Saturday, August 11, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 146 - Edward

~oOo~

From: EAMasen
To: Bella Swan
Date Sent: Wed, Sept. 22, 2010 at 10:34 P.M.
Date Received: Wed, Sept. 22, 2010 at 7:24 P.M.
Subject: Mission accomplished!

Hi my gorgeous girl,

I officially humbled my roommates. I don't know why they want to play war games, but Call of Duty isn't much different than the shit we used to do overseas. They kept getting killed. I did not! ;) And apparently, we destroyed some poor kid from Australia, who, if my calculations were correct, should have been in bed or in school...I'm not sure which.

I'm actually looking forward to meeting your dad, sweetheart. Not so much the interrogation, but getting to know him. I have to prove myself worthy of you in his eyes; I know that much. And that's okay because if he didn't care, then I'd worry. The more Emmett describes past fishing trips, though, the more it sounds like a lot of fun, and if your dad can tolerate that chatterbox, then I know I'm halfway there! LOL

But it's the shooting range I may be looking forward to the most, Isabella. Everyone is bragging about your skills, so I can't wait to see it for myself. Emmett and Jasper are already making bets that you'll kick my ass. :) Yeah, somehow the thought doesn't bother me. The way I see it? If I'm gonna get beat, at least it'll be by a beautiful woman. Guess we'll figure out the "bad aim" situation after all. **laugh**

I'm so happy for little Christopher, baby! It seems like things are looking up for him. If his mother is making an effort, then he'll be in great shape soon enough. YOU did that, love. Don't you ever forget it. You made sure he was safe, that he had something to eat, and that he was removed from a dangerous situation. I'm proud of you, and I'm so glad that you got to see him looking happy, healthy, and able to be a little kid again. It's what I hoped happened to my mother's piano student all those years ago.

I'm glad you had room for all my things. I hate that I'm forcing all this stuff on you without being there to help. I promise you that when I get there, if there's too much shit or whatever, we'll go through it and throw out what we don't want or need. I know I still have my storage stuff to go through.

Which reminds me... I heard from Garrett. I guess Tanya's dating someone from NIU – an underwear model or some shit. How both egos fit in the same damn room...or campus, for that matter...I have no idea. But anyway, she feels the need to erase my mere existence, so she's packed up whatever I left at their home. Bella, there's no telling what she's boxed up, so I told her dad to send it after I've come home. Her mother says Tanya's still pretty pissed at me, and she wants to be rid of anything connected to me. If she's pissed, then she'll be vindictive, so I want to be careful when opening it – not because I'm hiding anything, but to explain whatever fucked up shit she may have tossed in there. I know her...she'll make a mountain out of a fucking molehill in a heartbeat. But it will officially be the last of my connection to Chicago. Something about that seems freeing. There's a weight that's been lifted, and I'm not sure how to explain it.

As time gets closer, I'm just about to crawl out of my own skin with the need to just...BE HOME. It's all I can think about most of the time. I just about got run over on base the other day because I was paying more attention to your text than where I was going. **laugh** Yes, I promise to be more careful...don't even say it. I'm just...happy, sweet girl. Though, I do have my moments of panic about screwing up, so time seems to go in these weird bursts. Sometimes, I'm freaking out, so time flies and I tick off another day on the calendar, but then there are times when I crave you, and I swear to God and all that's holy that the clocks stop fucking working.

It's official, my love. I've just lost my mind over you. I'd better get some sleep, beautiful, but I'll talk to you soon.

You have my heart always,
Edward

~oooOOOooo~

Tampa... Monday, September 27, 2010 7:06 P.M.

"I'm back!" Emmett boomed from the front door. "Who's hungry?"

"I am," Jasper and I called from the living room.

We were just finishing packing up my keyboard, its stand, and the stool so that I could drop it off to be shipped in the morning. Adding the last piece of packing tape, I stacked all the boxes by the door to be loaded in my car the next day.

"What'd you get?" I asked, falling down at the kitchen table.

"Barbecue," Emmett said, handing a styrofoam box over to me.

Jasper groaned, rolling his eyes before glaring at the box like it was the devil himself. "It's official," he muttered, grimacing. "I'm completely over fast food, Chinese takeout, and pizza."

I chuckled and nodded, because our cupboards were completely and utterly bare, save for a few canned goods in the pantry. We felt that buying a major amount of groceries, aside from a few things to drink, would be a waste, but really, I think we were all ready for real, home-cooked food. In fact, we were so ready for it that it was a conversation that had lasted hours the night before. Bella's cookies, Alice's pot pie, Rose's fajitas...Bella's tuna casserole, Alice's fried chicken, Rose's spaghetti sauce... On and on it went until not a single fucking thing sounded good for dinner, and all three of us were homesick for our girls. It was really pitiful, in all honesty, but it was true.

We were at the beginning of the end, and I wasn't alone in my wish to just have it all over with and done. Our normal, everyday ramblings changed from work and recruits to Seattle and home and plans for things to do once we got there – the foremost thing being Charlie's wedding.

"I hear ya," Emmett grumbled, frowning down at his giant stack of ribs. "I guarantee Rosie will put thirty pounds on my ass the first week alone. I gotta remember to run..."

Grinning and waving a French fry at him, I said, "No shit. It was one thing eating Bella's cookies while we were in the field, but it'll be another when my ass doesn't have to get up every morning at the ass crack of dawn."

"You'll be up," Jasper countered with a chuckle and his trademark smirk. "It's just fucking habit now. And you can always run after Bellsy goes to work. Her neighborhood is pretty cool."

"There's definitely no sleeping in the day we go fishin', Sarge," Emmett laughed, pointing his plastic fork at me. "The torture for you starts early."

I groaned, much to their amusement, shaking my head. "Don't remind me."

"Aw, stop it," he chuckled. "I promise to make sure that Charlie doesn't throw you overboard for doing naughty things to his little girl...or at least that you have a life vest on if he does."

Jasper choked on his baked beans, giving a guffawing Emmett a punch to the arm. "Charlie doesn't necessarily need to be reminded of said naughty things, asshole. Don't make this shit any harder for Eddie than it needs to be." His sympathetic gaze landed on me. "Trust me, the man gave me shit for about an hour, and then he was perfectly fine. And he loves Alice like one of his own. Hell, he's known her ever since Bella moved in with him – said it was like gaining two daughters instead of one. So don't sweat it, bro. You'll be fine. He's downright mellow...a lot like Bella, really."

"Yeah, but I bet your ass'll be sleeping on the sofa downstairs, though, not all snuggled up to Bella in her room," Emmett added, grinning like the devil.

"That's fine," I sighed, shrugging. "As long as I'm actually allowed in the house..."

Jasper snorted, rolling his eyes. "Don't think that that woman he's marrying hasn't come over for a few pajama parties, if you know what I'm sayin'. Don't underestimate the Chief."

"Ew, that's like all sorts of wrong." Emmett gagged, giving him a scathing look. "Parents shouldn't do it."

I laughed so hard that barbecue sauce burned my nose.

"You weren't hatched, idiot," Jasper argued at the same time he patted my back. "Mr. and Mrs. McCarty actually had to fu—"

"Auugh! Don't say it!" he yelled, putting his hands over his ears. "I'm not listening," he sang, his eyes squeezed closed.

"Moron," Jasper murmured, looking to me. "Oh, I wanted to let you know that some of the guys want to take us out for drinks Friday night before we fly out Saturday. You cool with that?"

"Oh, yeah? Who?" I asked, popping a hush puppy into my mouth.

"Thompson and Rodriguez, but mainly Wells. He's pretty excited about it because his leg's all healed up and shit," he answered.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Yeah, I'm in," I said because I knew that Wells was still feeling that the incident in Afghanistan was a damn close call, and he just wanted to celebrate the fact that the two of us had made it out with our lives. "Definitely. Just let me know when and where."

I ate another rib silently, thinking back to that explosion and how it had changed everything between Bella and me. She'd showed just what a beautifully strong woman she could be, and I'd dropped the last of my wall down, telling her I loved her for the first time. Pulling my phone from my pocket, I couldn't resist sending Bella a message – one that we'd been teasing each other with for days now because we were so fucking ready.

E: I love you, my sweet, beautiful girl. Guess what?! Only 5 more days. I can't wait!

~oOo~

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