Monday, August 6, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 143 - Bella

~oOo~

Seattle... Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 1:36 P.M.

"Yeah, we totally have to do the underground tour when the guys get back," I told Alice and Rose before picking up my Coke and taking a sip from the straw. We'd gone back to my house to drop off my stuff and let me change clothes before heading to one of our favorite cafes so they could eat lunch. The drink was all I'd ordered since I'd had brunch with Edward before he left for the airport.

"Sounds fun," Rose said, shrugging.

Alice looked a bit creeped out, though. "It's all underground? You don't get all dirty or run into spiders, do you?"

I laughed and shook my head. "Nah, it's not like you go crawling around in a regular cave or anything, Ali."

My phone dinged, signaling that I had a new text message. I pulled it from my pocket and smiled.

E: I just boarded the plane and wanted to text you before I turned off my phone. Thank you for an amazing weekend, sweet girl. I love you.

Unsure if he'd get it before he landed in Tampa, I went ahead and clicked reply.

B: Have a safe flight, babe. And Edward? Thank YOU for one of the best weekends of my life, truly. It was by far my best birthday ever. Call when you land. xoxo

Sliding my phone back into my pocket, I looked up and grinned. "Edward's on the plane."

"So you guys actually got out of the hotel all day Saturday?" Rose shook her head, smirking. "I thought for sure you wouldn't surface from the room at all."

I laughed. "He was determined to go out and do some sightseeing. Besides, I think if we'd done much more in the room, I wouldn't have been able to walk today."

Alice grinned. "Lucky woman," she teased, winking. "I plan to ride Jazzy like a cowboy for days once they get home. I know I won't be able to walk after, but it'll be worth it."

Nodding her agreement, Rose said, "Alice and I have already put in for that Monday and Tuesday off. Franklin is going to cover my class like he always does when I'm gone." Guy Franklin was the auto shop teacher who retired before Rose got the job, and he liked to come back and help out when Rose was sick or had to be gone for one reason or another. They had a great affection for one another – the older man was more than a mentor for her; he was like a father figure.

"Yup," Alice said. "They're going to get a substitute for me, too. Did you request that like we told you to?"

Last week, they'd mentioned doing that again this time. It wasn't the first time they'd done it, because they took a couple of days off every time the guys came home after a tour. But this was the first time I'd have a reason to do it with them.

"Hell yes," I told them, grinning. "Shelly didn't even blink when I stopped by the office the other day. She just said she'd had a feeling I would be coming in since Alice had already been there."

Alice finished her last bite of lunch and sat back against the booth. "How are things going with the wedding planning, by the way?"

I shrugged. "Fine, apparently. Leah should have come up this weekend to try the dress on and make sure it works for her. Sue may have emailed to let me know already. I haven't checked since Friday."

"We're still planning to go down the Thursday before the wedding, right?" Rose handed her credit card to the server and smiled before turning back to me to wait for the answer.

"Yeah, I think so... I've already told the school I'll be off that Friday for my dad's wedding."

"Monday's an in-service day," Alice reminded us. "So they don't have to get a substitute for it. I'll let them know tomorrow about that Friday." She smirked. "Are you ready for Charlie to meet Edward?"

Sighing, I nodded. "I'm so ready," I told them honestly. "He's going to love Edward. I know he already likes him, so when he sees firsthand how much Edward loves me, he'll be happy."

When the server brought back Rose's card, she promptly signed the slip, and we all slid from the booth.

"Shopping?" Alice asked, looking at both of us.

"Sure." Rose smiled and shrugged. "I want to get some new jeans and sneakers."

I laughed, nodding. "I want to stop at Victoria's Secret, too. I want to surprise Edward the next time we Skype."

"Ooh!" Alice nodded. "Good idea. I'll do that, too." At my raised eyebrow, she shoved my shoulder and pushed me out the door of the cafe. "With Jasper, silly woman. Not Edward!"

Laughing, the three of us piled into my car, and once we were all buckled in, I pulled out of the parking lot, heading to the mall.

~oooOOOooo~

From: Bella Swan
To: EAMasen
Date Sent: Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 8:14 P.M.
Date Received: Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 11:14 P.M.
Subject: Fun day with the girls

Hey, babe!

You won't get this until you get home, I know, but I was sitting here in front of the TV and realized I wanted you to have something when you got there.

I had a pretty good day with the girls. We dropped by the house first thing so I could change clothes, and then I drove us all to our favorite little place for lunch. I was still full from brunch with you, so I just had something to drink while they ate and we talked. Alice said her parents got off to Haiti fine. I'd said my goodbyes over the phone last week because they weren't sure yet of the day they were flying out, so I didn't miss going to the airport with them Saturday morning. They'll let Alice know when they get there, and I made her promise to tell me after she hears from them. She's not too scared, but I know she's a little worried. Thank goodness it's not long now until you guys get home. That'll help a lot. :)

Anyway, after they ate, we went shopping (I spent way too much money at Victoria's Secret, thank you very much... ;) ), and then I made us chicken enchiladas for dinner. They just left about an hour ago. I went over the few things Alice had marked on the kids' papers; I give partial credit if they do everything right and just miss one little step, and Alice knew that. So she marked the ones she thought qualified. Then I sat down to watch a new show called Nikita that started Friday. It's based on the movie and basically is a remake of the TV show La Femme Nikita. It looks good. (It's got Shane West, who was on Once and Again and ER and in one of my favorite sad movies of all time, A Walk to Remember...so it has to be good. ;) )

I know I thanked you already for coming up, but I just had to say it again. When I saw you standing at my classroom door, I honestly thought I was going to faint. Speechless doesn't even begin to cover it. When Ryan mentioned that the Army was at my door, I very nearly got whiplash looking over to you as fast as I did. It was like for that single moment, time stopped. Nothing existed but you and me. And then to see you interacting with the kids like you did? Just kill me now. It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen. If we do decide to have kids, you're going to make an amazing father, Sarge. Truly.

Oh! I wanted to ask you... You're going to ship most of your stuff home that last week you're there, right? No reason to try to pack luggage for the plane except for one bag and your laptop. *shrug* If you do plan to do that, just let me know when to expect it so I can keep an eye out.

All right, I'd better go. Your plane should be landing soon. I'm going to make some tea. It was a long weekend, so I have a feeling I'm going to go to sleep not long after we talk! ;)

I love you, Edward.

Yours always,
Bella

~oooOOOooo~

Seattle... Monday, September 13, 2010 at 12:08 A.M.

The ringing of my cell phone jolted me out of sleep, and I scrambled for it while trying to wake up. Edward had texted a few hours before to let me know he was stuck in Atlanta because of a mechanical problem so he'd be late.

"'Lo?" I mumbled, squinting at the clock to see that it was just after midnight.

There was a sigh, and then Edward's sweet voice said, "Hey, sweetheart. I'm here. Finally."

Yawning, I settled back under the blanket. "I'm glad you got home safely."

"Not home," he corrected. "Not yet. But not long."

I had to smile at that. "Yeah. Not long. Did you take a cab to the house?"

I heard him yawn and realized it was after three in the morning there.

"Nope, Jasper was waiting for me when I landed. He'd called to find out if the flight was on time or not and then came when he heard we'd finally taken off in Atlanta."

When he yawned again, I laughed softly. "Go to bed, Sarge. Get some sleep."

"Mmhm, I'm definitely heading there now," he said, slurring his words slightly. "Happy birthday, Bella. I'll call you after you're out of school, okay?"

"Thanks, babe. That'd be good. But get some sleep after work if you need it. We can talk after that."

"'Kay. Love you." He yawned again, making me giggle.

"Love you, too," I told him, smiling to myself. "Good night, Edward."

Edward chuckled. "Good night, love."

When I heard the sound of him disconnecting, I hit the button to hang up my end of the call and set the phone back on the bedside table. I knew I'd be asleep again within minutes, but for a moment, I just lay there, sad that I was alone but happy that Edward had called and that in less than three weeks, he would be here with me.

~oOo~

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