“We’ll get through this. Somehow, we will,” Megan Luzat said, reaching across the table to squeeze his hand. She dropped it just as quickly, glancing over her shoulder at the guard who only stood a few paces away.
“I’m sorry,” Callum said, tears tracking down his face. “I’m so sorry, Meg.” His body twitched a little as he said the words, and his eyes kept shifting from point to point around the room.
They hadn’t let her in to visit him until he’d gone through detox. But, he was still going through withdrawals, and that wasn’t any prettier. It had her fighting back her own tears. He’d been clean. He’d been doing so good. For months he’d been doing good. He’d promised her, and now she didn’t know exactly what had happened.
Except she did. Tobin had happened. She didn’t know how he’d gotten to Cal again, but it was obvious he had. And now this had happened. Callum was in jail, facing possession and attempting to distribute charges. He’d never sold before. Nothing about it felt right to her, but he’d been caught in the act. There was no way to get out of it.
“We’ll figure something out.” She’d felt on the verge of tears for days. Even before Callum’s arrest. She didn’t understand it.
“Mom hired some lawyer,” Callum said. “I guess he came and saw me. But, I was still…out of it. God, I’m sorry, Meg.”
She’d lost track of how many times he’d said that since she got here. And they didn’t have a lot of time left before she had to go. “Just tell me why, Cal. You’d been doing so good. You had that one slip-up the other week, but besides that you’d been doing so good.”
He dropped his head to the table. “That slip-up. I took his drugs. I owed him. And I screwed up.”
She should have known. Tobin never let anyone just walk away. The guard took a step toward them, and she knew what that meant. “I have to go,” she told him. “I love you, Cal. We’ll find a way through this.”
She hurried out of the visiting room before she completely broke down.
Meg stared down at the stick in her hand. This couldn’t be happening. She’d barely slept in the last couple weeks since she’d first visited Callum at the jail. Maybe she was just hallucinating.
She wasn’t even sure how she’d come to this conclusion. It wasn’t the first time she was late. But, it had struck her on the way home the night before, after he’d told her about the deal he’d taken. He’d be in prison for the next two years.
She threw the stick back on the counter. How had this happened? They’d always been so careful. She’d been her parents’ mistake, her older brother had reminded her of that enough times. They’d wanted him, but hadn’t been ready for her. And yet, she was the one who had taken care of everything.
Tobin had gotten to him, too, and their younger sister. She should have stuck to her guns and never spoken to anyone else involved with him. But, she thought she’d seen something under all of it.
Cal had gotten to her. Still, she’d never wanted to bring a child into something even similar to what she’d grown up in. But, if this test was right, that’s just what she’d be doing.
She’d told Callum she loved him. Every time she left the prison. And she did. She had for a while. And he had promised this wouldn’t happen again. But, that’s something she’d heard so many times from him before. Did it really mean anything? The drugs had been more important than her this time. Why would she think they wouldn’t come before her and their child after this?
And she couldn’t put an innocent baby through that.
Megan walked out to the kitchen and found a notebook and pen. She sat at the table and started to write, fighting back tears the whole time.
I told you we’d find our way through this, but I just don’t think I can do it. I told you before, when we first met, that I wouldn’t come in second in your life. But, I let you put me in that place over and over again. I can’t do it anymore.
I won’t be coming to see you again. I’m sorry, but I just can’t do it. If it was possible, I wish I could wipe the last years from my memory. They are too full of hurt to remember fondly. I hope when you’re out, you stay clean and can start a new life. It won’t be with me, though.
She pushed the letter across the table and dropped her head into her hands. She wasn’t sure she’d ever written something so full of lies before, especially about wiping him from her memory. She placed a hand over her stomach. It had to be done. This child deserved a stable life.
That was something Callum would never be able to give to either of them.
Note: Callum first shows up in Flames of Redemption, and I seriously didn’t think at the time he’d ever get his own story(of course, that was *supposed* to be a standalone. Stick around long, and you’ll see how often this happens to me), but it wasn’t until Flames of Redemption(book 3) that I realized he did have a story to tell. And even though Meg had showed up(she joins the fire department after all this), I hadn’t realized until later that she was the girl he’d mentioned to his brother who had abandoned him. It isn’t until Flames of Recompense(book 4…which is Cal’s story) that he realizes the reason she did that.