I stared at the crowded parade grounds in horror. I hated this moment more than anything. The feeling of when your almost mended heart is being roughly ripped right out of your chest again. I felt
hands on my back as I looked on to the cloud of crying people. I was never good with deployment and I sure I never will be. I looked up at Tanner as I felt the tears slowly creeping their way down
my cheeks. My heart was pounding on my ribs as if trying to get out of my chest, to keep the pain away. He leaned his head down and pressed his forehead against mine as the tears slid down his
cheeks. I felt the drops splash down onto my wet, red cheeks. “I love you Ryan, I love you so much.” He whispered, but his voice cracked at the end as the tears rolled down his face.
“I love you Tanner. I love you and so does the baby.” I took his hand and laid it on top of the slightly bigger bump. He rubbed his thumb back and forth.
“I’m going to miss you both so much.” He kissed me before dropping down to his knees. “Hey baby.” He whispered kissing it. “It’s Daddy here. Mommy’s doctor told us that you can’t really hear me but
I don’t care. I don’t know what you are yet, but I can’t wait to find out. I want to know if I’m going to have a beautiful baby girl to hold in my arms and to cuddle with, just like her mommy, or a
handsome little boy who would want to play baseball and football just like his Daddy. I know whatever you are I’m sure Mommy will be happy and me too. I love you buddy. I know it doesn’t really
mean a lot but I’m so happy came along.” I could not stop the tears from starting off falling faster than a sky diver falling out of a plane. I felt Tanner push his face into my shirt as he cried.
I rubbed his shoulders as my shoulders started to shake with sobs. Tanner wrapped his arms tightly around me as I cried. I looked over at Hunter to see him hugging Asher close to himself not
wanting to let go. Emmy was crying pushing her head into his shoulder as her shoulders shook as she cried. TJ was holding Mom as she cried. Everyone was crying. Not a dry eye on the whole Parade
ground. I felt Tanner getting up and pulling my face to his taking me into a breathless kiss. He knotted his fingers in my hair holding me there as he kissed me. I put my hands on his head feeling
his dog tags on the top of his uniform. I pulled him by his ears to me deepening the kiss till we both pulled apart to breathe. I didn’t move my fingers were they ran over the beads of metal
hanging around his neck.
“I love you Tanner, so much it hurts.” I whispered my voice cracking. He opened his closed eyes to look at my face.
“I will always love you Ryan. When I get home, I will have my family. My Baby and the love of my life. I want you to wait for me, be the marine’s girl you always wanted to be.” He smiled weakly the
tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Sure Jersey Boy.” I felt him chuckle before he pulled me back to him for another breath taking kiss.
“I love you Banks.” He whispered leaning his forehead on mine as Hunter came walking over with Emmy and Asher. Asher reached his arms out for Tanner to hold him which Tanner always did and hugged
“I love you Ash, you keep Mommy and Auntie safe okay? You’re the man, okay?” Tanner said fighting the tears. Asher nodded his head before he leaned in for a hug. Hunter pulled me to him pressing
his lips to my head.
“Take care Sis. Take care of yourself, and my babies. Emmy and Asher.” I nodded my head.
“I promise I will take care of him. He is my little nephew, I promise.” Hunter pressed his lips to my cheeks.
“I love you sis.” He whispered. I nodded.
“I love you to Bro.” I heard the words that I always hated. The words that always took my marines away. I looked up as the marines all around us started to walk towards the ugly pale white buses
that wanted to take my marine away. I wiped my tears as Tanner pulled me tightly to him again kissing me till I was breathless.
“I love you Tanner Williams. I will promise to be here when you get back.” I whispered running my hands down his face.
“I love you too Ryan Banks. I love you so much that I will be here when you wait for me.” He kissed me.
“Tanner we have to go now.” Hunter whispered. Tanner looked at him quickly before looking back at me pressing his lips back to mine.
“Be safe Marine.” I smiled kissing him.
“Yes Ma’am, I say the same to you. Be safe beautiful.” He pressed his lips to mine.
“Banks! Williams! Get your ass on this bus NOW.” A strong voice yelled. I knew him as Hunter’s Commanding Officer, so he must be Tanner’s too. I looked at Tanner before he pressed one last kiss.
“I love you.” He whispered before he ran to the Bus with Hunter on his tail. I stood there watching, each step, killing me more and more. It felt like it was life was going in slow motion as I
watched him take him first step, his combat boot making a crunching sound as it hit the plastic. I felt like everything was silent as he took the next steps just like the first. I heard the crunch
of his boots on the plastic. I watched as Hunter got in after him till the doors closed. I watched slowly as the white bus left, taking half of my heart with it………
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