“Should we address that?” Connor asked Adrian, nodding toward Callum. Kayla had left the room, and they should be finishing getting ready. But, his brother looked like he was about to dig all his tattoos off his skin with his nails.
“Shit,” Adrian muttered.
Connor let out a little snort. “You really need to stop swearing in church, Adrian. What would Mom think?”
“Good thing she’s not in here, then.” Adrian headed toward their brother, and Connor followed. “Will you stop that?” he told Callum. “Unless you want Megan to give you first aid before you put that ring on her finger.”
“What if she changed her mind?” Callum didn’t look at either of his brothers, but his fingers finally stilled. “She’d be smart to. Just take Kaelin and Ayden and leave me before I screw everything up. Again.”
“Stop talking like that,” Adrian demanded.
But, Connor was studying his brother and saw the fear in his eyes. “What’s bringing this on?” he asked. “That woman loves you. She’s not just going to walk away. She promised you she wouldn’t.”
“She promised to stand beside me before and walked away.” Callum closed his eyes. “I don’t blame her. I wanted to walk away from me back then.”
“That was different,” Adrian argued. “You were in prison. She probably was smart to walk away then. You may not have cleaned yourself up the way you have if she didn’t. You aren’t the same guy anymore, though. Why can’t you see that when everyone else seems to be able to?”
“What if I’ve just dressed him up really well but that all ends up falling away now. I don’t want to hurt her, don’t want to hurt any of them.”
“Then, straighten yourself out,” Adrian said firmly, “and get ready to stand in the front of this church. She has faith in you. You need to have it in yourself, too. You’ve been clean for nearly three years. What makes you think that’s going to change now?”
“The thought is always there,” Callum admitted. “I fight it back, but it would be so easy to give in. I’ve done it before. If I did it again, I’d lose everything. But, sometimes I’m afraid that won’t be enough. Why wasn’t she smart enough to just walk away from me?”
“Because I’ve always been stupid about you, Callum Riley.”
“Jesus Christ,” Rian muttered from the other side of the room. “You two aren’t supposed to see each other before the wedding.”
Adrian nudged Connor. “Why aren’t you yelling at him? At least I didn’t take His name in vain.”
“He’s the oldest. He’s always been allowed to do what he wants.”
Adrian snickered, but Connor was watching Megan roll her eyes at Rian. “We’ve been living together for the last year. We have two children together. I doubt your superstitions have any hold over us at this point.” She turned back to Callum. “Yours, however…”
Connor almost thought his brother was going to cry. But, he wrapped his arms around Megan and held on. “I just don’t want to screw this up. And I’m so afraid I’m going to. I don’t want to hurt you. Or the kids.”
“Then, start talking to your therapist again, instead of rescheduling your appointments all the time. We can go back to joint therapy if that’s what it takes to get you steady on your feet again. All I care about is keeping you here with me.” She pulled back then. “Now, go out there and I’ll see you in a few minutes so we can get this done and get on with the rest of our lives. Together.”
Connor nearly felt his brother’s tension ease with her words. He glanced through the door, but of course he couldn’t see all the way into the sanctuary. Was Ames out there? They said they would come. Did it even matter? What they had together was so new, there was no way to tell if it could be as strong as what each of his brothers, and his sister, had found.
That might be something they just had to address. Soon. But, not today. Today was all about Callum and Megan. Connor would put aside his own worries to celebrate that.
Okay, that ended up a lot longer than I’d planned. Today’s Just Jot It prompt was “Address” by John Holton. Callum showed up in the first book of my Flames series(which was Adrian’s story) as the drug addict brother Adrian had arrested. He actually ended up with his own story(which is where he ran into Megan again and found out he had a daughter). He’s made a few more appearances in the other stories as well. But, he’s finally getting married. This follows right after yesterday’s post.