MORE THAN LOVE

Summary: ... and they lived Happily Ever After? What happens when you get what you wanted? Is it the end of the story or mere beginning? Cal/Gill/Zoe/Rader

Notes:

A bit of an AU in which Jack Rader never left the Lightman Group. From the timeline point of view it is set some time after season 3.

It is my first attempt to write from a POV (point of view) perspective so please be gentle and don't judge too harsh.


Prologue

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? / Jeremiah 17:9

We never appreciate what we have until it is gone.

We reach for a far-fetched dream ignoring the blessings right under our nose.

Our thirst for something greater and better can either make us or break us.


Part 1

POV: Cal

"Gill I... I'm so sorry..."

I feel like complete jerk as I stand in the middle of the semi dark room, fingers nervously twitch and pull the report that was misfortunate enough to end up in my hands exactly now. I hate myself for how lame my words sound. The speech rehearsed in my head seemed so much better, at least it made sense. The whole thing didn't come out the way I intended.

For the first time in life I find myself at loss of words.

I don't know what else to say and Gill's deadly silence does not make my task easier.

This is definitely one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had.

Conversations?

No, it is not a conversation, rather a monologue as I did all the talking.

For the last ten minutes Gill just sat by her table, still as a statue. Her back turned to me, face focused on the window. In this pose I can't read her and truth to be told – I'm not sure I want to. Call me a coward, but I'm too afraid of what I might see.

I raise my gaze and look outside the window just above her head.

Small droplets of rain leave wet trails as they slide down the glass. Someone once said that those were tears of angels. I never believed in melancholic things, but at this instant it somewhat seems appropriate.

From the last night it is pouring like there is no tomorrow and even at this ungodly wee hour the rain and the wind hasn't subdued. The gloom and murky weather outside completely matches the atmosphere inside.

I look back at Gill. Not a single sound had escaped her lips since I started to talk. She never turned to see my face, never interrupted or asked any questions. Not even a sigh or sob escaped her lips. Suddenly it feels like I'm talking to a wall.

Fear grips my heart like a merciless animal. I was so focused on what to say and how to say it that I never thought what comes next. Anger? Tears? Hysterics? Accusations? Disgust?

I know I'm a wanker. That I deserve all of the above and even more, but God knows I never wanted to make her sad, make her cry or hurt her in any way.

Still, with just one action I managed to do all of that.

Gill and I.

For long I believed that we are match made in heaven.

Last three years we spent together as a couple was happy time. We loved each other, we still love each other, and nothing can change that. The road to Gill's heart was long and when I conquered it, I felt like I'm the luckiest man alive.

What changed?

It is difficult to understand, even more difficult to explain.

Despite the fact that we love each other, we are not "in love". There is no sparkle, no breathtaking passion in our relationship. In other words – something crucial is missing.

Recently I found what I was searching for. Found it with someone else.

I never wanted it. It was not in my plans to be unfaithful to Gill, to betray her this way - it just happened.

For some time I have been summoning the courage to have this talk, talk that would end our relationship.

This is hard, terrible moment. If someone had told me three years ago that I would be the one who would initiate our separation, I would call this person a lunatic. But here we are. The fate has its own unpredictable twists.

The silence hangs heavily in the air. The situation escalates from highly unpleasant to depressingly awkward.

I take a step closer, open my mouth to speak, but no sound comes out. I really don't know what else to say or do. The damage is done. No words in the world can fix it.

Before I have a chance to take any action, I'm saved by the bell in the shape of Loker. He bursts in Gill's office and without even as much as "Good morning" starts to complain about some sort of emergency with one of the clients. The youngster is so consumed with the situation that he does not notice how tense the atmosphere in the room is, at least not yet.

It would be nice, if it stayed that way. I'm not so naive to believe that we could hide anything around here for long, but to stay beneath the radar at least till we sort it this out ourselves would be nice. I ask Loker some questions, but my mind is focused on Gill.

She hadn't moved, nodded or made any other indication that she is still alive. She just sat there as if the whole ordeal does not concern her.

Maybe the wisest thing to do is to leave her alone for some time. With one last glance at the unmoving form I head to the doors, Loker steady in my footsteps.

###

I haven't seen Gill for the most part of the day with the only exception of the weekly staff meeting.

As always I skip the bloody thing, but when I pass the room I can't help but hear her soft voice. It sounds steady, strong.

I take a quick peek inside. Her back is turned to me, but her posture is confident, head held high, shoulders back. No traces of emotional turmoil my morning's confession had put her in.

Despite what one might thing, I really do care how she feels. Nevertheless, it would be strange if I walked in right now, especially considering that I have never attended these meetings. I believe that it is a waste of time, but Gill had always been adamant that we have to ensure proper communication and feedback. Whatever.

I guess she will never cease to amaze me. Gill definitely knows how to hold her ground. She is much stronger than any of us gives her the credit. Underneath that sweet exterior lies the spirit to be matched. My girl! My lover...

NO! I correct myself jumping away from the doors as if burned – my EX-lover. What is wrong with me? I have made my decision, there is no turning back.

Without a second glance I head to my office. From the start I knew that breaking up with Gill would be difficult, but I never realized how much so.

For the rest of the day I burry myself deep in the work - so deep that there simply is no time to think.

It is almost six when Heidi enters and informs that Gill wanted to see me. My palms momentarily become sweaty. With great trepidation in my heart I rise from the desk and move across the lobby to her office. Morning's fears grip my heart again.

What will happen now? What will her reaction be?

At least hundred times today I have played dozen different scenarios in my head. I know it was a stab in the back for Gill, but I really don't know how to make it alright again.

As I move closer to her office I pray for the anger. It is easier to deal with than tears.

Thought "How could I do this to her?" reappears with annoying frequency.

Don't cry over spilled milk, I chide myself as I enter the semi dark room.

Only illumination comes from the half lit table lamp. Seeing me Gill stands up from her seat and moves to the window, away from the light. I can't see her face, her eyes, even her body is largely masked by the shadows. I guess that's the whole point.

Be it your way, luv. Out of respect of your privacy I will not probe. What right do I have to overstep the line you set after today? None.

Her voice is quiet and slightly rusty. I have to concentrate to hear it.

"This is my letter of resignation, which is not dated yet..."

I notice single sheet of paper with her delicate handwriting lying on her desk. Completely inappropriate thought that I have always loved her writing style enters my mind. I quickly chase it away.

In the meanwhile she continues, "I talked to Commander Bennett today. Try as I might, there was no way I could convince him to continue the contract without me as part of the firm. You know what will happen if we breach the contract – the fines alone will put both of us to the brink of bankruptcy. Unless you can talk to Commander and make him change his mind, I don't see any other option as to continue our partnership for another six months."

This is not a big surprise. I knew that without Gill onboard there was no way Bennett would continue the contract, but at this point it is least of my worries.

Our partnership is my main concern. I knew that it would be really hard to maintain it, but I didn't count for Gill to give up so easy either. I never thought that she would simply walk away. The firm, all that we created is as much hers as mine. I try to read her in the bloody darkness, but it does not work.

What do you think? What do you feel? Why don't you fight, luv?

These questions almost tear me apart, but I have no right to ask them. I have lost all my rights when it comes to this woman. Still...

"I don't want you to leave..." as soon as the words leave my moths I realize have stupid they sound. It is ten times lamer than my morning's attempts to explain myself.

It's bonkers! At first I declare that I'm breaking up with her, because I have found someone I had fallen in love with. Now I announce that I don't want her to leave. Even by my standards it is cruel.

"I believe it is not your decision to make," there is no accusation or anger in her tone, mere recognition of the fact.

As much as I try to decipher her, I can't. More than anything else she sounds tired.

Although I should be glad that there are no hysterics or tears, that there are no unreasonable demands or righteous accusations, I suddenly feel hurt. Truth to be told I expected more emotions from her.

Suddenly I realize that anything - be it anger, grief or resentment, was better than this blind acceptance. It makes everything we had look so small and insignificant, although it was anything but that. Our love was true and genuine. Our relationship was blessing. I know that just being with Gillian had made me a better person. Unfortunately, human heart lives a life of its own and is always in search, until it finds what it was looking for.

"At least let me..." I try, but in the same flat and emotionless tone she sharply cuts me off in the middle of the sentence.

"You have done enough for one day. Please leave."

It is one of those rare times when I obey without a fight.

###

I open the doors to my house and there she is. That dirty little smile playing on her full lips drives me crazy.

Zoe sees the bottle of champagne in my hand and crooks one of her eyebrows. Small cast of doubts lingers on her face.

"Did you tell her?"

Instead of answering, I greedily put my mouth against hers and, tossing the bottle of champagne aside, lift her in my arms. She responds to my actions with equal portion of sassiness and eagerness.

Without further adieu I carry my precious cargo to the bedroom.

All the doubts still lingering in my mind are swept away.

I have made my decision and it is final.

I'm in love with Zoe.

At this moment I know un-doubtfully that she had always been the one.

tbc