Spirit of Steel -- 38


The ringing of the phone next to his head wasn't a new sound to him.  In the last three nights he'd been woken up more than a few times with calls from Carolina so he instantly grabbed up the thing and stopped the wringing with a growl of the word, "Hello."

The voice was more harsh than the ringing had been.  "You're going to kill me."

"Hmmm?"  he turned his head farther away from his pillow and pushed himself out of bed.  "Who is this?"

"It's your fiancÚ," she said with a flat tone.

"Carolina?" he asked.

"You have any other fiancÚ's I don't know about?" she snapped.

His brain wasn't working.  He had only been asleep for two hours when she'd called and his brain was still in deep sleep.  "Honey, I thought you'd be on a plane right now," he said as he moved to sit in bed.  She was supposed to be on her way to Memphis from Colorado after she'd let him hire some movers for her.

He heard her start to cry and he felt like an ass for not really being able to understand what was going on.  He wiped his eyes and took a deep breath and tried to figure out what day it was and where she should be and what might be happening that would cause her to be so upset so instantly.

He heard her groan.  "That's why I said that you were going to kill me."

"Carolina," he said instantly feeling his chest tighten.  He'd listened to her cry to him on the phone when they'd parted ways at LAX, his plane leaving for Seattle, while her plane had headed to Denver, "Tell me what's going on."

"My ankle," she said.

"What?"  The words shocked him awake as if he'd just had six cups of espresso.  "What happened?"

There was a long silence and he heard her crying.  He felt as if he was going to throw up right there on the phone.  He couldn't sit and listen to her cry.  His mind immediately went through the ways that he could get a flight back to her.  If it was something serious there was no way that they were going to keep him in Australia when he really wanted to be home.

"I snapped my ankle."

His heart stopped for a moment.  He knew that it could happen again, but he'd thought that it wouldn't have been the one thing that would ruin her trip to see him and the chance for him to be on the road with her for the next few weeks.  "What?"

When he heard a knock on the door he groaned and wondered who the hell was even awake at this hour.  Maybe it was Todd or Mike wondering about the ringing of the phone.  They'd checked on him once or twice since he'd started getting these late night calls, just making sure that he wasn't tiring himself on the phone instead of sleeping like he should have been.

"Are you in the hospital?" he asked plugging his ear so that the banging noise would disappear.

The knock sounded again.  This time Todd's voice accompanied it.  "JUSTIN!"

"Hold on," Justin said into the phone and moved the mouthpiece away from him.  "WHAT?"

"YOU OK?"

"Justin go and get the door," Carolina said.

"No," he said after moving the mouthpiece in front of his mouth again.  "Todd is being a prick right now and I want to hear about your ankle."

"Go get the door," she said angrily and started to cry.

"No," he said, "You're crying and I'm not about to get off this God Damn phone until I know you're ok."

When he heard the door click open he pushed himself out of bed and stalked out towards the front door of the suite, moving the phone away from his mouth he came around the corner yelling.  "I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE!  CAROLINA IS--"  He blinked a few times when he saw her standing in front of him.

"I told you to get the door," she said with a laugh as she hung up her phone.

"What are you doing here?" he asked immediately closing his phone and shoving it onto the couch cushion as he moved across the room to scoop her up into his arms.  He was careful.  "Your ankle."

"I just wanted to make sure that you were awake," she said and kissed him.

"Definitely," he said and pulled her close and held her next to him.  "I thought you were hurt."

"I am," she said.  He let her go, almost dropping her away from him.

"No," she said, "No.  No."

"What?" he asked, "Did I hurt you?"

"No," she said and pulled him into a hug again.

"Fuck Carolina," he said, "It's the middle of the night.  Are you hurt or are you not hurt?"

"No," she said, "Well my heart was breaking until the moment I walked into this suite."

He started at her for the longest time.

"Your heart can't break," he said, "At least not all the way."

"Oh really?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, "I wouldn't let that happen to you."  He sighed, "I don't even think you need my protection though."

"Oh really?" she asked again.

"Yeah," he said leaning towards her to kiss her.  "You've got a heart of steel."

"I don't think so," she said.

"No?"

"I wouldn't be with you if I had a heart of steel."

"Okay then," he sighed and hugged her.  "A Spirit of Steel."

"And an ankle of steel," she said and smiled at him.

"That too," he said and kissed her one more time.


THE END


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