'Three more weeks and we will be back in New York.'
I shielded my eyes from the sun as I turned to look at him, his hand on the steering wheel as he drove. I felt the familiar lurch in my stomach as he turned and smiled at me, before lacing his free hand with mine.
'I thought you hated New York.'
'It's not too bad with you in it. I'm happy wherever you are, baby.'
I sighed happily as I rested my head on my hand, feeling tiredness wash over me. I yawned as he glanced at me, a frown on his face.
'You can't possibly still be tired. All we've done is sleep.'
I stuck my tongue out at him as he laughed in response.
'Alright, it's not all we have done.' He smirked as the visions of the past week clearly filled his mind. Cal had surprised me with a trip to the coast, insisting we needed some time alone by the sea. It had been amazing, but now we were driving back to my parents. I was sad that we had to go soon, but after the fiasco with Luke I was secretly relieved.
If Cal ever found out what he had done to me that night- what he had tried to do- I shuddered at the thought. But I hadn't heard from him since, and Cal promised he wasn't leaving my side whilst we were here. I stared at the scenery as it changed from barren to green, a road sign informing us we were now in familiar territory. I closed my eyes, the hum of the car beneath me rocking me into a sleepy security as Cal drove steadily.
His voice made me stir as I looked at him through sleepy eyes. I sat up, becoming aware that the car had stopped, blinking slowly when I realised we were parked at my parents.
I had slept all the way home?
'Maybe you need some vitamins or something. It's not normal to sleep that much.' Cal studied me through concerned eyes as I sat up, tiredness still holding me prisoner.
'I'm due on. That's all.'
He nodded as he swung open his door, pulling our bags out of the back seat.
'Go and run a bath babe, do you need anything?' He called as I walked up the steps, turning to shake my head.
I walked in to the empty house, the familiar scent of home greeting me. A bath sounded like a good idea, so I made my way upstairs and began running one. I heard Cals voice echoing through the hallway as he spoke on the phone, hearing his delicious laugh as he thanked whoever it was, promising he would see them soon. I felt a stab of jealousy as I listened, annoyed he was speaking quietly now.
'Yeah do that. Send it to me. Thanks so much Beth, you're amazing.'
I stood bolt upright, my fingers gripping the stair rail as he walked back out to the car.
Who the fuck was Beth?
I realised I was shaking with jealousy, a rage racing through my body like fire. What was she sending? Why was she amazing?
I stepped back, aware that my bath was running. I needed to check his phone, I realised. If I asked him he would never admit it, but something told me he was hiding something from me. Something important. I usually turned a blind eye to his work, at his request. He insisted the less I knew, the better and safer it was for me. But now I just felt stupid. I heard his feet on the stairs and I dashed into the bathroom, not wanting him to find me lurking on the stairs.
'Babe. I'm going to grab us some food because there's nothing in. I thought we could cook for your parents tonight? I can do it if you don't feel up to it?' He stood in the doorway then, his hands holding on to the top of the frame, exposing his taut stomach. He frowned as he gazed at me, his deep stare boring into my soul.
'Gretchen, what's wrong?'
Despite my intentions, the words slipped out of my mouth in an angry snarl.
'Who the fuck is Beth?'
I noticed the colour drain from his face as my heart raced, causing me to hold onto the sink.
'What?' He whispered in disbelief as I nodded at him.
'Answer me. Who the fuck is Beth?'
I stood close to him now, unable to imagine that this man was capable of hurting me this way. But in his eyes I saw the secret, and I sucked in a breath. He closed his eyes as he exhaled, a look of frustration on his face.
'If I say nothing and no-one, will you leave it?' His tone was pleading as I laughed harshly.
'Absolutely fucking not. Are you fucking her? Is that why you went back to New York?' I was shaking as I asked him, visions of him with some scantily clad whore burning through my retina. I would kill her. Then him.
He raised his eyebrows as he gaped at me in a stunned silence, before I fixed him with a deadly gaze.
'You need to fucking answer me right now Cal Fallon before I rip your balls off and ram them down your throat.'
To my horror he began to laugh, and I shoved him in the chest angrily.
'I'm not fucking anyone, princess, come on! I swear, its nothing like that.'
I folded my arms as I waited. He sighed as he put his hands on my shoulders, which I shrugged off angrily.
'You're going to ruin the surprise.' He said quietly.
'No, I'm surprised alright. Spit it out Cal.'
I'm taking you away for your birthday. Beth is the travel agent, and she's sending the tickets over to my email as we speak. Enjoy your bath.'
He turned and walked away, disappointment on his face as I stared after him with a mixture of disbelief and regret.