Thursday, June 28, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 47 - Bella

~oOo~

Seattle... Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 5:45 A.M.

"God, you're so fucking beautiful, Bella," he sighed, "and I love you, too."

I froze, unsure I'd heard him right. When I blinked and really looked at him, I couldn't deny it. The same love I felt for this amazing man, who was risking his life for our country, was clear as day in his eyes as he watched me. He looked beaten, bruised, like he'd been through hell, and a little nervous, but the love was simply pouring out of him.

Laughing, I swiped at my tears, dragging my sleeve across my nose, trying to clean my face as best I could. "Yeah?"

His grin suddenly lit up the screen as he nodded. "Yeah, sweetheart. I fell in love with you somewhere between all your celebrity crushes and your anger with Tanya on my behalf, but after our first Skype call...I was just done. You owned me, and I'm not sure even I knew it yet."

I was nodding even before he finished speaking. "I know, Edward. I think for me, it was right around when you admitted your biggest fear that I started feeling just...more. I admitted it to myself when we Skyped, and then when you went to Kandahar at the end of April... Yeah, babe, that was it."

I saw him wince when he shifted to change positions, and I knew he needed to relax and let whatever pain meds the doctors had given him kick in.

"Sarge, why don't you go lie down? We can talk again when you've gotten some rest, okay?"

"No, Bella," he argued. "I'm all right." But the wince he gave when he raised his hand to run it across his head told me different.

"Oh, baby..." I frowned feeling my eyes water again. "Please, for me, go get some rest. The docs gave you some pain meds, right?" At his reluctant nod, I smiled sadly. "Then take 'em so you'll feel better. We can talk again when you're not feeling like you've been run over by a truck."

"But—"

"No buts, Edward Masen," I said firmly. "I love you, Edward. You have to rest so you feel better, and then we can talk. Okay?"

He finally nodded. "Email me?" he asked hopefully.

I laughed, holding back my tears. "You'll have one when you get up, babe."

"'Kay. I love you, Isabella Swan." His deep green eyes stared into mine through the computer, so serious and full of love that it stole my breath.

"God, Edward, I love you, too. Talk to you soon?"

He nodded, and then, wincing, he leaned up, pressed something on the keyboard, and the screen went black.

I clicked out of Skype and was immediately pulled up and into two sets of arms as my girls made a protective sandwich around me. Somehow, Rose had sneaked into the house while I was talking to Edward.

I felt the tears well up once more, and this time, I didn't bother holding them in. For several long minutes, they simply let me cry, not saying anything but low murmurs of support that I couldn't understand but appreciated nonetheless.

Finally, I pulled away, swiping at my now sore and puffy eyes. "You guys are the best. I knew it's been hard for you all these years, but I don't know if I appreciated just how much until now."

Rose smiled sadly. "I'd love to say it gets easier, Bella, but in reality, it doesn't. I wake up scared every day that something is going to happen to Emmett. I just have to keep saying my prayers and believing that he'll come home safe and sound."

"Yeah," Alice agreed quietly. "And we have each other. You need to know that you can lean on us. When you're feeling worried – or scared shitless – just tell us. You know we've been in your shoes. We live with that same fear every day. I couldn't do this – couldn't handle Jasper being over there – without you and Rose."

I sniffled and nodded. "Thanks for earlier, Ali...for coming to tell me and for helping when I..." I gestured to the bathroom, thinking of how I'd thrown up for what felt like hours.

"That's what friends are for, sweetie. Now," she said, grinning, "are you hungry? Rose brought coffee, and I made pancakes and bacon."

My stomach growled at the thought of the crispy, greasy bacon, making us all laugh. "Ya know, I think I am."

~oooOOOooo~

From: Bella Swan
To: EAMasen
Date Sent: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 7:14 A.M.
Date Received: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 7:14 P.M.
Subject: You'd better be getting some rest, Sergeant Masen...

Hi, babe.

Here's the email I promised. I am just about to get ready for school, but before I jump in the shower, I wanted to tell you that it was so good to see your face and hear your voice. Of course, I wish it had been under better circumstances, but I'm not going to be upset that we got to talk...and that I finally got to tell you that I love you. Hearing those words from your lips, though... God, there was nothing better.

I'd tell Emmett and Jasper to smother you in kisses for me, but knowing Emmett, I'm afraid he'd actually do it! So consider yourself smooched to pieces, ok?

In answer to your last email, yeah, Sarge, four and a half months feels like an eternity. But we'll get through it. I know we will... Really, there's no other option. None. We'll get through it, and then I'll finally see you in person, be able to touch you like I want to so badly right now. I'll be able to go to sleep in your arms and wake up to find you still there. When I want to kiss you and touch you, I'll be able to because you'll be there. So see, Edward? We'll get through it because when we do, that's what is waiting on the other end of all this.

I love you so damn much. Email when you feel up to it... I'll be waiting.

Love,
Bella

P.S. Have you thought about what your plans are come October? Are you planning to re-up? Did you want to move back to Chicago? I talked about what would happen when we finally see each other in person, but I just realized I don't know what you want, really. *bites lip nervously*

~oOo~

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