After the incident at the pool, I walked back to the barraks in a daze. What had just happened? Had my 21-year-old LT forgotten who he was and what rank he held? Did he forget that I was enlisted? Was it just a mistake? Was he asking the same questions I was? I numbly walked up the stairs and fumbled for the key to my room. It felt lonely without Lyn, I wanted her to come home soon. Even if I couldn't tell her about my feelings for Anthony, I could let her distract me. Lyn always knew when something was wrong with me. For some reason, I felt more alone than I had in years as I curled up on my bed. Before even knowing it, I had slipped off into another dream.
I was standing on a cliff, looking out on a stormy ocean. It looked like Oregon, like home. I smiled as the powerful wind whipped my hair around and the made the sea spray against my face. It was beautiful in an untamed way. The dream was even better when two arms slipped around my waist from behind. I turned to look up at my LT, my Anthony. He smiled his kind smile and his eyes were velvet as they stared into my sharp blue gaze. I reached my hand up to touch his perfect face until suddenly he backed away and ran from me. I stood there, arms outstretched, stinging from their emptiness.My eyes turned up towatch him leave as the cliff crumbled beneath me.
My eyes shot open and focused on the clock. 0700, I smiled and sat up, "Lyn is back!" Jumping up to change into my civillian clothes, I took one look in the mirror and sprinted out the doors. My timing was excellent as the trucks rolled up and the tired airman pilled out. "Lyn! Lyn!" I yelled as I sprinted over to her. She caught me as I jumped on her, "Whoa, honey child, calm down." I laughed, I loved my pet name from her. Lyn was only a few years older than myself, but she took the roll of big sister quite a while ago. I hated it when she was gone and I couldn't come with.
"How was the mission?" I ask as she slings her weapon, "Meh, boring as usual. Got supplies and unloaded them. What about you?" I halfway giggled, but decided to save it for a more private time. Sergeant Shawn jumped out and ruffled my hair, "Hey Hoskins, miss us?" I turned and smiled as I smoothed my hair back down, "Don't I always?" He laughed and went to the back. I tilted my head to see what he was doing as Lyn said, "Um honey, you might not want to look back there just yet." I looked at her oddly, "Why not?"
"Ouch, careful man! That hurts!" I knew the voice. That was Amn Tali, another one of my brothers from home station. Automatically my body lunged forward to see what was happening as my eyes laid on him. He was being helped out of the backof the truck, leg bandaged all the way up. My eyes widened and I switched into hysteric mode, "What happened?!? Tali are you ok? Who did this to you?!" He looked up at me and shrugged, "No one did this to me but me. I was stupid and didn't look where I was going. Leg went right through a crate and broke my knee. Can you believe that?" I automatically began fussing over him as Lyn put an arm around me,
"Come on kid, he's fine. The only thing really bruised is his ego." Tali flipped her off, but smiled at me, "Don't worry Hoskins, I'm fine. Really." I allowed Lyn to walk me to the station while she de-armed. On the way back she gave me the details of the mission, focusing especially on Tali's fall and how funny his face looked. I didn't find humor in it, he could have been really hurt. That night Lyn and I went out to dinner. Everything was fine until she suddenly asked, "So what's wrong with you?"
"Wrong?" I asked innocently. She rolled her eyes, "Don't play dumb with me, we both know you're not. What's wrong? You've been hiding something for a while." Damn, why was she always right? I sipped my Coke and shrugged, "I have no idea what you're talking about." Then, as if fate was some cruel puppet master, the bell ontop of the door rang sounding his arrival. My eyes widened as he walked in with three other officers in dress clothes. I had never seen him in his blues, he looked more handsome than even I could have imagined. Lyn read my expression and turned,
"No...you don't..... do you?" Her voice snapped me back to reality, "Don't what?" She leaned close and whispered, "You don' t have a crush on LT do you?" The accusation struck me down to the bone. It was like she had taken her steak knife and stabbed it into my heart as I struggled not to choke, "I don't know what you're talking about Lyn." She looked back at the LT and the glanced slyly at me, "He does look really hot tonight doesn't he?" I shrugged and downed my Coke in an attempt to look away from her gaze. She shook her head, "I don't know what you're smoking, but that is a no go little one. Officers are a no touchey. You know that!"
I shrunk back into the booth, "Of course I know that. I'm not interested! I never said I was." She looked at me and shook her head in wonder, "You didn't have to, it is written all over your face. Wow, you sure know how to pick them don't you?" I looked down and cringed as I heard his voice, "Good evening ladies." Lyn looked up at him, "Good evening LT, we was just talking about you." His eye brows raised as he looked down at me, "Should I be scared?" Lyn laughed a perfect cover laugh, "No, not at all. Why don't you join us?"
My heart stopped as I glared at her. I knew what she was trying to do. She wanted to see me react to LT to determine whether or not I had feelings for him. A cruel trick, but Lyn could be that way if she thought it was in my best intrest. I straightened up and smiled at Anthony, "Please, have a seat."
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