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FIC: TOP TEN

Top ten things Erica Hahn loves about Callie Torres.


1. When Callie accidentally-on purpose permanently borrowed Erica's favorite dark gray hoodie, Erica caught Callie sniff the hoodie and gleefully declare, "Ericascent!"  This warmed Erica more than the hoodie ever did.

2. Three words: Lap Dance Fridays.  Callie also had a pole installed in their bedroom and worked that pole for her audience of one special blonde.  

3. Callie routinely begged Erica for weekend getaways because she liked having Erica to herself for two days. More accurately, Callie liked locking Erica in a room, tying her to a bed, and fucking her senseless without interruption. 

4. Callie claimed taking a shower together was "going green." Sex, especially marathon sex, was also her cardio.

5. Callie was wicked possessive and threatened to kick Karev's ass when he casually checked Erica out and said he'd "hit that." Callie shoved Karev against the nurses' station and said she'd hit him, repeatedly, if he even looked at Erica again.

6. Only Callie could make Erica laugh so hard, Erica's abs ached the next day.

7. Callie sometimes moved her mouth when she read. Erica had to cover her own mouth to stifle her laugh.

8. One night in bed, facing each other and planning their future, Callie whispered that she dreamed about having Erica's baby.

9. Erica found daily love notes in her briefcase from Callie. One side would be a love note written in Spanish with the English translation on the back.  The messages were undoubtedly sexier in Spanish.

10. Callie kept a picture of Erica and her in her wallet. Late one night at Joe's, Mark had taken a picture of Callie standing behind Erica, her arms wrapped around Erica's waist, her head buried in Erica's neck. Erica's eyes are closed and she is grinning her most adorable, crooked grin. There were never two people more in love. 







 

Spidey's Fault

It all started with Callie's Spiderman underwear.

Erica blamed Spidey.

Callie, wearing only a clingy tank top and Spiderman underwear, was brushing her teeth in Erica's immaculate bathroom. That night, Callie opted for the thick, cotton briefs with the red, elastic waistband and vibrant cartoons championing an iconic superhero with the unfortunate association with an arachnid.  Callie's taste in intimate apparel matched that of four-year-old boys who fancied themselves superheroes.  Teetering on the balls of her bare feet, Callie leaned over the sink, meticulously brushing her pearly teeth and spraying sudsy toothpaste bubbles onto the pristine mirror. Balancing her weight on one arm, Callie white-knuckled the rim of the porcelain sink, and pumped her ass skyward as she bent further over the sink, completely absorbed in her nightly devotion to oral hygiene.

Nestled in her bed, Erica reclined in a cottony cloud of pillows with a medical journal previously in her hands splayed open and unread on top of the downy comforter.  Her blue eyes peering over black-rimmed glasses, Erica spied on Callie in an intimate moment, Callie completely at home in Erica's home, gifting Erica with the highlight of her torturous day.  Erica could survive the chaotic stress of work, her nostrils tragically too familiar with the metallic smell of blood, patch-working broken hearts all day, if she could experience these quiet moments with the voluptuous girl currently bent over her sink. 

Callie had covertly snuck her toothbrush into Erica's bathroom several months earlier. There was no angsty debate, no emotional pow-wow as to the meaning of leaving personal items at a girlfriend's home, but both women privately celebrated the milestone in their burgeoning relationship. Erica stifled a school-girlish giggle every time she spotted Callie's purple toothbruth hanging next to her blue toothbrush on the tiled wall. Even their toothbrushes belonged together.

Erica was now mesmerized by Callie's bouncing ass, the roundness swelling as Callie leaned closer to the mirror. She got an ass that could swallow up a g-string popped into Erica's subconscious. Erica was too Caucasian to know if this was a preferable trait of the female ass, but watching Callie's bubbalicious bottom rhythmically pumping up and down convinced her it was a very preferable trait. 

Erica's head involuntarily tilted as she stared, transfixed by the pinup girl in her bathroom. She wished to freeze-frame this perfect moment, to kidnap this moment and hide it in a corner of her heart.  Erica prayed for a lifetime of this moment, a half-dressed Callie leaning over her sink, Erica's own private peep show. She liked when Callie was bent over, preferrably over furniture or kitchen appliances during one of their inexhaustible searches for the perfect sexual position.

"Move in with me," Erica heard herself blurt out, her voice much louder than she intended. 

The brushing stopped.  Callie slowly swiveled her head to face Erica. "Mmwhaaaddtt?" Callie still had the toothbrush and a sea of white bubbles in her mouth.

"Move in with me?" Erica tried again, her voice quieter and tremulous with doubt this time, her brain catching up to her impetuous mouth.

Callie spun back to the sink and calmly rinsed her mouth. She methodically rinsed her toothbrush and hung it on its hook before she ambled to the doorway leading to the bedroom. She casually leaned against the door frame, one hand on her protruding hip, radiating sass. "Um. What." She wasn't asking, she was challenging, daring her beloved to join her in a verbal duel, a certain battle they had waged numerous times before. 

Sighing, Erica threw her medical journal on the bedside table, sat up in bed, and pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "I want you to move in with me," Erica announced, simply, as if discussing the weather. Erica wanted clear skies, but sensed they were entering tornado country. Callie's spicy temper could change the temperature in any room.

Callie huffily crossed her arms over her chest. "I thought you weren't ready. That we weren't ready. That it was too soon," her combative tone indicating the pain Erica's cliched excuses had inflicted.

"I know I said that, but I change my mind. I'm ready now."  She tossed Callie a glowing smile and nodded, suddenly eager and uncharacteristically perky. Erica didn't do perky.

Callie wasn't buying the perky and countered with a sarcastic smirk.  "Huh. You changed your mind. Great. I have only been begging you for months, but now because you're ready, I'm supposed to jump-"

"I know!" Erica exhaled audibly and her shoulders slumped. Revealing the truth, the machinations of her heart, was never easy for Erica. "I just...I was watching you just now, brushing your teeth, and you're just so...you're just so...fucking sexy, you know? I just couldn't stop staring at you-"

"Because you have a staring problem! I know! I told you that before, always staring at me-"

"Alright, yes! I have a staring problem. It's a thing I have. I like staring at beautiful women. Well, just one beautiful woman." The women exchanged a smitten smile, their soulful connection betraying the heated words spewed between them. "Just move in with me, okay?" Erica pleaded, her hands pulling furiously at a loose thread in the comforter.

Callie leaned her head against the door frame and gazed wistfully at Erica, charmed by how childlike and fragile Erica seemed, adrift in her gigantic bed.  Erica recently purchased that bed when their rough sexual gymnastics proved too taxing for the previous bed.  The women had taken sordid pleasure in stressing to the naive salesman their need for the sturdiest bed in the store. "How do I know you're really ready?" Callie hugged herself tighter. She was beyond frustrated with Erica's trepidation at every stage of their relationship.

"Because I'm telling you. I'm really ready. So, very, very ready," Erica vehemently insisted, pounding the comforter with every word.  

Callie glanced at the carpet beneath her feet, drawing random patterns with her toe on the plush carpet. "You're sure?" Callie tested her, exasperation shrilling her voice with a whiny timber. Callie couldn't fathom why Erica demanded they wait to officially live together when Callie had slept over every night for a year.  They had even passed the toothbrush test with flying rainbow colors, Callie reasoned.

"Very sure!  Absolutely sure.  Cal, look at me. I want to live with you. I want the privilege of watching you brush your teeth in your ridiculous, cartoon underwear every night of my life.  I want to undress you and snuggle with you in my bed-our bed-every night.  Just please move in with me. Please, baby," Erica begged, her eyes watery behind her glasses, her hands clutching the comforter.

Fighting the urge to pounce and ravish her four-eyed, weepy girlfriend, Callie instead sauntered to the bed and crawled on her hands and knees to straddle Erica's lap.  Erica smoothed her hands over Callie's thighs and ass, up to the small of Callie's back and tugged her closer.  Callie's ample bosom bounced in Erica's face, magnetizing Erica's hands to Callie's tank top to paw and stretch the thin material enough to stamp wet kisses all over Callie's weighty breasts. Tangling her hands into yellow curls, Callie lifted Erica's face out of her cleavage. The sexy librarian glasses flipped Callie's naughty switch, inciting her to kiss Erica hungrily, swirling her tongue around Erica's mouth.

Callie unsuctioned her lips from Erica's mouth and readjusted her crooked glasses. "Ask me again, nerd," Callie breathed into her mouth before licking Erica's bottom lip.

Erica dipped her hands under the waistband of Callie's underwear to firmly cup her ass and locked into Callie's eyes, whipped and willing to beg. Erica cleared her throat. "Callie Torres?"

"Yes, Erica Hahn, or should I call you Dr. Hahn?" Callie shamelessly flirted, pushing Erica's glasses up her nose and trailing her index finger down Erica's nose to trace her parted mouth.

Erica gripped two handfuls of Callie's ass and yanked Callie tighter into her lap. "I want to live with you.  Will you please, please move in with me?" Erica pleaded, gently kissing Callie, tasting her minty toothpaste.

Callie framed Erica's face with her hands and sighed, her breathe stolen by Erica. Nobody else saw Erica Hahn with her glasses on.  Erica didn't let anyone see her less than invincible. She was Superman at work, a hero to patients she saved, performing death-defying acts, a crusader who opted for a white coat instead of the standard red cape.  People avoid people in capes. 

Callie was proud to call the Dr. Hahn her best friend and then girlfriend, but Callie was more proud of the cuddly girl behind the cardio hero. Her Erica, that name a pulsing star in Callie's night sky, was the girl who nervously rambled about using the internet, gamed out outfits, and cried after sex.  Callie adored this Erica the most, Erica's face freshly washed, hair still damp from her shower, her natural curls springing to life, emo glasses on, and wearing her faded Cure shirt. Her heart aflame for the closeted nerdy, goth beneath her, Callie swallowed a sob. "Of course I'll move in with you."

Erica's soul expanded in relief and bliss as she threw her arms around Callie's waist, squeezing her tight. Callie swung her arms around Erica's neck and kissed her hair, greedily inhaling Erica's shampoo.  

Erica fumbled with the hem of Callie's tank top until Callie sat back to allow Erica to pull the tank top over her head.  After tossing the shirt to the floor, Erica immediately dove into Callie's breasts, groping and feverishly kissing her heavy breasts. Erica's deft surgeon's hands stroked the soft, velvety underside of Callie's breasts, her thumbs teasing Callie's nipples.  Callie threaded her fingers through Erica's damp hair and pressed Erica's head to her chest before snapping Erica's face up to plunge her tongue into Erica's mouth.

Callie unlocked their lips and delicately removed Erica's glasses.  As she leaned over to put the glasses on Erica's bedside table, Erica smacked her ass. Still straddling Erica's lap, Callie stood up on her knees, enabling Erica to kiss her taut stomach and swiftly yank Callie's underwear down her thighs.  Callie rolled over on her side to quickly shimmy the underwear down and off her legs and resumed straddling Erica's lap.  She clumsily pushed Erica's shirt up, only partially revealing Erica's pale, sizable breasts until Erica raised her arms over her head, allowing Callie to whip the shirt over Erica's head and throw it across the room.

Erica's right hand palmed the contour of Callie's breast, down her tapered waist, and over her generous hip to her lower stomach, while her other hand firmly clutched Callie's cheek to guide Callie's mouth to hers. Callie moaned into Erica's mouth as she brushed Callie's clit with one finger. She seized Erica's hand and plunged three of Erica's fingers into herself before she grabbed Erica by her hair to brutally force her tongue deeper into Erica's mouth.

Erica slowly pumped three and then four fingers into Callie, her thumb massaging Callie's clit.  Callie matched the rhythm of Erica's thrusts and rode her hand. She broke their kiss to melt into Erica's eyes, both women loudly gasping for air. Erica lazily kissed Callie once more before dipping her head to suck one of Callie's nipples.

As each thrust grew more violent, Callie gripped Erica's shoulders to steady herself as Erica fucked her, until supernovas exploded behind her eyelids and her clit rollercoastered into bliss. After throwing her head back and breathlessly sending shout outs to God and Erica, Callie collapsed, boneless and panting, her heavy head tumbling onto Erica's shoulder. Erica scooped Callie into her arms and rocked her gently.

"Are you okay?" Erica whispered into Callie's thick hair.

"Uh huh..." Callie was still panting, her face buried in Erica's neck, the total paralysis of her limbs slowly wearing off.

Erica leaned against the headboard and snuggled Callie closer to her body. She brushed the hair off Callie's forehead and smothered her face in kisses. "Baby, I was thinking...are you listening?"

"Un huh...listening." She was half-listening, more concerned with the lingering numbness in her arms. Erica-induced orgasms impaired her circulatory system, all blood gravitating south of the Mason-Dixon line.

"We don't have to stay here. We can find another place if you want." Erica rubbed her nose against Callie's forehead.

"I love your house," Callie argued, still fighting to catch her breathe.

Erica stroked Callie's hair.  "But I don't want you to think of it as my house.  I want it to be our house. I want this to be your home too. Our home."

"I just want to be where you are. I don't care where we live." Callie burrowed deeper into Erica, shutting her eyes tightly as she inhaled a lungful of Ericascent, a heady mixture of soap, perfume, and sex.

Erica carefully lifted Callie's chin with one finger to tenderly kiss her mouth. "I just want to be where you are too. Always."

Callie jerked her head off Erica's shoulder and sat up abruptly, astride Erica's lap. "Always?"

"Yeah. What?" The women traded knowing smirks. Both women knew this, being together, was for forever and a day, natural and yet supernatural. Their bond was unbreakable, proven by the crackling electrical current between them.  Although it was too early to swap rings, they loved, prized, and honored each other beyond all limits. They were wedded to each other, promised without words, their vows sworn every time one's hand reached for the other's. A ring alone didn't signify a love was forever, although Callie secretly wanted a ring. Callie subscribed to the commandment, If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it, the gospel according to Beyonce.

The tension snapped, crackled, and popped between them. Callie exhaled, shelving that discussion for another time. "Well, I can move in here now and...we'll look for a new place...maybe if we need more room...in the future...when we decide...you know..." Callie shrugged, unable to voice her domestic, station wagon-style dreams to Erica.

"Right! If we need more room...in the future." If they couldn't talk marriage yet, they certainly couldn't talk babies. Erica fingered one of Callie's curls, wishing for a little girl with those same curls and those same eyes she was gazing into now. Erica secretly hoped for an army of mini-Callies someday.

"But we have plenty of time...for that." Callie reassured Erica, reading her mind.

"Exactly. Plenty of time. I'm not going anywhere." Erica smiled her lopsided smile and kneaded Callie's hips.

"Me either."  Callie captured Erica's mouth in a fiery  kiss. "Oh, by the way. When I move in there are going to be some new rules." Callie brushed Erica's curls behind her shoulders for an unobstructed view of her hefty breasts.

"New rules? This is my house!" Erica playfully slapped one of Callie's hips.

"I thought it was our home?" Callie chided, raising one eyebrow.

Erica sighed and reclined on the headboard, a smirk dancing on her mouth, curious as to what Callie's creatively filthy mind had schemed. "Fine. What are these new rules?"

Callie straightened her spine, imperious. "First rule. If I want sex, we have sex-"

"We already have that rule," Erica coolly reminded Callie and crossed her arms over her chest.

Callie's hands flew to her hips, a defiant child's pose. If she were standing, she'd stomp her feet. "We do not!"

"When have I ever turned you down?" Erica lobbed a fail safe challenge she knew she'd win, confident that she had never turned down a chance to fuck or be fucked by Callie. Refusing sex with Callie was comparable to giving away a unicorn, it just wasn't done.

"A couple times you were sleeping and I couldn't wake you up-"

"I was unconscious!"

Callie furiously waved her hands in front of her face, dismissing the argument. "Doesn't matter! From now on, anytime day or night, if I want sex, I get sex."

"Even if it's four in the morning and I have to be up for surgery in two hours?"

Callie nodded judiciously, thoroughly enjoying being the sovereign ruler of Erica Hahn. "New rule applies."

Her lust rekindled by a stern, naked Callie in her lap, Erica sat up, slipped her arms around Callie's waist, and nibbled on Callie's neck. "Fine. That it?"

Callie struggled to maintain her control as one of Erica's hands rubbed her inner thigh. "Nope. Second rule. I'm going to dress you."

"No way. Forget it. Next rule?" Erica kissed a path to Callie's earlobe.

Callie gripped Erica's shoulders and forced Erica to face her. "Why not? Don't you like my taste? I have great taste!"

Erica slid her arms around Callie's waist again.  "You know I love the way you dress, but this is me we're talking about. You can pull off magenta. I'm strictly neutral colors. You can do sexy. I can do...you know, the opposite of sexy."

Callie lasered into Erica's eyes. "Are you kidding?  You're sexy in anything. You make shapeless scrubs sexy.  You have this incredible body and you hide it with trench coats and pants. I want to see more of your body.  Please. I want to show you off." Callie whined as her eyes drifted down to Erica's sizable breasts.

"No!" Erica quickly unwound her arms from Callie's waist and sunk into herself, her shoulders caving, suddenly flustered and embarrassed under Callie's lewd scrutiny.

Callie skimmed her palms over Erica's breasts. "Please. Like that short black skirt-"

"You broke that short black skirt. Remember? We were on the kitchen floor and you broke the zipper when you ripped my skirt off."

Callie smirked wickedly, replaying that night in her head. "Oh, right," Callie remembered with a note of pride.

Erica was turned on watching Callie relive that filthy moment. She decided to negotiate, too crazy in love with Callie not to fulfill even her silliest whims.  "How about you can dress me when we go out, but not for work.  I'll wear whatever you want outside work--"

Callie silenced her with her index finger on Erica's lips. "Which brings me to rule number three."

"What. Why am I suddenly afraid." Erica deadpanned.

Callie wolfishly stared at Erica's breasts before cupping both breasts in her hands. Erica's breasts spilling over her hands proved too tempting and Callie lowered her head to lavish Erica's breasts with reverential kisses. "You don't have to worry about what you're wearing outside work, at least not at home." Callie mumbled, her mouth otherwise occupied.

Erica seized Callie by her hair and challenged Callie's dazed, lusty stare. "What are you saying."

Callie wrestled her head free and sat taller, fighting the instinct to wilt under the Hahn stare. "If you're home, you're not wearing anything. You enter this house, your clothes come off. Rule number three. No clothes at home."

"No way! Absolutely not!" Erica scoffed and reclined on the headboard, pouting, her arms tightly crossed over her chest.

"You want me to move in, these are the rules." Callie coaxed in a sing-song melody as she stroked the inside of Erica's thigh.

Erica swatted Callie's hand away. "Are you allowed to wear clothes?"

"Hells yeah!  Your house is cold and drafty.  I'll be fully clothed.  These rules are for you. I live outside the law. I am the law as far as you're concerned." Callie stood on her knees to tower over Erica, her attempt at intimidating Erica laughably ineffectual.

Erica's hands gravitated to Callie's ass and she mumbled onto Callie's stomach. "You're the law?"

Callie pushed her breasts into Erica's face. "I am officially the boss of you."  

Erica smashed Callie's breasts together and languidly kissed the hilly landscape in front of her.  "I will obey those rules and I will let you be the boss of me if, and only if, you move in with me and..."

Callie's dominatrix persona instantly evaporated and she plopped into Erica's lap. "Finish that sentence."

"We start talking about the 'always' part," Erica nervously mumbled, suddenly fascinated by the loose thread in the comforter again.

"The 'always' part?"  Callie cautiously prodded.

Erica lifted Callie's hand and threaded their fingers. "The part where I ask you to marry me and you say yes. You agree to 'always' and 'forever.' With me. That part?" Erica sheepishly shrugged one shoulder.

Callie floundered, shocked they were discussing the 'always' part.  "You're ready to start talking about that?"
Erica bashfully smiled the smile of the infatuated and rubbed her thumb over Callie's knuckles. "I've been thinking about it for awhile," Erica admitted and dared to look at Callie.

Callie's brain blanked and her heart hopscotched in her chest.  For all the plotting she had done, Callie wasn't prepared for this conversation. "Me too.  I mean, I have recently.  I think about it...sometimes. Not like all the time! Occasionally it crosses my mind, you know, what if, IF, we ever got married. But like way in the future, like months from-"

"Cal?" Erica gently interrupted, curbing her delight at Callie's complete failure at subtlety.

"Yeah?"

Erica sat up and looped her arms around Callie's thighs to scoot Callie tighter into her lap.  "I am going to marry you.  I'd marry you yesterday but I think we should wait.  You are too important to me.  You are my life. II'm terrified I'm going to screw this up and lose you.  I can't lose you, baby.  When I marry you, it is going to be the most important, happiest moment of my life, but it has to be right. I want it to be perfect for you."

"It will be perfect. I'll be marrying you. I can wait." Callie eskimo-kissed Erica's nose. "But I'm still the boss of you, okay?"

Erica laughed before nodding, devoutly and blessedly lovestruck.  "Always. You've always been the boss of me, you just didn't know it." Erica massaged Callie's lower back and brushed her lips against Callie's kissable mouth.

Callie wrapped her arms around Erica's neck and gnawed on Erica's bottom lip. "Always?"

"Always," Erica promised, inhaling Callie's breathe before exhaling it back to her in a searing kiss.

 

Callie Lyrics: "The Scientist" by Coldplay

Navigating through my ipod and inspired by darsfebruary's "Callie Lyrics" post yesterday, I stumbled on this song and realized how perfectly it fit Callie post-breakup. Plus, the video is really cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqWLpTKBFcU

Lyrics to The Scientist :
Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry,
You don’t know how lovely you are.
I had to find you, tell you I need you,
Tell you I set you apart.

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions,
Oh, lets go back to the start.
Running in circles, coming in tales,
Heads are a science apart.

Nobody said it was easy,
It's such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy,
No-one ever said it would be this hard,
Oh take me back to the start.

I was just guessing at numbers and figures,
Pulling your puzzles apart.
Questions of science, science and progress,
Do not speak as loud as my heart.

And tell me you love me, come back and haunt me,
Oh and I rush to the start.
Running in circles, chasing tails,
And coming back as we are.

Nobody said it was easy,
oh its such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy,
No-one ever said it would be so hard.

Im going back to the start.

oh, ooooo,
ah, ooooo,
oh, ooooo,
oh, ooooo


Falling

Inspired by "Lucky" by Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BPPl9TA0vk (sorry, the music and video don't quite match) and the poem "To You" by Kenneth Koch.


Callie's eyes fluttered open to a field of pale yellow, her face buried in Erica's flaxen waves.  The two women spooned, connected at every curve in Callie's cozy bed. Callie's granite arm was locked around Erica's tapered waist, anchoring her to Callie, and Callie's impressively toned thigh was thrown over Erica's ample hip. Their fingers were threaded together and nestled between Erica's sizable breasts.  They were cocooned under Callie's white comforter, sleeping off the carnal damage they had inflicted on each other hours earlier. 

Burrowing her face deeper into Erica's hair and sniffing loudly, Callie savored Erica's intoxicating lavender shampoo. Callie brushed Erica's hair off her shoulder with her nose and kissed a path to Erica's neck, each kiss more ravenous, the last nip a near bite.  She ached to take a bite out of Erica and mused how she'd never wanted to devour someone before Erica.  Rewinding the last few months, Callie analyzed her growing obsession with Erica.  Secretly pining for Erica, Callie would spy on her favorite sex object at work, gazing lovestruck at Erica's adorable face usually bowed over a chart, Erica's eyebrows scrunched in concentration, biting her bottom lip, an endearing nervous habit that made Callie's heart glow like neon.  Erica floated through her life, completely unaware of how much Callie Torres wanted her.  

Callie rubbed her nose against Erica's peach-fuzzy skin.  Skin had no business being this soft.  Callie carefully untangled her hand from Erica's grasp, but Erica never stirred, still unconscious after their marathon romp.  Callie peeked over Erica's shoulder to admire her sleeping face.  Angels in an alleged heaven aimed to look this sweet. Erica's face, puffy from sleep, reverted to the little girl she once was. Yet her mouth, kiss-bruised and open, was a halved plum, belonging only to a woman. Callie ached to bite that plum.

Then Callie noticed something.

Erica was drooling.

Erica Hahn drooled in her sleep.

A squeaky giggle erupted from Callie and her hand flew to her mouth to stiffle a bawdy laugh.  Her heart swelled, near bursting, watching Erica drool on her pillow.  Despite the drool, Callie selfishly planned to fuck Erica before work. She swiveled her head and looked at the digital clock on her bedside table:  7:12.  Callie charitably yet reluctantly decided to let Erica sleep.  They had taken turns exhausting each other until they collapsed, delirious and sore, at four in the morning. 

Callie reclined on her side and snuggled into Erica, admiring Erica's breasts rising and falling with her steady breathe.  Callie flashed back to the night before. 





After congratulating themselves on taking it slow, their bodies took over.  Their explosive combined lust catapulted them to the nearest flat surface, the couch.  Callie's vision telescoped down Erica's blouse, the top button already conveniently undone in their race to the dirty.  Callie unabashedly checked Erica out all night, trying to discern Erica's breasts through her shirt.  When Erica had leaned over the table to wipe soy sauce off Callie's lip(a flimsy excuse to caress Callie's mouth in public), Callie openly stared down Erica's shirt, spotting a creamy breast barely contained in a black lace bra.  Every neuron in her brain screamed for her to throw Erica on the table and ravish her in front of their fellow sushi eaters.  Instead, Callie picked up her chop sticks with tremulous hands and sheepishly finished her California roll, acutely and blissfully aware of her whippedness.

Later on the couch and pinned under Erica, Callie panted, "Take this off" as she clumsily tried to pull Erica's shirt over her head.  Erica smirked at Callie's impatience and seductively crawled back to sit on her knees, straddling Callie's waist.  Callie unconsciously held her breathe at the impending striptease, her filthiest daydreams finally unfolding, in her lap no less. Erica slowly pulled the bottom of her shirt out of her skirt and methodically unbuttoned each pesky button to peel back the shiny fabric and slide each shoulder out of their confines.  Erica pulled each arm out of the shirt behind her back and purposely arched her spine to push her breasts towards Callie.  Callie groaned, watching Erica's pale breasts spill over the black lace bra and bounce slightly as Erica leaned forward  to throw her shirt on the floor. Callie growled and pounced, hurriedly pushing herself up to savagely grab Erica's face with both hands.  Insatiable and aflame, Callie angled her head to dig her tongue deep into Erica's mouth, earning a rapturous moan from Erica.  Callie's hands, suddenly useless as paws, frantically grabbed fistfulls of blonde hair, yanking Erica to her violently, surprising even herself.  Callie had daydreamed about fistfulls of blonde hair even before Mark teased her about lusting after Erica.  The reality of Erica was infinitely sexier than Mark's schoolboy fantasies.  Callie had to feel sorry for Mark because he would never know the exquisite weight of Erica Hahn on top of him.  Callie's new place in the world was under Erica.

Callie wrenched her mouth from Erica's, their wet kiss echoing with a resounding "smooch."  The women gulped for oxygen, exchanging steamy breathes.  Erica hovered slightly above Callie, still straddling Callie's waist.  Callie slid her hands all over Erica' s ass and squeezed hard.  "Erica, I want you.  I know we said we'd take it slow, but...I. Want. You."  Callie gripped Erica's ass tighter and yanked Erica's body closer, their cores colliding with each word.  Erica's breasts bounced in Callie's face with each yank and Callie buried her face into Erica's cleavage.

Erica squirmed, giggling, and lifted Callie's face out of her cleavage.  She gazed down at Callie's upturned, flushed face and lovingly brushed Callie's hair off her perspiring forehead.  Suddenly awash in emotion, at the brink of all she ever wanted, Erica swallowed her tears.  Callie wanted her.  She traced Callie's mouth with her thumbs before plunging her tongue deep into Callie's mouth.  Erica ripped her mouth from Callie's and timidly confessed, "I've always wanted you." 

Those words unlocked a beast in Callie and she attacked Erica, all teeth, tongue, and paws.  She squeezed Erica, her debilitating, carpenter's arms stealing Erica's breathe.  Callie hungrily kissed  Erica's chin and neck as her hands clawed at Erica's bra straps and fumbled with the clasp.  She privately panicked at never taking a woman's bra off besides her own. She vowed to chew that bra off with her teeth if she had to.

Erica's head spun at Callie's assault.  She managed only to dig her hands further into Callie's hair and press Callie's head to her chest as Callie feverishly groped and kissed her breasts.  Callie's brain finally caught up with her uncharacteristic caveman-ish behavior.  She was finally going to fuck Erica. Tonight.  Callie realized Erica deserved better than a couch that smelled vaguely of Cool Ranch Doritos and stale tequila.  She wanted to worship Erica tonight.  If their kisses were any indication, their first fuck was destined to be wondrous. 

Callie clutched Erica's shoulders, reluctantly pushed her away a few inches, and attempted to catch her breathe. She wanted to stop time and remember Erica like this always: Erica straddling Callie's lap with her black skirt hiked north of her mid-thigh, her curls sexily disheveled, her swollen mouth open and panting, and her breasts falling out of her bra.  Callie snapped a mental Polaroid and stashed in it her Erica-file under "filthy." 

Erica's bra straps drooped off her shoulders and she attempted to fix them, but Callie stopped her hands and kissed her knuckles.  Callie gazed up at Erica's worried face, half hidden behind Erica's tousled curls.  Callie hooked Erica's curls behind her ears and noticed Erica was biting her bottom lip. She immediately kissed that bottom lip, needing to soothe Erica's needless worry, channeling all the love she had for her in one kiss.  "Erica...I want to do this right.  I want to undress you.  Slowly.  I want to kiss you.  Everywhere.  And I want to fuck you.  All. Night.  Okay?"  Callie begged before nibbling on Erica's chin.  

Erica exhaled, relieved that Callie didn't want to stop.  She stared tearfully into Callie's eyes, overwhelmed by the heft of her love for Callie.  Tonight she could finally show Callie how much she loved and lived for her.  Erica nodded slowly and whispered, "Okay." 

Callie's eyes glowed devilishly and her smile exploded, lighting up her entire being.  She sucked on Erica's bottom lip as her hands slid around Erica's hips to smack her ass.  "Get in the bedroom.  Now."





Morning's benevolent, golden rays halowed Callie's conjugal bed.  The world was waking up and morning had never seemed so promising.  Erica, still deeply asleep, shifted slightly, curling tighter into herself.  Callie stared in awe and held her breathe as the ripples of muscle in Erica's back flexed and then relaxed.  Callie's hand worshipfully traced the vertebrae of Erica's slightly curved spine, her finger tips admiring each sequential ridge, marveling at Erica's perfect architecture.  Callie then skimmed her hand over Erica's round hip, barely touching Erica's fair skin.  The sway of those hips had turned Callie's head months before, before Callie could articulate what she wanted.  And what she wanted was exactly this, waking up naked next to Erica. 

Callie chided herself for wasting so much time dancing around the truth, denying she had fallen for her best friend. 

"Wait! Have I fallen for Erica!?" Callie panicked. Callie flopped over on her back and stared at the sun-dappled ceiling, her mind whirling, desperate to pinpoint if and when the falling occurred. 

Callie sighed, admitting to herself that Mark was right, Erica was all she thought about.  Erica was Callie's every thought, her every breathe, her every blink, yet Callie had battled valiantly to ignore her body's plea for Erica.  Despite his legendary douchebaggery, Mark was perceptive enough to see what Callie was denying, that she was falling for Erica, just as he had months earlier. He generously stepped aside, having witnessed the lustful, electrical current between the women for weeks and hitting its zenith over Cement Boy.  Mark, who would normally cross swords with a potential rival, instead ridiculed the girls' mutual attraction, proposing a threesome and games of Twister, but he eventually conceded defeat and nudged Callie towards the girl she couldn't take her mind or eyes off of.  

Callie roughly combed her fingers through her hair, frustrated, still unwilling to pinpoint her feelings for Erica. True, she had never been more turned on in her life than at the mere mention of Erica's name. Just the configuration of Erica's name on the surgical board made Callie's core throb.  Callie's mind flooded with Erica, details she had compulsively cataloged, devotedly learning the alphabet of Erica.  Callie grinned, remembering Erica's breathe after her morning cinnamon latte. The charming way Erica raised her shoulders when she laughed.  Her smile that buoyed Callie's soul.  Those sublime legs that stretched to her chin.  Erica's perfume wafting down the halls in her authoritative, sexy-as-hell wake.  Her use of a straw was pornographic.  Erica naturally owned and commanded every room she entered.  "People should bow to her," Callie thought.  Erica's skill with a scalpel(and her fingers, Callie recently learned) was holy.  That bourbon-soaked voice, especially when whispering hotly in Callie's ear.  Her lustrous hair that begged to be touched.  Erica's ability to eroticize every activity, Callie was turned on watching her read the newspaper.  She'd get this habitual twinkle in her eyes the nanosecond before Callie kissed her.  Since Erica, Callie had never been more herself, yet strived to be better.  She was undone yet whole with Erica by her side.  "I am crazier than shirttails in the wind, when you're near," Callie read that in a poem once, never forgot it, and finally understood it.  With Erica, Callie's laugh was infectious and rowdy again.  Her confidence still faltered occasionally, but Erica was always there to center her, her savior, although Callie knew Erica would scoff at such a word.

Callie's smile grew in degrees, the truth too impossibly beautiful and obvious to deny anymore.

She was in love. 

With her best friend.  

Callie chuckled and shook her head, dumbfounded by her luck and stupidity.  Her heart's missing piece had been in front of her for months.  Her longed-for home had been her home all along, Erica.  Callie had waited for a love like this. "For this we live a thousand years." That poet knew what he was talking about.

Callie rolled onto her side and burrowed into Erica again.  She snaked her arm around Erica's waist and threaded their fingers again.  Although asleep, Erica knew Callie's touch and pressed their hands to her beating heart.  Callie felt Erica's heart throbbing as her own heart slowed to meet her companion's pulse.  Callie swung her thigh over Erica's hip again and Erica unconsciously fused into Callie.

Kissing the babysoft skin between Erica's shoulder blades, Callie whispered onto Erica's skin, "Do you hear me, talking to you?"

Erica's only response was shallow, slumbering breathes. 

Callie pressed her mouth to Erica's back and whispered,"I'm in love with my best friend. You."

Sea Changes




Callie stalked furtively through the hospital, her troubled face angled downward, actively avoiding eye contact with anyone.  Her eyes focused on the galaxy of silver specks in the cheap linoleum floor under her sneakered feet.  Callie finally spotted a dark on-call room, shouldered the door open, and deftly closed and locked the door behind her.  After exhaling a lungful of pent-up anxiety,  Callie shuffled to a bunk bed as she dug her phone out of her scrubs' pocket.  The phone's neon screen blinked on and Callie's breath seized in her chest for the thirty-second time that day.  No voicemails.  No texts.  No missed calls.  Nothing.  Nothing from Erica.  Erica deserted Callie fifteen hours earlier and disappeared, frustratingly unreachable.

The catastrophic and ludicrous events of the night before seemed like a Lifetime movie Callie regretted watching.  Did Erica really casually dismiss Callie, coolly climb into her BMW, and speed away into an eternal night?  Did Callie, in a fog and rooted to the ground, passively watch her girlfriend walk away in the opposite direction?  Instead of walking towards each other and into a blessed future together, they had recently pushed and pulled each other in opposing directions, clumsily navigating their stormy new romance. 

Flashing back to the night before, Callie remembered how Erica's receding figure, that lone shadow, blended into other nocturnal shadows on the wet asphalt in the eerily desolate parking lot.  Erica, always confident, even borderline arrogant, never hesitated, her step never faltered, and she never looked back, her decision made.  Erica suddenly didn't care enough about Callie to hide the fact of how little she cared.  That smug BMW smoothly coasted away, the red headlights spiting Callie in their red hot fury.  Eventually Callie snapped out of her catatonia and drifted, as if underwater, to her own car but couldn't remember driving home, although she must have, because she woke up twisted around her toilet.  The night's abysmal events culminated in several bouts of vomiting. 

Earlier that morning, Callie unglued herself from the bathroom's icy tile floor and the first thing she did was call Erica.  "Erica, it's me. Please call me back.  We need to talk.  Please just call me back.   I have to go to work but I'll keep my phone on.  Just call, okay?  I love--I'll talk to you later.  Bye." 

Erica never called. 

Now imploding on a bunk bed, Callie slumped over, her elbows on her knees, her fingers frantically scrolling through her phone.  She angrily wiped tears away at the realization Erica still hadn't responded.  Erica always returned Callie's calls and texts immediately.  They were chronic texters, trading silly messages and reminders to smile, helping each other survive their respective arduous days.  Now nothing? Who ignores a message like the one Callie left?  She slipped and uttered the word "love."  Surely Erica detected that glaring slip and still no response?  Callie hadn't intended to say it, the loaded words accidentally tumbling out of her mouth.  Callie groaned, embarrassed by her impromptu love confession, and further ashamed that it went ignored by the confession's target.

Callie roughly combed her fingers through her hair and stifled a sob.  She crumbled onto the bed and curled up on her side, facing the wall.  Her tears pooled on the pillow under her cheek.  Callie couldn't stop crying.  Her eyes had spontaneously welled up at the nurses' station an hour earlier and Callie blamed fictional allergies.  Bailey rolled her eyes at Callie's transparency.  The girl was a mess Bailey didn't have time to clean up.

Callie now hugged herself on the bed and rued her recent spree of mistakes with Erica.  Callie toyed with the idea of time travel, bargaining with the cosmos to turn the clocks back and give her another chance with Erica.  Callie justified her mistakes by citing fear, not malice or indifference, as their cause.  Callie had been so paralyzed by fear, of screwing up something so perfect, that she did exactly that, screwed everything up.  Erica mattered, making every move important, too important, and Callie cracked under the pressure. 

Safely alone in the on-call room, Callie openly wept, sniffling and wiping her nose on her sleeve.  Callie felt cheated, assuming she'd have time to atone for her mistakes.  She thought she had time to learn how to love Erica.  They'd have the rest of their lives to get it right.  Their love was destiny, immune to human foibles.  Callie didn't know how to behave, overwhelmed by this heady new love.  She didn't know she had a finite number of chances with Erica.  Callie felt blindsided, being punished for violating rules she didn't even know existed.

Callie rolled onto her back, stared at the mattress above her, and relived the moment it all fell apart.  She just walked away.  She just walked away.  Callie repeated it in a daze, tasting the appalling words in her mouth.  She just walked awayWalked away.  The unapologetic brutality of that one act gutted Callie.  Callie marveled at the mechanics of a human being capable of such a cruel act, was honestly curious if such a person was made of machine parts, or perhaps classified as a droid or robot?  Callie was all too human, consisting of flesh, but mostly heart.  Her heart would never allow her to walk away from Erica.  Yet Erica conceivably had no problem envisioning a future without Callie.  Callie was disposable to Erica.  That devastating blow caused Callie to clutch her stomach and roll into a tight ball on the bed.  Callie wanted to collapse into herself and disappear, to erase her existence just as Erica had.

So that was their anticlimactic goodbye?  Callie was notoriously bad at goodbyes.  As a child, beloved pets' deaths or school pals' departures threw Callie into a prolonged stupor, alarming her parents.  Every goodbye rattled her, reminding her of the ultimate goodbye, death.  Wasn't every goodbye a death, a death of all the possibilities envisioned at the outset of a friendship, or a death of hope, the worst kind?  Callie refused to believe in never, that anything truly ended.  Erica and Callie couldn't be over.  They had barely started.  Erica had grown necessary to Callie and now she was gone?  A vertigo-like panic whirled inside Callie.  

Overwhelmed by the doom of a life without Erica, Callie squeezed her wet eyes tightly shut and prayed for the ability to shut off her emotions.  Callie sighed, acknowledging the futility of such a wish.  Callie's greatest strength and weakness was her heart.  That heart insisted on falling for Erica, despite Callie's knowledge that Erica could break her.   Callie opened her phone's keyboard and typed a message to Erica.  You broke my heart.






Three days later Callie was sitting at a table in the hospital break room, alternating shoveling peanut butter M&M's in her mouth and feverishly texting, her fingers a blur over the phone's tiny keyboard.  Mark waltzed into the room and paused at the maudlin sight of Callie hunched over her phone, a bleak aura of desperation blanketing her. 

"Hey, Cal!  Whatcha doing?" Mark asked in feigned good cheer as he pulled out a chair and sat next to Callie. 

Callie didn't look up from her phone.  "She won't answer me!  She won't return my calls!  I've left messages.  I've texted her.  I emailed her.  Nothing!"  She abrupty dropped the phone on the table and her hands flew to her mouth in horror.  "Oh my God!  I just thought of something!  What if she's trapped somewhere and she can't get to her phone? Or her phone died and she's--"

Mark gently laid his hand on Callie's tense shoulder.  "Cal, she's fine.  Her phone's fine.  She's receiving the calls and texts.  Her not calling you IS her answer.  And the answer is she doesn't want to talk to you,"  Mark explained, his voice unusually apologetic.  

Absorbing Mark's crushing news, Callie folded her arms on the table and buried her face in her arms, hiding her bawling face.  Her shoulders shuddered violently with sobs.  Mark scooted his chair closer to Callie and rubbed her back. 

Callie groggily raised her head.  "She just disappeared!  How can ONE person decide what happens in a relationship of TWO people?!  She just cut me out of her life!"

Mark tenderly cupped Callie's face, grabbed a tissue, and wiped smeared chocolate off Callie's upper lip.  Mark privately noted Callie's sleep-deprived, zombified stare and disheveled appearance, diagnosing her with a textbook case of a broken heart.  "I want to kill her for hurting you."  Mark swiped another tissue and mopped Callie's tears.  He held the tissue to Callie's nose. "Blow."  Callie did. 

Callie raked her fingers through her unwashed hair.  "I made so many mistakes."

Mark reclined back into his chair and bellowed, "Of course you made mistakes!  Have you ever kissed a woman before?  No!  Have you ever been in love with a woman before?  No!  You never loved anyone like you loved Erica.  This was all new and scary and terribly important to you.  Of course you were going to screw it up!" 

"Um...thanks, asshole.  What are you saying to me?  I'm trying NOT to jump out the window.  I don't need this right now!"

Mark calmly held up one hand to halt Callie's tirade.  "What I'm saying is you are allowed to make mistakes.  Stop blaming yourself for HER decision to give up.  You didn't give up.  She gave up.  That was the biggest mistake in this whole hot mess.  Two complete idiots totally in love with each other?  What did you think was going to happen?  Bliss?"  Mark snickered as he snatched up the bag of M&M's and tilted the bag to pour a pile of the colorful spheres into his cupped hand.  

"You're right!  I may have created this clusterfuck, but she's the one who left!  How could she could give up on us? I guess she doesn't want me anymore..."  A tidal wave of tears choked Callie and she collapsed into Mark's arms.  Mark rocked her and let her cry all over his impeccable scrubs. 

Callie untangled herself from Mark's embrace and blew her nose.  Mark brushed Callie's hair out of her eyes, the chestnut waves sticking to her damp, puffy face.  "I said it before and I'll say it again.  I could kill her for hurting you like this." 

Callie tossed a used Kleenex into a growing mountain of snotty tissues.  "No, it's my fault.  I fucked up.  I pushed her away--"

"She should have stayed and fought for you!  This person who allegedly cares about you took a good, long look at the awesomeness that is you and said, 'No thanks, I'll try my luck elsewhere.'  She threw you away like used Kleenex."  Mark waved a tissue to emphasize his point.  "You deserve more than that.  You deserve someone who'd slay dragons for you!  Who'd fight to the death for you, or at least, you know, take a punch for you.  You are worth fighting for." 

"I'm so NOT worth fight for!"

Mark angled his body to be able to look directly into Callie's watery eyes.  "Callie. She. Gave. Up.  She gave up on you and on the idea of you two together and sadly there's nothing you can do about it.  She's gone. It's over."  

Callie nodded slowly and saltwater tears misted her eyes.  Erica was gone.  Callie was officially undone.  Callie felt like she was drowning and fought to breathe.  "I love her," Callie confessed, her chin trembling.  

Mark squeezed Callie's shoulder.  "I know.  And she loved you.  I know she did."  Mark couldn't deny the connection between Callie and Erica and felt tremendous guilt for being a factor in its demise.  He had to fix what he helped break.

"I feel like I was given love cocaine and now I'm addicted.  I need her.  I crave her.  I'm in physical pain without her,"  Callie whispered, exhausted by her despair. 

Mark nodded knowingly, leaned back in his chair, and crossed his legs at the ankles.  "You're a love junkie.  More specifically, an Erica junkie.  You're going through withdrawal."

Callie's eyes widened and she pointed at Mark. "Exactly!  I'm an Erica junkie!  I was so happy with her, happier than I've been in a long time.  Or ever, really.  I finally found someone, THE someone, and she just disappears.  And the thing is, I let her walk away.  I should have begged her to stay.  So now we're just over?  This isn't the future I dreamed for us.  It can't end like this!  I miss her so much."  Callie submitted to a sob and buried her face in her hands, yelping in pain. 
 
"You will get through this.  It just takes time.  I know that's the shittiest answer, but it really is the only answer.  Have an M&M.  You'll feel better."  Mark held the near-empty bag out to Callie.

Callie, still weeping, held out her hand and Mark tilted the bag into her upturned palm.  One lonely red M&M bounced out.  Mark inspected the empty bag.  "You just ate a whole pound of peanut butter M&M's?!" 

"Yes!  I need them!  If I could drink alcohol at work, I'd be drinking alcohol.  Candy's the next best thing."  Calile shrugged, pretending not to be embarrassed. 

Mark balled up the empty bag and tossed it into the nearby garbage can, a three-pointer from his seated position.  "Well, you're gonna need more.  You stay here.  I'll get you some.  What are your thoughts on Swedish Fish?" 

"Swedish Fish were Erica's favorite."  Callie smiled mournfully, relishing that tiny, private fact only a best friend would care to know. 

Mark leapt out of his chair, instantly amped by his assignment to cheer up Callie.  "Fuck Swedish Fish!  There's other candy out there.  Better candy!  Don't move.  I'll be right back with a shitload of candy.  I think we found you a new addiction!"  Mark jogged to the door before skidding to a stop.  He ambled back to Callie.  Mark towered over Callie and affectionately stared down at her upturned, radiant face.  Despite being inconsolably heartbroken, chocolate smeared, and in need of a shower, Callie was bewitching.  He lightly kissed Callie's forehead before nimbly turning on his heels and striding out the door.






Months passed.  Erica never called. 

Erica marched out of Callie's tangible life and into her constant thoughts.  Callie couldn't stop thinking about Erica, elevating Erica into an obsession.  Hopelessly hopeful, Callie schemed and plotted various scenarios to win Erica back.  She rewrote their story, always providing them their deserved romantic-comedy ending.

Where did Erica go?  Callie was desperate for news of Erica.  Erica's sudden and mysterious disappearance morphed Erica into a ghost(Callie too morphed into a ghost of herself, wafting through her life bereft and untouchable.)  Erica haunted Callie.  Suddenly the world was overpopulated with tall blondes.  Callie once trailed an Erica doppelganger for three blocks before realizing it wasn't her tall blonde.

For weeks after Erica left, Callie routinely came home after work, climbed into bed, and listened to old voicemails from Erica.  Erica always identified herself in her messages, as if Callie couldn't recognize that trademark voice, her favorite voice.  Most of the voicemails were short, logistical calls, when to meet and where, but her favorite was Erica calling to ask Callie out on their second date. 

"Hi, Callie?  It's me, Erica.  Erica Hahn.  I was wondering if you would like to go out to dinner maybe Friday or Saturday, or even Sunday...or any of the days of the week?  I heard about a really great new restaurant and I'd love to take you there..you know, if you're interested.  So let me know...okay...well...call me back whenever, when you get a minute.  Oh!  And I had a really wonderful time last night...It's Erica, by the way...I think you have all my contact information...so...okay....bye."  

Callie's face hurt from smiling when she first received this message and she still swooned at the timidity and insecurity in Erica's normally commanding voice.  Erica, adorably shy and vulnerable with Callie, ended the call with a breathy "bye."   Callie ached for that nervous and charming girl with the breathy phone voice.   

Callie reread text messages from Erica, a narrative of a friendship blooming into a romance.  Revisiting these pieces of Erica was pathetically self-destructive, but their shared history kept Erica alive.  This archeology of a love affair contradicted what Callie was tempted to believe, that if Erica could so easily abandon her, Callie mustn't have meant anything to Erica.  Was their intense connection a smokescreen for some sordid race into Callie's pants?  Callie craved proof she was loved and had loved once.  Their tragic end didn't negate their blissful beginning.

After the shock of Erica's disappearance dulled, Callie negotiated a new reality for herself, a reality without Erica.  Callie learned not to expect to hear from or see Erica.  Eventually Callie conditioned herself not to startle every time the phone rang, hurriedly answering out of fear she'd miss the awaited call from Erica.  The hardest habit to break was restraining from contacting Erica.  Callie had called tirelessly and sent countless texts and emails, all unanswered.  Surrendering, Callie learned to stop fighting for Erica.  The fight was over and Callie had lost. 

A few months after Erica's disappearance, Callie sat on a bench outside the hospital sipping a lukewarm coffee.  She surveyed the infamous parking lot.  Callie usually avoided this side of the hospital, but recently she inched towards accepting Erica's absence, and sitting here in the daylight reanimated more enchanted moments of their short time together.  Erica had walked on this sidewalk everyday and Callie kissed Erica at that adjacent bench.  Callie's eyes misted, revisiting their fleeting happiness.

Mark had been anxiously searching for Callie, still worried about her.  He scanned the courtyard through the glass doors and spotted Callie on a bench, a solemn figure shimmering in the sun.  Callie, having lost everything, exuded the irresistible charm of the defeated. She begged to be rescued.  Mark bought a chocolate donut and approached Callie.

Mark stepped over the bench and plopped down next to Callie.  "Donut?"  He held the chocolate disc midair in front of Calle's face.

"No thanks."  Callie scrunched up her nose and shook her head.

"What?  The emotional eating part of the grieving process is over?"  Mark waved the donut, trying to entice her.

"No.  That's still in full force, I can't stop eating.  I've gained nine pounds.  I'm a fattie,"  Callie whined, disgusted with her newfound girth.

"No, you're not."  Mark rolled his eyes, telling her what she wanted to hear.  "Fine.  I'll eat it."  Mark devoured the donut in three huge bites. 

Callie watched Mark with a small degree of disgust. "Try chewing." 

"What?"  Mark mumbled, crumbs spraying out of his donut-filled mouth.

They soaked in their sunny surroundings, comfortable in their shared, zen silence.  Mark dared a glance out of the corner of his eye at Callie.  Her heavyhearted grief weighed down her whole being.  Mark felt like he was standing on a beach, watching Callie drift further and further out to sea.

Mark nudged Callie's thigh with his knee.  "How you doing?  You want to talk or not talk about anything or anyone...?"

"Nope.  But thanks though."  Callie sipped her coffee, an excuse not to look at Mark and reveal her not-so-secret pain.  If anyone looked at Callie with sympathetic eyes, she automatically fell apart.  She was working on not doing that.

"It will get better.  I promise."  Mark lifted Callie's coffee cup out of her hand, swallowed a generous gulp, and handed the cup back to Callie.  "Donuts make me thirsty."

Callie traced the rim of the coffee cup lid with her index finger.  "It's not getting better.  It's getting worse.  The more time that goes by and I don't hear from her, the further away from her I feel.  I lose a bit more of her each day.  She drifts further away from me and I'm that much further from the time she was here, when she was mine, and everything was wonderful.  There was that magical time, the latitude and longitude of fate aligned and we were perfect.  I'm never going to get that back.  Ever.  I miss her everyday.  You know, I still think of things to tell her about and I have to remind myself that I can't tell her these things and I get sad all over again.  I miss her face.  Her laugh. The way she'd look at me sometimes...I just miss her more, I guess, the longer she's gone.  I can't stop wishing she'll come back to me.  Every new day without her confirms she's gone forever.  I'm sure she forgot about me long ago, she probably even found someone else already, but she's still all I think about."  Callie's hollow voice cracked and she lowered her head to discreetly wipe her tears on her sleeve.

"Of course you miss her, wish for her return.  Those are normal human responses to a monumental loss.  But those feelings can change shape and become something you carry around with you, not something that ruins you.  She changed you.  Now that she's gone, you have to change again. Sea changes, I think they're called.  Life's full of them, these transforming experiences."  Mark closed his eyes and tilted his sculpted face to bask in the sun's honeyed rays.  Mark belonged on the pages of a glossy magazine, modeling suits or sunglasses.  And he knew it.

Callie slowly turned her head and stared at Mark in disbelief. 

Mark could feel Callie staring at him.  His eyes popped open and he shrugged, a twinge insulted at Callie's shocked response. "What?!"

"Nothing!  Just...when did you become all...self-helpy?" 

Mark swiveled his head and scanned their immediate surroundings before leaning in closer to Callie to whisper conspiratorially,  "If I tell you something, you have to swear it goes in the vault."

Callie nodded eagerly, wordlessly promising to keep his grand secret safe.

Mark exhaled nervously.  "I've been you.  I was once broken by a woman.  Several women actually, but one in particular.  She destroyed me.  Totally ruined me.  She didn't want me and unfortunately, she was all I ever wanted.  You will learn, if you haven't already, that women are diabolical, vindictive knaves.  Women, with the exception of you and my mother, are truly, truly wicked.  Trust no one.  But look at me.  I survived.  Living well is the best revenge.  I'm getting impossibly better looking with age.  God granted me not six, but eight-pack abs!  I don't even work out!   And I have fucked more women-"

Callie held up her hand and winced. "Alright, I get it!  I get it!  I was one of those women."

"What I'm saying is you will survive and there are a lot of women out there, trust me.  I am going to be your ambassador to the world of women.  More like a sensei.  Like Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid! You can be Ralph Macchio.  But first, let me buy you lunch.  You're looking too skinny."  Mark winked at Callie, reminding her she was always beautiful, plus or minus nine pounds.   Mark stood up and held out his hand to Callie.  Callie gripped his outstretched hand and Mark pulled her up to stand in front of him. 

"Do I have to be Ralph Macchio?  Can I just be me?" Callie asked, staring up at Mark, the blinding sun behind him making her squint.

"Good idea.  Just be you.  Just as you are."  Mark glared into Callie's eyes.  "But I'm serious about never repeating what I told you.  I'll cut you." 

Callie smiled as Mark wrapped one arm around her shoulder and led her back to the hospital.  






Erica's disappearance necessitated a sea change in Callie.  Her life was a series of sea changes.  Meeting and falling for Erica was one such change.  Losing and mourning her was another.  Callie was just trying to stay afloat.

The void Erica left was vast and irreparable.  No one ever knows the space they take up in another person's life.  Callie reluctantly learned to live with the loss.  She didn't have any other choice.  The loss, always fresh and always painful, gratefully kept Erica alive in Callie's heart, where she suspected Erica would always reside.

Callie vigilantly waited for Erica's return, a stubborn and naive wish, but one she refused to let die. Callie still didn't subscribe to never.  Callie preferred to believe she and Erica were not permanently separated, just indefinitely suspended, destined to find each other again.  Maybe someday they'd accidentally encounter each other in a remote, foreign city, like Prague or Paris.  The two women used to daydream about their global expeditions, constructing a list of all the places they'd visit hand in hand.  Prague and Paris were at the top of the list, Prague for its castles and Paris for its crepes.   

To survive her loneliest midnight hours, Callie would imagine their reunion.  Maybe they'd both be in Prague and accidentally bump into each other in a dusty, labyrinthine bookstore or spot each other across a crowded, smoky cafe.  Their eyes would instinctively lock despite the deafening chaos of the bustling cafe and they'd slowly rise from their chairs.  They'd float towards each other, dodging the chatting coffee drinkers, that cranky waitress yelling out an order, and that behemoth jukebox wailing in the corner.  The din and hum of life would gradually fade into silence and time would grind to a stop.  They'd tentatively meet in the center of the cafe, spotlighted by the heavenly glow of fate.  They'd smile shyly and the world would be new again.  Callie would brush the back of her fingers across Erica's cheek and whisper, "Where have you been?"  And their future could begin again. 
 
Until then, Callie would just float, waiting for her next sea change.

Messages

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG0Q3kR7_9c  (video of "Pictures of You")

Callie writhed restlessly in bed and watched the sliver of moon climb its routine arc across the indigo sky, willing that stubborn moon to move faster.  Callie swore time stopped at night to account for these torturously long, dark hours.  Every click of the clock chanted Erica's name.  Erica, the architect of Callie's doom.

Countless nights of empty hours forced Callie to analyze the unrecognizable mess of her life and compare it to the halcyon life she could have had with Erica.  Erica never even looked back, but Callie didn't chase after her either.  Both women simply gave up.  Now Callie was adrift, incomplete, and questioning her own existence.  Callie wasn't sure she really existed outside Erica's gaze.

Callie was tempted to hate Erica for leaving, balancing atop the tightrope between mad love and vengeful hate.  Callie even toyed with the idea of wishing she had never met Erica.  George had wounded Callie, but Erica slayed Callie, leaving Callie to cry for the death of her heart. Secretly, Callie knew she was happier being miserable about Erica than she could ever be happy with anyone else.  Callie couldn't conceive of wanting anyone else, realizing too late that Erica was all she ever wanted.  Callie cursed the sinister logic that illuminated exactly what you wanted the moment you couldn't have it anymore.  

Callie had always subscribed to the idea of the earth being round, but she now feared there were actual edges or ends to the earth because Erica evidently fell off the edge, vanishing off the face of the earth.  Erica stalked off to her car that tragic night and was seemingly swallowed by a black hole, the earth crumbling into nothingness benearth her boots. Callie remembered Erica was wearing her favorite black boots that night.  Never a fetish-type person, Callie recalled how just the echo of those boots confidently and authoritatively striding down the hospital corridors automatically skyrocketed Callie's pulse.  Everything about Erica turned Callie on, but Erica in those boots was on the top of the list.  Callie was turned on now just conjuring the memory of those boots and how Erica let Callie peel them off her one night. Callie aspired to undress Erica every night for the rest of her life.  She wanted that job.

Callie sometimes doubted that Erica even existed, the world continually spinning on as if her absence had no consequence.  Erica so wholly disappeared from Callie's corner of the world, all traces completely erased, that Callie continually needed proof that Erica really did exist.  That there was a girl and her name was Erica and she was the world to Callie. Now Callie sustained herself on proof of Erica to keep the threats of doubt away, to keep Erica alive.  The proof was all she had.

Callie reached over and fumbled for her phone on her bedside table. She kept the phone within reach at all times.  Callie knew Erica would never call, but an ember of hope smoldered in her.  If that fire ever went out completely, Callie would be undone.  That fire alone enabled Callie to wake up every morning and plod numbly through her life.  She wasn't living her life, but she was surviving.  Once a vivacious siren bouncing through her life, Callie was now a robotron on autopilot.

Callie found the phone and pulled herself up to a sitting position, resting against the headboard.  The phone threw a square of neon light on her face as she scrolled through the phone.  She needed to see Erica's face, just as if Erica were here, she'd snuggle into her warm body.  Callie still slept on the right side of the bed, keeping Erica's side free, as if Erica might come home late one night and climb exhausted into bed.  Callie routinely rolled over at night in her fitfull sleep and reached for Erica's body, her arm frantically flailing and slicing through the empty space until her own violent movements jolted her awake.  The body remembers.

Callie finally found the image she ached for.  Given their short relationship and Erica's hatred of having her picture taken, this was the only picture of them together. 
                                                                
                                                                          

                                                                         
The morning after their first date, Callie, buzzing on the high of new love, spotted Erica at the nurses' station.  Erica was preoccupied signing charts and prepping for a long day of fixing hearts.  Callie snuck up behind Erica to brush Erica's hair away and kiss behind Erica's ear.  Erica startled at the moist stamp of Callie's lips.  She audibly gasped and spun around to face Callie, Erica's face blushing the rosiest shade of pink. "Callie!" 

"What?"  Callie smirked, delighting in making Erica blush.  Dr. Hahn didn't do blushing, but Erica did and only for Callie. 

"Callie..."  Erica swiveled her head frantically, scanning the atrium for any potential witnesses of Callie's kiss.  "Cal, we're at work," Erica gently warned Callie in her whiskey-flavored voice as she turned back to her paperwork and picked up her pen with tremulous hands.  Erica exhaled and pretended to concentrate on the chart in front of her, but she truthfully couldn't remember her own name in Callie's presence, especially when Callie was leaning into her and hotly breathing on her neck as she was now.

Callie wolfishly sniffed Erica's hair. "Can I see you tonight?  I want to take you out to dinner."  

"You want a second date tonight?"  Erica was suddenly bashful under Callie's rapt attention.  Erica zeroed in on her pen to maintain a modicum of control.  Every molecule in Erica's body screamed for Callie's body.

"Yeah, I want the second date tonight.  I don't want to wait the requisite few days. Let's skip the dating protocol.  I think being best friends for months allows us to jump ahead.  And we made way past first base last night, so I was hoping we could secure second and go for third tonight.  I was thinking if I buy you dinner, you might be obligated to do that..."  Callie whispered before nuzzling Erica's warm, freckled neck.

"You don't have to buy me dinner to...do that..." Erica gulped and couldn't find the words for all she wanted Callie to do to her. 

 "Too late.  I already made reservations and I'm not telling you where we're going.  It's a surprise. Just meet me down here in the lobby at seven, okay?"  She lightly kissed Erica's neck before fixing the blondeness she had just mussed up with all her nuzzling.  Callie carefully hooked a handful of lustrous, yellow waves behind Erica's pink ear(yes, Erica was still blushing, the pretty blush spreading to her delicate ears). Callie smiled serenely and proudly at the amazing girl she was successfully sweeping off her feet.  Callie redefined "whipped"  and fully intended to steal home plate tonight.  Never one for baseball metaphors, Callie was now an avid baseball-metaphor-fan if it meant "scoring" with Erica.  

Erica slowly turned to meet Callie's eyes.  "Okay."  Erica nodded shyly.  Callie couldn't take her eyes off Erica's kiss-ready mouth, suddenly flashing back to the previous night.  Erica had pounced on Callie and clawed at Callie's dress before Callie could even open the door to her apartment.  They stumbled through Callie's door, connected at the mouth, and fell on Callie's couch, Erica pinned under a half-dressed Callie.  

Callie had a new obsession, Erica's mouth.  Callie had a lightbulb moment and covertly searched for her phone in her jacket pocket, her eyes never leaving Erica's lollipop lips.  Erica too was preoccupied with the way Callie was biting her bottom lip.  The world fell away when Erica looked at Callie.

Callie closed in on Erica's mouth as she slowly pulled the phone out of her pocket. "Erica?"

Erica unconsciously mirrored Callie's leaning, the empty space disappearing between their colliding bodies.  "Yeah?"  Erica panted.

Callie raised her arm to aim the phone at her and Erica.  "Don't get mad, but-" Callie pressed the camera button just as she was about to kiss Erica. 

Erica kissed her back until her mind connected the dots between the sound of Callie's camera, the phone still held in mid-air, and Callie's innate mischief.  Erica yanked her head back, unsuctioning her mouth from Callie's with a resounding smooch. "Callie!  What did you just do?" 

Callie giggled devilishly and took a step back, hiding her phone behind her back.  "Nothing."  Callie bounced on the balls of her feet and feigned innocence, failing completely.

"Torres, you know I hate nothing more than having my picture taken.  If you took a picture of us with whatever that is behind your back, I'm going to confiscate it and set it on fire, I swear to you-"

Callie stopped Erica's tirade with a tender kiss.  "Just be here at seven."  Callie instructed Erica before kissing her one more time and throwing Erica a smile, one of her famous incandescent smiles that shames the sun, before nearly skipping down the hallway. 

Erica openly admired Callie's delicious retreating shape and wished those pesky clothes away.
 




Her eyes now tearing at the memory, Callie still managed to smile at the image of them together. The shadowed room contrasted sharply with the neon square in Callie's palm, her heart glowing just as brightly at the memory of that perfect moment.  Callie wished for a life of perfect moments with Erica. They deserved a lifetime of perfect moments. 

Resting her head against the headboard, Callie shivered at the depravity of the malevolent cosmic forces that broke them apart.  Their separation was galactically wrong.  Their love was planetary.  Callie inwardly raged at the injustice of fate, her own mistakes, and their catastrophic combination.  Admittedly, Callie made mistakes and had been careless when it mattered most.  She had betrayed her best friend and devastated the one she loved, but Callie broke her own heart when she let Erica walk away. 

In her secret heart, Callie had to believe nothing was permanently broken.  Actions couldn't be undone, there were no do-overs, but there could be apologies.  There could be amends.  There could be promises to do better.  People could be forgiven.  They could mend themselves at the broken parts and be even stronger than before.  They could start again.  They belonged together.  Despite this hiccup of fate, the universe had put them together once and could unite them again.

Callie fought the urge to leap out of bed, run out into the street, and roar Erica's name to the bejeweled sky.  Erica's absence forced Callie to find the courage to let it all go. She found her voice and that voice screamed for Erica. Maybe Callie's voice could echo off that cruel moon and find its way to Erica. Callie had been looking so long at the picture, the picture that held all the words she knew to be true.  There was too much left unsaid, but how can you apologize and promise your devotion to someone who refuses to listen?  If only Callie had thought of the right words at the right time, she could have held onto Erica's heart.  There was nothing in the world she ever wanted more than to feel Erica deep in her heart.  

After Erica disappeared, Callie left countless voicemails and text messages, begging to see or speak to Erica.  Callie's calls eventually dwindled to one every few days. Callie still sent periodic texts, sending her messages out into the void.  Callie believed the mere action of sending the message to Erica was sending a message to the universe to return Erica to her, each message a plea.  Callie sent these wishes out to the universe like helium balloons, a balloon released from her hand only to drift skyward and be swallowed by clouds, disappearing from view, but still soaring. 

Callie highlighted Erica's number and typed a brief message.  Callie felt better already, telling the universe once again who she wanted.  Maybe the universe would answer back this time.

Callie smiled at the picture one more time, silently wishing Erica "goodnight" wherever she was.  Trusting the universe had her message, Callie's body now relaxed.  Sleepiness suddenly washed over her.  Callie yawned, put the phone back on the bedside table, and curled up on her side. She sighed at the silly moon, still climbing, merely doing his job.  Callie yawned once more and let her too-heavy eyelids close as she drifted off into cottony sleep.

A few moments later, on the bedside table next to Callie's sleeping head, her phone's screen glowed with Callie's wished-for response. The universe was answering.

Come On In

Erica was changing back into her street clothes in the locker room after another soul-crushing, alienating day.  She was beyond tired, near-catatonic in her drowsiness.  Her body just wanted to fall into a bed, preferably with a Callie in it.  Her frustration with everyone around her wearied her until she couldn't even be angry anymore. 

This new emotional crap was taxing.  Erica professed not to like emotional girls, but Erica was all emotion.  She was a walking wound.  She never used to feel this much.  Erica had painstakingly constructed an armor, a fortress around her heart, rendering her invincible to emotional pain.  In Erica's previous life she was unattainable, bulletproof, an island.  Now she was vulnerable, weeping at pop songs in her car on the way to work.  She even bought all of Coldplay's cd's the week before.  Who had she become? The crumbling of Erica's armor curiously coincided with the introduction of a certain orthopedic surgeon to Erica's life.  Callie brazenly waltzed into Erica's heart and decimated Erica's protective shield, revealing the puddliest, lostest girl inside Erica.    

Now Erica was adrift, betrayed and disappointed.  Weber was not only ineffectual as a chief, which she always suspected.  More horrifically, Weber allowed the cover up of the Izzie Stevens mad-thieving debacle.  Erica's life was ruled by this pesky moral code and much to her disappointment, most people on the planet lacked a similar moral compass.  Laughably, Erica had asked the chief for advice just weeks earlier, requesting a list on what she could improve on as a teacher.  He was more worried about the weather that day.  Erica now realized she didn't need him to teach her anything.  She possessed an inner strength Weber, or anyone else at this godforsaken hospital, could never dream of attaining.

Was everyone full of shit?  Did anyone possess any integrity?  Erica trusted Callie would disapprove of Izzie's criminal actions.  Erica needed her best friend right now.  Moments like these are why best friends were invented.  Just the sight of Callie would make it all disappear.  Callie's support was Erica's one comfort in this sea of incompetence and lawlessness.  They had allegedly reconciled after Callie slept with Mark two days earlier, but they hadn't slept together since, citing conflicting work schedules, but both women knew it was more than that.  They were not okay. 

Erica was buttoning her pants, her back to the door, too contemplative to hear Callie enter the locker room.  Callie halted her steps, unconsciously holding her breathe, savoring Erica's delicious shape.  Erica had dark blue jeans on that elongated her already lengthy legs.  Erica's tight, red cashmere sweater didn't quite meet her low-slung jeans, exposing a couple inches of Erica's pale lower back.  Callie intimately knew and worshiped the body in those clothes and sorely lamented not being allowed in those pants.  She was being punished, she knew.  Something was amiss in the universe when Callie wasn't allowed to rip Erica's clothes off. Callie's body ached for the body in front of her and Callie battled the reactionary magnetic pull to jump Erica.  Callie exhaled and tiptoed towards Erica, ashamed of her newfound stalkerish behavior.  "How you doing?"  Callie plopped down on the bench, inhaling Erica's perfume.  When had she become a girl who sniffed girls? 

"Okay.  Just tired.  My mind won't shut off.  I can't wrap my mind around this Stevens mess.  Did you hear about that?  Can you believe it?  Did you have any idea she was that fucked up?  She sleeps with other women's husbands AND she's a thief.  Real winner, that one."  Erica sat down on the bench to put her boots on.

"I know.  Well, everyone knows.  It's just...you know...everyone's secret, I guess." Callie stuffed her hands under her thighs to restrain them from mauling Erica.  Her hands itched to paw Erica.  Callie had developed a fetish for fucking a freshly showered Erica, when fucking was allowed. 

Erica slowly turned her head to look at Callie. "Everyone knew?  Why didn't you tell me?"  Erica numbly asked, shock imploding in her chest.

"What? It never came up."  Callie shrugged and shook her head in confusion.

Erica leapt off the bench and glared down at Callie. "How could you all let it go unreported?!  Wait...you knew and you never told me?!"

Callie jumped up and rubbed Erica's upper arm.  "Calm down.  We couldn't...you don't understand...you weren't here.  She loved Denny-"

Erica yanked her arm away.  "What she did was wrong.  It was unethical, dishonest, illegal-"

"What she did was wrong, I know, but she did it because she loved him enough-"

"Love?!  Right, because you're an expert on loving someone!  Thank you for the lesson in how to love, Callie.  Does this lesson also include a tutorial on how to sleep with your girlfriend-no, I'm sorry-your best friend-one morning and then sleep with your other friend just hours later not once, but twice?  Cause that's love, right?"  Erica scoffed in disbelief that Callie was failing her yet again.  Callie never failed to fail Erica lately.

Callie faltered back a couple steps, her guilt making her wilt inside. "You said it was okay." 

Erica was struggling not to sob, the sob that had threatened her since Callie's Sloan confession.  The sob languished in her throat, misting Erica's eyes, a warning sign of the sea of tears waiting to fall.  "How could that ever be okay?  You honestly think that could be okay with me?  That that little bit of information wouldn't kill me inside?"  Erica angrily wiped her tears away.

"Then why did you say okay?" Callie timidly asked, crossing her arms over her chest, unknowingly covering her heart.  Because it was breaking for her best friend, her one true ally and the one she had stupidly betrayed. 

Erica sniffled and wiped the stubborn tears, the ones she couldn't hide anymore.  "What was I supposed to say?  It was the only way I could keep you, even if I had to share you with Sloan.  I was afraid any other reaction would have sent you running back to him, which is the last thing I wanted."  Erica's shoulders were shaking with each sob now.

Callie instinctually raised her hand to touch Erica and Erica flinched, causing Callie's hand to halt midair.  "Erica, you're not sharing me-"

"Yes, I am.  You can't even support me against Izzie Stevens, who you hate.  Wow, you must really hate me.  You pick your enemy's side over mine." Erica turned to her locker, pretending to be occupied by her already folded scrubs.  She just couldn't look at Callie anymore.

Callie neared Erica and talked to Erica's crying profile, everything in her needing to comfort her best friend.  Callie didn't know how to fix what she had foolishly broken, Erica.  "I'm not taking sides or picking anyone-"

Erica slammed her locker and finally looked at Callie.  "You'll pick anyone over me.  The thing is, I picked you.  Only you.  A long time ago.  You're never going to pick me."  Erica's voice now had a distant, hopeless tone that was jarring compared to her normally smoky, confident tones.  The voice that normally peeled Callie's clothes off her body, now chipped away at Callie's heart. 

"I said I wanted to be with you!" Callie insisted, her voice shrilling with panic.

"I know what you said, but you're never going to want me the way I want you."  Erica shrugged, resigned to the seemingly inevitable demise of their never-started-love story.  Erica bent down and picked up her purse and coat off the bench.

Callie reached to grasp Erica's elbow, begging Erica to look her in the eye.  "I do!  I want you.  I want this."   

Erica straightened her spine and finally met Callie's gaze.  "I don't believe you.  Listen to me.  I need you to leave me alone.  I need you to stay away from me.  I can't...this is just...just please stay away from me."

"Wait!  What?!  Stay away from you!?  For how long?"  Callie was thunderstruck by a new brand of panic. 

"I don't know.  Just stay away from me."  Erica closed her locker and shuffled out of the locker room, her shoulders slumped, defeat echoing her every step. 

Callie watched Erica walk out the door before crumbling on the bench, unable to even cry, her heart leaving with Erica. 



Cutting someone out of your life is difficult, especially when that person transmogrifies into a ghost and takes up residence in your own head.  Callie needed to ghostbust her head of a tall, blonde ghost.  Since her banishment from Erica's life, Callie had become a ghost of herself, merely wafting through her life. 

Callie leaned back against the elevator wall, clutching her clipboard and binders to her chest.  She hadn't talked to Erica since Erica asked her to leave her alone three days earlier.  Callie subsisted on catching glimpses of Erica's curls whizzing around hallway corners or merely staring at Erica's name written on the surgical board.  She even rubbed the letters of Erica's name, just to feel close to her, until Bailey scolded her for smearing Hahn's name. 

The elevator door pinged open, revealing Callie's ghost.  Erica automatically stepped into the elevator until she realized Callie was the elevator's only occupant.  Callie and Erica could only stare at each other, wordless.  Erica paused in between the elevator doors, before sighing and deciding to enter the enclosed space with Callie, the door sealing shut behind her.  Erica offered Callie a small smile and stood a polite two feet away from her former best friend.  Both women fearfully stared up at the glowing floor numbers above their heads.  Elevator music was designed for uncomfortable moments like this.

Callie dared a glance at Erica out of the corner of her eye.  Erica was still pretending to concentrate on the neon numbers.  Callie adored how Erica's yellow curls fell away from her upturned face, the sweetest face on the planet.  Callie flashbacked to Erica lying underneath Callie in bed, Erica's glistening, post-orgasm face smiling up at Callie, her curls falling around her face, an unearthly halo.  How could Callie let that girl go? 

"I miss you."  Callie heard herself say, her voice hollow and solemn, funereal almost.  Her voice echoed in the cavernous elevator, Callie's tones trying to cross the deep chasm to the other woman, the girl of her heart. "The truth is.  I miss you so." 

Erica concentrated even harder on the neon numbers above her, her steely gaze wavering with the threat of tears.  A bubble burst in Erica's chest, and her chin fell to her chest, her yellow curls a convenient curtain she could hide behind.  "Callie..."  Erica whispered, almost inaudible.

Callie turned to face Erica.  Her hand twitched to brush Erica's hair away but she knew that was not allowed.  Erica wasn't hers to touch anymore.  Callie clutched her binders harder to her chest and stared at the broken girl hiding behind her hair.  "Can we please talk?  I hate this.  I need to see you.  Please just...can we please just talk?  I should not have let you-"

Erica cleared her throat and interrupted Callie. "I don't think that's a good idea."  Erica sounded detached, but her stormy-clouded eyes contradicted her cold tones. 

The elevator abruptly halted and the doors hissed open.  Erica didn't care what floor it was, she had to escape Callie.  Erica barely waited for the doors to open fully before she raced out of the elevator, her head down, her hands stuffed deep into her pockets.  




Later that night, Callie's Range Rover fish-tailed and skidded to a violent, screeching stop in Erica's driveway.  Callie leapt out of the car, slammed the door, and sprinted up the porch stairs to Erica's front door.  Callie pounded on the door and maniacly rang the bell of the darkened, sleeping house.  She paused, standing on her tiptoes, to anxiously peer into the window of the door, waiting for a light to turn on, any sign of Erica.  

Nothing.

Callie pounded harder, her fist starting to hurt, her index finger aching from pushing the tiny doorbell.  

Still nothing.

Callie spun around, her head swiveling, crazy coloring her eyes, evaluating her surroundings.  Rocks?  She could throw rocks up at Erica's window?  She might break the window.  She had abnormally strong arms.  She'd break a window and Erica would really ask her to stay away.  A boom box?  Did Callie have a boom box in her car?  She could crank out some Peter Gabriel and hold the boom box above her head, Say Anything-style!  No!  No, boom box!  A tree?  She'd climb a tree and crawl into Erica's bedroom?  No trees led to her window and people get arrested for stunts like that. 

Callie was pacing the porch, strategizing her bordering-on-illegal schemes to get to Erica, when she heard the front door creak open and a triangle of golden light illuminated the porch.  Callie whipped around and spotted a sleepy Erica leaning against the door frame.  Erica wore her red flannel pajama pants, an old t-shirt Callie happily recognized as her own, and Erica's favorite gray hoodie, the one Callie always threatened to steal because it smelled like Erica.  

"Oh, good!  You're awake!"  Callie yelled exuberantly, her voice echoing in the still night. 

"I am now.  Some lunatic was pounding on my door.  Do you own a watch?  See that moon?  That means it's nighttime.  It's after three."  Erica crossed her arms over her chest and rested her head on the door frame. 

Callie's heart swelled watching her love yawn in the doorway, the hallway light behind Erica illuminating her hair and skin, stealing Callie's breathe away.  Callie wanted to remember Erica like this always, half- asleep and about to be swept off her feet.  Callie approached Erica.  "I know!  I know.  I had to see you.  I can't stay away from you.  I can't do that anymore.  I tried it and I hate it.  I gotta tell you what a state I'm in.  Look at me.  I miss you."  

Erica sighed and reached her arm out to start closing the door.  "Callie, it's late.  You should go."

Callie threw her body in the doorway, startling a drowsy Erica.  "No!  No.  I'm not going anywhere.  I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry I slept with Sloan.  Twice and after you saw leaves.  I'm sorry I didn't tell you Izzie's a thief.  I keep screwing up.  I was just scared.  I was so scared that I started looking for excuses for this not to work, for us not to work.  I didn't...I didn't want to fall in love with you, but I did.  I'm in love with you.  I'm so in love with you it terrifies me.  I may not see leaves yet, but all I see is you.  I've never fallen like this for anyone.  I was so overwhelmed by you, by what you meant to me, that I missed the good part.  I totally missed the fact that I fell in love with my best friend!  What could be more perfect than that?  I'm in love with my best friend.  I miss my best friend.  I am lost without you.  I'm so, so sorry that I hurt you.  I will do whatever I have to do to make it up to you.  I refuse to stay away from you.  It's killing me." Callie pleaded, huge, round tears raining down Callie's face. 

Erica hugged herself tighter, to keep herself from scooping up the weeping girl in front of her.  "It's killing me too," Erica quietly admitted, tears choking her up, her voice cracking.

"Then please forgive me."  Callie angled her head, catching Erica's wet eyes.  Callie tentatively reached her hand out to tug on Erica's t-shirt.

Erica brushed Callie's hand away.  "Cal-"

Callie swiftly caught Erica's hand and clasped it between both of her own hands.  Callie knelt down in front of Erica, squeezing Erica's hand.  "Please.  I want you.  Only you.  You said you picked me before.  Well, this is me picking you.  It's always been you.  Always."  Callie lavished Erica's knuckles with kisses. "I love you. I love you.  I love you,"  Callie groveled between worshipful, reverential kisses.

Erica chuckled and shook her head at Callie's overly-romantic behavior.  Probably because it was working.

"Are you over me?" Callie stared up at Erica and crawled closer to Erica, her face nuzzling Erica's stomach.  Callie wrapped her arms around Erica's legs.  "Please don't be over me." 

Erica looked down at Callie and cradled Callie's upturned, worried face.  "I'm never going to be over you."

"You're not?" Callie squeezed Erica's legs tighter. 

Erica brushed the hair off Callie's face and smiled.  She didn't want to smile, but she couldn't help it. "Never."

Callie stood up and snuck her arms around Erica's waist, under her hoodie.  Erica gripped Callie's upper arms, keeping Callie at a safe distance.  "Please give me another chance.  I love you.  I'm not scared anymore.  I'm only scared that I passed you by.  I love you." Callie pulled Erica in tighter to her chest. 

Erica's will collapsed at those tiny words, the words she had always dreamed of hearing finally falling from Callie's mouth.  Erica wrapped her arms around Callie's neck and purred into Callie's mouth. "I love you."

"Then please forgive me." Callie tilted her head and lightly kissed Erica's bottom lip.

"Okay." Erica licked Callie's upper lip.

Callie yanked her head back.  "No, don't say 'okay' again.  'Okay' is not good enough.  Say that you forgive me and just fall in love with me again." 

Erica brushed the back of her fingers against Callie's cheek.  "I never fell out of love with you.  And I forgive you."

"Can I come in and start making it up to you?"  Callie snuggled Erica closer and snuck her hands under the back of Erica's thin t-shirt, massaging the small of Erica's back.  Callie tilted her head to stamp Erica's mouth with the perfect kiss, a kiss that would give them another chance.  A sign of all the kisses to come. 

Erica kissed her back and unlocked their lips only to whisper, "Come on in."



 

The True Kind

Callie laid on top of Erica, completely spent and struggling to catch her breathe, her ear over Erica's heart, listening to the reverberating throb of the heart she recently laid claim to.  The women savored their afterglow, cocooned in their comfy bed, the shadowed room lit only by remote stars and the distant moon's dim rays slanting through the window.  Callie drowsily raised her heavy head to languidly spin her tongue around Erica's mouth.   She then unsuctioned her lips from Erica's still-hungry mouth, earning a sexy pout from Erica.  Callie broke the kiss only to soak in the sight of her naked and freshly-fucked fiance beneath her.  A fucked-Erica was Callie's favorite kind of Erica.  The sated women shared each other's steamy labored breathe.

"Do you like the ring?"  Callie coyly asked, dropping butterfly kisses on Erica's swollen, rosy mouth.

Erica gently repositioned Callie's head to meet her eyes.  "I love it.  I really love it.  It's perfect."  Erica raised her left hand and both women gazed at the engagement ring on Erica's ring finger.  Callie laced her fingers with Erica's left hand, admiring the exquisite contrast of their skin, and the natural fit of their fingers, their bodies like puzzle pieces.  Their bodies belonged together.  Callie brought their locked hands closer to her face for inspection, analyzing the ring.

"You did say yes, right?  Cause it took me a long time to pick this ring out-" Callie playfully whined. 

Erica swiftly silenced Callie with a fiery kiss, plunging her tongue into Callie's talking mouth, eliciting a surprised moan from Callie.  Erica just as brutally pushed Callie's mouth away from hers.  "You knew.  I'd say.  Yes."  Erica panted.

Callie lightly brushed her hand up and down Erica's side, mapping the dips and curves of Erica's body, delighting in her ability to make Erica tremble.  "I had a feeling.  I mean, I hoped...you'd say yes." 

Erica smiled and shook her head at Callie's needless doubts.  How could Callie ever doubt Erica's heart?  She had given it to Callie a long time ago.  "Well, I did.  Say yes."  Erica marveled at the copper streaks in Callie's doe eyes.  Erica wondered briefly if their children would possess those same eyes.  Erica secretly wanted to knock Callie up as soon as possible.  They had a lot of babies to make.

Callie sighed a lungful of relief before closing in on Erica's glowing face.  Bliss looked good on Erica.  "Say it again," Callie purred, stroking the contour of Erica's right breast with her heated palm.  Erica's body begged to be worshiped and mauled.

"Ask me again,"  Erica teased, brushing the dark curtain of Callie's hair behind her shoulders. 

Callie giggled, suddenly nervous.  She had her yes but a part of her couldn't quite believe she deserved the angelic, unclothed girl in her arms.  This beautiful girl was destined to be Callie's forever?  Would Erica truly agree to forever?.  Callie wouldn't settle for anything less than forever with Erica.  Forever wasn't enough, but it was a start.  Callie bottled her nervous chuckles.  "Erica?"

"Yes?"  Erica bit her bottom lip, unwittingly sexy, spurring Callie to dip her head and quickly nibble that irresistible bottom lip.  Erica was eminently bitable.

Callie suddenly remembered her aim.  Her aim was true and needed to be answered.  She would never tire of asking Erica to be her bride.  She relished the game, playacting at what was already certain.  Callie inhaled deeply and sought Erica's eyes, instantly calmed by the cerulean lakes of Erica's eyes.  Those eyes were Callie's home, a port in all her storms.  "Erica, you are my life.  Will you marry me?  Be my wife."

Erica's eyes flooded with tears, her vision blurred, pixilating Callie into a ravishing blob above her.  Callie cooed to Erica and wiped Erica's tears away with her fingers and kissed away the few tear trails her fingers failed to catch.  Callie tenderly kissed Erica's cheeks dry before seeking Erica's moist eyes again to patiently await her beloved's answer.

Erica's tremendous, empathetic heart cracked at Callie's needlessly furrowed brow and anxious eyes.  "Yes.  Of course I'll marry you,"  Erica whispered into Callie's mouth.

Callie's face illuminated into a brilliant smile before she dove into Erica, desperate to immerse herself in naked Erica.  Callie ached to drown in Erica.  Erica dug her fingers into Callie's scalp, savagely kissing Callie equally as hard, a harsh duel of tongues.  Dizzy and oxygen deprived, Callie ripped her mouth from Erica's and rested her weight on one elbow.  Callie brushed her thumb over Erica's damp lips.  Callie had a special affection for Erica's mouth.  That mouth was very talented.  "So when can we get married?  What are you doing tomorrow?"

Erica's eyes widened and she grabbed Callie's hand.  "Tomorrow?!"  Erica laughed riotously.  She only truly laughed with Callie. 

"Yeah.  I want to marry you as soon as possible.  Tomorrow works for me."  Callie freed her hand from Erica's grasp and trailed her index finger down Erica's sternum before climbing on top of Erica to kiss down the same path between Erica's sizable breasts.

"Cal..."  Erica smoothed her hands over Callie's mop of hair. Callie's shiny sea of hair fanned out over Erica's chest, tickling Erica's sensitive skin.

"What?"  Callie mumbled, her face smothered in between Erica's breasts.  Callie cupped and rubbed the velvety undersides of Erica's ample, palely freckled breasts, one of her top five destinations on the map of Erica's body.  Skin had no business being this soft.  One of Callie's favorite Ericacentric pastimes was connecting the dots of Erica's freckles. 

Erica arrested Callie's hands, wrestling Callie's paws off her breasts.  Callie struggled with Erica and pinned Erica's arms on either side of her head.  Erica sighed, giving up the fight, secretly loving it when Callie dominated her, the only person on the planet she would allow to dominate her.  Erica lived to submit to Callie.  "Callie.  Baby.  Seriously.  How are we gonna do this?  Do you want a big wedding...? I was thinking small...just us maybe...or we can elope..." Erica was distracted, now hypnotized by Callie's pendulous breasts swinging just over Erica's mouth, within biting distance.  Erica visibly gulped.

Callie lowered her head to kiss Erica, their wet kiss echoing off the walls.  "I just want to be married to you.  I'd marry you yesterday.  I want to call you my wife."  Callie freed Erica's arms and rested on her side, angling her body over Erica.

Erica rolled towards Callie to slip her arm around Callie's waist and throw her leg over Callie's hip.  "I'm going to be your wife." Erica dreamily reminded herself, the happy truth of her life with Callie making her chuckle.  Erica then traced random doodles on Callie's bare hip and gnawed on Callie's jaw. 

"Yes, you are.  And I'm going to get all the benefits of having a wife."  Callie nudged Erica on her back and dipped her head to kiss and lick the swell of Erica's breast, Erica's heated skin singeing under Callie's moist lips.

Erica's breathing shallowed out into a pant again as Callie slid her body lower to lightly stamp Erica's stomach with fairy-light kisses, kisses specially engineered to drive Erica mad.  "What are the benefits?" 

Callie lazily kissed random patterns on Erica's abdomen, her hands kneading Erica's breasts.  "When I put a wedding ring on your hand, that's an all access pass into your pants.  Forever. I own you.  You're mine and I get to do whatever I want to you.  However.  Whenever.  And as much as I want.  That's what marriage is.  All sex.  All the time. Why do you think people get married?"   Callie explained, her words slurred by her kissing around Erica's belly button.  

Erica twined a lock of Callie's hair around her index finger.  "So it's just about the sex for you?"  Erica played along.

"Ah...yeah?  Der.  I'm only marrying you for your body and the sex it can provide me.  Well, that.  And the fact that I am completely.  Hopelessly.  Crazy in love with you."  Callie seductively crawled up Erica's body to hover over her fiance's flushed face.  Callie's words were true.  This was love.  The true kind.

"You are?"  Erica quietly asked, her voice heavy with unshed tears.  Erica's heart leaked when it was happy. 

Callie nodded solemnly, completely serious and too far gone for her girl. "Completely."  Callie brushed random yellow curls off Erica's face, the stubborn strands sticking to Erica's glistening face, Erica still sweaty after their rigorous, celebratory romp moments earlier.  Erica plus sweaty equalled sex. 

"Good.  Cause I'm very.  Very.  Much in love with you."  Erica managed to confess between capturing Callie's plush lips.  Erica's mouth could convey more in a kiss than words ever could.

"Baby, I want to give you the wedding you want.  If you want a small wedding, we can do that.  I mean, my parents will want to come.  Oh, my mom says 'hi' by the way, I talked to her earlier.  You know my dad will be thrilled.  He's crazy about you.  My mom's going to be a pain in the ass, but-"

Erica interrupted Callie with a blazing kiss.  "Cal.  Sweetie?" 

"What?" Callie mumbled, dazed by the kiss.

"Can we talk about it tomorrow?  I want to know more about this all-access pass into my pants business and the other benefits of being your wife you were talking about."  Erica wrapped her lengthy legs around Callie's waist, crossing her ankles behind Callie's back, and tugging Callie impossibly tighter into her own warm body. 

Callie grinned lasciviously at her fiance, who was already grinding into Callie.  Callie skimmed her hand up and down Erica's snow white thigh, slipping her hand into the crux of Erica's knee to yank Erica's undulating body even closer.  "Would you like a tutorial?"

Erica giggled girlishly and eagerly nodded.  Erica twitched at the familiar tingle radiating from her core for the girl above her.  The sight of Callie between her legs incited a primal growl from Erica.  Her lust catapulted her to seize Callie's head and devour her newly betrothed's mouth. She wanted to swallow Callie whole. 

Until the long inky night became morning, and even after the sun awoke, Callie taught her fiance all about the endless benefits of their impending life as wife and wife.

The Brightest

Callie squinted, scrutinizing her smoldering reflection in the bathroom mirror, twirling left and then right, inspecting her makeup and hair before spritzing her abundant cleavage with the perfume Erica bought her for Christmas.  The perfume's potency morphed Erica into a clothes-ripping savage.  Satisfied with her sultry image, Callie shut off the light and hopped downstairs to prepare for the most important night of her life, the night she'd ask Erica to be her wife.  They had discussed marriage, middle of the night pillowtalks, but Callie ached for a vow, a promise for forever.  Callie knew Erica was the most amazing person on the planet.  Now Callie had to make Erica her bride.

Callie meticulously set the dining room table with the best china Erica owned.  Callie had moved in with Erica eight months earlier and reveled in their domestic bliss, uncharacteristically caring about ridiculous details such as china patterns, thread counts, the benefits of grinding your own coffee, and the necessity of matching coffee mugs.  Notoriously nomadic Callie now gleefully played house and wanted nothing more than to make a home for Erica.  

Before kissing Erica goodbye at work that morning, Callie informed Erica they'd have dinner at home.  Callie scheduled an early operation to have the afternoon free.  After much deliberation, Callie opted to propose at home.  She contemplated taking Erica to the most expensive, romantic restaurant in Seattle, or dragging Erica to the top of the Space Needle to scream for all the world to hear that her heart belonged to Erica and always would.  Ultimately, Callie decided she didn't want an audience for such a monumental moment, the highlight of her life so far.  Proposing at home also meant they could do the inevitable tumbling into bed part immediately post-proposal, avoiding that pesky driving home business that would only delay sexy-time.

While a decent cook, Callie chose to cater dinner from Canto's, the restaurant they went to on their first date.  She even ordered what they ordered that night, tilapia for Erica and ravioli for Callie.  Callie filled a silver bucket with ice to chill a bottle of champagne.  A small bouquet of dark red roses exploded out of a delicate crystal vase in the center of the table. 

Callie anxiously checked the time on her cell phone, 7:20pm.  Erica would be home any minute.  Callie was lighting the candles on the table when she heard the front door open.  Callie's heart swelled. Erica was home.

"Callie?"  Erica yelled.  "Cal?" 

Callie heard the clinking of Erica throwing her keys on a table by the front door and Erica's approaching foot steps echoing down the hallway.  "In here!"  Callie turned just in time to see Erica step into the dining room, Erica blinking rapidly, soaking in the romantic scene. 

"What is all this?"  Erica curiously observed the lit candles, red roses, champagne, and finally her Callie.  Callie stalked toward Erica, sex on legs in a short black dress.  Erica lewdly looked Callie up and down, which Callie didn't fail to notice, taking pride in the resulting carnal hue of Erica's busy eyes. 

Callie lifted Erica's briefcase and purse from her hands and tilted her head to kiss Erica.  "Hi, baby.  Let me take those.  Give me your coat."  Erica shrugged off her trench coat, skeptically slanting her eyes at Callie.  Callie disappeared to deposit Erica's belongings in the closet and Erica apprehensively approached the table, trying to put the pieces together.  Callie snuck up behind Erica, snaked her arms around Erica's waist, and nuzzled Erica's hair, ravenously sniffing Ericascent. 

Erica gripped Callie's arms.  "Cal, what is all this?  What's the occassion?"

Callie spun Erica around to face her, slipped her arms around Erica, and grabbed two handfuls of Erica's ass.  "No occassion.  Just you.  You're the reason.  I just wanted to...have a romantic dinner with you.  Sit down.  I'll go get dinner."  Callie swiftly kissed Erica before almost skipping to the kitchen.  Erica watched Callie retreat into the kitchen and shook her head before she sat down.  Callie was up to something. 

Callie returned with two plates.  She placed Erica's plate in front of her.  "Oh my God.  You made tilapia?"  Erica failed to mask her shock.

"No!  I ordered it from Canto's.  You ordered it on our first date and I ordered ravioli.  Remember?"  Callie plopped down in her chair opposite Erica and unfolded her napkin on her lap.

"Oh, right!  I'm sorry.  My most vivid memory from that night is your red dress and my mad scheming to get it off you,"  Erica seductively hissed before sipping her wine, channeling the devil.

"Well, you were somewhat successful.  You got it somewhat off me."  Callie smirked at Erica.  "I remember everything from that night.  You had on that black dress and I couldn't not stare at your sliver of cleavage all night.  I don't think I heard a word you said during dinner.  Your hair was all curly.  You were the sexiest thing I'd ever seen.  You glowed that night.  I mean, you're always beautiful, but...God.  I couldn't take my eyes off you,"  Callie dreamily gushed. 

Erica swallowed her wine and put her glass on the table, attempting to tame her suddenly tremulous hands. She was unaccustomed to unadulterated adoration from anyone.  No one had ever looked at her the way Callie did.  Callie's honest eyes radiated love.  Erica liked herself a whole lot better through Callie's eyes. 

The two women casually chatted about their day despite trading lascivious stares and longing glances, pining for each other over the distance of a mere three feet.  The pyrotechnics of their combined lust, further ignited by the flaming candles, cast a libidinous halo around the table.  Erica stared at Callie refilling Erica's wine glass, Erica's vision tunneling down the front of Callie's dress as Callie stretched her arm over the table to steadily pour the wine.  Callie then leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table, her chin sitting in her palm, completely riveted by the alluring sex object in the opposite chair.  Erica lazily traced the rim of her wine glass, eye-sexing her girlfriend, the buxom centerfold of her filthiest dreams.

"Thank you for dinner.  I can't believe you remembered what I ordered and went to all this trouble."  Erica waved her hand over the table, overwhelmed by Callie's efforts in staging a perfect romantic dinner.  Callie's presence alone could make Burger King, eaten in front of a blaring television, romantic for Erica.

"I just wanted to do something special for you.  For us."  Callie's hand slid over Erica's hand which rested on the tablecloth.  Callie toyed with Erica's elegant fingers.

"Well, thank you."  Erica squeezed Callie's hand.

Callie laced her fingers with Erica's, stood up, and walked around the table to Erica's chair.  Callie peered down at Erica.  "Come with me,"  Callie quietly commanded, helping push Erica's chair away from the table.  Erica of course complied, standing from her chair, invading Callie's space, their bodies softly colliding.  "C'mon."  Callie turned and trailed Erica behind her, Erica grasping Callie's hand with both of hers. 

Callie led Erica through the house to the back porch.  Erica's old Victorian house had a huge wraparound porch, dotted with various wicker furniture and their favorite spot, a swinging bench. They relished their lazy afternoons reading on that swing and endless evenings snuggling under a blanket, gazing at stars, pretending to know constellations. They dreamed away countless hours on this porch, picking out names for future children, plotting global adventures, daydreaming their storybook life together.  Their swing faced an expansive backyard, now spookily lit by the half moon, its muted yellow light throwing long, gothic shadows on the dewy grass.

Callie opened the squeaky screen door and gallantly held it open for Erica to walk through.  She let Erica step on the porch and strategically lagged behind.  Callie flipped a switch and held her  breathe, waiting for Erica's response.  The women were blinded by an incandescent magic.   Callie had strung white Christmas lights along the eaves and banisters of the porch, framing the white wood with thousands of twinkling lights.  The effect was like sitting on a star. 

Erica gasped and her hands flew to her mouth in surprise, a childish gesture conveying her delightful shock. "Oh my God!  Callie!"  Erica spun around to face Callie.  "When did you do this?"

Callie wolfishly stepped towards Erica and stealthily slid her hands over Erica's hips around to the small of her back, pressing their bodies together.  "Today.  While you were at work."  

Erica wrapped her arms around Callie's neck and kissed Callie's smirking mouth.  "It's beautiful."  

Callie swooned watching Erica's upturned face admiring the glittery lights.  Callie marveled at how the lights gleamed off Erica's marble blue eyes, two blue globes now with their own constellation of stars.  Callie's girl had stars in her eyes.  Callie glided her hands into Erica's hands.  "C'mere."  Callie tiptoed backwards and led Erica to their swing.  

Callie sat on the swing and gently tugged Erica to sit down next to her, detecting a note of trepidation in Erica's movements.  Callie enveloped Erica's hand with her own warm hands, Callie's hands now embarrassingly sweaty due to unexpected nerves.

Callie inhaled a lungful of chilled night air and offered Erica an uneasy smile, searching for the courage within herself to follow her heart.  Her heart would not allow her to fail in its mission, to find its missing piece in the girl by her side. 

"Erica?"  Callie unconsciously frantically rubbed her thumb over Erica's knuckles.

"Yeah?"  Erica didn't know what was happening and Callie's inexplicable panic alarmed Erica. 

Callie ran her fingers through her hair.  "God!  I had a whole speech written in my head and now looking at you, I can't remember a word of it."  Callie shook her head in frustration.

Erica smoothed her hand over Callie's hair and tucked a dark lock of Callie's hair behind her ear.  "What?  Baby, just say it.  What?" Erica sought Callie's eyes and squeezed Callie's knee. 

Callie exhaled loudly.  "I love you!  I love you with all my heart.  You're everything to me.  You're the love of my life.  You are all I ever wanted.  No! More!  Because I never dreamed that I could love someone like this.  I didn't dream that my life could be like this.  I didn't even know to dream for you and then you showed up.  I don't know what my life was before you.  But I know that I don't ever want to live without you.  I love you, Erica.  I want to make a life with you.  I want to have a family.  I want to have babies.  Or you can have the babies.  Whatever!  I just want to have babies.  With you.  I want you.  Forever.  You are my life.  So I was hoping..."  Callie turned to the table next to the swing and picked up a small black velvet box and spun back to face Erica, the box sitting in Callie's upturned palm.  "Erica, will you be my wife?  Will you marry me?"

Erica lifted the box from Callie's palm and glanced at Callie, receiving an encouraging nod.  Erica slowly opened the box to reveal a diamond not unlike the stars above them, sparkling atop a thin gold ring.

Erica inhaled audibly.  "Callie," Erica whispered, tentatively fingering the diamond, not quite trusting she wasn't dreaming.  That any second she wouldn't awaken, this fantasy proposal just a smokey dream.

"Here."  Callie removed the box from Erica's hands and extracted the ring from the box.  She lifted Erica's hand from her lap and searched Erica's now watery eyes.  "Will you marry me?"  Callie held the ring in midair, at the tip of Erica's ring finger.

Erica nodded furiously, tears flooding her eyes.  "Yes!  Yes, I'll marry you." 

Callie slid the ring the rest of the way up Erica's slender finger, her own eyes blurred by mounting tears.  Callie seized Erica's head, tangling her hands into blondness to guide her mouth to Erica's. Erica's hands immediately gravitated to Callie's face, their arms and hands crisscrossing, the women an insatiable mess.

Erica tore her mouth from Callie's.  "Callie! I love you!  I love you so much!"  Erica feverishly attacked Callie's mouth again, her arms clumsily glomming around Callie's head. 

Erica came up for air and shoved Callie's face away.  "I can't believe you did all this!  The ring! The lights!  Dinner!  God, I love you!"  Erica violently kissed Callie again, moaning her love into Callie's mouth. 

Callie broke the kiss, ripping her mouth away from Erica's, with much difficulty.  "I was going to ask you at our bench at work, but I couldn't chance Stevens or someone walking by.  But the thing is, I knew that night.  The night I kissed you."  Callie fingered Erica's now mussed up yellow curls, awed by the starlight reflected in the flaxen strands.   
 
Erica slid her hand between Callie's thighs, under her dress, her thumb rubbing tiny circles on Callie's mid-thigh.  "What did you know?" Erica panted into Callie's mouth.

Callie swallowed, distractedly unable to form words.  She spied Erica's lacy black bra and its creamy contents under Erica's deep v-neck shirt from this heavenly angle.  "I knew I loved you.  That you were the one.  You were the girl I'd spend the rest of my life with.  This is silly, but I remembered something on my walk over to you that night.  You were frantically looking for your keys, all adorable and flustered.  Oh! And your hair was falling in your eyes.  And you did this thing, you hooked your hair behind your ears and I just...I had never wanted to kiss someone more right then.  The smallest gesture and I was smitten.  Anyway!  When I was walking to you, I happened to look up at the stars.  And they shone brighter that night.  I've been looking at stars my whole life and suddenly they were brighter.  The world was different.  The world was new and sparkly.  Because you were in it.  Because I was walking towards you.  So that's why all this."  Callie waved her hand in the air, indicating the lights, both celestial and electric. 

Erica angled her head and sucked Callie's bottom lip into her mouth, her thumbs caressing Callie's cheeks.  Erica kissed Callie the way she deserved to be kissed, worshipfully and sweetly.  "I love you,"  Erica whispered.

"I love you."  Callie slipped her tongue into Erica's mouth and brazenly fondled Erica's breasts over her shirt.  

Erica broke the feverish kissing, maneuvering her hands between their already undulating bodies to push Callie back several inches.  "But, Cal, I wanted to propose to you.  I didn't have it all planned yet, but I had looked at rings.  Can I still buy you a ring?  I wanted to propose to you first!  I wanted to ask you to be my wife!" Erica whined, lamenting the chance to sweep Callie off her feet. 

Callie's face lit up, her smile pearly even under the canvas of night.  Callie privately thanked the benevolent stars that handed her Erica, a girl who would dare argue with Callie about who could propose to who.  "How about you marry me and we call it even?  Just be my wife." 

Erica leaned forward, capturing Callie's mouth.  "I promise to be your wife.  And your future wife wants to rip your dress off.  Right.  Now."  Erica licked Callie's puffy bottom lip and openly stared down Callie's dress. 

Callie giggled and swiftly kissed Erica before leaping off their swing, dragging her future wife to their bed.  Callie's heart glowed, having caught and claimed the brightest star in her sky, her Erica.   

Clarity

The following Saturday, of course, found Erica (and sometimes Callie) lugging Callie's cumbersome cardboard boxes into Callie's bedroom in her sparkly, new apartment.

"I think that's the last of 'em,"  Callie announced, flopping on her stomach on the bare mattress, the bed springs squeaking under her.

"Oh, get up.  I did most of the carrying.  All you did was point where you wanted me to drop the boxes.  You're right, that's so exhausting,"  Erica scoffed, plopping down on the bed next to Callie's head, Callie's face buried in the mattress, muffling her chuckles. 

"Shut up."  Callie propped herself on her forearms to look up at Erica.  "What are you complaining about?  I said I'd pay you."  Callie slid her hand up Erica's jeans-clad thigh, starting at her knee and traveling up to the crux of her hip. 

Erica peered down at Callie's devilish face.  "Oh yeah, how were you gonna pay me again?  Skittles?" 

"You can have anything you want.  What do you want?"  Callie methodically sat up and kneeled next to Erica to defiantly face her. Callie placed her hands on her own knees and squeezed her breasts together at Erica's eye level, inches from Erica's bewildered face.

"Anything?"  Erica whimpered, facing off against Callie's considerable cleavage.  How does one have cleavage in an old, beat-up t-shirt?  Only Callie, Erica marvelled.

"Anything."  Callie rose up fully on her knees before crawling to straddle Erica's lap.  Now snugly situated on Erica's lap and in full-on vixen-mode, Callie charted Erica's amused face and plotted her next move.   She settled on torturously tracing Erica's parted mouth with her index finger, her signature move.  "Tell me what you want,"  Callie breathed into Erica's parted mouth, spying Erica's bubblegum tongue.

Mesmerized by Callie's ripe lips temptingly close to her own and intoxicated by Callie's cinnamon breath, Erica sputtered, "I want..."  Erica's hands inched up Callie's thighs, around to her ass and up to the small of Callie's back to snake under Callie's t-shirt.  Erica reveled in the peach-fuzziness of Callie's bare skin.  "I want..."  Erica battled her overwhelming dizziness.  "You."   How does she always end up in my lap?

Erica's admission combined with the lustful, crazed shading of Erica's normally-lucid eyes tripped a sex-switch in Callie.  The caveman part of Callie kicked in, catapulting her to attack Erica, gnashing their mouths together.  Callie's brute force knocked Erica onto her back, their entwined bodies becoming one heavy mass that bounced slightly on the soft mattress.

Erica mentally tried to catch up to Callie's dirty assault on her body, a decidedly non-cerebral activity.  Erica wasn't ruled by her body, always relying instead on her near-genius intellect and infallible judgment.  But around Callie, Erica's body took over, her brain desperately, sometimes angrily, trying to regain its usual dominance.

Callie smoothed her hands up Erica's sides to furiously knead Erica's sizable breasts over her shirt.  Callie's ravenous mouth descended to Erica's neck to maniacally feast on Erica's flesh, desperate to give Erica a hickey.  She hadn't given anyone a hickey since she was fifteen, when kissing was new and exhilarating and marking someone was the most you could possess them.  Hickeys screamed high school, but Callie wanted to mark Erica as hers, dying to possess Erica in any way she could.

Callie finally and noisily unsuctioned her mouth from Erica's skin and checked her work, a red heart-shaped wound.  A valentine on her girl's skin. Callie lightly blew on the wound and Erica hissed at the exquisite pain.  "Oh my God, Callie, what did you do?"  

"I just gave you the biggest hickey in the history of big or hickeys,"  Callie proudly announced, not a little wickedly. 

Callie might be the devil, Erica realized.  "Callie!  What?!"  Erica quickly ran her fingers over the wound to investigate. 

Callie stopped Erica with an intrusive, exploratory kiss.  Callie's tongue plunged into Erica's mouth, earning an animalistic growl.  Who else can make sounds like that?  I've never had to try NOT to have an orgasm.  Jesus...Callie's mind reeled at Erica's power over her.   

Lost in kissing, neither woman heard voices outside Callie's closed bedroom door. 

"Callie?"  Christina knocked on Callie's door twice. "Callie?"

Erica's ears jerked her body into action and she tore her mouth from Callie's, their kiss echoing off the walls.

Callie lethargically lifted her head slightly away from Erica's panting mouth.  "Yeah?  What?"  Callie yelled, surprisingly calm.

"We're gonna order a pizza.  You guys want anything?"  Christina asked through the door.

Callie briefly looked down at Erica and cocked her eyebrow, questioning Erica if they did indeed want to break bread, or in this case pizza, with Christina and Meredith.  Erica angrily shook her head and mouthed the word "No!"

Callie nodded.  "Um...no, thanks!  We're good!" 

"Whatever."  Callie and Erica listened for Christina's retreating footsteps with bated breathe. 

Erica struggled to roll out from under Callie.  Callie raised herself onto her hands, her granite arms straight, locking her elbows, chuckling at the woman imprisoned under her. 

Erica wiggled on her back, trying to break free.  "Fuck!  Shit!  Cal, let me up!" 

Callie laughed louder, trying to retain her dominance over feisty Erica.  "No!  You're my prisoner!"

"Fuck!  What if they heard!?" Erica demanded, raising her voice and crossing her arms over her chest, still lying on her back.   

Callie sat back on Erica, still straddling Erica's legs. "Sweetie, calm down.  They weren't eavesdropping.  They're not spies trying to out every homosexual activity that goes on within a fifty mile radius.  This was about pizza.  That's all.  They just wanted to know if we wanted pizza.  And by the way, I'm getting hungry, so what were you thinking? I was thinking sushi?  We haven't done that in awhile so-"  

"Callie, fuck!  C'mon!  Get serious for a minute!  I am Yang's boss and she almost walked in on us!  They must have heard us kissing...and I think you moaned at one point!"  Erica vehemently accused Callie, raising herself on her elbows in a feeble attempt to challenge Callie.

"Hey, you were the one who moaned!  I wasn't the one moaning...all those...sexy sounds...or whatever!  And who gives a fuck?  You know what?  You're so...just...forget it."  Callie held Erica's worried eyes for a moment before slowly crawling off Erica, defeated.  Callie lumbered over to a box on the floor and started lazily opening up the cardboard flaps, her back to Erica.

Erica sheepishly scooted to sit on the edge of the bed, anxiously watching Callie's back.  Neither woman spoke.  Erica was suddenly ashamed of her recent bouts of hysterical panic when it came to Callie.  When did Callie go from being the only person who calmed Erica to the only person who could unravel her?  It wasn't Callie's fault.  Callie hadn't changed.  Neither woman had changed.  They were still best friends.  Only now they kissed.  The kissing factor had entered their lives.  Erica didn't know exactly what she was so afraid of.  But she was more afraid of not kissing Callie.  She was more afraid of the sight of Callie's back turned to her, Callie actively pretending Erica didn't exist, killing Erica a little bit inside. No, not a bit, killing Erica profoundly.  Slaying Erica.  Erica desperately wanted to rewind her life and undo all the ridiculous panicking she had given into lately. 

With alarming clarity, Erica knew what she wanted. 

"Will you go on a date with me?"  Erica asked in the smallest voice she had ever uttered.

Callie halted her unpacking and, still crouched on the floor, turned to face Erica.  "Like a date date?"

"What's a date date?" 

Callie stood up and shuffled to the bed to sit next to Erica.  "You know, candlelight, bottle of wine.  At the end of the night you try to take my clothes off."  Callie threw a small smile at Erica, Callie's hands folded in her lap, but itching to touch the devastating woman at her side.

Erica chuckled and nodded.  "That would be a date."  The women sized each other up, silently agreeing to make up. "So does that sound like something you would want to do or no...?"  Erica clarified, nervously shrugging her shoulders.

Callie girlishly shook her head, tumbling into love, at the unmistakable sight of Erica's so-obvious nerves.  Erica was beyond cute.  There was cute and then there was Erica Hahn.  Cute didn't stand have a chance.  "Yes, Erica.  I definitely want to go on a date with you.  I'm sorry, I thought that was implied when I invited you to take my clothes off."

Erica laughed raucously, a bit too loudly, her nerves rattling her. "Oh!  Sorry.  I'm an idiot.  I'm new at this. I don't usually ask women...or anyone really...out on dates.  I'm just a little...scared...sometimes.  I'm sorry about before-"

Callie dipped her head to quiet Erica with a kiss, tenderness in every move.  "Erica, sweetie.  I sometimes get scared too, but I know what I want.  I want this.  I want you."  Callie nabbed one of Erica's fingers and pulled her hand to rest in Callie's lap, toying with Erica's sensitive palm. 

Erica looked down briefly at their hands before braving Callie's eyes.  "I want this too.  I want you.  I don't know what happens sometimes, I just get-"

Callie squeezed Erica's hand in both of hers. "Alright.  What if?  We can be scared together?  As long as we're together, it shouldn't be too scary, right?" 

Erica solemnly nodded, humbled by how routinely Callie had to teach Erica to be brave.  "Yeah, we can be scared together."

Their mutual gaze never breaking, both women promised each other their hearts without a word needing to be said.  Eventually, the two women leaned in to seal their promise with the gentlest of kisses.