiling at him. God, she’d be worth every minute, he told himself. This time, he followed her lead to their place. Jon hadn’t visited the spot since he had taken her up there. Partially because he’d been busy, partially because he knew it wouldn’t feel right anymore.

The wind whipped around them as they secured the door, the Chicago skyline was outlined with dusty hues of orange and pink. Callie’s pale skin glowed in the light as she took it all in. With soft steps, she directed him over to the same spot they had laid the last time they were there.

Right where they were, it felt like they were the only two people in existence. The sounds of the city faded with the sound of the wind and the river. In their own little world, the moment was intense. Jon didn’t think about anything but her. In that moment, he knew that she belonged to him.

“Why won’t you give in to me?” Jon whispered into her ear as she allowed him to hold her. The question plagued him. He couldn’t fully believe what Patrick had told him. Every ounce of his being would rather she thought he wasn’t good enough for her.

Callie turned to him, he could feel her warm breath on his neck. Her soft vanilla scent swirling around them, being carried with the wind. Her soft dark eyes were wet and shiny. “Don’t you see?” she whispered, her lips quivering. “I’m no good for you. All you ever want to do is help me and I can’t return the favor. I’m more trouble than I’m worth.” Her voice shook.

“Callie, you can’t possibly think that.” He lifted his palm to cradle her cheek as he had earlier in the day. It all seemed like a world away.

“I do, because it’s true. Jon, you don’t understand.” A small tear fell down her cheek. He wiped it away with his thumb, his gut churned at her sadness. Even with red eyes and a red face from crying, she was still the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. “You can have any girl in the city, hell, you could have anyone at all if you wanted it enough. It would be so much easier for you if you picked anyone else but me.” Callie released a shaky breath as a few more tears slipped.

“But I want you. I can’t think of anyone else.” Jon hoped that she heard how true it was. How he could see anyone the way he saw her. He hoped she felt how right it was to be in his arms. He knew he sounded like complete girl but he’d do anything to prove to her that they were worth a chance. That what they were feeling was just to right to run away from it.

“Once you get a taste of what my life is like, those feelings will disappear. Give it time.” She sounded so sure that his feelings for her will fade. It hurt him, he’d never felt so much pain with a simple statement. “That’s why I’m not giving in because if I do, we’ll both end up a mess.”

Jon snapped. He pulled her so that she faced him. Her eyes were wide at his sudden action. His hands gripped her arms a little too roughly and Jon had to remind himself to be gentle. “Not letting me in, telling me that you know what’s best for me without even giving us a shot, that’s what’s making me a mess. So, just for a second, can you see what you do to me? You make me crazy with wanting you around. You make me feel inadequate. I could spend every second of the day trying to figure you out but you always come out with a new layer, you always surprise me with how amazing you are. So don’t tell me my feelings will fade, because even right now when I’m so pissed I could punch a hole through a wall, all I want to do is see you happy.” He took a breath, her eyes grew wider, taking in the information that was spilling out of him. “I don’t care what you think of yourself, give me a shot and I’ll spend as long as I can trying to prove to you that I deserve you.”
He kissed her forehead and, as much as it pained him, he got up and left her to think on the rooftop.

They both needed time to breath and realize what their confessions did to their relationship. At this point, it was either going to bring them together, or she was going to run. The chance that she would leave him weighed heavy like a medicine ball on his chest. It almost choked him. If she turned him away, he would surely die on the inside.


emily roberts emily roberts