……………………. I got out of the shower and dried off I pulled on my under wear and skirt and grabbed my bra and put it on, I walked across to Nicks room and knocked on the door Ben opened it with a towel wrapped round his waist.
“I’m done I just need you to do the tricky stuff for me” I grinned turning round.
“Oh you know I’m no good at this” he laughed.
“Yeah the only other person is Aunt Dannie and I’m not walking the 6 blocks to her house in just my bra and skirt”.
“I think you look good” I looked at him. “Okay I’ll do it” he fastened it on his 5th attempt.
“Thank you” I smiled you can go in the shower now.
“Hey Tess” I looked at him “You going to help me get dressed as well” he winked.
“I would but.” I held up my arm as he walked into the bathroom my phone started to ring.
Me * hey Mom.
Dad * hi baby girl
Me * hi Dad how’s Wisconsin.
Dad * fine honey, so Ben stayed over then last night.
Me * yeah I called Mom and asked her.
Dad * I know.
Me * Dad what are you fishing for.
Dad * nothing I just wanted to make sure you were okay I just spoke to Ollie and Nick.
Me * I suppose Ollie told you about what he saw.
Dad * I’m not going to get him in trouble but yes.
Me * Ben told me today he’s been wanting me as more than a friend for the past few months and I guess deep down I felt the same way.
Dad * so does that mean you guys are now dating.
Me * yes Sir.
Dad * okay then Tess I trust you to make the right decisions about what to do and what not to do.
Me * I know and I’m not going to do anything to make you mad or upset I promise.
Dad * is Ben there.
Me * he’s just in the shower.
Dad * er… why.
Me * we’ve been to the beach and now we’re going to grab a pizza.
Dad * okay I’ll talk to him when I get home.
Me * Dad don’t be too rough on him.
Dad * I won’t I want to set a few rules, oh damn your Mom is standing glaring at me I got to go Tess We love you and we’ll see you on Tuesday.
Me * alright I love you both
I hung up and opened a draw and grabbed my t-shirt pulling it on.
“I’m good” Ben smiled appearing in my door way fastening his jeans a white T-shirt over his shoulder. “Cute shirt” he read the front “But I think you’ll have to wait roughly 15 months for that” I looked down, the front of my shirt read I HAVE STANDARDS ONLY A MARINE WILL DO.
“Yeah well I know you’ll be an awesome Marine” we walked down the stairs as he pulled his t-shirt on.
“So now you think I’ll make a good Marine” he laughed grabbing his keys from the side.
‘I never doubted it but I had to give you a wakeup call over Lilly didn’t I” I shrugged “And I got balled out by Dad and Adam and Toby for being so mean to you about the Marine thing” Ben started laughing as we walked out we drove down to the board walk parking in the lot behind the Pizza place Ben waited for me to get out and took my hand I felt my stomach flip with excitement we went in and sat on a table on the patio overlooking the beach. “So what do you think your Mom and Dad are going to say about us” I asked as he spun the ring on my finger.
“They’ll be pleased” he smirked “Mom keeps telling me how much of a nice girl you are especially coming from a long line of Marines”.
“The Corps has to answer for a lot” I laughed “But I wouldn’t change my life for a normal one where your parents are 9 to 5er’s”.
“I know what you mean” he nodded leaning back in his seat “Your Mom didn’t grow up on base did she”.
“No my grandparents wanted her and Uncle Toby to go to the same high school that they did Same for my Dad’s parents he grew up in a plantation house in Tennessee” I smiled picking up my drink.
“I’m glad we get to be real Marine brats” he joked. “Living where we do, I think ordinary kids are slightly jealous and maybe a little intimidated by us, you’ve got to notice when you play soccer against some of the other high school”.
“I try not to pay that much attention to them” I shrugged “but no one messes with the Devil Pups”. He high fived me across the table I got up “I’m going to the bathroom” I walked inside the restaurant Skye and Justin were sitting in a booth, “Hey guys” I walked over to them.
“Hi” Skye smiled “How’s the hand feeling”.
“Not too bad” I nodded “Bens out on the patio”.
“You mind if we join you” Justin asked.
“Sure, we just need the bathroom” I grabbed Skye’s hand tugging her with me we walked in the bathroom.
“Okay so why did we both need to come” she grinned.
“Well one I need to pee” I laughed “and two have you actually listened to the words in the song that Ben made me listen to”
“He means every word of it” I said coming out of the stall and washing my hand. Skye sat down on the edge of the sink.
“Will you just tell me where this is going because it looked like when you guys left the beach you were half way through a fight” She begged.
“We weren’t fighting” I smiled “We went back to mine and he told me that he’d fallen in love with his best friend” Skye thought for a moment then looked at me.
“Ben’s in love with you” she said, I nodded “I thought you had something for him but you always denied it and then with all the Lilly crap… Wow so I take it you don’t mind stepping up your relationship”.
“No he kissed me on the deck and I swear I floated” I giggled.
“So you and Ben are Dating” I nodded she hugged me “Sweet you two always look cute together” we walked out “We’ll come out to you when we’re done eating” she winked Justin looked from her to me.
“Okay” I walked back out to Ben. “Skye and Justin are in there eating” I said sitting down there was a small box on my plate I looked at Ben he just smirked at me as the Waiter put down the pizza.
“This guy came and put that down” he shrugged I picked up the box and fetched of the lid inside were a pair of earrings that dropped in to a small square of blue stone with wire wrapped round it holding it. “He thought they were the same color as your eyes” he smiled leaning and picking up a piece of pizza.
“They’re so cute” I said running my fingers over then “Where did the guy go” I grinned “I think I should thank him properly”.
“Oh he said that any thank could be given to me” Ben laughed “So you like them”.
“I love them” I nodded taking out the ones I had in and putting the new ones in “Can I thank you after we’ve eaten”.
“Sure” he smiled “Remember last night when I got the things for Katie’s graduation” I nodded “And the woman looked at you and said perfect match”.
“She was on about the color of the stone” he sighed “Or at least I think that’s what she meant because I did tell her they were a gift for my girlfriend”. I raised my eyebrows.
“So were you going to tell me everything today and were you just hoping I’d have the reaction that I did” I asked. He started to laugh.
“I didn’t know when the hell I was going to tellyou” he shrugged “and to be honest I’m so glad I was basically made to and yes I was praying for the reaction that I got” the door opened and Justin and Skye walked out.
‘Mind if we wait for you two” Justin smiled sitting next to Ben Skye sat next to me, “because I take it we’re heading for ice cream and for the girls to go shopping”.
“What else do we come down here for” I laughed we finished and headed for the boardwalk Ben reached for my hand linking his fingers with mine as we walked.
“We’ll leave you girls to shop and we’ll go get ice cream” Justin said tugging Ben’s arm.
“Fine with us” Skye smiled as the boy crossed the street Skye and I were looking at the things. “Okay I know I’m going to regret asking you this but do you think you and Ben will…”
“I think at some point yeah” I sighed Skye started to smile “But not tonight” she pouted. “Hey my parents are away and I want them to keep trusting me so I’m not going to do anything to make them go off on me”.
“Hey what they don’t know won’t hurt them” Skye shrugged.
“Really you’ve told me how many times I have really cool parents” I said looking at her “they let me do the things I do because they trust me one slip and Dad would string up Ben and send me to a boarding school have you actually seen my slightly over protective family” I sighed “and anyway I told Dad about it because Ollie and Uncle T caught us kissing”.
“Oooo I bet that was fun” Skye smiled linking y arm.
“Oh yeah especially when Toby tried to give me the “talk” he failed to say the least” I groaned “and I think I almost gave him a heart attack when I told him Mom has had me on Birth control since freshman year” we both started to laugh.
“So when you guys actually sleep together what are you going to do tell your Mom and Dad” she said picking up a bracelet to look at.
“Hell no, well not Dad I think I might mention something to Mom” Skye raised her eyebrows “What, come on Mom was 19 when she had me and I know to at least 2 serious boyfriends before Dad that she was sleeping with even if they were total losers, she’ll understand better than most”.
“I guess” Skye shrugged.
“You want to come stay at mine tonight”.
“We can’t my Mom is starting to get a little suspicious of the nights I keep staying out” Skye said shaking her head “So I said I’d be back by 11 and I won’t see Justin tomorrow”.
“Wow when does your Dad get back” I said as we reached the stall where Ben had got my earrings from I picked up a necklace that matched.
“Not for two months” she said her eyes filling with tears. “I think my Mom is done”.
“What" i said knowing what Done normally means in this situation.
"I think my Mom is done with being a Marine wife” I put the necklace down and turned to face her “She’s been looking at real estate in Florida where my grandparents are and looking into schools in Tampa”.
‘Holy crap Skye why the hell didn’t you say anything” I said
“Because I hoped that it wasn’t happening” she sniffed “and the last time Dad was home all they did was fight and argue” I put my arms round her. “Tess I don’t want to move off base and I don’t want to live in Florida”.
“I know” I said hugging her.
“I want to stay at Lejeune” she sobbed “I’m a marines kid that’s going to join the corps next year I want to finish school here with you guys and go to the Island with whoever else goes”.
‘You need to talk to your Mom and your Dad” I said looking at her and what happened to you going to law school”.
“I changed my mind I’m the only one and I think I’d make a pretty tough Marine” she smiled.
“We’ll you’ve got one hell of a temper so go for it” I laughed as we went back to looking at the jewelry “you know that’s I think 13 in our year enlisting”.
“I know Ben and Justin are for sure” she shrugged “I’m surprised that you never wanted to”.
“I’ll leave that to the boys” I sighed “I’m going to school and doing the whole teaching thing like Grandma I’m to squeamish with blood to do the nursing like Mom”
“You can teach any kids that I have” Skye laughed looking at the necklace I’d picked back up “cute it matches the earrings.
“And her eyes” the woman smiled from behind the counter “Your boyfriend has a good eye” I nodded and smiled I paid for the necklace letting the woman fasten it round my neck before we walked away towards the ice cream shop where the guys were talking to some of the kids from school………………….