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About twenty different ways to murder Calum Thomas Hood ran through Fallon's mind when the picture flashed up on to the television screen. At least four of them involved his head and said screen.

She simultaneously wanted to punch him, scream, and most of all, she just wanted to cry. The picture was one she was certain would be permanently seared into her retinas for the foreseeable future. Calum, on what was obviously Halloween by the way he was dressed, the night he had rejected her, with his tongue down some other girl's throat.

Some other girl who apparently was telling the entire internet about the way she had fucked Calum and describing just how well endowed he was.

Great. Excellent. Fan-fucking-tastic.

It had taken every bit of restraint and media training Fallon held to not murder her boyfriend on live television. She hadn't reacted at all. If she had, everything would have only been a million times worse but she had done it. She had managed to sell complete indifference through one of the most awful and humiliating moments of her life.

When the interview ended she stood calmly, painting on what had to be the world's most fake smile before leading the group out of the studio. As soon as they were out of the watchful eyes of the media Erin was at Fallon's side.

"Can I cut his dick off?"

In her head Fallon knew it was an empty threat but she wasn't ready for those kinds of jokes yet.

"Don't, Erin. Please." She hated the way her voice sounded warbled and pathetic. 

"Don't cut his dick off?" Erin tried again, obviously making desperate attempts to lighten the mood.

"You know what I mean. I just...I can't talk about it right now." Fallon brushed past her sister and her feet propelled her forward to their bus. Her hand reached out for the handle and she pulled only for a large hand to lean against the metal door, preventing her from entering into the solitude she longed for. Her eyes focused, glaring, on the letters tattooed across the webspace of his hand.

"Fal, please, let me explain." His chest rose and fell sporadically, his breath rushed and heavy. The red tint of his cheeks proved that he had chased after her.

"Explain what, Calum? I think that picture explained everything pretty damn well." And with that, she tore open the door, entering the bus before she slammed the door in his face.

With shaky knees and the door locked behind her she slid down the frame until she was seated. Her head fell forward to rest against her knees and sob's broke out from a place of sadness deep within her chest.

The worst part of it all was simple. She couldn't be mad at him. Realization had struck her as soon as she had heard his voice. She couldn't be angry, not even a little bit. For one they hadn't been together on Halloween, not really anyways. But the main issue was that her being upset with him for keeping things from him would only be hypocritical.

Pot, meet kettle.

*

Calum's hands were clenched at his sides as he moved away from Fallon's bus and towards his own. He should have fucking known. Never in his life had he felt so completely blindsided and stupid.

Of course the girl he hooked up with was only seeking her fifteen minutes of fame. Of course she was blabbing her mouth all over the internet with their pictures. Pictures that included, unfortunately, several of him in a compromising position, clothed only in the hotel sheets with a joint in his mouth.

Fuck, his manager was going to be just thrilled about that one.

There wasn't anything he could do about it now. It was far from the way that he had intended for Fallon to find out about everything but at least now that she knew it was no longer eating at him to tell her.

How he could get her to forgive him though was something he would have to figure out. Apparently he would be working out his problems on his own. His bandmates made that abundantly clear with their annoyed looks as he ascended the stairs and felt three pairs of eyes on him.

"You lot jump ship quickly, don't you." He said, failing to hide his irritation.

"How could you not tell her?" Luke asked, shaking his head in complete disgust.

"What was I supposed to say, Luke? Hey Fal, I know you just fucking forgave me and we decided to try things out but a few weeks ago, after I pissed you off, I fucked a girl in the bathroom when I was angry and didn't understand my feelings."

"That would be shitty, yes. But it still would have been better than her having to see the undeniable proof in front of her face in the middle of her first major interview. God, do you even care about her?" Michael asked, obviously agitated, no doubt urged on by his fiancée.

"Of course I fucking do, I love her." Calum snapped. The veins in his neck strained against his skin and his hands balled into fists at his sides. "You have anything to add?" He turned on Ashton.

The bus fell silent and Calum stood in the front of the entryway seething, his shoulders lifting and falling in an indistinguishable pattern until finally he spoke again. "I just find it funny how all of you were completely against me pursuing Fallon again in the first place but now that shit's hit the fan you're quick to jump down my throat to defend her."

"Mate, you fucked up. No matter what our feelings about her or your relationship are, she's still a human being and she didn't deserve what happened." Luke crossed his arms and stared back at the dark haired man.

"We weren't even together then, Luke." Calum's hands were splayed out in front of him as he tried to defend his actions.

His friend's only response was to cross his arms and offer him a pointed look.

"Well we weren't," Calum sputtered. "I never meant to hurt her. That was the entirety of wanting to keep it from her. I knew how she'd react. I knew she needed to know but I was trying to find the least painful way to tell her. Running out of time to do that wasn't something I had factored in."

"No one thinks this was intentional, Cal. You and Fallon have a long complicated history but you aren't the type to go for revenge."

"It wouldn't be revenge. I broke up with her."

Silence encapsulated the whole group at Calum's admission. With the way both he and Fallon had reacted to the breakup his friends had always been left in the dark about the details. Their guesses of who ended things had jumped back and forth but now they knew.

Calum's hand drifted upward until it mindlessly traced the tattoo he had gotten for he and Fallon's child. One day maybe they would know everything. Maybe then they would understand.

He only had the headspace to handle one thing at a time, and right then, he needed to focus on finding a way to make things right with Fallon.

An: where do they go from here?

Do you think Calum did anything wrong to begin with?

What do you think Fallon is hiding?

Ily,
Sav 🖤

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