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Forever and For Always...
"Promise..." Her melodic voice trembled as her face was held in place by the man's tender hands.
"Fine," he laughed. "I promise."
"No, I mean it. Promise me you'll be back. Please." Her voice changed from demanding to almost pleading as her eyes scanned his pale skin.
Realizing how serious she was, he looked down and sighed . "Yes, I promise. I won't be gone that long, a couple months will seem as if they were but a few days. Honest, just be strong for me. So, I will be sure that I have something to look forward to."
Her delicate hands trembled on his back and her voice cracked. "Of course. Remember, 'Forever and for always.’ I haven't forgotten, you have my word on that."
"Awe, c'mon, don't cry on me. If you do, then I'll be babbling like an idiot. Okay?"
"Okay..." She giggled and met his soft toned eyes.
He gazed into her dark eyes and touched her velvet brown hair. As if by magnet, he leaned down and their lips connected once more before the roar of the engine and angry voice of the driver pulled the man away.
"Remember, Ava, forever and for always..." He hurried to the taxi as her hand fell limply from his.
"I won't forget, Tick." She clutched her chest to keep everything intact and watched as her personal hero marched off to the bus that was to take him to the airport then to the military base, Camp Lejeune.
"Beautiful contrast..." The murmur from the T.V. in the other room was droned out by the blender mixing drinks in the kitchen.
"Beautiful contrast my...AH HA!" A pair of tanned hands picked up the white platter holding the newly made red velvet cake. "Eat your heart out, Martha Stuart..."
Entwined in her glory, she almost didn't hear the door open and slam shut.
"Wilma, I'm home!!!" Her always welcome room-mate, Liza, plopped on the couch, cursed Martha Stuart then began criticizing the other “DYI channels” that were obviously of no interest to her. The frequent click of the remote was proof of her boredom.
"Jeez, is nothing on...Oh my God...AVA, QUICK!" The terror in her voice startled Ava causing the beautiful cake to fall to the ground, in pieces.
"Coming...Gosh..." Determining whether or not to clean up, the shriek of Liza made up her mind.
"Look, oh my God, just look." Her shaking fingers pointed to the remains of a plane that was due to arrive in under thirty minutes. The reason for the cake...The military arrival plane.
"Th-That's not his..." Ava denied, her hand raising to her mouth held by her other arm which laid helplessly across her torso. "It...can't be."
"In recent news, military plane number, 'five forty-three' has crashed due to engine failure. Number of survivals; un-listed. We will have this information as soon as possible."
Liza slowly stumbled to her feet and clutched her sobbing and weak friend. The only thing in Ava's mind was the last words of her lover, 'Remember, forever and for always...' Perfectly spoken in his husky voice. The words sent convulsions through her body as she bolted towards the bathroom.
Ava climbed the stairs to her apartment dragging the groceries in her hands. Huffing and pausing, she finally made it to her door.
"Great...Where are those damn keys..." Frantic, she searched her messy and overflowing bag for the always hard to find keys.
"Jeez, they shouldn't be this hard to find. I have got to buy me a new bag and a couple trash bags." Finally spotting them, she dug them out, kicked open the door and began carrying the bags to her kitchen.
"Ow, Jeez, Ava..."
Her head snapped to attention at the voice that came from her bedroom. While she was away, someone had snuck in. Then why was the door locked, the way she left it, the way she always left it? Worst of all, they knew her name and was now exploring her home for items.
"Oh, no..." Thrusting open the drawer of utensils, she found what she was looking for, her kitchen knife. Taking a breath, she crept the corners of her home to her bedroom, the noises becoming more audible. It sounded as if someone was making themselves comfortable on her bed; arranging themselves.
"Ouch, damned crutches..."
The voice was oddly familiar, but she didn't know of anyone with crutches. But the husky toned voice was in fact familiar…
Carefully lowering the knife in case he was in fact known, she slowed her pace.
The bedroom door was closed so she slid the knife under to get a full image and hopefully a face.
The man was turned but he was a man, in crutches and a sling. His shirt was off and replaced with bandages wound around his mid-drift. Great, a half-naked man was lounged in her room.
Turning the knob, she inhaled a deep breath. This startled the man, causing him to nearly fall on his face as he spun around.
Gasping, she looked at him, true blue eyes, fair-skin, and blonde hair. He was in military uniform, well the pants for it, and had a small scar on his forehead, just above his left brow.
He looked at his never changed friend, dark eyes, dark hair, and tanned skin.
"But, but," he mocked, grinning. "That was my plane...but it wasn't dire, just a few wounded and rare fatally wounded. I healed over time and they finally freed me. You were the first person I wanted to see. Am I for you?"
"That was a stupid question, Tick." She giggled overlooking him, tears welling up in her eyes.
She threw her arms around him, giving into temptation. Grunting, he ignored the pain and happily embraced her warmth and the fragrance of her shampoo. Lifting her face up toward his, he kissed just under her ear, making his way down to her lips, sending goose-bumps through her body.
"Forever and for always..." Ava whispered before their lips connected once more.