“Don’t go.” He said again, his hand sliding down from her wrist to hold his hand.
“Callen?” Nell shook as she stopped to face him.
“Don’t go like this, please.” He begged as he looked down at their intertwined hands.
Nell took a deep breath and stepped closer, “Why? Why do you want me around, I’m your enemy. If I stay… you’ll…”
“I would never hurt you Nell.” Callen vowed as he looked at her. “Not you.”
He didn’t know what he was feeling, but with all that had happened in his life over the last 48 hours he was still having trouble coming to terms with it. His feelings for Nell, however had hit him like a Mack Truck. He wasn’t sure what it was he felt for her, but every fiber of his being told him not to let her go.
“It’s not your fault any more than Arkady being my father is mine. This stupid feud was not of our making. Damn!” He cursed in frustration, “I just wish… I wish we could go away, leave all this behind, just for a while.”
For the first time since this had snowballed Nell smiled. “I can do that.” She told him.
“You could?” Callen looked hopeful, he needed time to study all that had happened to him.
“I can… but, you have a daughter now. It wouldn’t be a good idea to just take off.” Nell said trying to be sensible.
Callen shook his head, “I know, but I’ll leave her a note, besides, she’s made it clear she doesn’t want to know me right now.”
Callen grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a short note for Anna and turned and grabbed Nell’s hand. “Make me disappear, just for a while.” He begged her.
Nell nodded. “Come with me.”
Hetty was finally being released and Anna had sat by her side while the doctors assessed her condition.
“You’ll be pleased to hear that both you and Mr. Callen are being released today. The antidote worked well. I am recommending that Mr. Callen has some sort of counselling due to the hallucinations he suffered and we need to give him his last shot of antitoxin to take the last of the effects out of his system, straight after that he will be as good to go as you are.” The doctor told Hetty.
Hetty smiled, “That will be good. Anna I would like it if you and your father would stay with me for a few days, we have things that need discussing between us.”
Anna brightened up at those words. She had been mulling over the fact that there were some secrets being kept between her aunt and her father that she hadn’t been made privy to. But whatever they were, it had been the cause of a rift between them and she didn’t want her new life with her father to start on a sour note. “That would be good.” she agreed.
“Then it is agreed, now…” Hetty stepped out from behind a modesty screen, she had been changing behind, “Let us find your father and Grandfather and as you youngsters say blow this joint.”
Anna laughed as she moved to hold the door for her.
Arkady sat on a bench in the hallway feeling dejected.
He had made mistakes, he knew this, but he had hoped that Callen would have at least understood that at all times he had tried to keep all involved safe. He wasn’t a man who made excuses for his actions. After all it was the outcome that was important the reasons didn’t matter.
He had hoped that as his son was obviously still alive that he would realize that all of Arkady’s actions had been for the best. He had expected some questions, after all he had been on the periphery of the man’s life, for all his life. But not the outright hostility he had been dealt in that room earlier. Of course he had known about the challenges Callen had faced during his life.
He’d had his friend Hans keep a close eye on him growing up so that his enemies wouldn’t link him to the boy. But every action he had taken had been to ensure that his son had been kept alive. Then finding out that he had gone to FLETC and had fallen in love had filled him with hope.
Maybe for his son, the future could have been different. But he had watched the woman Callen had fallen for. Lizzy Rusakova, he had almost laughed at the irony when he had discovered that she was the daughter of his old friend. The man who had taken his son and daughter to America.
Then Callen had gone.
For a while he had thought they had split up. He’d had people follow her only to discover she was pregnant. He’d been ecstatic until he had noticed that she was also being watched by Comescu’s. Then he’d had to step in, tell her who he was and move her for her own safety. Always his actions had been for his children and his children’s children.
Why couldn’t his son see this?
Arkady was pulled out of his musing by the sight of Hetty and Anna walking up the hallway.
“Arkady Kolcheck, Why on earth are you sitting out here?” Hetty asked as they walked up to him.
“Callen threw me out, he has that woman... Nell? She is in with him right now.” He said.
“Dad threw you out, Why?” Anna asked concerned.
“A difference of opinion, I fear.” Arkady told his granddaughter.
Hetty looked worried, “How was Miss Jones when she went in?”
“The young woman seemed upset, but I assumed it was because she was worried for Callen.” Arkady replied as Anna walked up to the door.
She knocked for a moment, hoping for a reply from her father.
She looked over at Hetty and her grandfather who were talking quietly and then she entered.
“Dad?” she called as she went in. She saw the unmade bed, but he wasn’t there. She walked over to the bathroom and knocked on the door, “Dad, you in there?” she asked. She carefully opened the door and found the bathroom empty.
She walked back over to the bed, if he was around his clothes and stuff should be there. She opened the drawer on the nightstand next to the bed and stopped as she saw a folded piece of paper with her name on it.
She opened the paper and sat on the bed to read.
’I need to leave. I am sure you will be pleased to know that, I am sorry for all the harm I brought into your life. I don’t know where I will be, but I will be back as soon as I can sort through all this mess. Your grandfather spoke highly of you and your studies, I want you to know I am proud of all you have accomplished and I know that your mother would be too. I am sorry that I am not all you hoped for as a father. I messed up badly. I should be there for you, but my coming into your life has only complicated things for you. I love you Anna and I am so very proud of the woman you have become. If you ever find it in you to forgive me, I hope one day that we can build a real relationship. Tell Hetty NOT to look for me. I just need a while to get my head straight. Tell Hetty I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for her to be hurt.
I don’t know what else to write, please Anna, just know I love you and I am so very proud to be your father… I’m sorry.
By the time Anna had finished reading it, she was in tears. He had left her. She could see that something wasn’t right with him, he was in turmoil. But why had he left? Was it because he didn’t want to work it out with her?
She crumpled the letter in her hand and walked out to the hallway.
“Grandfather… He’s gone.” She said, tears flowing down her face.
Hetty looked at the devastation on the younger woman’s face, one question worried her. Where was Nell Jones? Had she really been sorry for what had happened or had she taken Callen to complete the vendetta that her family had against his?
Nell opened the door to the motel room they had rented. “Are you ok?” she asked as she put his bag on the bed and helped him inside.
“Yeah, I still feel a bit woozy.” He admitted.
Nell looked sad, “I’m sorry, it’s the drug, it should be out of your system in a few hours with no more ill effects.”
Callen sank into a chair and put his head in his hands. “I feel like crap. I can’t believe that in the space of a few days my whole life has been turned upside down. And I can’t seem to just keep it in and deal with it.”
“It’s the drug Callen, you’re going to keep saying what you think while it’s in your system.”
Callen smiled, “In that case, can I tell you I think you are the most intriguing person that I have ever met. You are feisty, beautiful, you are the smartest woman I have ever met…”
“And I’m the daughter of your mortal enemy.” Nell added as she moved away from him.
Callen laughed, “Very Romeo and Juliet.”
Nell smiled, “I hope not. They died in the end.” She walked to the mini fridge and got a bottle of water. “Here, take this, you need to be hydrated.”
Callen took the bottle and took a drink of the water.
“Do you want me to call Hetty, at least let someone know you are alright?“She asked.
Callen shook his head, “I doubt they’d care, but I left a note for Anna, told them I’d be back.”
Nell nodded, although she didn’t like it, she knew she owed him and she would do anything it took to make it right.