Callum was the most fun to write. He's honest, he's direct (almost to a fault - diplomacy is not a virtue he possesses) and he's fiercely loyal. He calls a spade a spade, he wears his heart on his sleeve. If he's frustrated, you'll know about it. If he's angry, you better get out of his way. He's been in trouble with the law more than once, but he also has a huge heart. If you're in his inner circle, there's nothing he wouldn't do to keep you safe. For me, he just jumps off the page - any chapter that involves Callum has the propensity for either bone-jarring explosiveness or extreme tenderness because he's more than capable of both.
He's one of those characters that is just so unpredictable, even I don't know what he's going to do until he does it! Where Jack keeps his cards close to his chest, Callum is the complete opposite. They do have some things in common, but like most close friends it's the differences they bring to the relationship that makes it stronger.
So, back to the story. Jack and Callum go back a long way, they know each other inside out. It was Jack's house that Callum took refuge in when his father was on the rampage, and Jack's father Tom who was more of a father to him than his own ever was. In fact, he considers Tom and Jack as his family.
Only Jack and Callum share the knowledge of what happened after the car rolled on that fateful night. During the tense hours that followed, Callum could see Jack was grappling with guilt and he tried to keep him from drowning in it and keep him focused, but he failed. He still struggles with that. Maybe he should have done or said more? It took him a long time to come to terms with the idea that Jack would rather abandon them all than face up to what happened. The knowledge cut deep.
When Jack disappeared, Callum buried his emotions and concentrated on helping Ally recover. He didn't know where Jack was, he couldn't drag him back home, so what else could he do? He simplified the situation: Jack was gone, he was here. He had to step up to the plate, he didn't have a choice. Somewhere deep down, he hated Jack for putting him in that position. He could see that Ally would much rather have had Jack there, although she never said as much. She didn't have to.
As the weeks ticked by, it got harder and harder to remain detached. Jack had called Tom but not him. It hurt. What was he thinking? Where was he? When was he coming home? The whole situation was beyond ridiculous.
Months passed and anger kicked in. Maybe they didn't need Jack after all. Let him hide out from the world, for all the good that'd do him. Let him suffer in silence. He deserved it. If he was too weak to face up to them all, then maybe that was for the best. Ally was having a hard enough time as it was - she didn't need him around if his heart wasn't in it.
The net pulled in tighter around Ally as time passed. He unloaded on Tom when it became too much, and in return he received the strength he needed to carry on. Over time, he and Ally developed the kind of relationship you can only have with someone when you've seen them at their very worst and come out the other side. The trust is absolute, the ties undeniable. After everything they've been through, he knows Ally better than Jack ever did.
A lot can happen in four years. When Jack returns, the first thing he wants to do is punch him in the face - payback for everything he should have done but didn't, everything he had to do because Jack wasn't here to do it. The anger and the betrayal that he had buried for all that time comes flooding to the surface like a rush of blood to the head.
And that's when things gets really interesting.
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Until next time,