Saturday, June 16, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 17 - Bella

~oOo~

Seattle... Friday, April 23, 2010 8:16 P.M.

"I tried so very hard keep it friendly at the beginning, but I find that I can't...and I don't know what that means."

"I've tried to be a gentleman through this thing, but I'm afraid when we talk tomorrow that everything I've started to feel will be plastered all over my face."

As I sat on the couch, staring blankly at the television, my mind kept going back over Edward's last email – and those two lines in particular. To say that his words had affected me would be an understatement. It was crazy – I knew it was! – but it seemed that he was feeling like I was...

That we had moved beyond friendship to...something more.

It was scary how fast my feelings had developed for a man I'd never met in person. From the very first letter, I had been intrigued. His sense of humor – comparing his bitch of an ex to the Wicked Witch of the West, for fuck's sake – had come shining through. I'd learned that he liked to read and that he enjoyed music as much as I did – being talented musically himself was an added bonus. He seemed to have personality in spades.

Then when he'd called me Cookie Thief and teased me about not all of his cookies making the trip, it had made me giggle...actually fucking giggle like a twelve-year-old girl.

Over the next two months, the attraction I felt for Edward as a person – even before seeing how gorgeous the man was physically – had continued to grow. Hearing his story about his parents and the man – Carlos Mendez – that he'd lost in Kandahar had showed me what a good man he was. A lesser man would not have taken care of his father the way he had when he was only eighteen. A lesser man would not have been so broken up about a man on his squad dying – like I'd told him, it was war and casualties happened, right? But no, Edward had thought of the young soldier's wife and unborn child. When he told me he'd written a letter to the man's wife, I'd been unable to hold back my tears, knowing how much he was beating himself up over the fact that a young man with his whole life ahead of him had died in his place. Only a good man would feel that way and be able to express that to someone like Edward had. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of Charlie, because my father was the most stand-up guy I knew.

We had similar tastes in movies, music, and we seemed to bring out the teasing and flirting from one another – and I liked that. It had been too long since I'd been able to enjoy the back and forth of conversation with a man that wasn't only in it to get me into his bed. Edward could keep up with me, keep me on my toes, and that was damn sexy and intriguing.

My thoughts turned back to his latest email. I was glad I had waited to open it until after school, because I wasn't sure I was going to be of any use the rest of the night...

"But I can't make you any promises, Bella, and that bothers me so fucking much. You could have any man begging for your attention, one that will be able to be there for you. You deserve a future, and I can't promise you one. You needed to know these things before we Skype tomorrow, and I'm giving you an out, because you deserve one, but I'll be online tomorrow no matter what. Not even a war could stop that."

He'd given me a lot to think about. As much of a connection as I was feeling with him and as smart, funny, and sexy as he was, did I want to continue to pursue...whatever this was...with him? I lived every day with the worry that some random criminal would kill Charlie. Could I live with the fact that for at least the next six months, Edward was smack dab in the middle of a war zone, and at any moment, he could be gone?

The thought of losing him like that had me drawing my knees to my chest, breathing deeply to keep from needing to run to the bathroom to throw up the lunch I'd had earlier in the day. If something happened to him, it would devastate me...and cutting off contact now would not stop that from happening.

A stunned expression crossed my face as I realized just what that meant.

I was already well on my way to falling completely, unconditionally, and irrevocably in love with Edward Masen.

Pulling the throw I'd tucked around me tighter, I curled onto my side on the couch, staring up at the ceiling as my mind tried to process everything I was feeling.

Two hours later, when I glanced at the clock, I decided it wasn't too late to call my girls. I needed advice, and as wives of soldiers, they were the perfect ones to ask. Picking up the phone, I dialed Alice's number first.

"Bella!" she called loudly in answer, making me pull the phone away from my ear and giggle. "What's up?"

"Hey, hold on. Let me conference Rose in."

At her hum of acknowledgment, I switched over to a new line and dialed Rosalie, who answered after a couple of rings.

"Sorry, was letting the dogs in," she said, breathing heavily. "Had to run back to the phone."

"No problem. Alice is here, too."

They greeted one another quickly, and then Rose said, "Okay, spill. What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong...per se," I hastened to ensure them. "I just...need some advice."

Settling in further on the couch, I took a deep breath and then admitted the realization I had come to a couple of hours earlier.

"I think I'm in love with Edward."

~oOo~

1 comments:

KimiD said...

What's not to love, LOL
She's gotten to know the real Edward ~ like he said, He had told her things in the last 2 months he never told Anyone, even tan...

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