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The ferry disaster was finally over. Or contained. Contained was a better word.
George took a deep breath as he stepped into the elevator at the Archfield and slowly let it out. There had been tense moments at the hospital before, but nothing could have prepared him for the past eighteen hours. It had been horrific and Chief Webber had finally sent a majority of the interns home. George had not been particularly anxious to get home. Yes, he was exhausted and ready to sleep, but something had happened with Callie and he didnít look forward to saying what he needed to say.
Things had gotten cold between them. They blazed a fiery path between the sheets every night, but during the day she was stand offish. After he had moved in with her, he expected things to be perfect and when they were alone, it was. At the hospital, however, she had taken to walking past him without so much as a hello. Before they were married, she would share a secret smile, wink at him, take his hand as they walked in the same direction. Something had definitely changed. He missed it. He missed the exhilaration of stealing a kiss in the elevator or having the scent of her perfume linger long after an embrace.
He was actually okay with the way she had crawled his ass for taking her picture that morning. It had been a stupid joke on his part and she *had* been trying to teach them. That was her job. She taught. She instructed the interns along with the other residents and sometimes she had to be tough. Still, the photo had turned out cute and was currently hanging in his locker so he figured it was worth the ass chewing.
But later in the day ... later in the day he had needed five minutes of her time. He needed her. He needed to feel her arms around him. Just to breathe her in for a moment. Just to have someone to anchor himself to in the middle of the chaos. He needed to touch her, to hold onto something tangible in a sea of uncertainty. He needed to cling to her and have her tell him that it would be okay.
She had blown him off.
To be more precise, she had told him, "I canít be your wife right now!"
The elevator opened and he trudged down the hallway. Living at the hotel was fun. He enjoyed the room service, the whirlpool tub, the view from the balcony. It wasnít the Vegas bubble, but in some ways it was even better, because they didnít have a plane to catch in a few days. Because they were home.
He unlocked the door and stepped inside. Callie wasnít in the bedroom so he dropped his jacket on the foot of the bed and knocked on the bathroom door. He heard her sniffle and blow her nose. He knocked again, concerned. "Callie?"
"Just a second," she called.
Something in her voice wasnít right. He sat down on the edge of the bed, waiting for her. After five minutes, he wiggled the doorknob, but it was locked. "You okay in there?"
Callie unlocked the door and stepped out, quickly walking past him. "Yeah."
"Hey." He turned her to face him.
She had been crying. It caught him off guard to see her red and swollen eyes. In the span of time he had known her, he had never seen her cry once. She had not cried when she broke up with him, had not cried when he yelled at her, when he was cruel to her ... she hadnít even cried at his fatherís funeral. She had been the pillar of strength that he had readily leaned against. Even when he cried during their wedding, she had remained stoic, a smile firmly in place on her face.
It hurt his heart to see the state she was in and he forgot his own anger for the time being. Wordlessly, he pulled her into his arms and hugged her. "Whatís wrong?"
Callie began to cry again. Stepping away from him, she wiped the tears from her face. "Bad day."
"Yeah, it was." He watched as she sat down at their table. She rested her forehead in her palms and he sat next to her, his hand on her leg. "Weíve had bad days before, Callie. Maybe not on this scale, but you usually donít let it get to you like this."
"You donít know what I let get to me, George," she snapped. "Youíve lived with me less than two weeks. You donít know me."
George pulled back a little, his eyes wide. "I donít know you? Funny, that didnít seem to bother *you* in Vegas."
Callie looked at him long enough to give him her patented Ďdeathí stare. "You know what? Nobody likes a smart ass."
"Oh, so you were being a smart ass when you said that to me the other day?" He took his hand off her knee and leaned back, giving her a look of his own. "Or were you being a smart ass today when you said that you didnít have time to be my wife?"
"Because I have a little something to say about that." He waited until she looked at him. "Youíre either my wife all the time or none of the time."
"I get that youíre the teacher, Callie. Okay? I get that youíre the boss and Iím not asking for special treatment. Iím not asking for the best cases or the easy jobs. Iím asking you to respect me as your husband. Iím asking you to take a second to acknowledge me when I tell you that I need you."
"Is this about today? I was heading into surgery! I didnít have time to help you! Iím sorry that someone chose to almost die while you *needed* me."
"You could have found me after the surgery!"
"Because I had all the time in the world to play hide and seek with you. Iím not an intern, George! I have a real job to do!"
"And I donít? Excuse me, but I busted my ass today. I was out in the field, in the middle of hell, while you sat at the hospital."
"Who do you think was taking care of the people you sent in?"
"Just because youíre a fifth year doesnít mean that your job is any more important than mine!"
"Uh, thatís exactly what it means! Youíre not accountable yet. Youíre learning, making mistakes, cutting LVAD wires and trampling hospital policy. I cant afford to do that."
"I didnít cut-"
"You may not have held the scissors, but youíre just as guilty."
"Is that what this is about, Callie? Is that the reason that you treat me like Iím contagious at work?"
"Is this why you donít speak to me? Why you barely even look at me? Because Iím one of Baileyís ****ed up interns? Do I damage your precious, perfect image?"
"I donít what youíre talking about."
George pushed away from the table and grabbed his jacket. "Iím not doing this."
Callie stood up and grabbed his arm. "No. Say whatever the hell you need to say to me, George!"
"Okay, fine! Are we supposed to pretend to be strangers at work? Because the funny thing is ... before you married me, you had no problem kissing me in the halls or holding my hand or leaving a surgery to help me." He pointed his finger at her. "You walked out of a groundbreaking surgery with Dr. Shepherd to come and wait with me in the hallway for my dadís tube to go back in."
"Yeah, I did. But today was different. Do you know how many people needed life saving surgeries today, George? This wasnít about getting my name on the books like Heatherís surgery was. This was about me helping save people from a mass casualty disaster. My patient? The one that I was rushing into surgery for? Would have died if I took too much time getting there. There was no one else to do it. Just me." She couldnít keep the shock off her face. "As a doctor, you should know that! You should know that the patient sets our schedule. We donít."
"Itís not just today!" he shouted. "This entire week youíve been standoffish! The only time you come near me is when weíre in bed!"
"That is not true!"
"Think about it! Yesterday, I asked you to lunch and you said you couldnít, but then you ate with Addison in the lounge! In the lounge where *I* canít go!"
"Addison needed to talk to me about something personal and she asked me to eat with her that morning! Long before you did!"
"Great! So now I get to compete with Addison the way you think you had to compete with Meredith and Izzie." He shoved his arms into his jack, yanking the collar straight. "You were more of a wife to me when we were dating!"
"How dare you say that to me!"
"How dare you give me a reason to say it!" He headed for the door. "Iíll see you tomorrow ... you know, unless you look right through me again."
"George, wait. Iím sorry. I - I just donít know how to do this."
He heard her voice break as she started to cry again. Feeling a sense of foreboding, he slowly turned and looked at her. "How to do what?"
"This!" She gestured back and forth between them. "Us. I donít know how to be married. I donít know how to be a wife!"
"I donít know what to say when people make fun of me for being Callie ĎOíMalleyí. They say it like itís the most ridiculous thing theyíve ever heard. Iím tired of being called Ďthe little womaní and having people laugh at my expense! Iím a doctor! Iím a successful female orthopedic surgeon in a male dominated field and Iím doing a damn good job and no one remembers that, George! Itís like Dr. Torres went away. All of the sudden Iím the butt of the joke and they think Iíve gone soft!" She moved across the room and sat back down at the table, openly sobbing. "And I donít know how to do it. Okay?"
He watched as she laid her head on the table, her shoulders shaking from the force of her cries. Kneeling beside her, he said, "Listen to me, weíre gonna be old news before you know it. People will have someone else to pick on, someone else to tease. No one will think twice about us being together."
"I am." She raised her head and looked at him. "Iím thinking twice, George."
He felt his jaw tighten as he processed her words. His heart had sunk so low that he trampled it when he got to his feet. She had hurt him, soul deep, and he had to get away from her before he said something he could never take back. Instead of heading straight for the door, however, he opened the closet and grabbed his tattered brown suitcase from the floor. He tossed it onto the bed, opening it.
Callie had hung all of his clothing in the closet next to hers, painstakingly taking the time to make sure it was neatly done and that he had enough room. He yanked several shirts from the hangers and tossed them into the suitcase.
"No! No! Donít do this, George." Callie had gotten to her feet and was watching in horror as he packed his bag. "Donít. Iím sorry. I"m so sorry! I donít know what the hell is wrong with me! I - I didnít mean that."
"Yes, you did!" George yanked a pair of jeans from the closet, fisting them in his hand. "I asked you if you were sure! I asked you at the airport! I asked you on the plane! I asked you at the hotel and ten times at the chapel because *I* was ready and I knew that it would KILL me if you decided later on that you werenít! Iím the ****ing pig, Callie! Iím committed! I want forever! You want to be Dr. Torres! The chicken!"
"Youíve already told me what you want! I donít need to hear it again!"
"I want our marriage to last forever, George. I do," she sobbed. "But Iím scared!"
He stopped digging in the drawer for clean underwear and stood, glaring at her. "Youíre scared of me?"
"Iím scared of us. Weíre *married*." She was crying so hard that she could barely speak. "And I donít know how to be married! Iíve never seen anyone do it successfully! And thatís not my fault! Itís not! But here I am, completely clueless. I know how to be a doctor! I know how to set bones and cut someone open. But I donít know how to do this!"
Something in her voice, in the way her hands shook even as she was wringing them, made him stop. He moved around the bed and hugged her, silently cursing himself for letting her tears sway him. As she wrapped her arms around him, he knew that her tears had not swayed him at all ... his love for her had. "Shhhh," he whispered against her hair. "I donít know how to do this either, but I know that Iíll die if I donít. I want you, Callie. I need you."
"I need you, too," she whimpered, hanging onto him. "Donít leave me. Please donít go. I canít - I canít breathe just thinking about it."
"Okay. Itís okay."
He took a step back and watched as she dried her face on the sleeve of her robe. As much as he wanted to let it go, to unpack his bag, to hold her against him all night, his temper flared. "So help me god, Callie, if you ever say something like that to me again I will leave and I wonít come back."
"Donít threaten me!"
"Itís not a threat!" he snapped. "What you said really hurt!"
"I know. I swear I didnít mean it." She hugged him, kissing his throat, his ear. "Iím sorry."
He raised an eyebrow, shocked that he could want her so much after such an explosive fight. "Prove it."
"Show me how sorry you are."
Callie stepped back, searching his face. "What do you-"
He pulled the belt on her robe and watched it fall open, revealing a small glimpse of her naked body. His own body reacted immediately and he felt his groin tighten with need. "Take it off."
She swallowed hard. "But-"
He stepped up to her, toe to toe, and shoved the robe over her shoulders. She smelled good, fresh from the shower. He leaned down, kissing her neck and inhaling her sweet scent. He felt her hands on his chest, holding him at bay and a ripple of anger coursed through him again. He took a step forward and she stepped back. They continued until she was pressed was against the wall and she pushed his chest a little harder. Grabbing her hands in his, her forced her arms up over her head and pressed against her. "But what?"
Callie gasped when his thigh worked her legs open and pressed against her center. "George-"
He held her wrists in one of his hands and slowly trailed down her arm, not stopping until he brushed against the swell of her breast. "Do you want me to stop?"
She could see the anger that was clearly written on his features. Her wrists ached from the hold he had and the intensity of his glare was startling. As much as she hated to admit it, it turned her on. "No."
"No," he mimicked, tweaking her nipple. Hard.
Callie hissed and pulled one arm free. He caught it and pushed it back up, ducking his head to capture her mouth. It was a punishing kiss, his tongue demanding entrance, warring with hers. He shifted slightly, grinding his thigh upward. When he felt her hips surge against him, he let her arms go and reached down, pulling her leg over his hip. He kissed her again and felt her respond, felt her pull him even closer. He ground his hips against her center, roughly pushing her up the wall.
"Unbutton my pants," he told her, nipping her ear. "Do it."
Callie reached between them, fumbling with the button on his jeans. She was shaking so much that she could barely grip it. He let her leg go and she was finally successful. She unzipped them and pushed them to his feet, then started to stand. He stopped her with his hands on her shoulder. "Stay there."
His erection was inches from her face and she glanced up at him. He nodded at her. Wordlessly, she gripped him, her fingers circling his shaft. When she leaned forward and took him in her mouth, he groaned and tangled his fingers in her hair. She knew, from experience, what he wanted, how he liked to be touched. She enjoyed pleasuring him like this, enjoyed the way he said her name, tugged her hair.
George closed his eyes, letting his head fall back. Some of the tension of the day begin to drain as she slowly pumped her hand against him, swirling her tongue. No one had ever known his body as well as she did and he was glad. It was something that only his wife should know. He glanced back down at her and caught a glimpse of his open suitcase out of the corner of his eye. It infuriated him to think how close his marriage had come to collapsing. Bending down, he gripped her upper arms and hoisted her to her feet.
"Shhh." He turned her away from him, pushing her over the chair.
Callie gripped the smooth seat, glancing over her shoulder. He slid his palms over her back, scratching her lightly, then slipped a finger inside her and she hissed. She could feel how wet she was, how aroused he was making her.
"You like it, donít you? Rough like this." He smiled a little. When she didnít answer, he reached around her, squeezing her breast. "Donít you?"
She moaned when his fingers dug into her flesh. "Yes."
He slammed into her then, hard enough to cause the chair to tip a little and hit the wall. His thrusts were frenzied and he kept a harsh grip on her hips, pulling her against him again and again. The sounds of flesh slapping against flesh were soon drowned out by their own hoarse cries. He reached around her, flicking across her clit until she yelled his name and her vaginal muscles clamped down against him.
A moment later, he collapsed against her, his own release leaving him weak. As one, they sunk to the floor and he spooned against her, kissing her shoulder. He felt her shiver and reached for her robe, pulling it over her. Glancing down at her, he saw that the tremors were from crying and not from the chill in the room. "Did I hurt you?"
Callie rolled over, burying her face in his chest. He held her close, kissing her forehead. "Itís okay," he whispered. "Everything is fine."
"You almost left me."
"Almost doesnít count," he replied, rubbing her back. "If I had walked out that door, Callie, I probably wouldnít have made it to the elevator before I turned back around."
"Probably doesnít count."
"Youíre stuck with me, Mrs. OíMalley. When I said ĎI doí that was it for me. And thatís it for you, too. This is for good. No matter what."
"Would you be really mad if I kept Torres as my last name?"
"Would you be really mad if I asked you to hyphenate it? Youíre a part of me now. My name included."
"Callie Torres-OíMalley." She rolled the name off her tongue. "Thatís okay."
"You know what else is okay? Iím an intern. Iím younger than you. I make mistakes, I do stupid things, and youíre my boss at work so you get to call me on it. Iím fine with that." He tilted her face so he could see her. "But youíre my wife whether youíre here or at work and you have to find a happy medium because what youíre doing right now? Thatís NOT okay."
She sniffled and nodded. "Want to have lunch with me tomorrow?"
"Iíd love to. As long as we have desert in the on call room." He smiled. "Letís go to bed."
Callie let him pull her to her feet. She draped the robe over the chair and turned, watching as he moved the suitcase. Together, they pulled the cover back, then she walked into the bathroom to clean up. He entered a few minutes later, brushing his teeth at the sink next to hers. Catching her eye in the mirror, he grinned at her. "I like this," he said. "The whole domestic thing. This whole married thing."
She rinsed her mouth and nodded. "Me, too."
"Letís look for a house. Something perfect." George admired her body, her olive skin, her pert breasts. His smile faded when he saw the circular bruises on her hips, bruises he had left when gripped them earlier. "Oh my god."
Callie followed his gaze and saw the bruises for herself. She chuckled a little. "Well, at least I match." Turning, she showed him the hickeys on her neck and breasts. "Turtle neck for me tomorrow."
"Weíre newlyweds. Itís expected."
"It was rough."
"Well, itís like I told Bailey today ... I give the orders at work and you give the orders in bed."
"You said that?!" He was aghast, eyes wide.
"She had the same reaction." Callie patted him on the cheek.
"I do not give orders in bed."
"You do, too."
He followed her into the bedroom and watched as she slipped between the sheets. "Callie, are you serious?"
"And you *let* me give orders in bed?"
"What? You donít realize youíre doing it?"
"Well, I like it. You *finally* know what you want and you donít mind telling me."
He turned off the light and crawled into the bed beside her. Just like she did every night, she curled into him, one leg going over his. And just like every night, he put his hand on her knee, massaging it a little as he closed his eyes. "Itís your fault, you know," he finally told her. "Youíre so bossy at work that I have to make up for it in the bedroom."
"I am not!"
"Yes, you are."
"You rarely even work for me."
"See, there you go. I work *for* you and not *with* you. Donít you just have a big head?"
She could barely see him in the light from the alarm clock, but she raised her head any way, glancing his way. "I do not have a big head!"
"Ooooh, look at Dr. Torres. A female ortho in a sea of men and sheís kicking ass and taking names."
"Iím about to start!"
"Shut up and kiss me."
She complied, leaning forward. "Goodnight, George."
"Give me another one." He wrapped his finger around a lock of her hair, pulling her toward him.
Callie kissed him, then settled against him again. "I love you, George."
He grinned a little. "Prove it."
"Oh my god. Are you actually this insatiable?"
"I actually am." Pulling her leg, he urged her astride him. "Do that thing you do ... with your hips."
"There you go with the orders." She slid down, not stopping until he was fully sheathed inside her.
"I have another one."
"Love me forever."
"Thatís an easy one."
"That would take a lifetime."
"I'm counting on it."
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