The Route To You


AUTHOR: Tracey
EMAIL: trac_ey@hotmail.com
CATEGORY: Abby and Carter!!!!!
RATING: Anyone can read it - PG
SPOILERS: it happens way into the future, so I've made up my own thing
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the characters - but this is one of my many ways I see them evolve.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I'd like to thank Cheeza who has encouraged and helped me edit my first draft. Also any feedback would be gratefully received. Here's Chapter 1 & 2 out of 5.
SUMMARY: Abby and Carter meet up after 3 years…



Chapter 1

The limousine pulled up outside the church exactly 13 minutes late, for that was tradition wasn't it. As the congregation assembled inside the select few, the privileged ones were outside and got to see her first. This was going to be the best day of her life and her smile would envy the northern lights.

Calls of adoration and whistles of appreciation met her as she alighted out of the car; she was loving every minute of it. "So how do I look."

"Like an angel." One called out.

"Yeah one that O.D.ed on meringue." Her little sister added. Her dress was gorgeous it was crisp white, with sequined layers of pure woven silk. It was a dressmaker's nightmare but a brides dream. The matching headdress and train completed the outfit and would match any shown in OK magazine. "But seriously sis you look great."

Turning to her mother, she glimpsed the tears in her eyes. "Mum, you said you weren't going to cry. You'll start me off."

"But you look so beautiful. I can't believe my little girl is all grown up." She played the mother of the bride down to perfection, right down to the big hat and the overly glamorous bright blue outfit, which of course clashed immensely with the mother of the groom's outfit.

"Thanks mum. Hey pops your up!" Linking arms with her father she headed towards the church doors. "Let's get this show on the road."

"Sweetheart." Her father stiffened before saying. "John isn't here yet. We thought maybe he had phoned you."

"What!" Looking around her she hoped this was a huge joke. "Right so where is he?"

The faces remained the same, no sly smiles, no winks between the conspiracy groups.

"Callie! I'm sorry." Eleanor came out of the doors. Concern etched around her face. "He wasn't there when I went to check on him this morning and." She paused, nervous about continuing. "I hoped he would be here but I guess... He left this note for you."

'Callistria,

I opened up my heart to you and felt the love you have for me seep in, but I don't know how to do this I can't do this to you. I care for you; in some ways I love you. But I can't do this to you. When I asked you to marry me, I meant it. My head told me it was the right thing to, it blocked out my heart.

I just need some time to be by my self. To think. I have so many things buzzing around my mind that I just need to sort out. I thank you for all you have done for me, you brought me hope when I was upset, and you carried me from the darkness into the light again. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Enjoy the party, you deserve some happiness and one day you'll find someone who deserves you, somebody who can make you happy.

Your eternal friend
John'


"Callie? Are you okay."

Swallowing, she folded the letter back up. "He's not coming. He err doesn't think he deserves me."

Walking away from the crowd she turned to the air screaming. "You bitch! You're controlling his life and you're ruining mine!"

"Callie. Honey. I'm sorry." Saskia, her sister, ran to catch her as she fell on her knees onto the ground. "He's a dumb fool and he doesn't deserve you. Do you here me, you're too good for him."

Cradling her head against her, Saskia tried to sooth away her tears.

"It's not his fault, she's a witch who cast a spell over him." She'd never met her, only seen the way she left him.

"Who?"

"No-one." At least no one around at the moment. Pushing away her sister, she got up and began to run.

*
"I thought you'd be here."

The river was flowing fast; he loved just to watch it. He could imagine his problems flowing away with it, and each new wave bringing with it a sense of hope. He almost laughed at that analogy, any hope he had thought would come and been lost a long time ago. In fact he could narrow it down to two years, ten months, one week, 1 day and his watch said 13:26, which meant 2 hours and 12 minutes since he'd lost all hope. Boy was he in a bad way.

"What are you thinking?" Callie reached across to touch his arm, but she focused ahead at the river. She felt his flinch at her touch, but chose to ignore it. She had seen him this way before and should have realised he would be like this. Today should have been the happiest day of their lives a unity of their love. Not his realisation of an unreachable dream.

"What was she like?" The silence stretched between them as she waited for an answer. "Why can't you talk to me? John please, let me help you."

"I don't deserve you."

"You said that already." She wasn't a saint she thought; she just cared about him and wanted to help him. And she had already vented out all her anger on Saskia, while her mother had spent half an hour trying to convince her that John was just having cold feet and that if he saw her he would come to his senses. Talk about delusional, in heart she knew it was going to take more than that. Having known Carter for over two years she was able to assess his moods and actions. Had even prepared her self for this scenario but never for one moment thought it would actually happen. Now she just wanted to fight for him, using whatever method she could.

"You know they are still expecting you to show. My mother has convinced the reverend that you'll be back. So she's got the entire party at the reception along with the reverend to marry us when we get there." She continued, and then attempted to lighten up the mood. "Although for your safety I would avoid Saskia, she's gunning for your throat!"

"What do you want me to say."

"That you'll come back with me. That you'll forget all about her and realise you really do love me." She was grasping at straws; he had never belonged to her.

"Callie. I'm sorry." He felt awful, she was a great girl, but he couldn't stop thinking about another. A messed up, angry, feisty girl who cared about him but it wasn't enough the fear factor in her shone through and she had ran. His eyes, the most emotional part of him, emanated his conflict of emotions; his guilt and concern and it was those same eyes that had brought Callie to him.

She had recognised in him a sense of vulnerability and wanted to save him, she still did, which she guessed was why she wasn't screaming at him now. Well she'd done a great job of that.

"I never meant to hurt you."

"You don't have to hurt me. We can work things through. John please." She begged, she couldn't loose him not now. "You can't let her control your life."

"Who? You don't know what you're talking about."

"Really. So you don't still pine for Abby."

"Don't say her name. Don't you ever mention her name to me." He snapped at her, before softening. "God I'm such a fool. Here I am with a beautiful compassionate woman who cares and loves me and all I can think about is her."

Pulling his arm out of Callie's grasp, he walked over to sit on the bench and rested his head in his hands. He didn't want to hurt Callie, but it was too late. It had been too late the moment he had let her into his life. His mother had introduced them, she was the daughter of an old school friend and they had immediately hit it off, despite the six-year age difference. It had felt great to be with someone away from the ER away from the constant sympathy and those looks. She had constantly chiselled away his fear of commitment and rejection and a close friendship had formed. Although he never mentioned Abby, he never spoke about her to anyone, but Callie had figured it out. She had brought it up once, it was the day after she had met Susan, but they had fought and she never mentioned her again.

He'd asked her to marry him three months ago, thinking he could handle it. Hoped he would get through it. Callie was good for him and he really did enjoy her company, her humour was on his level, but the spark wasn't there. He had heard of these things growing with time, but time was gone and he owed it to her to be truthful.

"Exactly, we're perfect for each other. She's nothing to you anymore, John you should just let her go." She demanded, she was trying to keep her voice calm but it was difficult; she didn't want John to make any rash decisions. "I thought we'd worked this through. You told me you'd gotten over her, that you loved me." Her voice was getting higher as she realised he wasn't going to return her love."

"Callie, I care for you and I do love you as a friend, which is possibly the worst thing to say to you right now, but it's not fair on you. Or on me. I can't pretend anymore, I can't pretend to have these feelings for you. I thought I could."

"What are you saying John?" She had been leaning against the railings, but now had moved to crouch in front of him. Clasping his face in her hands she brought his gaze level with her own. "I know you care for me."

"I do care for you, and that's why I can't do this to you." Placing his hands over hers. He gently lifted them away and placed them on his lap. "You're the best thing that could have happened to me, but I owe it to myself and to you to do what my heart tells me to do."

"What does that mean?"

"I want to find her. I've found peace with myself, now I want peace with her."

"Okay."

"Okay?"

"I think you should find her, exorcize all your past ghosts but promise me you won't let yourself get hurt again." Sitting next to him, she let her nearness comfort him. She couldn't bear to see him lost in his inner turmoil; she couldn't go through that again.



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