GI JOE Porn Story: Family and Duty Chapter 4

GI JOE Porn Story: Family and Duty Chapter 4

Disclaimer
– I do not own GI Joe; Hasbro does, along with Devil’s Due and
Sunbow. I do not have permission to borrow the characters, but I make
no profit from this. I am also using Toby Keiths song My List
and lyrics without permission. I have also borrowed Eeyore
from Disney without permission I am doing this for pure fun, so
please do not sue. i have had to pull the lyrics again folks. Sorry.

Author’s
notes
A big thanks to Storm O and Scarlett Phoenix for the
beta work. I greatly appreciate it. I also want to thank my many
readers who keep me going and leave the wonderful reviews. Thank you
so much.

Rating –
PG 13

By medic
(MedicLifeline)

Reviews always
welcome.

Chapter 4 :
Homecoming And So Many Things To Do

Lifeline
stood there on the flightline as his eyes locked with his wife’s,
ignoring all the others around him. Exhausted but happy, he held her
tightly. Carla still had her hand on his cheek, caressing the stubble
that Ed had acquired after having spent the last two days on the
plane.

“Let’s go home, sweetheart,”
he told Carla, kissing her deeply.

Carla
picked up Lisa as Ed carried Jacob to their Jeep Cherokee. Carla
began to strap the children into their car seats. As Carla was
strapping in the children, Ed began to load his bags into the
vehicle. Walking back down the tarmac, he saw Moonpie wave to him.
The Joe ran over to Lifeline.

“Lifeline,
best of luck to you. I am going on to Joe Base 42,” Moonpie said
shaking his hand. As Lifeline shook his friend’s hand, both of their
bracelets shown in the afternoon sun.

“I
wish you the best of luck too, Moonpie. I do not get to that Joe
Base often, but when I do, I will look you up,” Lifeline
informed him. “If you see Sandtrap along the way, give him my
best.”

“I
sure will, Lifeline,” Moonpie stated, saluting Lifeline.
Lifeline returned the salute and watched his friend walk away with
his wife.

Grabbing
the last of his belongings off the pallet, Lifeline carried it to the
Cherokee. As he was loading it, he heard a familiar voice.

“Lifeline!
Welcome back. Sorry I am late,” Duke said, as he tried to get
through the crowd. Lifeline turned around, recognizing Tops
voice.

“Duke,
Sir, it’s great to see you,” Lifeline said, holding out his hand
to shake shaking the other man’s hand. Carla walked up and greeted
the tall, blond-haired First Sergeant.

“Duke,
what a pleasant surprise!” Lifeline told him.

Looking beyond Duke, Carla spotted
Scarlett. The redhead was running their way.

“Sir,
it is great to be back, Lifeline informed his Commanding Officer.

“I
bet it is. I know you want to get back to your family. I heard you
were coming in today. Sorry that I am late but I wanted to be here to
greet you,” Duke told the medic. Duke surveyed the man before
him, whom he had known for years. He looked tired, a bit thinner, and
had two days worth of stubble. The Commanding Officer was not used
to seeing the Joe medic in that type of shape. But other than that
and being dirty, Lifeline seemed to be okay. “I wanted to let
you know, you have a few days to spend with your family before
returning to the team

“Thanks,
Duke,” Lifeline said as he wrapped his arm around Carla’s
waist. Carla looked over to make sure the children were safe.
Satisfied, she turned her attention back to her former Commanding
Officer.

Scarlett
walked up and hugged Lifeline. “Welcome home, Lifeline. The
infirmary has not been the same without you,” she reassured him.

Lifeline
chuckled,” I think it survived without me.”

“Well,
it has, but its just not the same I assure you,” Duke
grinned, pulling Scarlett close to him.

“Lifeline,
I hope to see you in a few days. Carla, if you need anything just let
me know,” Scarlett told the two of them, nudging the Commanding
Officer to let Lifeline and his family go.

Duke
took the hint. Lifeline, I will see you in a few days, and Carla,
its always great to see you,” he replied, shaking the medic’s
hand, while nodding to the Joes former doctor.

Both
of them watched as Duke and Scarlett disappeared into the masses of
soldiers and people.

“Well,
that was nice of them, Lifeline told Carla as he closed the hatch.
Walking around the jeep, he made sure that two back doors were locked
and each set down. Ed chose the passengers seat. Carla started the
engine. Ed leaned back in his seat as Carla put the Cherokee in gear
and drove them home. Carla and Lifeline returned the waves from
fellow soldiers and their families as they made their way off the
base.

Lifeline
reached for his wife’s hand as she drove. His mind flashed back to
when he had left. He had held her hand as they drove that time also,
as if it was the last time he would. He closed his eyes.

“Ed,
are you okay? Carla asked noticing his silence. She glanced over
and saw that her husband’s eyes were closed.

Opening
his eyes and looking to her, “Yes, Carla. I was just thinking
of the last time I did this,” he told her softly.

“Oh,”
Carla quickly answered relieved. Turning around, Ed looked at his two
children. Lisa and Jacob were napping. Ed just watched them, both
sleeping so peaceful. Both were worn out from the excitement of his
coming home.

Ed
had realized with sadness that he had missed so much in the last six
months. Turning back around, he said,” They have grown so much.
His son would be three soon, and Lisa will be starting kindergarten
this fall. Where had the time gone?

“I
know Ed, but they still know and love their father,” Carla
reassured him, squeezing his hand tightly. “I showed them your
picture everyday to remind them of you.”

Carla
turned onto their street. After driving by several houses, she
reached the house on base, which they had called home now for a few
years.

“I
was afraid they would forget me,” Ed answered, looking out the
passenger window.

Carla
pulled the Cherokee in the drive. Ed waited for Carla to turn off the
engine before getting out. He went around the jeep to open the door
for his wife, momentarily stopping as they embraced each other Ed
went to open the door and she held him there for a moment. “Ed,
I would never let them forget their father.”

Ed
turned back to her and hoarsely answered as he held back his tears.
“I know Carla, he said, leaning over to kiss her. As the kiss
ended, he looked back at the children. “We are home, guys,”
he told the small sleeping children.

Undoing
their belts, Carla and Ed got out of the Cherokee and opened the back
doors. Lifeline unbuckled Lisa’s straps as she reached and clung to
her Father. Meanwhile, Carla lifted Jacob out of his car seat.

“Daddy!
Daddy, you are home,’ Lisa giggled as she hugged her father.

“Daddy,
Jacob squealed as he squirmed in Carla’s arms.

“Okay,”
Ed laughed as they walked up the drive to the front door. Carla
unlocked the door and all of them walked inside. Ed realized that he
was finally home when exhaustion washed over him. Setting his
daughter down, she clung to his leg and Jacob grabbed the other one.
Ed walked as they giggled while holding onto his long legs. Reaching
the chair in the kitchen, he sat down and both children let go and
climbed onto his lap. Jacob reached up and took his father’s boonie
hat and placed it on his head. Lisa clung tightly to him. Ed hugged
them both as he laughed at Jacob wearing the hat, which was ten times
too big for him. His little eyes peeked out from under the brim.
Carla stood off to the side laughing, tears running down her face.
She was thrilled her husband home and that their family was reunited
again.

Seeing
how tired her husband was and knowing that he
still had to get his gear out of the Cherokee yet, she told
the children, “Lisa and Jacob, lets get cleaned up for
dinner.”

“But
mom,” Lisa begged.

Ed
looked down to his daughter. “Lisa, please go with your mother,”
he said, kissing her on the head.

Lisa
looked at her father her eyes wide. Your not leaving again are
you, Daddy?”

Ed
hugged his daughter, “No, Lisa. I do not plan on going anywhere
for a while.” Ed understood his daughters fear at that
moment. Carla walked over to them, picking up Jacob and holding him.
“My, you look just like Daddy in that hat, Jacob.” Carla
smiled at him his eyes shining. Lisa slid off her fathers lap and
reached for her mothers hand. As they walked to the stairs, Lisa
looked back to her father, who was sitting on the kitchen chair.

Ed
watched them go up the stairs, sighing. He stood up and stretched.
Walking out to the Cherokee as the children bathed, he looked over to
the home that Ron and Courtney shared, both Mustangs were gone. Ed
figured that they were on an assignment. Reaching in the jeep, he
grabbed two bags and walked back to the house. He dropped them in
the dining room and then walked back out to get his pack and two
other bags. He closed the hatch of the jeep and walked back into the
house, dropping off his luggage. When he walked back down the hall,
the children ran to him, “Did you get cleaned up?

“Yes,
we did, Daddy,” Lisa nodded her head. “Jaky, did too.”

Jacob
ran down the hall with Ed’s hat still on. “What do you say
little man? You like that hat?” Ed asked his son, picking him up
and holding him high in the air. Jacob started to giggle.

“Jacob
reached up and clutched the hat. “You can wear it till dinner,
okay?” Ed replied. “Now, you both go play while I get
cleaned up,” Ed said and placed his son back on the floor.

“Okay,
Daddy, will you play with us? Lisa asked.

“I
sure will, but I need to get cleaned up now, Lisa. I am pretty
dirty.” Ed smiled to his daughter.

“Come
on, Jaky,” Lisa said taking her younger brothers hand. “Lets
go play.” Lisa led Jacob down the hall, the hat dangling on
Jacobs back.

Ed laughed, walking to Carla. Hugging
her, he said “Honey, I am going to get cleaned up. He untied
his boots and placed them by the back door.

“Youd
better,” she said cocking an eyebrow towards him. “I can
fix dinner while you are doing that.” Leaning over, she
whispered into his ear, When you are done with dinner and if the
children dont tire you too much, we have some time to ourselves..”

Ed
gave her a shocked look. “Really?

“Really,”
she answered, kissing him tenderly.

“Well,
I’d better hurry then,” Ed answered. Walking out of the kitchen
and up the stairs, Ed stopped. He listened to the laughter of his
children before he continued towards the bedroom they shared.
Opening the drawer, he grabbed a pair of blue jeans and tee shirt.
He headed into the bathroom and started to strip off his desert BDUs,
letting them fall in a pile on the bathroom floor. Turning on the
shower, Ed stepped in as the warm water began to run over his body.
He thought about the luxury of having warm water as the steam filled
the bathroom.

When
he finished his shower, he dried off with a fluffy towel and stepped
out onto a soft rug. For a moment, he wiggled his toes into the
scrap of carpet before he dressed and then tossed his dirty uniform
in the clothes hamper. Walking over to the bed, he sat down and ran
his hand over the comforter. He spied her lab coat hanging on the
chair, she had given up quite a bit the day she married him.

She
had a thriving practice and several other things since leaving the
service, but she never complained and always told him that she could
not have done better. She would do it all gain because their love
was enough for her. He sat there, putting on a pair of socks and
lying down for a moment on the soft comforter. As his body began to
relax, he could smell dinner cooking. He had been cooking her
breakfast as a surprise the day he left. He smiled to himself,
remembering that he often felt that he could not have done better and
that he was the lucky one.

Figuring
that he had better get up, he sat up, amazed at how refreshed he felt
from the quick, hot shower and brief rest. He stood up and
stretched. Walking back down the hall and the stairs, he watched
Carla prepare dinner. He knew she had to be tired, and Ed had not
thought about going out. He was exhausted also. Carla hummed a tune
as she cooked, a smile on her face, not realizing her husband was
watching.

Slowly
walking up behind Carla, he wrapped his arms around her waist and
kissed her neck, “I am so glad I am home,” he whispered.

Carla
let her husbands arms wrap themselves around her slender waist,
holding her tightly as she cooked. She had missed his touch and his
presence more than anyone could say. She savored his embrace and
then watched him from the corner of her eye as he set the table for
dinner. A smile rested upon her lips as she turned back to put the
finishing touches on their meal. Her lips curled into a warmer grin
as she watched him corral the rambunctious kids, thankful to have him
safely home and by her side again.

After
a wonderful meal, Ed could not have asked for anything more. His
stomach was full of the delicious food, which Carla had prepared
especially for him. He enjoyed the conversation and tried to
decipher what his kids were telling him, the children spoke at the
same time and drowning each other out. Just as he was ready to say
closing grace, his wife did something unexpected. She walked to the
freezer and pulled out the vanilla bean ice cream. Ed’s eyes grew
wide behind his glasses, and Lisa squealed, “Ice cream, Jakey!”

Jacob
started to smile, recognizing the word ‘ice cream’.

“You
didn’t, Carla? Ed asked, smiling as he saw that it was his
favorite flavor.

“I
did,” Carla grinned, reaching for some bowls.

As
Ed ate the ice cream, he savored the taste of it. One never realized
what they missed until they did without it for a span of time.
Spending most of their time in the hot sun, the group had talked of
their favorite ice creams to get their mind off of where they were
and to feel like they were at home. Ed’s eyes turned dark with
sorrow, recalling the friends he had lost. As he sat at home with
his family, it dawned on him that there would be no home coming for
them. Lost in his thoughts, Ed had not realized that he had stopped
eating.

“Ed,
are you alright?” Carla asked, concerned at seeing her husband
sitting there, staring at his ice cream.

Coming
out of his thoughts, Ed
looked at his wife. “Yes, I am.
Sorry Carla, I just had something on my mind.”

Carla
nodded a quiet understanding as her eyes caught sight of the
killed-in-action bracelets that her husband wore. Shifting her eyes
down to her own bowl, she held back the tears that threatened to
spill, knowing that someone could have been wearing her husband’s
name on their wrist at this moment. Collecting herself, she asked,
“Ed, are you finished, Hon?”

Ed
quietly answered, “Yes Carla, I think I am. He picked up his
bowl and the children’s before he walked over and loaded them into
the dishwasher. Picking up a washrag, he washed Lisa’s and Jacob’s
small hands and faces. You are a gooey mess,” he told both
of them as Carla finished putting leftovers from dinner in the
refrigerator.

Ed
looked at the children. “Let’s go play gang.” Both
children giggled and shrieked with delight. Ed lifted Jacob out of
the high chair.

As
Ed played with the children, it was Carla’s turn to watch the three
of them play, her heart swelling nearly brought her to tears. Ed may
not have been home very often; but when he was, he always made up for
the time he lost with his family. After playing a while longer,
Jacob started to yawn.

“I
think it is about time for bed,” Ed softly said, picking up
Jacob and looking at Lisa. “I think it is getting close to
yours also, Lisa.”

Lisa
stared at her father. “Daddy…will you be here when I wake
up?”

Ed
kneeled down to his daughters level. “I sure will Honey.”

Carla
gave each child a kiss goodnight. Lisa grabbed her teddy bear and
started to follow her father up the stairs, dragging her favorite
stuffed animal behind her. Ed tucked in each of his children. He
made sure that Jacob had his favorite blanket. He paused as Lisa
said her nightly prayers before arranging her blankets and making
sure she had Mr. Eeyore and her teddy bear.

Turning
out the light, he heard Lisa say, “I love you, Daddy.”

“I
love you too, Lisa,” he softly told her.

Going
back down the stairs, Ed saw Carla standing there. He held out his
arms as she ran into them. They were alone, and he held her tightly,
kissing her and whispering, “Let’s go to bed.”

Looking
up into the eyes of her husband, Carla whispered, I love you”
as they both went up the stairs to retire for the night.

The
next morning, Ed woke up to a beautiful, sunny day outside. He was
shocked at the time since it was after nine in the morning and the
house was still asleep. Carla was still sleeping. Trying to be as
quiet as possible, he slipped out of bed. Hearing her moan, he
stopped. When he figured she returned to sleeping, he quietly snuck
out of bed. Picking up a pair of jeans and a tee shirt, he walked
into the bathroom and changed into them. After he brushed his teeth
and combed his hair, he quietly left the bedroom and closed the door
behind him. Ed made his way down the hall and to the ground floor to
the den where their desk was. Carla had an old brass paperweight
sitting on the desk with things to do. While he was gone, she had
done everything.

The
list included trips the bank
and the hardware store for a new lock on the back door. There
were several other things on the list. Taking a paper and making a
note, he picked up the jeep keys and his wallet.
He wrote her a note letting her that he
would be back soon, and hearing the patter of feet, that the children
would be with him, signing it at the end with “All my love
Ed.
” Walking out of the den, he saw Lisa.

“Good
morning, Beautiful,” he whispered. “Did you want to go
with Daddy?”

“Where
are we going?” Lisa asked. “Can Jaky go too?”

Ed
smiled. “I have to run a few errands. If you are quiet and do
not wake Mom, I want to take you and Jacob, Ed told her, picking
her up and kissing her on the head. “Shhhh,” Ed told her
as he carried her up the stairs.

Carrying
her to her room and setting her down, Lisa ran to the dresser and
pulled out her favorite pair of overalls while Ed found a shirt. He
helped her dress and combed her hair. Lisa put on her shoes and
tried to tie them. “Better luck next time, Sweetheart. We will
try again later,” Ed encouragingly told her. Taking her hand,
he led her to Jacobs room.

“Jake,
get up. Daddy is taking us somewhere,” Lisa whispered.

Jacob
heard his name and slowly opened his eyes, rubbing them with his tiny
hands.

“Good
morning Jacob,” Ed told him, picking him up and hugging his son.
“I have to get you dressed.” Ed dressed and changed
Jacob. As Ed started to leave Jacobs room, Jacob pointed to Ed’s
boonie on the door. Smiling and reaching down, Ed picked up the hat
and placed it on his son’s head. Son, you look good in that hat.”
Secretly, Ed hoped that his son would not follow in his footsteps,
but knowing if he did, he would not love him any less.

Talking
Lisa by the hand and leading her down the stairs, Ed stopped in the
kitchen to leave his note.

Carla,

The
children and I went to the bank and the hardware store.

I
did not want to wake you. We will be back soon.

All
my love, Ed

Ed
led them out the door, closing and locking it behind him. Strapping
the children in the car seats, Ed climbed in and started the engine.
He pulled out of the drive.

As
Ed left, Carla had started to wake. Her eyes opened, realizing her
husband was not in bed. Looking around, she saw the door was closed.
Stretching and getting up, “Ed?” she called softly but did
not get an answer. Reaching for her robe, she put it on.

Walking
and opening the bedroom door, she headed towards the children’s rooms
but stopped when she saw that they were gone also. “Where in
the world are they?”she
asked out loud, walking down the stairs. Reaching the kitchen, she
saw a piece of paper on the counter. Picking it up and reading it, a
smile crossed her face. Ed was always trying to let her sleep, so
they ran the errands she had on the list. It was just like Ed
to try to get several things done instead of resting.

Ed
drove to the bank and found a place to park. Lisa held his hand as
they walked, while Jacob rested in his arms. Walking in, the clerk
behind the desk smiled at him, recognizing Ed.

“Welcome
home, Sgt. Steen,” she cheerfully greeted, “How may I help
you?”

“I
would like to make a payment on one of the loans,” Ed told her,
pulling out the checkbook.

Lisa
watched her father set Jacob on the chair as he played with the hat
that he wore. “What are you doing, Daddy?” Lisa asked her
father, looking back to the pretty lady behind the desk.

“I
am giving Mrs. Todd some money that we owe her.” Ed smiled as
he made out the check. “I would also like to withdraw some
money from our account.”

Yes,
Sgt. Steen. The amount please?”

Ed
told her the amount and she processed the transaction, counting out
the cash he had requested. As Ed placed the cash in his wallet, she
handed each child a lollypop.

“Thank
you,” Lisa said, reaching for the candy as Jacob tried to thank
her also. Picking up Jacob and taking Lisas hand Ed thanked Mrs.
Todd, and left.

Ed
drove to the hardware store. “Daddy, where are we?” Lisa
asked.

“We
are at the hardware store. I need to buy a new lock for the back
door,” Ed answered as they walked to the counter. Lisa and
Jacob stared with wide eyes at all the items in the hardware store as
Ed asked the clerk for a new lock and told him what he wanted. The
clerk went and picked out the lock that Ed had requested. After
paying for their purchase, they waved and were on their way.

Before
Ed went home, he stopped for fuel, seeing the gauge was reading low.
Pulling into the gas station, he quickly filled the tank. “Now
if Carla gets called out, she will not have to worry about having to
stop in the middle of the night,” Ed told himself as he paid at
the pump with his gas card. He waved to the children. who peered out
at their father as he replaced the gas hose.

Climbing
back in, he started to drive. Ed spotted a young woman selling roses
on the corner. Pulling over, he smiled to her and asked her for the
last red rose she had. Thanking her, he placed the rose on the front
seat.

“On
to Mom, Ed told the children. Looking at his watch, he realized
Carla would be awake by now. Driving back to the base, Ed reached
the street they lived on in base housing. Pulling in the drive and
turning off the Cherokee, Ed chimed, “We’re here guys.”

Carla
heard them pull up and opened the
door.

“Mommy!”
Lisa and Jacob cried seeing her standing there.

Ed
got out and unstrapped both children, setting them on the grass.
Each child took off running into their mother’s arms.

“Were
you good?” she asked both of them, knowing the answer. “Are
you hungry? I can make lunch.”

Both
of the children hugged their mother, nodding their heads that they
were good and maybe hungry.

Ed
walked up with the bag in his hand and kissed his wife. “I did
not want to wake you,” he told her, “so we went on a few
errands. Ed had put the flower behind his back and pulled it out
to hand it to her.

“Oh,
Ed,” Carla happily said, smelling the rose as he followed her
into their house. All of them walked in, and Carla placed the rose
in a bud vase on the kitchen table. The petals were beginning to
open in the sun.

After
fixing a few sandwiches, Ed and Carla ate lunch along with the
children.

As
they cleaned up the lunch dishes, Ed looked to Carla and asked, “Do
you want to go for a walk, Honey? I can fix the lock later.”

“Sure,
Ed, I would like that. We can go to the park down the street,”
Carla answered happily. “You and Jacob can take his baseball
glove. You know he has tried to practice with me, but it is not the
same. Lisa has quite a throw on her, too.”

Ed
grinned, Come on, guys. Let’s go to the park. Jacob and Lisa get
your gloves.” Both children were ecstatic; they were getting to
go the park and play ball with their father. The park was one of two
located in their housing addition on base, giving the children a
choice of places to play.

With
the sun shining, Carla and Ed walked to the nearest park with the
children. Jacob still wore his fathers hat, and Lisa held her
mother’s hand. Ed firmly held Carlas other hand as they walked.
Reaching the park, they found a grassy place and Carla threw a
blanket down then took seat. Ed helped both children with their
gloves. Taking the small ball, he tossed it to Jacob first. “Catch,
Jacob.” Jacob reached out with his small hands, running to the
ball as his father tossed it. He caught it in his small glove and
held it up for all to see. Jacob tossed the ball just short of Ed,
who reached down to pick it up.

“Way
to go, Jacob!” both Ed and Carla exclaimed at the same time.

Next,
it was Lisas turn. “Ready, Lisa?'” Ed asked as Carla
watched. He, once again, gently tossed the ball, this time to Lisa.
She had wanted to play catch, and Ed and Carla never believed in the
for boys only” motto,
so Ed and Carla played catch with both the children. Lisa missed but
picked up the ball, and threw it into her father’s glove..

“YAY!
Lisa!” both proud parents cheered. They played ball a bit longer
before moving to the swing sets. They pushed both children on the
swings. As the afternoon progressed, Ed and Carla started the walk
home from the park with the children, all of them having a wonderful
time at the park.

Getting
closer to home, Ed realized that he saw Dusty’s Mustang in the
driveway. “Carla, I think Ron is home,” Ed commented.

Carla
looked to the driveway. “Courtney’s car is still gone. Do you
want to talk to him?” Carla asked, reaching for Jacob.

“I
will only be a minute, I promise,” Ed leaned over kissing her.
Carla took the children indoors to get them cleaned up for dinner.

He
walked to the door and rang the doorbell. As Ed waited for a answer,
he turned to look at his yard next door.
He needed to cut the grass
. I will do it tomorrow…This is my
first day home. The grass can wait another day. It does not look
that bad yet.”

While
Ed was waiting, Dusty was unpacking, wondering who was ringing the
doorbell. Walking towards the door, he saw a tall man standing there.
Dusty said to himself, No, it
can’t be Ed…Could it?”
Dusty pondered as he walked closer
to the door, wondering if his best friend had made it home from
deployment. Dusty had not heard anything of the Joe medic returning,
but then he had not stopped by the administrative office that day

Opening
the door, Dusty asked, “Ed? Is that you?” realizing his
best friend was standing on his porch,

Ed
turned around, seeing his friend for the first time in months. “Ron?
How are you? Ed asked, holding out his hand.

Dusty
clasped his best friend’s hand in a firm handshake and pulled him
into a hug. “Ed, I’m so glad that you are back,” he said,
releasing his friend and slapping him on the back. “Come in,
Come in,” Dusty said, holding the door open.

Ed
stepped inside. “I just have a minute. I saw your car home and
wanted to say hello. Carla is getting the children ready for dinner,”
Ed grinned, still overjoyed at seeing his friend.

“When
did you get back?’ Dusty asked.

“I
came in yesterday afternoon,” Ed replied. “I am so happy to
be home.”

“We
missed ya, Ed,” Dusty answered. “The infirmary has not been
the same since you left and I think Dr.
Stephen misses you also,”
Dusty told him as they walked into the living room.

“You
know, the next day we are off, Ed, how about we go fishing? We have
not done that in a while?” Dusty asked, walking into the kitchen
to get them both some water.

Ed
accepted the glass and took a drink. “That would be great. I
have not gone fishing in years.”

“You
still know how to use a pole right?” the younger desert trooper
joked with the older medic.

“I
think I can
be refreshed in that subject, Ron,” Ed laughed.

After
taking another drink of water, Ed said, “I’d better get back
home, Ron. I know you have unpacking to do, and you said Courtney is
due home this evening. If I do not see her, tell her hello for me.”
Ed handed the glass back to Dusty. “Thank you for the water.”

“I
sure will tell her, Ed. I know she will be thrilled to hear that you
are home. Dusty led Ed to the front door, and with a last handshake,
Ed left and walked to his house next door, happy to have seen his
best friend.

Walking
in, he noticed that Carla was fixing a light dinner. The children
were getting tired from the long day they had. After eating dinner,
Ed went upstairs to help give the children a bath and put them to
bed. Both fell asleep quickly. It was still early in the evening, and
Ed figured he could call his father a bit later.

Looking
outside and seeing that it was a nice night, Ed asked, Carla, how
about we go and sit on the porch swing for a while? We can leave the
door open. You and I can do the dishes later.” He took her hand
and led her outside.

Reaching
for a light blanket in the cool spring air, they sat down on the
swing. Ed wrapped the blanket around the two of them. He pulled her
close to him as she leaned on his chest. He snuggled next to and held
Carla tight.

Ed
lightly rocked the swing as they sat there, his mind going to his
family and his wife, whom he had missed so much in the last six
months. Between the children and Carla, he felt like he abandoned
them at times. He had been so blessed by them all. He wanted to make
up for all the time he had lost while he was gone, anyway he could.
Holding Carla close, he kissed her on the head. His breath tickled as
it blew through her hair.

Stroking
her long tresses with his free hand, his mind thinking of how
incredibly lucky he was to be home. Several of his teammates,
including two of his closest friends, were killed the week before he
was sent home. He could only imagine the sorrow their loved ones were
going through right now. As they sat there in the cool, spring air,
Ed realized he had forgotten about the gift he had picked up for her

“Carla,
Honey, I will be right back,” Ed softly told her as he got up
from the swing Carla wondered where her husband was going. She
wrapped the blanket around herself to stay warm now that the heat of
his body was gone. Ed stretched his long frame as he walked inside
their house.

It
seemed strange that he had been gone for six months, but after
spending today with his family, it felt as if he had never left. His
heart and mind knew differently. Walking over to his bags, he stood
there, trying to recall in which bag he had packed the necklace in.
It was not much, but he was happy that his friend was able to acquire
it for him before Cobra’s reoccupation of the village. He opened the
bags and began to search, shuffling stuff around and seeing the dust
and sand. He finally found the small pouch.

He
had not told Carla of his small gift to her. He held the box in his
hand as he walked back out on the porch, taking a seat next to Carla
as she wrapped the blanket back around the tow of them. Ed noticed
that she was wearing the bracelet, which he had made her of parachute
cord. “How long have you been wearing that?” Ed
asked, holding her wrist to look at the bracelet.

“I
was just going to ask you if you were okay, Ed,” she softly
replied. “I have been wearing it since you sent it to me at
Christmas,” Carla proudly stated. It had not seemed like much to
many people, but to Carla, it was priceless because Ed had made it
for her and made it with love. Nothing bought would ever compare to
it.

Ed
sat there a moment stunned. “I am fine now, Carla. I am home,
and I have my family again,” Ed answered pulling her close. I
have something for you.”

With
his arms wrapped around her, he slowly opened the pouch and pulled
out the thin silver necklace with a tiny
charm and placed it on her neck.

Carla
felt the necklace slip around her neck, and
with her hand, she gently lifted the thin chain to see the
small charm. “Ed. Where did you get this?” she asked
shocked.

“I
had a teammate get it in a small village before it was overtaken by
COBRA again,” Ed answered, tightly squeezing her. “He had
asked if I wanted anything while he was out on the patrol. We were
getting along with the locals pretty well,” Ed stopped, not
needing to say more.

“It
is beautiful, thank you,” she said looking up and placing her
hand on his cheek. She pulled him closer toward her and kissed him.
As they sat on the swing, rocking, Carla and Ed saw a set of
headlights coming down the street. They recognized the sound of the
car as Courtney’s.

“I
guess Ron will be happy,” Carla grinned.

“Yes,
I know he will be. He was looking forward to her possibly getting
home this evening when I spoke to him this afternoon,” Ed
smiled. They watched Courtney park her Mustang and getting out,
oblivious to the happy couple sitting on the porch next door. Running
to her front door, Courtney was unable to get to her husband’s arms
fast enough.

Sitting
there a little longer, Carla asked, “It is getting a bit
chillier. Shall we go inside?”

“I
believe you are right,” Ed answered as they both stood up,
walking in with the blanket wrapped around them. Carla rubbed her
arms trying to get warm as Ed closed the door behind them.

“I’d
better go check on the children,” Carla told Ed.

“I
can go with you, Carla,” Ed smiled, walking up the stairs behind
his wife. They walked to each room, peeking in on their sleeping
children. Both children slept soundly as their parents watched.
Making their way back down to the living room, Ed asked, “You
feel like a movie?”

“That
sounds like fun,” Carla agreed. I can go make some popcorn.”

“What
shall we watch?” Ed asked, walking to the stack of movies that
were put up high, out of the way of little hands.
“I
would like something to make me laugh,” Carla replied, starting
to walk to the kitchen for the microwave popcorn. Ed picked out the
movie and set up the DVD player. The phone rang. Answering the
phone, Ed heard his father’s voice on the other end. Things had
started to look up for him and his father’s relationship after
Steph’s wedding, which had been a turning point for both Steens. Ed
could hear the popcorn popping and the smell saturated the room. His
mouth watered as he spoke to his father. His father was just making
sure his son was alright.

Carla
had heard the phone ring, wondering who was calling hearing her
husband. She overheard Ed talking and realized that it was her
father-in-law. Smiling, she had known how bad things had been between
her husband and his father over the years but relieved that in the
end the two men could grow closer. The popcorn finished popping; she
poured it into a bowl.

She
walked into the room and with a motion of her hand told Ed to keep
talking with his father. Carla took a seat on the sofa. Ed talked a
bit longer before hanging up.

“Sorry,
it took so long,” Ed apologized. “Dad send his love, and so
does Steph.”

“Do
not worry about it, Hon. I know they were ecstatic about you coming
home,” she said taking a seat.

Ed
sat down with her, wrapping his arm around her shoulder as she held
the bowl of popcorn. Ed started the movie. They both laughed until
tears ran down their faces. Neither had laughed so hard in a long
time, nearly rolling on the floor at the movie. It had always been
one of their favorites. As the movie ended, both of them sat there
for a minute. Ed removed his glasses wiping his eyes from laughing so
hard. Carla’s side hurt. Both reflected that it had been a while
since having such a enjoyable night.

“I
never tire of that movie,” Carla chuckled. “I had a
wonderful day, Ed.”

“I
did too, ” Ed commented,”I look forward to so many more.”

As
he held his wife, she turned on the late night news. The report was
showing that COBRA had attacked some more of area from where Ed had
just returned. They announced that several more soldiers were
wounded. Ed sighed and pulled his wife tighter. Carla could tell her
husband was upset by the news report but preferred not to say
anything. Instead, she said,” You know, Ed, I know how to make
this day complete,” she said, cocking a eyebrow and turning off
the television.

Ed
looked to his beautiful wife, the gears in his mind working. He
hoped that she had the same idea planned as he did, “What is
that per se?” he grinned, leaning forward and kissing her.

Breaking
the kiss, Carla softly spoke, “Follow me upstairs and I will
show you,” as she stood.

Ed reached for and took her hand.
“Anything you want, Carla,” he said as they started to walk
toward the stairs.

Carla
spied the dishes. “I forgot them,” she sighed.

“Do
not worry, Carla, I will do them while you are at work tomorrow,”
Ed reassured her. As they reached the stairs, Ed stopped, “Carla,
Honey, I will be right up.”

Carla
looked to her husband. “Do not be long,” she whispered,
walking up the stairs.

“I
promise you, I will not be long,” he said, walking to the den.
He turned on the light and saw his list of things to do. He
scratched a few things off of it and added a few more things to do
tomorrow. He carefully replaced the paperweight.

Walking
to the door and turning off the light, Ed smiled. He walked up the
stairs to be with his wife. He had a lot of catching up to do.

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