Sunday, June 17, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 24 - Edward


Afghanistan... Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 3:23 P.M.

It had been seventeen days away from base camp...away from phones, email, music, and pictures of Bella, other than the worn out printed copy in my hand that I'd pulled out at least a million times. The base loomed closer as we rumbled over the broken-down road in the truck.

17 days. 408 hours. 24,480 minutes. 1,468,800 seconds. 1 gunshot wound. 2 minor burn victims. 0 casualties.

Well, no casualties on my own squad. There had been plenty every other fucking place – our side and their side, not to mention civilians that had gotten caught in the middle just trying to live their lives. A Special Forces unit had finally arrived, taking down the last of the bastards that had been hiding in a small apartment building. My squad had assisted in the demolition and extermination, so we were sent back to base once it was all over.

"Pretty girl," I heard next to me, and I'd almost completely forgotten that Lieutenant Stephens was sitting next to me.

"I think so," I said, unable to not grin, but I tucked the worn out thing safely back into my breast pocket. "She's probably worried sick."

"Nah, Sarge," Jasper added in response. "Ali and Rose will watch over her. Promise you, dude."

I nodded and gazed back out the tailgate, not bothering to argue, because I wasn't so sure. I kept thinking the entire time we were away that I'd come back and have an email waiting for me that ended this thing between Bella and me once and for all. That the fear, worry, and waiting was too much for her. Or even worse...that she'd found someone accessible.

The truck rumbled in through the gates, and we came to rest at the front of the camp. I started to stand, but Stephens stopped me. He looked tired, with gray hair at his temples that I'd never noticed before.

"Hold up, Sarge," he stated, letting the rest of the men file off the truck. When it was just the two of us, he said, "Outstanding job over there, son. Don't think it went unnoticed."

"Sir. Thank you, sir," I replied with a nod.

He smiled, shaking his head and slapping my back. "Go call your girl. Use the CO's office if you want."

I thanked him, most likely wearing the goofiest of smiles, but he said nothing as I doubled-timed it to the barracks. Sitting on my bed was a new box. While most men probably wanted a shower, fresh clothes, and sleep, the only thing I wanted was to check in with Bella.

I snatched open my footlocker, grabbed my laptop and the box off my cot, and stalked into the CO's office. Glancing up at the clock, I knew it was too early to call her, but I wanted to catch her before she got ready for work.

As my laptop powered up, I snatched open the box, because I just knew she'd sent cookies. Smiling at the different stuff she'd included, my single-minded goal was those cookies. I popped two snickerdoodles into my mouth as I pulled up my email. I was shocked to see not just one, but six emails from her, all from different dates throughout my time away. By the time I'd read them all – twice – I'd eaten several more cookies, but nothing could stop the ache in my chest. Picking up the phone, I dialed her number.

"Hullo?" a sleepy, but surprisingly arousing voice answered.

"Bella," I sighed, my head falling back to the wall behind me with a dull thud.

She gasped, suddenly wide awake. "Edward! You're okay. You're back," she stated, but they sounded like questions, too.

"I'm both, beautiful," I breathed with both a grin and a sigh, feeling complete for the first time in what seemed like forever. "I got your cookies," I mumbled around another one that I'd just shoved into my mouth.

Her giggle was sweet and happy. "There's more in there besides cookies, babe," she teased.

"I'm sure," I said with a chuckle, closing my eyes. "Tell me what I missed. I read your emails, but to me."

I just wanted to lose myself in her voice, and she was fucking perfect, allowing me to do exactly that. Starting from the minute we got off the computer a little over two weeks ago, she told me everything. From botched pasta recipes, to day-to-day stories about her students, to her missing hearing from me. Every word was like heaven.

"God, I missed you," she whispered, and I heard emotion seep into her tone. "I can't believe how much..."

"I missed you, too, beautiful," I whispered back, shaking my head at just how true those words were. "Is this too much, Bella? Can you really handle this? Me?"

"Oh, I think I can handle you, Masen," she promised, and I chuckled at her sexy teasing.

"I can't wait to see you try." I snickered, finally looking through the rest of the box of stuff – puzzles, a deck of cards, sunglasses. When I came across an envelope filled with photos of her, my breathing stopped completely. "Jesus, Bella..."

Her responding laugh was delightfully evil. "Just now, babe? You just now found the pictures?"

"Unbelievable," I groaned in pure want of her, because she'd sent a handful of sexy-as-hell shots of her in some sort of black, lacy thing. "You have to be the sexiest thing I've ever seen. I can't wait to get my hands on you..."



Evelyne-raconte said...

WOW ! He is back okay, thank you.
The link between them is very strong, even if they never have seen each other in real.
The more I read your fiction, the more I love it.

KimiD said...

That electrical connection... so Bella and Edward...Saweet~!

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