Calista woke up the next morning, her hand throbbing – along with her head. She didn’t get much sleep and she only had Joe Jonas to blame for that. They were partying until almost four in the morning – she would have called the cops, but they would have known it was her. And she couldn’t imagine what kind of shit Joe would pull with her if that happened. She just wanted to relax – it was Sunday and she didn’t have anything to do.
She tip-toed across her cool hardwood floors to the kitchen to make herself some coffee – she was going to need it. She stood there, her back against the fridge, her eyes closed just waiting for the coffee to percolate. It was already eleven a.m. and she still couldn’t wake herself up.
Once there was coffee, she immediately poured herself a cup and placed it on the table. She walked to her front door to grab her newspaper, but hesitated. She was only wearing an oversized t-shirt and a pair of underwear – she didn’t want any run-ins with the neighbors. But then again, they were all up until four a.m. at Joe’s stupid party. Screw them.
Cali swung the door open and immediately regretted her decision, because Joe Jonas just happened to be jogging up the stairs toward her, looking as if he just went for a run.
“Good morning, slugger,” he said with a smirk and Cali grumbled.
“Do you ever wear clothes?” He laughed and she glared at him.
“At least you’re wearing a shirt this time,” he chuckled. Cali glared even harder - if her eyelids closed any more, they would be closed.
“Actually, I could go for seeing you topless again,” he said, nodding at her shirt.
“Fuck you,” she spat at him. His face contorted into a fake glare, but he was still smirking.
“So grumpy in the morning,” he said playfully.
“I really hate you,” she stated evenly and he laughed out loud.
“So, why are you standing outside your door in your panties?” He asked, quirking an eyebrow as he segued the conversation seamlessly.
“I was getting my paper,” she grumbled.
“Oh. This paper?” He asked, bending over to pick it up.
“Give me my paper,” she glared at him, holding out her hand.
“I think I’ll just take a look,” he said, unrolling it.
“Joe, give me my fucking paper,” she said, getting aggravated with him – even more than just what his presence did to her.
“What’s going on in the world today?” Joe asked, checking out the front page.
“You’re such a douche bag. Just give me my paper, you asshole,” she growled at him, lunging for the paper. He backed away – playing keep away with it.
“You know what? Fuck you. Keep it, dick,” she said, turning to go back into her apartment.
“Oh, Cali. I was just playing,” Joe conceded. She turned back, glaring at him, wondering if he really was giving in.
“Here,” he said, wiggling it at her. She swiped it out of his hand and couldn’t help but think it was a little too easy.
“Nice face,” she shot at him sarcastically. His cheek had a budding bruise on it from her fist and she rejoiced over it.
“Nice legs,” he said, looking her up and down.
“Pervert,” she shot back and he chuckled.
“I can’t help that you’re gorgeous enough to be a model now,” Joe commented.
“I am a model,” she said dryly.
“No way! Cali brace-face no-tits Freemont grew up to be a model? Wait ‘til I tell Nick,” Joe said, looking surprised. She glared at him again. What a prick.
“You know what, Joe? You are still the same little prick you were in high school. At least one of us has changed. I’m not the same person I used to be. I grew a backbone and I’m not going to put up with your immature, petty bullshit,” she snapped at him.
“Oh,” he said, heightening his eyebrows as his smile widened.
“You’re an egotistical, offensive, hate monger who is so incredibly insecure with himself that he has to take it out on other people. I liked you for a second in high school, but I got to witness the real you pretty fast. You were relentless and cruel,” she continued.
“People change,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
“I don’t think you have. I just hope your life is all you’ve ever dreamed of, because if you keep up this shit I’m going to fucking kill you. Okay?” She ranted.
He stared at her blankly, but she knew he was listening. After a few seconds his lips raised up into a smirk. She kept up with her glare, because ooh, he was so irritating.
“You know, with this feisty attitude and your new hot body, you’re really turning me on,” he snorted.
“Oh my god,” she huffed and he laughed out loud.
“Seriously though, Cal – so hot. And just so you know, if you keep being mean to me, I’m going to fall in love with you,” he said, nodding his head.
“You are repulsive,” she spat at him.
“So, you’re saying there’s a chance?” He laughed.
“You are the last person on planet earth I would ever even think about being with,” she snapped at him and he just laughed.
“So hot,” he told her again.
“Oh my god,” she groaned, because he was still laughing.
“Goodbye, asshole,” she said, turning to go into her apartment. Seconds later, she felt him slap her ass, causing her to spin around, giving him her most hateful glare yet.
“See you around, princess,” Joe said, smiling widely at her.
“Don’t fucking touch me ever again!” She yelled before she slammed the door in his face.
Dirty, sleazy bastard.
Over the next several days Cali kept herself so busy that she didn’t even have to see Joe. Their schedules were completely opposite and it made her relax a little knowing she wasn’t going to be badgered by him incessantly.
By Thursday night she was completely beat. When she passed out, she passed out hard – which also meant she forgot to set an alarm to wake her up in the morning. She had a photo shoot at ten o’clock and of course she didn’t wake up until nine-twenty. She had forty minutes to get dressed and get across town and she knew that taking the subway would never get her across town in time.
Cali was panicking as she threw on some grey sweatpants and a white v-neck t-shirt over her bra and panties. She didn’t need to look presentable – she would be transformed at the shoot anyway. She quickly raked a brush through her hair, brushed her teeth and swigged some mouthwash.
She knew she was going to have to swallow her pride and ask the one person on the planet she wanted nothing to do with for a favor. Cali grabbed her purse and locked up her apartment before turning to Joe’s door. She took a deep breath before stepping up to it. She hoped he was awake, but it was only nine-thirty-five in the morning and she had no idea what kind of hours he kept.
With much disdain, Cali knocked on his door and waited for an answer. When she was left waiting for a few moments, she knocked again louder and then louder. Suddenly the apartment door swung open and Joe was standing in front of her wearing only a towel, looking wet, like he just got out of the shower.
“Calista Freemont, as I live and breathe,” Joe said dramatically, giving her a sideways smirk.
Cali’s line of vision worked up over his well-defined abdomen and chest. She noticed his silky tanned skin, his muscular arms, and his deep sex lines that disappeared underneath the towel. Maybe being a model made her notice every single detail easier, maybe not – but Joe Jonas was physically beautiful. She couldn’t deny it. Coming to that realization made her sick to her stomach. Someone as big of a jackass as him shouldn’t be allowed to be beautiful. It wasn’t fair.
“Like what you see, princess?” He asked, smirking wryly at her. Cali’s eyes snapped up to his and she let out a scoff.
“If you want to see it all, I will oblige,” Joe joked – at least she hoped it was a joke – as he grabbed for his towel.
“Please, God – no,” she shuttered dramatically and he laughed out loud.
“I don’t have time for your antics right now,” she said, hurriedly waving him off.
“What do you want then?” Joe asked, still smirking at her. She hated that know-it-all smirk.
“I need… uh, do you have a car?” She asked quickly.
“Yeah,” he said, furrowing his brows at her.
“Can you give me a ride?” She asked reluctantly and he let out a light chuckle.
“Joe, I don’t have time for this!” Cali snapped, looking down at the time on her cell phone. Nine-thirty-nine.
“A ride where?” He questioned.
“I have a photo shoot I’m going to be extremely late for,” she told him quickly.
“Wait. You really are a model?” He asked, giving her an odd look.
“Yes! Can you give me a ride or not?” She asked impatiently.
“Uh, sure. Come in. I’ve got to get dressed,” he told her as he stepped aside to invite her in. She hesitated, realizing how uncomfortable it made her being in his presence while he wore nothing but a towel.
“What do you think I’m going to do? Rape you when the door is closed?” Joe scoffed, sending her an absurd look.
“I wouldn’t put it past you,” she mumbled, glaring at him.
“Oh, whatever, Cali. I may be an asshole, but I would never do something like that. I like my women screaming my name in pleasure,” Joe told her.
“Ha. So, then I’m good,” she laughed, knowing she’d never be screaming his name in any sort of pleasure.
“You jest, but I’m quite persuasive,” Joe told her with a wink.
“No thanks. I’m good,” Cali laughed as she reluctantly stepped inside and he closed the door.
Joe hurried off to his bedroom to change, chuckling the whole way. Cali stood by his door, feeling awkward and uncomfortable as she waited on him.
“Uh, could you hurry though? Seriously, my shoot starts in like twenty minutes and it takes at least that to get over there,” she asked him loudly.
Seconds later, he appeared wearing dark skinny jeans and a black v-neck t-shirt with a black leather jacket over it.
“I’m ready,” he said, grabbing his keys off the table as he made his way toward the door.
Cali had it open and was walking out of it before him. Joe locked up and followed her out of the building before leading her to his Range Rover – fuck him and his family’s money. He probably never worked a day in his life for a car like that.
Cali got inside feeling really awkward that she was with Joe, but she knew she had to suck it up. Her reputation as a model depended on it. She quickly gave him the address and he programmed it into his navigational system.
They were silent for a while as Joe drove, which Cali was thankful for. She was tense enough as it was, she didn’t need his badgering to add to it. As she flipped through her electronic calendar on her phone checking her schedule for next week, she was reminded that she had two photo shoots and another club appearance coming up. The current photoshoot she was going to be miserably late for, was her last of the week. Thank God.
“So is that what you’re wearing? You look like you just rolled out of bed,” Joe commented, breaking their peaceful silence.
“I did just roll out of bed. And no, this won’t be what I am wearing,” she said, rolling her eyes. Truthfully, she wouldn’t be wearing anything at the shoot – except for body paint anyway.
“When is your shoot over?” He asked curiously, looking over at her.
“Why?” She questioned, annoyed that he would even care.
“I could pick you up, if you want,” he said with a shrug and her head shot in his direction.
“Jesus, don’t look so surprised,” he laughed.
“Why wouldn’t I be surprised? You spent four years making my life a living hell and now you’re back to continue the torture,” she shot at him bitterly.
“Did I really make your life a living hell? I don’t really remember bothering you that much,” Joe told her.
“Everyday!” She yelled at him.
“Jesus!” He laughed at her outburst.
“Every day you would out do yourself – making me feel like I was the ugliest, most worthless person on the planet. A lot of the time I would go home and cry. You were vicious and cruel,” she told him, recounting her memories from her adolescence.
Joe’s smirk finally vanished from his face, leaving a saddened expression.
“You went home and cried?” He questioned.
“Yeah. A lot,” she said softly, looking down at her hands.
“I-I’m sorry,” he said quietly. His stammer was not lost on her.
“Wow. Joe Jonas apologizing? Too bad it’s coming five years too late,” Cali scoffed, looking out the window.
“Look, I know I was a dick back then, but I really am sorry,” he told her, sounding sincere.
“That doesn’t explain your behavior as of late. And somehow I think your apology only coincides with the fact that I am good looking, and you think I’m worth your time now. If I was still the lanky, awkward girl I used to be, you wouldn’t be apologizing,” she said, telling him what she really thought.
“You don’t know anything about me, Cali,” he told her evenly.
“I know what kind of person you are,” she countered and he shook his head.
“You duct taped your empty moving boxes in front of my apartment door,” she shot at him.
“That was a joke,” he told her, sending her an unamused look.
“It wasn’t funny. Not to me, because it just showed me you haven’t changed. You are the same person you’ve always been,” she told him.
“I’m not. And it really annoys me that you’re judging me right now,” he argued.
“All you’ve ever done is judge me. You’ve been the judge, the jury, and the executioner when it came to me,” she scoffed incredulously.
“I’m sorry!” He yelled, startling her with his booming voice. Cali stopped talking and looked forward out the windshield. They were almost to her shoot and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Can’t we just… start over? We’re both obviously different people. I think you know that, or else you wouldn’t have asked me to give you a ride this morning. You trust me, even if it’s in the slightest way possible,” he asked, looking over at her hopefully.
“You were my only option,” she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
“You could have called a cab,” he countered. He was right. She could have caught a cab, but didn’t.
She fell silent, knowing he was right.
“Can we start over? Let me pick you up from your shoot,” he told her.
She didn’t know if she wanted to start over. She didn’t particularly want Joe Jonas in her life. She would much rather just live peacefully not knowing him at all. Why did he all of a sudden want to know her?
“Cali?” He asked.
“Fine!” She snapped, feeling aggravated.
“What time is your photoshoot over?” He asked her again, ignoring her outburst.
“Shouldn’t be more than three hours,” she mumbled, her arms still crossed over her chest tightly.
“I’ll give you my number so you can call me when you’re done,” he told her. She felt sick to her stomach. She didn’t know if she wanted his number.
Joe pulled the Range Rover up in front of the building where Cali’s photo shoot was taking place and she felt relief that her time with Joe was finally over.
“Give me your phone,” he told her, holding out his hand.
“I can put it in myself,” she snapped.
“Fine,” he said, shaking his head.
“What is it?” She asked, eyeing him ruthlessly.
He rambled off his digits as Cali typed them in before shoving the phone in her purse. She grabbed for the door handle quickly and pushed it open. In a second, she was standing on the sidewalk, but hesitantly turned back to face him.
“Thanks,” she choked out. She hated the word as it fell from her lips, but he really did her a big favor. A smirk appeared across his lips as he gave her a nod.
“See you in a little bit,” he said and Cali nodded as she shut the passenger door.
Ugh. His behavior now was more disturbing than his behavior in high school.