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A series composed of one shots. These can be read as a whole or as stand alone one shots. Jasper x Bella Lots of angst but happiness too!
1. The Homecoming
Word Count 1105
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I don’t own the characters. We all know who does.
Today had been 7 months in the making. Or 194 days and 14 hours. But who was counting right? Driving onto base I flashed my military issued id card at the young man standing gate guard duty in the bitter October wind and offered him a brief smile. My fingers were tapping on the worn leather of my steering wheel to the beat of my favorite song. Our song. The night sky was as black as coal with the brilliant lights of the stars spread across the sky like diamonds on velvet. Even the streetlights couldn’t blot out the glow from the heavens.
At 3:45 am the roads were deserted but a I approached my destination I saw the taillights of a line of cars waiting to be waved into a half full parking lot. Glancing around I saw women walking across the street holding their child or children’s hands. Older couples were pressed against each other for warmth as the wind gusted across the road. Slowly I made my way into the parking lot and stepped out of the truck. His truck. I reached into the back seat and pulled out my purse and with reverence the 2 x 3 foot hand painted sign.
I made my way across the street to the well lit building in the distance. The sounds of laughter and music floated across the parking lot wrapping me in the joy of the occasion. We were all here for the same purpose. Finally reaching the doors of the bus depot I saw hundreds of people all standing in groups and chatting with each other excitedly. Tonight was the cure for my loneliness and my heartache. Each second ticking by felt like an hour.
The crackle of a loudspeaker caught the attention of the group.
“They are leaving the air strip now. They will be here in 30 minutes.” The man’s voice held warmth and genuine cheerfulness.
There were young men walking around snapping photos and I was asked to pose for one holding my sign. I know my grin must have been a mile wide. Slowly the masses of people started to ease their way over to the gates. The waiting area was covered and I slowly made my way to the edge of the crowd. People moved aside so that I could stand in the front. Sensing that I was there alone they willingly gave up a vantage spot for the young woman who was there shouldering the burden alone. Many people gave me a brief smile and then turned back to look down the darkened road to gaze in vain to see headlights approaching.
The roar of motorcycles tore through the quiet murmur of the crowd. A group of veterans rode by on their bikes. Maybe 20 or 30 all flying flags from the backs of their Harleys. Shouted words of thanks and gratitude filled the air at their patriotic and heartwarming display. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and checked the time. It was now 4:15 and they should be arriving any minute now. The rumble of a distant diesel engine silenced the crowd. A young boy, maybe four or five, holding a small American flag was the first to see the busses from his vantage point on his grandfather’s shoulders.
“Daddy’s back!” was his simple cry.
The line of busses looked like water for thirsty people. The noise level increased as the mounted speakers began playing the National Anthem. By now people were shouting Welcome Home, and OORAH as loud as they could. The busses slid to a stop and as the hiss of the doors sounded a deafening roar of applause came from the crowd. There was not a dry eye in sight. The strongest looking men were being consoled by their wives or friends as the men stepped off the busses.
Travel worn their heads turned to gaze at the throngs of people who were waiting for their return home. All dressed the same in their Desert Camouflage, people were desperately scanning the group to see if they could see their loved ones. I held my sign in front of me as the silent tears rolled down my face. The men and women made their way over to the gates and began greeting their families. Strangers were shaking hands and hugging these brave people as they made their way in. I happened to glance away from a particularly heartwarming scene of a dog greeting his Master after such a long time apart. I locked eyes with him.
Those familiar blue green eyes pulled me into their depths just as they has a million times before. Throwing protocol to the wind he jumped the fence and ran over to me. I dropped my sign and melted into his arms. I heard people behind us murmuring their appreciation for the scene. I saw a camera flash go off somewhere to my right but none of that mattered. He was home, and he was back in my arms. Stepping back he knelt to the ground and placed his hands on my stomach. Seeing the baby bump for the first time he wept.
Cradling my stomach he hugged me around the waist and cried onto my jacket.
“I’d like you to meet your son, Staff Sergeant Whitlock. He’s been waiting for you to come home.”
I knew at that moment that nothing could ever happen to make me love my husband any less. He had gone to fight for our freedom and for the freedom of our unborn child. Jasper stood and took my hand as we slowly made our way through the crowd. His rough hand in my small, soft one was a balm to my tortured soul. The stress, the pain, the sadness from the last seven months washed away with that one touch. Once we reached the truck he pulled me in for a searing kiss. One that made my toes tingle and goose bumps raced down my arms. Reaching around me he opened my door. As his arms released me he bent down and brushed a lock of hair off my face.
“I love you Bella.” He whispered into my ear.
We drove off to pick up his gear and finally made it home. Leaving his bags in the back seat he scooped me up even though I was seven months pregnant and carried me over the threshold like he did on our wedding night. For the first time in seven months our house finally felt like a home again.