Saturday, June 16, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 20 - Edward

~oOo~

Afghanistan... Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:01 A.M.

I ran a hand through my hair with one hand as I clicked open the conversation with the other. I was so fucking nervous that I was afraid to look at the screen, because this changed everything. As soon as I saw her, the breath whooshed out of me. Really saw her – not a picture, not just words, but living, breathing, and fucking stunning.

My eyes took in natural beauty with just a hint of makeup, a soft grayish-blue shirt that made her skin look like silk, but it was the warm brown eyes that made me finally find my voice.

"Bella," I breathed, feeling like a fucking idiot because that was the only thing my brain could come up with.

A warm, sweet – and just as nervous, I noted – smile crawled up her face, causing a little wrinkle in her nose, and I was just...done. My own smile matched hers, and with one last tug on my hair, I set my elbow on the desk.

"Hey," she said shyly. "I knew you wouldn't sound like Andy Rooney!" She giggled, and just like that, the nerves were gone – mine and hers. This was no different than our letters.

I laughed, shaking my head. "No, but I bet you wondered for a second, didn't you?"

"I did! But I really didn't care," she replied, shrugging a shoulder.

I winced a little, tilting my head at her, because that sounded to me like she was answering more than the question about my voice. It didn't help that the sounds of loud soldiers, rumbling vehicles, and aircraft echoed behind me. It was a blatant reminder of where I truly was. I was in a fucking war, halfway across the world from her.

"Christ, Bella..." I ran a hand nervously through my hair, deciding it was getting cut tomorrow. "Are you sure about this?"

"Edward," she sighed, smiling so beautifully at me, and fuck, my name had never sounded so damn good. "I spent hours after I got your email yesterday thinking of what doing this call today would mean – what continuing...whatever this is between us would mean. I want you to know it isn't something I'm taking lightly. I know the future isn't a certainty while you're over there. I do know that there's no one I'd want to be with right now and nowhere I want to be more than here with you."

"Me, either, but..." I stopped and just looked at her.

This wasn't wrong. In fact, it felt fucking perfect. It was comfortable and honest and just...good.

"You're beautiful," I murmured with a sigh, unable to stop myself. "Your pictures don't do you justice."

The sweetest of pink crept up her face, adding the most glorious touch of color as she broke into another sweet laugh. "I was going to say the same thing."

Chuckling, I heard some of the guys come back from the mess tent and looked up past my computer before looking back to the screen. "Jasper and Emmett wanted me to tell you hello."

"Tell them hi back and that I miss them," she replied. "The girls were over this morning. I think you're right. I think we've totally been set up."

"Well, I see they didn't smother you with a pillow this time."

"No, I survived. I think my skills are improving," she answered with a giggle, biting at her bottom lip, and it might just have been the sexiest thing I'd ever seen.

I'd been mesmerized, just watching her – it had been so long since I'd seen an American civilian, much less a heartstoppingly beautiful one – so I had to shake my head a bit when she sing-songed, "Twenty questions, Edward..."

"Should I be scared?" I countered, sitting forward and resting my hand on my neck. Still, I couldn't help but smile.

"You're in a war, and my questions might scare you?" She laughed, a pure, unapologetic, teasing laugh.

"Everything about this scares me, Bella." I chuckled, shaking my head and rolling my eyes. "Just ask your question, beautiful."

~oOo~

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