When our eyes meet, her smile drops and she rushes over towards me.
I hand her the envelope.
“Maybe he got moved or something. It could be anything, Katie.” She pulls me into a hug, and her gentle comforting makes a tear slip free.
“I just mailed the letter to some base and they make sure they get it to him. They’d know where he was and forward it on. This means...” My words trail off because I can’t even say it. Could something have happened to him? I’d have no way of knowing, and worse, I don’t even know how to get a hold of someone who would. They probably wouldn’t tell me anything.
“You don’t know what it means. Maybe he got out. All done. It’s been over a year now, and I remember you told me he had a year before he retired. That was when you first started writing.”
Her words bring me some comfort. But why didn’t he tell me he was leaving? Give me a new address or something, a way of getting ahold of him? Or maybe, like I was dreading, as he’s no longer in the Marines, we’re done.
That doesn’t hurt as much as the other possibility, but it still cuts deep. Deeper than I ever thought possible.
“Katie!” Tammy pulls back from our hug, grabbing my shoulders in a firm hold. “That man is not done with you. Trust me. Think about it. You know him better than anyone. You have to with as much as you two write back and forth.”
“You’re right.” No way would he just stop communication. He wouldn’t do that to me. He may not have feelings of love for me like I do for him, but we had a deep friendship, not one that could easily be tossed aside.
“I’m sure you’ll hear something in a few days.” She drops her hands from my shoulders and runs her eyes down my body.
“You look sexy.”
“Sexy? Really?” I don’t think sexy is a word that can be used for me, but I have to admit I stepped a little out of my comfort zone tonight with my dress. It hugs my breasts but flares out at the bottom, showing off more of my curves than usual. It’s white, but I paired it with a red necklace and earrings that match my hair. Tammy helped me pick out the jewelry.
I even put on a little make-up and got my nails done. I tamed my wild hair, opting to leave it down tonight.
Since I started talking to Mark, I’ve noticed my confidence has gone up and a little bit of my shyness has slipped away. I don’t know if it’s the compliments he’s always giving me, or the fact that I feel sexually charged for the first time in my life. I find myself thinking about sex more than I ever have. Before, it was a passing thought here or there. Now I find myself lying in bed every night thinking about Mark next to me and all the things he’d do to me.
“Sexy sweet. We’re going to have a good time tonight.”
Tammy talked me into going to some ladies’ night. It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, so a local bar is holding some anti-Valentine’s Day party. And since it was a Friday night, I thought why not. Like I said, I’ve been coming out of my shell more lately, and I have Mark to thank for that.
“I could really use a drink now,” I say, dropping the letter on the counter and picking up my purse. There’s nothing I can do right now to try to find out anything. It’s already 7 P.M., and I don’t even know where to begin in my attempts to locate Mark.
I laugh, nodding my head. “Three sounds good.”
“Hubs is going to drop us off and pick us up. We could really have, like, five.” She pushes me playfully as we make our way towards to door to head over to her place.
When I open the door, all the air leaves my lungs, and I hear Tammy’s exclamation. “Holy shit!”
I can’t seem to find words, and neither can he because his mouth crashes down onto mine.
He’s okay, I tell myself. Relief pours through me. I latch on to him tighter, wanting to get closer and to prove to myself that he’s okay. That he’s really here.
Then I seem to be in his arms, my feet no longer touching the ground. I feel his hands go to my ass as he picks me up easily, and I feel my back hit a wall. His tongue pushes into my mouth, soft and sweet, making my heart clench.
He suddenly pulls away, and both of us try to catch our breath.
“You taste like sugar. I knew you’d be sweet, but damn.”
I hear his words, but it’s all so much. He’s here. At my house. I’m in his arms, and my legs are wrapped around his waist.
“This was the wall thing I was talking about,” Tammy says, and I can’t help the burst of laughter that escapes my lips as my face turns cherry red.