Over the next two months, Jack brought Kallie to see Drew once a week. Jack was no longer self conscious about Drew and Kallie’s relationship; he was confident in what he and Kallie had together, and it was only getting stronger every day. Drew had even started dating a new woman; he told Kallie that he was taking it slowly and continuing to work on himself, with Kallie’s help. Kallie could tell that he was a completely different person, and she was happy for him. One afternoon, Sophie suggested that Jack invite Drew to dinner at Sophie and Linc’s house. Cam still hated the idea of Kallie spending time with Drew, but his need to be there for her outweighed his hatred for Drew. Jack preferred that Kallie was around more people who would ensure her safety, so he agreed and called Drew personally to set up dinner the next night.
At 7pm sharp the next day, Drew showed up at Sophie and Linc’s door, clean shaven and wearing a perfectly pressed suit. Linc let him in and escorted him to the back patio, where dinner was set up. Drew handed a red rose to Sophie and then approached Kallie, handing her a white rose. She smiled in gratitude, and then interlocked her fingers with Jack, who was right next to her, of course. They all sat around the table, and the team of caterers that Sophie hired began to serve the meal.
“I thank you for inviting me tonight, Mr. and Mrs. Williams. Kallie is very important in my life, and I would like to prove to you all that I’ve changed since she first met me,” Drew said, smiling at them.
“Kallie’s extremely important in our lives as well. I’m sure you understand our reservations when it comes to you,” Linc said in his deep, commanding voice.
Kallie’s eyes filled with tears when she heard Linc explain how important she was to them, and Jack draped his arm around the back of her chair and pulled her closer to him.
“I understand completely,” Drew said.
“I’m glad we’re on the same page. Kallie is part of our family now, and we will do anything to ensure her safety,” Linc explained to Drew.
Jack leaned over a planted a kiss on Kallie’s temple. “I love you,” he whispered into her ear.
“I love you too,” she answered, leaning into him and squeezing his thigh.
Drew watched the exchange between the two then looked away quickly, clearing his throat. “The things I have done to Kallie in the past are inexcusable, and I would never expect her to look at me the same way again. I want her to be safe and happy; even though I had a poor way of showing it, I did- and still do- love Kallie.”
Jack looked at Kallie to see her reaction to this bold confession. She was staring down, and he watched a tear fall from her eyes and into her lap. Her strong show of emotion might have made him nervous, if he wasn’t already so confident in their relationship- and the fact that she refused to break the contact between them at this very moment.
Cam spoke up. “I’m sure you are aware that no matter what you say today, Kallie will never be with you again,” he said, turning to Kallie. “Kal, I don’t want you to think I’m putting words in your mouth, I’m just verbally affirming the things we’ve talked about before, to everyone at the table.”
Kallie wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “No, it’s fine Cam, you’re right. Drew and I have a past, and that’s influential in my life; no doubt about it. But there is no one in this world that will ever take me from Jack. He’s it for me; he’s everything.” Kallie laced her fingers through Jack’s and squeezed tightly. Jack smiled, kissing her forehead.
“I understand that,” Drew said. “I see that Kallie is happy, and I want nothing more than for her to stay as happy as she is at this very moment, for the rest of her life.”
The conversation centered around Kallie ended, and they began to start up easy dialogue about sports, the city, and the precinct that Jack left behind. When it was time for Drew to leave, Linc escorted him back out of the front door and watched him drive down the road before the tension fully left his shoulders. He joined the rest of his family, who were all sitting around the living room.
Cam let out a breath. “How about we never do that again, okay mom?”
They all laughed, relief flooding the room. “He’s definitely changed though,” Jack said finally.
“I agree,” Kallie added.
“Me too,” Sophie said. “He seems extremely repentant for everything he’s done.”
“I don’t buy it,” Cam said firmly.
“Neither do I,” Linc agreed, and they all remained silent because they all knew that Cam and Linc were truly the best judges of character in their family.