I stared as his hand rested gently on mine, new tears springing to my eyes. I laid my head on the bed and cried lightly until I heard, "Hey, why are you crying?" My eyes flicked up to him as he laid with his eyes still closed. For a second I wasn't sure if I had actually heard him, or if it was my imagination. Then the hand that was on my arm slid up to my hair and stroked it lightly, "Is that you Hoskins?" He asked as I sniffed, "Yes sir."
"You don't have to call me 'sir' right now." He said as he moved his hand from my hair to my face and felt the tear that was still lingering on my cheek. He peeked one eye open, "Now, why are you crying?" I straightened and wiped my eyes, "I wasn't crying." I said as he smiled, "Uh huh, you were worried about me." I glanced at the smile on his face and crossed my arms, "I was not." He laughed and stopped suddenly, "Ouch, laughing hurts." I sighed as he tried to open his eyes all the way, blinking at the light.
"How long have you been here?" I shrugged, "Probably a few hours. I just wanted to make sure you were all right." He looked over at me and his weary eyes stared into mine, "Were you talking to me a little bit ago. I could hear your voice, but couldn't really make out what you were saying." This was my chance, I could have told him how I felt right then and there, he was awake, but so drugged he probably wouldn't remember it later. I felt my cheeks heat up as I opened my mouth to tell him everything, but for some reason, no words would come out. I couldn't tell him how I felt with him staring at me like that. So I bit my tongue and said, "No, I was.....I was just....humming."
"Humming?" He asked as I nodded. He seemed to accept that answer as it was something I tended to do a lot. He sighed, "Funny, I thought I heard you say that you liked me or something. Too many drugs huh?" My heart sank, "Yeah, no more meds for you." He chuckled and it was then that I noticed that his hand was still on mine as he said, "Summer, I do have something to say to you." My heart stopped as I gasped. He looked at me confused while I blushed, "I've just never heard you say my name before."
He smiled and stroked my hand lightly, "Listen, about what I said last night. I want to explain. Last night, you really scared me." I looked at him oddly, "Scared you?" He nodded, "Yeah, you terrified me. When I saw you walk down those stairs, looking more lovely then I could have thought was possible, it scared me that I couldn't seem to take my eyes off of you. No matter what I tried, I couldn't stop thinking about you. Summer, I've always enjoyed your company at the office. You made it a better place, everybody thinks so. And sure, there have been times when you would be typing at your desk or humming to yourself as you finished a report that I would think you were cute. But when I saw you that night, standing there like a princess, I realized how much of a woman you are."
He turned his bruised head to look at me while I sat frozen, "I realized how much I wanted to be near you. Not just as an officer, but as a man. And then when we were dancing and you placed your head on my shoulder, I didn't want you to stop. It was then that I realized that I had started to feel for you as well. I only said that I wanted you to stay away from me, because you scared me so badly. I'm an officer, I know I shouldn't feel for my troop like that, but I'm still a man. I lost control of myself, something that is unacceptable for me to do. But seeing you here, crying for me, I had to explain my actions. I never want you to think you have to stay away from me. I enjoy your company immensely."
I smiled and looked down, "I enjoy your company as well. You were right, I have developed feelings for you. But I know that you are an officer and I am enlisted. We don't belong together. Thank you for saying how you really felt, it helped more than you know. But I think I should go now, before I say something else that will embarrass me." I stood, but he held my hand tightly, "I wasn't finished." He said as I sat back down on the metal chair.
"I don't want you to stay away from me Summer, I want you to stay with me. Especially now. Please, can you stay a little longer?" I smiled and placed my other hand on his that was clutching mine so tightly, "Sure." He smiled and relaxed before saying, "Well this sucks doesn't it? I finally find a beautiful, sweet girl and she's enlisted." I laughed lightly as he looked at me again, "Do you think that for right now we don't care about rank? Right now, I'm Anthony and you are Summer, and that's ok?"
I smiled and stroked his hand gently, "I think that's perfect." He closed his eyes, "Man, I'm so tired." I could feel him slipping as I said, "It's probably the medication they gave you." He nodded and whispered, "Hey Summer, can you do one more thing for me? I know you get shy when I notice in the office, but I like hearing it. Could you sing for me? Please?" There was nothing he could have asked that I wasn't willingly to give at that moment. This request was so easy for me as I smiled and sat on the side of the bed, stroking the uninjured side of his face. I stared humming "Some One To Watch Over Me" as he smiled, "Thanks Hoskins, that feels really nice."
If I could have had one wish, it would have been to stay like that forever. His hand curled around mine, my nails brushing his face and the beautiful kindness that spread through both of us. In that moment, I felt more in love with him then I ever knew I could. After a few moments he drifted off to sleep and the doctor asked me to leave so they could do a few tests. I looked at him one more time, freezing this moment in my mind for the rest of my life. Leaning down, I kissed his forehead lightly and left out the TMC.
On the walk back, I looked up at the darkening sky and smiled. I knew that in a few days, he would go back to being an officer and I would just be another airman. Everything would go on as normal and our feelings would have to be hidden once again. But for some reason, I was ok with that. I had told him how I felt and he shared my feelings. What more could I ask for then the conformation I had only known in my fantasies? Besides, it was a small Air Force, and I was getting out in a few years, who knows?
"Hoskins! Hoskins!" James's voice echoed out as he ran up to me, "A few of us are going to the movies, you in?" I nodded and smiled hooking my arm in his. I knew where I belonged, but that moment will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am enlisted and he will always be my officer, the officer of my heart.
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