Friday, July 6, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 65 - Bella

~oOo~

From: Bella Swan
To: EAMasen
Date Sent: Tues, June 01, 2010 at 12:32 P.M.
Date Received: Tues, June 01, 2010 at 9:32 P.M.
Subject: Fuck, I'm so stupid...

Babe, I'm so sorry. I swear, I didn't mean to doubt you or your feelings for me. If you aren't too mad at me, can we Skype? Or even just...talk on the phone? I need to see you, or at least hear your voice.

I love you...

~oooOOOooo~

Seattle... Tuesday, June 01, 2010 at 12:47 P.M.

After sending Edward's email, I curled up on the couch with the laptop – Skype open and logged in – my cell phone, and a half empty box of tissues. I'd been wearing his shirt since I changed for bed last night, and while I waited to see if he'd contact me back right away, I was worrying his dog tags between my fingers.

I really had been an idiot. There was no excuse for it, really... I'd been scared, my insecurities had come through, and I had let both myself and Edward down. I'd hurt him, I could tell, and that thought killed me. I could only hope now that he would let me make it u—

The blooping noise from my laptop speakers that signaled a new Skype call shocked me out of my thoughts. With a shaky hand, I reached out to press Accept, and then waited, chewing on my fingernail, for the call to connect.

Within moments, Edward appeared on my screen. He looked as emotionally-wrecked as I felt, and tears welled up again, knowing that I had caused that look.

"Oh, Bella," he sighed, running his hand over his head as I swiped at my tears with the back of my hand. "Don't cry, love. We'll get past this, I promise."

Sniffling, I nodded. "I know. Edward, I'm so sorry. There's really no excuse, except my old fears cropping up. I've never been good enough before, so for a moment, I thought maybe it would be better to give you an out, to let you go, rather than face the heartbreak later if you decided I wasn't worth it...that what you felt was grounded in the war and what you were experiencing at the time and not reality."

He was shaking his head even as I spoke. "Sweetheart, there's nothing about how I feel for you that isn't real. Afghanistan, Seattle, the moon, now, fifty years from now... Wherever I am, whenever it is, that is never going to fucking change. You need to understand that, Isabella. You're it for me, baby."

Drawing my knees up, I curled my arms around them and rested my chin on top, quiet as I watched him. He was bare chested, showing off the bruises that were beginning to fade and turn sickly yellow and green, his eyes wide and honest as he stared straight through the camera into my soul.

Nodding again, I whispered, "I believe you, Edward. I want all those things with you, too – so much it scares me. I've never felt like this for anyone before, and I guess when I realized you had other choices, I thought you would choose someone else. It wouldn't be the first time a man chose someone else over me, so—"

"That fucking dog," Edward growled, startling me when he pounded his fist on the desk beside his laptop, making the screen shake. "Bella, sweetheart, you're worth a hundred times what that ass is. He is the stupidest son of a bitch on the planet that he didn't treasure you when he had you. Trust me when I tell you that I am not going anywhere."

I was crying again, my tears dripping down my face to land on the shirt covering my knees.

Edward's voice softened. "I love you, Bella, more than I ever thought possible. No amount of distance from any war zone is going to change that. Please, say you believe me, sweetheart. It's killing me to think you don't know that."

"No! No, Edward, I do. I never really thought you didn't. I just..." I paused, realizing that what I'd been planning to say didn't matter. "You know what? There really isn't an excuse or reason. What matters is that I was an idiot, I know you love me, and I love you just as much. Can you forgive me for freaking out for a little bit?"

The slow smile that graced his face warmed me straight to my very core. "Baby, there's nothing to forgive. As long as you don't doubt my love for you or doubt your ability to be loved again, we're all good. And Bella?"

"Hmm?"

"I will spend the rest of my life proving to you just how loved you are, so prepare yourself for that..."

I laughed softly, giving him a smile of my own. "I can handle that," I promised him.

"Good."

We were quiet for a minute, just enjoying the moment, before I thought of something.

"Hey, Sarge...you never did answer my question about the girls and me making the trip to Florida to meet your plane." I grinned teasingly until I saw his smile falter.

He sighed. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. I hate to tell you, but I checked with the guys in charge here. We're catching a flight on one of the cargo planes from here to Florida, not taking a commercial jet, and they don't allow civilians to meet these planes."

Tears welled up in my eyes again as I realized suddenly just how damn much I'd been looking forward to that.

"I don't think I can wait until October to see you in person," I murmured, swiping away the few tears that had fallen. "I'm not even sure I can wait until my trip to visit my mom later this summer."

Scrubbing a hand over his face, Edward shook his head. "I can't, either, love," he echoed, his face pained. "We'll find a way, Isabella. You talk to the girls, sort out your schedule with Charlie and your mom. The guys and I will see how it goes at work. I'm sure we'll be busy at first, but I bet it'll calm down to a dull roar quickly. We can talk next month about a visit, okay?"

I nodded, biting my lower lip for a moment in order to keep more tears at bay, and smiled, which had Edward smiling in return.

He glanced away for a second, and when he looked back, the smile had been replaced by a small frown. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. I need to go. There are others waiting for the privacy of this little room, and I need to get some sleep. We have another training session in the morning before five o'clock."

Sighing, I nodded. "That's okay," I told him, smiling softly. "That means the start of one day closer to being back home."

He grinned. "That it does, Miss Swan. We're okay now?"

"Better than okay," I assured him. "Email when you can?"

"As soon as I break for the night tonight, love, I promise."

"I love you, Edward," I murmured, reaching out and touching his cheek on the screen, wishing it was his skin and not just his image on the laptop.

"For the rest of my life, Isabella," he said firmly, touching his chest where his heart lay.

I reached up to hang up the connection but smirked just before pushing the button. "Oh, and Sarge?" At his raised eyebrow, I teased, "A private house and private bedrooms? Not private enough for what I want to do with you, but it'll work...for now."

I held my giggle at his stunned expression until I'd clicked the button to disconnect our call, and then I laughed as I rolled onto my back, wiping fresh tears from my eyes, feeling more relaxed and relieved than I had in almost twenty-four hours.

~oOo~

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