invisible scars

Chapter 17 exposed

Chapter 17

Exposed

Arizona squinted her eyes and immediately wondered why it was so bright in her bedroom. She could have swore she closed the curtains last night, before going to bed. Burrowing her head deeper into the soft pillow she instantly became aware of where she was. The pillow smelled like Callie and so did the duvet, the bed sheet and practically the whole room swam in Callie's unique scent.

Memories from last night suddenly popped into her head and the nightmare she had had which caused her to end up in Callie's bed. She could feel herself blushing from embarrassment at how pathetic Callie must've thought she was for breaking down like that from just having a bad dream. Squeezing her eyes shut tight she could feel her face go even redder. The embarrassment was almost crippling and thoughts were running through her head of what excuse we could make up so she didn't have to talk about it. She knew for sure that Callie would definitely ask about the dream and try to get her to talk about it and open up. Arizona was not ready for that to happen. She didn't want to go back to those awful memories and reliving them by talking about them, revealing details about the horrible abuse she had endured for the past decade.

Glancing over at the other woman she was relieved to see that Callie was still sound asleep, snoring slightly. Carefully, as not to wake the sleeping woman, she quietly sat up. As she was about to stand up Callie shifted and stretched. "Morning. Did you sleep well?" The Latina still had her eyes closed as the light coming from the window was so bright.

Arizona started to fidget with her pyjama buttons and blushed slightly. "Um, yeah... you?"

Opening her eyes to look at the blonde she smiled at the sight of Arizona's ruffled hair and sleepy features. "I can tell. You've got quite a cute bed head going on there." Callie winked.

Her face burning from embarrassment, Arizona ran her fingers through her tangled tresses and desperately tried to avoid any eye contact with the brunette.

Callie could sense her uneasiness and decided to change the subject. Sitting up she stretched once more and turned towards the blonde. "It looks like a nice day. You wanna have breakfast, get ready and then maybe we could go and pick up a few things that you need. Like clothes, toiletries and... stuff. I'll find you something out of my clothes that you can wear. Sounds good?"

The redness was gone from her face but she still felt awkward and embarrassed. She did need clothes and other things but knowing that she had to face the outside world, crowded places and loud noises. She knew that if she wanted to live a normal life she had to get use to all those things but she was not sure if she was ready to face it head on. The thought of having a panic attack or some sort of breakdown in public scared her. What would people think? What would Callie think? The humiliation of it would be too much to handle.

Suddenly Arizona felt the bed droop on her left side and noticed that Callie had made her way over and sat down without the blonde being aware of her movements. Tucking a strand of Arizona's hair gently behind her ear she took her hand, ducked her head down to make sure she had blue eyes staring into her own brown ones.

"Look, I know you're scared sweetie. We'll try to make it as quick and painless as possible and if it gets too much or too intense you just let me know and we'll come straight home, okay? I know this is a big step for you but I'll be right by your side the whole time. It'll be okay and if my idea doesn't turn out to be okay and if something were to happen then that's okay too." Callie smiled and playfully bumped her shoulder against Arizona's.

The blonde had to smile at Callie's sweet encouragement and she finally nodded. "Okay. I'll... I'll try."

The brunette leaned in and placed a warm kiss on Arizona's cheek, lingering for a while. "That's all I ask." She said and smiled.

Arizona was fidgeting with the sleeve of the light blue hoodie she had borrowed from Callie. Taking the car down town was the safest bet, Callie thought. At least they had some privacy and peace and quiet. Arizona was not ready for public transport yet and besides, the brunette loved to drive. Fifteen minute later they were parked outside a big shopping mall. Callie killed the engine and turned to face a scared Arizona. "Hey, look at me. Its okay. Remember what I said? All you have to do is say the word and we'll head straight back, no questions asked. I will understand."

Taking a deep breath Arizona gave Callie a shaky nod.

An hour into their shopping spree they had already picked out a whole wardrobe for the blonde and even Callie herself had purchased a few items. Arizona was cautious and weary. She didn't stray far from Callie's side and the Latina was slightly surprised when Arizona, at one occasion, reached for her hand and held it firmly while they passed a large group of people making loud conversation.

Passing a coffee shop Callie stopped. "You wanna grab a coffee? I think we deserve a break after all that shopping." She said with a smile.

Arizona nodded and they made their way in. "I'm afraid I'm not much of a coffee girl. Never really cared much for it."

Callie held her hand up. "Hold on, let me guess. Hot chocolate, right? With extra marshmallows?"

The blonde smiled slightly, looking guilty, as she tried not to stare at Callie's beautiful eyes and perfect complection. Arizona found herself so drawn to this woman and it was not until now that she could see the confidence and poise that the brunette possessed. Her whole posture oozed of self confidence and every step she took was filled with determination and strenght. There was just something about Calliope Torres that nobody else had.

They finished their hot beverages and by the time they were ready to leave the cafe was crowded, obviously business people grabbing a cup on their lunch break before heading back to their office. Arizona froze and couldn't move from her spot on the floor. Callie had taken a few steps, not realizing that the younger woman wasn't following, when she sensed that something was off. Turning around she was met by blue terrified eyes and a rigid form. Quickly she made her way back.

"Arizona, honey. Its okay, just take my hand and we'll get out of here, alright. Just hold onto me and I'll take us home. Everything is alright, nothing bad is going to happen. You're safe with me." Her voice was soft and soothing. It was like all the people around them disappeared and nothing else mattered besides getting Arizona out of there before she had a meltdown. She gently grabbed a hold of an ice cold hand. "Come on, sweet girl. Just walk with me. We'll be home in no time."

While passing a group of teenagers Callie could hear someone saying the word 'dykes'. Glancing over to her left she was faced with a smirking arrogant kid that couldn't have been older than sixteen. Not wanting to make a scene, causing Arizona any more discomfort, she stood as close to the kid as she possibly could, staring him down, using a low and raspy voice so only his friends and Arizona could hear.

"Listen, you little pimple ass shit. The world doesn't need immature jerks like yourself. Today is your lucky day because I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear what you just said. I understand that you're only a kid and that you're trying to show off in front of your friends but please, just stop for a second and grow yourself a pair of balls cause I'm sure the ones you currently have don't even have a single pubic hair on them." She turned to leave but stopped herself. "Oh and my sexuality is my own business, and so is yours. Have a good day."

They exited together, holding hands, while the group of young teens were left standing shocked and flabbergasted.

There was an somewhat awkward silence in the car on their way back. Arizona could still feel her heart beating from the panic attack, her chest was tight and her breathing uneasy. She glanced over at Callie who seemed to be lost in her own thoughts and feelings about what had just happened. The Latina was furious. She couldn't understand why some people were so small minded and opinionated. Arizona was doing so good until the cafe became crowded but they would have been fine walking out of there if it weren't for the heap of punks.

The brunette tightly gripped the steering wheel, her knuckles turning white. Arizona was fidgeting nervously and turned her head to look at Callie. Somehow she felt like it was her fault that this had happened and that Callie was mad. This had all been a mistake, a big fat mistake and Arizona wished she could turn back time and decide not to go in the first place but she knew that was impossible. Licking her suddenly dry lips she whispered, "I'm sorry."

Callie wasn't sure if she had heard Arizona correctly but there was no doubt in her mind that she just heard her say 'Im sorry.' She pulled up into her designated parking space, thankful that the ride back hadn't felt so long, and killed the engine. She turned towards the blonde and saw shame and fear in her blue eyes. "What on earth do you have to be sorry for? You did nothing wrong, sweetie. I'm not mad you, I'm mad at people who splurge out anything that's on their minds and not thinking about the consequences or other people's feelings and emotions. I'm mad at them, not you. Never you."

Arizona lowered her head. "But if I hadn't panicked then you wouldn't have felt the need to grab my hand and they wouldn't have said the things..."

"Stop it, Arizona." Callie interrupted. "It doesn't matter, sweetie. Panicking or not, holding hands or not, they shouldn't have said those things. I know that there will always be people out there who are closed minded and just plain stupid and there is nothing I can do about that. I'm just sorry that you had to witness it." Callie reached over and held her hand. "You okay? How are you feeling?"

The younger woman couldn't believe how considerate Callie always were. The Latina was clearly upset about what had just happened and she still wanted to know how Arizona felt. The blonde simply squeezed the warm hand that was holding hers. "Yeah... I think so. You?"

Callie smiled. "Don't worry about me, sweetie. I always land on my feet." She sighed. "Come on, there's a lot of bags to carry inside and you're not carrying any." Arizona was just about to protest. "I don't want to hear it. You've got an injured knee and you shouldn't be carrying heavy stuff."

An hour later they were both sitting exhausted on the couch, feet up on the table. "I don't know if I can ever repay you for everything that you've done for me, Callie. I just wish I could give you something back."

The brunette draped an arm around Arizona's shoulders and gave her a gentle tug. "You're giving me back more than you know." Eyes locked, two hearts beating fast and breaths mingled. Again, Callie allowed Arizona to set the pace, not wanting to scare her away. Once again their lips met but only ever so slightly. Callie could feel a burning sensation in the pit of her stomach and it was growing fast. Arizona's lips were so soft and they tasted so sweet. She didn't want the moment to end, at least not anytime soon.

Arizona felt her whole body tingling. It was a new sensation, something she had never experienced before. She was nervous but also intrigued and curious by these new feelings. Parting her lips slightly she granted access for Callie's tongue to enter. Feeling their tongues caress each other caused Arizona's heart to beat even faster and out of instinct she deepened the kiss, surprising the Latina.

Callie smiled into the kiss and placed a hand on Arizona's flushed cheek pulling her a bit closer. A moan slipped out from between the blonde's lips and Callie felt a pair of hands holding her head in place, like Arizona was afraid that the brunette would suddenly disappear or evaporate into thin air.

The urge for oxygen took over and they both pulled away, resting their foreheads against each other, breathlessly. Tears were brimming in Arizona's eyes and when she blinked they silently rolled down her face. Callie was quick to wipe them away with her thumbs, kissing her temple. She didn't need to ask why the blonde was shedding tears. Callie knew she was just pure overwhelmed and a bit scared. It was obvious to Callie that Arizona liked the kiss and that it must be difficult to suddenly be kissed out of fondness and tenderness than rough and violent like she had experienced for the past ten years.

Callie pulled her close, placed a hand behind the blonde's head and brought her down to rest upon her chest. Playing with the golden tresses she murmured words of comfort. "Its okay, sweet girl. I won't hurt you and I won't push you into anything you're not ready for. What you're feeling is okay and I respect that, don't ever think otherwise." The brunette placed a kiss on the blonde head and soothingly said, "I care about you so much, Arizona. So, so much."

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