Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 44 - Edward

~oOo~

From: EAMasen
To: Bella Swan
Date Sent: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 12:13 A.M.
Date Received: Tues, May 18, 2010 at 12:13 P.M.
Subject: You've given me so much, Bella...

Beautiful,

The flowers are just a fraction of what I wish I could give you, but I just had to send you something in return. It hardly makes up for all the cookies, comfort, and smiles you've sent my way, but I wanted you to know that it wasn't unappreciated. It means so much...

Sweetheart, I'll be out of contact for most of the next day. We're going to set a trap out on the road to catch these assholes. We think they're after our supplies. I'm not sure my CO is going to let us come back in until we've caught the bastards. LOL And do you need me to say it, love? Yes, I'll be careful. I swear!

You may knee Mike in the balls any time you feel you need to. You have my permission to do so. Even more, I think you have Emmett's total blessing and support. **laugh** And I'm not quite sure that Mike is off the hook with Em, either, despite the fact that he did what was asked of him...

Four and a half months sounds like forever, doesn't it? :( My beautiful girl, I have to go. We're loading up soon. I promise we'll talk or Skype soon, and I'll email as soon as I get back.

Thinking of you,
Edward

P.S. This panty situation is getting out of hand, Isabella. If I were there, I'd take them from you...and you wouldn't get them back. You wouldn't need them.

~oooOOOooo~

Afghanistan... Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 3:56 P.M.

"Breathe for me, Sarge," someone said to me, but it felt like Emmett was sitting on my chest. I felt a hand smack at my face. "Look at me, son," Lieutenant Stephens commanded. "Take a breath."

Everything had gone from yelling orders and getting into position to explosions and pain. In fact, I wasn't even sure the shit had settled down yet.

I gasped as best I could, feeling like I was coughing up smoke, dust, and both lungs. Clawing at my Kevlar vest and ripping the velcro open, I finally took a deeper, testing breath. "Did we get them?" I rasped.

"Yeah, Sarge, you got them," Stephens chuckled, squeezing my shoulder. "Relax. Just breathe. You'll be fine. You just got the wind knocked out of you, that's all. We'll get those ribs checked ASAP, okay?"

I nodded, breathing a little easier now that I knew we'd eradicated the enemy and my vest was being removed.

"Sarge!" Jasper called, landing next to me. "What the hell happened?"

"The bastards took the bait," Stephens answered. "Shot an RPG at our truck. They missed, hitting that abandoned car over there, but a piece of the fender caught Masen in the chest." Stephens stood up. "Get that truck over here! Set up a checkpoint for the next two days. No vehicle goes through without us knowing about it, but traffic can start again. And someone help get Wells and Masen into the truck!"

"Fuck, Lieutenant, I can walk," I groaned, sitting up with the help of Jasper. "No blood, no foul," I snorted wryly, rolling my eyes up at Stephens.

Outside, I was calm, but inside, I was fucking shaking. That had been a motherfucking close call. My chest felt like shit, but my vest had saved my damn life. Jasper took my weapon but let me make my way to the truck on my own.

"What happened to Wells?" I asked him as he pushed my ass into the back.

Jasper looked past me to Emmett. "Wells got the worst of that RPG bast, Sarge," he said softly. "He'll be okay, but the blast hit him mostly in the leg. He's bleeding, and it looks like the thing's broken, but zero casualties, sir."

Emmett shook his head. "Damn, Ed... Had you not hit the deck like you did, you'd have lost your head!" he gasped, falling down next to me.

"Jesus," I groaned, rubbing my chest. It was sore as fucking hell.

"Shut up, Emmett!" Jasper snapped.

I didn't say a fucking word the whole way back to the base. I made sure Wells was taken care of before I'd let them even touch me, but when they did, the doc assured me that I was just bruised – nothing broken, not even a hairline fracture. Wells, on the other hand, was laid up in the bed a few down from me. He'd thanked me, for fuck's sake, because had I not told him to get down when I had, he wouldn't have a broken leg, he would've lost his life to the major part of the blast.

One of these fucking days, it wouldn't be a close call; it would be the end. Someone wouldn't miss, and I would never get to see the beautiful girl that I now lived for. I couldn't do that to her, but I couldn't let her go, either. I felt like a selfish asshole because it was all I could to not to call her.

I was sitting on a gurney when Jasper and Emmett popped up in front of me. Jasper was holding my laptop, which I'd left in my footlocker before heading out earlier this morning.

"Come on, Sarge," Emmett said, jerking his chin toward the door and helping me gingerly step down to the floor. "Doc says you're cleared. You're gonna call your girl."

"No, this'll scare the shit out of her," I argued, glancing up at the clock. "And it's the middle of the fucking night there!"

"We know all of those things, Edward," Jasper chuckled softly, leading me outside and over to the CO's office. "That's why I had Ali go over there. She's waiting for you to Skype her."

I shook my head, changing the subject for a moment. "How'd you get that?" I asked as he set the laptop down on the desk while I gingerly sat my ass down in front of it.

"I got skills, man." Emmett smirked. "Too many times picking the lock on my dad's liquor cabinet when I was in high school." His expression turned serious, and he pointed to the computer. "Now, call her."

"I don't want to scare her," I countered. "Too many of these, and she won't want to deal with this shit from me."

"Yes, but you need to talk to her. You are the scared one, Ed," Jasper urged, pushing my computer closer to me. "You need her. Bells is stronger than you think. Call her. When I got hurt a few months ago, all I wanted was to talk to Alice. Just call."

Trying to get as comfortable as I could in that fucking chair, I logged onto Skype. Bracing myself, I found her name and connected to the video chat.

~oOo~

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