On Saturday, Sophie came over to the house to help Kallie get ready for her meeting. When Kallie went to meet with Walter Wheton, she did everything herself. Now, she had Sophie’s entire hair and makeup staff working on her, and even a stylist. Jack and Cam were in the living room watching a football game; Jack was going to go with Sophie and Kallie, but Cam had to go into the restaurant in a few hours. Henry washed and dried Kallie’s long hair, pulling the sides off of her face and adding volume to the top, leaving her waves intact. The stylist put her in a pair of high waisted black shorts and an emerald green sleeveless shirt with lace accents. He added a white pair of 5 inch Christian Louboutins that Sophie had let her borrow; Kallie was intimidated when she looked at them, but they were surprisingly comfortable. Sophie checked her watch, realizing it was time to go. She had gotten a car service to take them into the city, and it was already waiting for them out front.
They met Jack outside; Cam had already left and Jack was ready and waiting for them by the car. He was wearing a black, pinstriped suit and a crisp white shirt, opened at the collar. Kallie walked straight into his arms; the height of her heels made her come up to his chin level, and she loved it. Jack looked at her and shook his head.
“What?” Kallie asked.
“You. It amazes me to think that only like 6 months ago, I thought you were a snobby little tease with nothing better to do than look pretty. Now, I think you’re the sweetest, most caring woman in the world, with nothing to do but look pretty,” Jack said, teasing her.
Kallie feigned annoyance and swatted him on the arm. Jack held her arms at her sides and kissed her.
“You. Are. Beautiful,” he said, kissing her again.
“Thanks, Jack. You aren’t so bad looking yourself,” she replied, straightening the collar of his jacket.
Suddenly, Kallie thought of something. “Wait; we are going to dinner tonight, aren’t we? I don’t have anything to wear!”
Jack smiled. “Don’t worry; my mom picked you out something, if you don’t mind. I didn’t want you to see it, because I didn’t want you to get an idea of what kind of restaurant we were going to.”
“Don’t fret Kallie; I picked out the perfect thing for you. It’s already at the agency and you can change into it when we are done,” Sophie said, “ The shoes you already have on are the perfect finish to the outfit.”
Kallie smiled gratefully at Sophie; it was great to have a mother figure in her life at this time. The ride to the agency wasn’t too long, but Kallie was happy that Jack wasn’t driving; she tucked her legs underneath her and curled up underneath his arm, her iPhone in her lap and the newest Trey Songz album blaring through the headphones. At the agency’s office building, the three of them rode the elevator to the 8th floor. Everyone knew Sophie; it was like she, and in turn Kallie, were celebrities. They didn’t have to wait at all and were ushered right into a plush office decorated in complimenting shades of blue.
A slender woman with high cheekbones and an expensive suit entered the room. She was flawless; Kallie raised her eyebrows in surprise and even snuck a curious look at Jack to see if he looked at her. He didn’t; and Kallie smiled to herself.
“Sophie! How are you, my love? I’ve missed you! It isn’t the same without you around here!” the woman exclaimed, kissing Sophie on both cheeks.
“Leslie, it’s so great to see you! It’s like I never left; everyone remembers me!”
“Well of course they do; you are legend here!” Leslie said, complimenting a blushing Sophie.
“Leslie, you remember my son Jackson. And this is his girlfriend, Kallie.”
“Sophie, she is simply gorgeous! I was planning on telling her that she was lucky to have snagged a catch like Jackson Williams, but I see that I have to compliment him on his juicy little arm candy,” she said, and Kallie knew she was just teasing.
“Let’s do a few shots to start a small portfolio for her, and then we can go from there. You shouldn’t be here that long,” Leslie added, leaving the room and returning a few moments later with an older man who turned out to be a photographer.
Kallie posed for close up pictures and for full body shots. Jack watched her intently, in awe. She was so good at this; a natural. It only took about an hour, and then Leslie dismissed them, promising Kallie a contract with the agency with her first job on Leslie’s clothing line. After they said goodbye to Leslie, Sophie retrieved a dress bag from behind the receptionist desk and handed it to Kallie, directing her to the nearest bathroom. Kallie ducked inside and removed the dress from the bag. She gasped.
The dress was beautiful. It was completely white, and matched Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” gown to a T. Kallie couldn’t believe it. She’d always wanted a dress like this; Sophie knew her so well. She slipped on the dress carefully and put the clothes she was wearing into the dress bag. Looking in the mirror, she carefully removed the pins from her hair and let it cascade down her shoulders and sweep over the side of her face. She stepped out of the bathroom where Sophie was waiting for her. Sophie clasped her hands over her mouth in excitement.
“Okay?” Kallie asked unsurely.
“More than okay. Amazing,” Sophie said, hugging her, “I’m disappearing now. The car will bring me home. Have a great time in the city; you will love the restaurant!”
Sophie hurried around the corner to grab the elevator down to the street. Kallie peeked around the corner and saw Jack, leaning against the desk and politely talking to the receptionist. He had added a necktie to his outfit and put more gel in his hair. Kallie bit her lip and smiled. So freaking sexy. Fueled by the courage of her sexy dress and Sophie’s fierce Louboutin’s, Kallie stepped out and walked over to Jack. When he saw her, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her.
“Kallie, baby. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. “
“You like it?”
“I absolutely love it. You’re flawless. I better not let you out of my sight tonight,” he said, lacing his fingers through hers, “Let’s go so we aren’t late.”
They rode the elevator downstairs, where a stretch limo sat waiting for them. Surprised but excited, Kallie climbed inside and Jack followed, settling in the seat and draping his arm around her shoulder. The driver rolled down the partition.
“Hello, Mr. Williams! Are our plans the same?” he asked loudly.
“Yes, sir! And thank you!”
“The pleasure is all mine!” he said, raising the partition again. He pulled away from the curb and drove towards Manhattan. Kallie stared in awe at all the lights and buildings; they looked so different and so pretty from inside the limo. She felt like a celebrity. Jack kept asking her if she was enjoying herself, and each time, she could only ever answer ‘yes’. Finally, they stopped at a tall building where lots of people crowded around to take pictures. Not knowing the city very well, Kallie still didn’t know where they were. Jack opened the limo door and helped her out. People stopped what they were doing to watch them, which made Kallie feel even more like a celebrity. Jack put her underneath his arm and lead her into the building. They got into a sleek, glass elevator and rode up and up, for what felt like forever. When they stepped out, Kallie was so surprised at the height that she had to grab Jack’s arm. She could see out for miles; the entire city of New York.
“Oh my gosh, Jack, this is beautiful! Where are we?” Kallie asked.
“Top of the Rock observation deck. We are 70 floors up; you have a 360 degree view of the city.”
“Oh, Jack, this is amazing. It’s beautiful. Thank you,” she said, kissing him deeply. She turned around to admire the view, and when she turned back, Jack was down on one knee.
Kallie froze. “Jackson, what-“
“Kallie. I love you. I know this may seem crazy, but what have we been through together that wasn’t crazy? I want to take care of you, love you, be yours, forever. I can’t think of anyone else who would make my life as perfect as you have. Will you marry me?”
Jack produced the 3 carat solitaire from his breast pocket, and presented it to Kallie. A crowd had gathered on the deck and had become their audience. Kallie ran her hand through her hair as tears streamed down her face. Jack raised his eyebrows expectantly.
“Oh gosh, Jackson, of course I will,” she answered, flinging herself into his arms. An elated Jack squeezed her tightly, lifting her off the ground. The people around them applauded. Kallie’s hand was shaking so badly that it was hard for Jack to put the ring on, but he managed. It fit perfectly, of course.
“Jack, it’s beautiful. I love it. I love you,” she said, kissing him.
“I love you too, Kallie. You’ve just made me the happiest man in the world,” he answered, kissing her again.
Jack led Kallie back to the elevator and down a few floors to a chic restaurant with windows overlooking the city. Kallie excused herself to use the bathroom to freshen up her makeup, and a waiter led Jack to the private table that he’d reserved. He ordered drinks for the two of them, and the waiter returned quickly. When Kallie joined him, he stood and pulled out her chair, tucking it underneath her as she sat. Kallie held out her hand to admire her ring.
“Like it?” Jack asked, smirking.
“Love it,” Kallie answered, “Does Cam know? Has he seen it?”
“Cam knows I was asking you tonight, and he helped me pick it out. He’s my best friend; that was kind of a given.”
Kallie laughed. “I should have known. Jack, this is all absolutely amazing. Thank you. It’s a dream come true.”
Jack lifted his glass, and Kallie did the same. “To many more years of making your dreams come true.”
“Our dreams,” Kallie corrected.
“Touche,” Jack said, clinking his glass on hers. Kallie leaned over the table and kissed him.
Jack and Kallie had such open, laid back conversation over dinner; it was like every stress that they’d ever experienced was gone. By the time they had finished their dinner and dessert, they were both exhausted. Jack paid the bill and called the limo driver to tell him that he could pick them up out front. They took the elevator back down to the street, and Kallie found herself unable to stifle her continued yawning. It had been such a busy, wonderful day, but it was all catching up to her. They got into the limo, and she stretched out on the seat, laying her head in Jack’s lap. He removed his suit jacket and draped it over her shoulders, and within minutes, Kallie was sleeping peacefully.
“Kallie, baby, wake up sweetheart,” Jack was saying, after what only felt like a few minutes.
“Mmm 5 more minutes,” she answered, turning her face into Jack’s leg and kissing his thigh.
Jack laughed and tickled her side. “No more minutes. We’re home.” The driver opened the door for them, and Jack climbed out first and then helped Kallie out. He scooped her off her feet and carried her up the front steps and into their house. Kallie rested her head on Jack’s chest and let him carry her upstairs to his room.
“What do you want to wear?” He asked, amused at her sleepy demeanor.
“Shirt,” she answered simply. Jack laughed out loud at her and pulled one of his tshirts out of his dresser drawer, tossing it gently at her. She pulled her dress off over her head and pulled on Jack’s old, soft tshirt. She lay the dress carefully on the sofa in the corner, placing the shoes on the floor next to it. Jack scooped her up from behind and threw her gently on the bed. He peeled back the blankets and let her crawl underneath, crawling in after her. He pulled her close to him and draped his arm around her waist.
“When?” Kallie asked sleepily.
“When what?” Jack asked, confused.
“When do I get to be Mrs. Jackson Williams?” she asked, turning towards him.
“Tomorrow sounds good,” he laughed.
“Tomorrow sounds good to me too, but I think your mom would be extremely upset if she didn’t get to throw you the biggest wedding ever seen.”
“Agreed,” Jack said, “How about January?”
“You can’t get married in January in New York, Jack. It’s freezing.”
“You can get married in January in Cancun,” he answered simply.
“Mexico? Are you serious?”
“Completely serious. Sound good?”
Kallie grabbed Jack’s face and kissed him hard. “Sounds amazing.”
“Sophie will be happy; a wedding abroad will be like her dream come true. I’ll call her in the morning; I’m sure you’ll hear her scream of delight on the other end.”
“Who are you going to ask to stand up on your side, Jack?”
“Well, Cam, of course. And I was thinking of my Uncle Zach.”
Kallie smiled. “That’s perfect. Because I’m going to ask Alexa and Blair.”
Jack kissed her. “Aunt Blair will be ecstatic, Kallie. Thank you.”
“I love you, Jack.”
“I love you, too, future Mrs. Jackson Williams.”
“Kallie Williams. I like it,” Kallie said.
“I like it more,” Jack replied. He grabbed her face and kissed her passionately, and Kallie responded immediately.
“Kallie, baby, you’re exhausted. Go to sleep.,” Jack said, pulling back from her.
“I’m never too exhausted for you, baby,” she said, and pulled his face back to hers.
The next day, Sunday, Jack, Kallie, and Cam went to see Sophie and Linc. Jack broke the good news to his parents, and as expected, Sophie was on top of the world. She insisted that they have dinner with the family at Sophie’s. She called Blair immediately to confirm that she and Zach could attend; Blair was just as excited as Sophie was. A short time later, Blair showed up at the William’s house, and Kallie was whisked away by the two women in full wedding planning mode.
They looked over everything from dresses to flowers to locations; Sophie was over the moon that Jack and Kallie had decided on Mexico. The prospective invitation list kept getting longer and longer, and she was so overwhelmed, but she loved every second of it. About 2 hours later, Jack came into the living room where the women were.
“I’m stealing my fiancé!” he announced, scooping up Kallie and leaving the room with her.
“Jackson, no!” Sophie called after him, “We have so much to do!”
“Can’t hear you!” he yelled back. He carried her to his childhood bedroom and set her back on her feet, closing the door behind him.
“Sorry for all this, Kal. I knew they were going to be crazy, but I can see your head spinning already.”
“Don’t be silly, Jack. I love this. It’s the family I never had. My foster family was good to me, but it’s not the same as having this true family bond that you guys have here. I need this.”
“Well, you have it now. My family is your family; they’ll annoy you and you’ll love them just as much as I do.”
Kallie smiled and stood on her tiptoes to kiss the tip of Jack’s nose. “I already do.”
Jack grabbed her hand and together they went out to the kitchen. Sophie and Blair had joined Cam and Linc there, and they were all sipping cold cocktails.
“Wow. That was fast bro. I feel bad for Kallie,” Cam said.
Kallie held back a laugh and Jack shot his brother an evil look. “Ha ha Cameron. And for the record, Kallie has no complaints.” Kallie held her hands up and raised her eyebrows in silent agreement, making everyone laugh.
“Mom, if you want us to go out tonight, you have to let us go home and get ready,” Jack explained.
“Oh, alright. I guess. At least we’ll have lots of things to talk about over dinner!” Sophie exclaimed, clapping her hands excitedly.
Kallie, Jack, and Cam left for their house, to shower and dress for tonight’s dinner. When they were clean and classy, Jack drove them back to his parent’s house, where a limo sat waiting to take Sophie, Linc, Cam, Jack, Kallie, Blair, and Zach to the restaurant. They drank complimentary champagne and ate fresh strawberries on the way. Kallie had never been to Sophie’s, and although she had thought Shantelle’s was beautiful, it paled in comparison. It was attached to a private, luxury hotel right outside of Syosset, in a secluded area right off of the highway. Kallie was excited to see the restaurant that Cam was so proud of, and when they entered, she could see why. The restaurant was decorated in all black and gold, with expensive glittering fixtures and a wide open dining room. There was a full, elegant bar on the right hand side of the room, and dining tables scattered around the glistening floor. There was a band playing soft dinner music. A private party room was located to the left, and Linc led the family that way.
A young man with curly blonde hair approached them. “Mr. Williams! How are you tonight? I hear congratulations are in order!” he said, pumping Linc’s hand.
“It’s great to see you, Matthew. And thank you. Jackson and our family are extremely happy.” Linc stepped to the side and pulled Kallie to him. “This is Jackson’s fiancé, Kallie. Kallie, this is our manager, Matthew Torres.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Kallie said politely, shaking his hand.
“Believe me, the pleasure is all mine. Congratulations to the two of you,” he said, kissing the back of her hand.
Jack weaved his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him. “Thank you, Matthew; I’m a very lucky man,” he said smugly and caressed Kallie’s cheek. Kallie could see the testosterone battle heating up, and she put her hand on the side of his face and kissed his cheek.
“Not luckier than me,” she said, winking.
Matthew cleared his throat and pulled his eyes away from Kallie, and escorted them to the restaurant’s private room. They were seated around a large round table, and were instantly served glasses of sparkling water while a waiter took their individual drink orders. When he returned with the drinks, he went around the table and took their dinner orders.
Jack rested his hand on Kallie’s bare thigh and scooted his chair closer to hers. Kallie looked up at him from underneath her eyelashes.
“You know, baby,” Jack whispered to her, “most men hate when other men oogle their woman. I, on the other hand, relish every second of it. Having you on my arm and in my life makes me the happiest man on the planet. I don’t blame Matthew for the staring though- you look amazing tonight.”
No one would disagree with him. Kallie was wearing a short, satin emerald green dress and those white Louboutins. Her blonde hair was pin straight and had a deep part on the right side, and pinned back over one ear to reveal a pair of large diamond stud earrings that Jack had surprised her with.
“Thanks Jack. And for the record, you’re a bigger person than me because every time I see a girl look at you, I feel my cat claws coming out a little farther,” she replied, and Jack laughed loudly.
“You have nothing to worry about, love; I only have eyes for you. You’re lucky that it doesn’t happen as often with me as it does with you.”
“More often than you think, Jack. You’re a catch. I’m holding on tight,” she said, lightly digging her fingernails into his thigh and biting her lip.
“Are you trying to start something right here?” Jack said and squeezed her thigh.
“Maybe,” she answered coyly, tossing her hair to the opposite side and exposing her neck.
“You’re relentless,” Jack laughed, and planted a light kiss on her neck and draped his arm around her shoulder.
The funny thing was, both Jack and Kallie could each make the other one feel as if they were the only person in the room. Kallie couldn’t stop making eye contact with him, and although there were always pretty girls around, Jack’s eyes never wandered from her. Kallie could hear the idol chatter around the table about wedding bands and dress designers and hotels, but she felt like she was in her own little world with Jack, and no one cared to interrupt. Well, except Cam.
“Kallie,” Cam said, breaking their bubble, “Would you like to dance?”
“I’d love to,” she answered. Jack shook his head at his brother, amused.
Cam took Kallie’s hand and led her to the shiny wood dance floor in the room. He tightened his grip on her waist and began to move her to the band’s sultry music.
“Cameron, this place is fabulous. You should be so proud. I’m proud just to say I know you,” Kallie told him.
“Thanks, Kal. That means a lot. I’m glad that you and Jack are in such a good place; I’ve always wanted a sister,” Cam said and smiled at her.
“Well, not really. But a hot sister that’s not actually blood related to me… I’ll take that,” he replied, making Kallie laugh.
“You’re amazing, Cameron. You were the first person I allowed to get close to me since I first met Drew. You changed my life; you made me stronger, and I’ll never be able to repay you for that.”
“You saved my brother, Kallie. You pulled him out of this lonely thing he’s had going for a long, long time, and I’ll never be able to repay you for that. Jack’s my best friend, and it makes me so happy to see him so happy.”
“I’ll do my best to keep it that way, Cam,” she said, and when the song ended, Cam kissed her hand politely and led her back to her seat next to Jack.
“Returning what belongs to you, brother,” Cam said, putting Kallie’s hand in Jack’s.
“She’s not a possession to belong to me, but I’m more than happy to have her,” Jack replied.
Their meals arrived a few moments later, and the food was delicious. When Sophie started talking to Kallie about dress designers, Kallie asked if Leslie Leels would like to design them, which made Sophie even more excited. She promised Kallie that she would call Leslie first thing the next morning to ask. When everyone was finished with their meals and desserts, and many of the wedding plans were already getting into motion, the group piled back into the limo to take the ride home. Kallie sat between Blair and Jack, and Kallie looped her arm through Blair’s.
“I was wondering if, maybe, you’d want to be my matron of honor,” Kallie asked Blair.
Blair’s eyes instantly filled with tears. “Me? Really? I’m so touched! You don’t have to do that though, Kallie.”
“I know I don’t have to, but I want to. We’ve become really close since we met, and I want you to stand up on my side.”
“I would love to, Kallie,” Blair answered, squeezing Kallie’s arm excitedly.
Kallie looked at Jack, who grinned back at her and gave her a small thumbs up signal.
“Zach,” Jackson said, speaking up, “I would like you to stand up on my side for the wedding. And Cam, I’d like you to be my best man.”
Cam gave his brother a big, goofy grin and slapped him a high five. “Cool beans, bro; I’m totally in.”
“I’m in too, Jackson. Thank you for the honor,” Zach said humbly.
“Who else are you going to have on your side?” Cam asked Kallie.
“I’m going to ask Alexa,” Kallie told him, watching his face for a reaction.
“Hell yeah!” Cam exclaimed, and high fived Kallie this time.
Jack’s cell phone rang, and he frowned at the unknown number on the screen.
“Jackson Williams.” Kallie watched Jack’s face change and his jawline tighten. “Um. Sure. Hold on,” Jack handed the phone to Kallie, “It’s Drew.”
Kallie took the phone from Jack, trying to block out the protests from the rest of the family. “Hello?”
“Hi Kallie. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to have lunch tomorrow; I’m home from the hospital.”
“Oh. Okay, Drew. I just want to make it clear that I won’t go alone, and I won’t go to your house,” Kallie answered, watching Jack’s face carefully.
“I know; I understand. I just want to see you. Is noon okay? We can go to the diner at the end of my road.”
“I’ll have to ask Jack, but if it’s not okay, I’ll text you. Bye Drew.”
Kallie hung up the phone and gave it back to Jack. “Don’t be mad, baby,” she whispered.
“I’m not mad, Kal. I told you. I get you. I know it’s important for you to help. I don’t get why you feel like you need to help him, but I love you, and I’ll always be there for anything you need.”
She turned to Cam. “You’re mad, Cam?”
“Kallie, you know I hate this. Like, there is nothing I hate more than this whole situation. But I feel the same way Jack does. Just make sure you don’t get in over your head, sweetheart.”
“I won’t. Thank you guys; I know it’s hard for you to understand, but it’s just something that I know in my heart I can fix.”