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Won't Give Up Easy

Unwelcome Surprise


It had been a week since the disastrous day in Washington. Ever since then, Callie had been doing her best to avoid him and it had him grumpy. He wanted to hold her, to learn more about what had happened when she was younger, understand what Shanna was so important to her. He wanted to know all of her but she was just shutting him out.

He hated that he was forced to wait in her apartment to get a chance to talk to her when she had no excuse to leave. Jon heard the click of her key. Callie walked through the apartment, at fist just glancing past him before doing a double take and jumping out of her skin.

“What are you doing here?” She gasped, a hand over her breast. He let her catch his breath and looked at the body that had been denied from his view. Under her thick coat , she wore a simple cable knit white sweater, a black scarf, dark jeans, and boots. She was so cute to him.

“We need to talk.” A look of hurt and worry passed her face. “Why have you been avoiding me?” She looked at him as if he were stupid.

“If you’re going to break up with me, can you just do it and get out of my apartment?” Her tone was snippy but what surprised him were her words. Break up with her? Why would he break up with her?

“I know what happened back in D.C. was intense, I told you I had baggage.” She sighed.

Jon pulled her into his arms and sat the two of them on the couch. “I’m not going to break up with you. I never wanted to break up with you. I just wanted to talk. I want you to tell me what happened. What happened to make it like that?” He whispered.

Jon listened to Callie’s story for a long time, wiping away tears, holding her as she sobbed. His heart ached for the little girl that only wanted affection from her parents. He listened as she told him of all the times she begged for their pride, all the times she strived to be good enough, only to be put down and told she was subpar. It killed him to hear how they called her names because men were attracted to her. How could anyone think that she was anything less than perfect? He vowed to never hurt any of his children the way that Callie’s parents casually hurt her, also to never let anyone hurt Callie the way she had been. When she finished, he just held her. Never wanting to let her go.

He couldn’t imagine what it was like to live in a house where he felt less than welcome. A house filled with people who put him down and didn’t believe in his goals and dreams. Callie had dealt with it basically her entire life. She’d followed her dreams and been put down for it. Jon wish he could go back and tell that little girl she would grow up to be an amazing beautiful woman.

“I’m not going to dump you because you have a complicated past. All I care about is that you’re here right now.” He whispered in her ear.

“What about if it comes back to bite me in the ass?” Her hot breath fanned over the sensitive skin of his neck. He shivered at the pleasurable feeling.

“Then I’ll be here for you.” He simply stated.

“You don’t even know the half of it.”

“I like you too much to let go, no matter what.” Callie just nodded at his response. So softly, he thought he imagined it, Callie pressed her lips to his neck. Suddenly, she was doing it up his neck, up to his jaw. Her hot tongue flicked out to press against his skin once or twice. Jon let out a groan.

Not able to take anymore, he pulled away and pressed his mouth to hers. Immediately, she opened up to him. He pressed his tongue into her mouth, tasting the depths of her. Jon was pleasantly surprised when she pulled away and moved her legs to straddle his lap. Her hands went to run
through his hair.

Jon pressed his cold hands against the hot skin under her shirt. Her entire body shivered. This time, she attacked his mouth with a vigor that shocked him. All their kisses before had been hot yet sweet. This time, it was not just hot but hungry and needy. Her hands moved from his hair to his chest, gripping at his shirt, keeping him close. He moved his mouth to press kisses on her cheeks and neck.

A soft moan came from her when his lips touched the sensitive skin just below her jaw. He opened his mouth to suck the delicate skin. Almost so slowly he didn’t notice, Callie moved her hands down his abdomen, touching the top of his jeans. Jon pulled away and created space between their bodies.
He took a breath, taking in her sweet scent. “Callie, I want to, believe me I want to. But not tonight.”

She pouted and seemingly ignored him while she tried to undo the top bottom. Jon grabbed her hands and held them at her sides. “Not tonight.” He repeated, placing a soft kiss on her lips. “It’s too soon, I don’t want you to hate me because I took advantage of you when you’re weak.”

Callie huffed and moved off him before walking into the kitchen. He immediately miss her body heat on top of him. He followed, fearful that she would be upset at his rejection. As she paraded in the kitchen grabbing various things from the fridge to get started on making dinner, he leaned against the door frame. Watching as she used her pent up energy to complete the task.

“Are you mad at me?” He asked softly. Callie turned to face him, eyes soft. A small smiled formed on her face before she looked into his eyes.

“Only because you’re too good to me.” At her words, he walked to stand in front of her and held her face between his hands. Touching her forehead to her, he forced her to look into his eyes. He was close enough to see the golden highlights that ran through them and the small black dots that surrounded the pupil. Her eyes her so expressive, they spoke for her.

“No, I’m just treating you right. You deserve this and more.” He gave her nose a small kiss and backed away, not having the strength to battle her if the couch episode repeated. “Now what’re we making?” Her bright laughter filled the kitchen.

“We? Pat told me you can’t cook for your life.” He blushed. It was true. He stuck to team meals and takeout. “Anyways, cutie, want me to teach you a thing about being in the kitchen?”

It was his turn to laugh. She looked at bit dejected, obviously taking it as a refusal. He came to stand next to her. “I don’t know how much help I’d be but anything to see you in the zone.” She just rolled her eyes.

“You’ve obviously never seen me write.”

“You won’t let me.” He retorted. She shrugged it off and placed two pieces of chicken in a plastic bag before turning and handing him a mallet.

“Stop acting like a baby and pound the chicken. Until it’s about a quarter inch thick.” He said nothing as he accepted the job and starts hitting the chicken. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, you know.” Her soft voice was almost hard to hear over the pounding, he put the mallet down and turned to her. She had her back facing him, chopping up cauliflower. “It’s just, it’s different, my writing from when it’s fresh from my head and when it hits the print. Through editing, there’s cuts, and tweaking, and turning it more impersonal. Everyone thinks that writing is great…” she trailed. Callie turned to face him. “They have no idea, you have no idea, what it sounds like straight from my head.”

Jon took a moment to formulate a response. How could she not feel like her writing wasn’t her own? Sure, editing and tweaking did take some away but it couldn’t that much. “Callie, even through editing, those words are you own. It’s still great and I’m sure writing fresh from your mind will be too. But I get it.” She gave him a small smile.

They had continued with the work, after a few minutes she sent him to the living room while she finished the cooking. He took the time to notice that since Kennedy had moved out, she put more pictures up. There was one that caught his eye, it was her and group of friends. Callie was young, really young, probably still in high school. They were outside, all bundled up in black jackets and black face paint. They were all surrounding her, smiling and laughing. He loved seeing her like that. He could see that the big bright smile and the way it travelled to her eyes, was something that stayed with her.

There were more, a couple made him chuckle as she made faces at the camera. One picture showed her in a dark red colored dress, tears in her eyes with her sister, who looked amazing in a white wedding dress. He noticed there were more pictures of her at her sister’s wedding, he noticed there were a lot of pictures with her older sister.

“What’re you doing?” Her soft voice came up from behind him. He turned to see her soft smile.

“I’m just trying to see who’s important in your life.”

“Why don’t you ask?”

“Because I don’t know if you’d answer me.” She looked shocked, then sad.

“I’m sorry I made you feel that way.” Callie looked up at him with sad molten eyes. “Dinner’s ready. I’ll tell you.”

The first few minutes of dinner were silent. Callie didn’t know where to start and he refused to push her to do anything she wasn’t willing to give up on her own. He watched as she fidgeted under his gaze and avoided eye contact. If the mood of the day hadn’t been so heavy, he would have laughed at her discomfort.

“Well, obviously, my sister and her husband are important to me.” He waited. “They took me away, when I was eighteen, they helped me get out. After my high school graduation, I moved with them to California before moving to Chicago on my own in the fall. They helped me a lot, gave me a place to call home in the summers. I owe them so much.” She laughed. “If it weren’t for them, I don’t think I’d be where I am now or be as happy as I am.”

“Do you see her often?” She shook her head.

“Not anymore. This will keep me busy during the season and then there’s Vegas and the draft. The free agency frenzy after that. I guess I could see them after that but they’re busy. They have lives and I don’t like to intrude more than I have.” Callie sighed and focused back on her baked cauliflower.

“You’ve seen some other pictures?” He nodded. “There are lots of people in those pictures. Lots of memories.” She pointed to the wall behind her, he noticed there was a picture of her and a girl with big blue eyes and sandy blonde hair. “That’s my best friend.” Her smile grew wide. “Jenna, stuck by each other since the sixth grade.” Pride radiated in her voice. “Then when high school was over, she visited me in California. When fall started and I went to Chicago, she went to North Carolina. We visited, skyped, called, texted. Still do.” Her eyes lit up. “She might visit soon actually, maybe after Thanksgiving.”

The way she spoke of the girl in the picture made him envy her. There was obviously love between the two friends, love that came from dealing with life together. He hoped maybe one day, she would speak of him that way. “Do you think she’d like me?” the question came out before he could even ask himself it.

“Well, now Jon, I thought you were into me?” Callie winked at him. He groaned, he heard her laugh again and it was worth the teasing. “Yeah, she’d love you.” A pause. “And I’m not worried. Hockey player isn’t usually her type.”

“What’s your type?” The question meant to tease her but she got a devious smile on her face.

“Oh, you know… Hockey player, of course. But a good ole’ American boy, funny. Blonde curls, blue eyes, dimples, drafted first overall….” She laughed.

“Why don’t you just ask Pat to marry you? He’d be more than willing.” He laughed.

“I did. He told me not to tease him. Said I was too busy eyeing this Canadian kid.” She sighed.

“Mmmm… tell me about this… Canadian kid.” She paused.

“Well, he’s not really my usual. Tall, dark broody eyes, moody. Cocky and jealous, according to what Pat has told me.” Jon blushed. “But he’s a good guy, sweet, loyal.”

He cut her off. “Are you interested in a Labrador?” She made him sound like a puppy.

“I wasn’t finished. Strong, passionate, a leader, sexy… Makes me forget things with a kiss.” A long pause followed. He almost said something to cut the tension. “Like I said, he’s not my usual type but, in all honesty, I like him so much better than I would if he was.”

Jon smiled at her. It was the first time she admitted to really liking him. The closest he’s ever been to hearing her admit her true feelings about him, it make him ecstatic. A dorky part of him wanted to call Patrick and tell him the good news. But he didn’t, he just relished in the moment and thought of the possibilities.


An loud shrill forced Callie’s eyes open with a start. Next to her, Jon groaned and turned his face into the pillow. Despite the wake up call, she almost burst into a fit of laughter when she saw the tent he made of the blanket. He peeked an eye open at her.

“Why are you laughing? It’s eight in the morning on a very rare day off. Why?” She gave his laugh a pointed look. “Oh, jesus.” He groaned again.

“I would feel bad if you hadn’t insisted on not doing anything but cuddle last night.” Callie just smirked. Her phone rang again, slightly annoying her. She sighed. “You try and control that, I’m going to tell whoever this is to piss off.”

“And then you’ll come back?” Jon was so adorable when he whined, it made him sound more like the little boy he looked like. She leaned to give him a peck.

“You know I will.” Callie forced herself from the bed and walked out of the room, giving Jon the privacy he needed to deal with his problem.


“Don’t hang up.” Taylor’s voice was so panicked she actually listened. After a second, waiting for her reaction he continued. “I really didn’t want to bother you.”

“Too late.” She retorted.

“I guess I deserve that.” He sighed, a long time ago, that sigh would have gotten him anything. “I just wanted to apologize.” The fact that he thought a mere apology could make up for the years of damage made her blood boil.

“Yeah, well, okay then. You said it. Now goodbye.” She was second from hanging up before he yelled wait. “What? What is it that you want?” Callie snapped, her patience had worn out and all she wanted to do was crawl into bed with Jon.

“I just… I want to see you. Apologize in person. Meet me for coffee.” He pleaded, it only disgusted her. There was a long pause. “If you do, I swear, I’ll leave you alone. Leave the city as fast as I came. You won’t hear from me again. Just hear me out.” The offer was too good to turn down.

“Fine. As long as you never try to contact me again.” Her voice was hard set, letting him know meeting wasn’t going to change a thing about how she felt about him.

“Tomorrow morning?” He mentioned a small coffee shop near the practice arena. It was Sunday, so she had off but Jon would be at practice. A small part of her wanted to keep this a secret but knew it wouldn’t lead to any good.

“Yeah, fine.”

“Callie. Thank you.” She hung up. A deep weight held in the pit of her stomach knowing she had to tell Jon. It just felt like the poor man had to deal with hurdle after hurdle to be with her and she felt guilty. When she walked back into the room, he was laying there, patiently waiting for her. His deep dark eyes only watching her. His signature boyish smile adorned on his face.

“You know, you look cute in my jersey.” She laughed. He had insisted she wear his jersey to sleep and bury the one Patrick gave her in the very bottom of her drawer. Callie crawled into bed next to him and felt content when his arms wrapped around her.

She looked up to press a kiss against his chin. “Are you going to think I look cute when I give you bad news?” Her question was timid but it caught his attention.

“I’m always going to think you’re drop dead gorgeous.” She snorted. “What is it, Cal?” He watched her with concerned eyes.

“I’m going to meet an old friend.” His body stiffened.

“Friend?” His voice was tight.

“Boyfriend.” She watched as his face contorted from boyish to angry. His jaw set and his nostrils started to flare. “It’s just, it ended badly, really badly and he just wants to apologize.” It didn’t seem to make it any better. “He keeps calling me and I just want it to stop. He promised me he’d leave me alone for good if I met him for coffee. Just coffee.” That seemed to work. “Jon, you have to know, I don’t feel anything for him anymore, and anything that I had felt for him, is nothing like I feel for you.” Her words were so quiet, it was softer than a whisper.

Jon relaxed and pulled her closer. “When are you meeting this fool?”

“Tomorrow morning. By the time we’re done, you’ll be finished with practice. We can meet up.” He rolled his eyes and kissed her nose.

“Babe, if you think I’m doing anything less than picking you up and showing him that he doesn’t get you, then you’re not as bright as I thought you were.” She giggled.

“Shut up.” She kissed him to soften the blow of her words before looking him in the eye. “Thanks.” He just smiled at her.

“What are you going to wear?” His eyebrows furrowed.

“A burlap sack.” She responded hoping the joke would please him.

“No, it’s too easy to take off. You wear layers. Lots of layers.” Callie laughed and kissed him before cuddling back into his side and drifting to sleep.


“What am I doing here?” She asked herself. Callie could see her former boyfriend. She had spent all days yesterday trying to reason out of going, but wanting nothing more than for him to be gone, she knew she had to. Anyways, Jon would be there soon.

Callie rejoiced at the fact he trusted her enough to do this. Every day, she could feel herself falling deeper and deeper for the man Jon was. Almost as if sensing her gaze, Taylor turned, his eyes growing wide.

“Cal.” He breathed. She didn’t like the way he said her name but ignored it and shrugged off his attempt to hug her. “How’re you?”

“I’m doing pretty well.” She didn’t return the question not really caring. One glance had told her that he hadn’t changed much. Still tall and lanky, soft green eyes, mousy brown hair. She saw what drew a young girl to him but had no interest in him now.

“I’m not in the Army anymore.” He offered. Callie just nodded. “I’m a gym teacher in New York now.” She almost chocked on the water she was sipping out of a bottle. The thought of him around young teenage girls made her skin crawl.

“Okay.” She drew out the word, staring at him, staring through him. Letting him know she wanted nothing to do with him. For a minute he tried to hold her gaze, he gave her a small smile.

“I’m so sorry. I wish I could take it all back, you know. We had good times. You have to admit that, it wasn’t always miserable.” She gave him one smile. His confidence soared too much for her liking. “It was so good between us before everything went down.” He sighed, really looking at her. “You’re so much more beautiful.” Callie fidgeted uncomfortably, remembering happy time were over.

“You’re just like I remembered you.” He raised a brow.

“So you’re still attracted to me.” He stated it, Taylor hardly ever asked. He was too cocky for his own good.

“No, I have a boyfriend.” The thought of Jon made her smile, he made her so happy it was hard not to.

“You seemed to forget where you belong.” Taylor murmured. “You forget so easily how you promised me it was me.”

“You promised me a lot of things but you went back on a lot of them too. And I was only sixteen, I didn’t know what I was saying.” She retorted.

“Give me another chance.” The words came out so fast, he seemed surprised with them.

“No, Taylor, no. I told you, I have a boyfriend. I’m happy. You never made me so happy.” That angered him.

“Callie, you were so happy with me. I still can make you happy. Dump the guy, you belong with me. "You’ve said so yourself a million times.” Taylor was being so insistent, like thought he could force her like when she was younger.

“I don’t think so.” A familiar voice cut off anything Taylor might have added. Jon stood a few feet behind him. Looking at the two men now, there was no comparison. What she felt for Jon was so much more than she ever imagined with Taylor. She jumped to her feet and all but pranced into his arms. He bent down, giving her a kiss that made her cheeks flush.

Callie turned to Taylor. “Like I said, I was sixteen. It’s over, Tay. It’s been over for a long time.” She offered her old love some comfort with his nickname. He didn’t take the peace offering. His face contorted in hate. Eyes trained on Jon.

“An athlete. Famous this one is.” Taylor looked at her with disgust. “Always trading up, that’s you.” It was just like him to lash out when things didn’t go the way he wanted. A part of her wondered why she couldn’t see through his facade before.

“Taylor, stop. I’m sorry it didn’t work out like we wanted it to when I was sixteen, but I was young and naïve. I didn’t know what I wanted. But it’s the only thing I have to be sorry for. So make good on your promise.” Callie gave him a sad look. How could he want her but think such terrible things about her, she never could about him if she ever reciprocated his feelings.

Jon pulled them out on to the sidewalk. The cold November snipped at her. He pulled her into his side. “My car is a few block down. I hope you don’t ever plan on seeing him again.” He stated rather bluntly.

“I really don’t want to Jon. Whatever, he and I had, it was intense. There’s still something’s that I think about but, I’m over him. I’m over him.” She repeated wanting to avoid telling him what really happened between her and Taylor. One day would be the right time to tell him but not when her ex was a short run away.

They walked for a few minutes cuddled into each other when two women about Callie’s age stopped them. “You’re Jonathan Toews.” One of them squealed. Callie almost giggled when she saw her boyfriend blush. He just nodded at her. “Can we each have a picture with you?”

“Uhhh, sure.” Jon gave her a pleading look, not wanting to be rude to fans. She didn’t mind, he was cute. They two girls looked her up and down. Callie just moved away so they each take their pictures with her boyfriend. They were cute but Jon didn’t pay them much mind. She almost laughed when he removed the hand of one of the girls who placed it on his stomach.

When they finished, Jon immediately walked to her side. Giving her a look of relief. “Claws that one had.” Rubbing his shoulder. She just laughed.

“Mr. Toews?” A small voice came from behind him. They both turned to see a little boy, no more than six. He was practically dragging his father, who was giving them a sad look.

“I’m so sorry. We don’t mean to bother you.” The father looked really apologetic.

“Don’t worry. It’s fine.” Jon smiled at the man before kneeling down to the little boy who was staring up at him star struck. He smiled at the little boy. “Hey, little man. What’s your name?”

“Jeff. My name is Jeff.” The little boy seemed to be bursting with excitement. He pulled off the ball cap on his head and handed it to him, Jon pulled a Sharpie out of his pocket. Now she understood why he kept one with him always.

“Do you play hockey, Jeff?” He nodded his head.

“I’m not as big as the other kids but I’m fast. They all tell me I’m fast.” The boy’s father nodded.

“You know what, Jeff? I think you’ll do great. Maybe one day, it’ll be you lifting the Stanley Cup on day.” Jeff’s eyes got wide, he looked to his dad.

“Did you hear that dad? Jonathan Toews said maybe I’ll win the cup one day!” The boy jumped around excited. He reached his arms out and Jon pulled the kid in. Callie’s heart melted, it was one of the cutest things she’d ever witnessed. It made her fall just a little harder for Jon.

Jeff’s father eyes lit up with glee. “He just made my son’s year.” She just nodded and smiled. For the first time the little boy looked up at her, she gave him a smile.

“Is that your girlfriend?” They all chuckled.

“Yeah, yeah she is.” Jeff made a look. “Hey, now Jeff. Girls won’t have cuties forever and Callie here is as good as it gets.” Jon smiled up at her before giving Jeff one last hug. His dad towed him away after thanking Jon.

When he pulled her back into him, Jon was all smiles. “That kid was adorable, Callie.”

She laughed. “Yeah, he was. You made him feel pretty special.” A blush rushed across his skin. “Don’t worry. It was the cutest thing, seeing you hug that kid.”

“Oh was it now?” Jon wagged his eyebrows. For a moment, Callie felt the look of sheer panic run across her features. He laughed. “I’m kidding.” When they made it to the car, he opened the door for her and kissed her head. “One day.”

For her, Jeff, and Jon it seemed like one day seemed like it would be a huge step forward in each of their lives.


emily roberts emily roberts