Friday, February 3, 2012

Bronwyn Week 89: Waiting For News

Bronwyn Keith

Picture 1

Picture 2

Bronwyn’s Choice: Picture 1

Waiting For News

“How long has she been sitting there?”

“Since the call came in that his plane crashed and they can't find him.”

“That was four hours ago.”

“You do realize I can hear the two of you talking, right?” Alice said from her chair by the window. She looked down at the cold mug of tea in her hand. With a sigh, she unfolded her legs and stood. Mark's flannel fell to her knees. She walked over to the kitchen where Jessica and William stood by the stove. Alice set her mug next to the sink and leaned against the counter.

“You don't need to stay around for me. I'll be fine.” Alice told them as she crossed her arms over her chest. “Mark is fine. He will be found safe and in one piece.”

“Alice, you don't know that for sure.” William said as he walked over to her, pulling her into his embrace. “We don't even know where this mission took him.”

Alice pulled out of William’s arms. “I would know, Will.” Alice walked to the window. “I would know in my heart if he was gone.”

“How could you, Alice?” Jessica asked, walking to where Alice stood. “No one has that kind of connection with another person.”

“We do, Jess. We’ve had one since the first day we met.” Alice’s mind turned to the day she met Mark.


3 Years Previously

Alice held her hand up to shade her eyes from the Arizona sun as she stepped off the transport plane. With her bag over her shoulder, she crossed the tarmac to the main ops building to check in with base security. As she approached the door, an airman exited and held the door open for her. Her eyes wandered over him. He was tall and lean. His broad shoulders strained the seams of his gray flight suit. His dark hair was cropped close to his head and his eyes were covered by wrap around aviator glasses.

“Thank you, Second Lieutenant Solano.” Alice smiled up at the officer after reading his name badge.

“You’re quite welcome, miss.” He lifted the glasses, and smiled at her, his blue eyes dancing with mischief. “Welcome to Luke Air Force Base. Are you staying on base long?”

“I’m just visiting for the week. It’s spring break up at school.” She leaned her hip against the door frame. Her heart rate jumped when she met his gaze. As his gaze ran over her body, she felt herself flush. “What about you?” Alice asked huskily.

“I finished advanced flight school two weeks ago, and I’m waiting for my orders.” He ran a hand over his head. “Who are you visiting, so I can see you while you are on base?”

“I’m visiting my father, Lt. Colonel Deering.” Alice laughed at the Lieutenant’s somewhat frightened expression. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.”

“I’m sorry, miss.” Solano stammered, as he realized he stood next to the wing commander’s daughter. “I didn’t mean to be so forward.”

“It’s okay, Lieutenant.” She stepped closer to him and lowered her voice. “I would love to see you again.”

“I’d like that.” He lifted a hand and brushed her hair behind her ear. “My name is Mark.” His fingers trailed over her cheek, sending sparks of awareness through her. She lifted to her toes and pressed her lips against his. Pleasure coursed through her body at the feel of his soft lips moving against hers. He slowly deepened the kiss, and in that moment she knew that he would be hers forever.


“Alice?” Jess’s voice brought her back to the present. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Alice gave her friend a small smile, before sitting in the chair again. “I was thinking about the day Mark and I met.”

“I remember that day.” Jess smiled, as she sat on the loveseat near the recliner. “You called me and said you had just met and kissed your future husband.”

“In a few months will be our second anniversary." Alice lowered her head to her hands and took a couple deep breaths to stop the tears from forming. "He will be here to celebrate it with me, just like he promised." Alice heard Jess shift positions. Jess laid her hands on Alice's knees. Alice wiped away the stray tears and looked at her best friend. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be weepy."

Jess reached up and pulled her friend into her arms. Alice laid her head on Jess's shoulder. "It's okay, sweetie. You are allowed to cry," whispered Jess as she rubbed Alice's back.

Alice allowed a few more tears to escape but refused to give into the terror and panic she felt in her soul. She knew deep down that Mark was alive, but she was afraid that the enemy might find him first. Alice didn't know where Mark currently flew missions, but he had told her that it was a dangerous location near the front line. Being one of the best pilots in the Air Force got Mark assigned to many top secret missions in undisclosed locations. She closed her eyes and allowed Jess to rock her.

The knock on the front door made the two friends jump. Alice sat up and looked at Jess, afraid to go to the door.

"I'll get it." William said from the kitchen. They could hear to voices talking at the door before they came toward the living room.

Alice gripped Jess's hand as Alice's father walked in to the room. Alice's stomach fell to the floor. The only reason her dad would be there is if there no good news about Mark. William walked behind Alice and laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Colonel Stan Deering sat on the edge of the love seat where Jess had been moments ago. He reached over and put a hand on Alice's knee.

"Daddy, just tell me. I can't take the not knowing anymore." Alice pleaded with her father. "Is Mark okay?"

"Mark is alive, but he suffered some severe injuries from the parachute landing. He had to use his back up because the primary malfunctioned." Stan's deep voice was calm as he told her what she wanted to know. She knew out of all of his duties, telling a family that their soldier was injured in combat was the hardest for him. "I don't know how what kind of injuries but none are life threatening and he will need to go to Germany for surgery."

Alice nodded, her brain quickly running through all possible injuries he could have sustained. With them sending him to Germany, the likely hood that he had internal injuries was slim. So he probably just had some bad fractures. Taking a deep breath of relief, Alice launched herself in to her father's embrace.

"He's going to be fine." She whispered against his neck, tears running down her face. "My Mark is fine."

"Yes, he is, darling." Stan pulled back to look at his daughter's face. "Now go get your stuff packed. You will meet him in Germany." Alice stood and wiped away her tears. Her father didn’t know that every time Mark left on a mission, she always had an emergency travel bag packed, just in case. She looked over at Jess and Will. The couple smiled at her.

"How soon until we leave?" Alice asked, as her cell phone rang. She saw Will walk to the kitchen to grab it for her.

"I think that phone call will tell us." Stan said as Will came back to the room holding the answered phone out to Alice.

"Hello?" Alice asked.

"Hi, babe." Alice's knees gave out at the sound of Mark's rough baritone. She sank to the love seat.

"Mark, is that really you?"

"Yes, Alice. I have some good news for you." Alice smiled. Mark always tried to make things better than they really were. "I'm coming home early." Alice chuckled.

"That's what dad just told me. Something about you not knowing how to land while using a parachute has gotten you grounded for a while." She smiled at the sound of his laughter. "So how badly injured are you? Dad doesn't know."

"I just landed hard and have a few fractures. Nothing serious." Alice snorted at that comment.

"Nothing serious? If that were true, they wouldn't be sending you to Germany for surgery. What’s broken?" Alice held her breath for his answer.

"I broke the ankle and tib/fib on my left leg and broke my left collarbone. They want to put in a plate and some pins in the leg fracture. Then I'll be in rehab for a few months, so the earliest I can get back in a cockpit is six months." Alice smiled at the prospect of spending that much time with Mark. "Your dad arranged a transport flight to Germany for you. You will arrive about the time I come out of surgery."

"I guess I better get to the air field then." Alice smiled at her friends and her father. "I love you, Mark."

"I love you too, Alice." The word washed over Alice making her world right again. "Now get your bag and get going. I can't wait to see you, babe." Alice lowered the phone and smiled at her dad.

She ran from the room to her bedroom and grabbed the packed bag from the closet. She grabbed her purse from the kitchen and met her father at the front door, eager to get to Germany and to Mark.