I loved her
Not for the way
She danced with my angels
But for the way
The sound of her name
Could silence my demons
I was at a loss. I couldn't deny my country whatever help I could give them, whatever lives I could possibly save. I swore an oath to defend my country, and it was my duty to protect the lives of my fellow men; yet how could I leave Bella, when I was just coming to understand my feelings for her?
We spent an eternity staring at the stars and the moon through the tent flap. "I'm afraid to close my eyes, Bella. I'm petrified that you're just a dream, and that I'll wake up in Kandahar without ever having met you."
She turned to me, gathering me in her arms and kissing me again. I felt the tears on her face and kissed them away, knowing she was trying too hard to be strong for me. I came to a decision then; I would be Jack for her just one more night, so she would have this memory to hold on to.
"Isabella," I growled in her ear. She lifted her face to mine, surprise and tears mingling in the depths of her espresso eyes. She caught on to me as I started to undress her.
We pulled at clothing, tugging at zippers and buttons, peeling layers away while she reached for my sweater. She gasped as my mouth latched to her nipple, and arched her body against mine. Our lower halves pressed together, my cock ready and more than willing to bury itself inside her.
Bella gasped again as I teased her entrance, then moved back as she kissed down my chest. "I want to feel your soft, glorious mouth wrapped around my cock," I demanded.
Her tongue touched the tip, and I groaned at the contact. When her lips closed around me, my hips bucked at the sensation. I couldn't remember ever feeling this good. She created suction, and my hands pulled her hair without thought. She cried out against my cock.
"I'm sorry!" I said quickly, my bravado slipping.
She laughed, her mouth still moving over me. "No, I like it. So much," she nipped at my hard skin with each word, then rose up over me, sinking down again over my length.
When she welcomed me into her body under the luminescent moon and countless stars, I thought I finally understood what I'd been fighting against.
"I love you," I gasped as the realization hit me with force.
Her body stilled, then she lowered down, her arms resting on my chest. Kissing me tenderly, she smiled in the dark. Her face was like an angel's, dark hair cascading wildly around the both of us.
"Took you long enough to catch up to me," she responded breathily.
My grin came quickly, and I sat up against her, holding her body as close to me as I was capable. Our hips moved in tandem, joined together by an invisible force, an ancient dance. My lips pressed to her shoulder, and I felt the primal need to mark her as mine. She moaned and threw her head back as I sucked on her sensitive skin, her nipple rings rubbing against my chest as we moved. It was erotic, this part of her that I still didn't quite understand, but I knew she did. She had an awareness of her body and sexuality that I hoped would rub off on me.
As I panted in her ear that I was close, she grabbed my hand and pressed it between us, her stomach muscles contracting at the contact. She guided my hand where she wanted it, and I caught onto what she needed. Rubbing circles around her clit, I kissed her exposed throat.
She cried out, slowing her movements, and I gripped her back with one hand to hold her to me, finishing her off with the other hand. It took her a few seconds, but her head came back up, and she attacked my mouth with hers, kissing me and stroking her tongue against my own. I spilled inside her, throwing my head back against the onslaught of emotion, my nerve endings alive with fire. She kissed me again as I regained my sanity, as much as I ever could around this magnificent woman.
We fell back against the sleeping bag, limbs tangled. I couldn't see where I ended and she began, and that was exactly what was needed. What I needed.
I think she dozed, based on her lightly even breathing, but I couldn't. I watched her face as it became later and later, and grimaced when the alarm on my cell went off. Disentangling myself, I rolled away from her, but small strong hands grasped at my shoulders and pulled me back.
"Please, Edward. One more time. Please."
She stroked me with her skilled hands, and I couldn't resist her. Moving slowly, I hovered over her warm, welcoming flesh, pressing my entire body into hers. When I slowly pushed inside her, she whimpered, and I caught the sight of moonlight reflecting off her tears. Kissing her softly, I rolled my hips and thrust again, keeping up my slow pace.
She arched against me, crying out, crying, and whispering over and over, "I love you, Edward. I love you. I love you."
I buried my face in her neck and repeated her words. "I love you, Bella. I really do."
I thought I could be strong, but I was struggling with it. Edward drove through the dark night, his fingers entwined with mine on the center console. Occasionally we'd pass through an area with street lamps, but for the most part it was simply us and the Mustang, the moon chasing our path. Few cars passed us at this hour, and I felt as though each second pulsed through my veins like an aching bruise.
When he reached the base, he stopped at the gate and showed his identification. My ID was passed over for inspection, and we were ushered in with a nod.
I was trying not to hyperventilate as the tarmac came into view. My heart throbbed painfully in my chest, and my eyes burned with the unshed tears.
Edward had dressed in his fatigues at the meadow, and he stood in front of me now with his bag at his feet. He looked handsome in the glow from the airstrip's lights, his dogtags hanging visibly.
My stomach clenched painfully.
He pulled my face up with gentle fingers under my chin. I met his eyes, and we simply stared at each other. I, for one, was memorizing the gold flecks in his eyes, the unruly eyebrows settled over them. The high cheekbones, the strong, sharp jaw. He would run his electric razor over his stubble on the plane, but for now it was scruffy against my palm, tickling the sensitive skin.
When he leaned down, he pressed a kiss to my forehead, and I hiccuped a breath, desperate not to cry. My arms wound around him, tight enough to bind him to me permanently. Or so I wished.
"You have so much to do when you get back," I spoke into his fatigue shirt, my breath puffing out in the chilly air. "You have to unpack, I promise to move my stuff around so you have somewhere to put your clothes. I'll expect you to work your share at the bar, and maybe I'll make you learn the ins and outs of Trois Femmes."
I kept talking. "I have to meet your parents, since you met Mom and Phil. I'll have a welcome home party, okay?"
"Bella, I have to board."
I shook my head against his chest, then stopped. I used an old trick of my dad's, breathing in deeply and counting to ten before exhaling.
I looked up at him, my face smooth and my eyes clear. "I'll see you when you get back. I love you, Edward."
"I love you, too, Bella. Don't forget that."
"I couldn't possibly."
He squeezed my fingers before turning to go. He covered half the distance to the plane before he dropped his bag and turned back to me. I ran as fast as I could, letting him catch me up in his arms. He crushed his mouth to mine, and I accepted his kiss and returned it tenfold. It spoke of the love we shared and finally admitted to ourselves and each other. It spoke of the longing I already felt creeping into my heart, before he even left. It spoke of desolation and desperation. He had to release me finally, and walked backwards until he reached his bag.
I watched him until I couldn't see him anymore, and then stood behind the line until the plane took off. The engines were noisy enough I had to plug my ears, the air they stirred up fiercely bitter.
When there was nothing left to see, I made my way to the car. It roared beneath me, and I recalled the first time I ever drove it, on the night we met.
I cried. I finally cried until I thought I would die of the pain, until I couldn't breathe, until I was holding my guts together within my arms. And then I cried some more.
It was a long goddamned drive alone, and as I eventually made it into town, it was closing in on nine. I drove straight to my mother's house where she was waiting for me, as she said she would.
Opening her arms to me as I staggered in, she ran her hands down my hair as she hugged me. "It's not like your father, Isabella. Grieve today, but be there for him. Your friends and I will support you, you just support him."
I let her tuck me into my old bed, and cried myself to sleep.