…………….. We pulled up at Adams house Nathan and Chelsea came out of the front door as we got out of the truck.
“Hey Buddy” Ben smiled high fiving Nathan.
‘Will you come throw the ball for me I have a game tomorrow and Dad’s at work till later” Nathan asked tugging on Bens Arm.
“Sure” Ben smiled He kissed Chelsea on the cheek as Nathan dragged him round to the back yard Chelsea smiled at me.
“How you feeling” She asked linking my arm.
“I’m trying not to think about the ride home” I shrugged as we went into the house.
“I know I’m glad Adam’s here at least I get to see him almost every day” she sighed.
“I know it’s only 6 weeks and I can get stuck into school and the soccer stuff like before” I said sitting on the couch as Chelsea went into the kitchen and came back with two coffee’s and sat next to me. “Then the tough stuff starts”
“I’m still new to all this, what happens after Ben is done here” I looked at her.
“You have to remember I broke up with Adam before he graduated” she smiled.
“After he’s done within a week he’ll get his assignment and then his first orders and then he’ll be off” I smiled.
“That makes you smile the fact he’ll be away for months on end” she asked pulling a WTF face.
“Yeah, it makes me proud that my boyfriend is what he is” I nodded “I’m in love with a Marine, it’s a way of life you either love it and get on with it or you’re not tough enough”
“I like how you put that” Chelsea nodded “I guess when you’ve been brought up living and breathing it then it makes things a little easier”
“I guess” I smiled as the back door opened and Adam walked in with Ben and Nathan.
“Honey I’m home” he laughed kissing Chelsea “Hey Gunny bear” he hugged me. “You ready to hand this guy back over to me”.
“I don’t think I really have a choice in that do I” I laughed.
“No not really” Adam said sitting down Nathan jumped on to his lap.
“Oh I have a gift for you both” Chelsea said getting up and walking to the side table and opening the draw she handed us each a package bens was a smaller one than mine. “Not that we don’t love you as much as Tess but this will fit in your pocket or in you locker” Chelsea smirked.
I pulled the paper off there was a wooden frame with a photo of me and Ben from the wedding it was when we were watching the first dance and Ben was standing behind me with his arms round my waist, I started to smile as Ben un wrapped a smaller version that had been laminated so it wouldn’t get ruined, he started to laugh and looked at me I just knew he was thinking about what had happened when we left the reception.
‘I love it thank you” I said hugging Chelsea.
“Dawn took it” Adam smiled.
“I can tell she has a way of getting the pictures when you’re not expecting” I nodded running my fingers over the glass.
“Yep that’s why she gets paid the big bucks” Adam grinned.
We went to bed a little before 11 Ben had to be there tomorrow by 10 I climbed into bed next to him and snuggled up he wrapped his arms round me hugging me to him he took a deep breath and slowly let it out.
“I’m trying to make tonight last for a while” he sighed I looked up athim he kissedmy forehead “you realize we only spent 3 nights apart in the last 10 days”.
“I know and how much drama” I smiled.
“We won’t even go there” I smirked “I’ve never seen Dad seem so relaxed since Mom left”.
“It must have been coming for a while”
“Yeah even Katie is happier. Can you do me a favor”?
“Sure” I nodded.
“Keep your eye on her if she needs a friendly face”
“I will don’t worry and don’t forget I’ll see her almost every day at practice” I said kissing him “do me favor”.
“Okay” he smirked.
“no more talk about anyone else tonight it’s our last night together for 6 weeks and I was kinda hoping for us just to…” he cut me off with a deep long kiss and rolled me on to my back…………………….
…………….. The bedroom door knocked, I looked at Ben as he fastened the buttons on his uniform.
“We’re decent called out. Adam pushed open the door.
“I have to leave now” he said leaning on the door “Are you staying tonight” he asked looking at me I shook my head.
“No I’m meeting Skye for dinner tonight” I shrugged.
“Okay I’ll say goodbye to you know incase I don’t see you when you bring Ben” he put his arms round me and hugged me.“See you soon” he kissed my cheek and looked at Ben “And I’ll see you on the range”
“Yes Sir” Ben nodded and grinned. Adam walked out Ben pulled me into his arms and kissed me.
“I’m going to miss waking up with you” he sighed “I’ve got used to it”.
“I know but it’s something we’re going to have to get used to if one day were going to get married, and you’re going to be deployed” I smiled as he stroked the side of my face.
“I suppose” he nodded “Promise you’ll write and tell me what happened with Skye”
“I promise” we walked down stairs Ben said his goodbyes to Chelsea and Nathan before walking out of the house I turned and looked at them.
“Thanks for letting us crash the newly married household” I said as Nathan hugged me.
“Any time Tess” Chelsea nodded I walked out and threw Ben the keys.
“I’ll let you drive us there, I have enough driving to do back home” I said climbing into the passenger seat….
…….. We drove to the parking lot where we’d first dropped him off just after graduating high school and picked him back up 10 days ago, we got out and he grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder before reaching for my hand we walked with everyone else to where we had to leave them. I swear the lump in my throat seemed to get bigger with every step I took. I felt the tears starting to well up behind my eyes. I couldn’t help it, even with being as proud of my Marine as I am, it was the heartbreak that I knew all too well, the same pain I’d been through since being a little girl watching the most important men in my life leave for other places for months on end only to make everything feel right again when they came home, only this time it felt different kinda numbing making me think back to what Mom had said that sending your Dad away was one kind of love but sending away the guy you love was harder than that”.
“Hey Earth to Tess” Ben waved his hand in front of my face snapping me from my thoughts I looked at him standing there in his uniform and got chills even though they weren’t his blues a tear slid down my cheekhe brushed it away with his finger. “It’s only 6 weeks and it’s not as if I’m on the other side of the world”.
“I know I’m like this leaving you in South Carolina what the hell am I going to be like with a7 month deployment “ I sniffed leaning my head against his broad chest he rubbed the back of my neck.
“I’ll be home for Halloween “ he sighed kissing the top of my head. “I love you so much Tess I have the picture that Chelsea gave me” he patted his breast pocket if it’s not always here it’ll be the last thing I look at before I go to sleep” he lifted my chin and brought his lips to mine his tongue pushing in between my teeth I wrapped my arms round his neck as he lifted me from the floor as the were called to line up. “I love you and I’ll be waiting for that letter” he winked.
“I love you too” I watched as he walked away and lined up on the parade I wrapped my arms round myself so wishing I wasn’t here on my own. I thought I could handle but it was harder than I thought I was still standing with other families I looked round and walked to the side to get one last good luck at Ben I felt a nudge in my side I looked round and was face to face with Dad I burst in to tears he pulled me to him and kissed the top of my head.
“I knew you’d need to see a friendly face this morning” he said I nodded as we both watched Ben glance over and give a smile. “You might be a tough cookie but this is a hard thing to do” I looked to where Adam was standing with his arms folded giving his Mean Mother Fucker stare to the guys he looked over and broke his face with a wink and a smile. I walked back to the truck with Dad andopened the door to reach for a Kleenex I wiped my eyes before looking back at him.
“So what are you doing down here” I asked.
“I’ve got some work to do here for a week” he shrugged “and no don’t worry I won’t be near Ben so he’ll still only have to deal with Adam” Dad smirked. “I got told last night about it so I thought I’d set off to get here in time to give my little girl a shoulder to cry on” I put my arms round him and hugged him.
“You’re welcome. Your Mom is coming down here tomorrow as well why don’t you stay for a while” he suggested.
“No I want to start school again and there’s a soccer game tomorrow” I smiled “and you think Ollie and Nick will get upin time for school if Mom’s Not there kicking their butts out of bed”.
“True” He laughed, as I climbed into the truck “You drive safe and call me when you get home” he kissed my cheek.
“Yes Sir” I smiled as he closed the door he walked away as I pulled out of the parking lot and headed the 6 hours back home, one lot of drama down now I was going to meet Skye and see what she had to say………………………………….