18 - Make it Last
She has not felt this amazing in years. She suddenly knows what she wants as she pants heavily lying next to Tucker. “Come to New York with me?”
“What?” He looks and sounds just as tired as her.
“I will take the job in New York and you can come with me.” She sits up to see him better. “That way we can be together.”
“Okay.” He does not even look like he had to think about it.
“Really?” She is not sure if he is being real or not.
“Yes. Really.” He sits up and kisses her. “I would follow you anywhere.”
She smiles at how sweet he is being. She forgot how charming he could be. His prickly chin feels foreign as she runs her fingers over it. “Maybe it is the facial hair.”
“I am not sure.” She moves up closer to him so that she can inspect his face better. “You just look so different but I can’t figure out why.” She thinks for a minute. “Maybe I forget what you looked like.”
He moves a piece of her hair behind her ear. “I never forgot a detail about you.”
“Where are you staying?” She realizes he does not have any clothes or anything with him.
“In a hotel.”
“Stay here with me. Sadie is gone for the next week and I have nothing going on since I am done with school.”
“I can’t stay for a whole week.” He looks awkwardly for a moment and she realizes he is not telling her something.
She sits up away from him. “And?”
“I still have two months left of active duty.”
She should have realized he was just on a temporary leave. She feels sad again as she thinks about being away from him a little longer.
“I promise as soon as my time is up, I will be in New York with you.”
“What is another two months after four whole years?” She tries to sound positive but knows he does not buy it.
“It is an eternity.” He wraps his arms around her and it makes her smile again.
“So how long can you stay?”
“I was going to see mom and dad, so I have to leave tomorrow.”
She feels more hurt than anger. “What is this? Did you come to tease me?”
“No! I came for your graduation because I didn’t want to miss your big day.” She does not want him to leave but knows she must let him go again. But at least for just two months this time.
“What do you want to do on your one night here with me?” She stands from bed looking for some clothes.
His hand touching hers makes her stop and look up at him. “I just want to stay in bed with you.”
She wants that too but she also wants more time. “How long will you be at your parents?”
“One night.” She can tell he is sad too. “I only have a four-day leave.”
“Can I fly back home with you?”
“Absolutely.” His smile of excitement makes her smile too.
“That way we can spend one more day together.”
“I would love that.” He pulls her in close and his muscles against her feel so tight. He never had muscles like this in high school. “But on one condition.”
She is surprised he has a condition and wonders what it could be. “What is that?”
“You never wanted to do a long distance relationship, I know but..” she loves how cute he looks when he is nervous. “Since it is just two months until I am done. And you did just ask me to live with you in New York. Will you be my girlfriend?”
She feels excitement grow in her as she nods her head with a small smile. “Yes.”
His nerves seem to disappear from his brow as he moves in to kiss her. “Good.”
“For the record. We were young and it is not that I did not want to be with you. I just felt like you were abandoning me and four years seemed like such a long time.” She regrets not trying the distance relationship like he wanted. “I was stupid and selfish. I am sorry.”
“It is okay. I get it. It took me a while to understand but that distance would have been hard on us.”
“Thank you. For coming back for me.”
The night went by way too fast and he wishes their flight was later. Chasity looks beautiful sleeping next to him. The waves of her hair are flowing over the pillow and her lips look slightly red and swollen. He had been kissing her hard but he did not think about it hurting her. Her eyes flicker open and look into his. “Good morning.” He smiles at her feeling so in love.
“Good morning.” She snuggles in closer to him.
He had pictured holding her this way thousands of times but she feels so much better than he remembers. He wishes he had more time. “I have to go check out of my hotel and get my things.”
She looks up at him quickly. “What time is it?”
“Seven.” He almost says the time in military format but catches himself.
She jumps up and seems to be in a hurry. “What are you doing?”
“I have to pack.” Her panic makes him laugh.
“I can go check out then come back and get you. You have time.”
“No way! I am not letting you out of my sight yet. I go where you go.”
“Oh. Well, then yes you better hurry.” He had already had a shower and gotten ready.
“Why didn’t you wake me up so I could have showered and been ready too?”
“Sorry. I was trying to let you sleep. You looked worn out.”
“Give me 10 minutes.” She pleads as she disappears toward the bathroom.
He wonders around her apartment looking at pictures and art as he waits on her. She soon comes out wearing an old t-shirt and jeans with wet wavy hair. It makes him smile that she has not changed that much. “I missed those old ratty t-shirts.”
She looks offended. “Don’t make fun of my old clothes. I love this shirt.”
“I am not making fun. I really did miss that shirt.” He thinks about leaving again and it makes him miss her already. “I missed every detail of you every day.”
She stops moving toward her bedroom and looks at him painfully. “I missed you just as badly.”
He wants to hold her but knows they must leave if they are going to catch the plane on time. He moves toward her room. “I will carry your bag.”
The flight does not seem to take long at all as they reminisce and laugh. They had only carry-on bags so did not need to go to the luggage pick up. Tucker leads them toward luggage pick up anyway. “Are we renting a car?” Chasity looks up at him confused because the car rental desk was the other direction.
He kisses her quickly as they walk. “No. My parents wanted to pick me up. They said to meet at the luggage pick up.” He wonders how she feels about his parents coming and seeing them together.
She smiles up at him and he feels a bit of relief because he could not keep her being with him a secret again. “That is so sweet. When was the last time they saw you?”
He feels ashamed as he answers. “Three years.”
“What?” She sounds mad. “Three years?”
“Yeah. I came back once the first year but it killed me too much because you were not around.”
“You could have come to see me.”
“I did.” She stops, pulling her hand from his.
“I came. I tracked you down on campus but you were with Trevor in the coffee shop and looked so happy. I assumed you had moved on.”
“You came and then didn’t even come say hi?”
“You looked happy and I could not break that up.”
“But he and I were only friends.”
“I know that now but at the time it seemed like you were more from how much you were both laughing and playing.”
“So, you just assumed and didn’t come back till now?”
He nods a bit ashamed. “Pretty much.”
“I just wanted to be there for your graduation and tried to slip away but you caught me and. Well. Here we are.”
She moves up closer to him and he sees the anger leave her eyes. She stays silent as she kisses him.
“Tucker!” His mom’s voice causes Chasity to break their kiss abruptly. He looks over and sees his mom running toward him.
He catches her in his arms laughing at her tears of joy. “Hi mom.”
“You look so good!” She releases him briefly before hugging him again. “I am so glad your home.”
“Hey son.” His dad wraps his arms around him as his mom moves out of his way. Tucker notices how proud he looks.
“Chasity!” He sees his mom hug Chasity almost as tight as she had him. “You came with Tucker?”
“Obviously honey. They were just making out.” His dad moves toward Chasity as well and hugs her. “Welcome home Chasity.”
Chasity seems embarrassed and he finds it adorable. “Thank you.”
Tucker’s mom wraps her arms around him again. “We are so glad you are home.”
“It is only one-night mom.”
“I know but I will take what I can get. Do we need to drop you off at your parent’s Chasity?”
“She is staying with me mom.” Tucker grabs Chasity’s hand and looks at her briefly. He was not going to miss one more night with her. He needed her. He can tell she did not want them to know they were already sleeping together.
“No. I.” She looks so embarrassed.
“It is alright honey; we know you two were sleeping together in high school.” His mom smiles at Chasity. “We don’t mind. In fact, I have always hoped he would bring you home with him.” She starts to cry again. “So, my dream just came true.”
Her face brightens more in red coloring causing Tucker to laugh at how uncomfortable she is. “I am glad I could make you happy.” She looks awkwardly up at Tucker.
“Here son let me have your bags.” His dad takes his and Chasity’s bags from him before he can protest.
“Dad I can carry them.”
“No, you hold on to your two girls.”
He smiles as his mom snuggles up under his right arm and he keeps a grip on Chasity’s hand on the left.
“I will make you anything you want for dinner tonight. Just name it.” His mom’s tone reminds him how much he missed being home.
“I would love some spaghetti. I have missed your spaghetti so much.”
“I can manage that.” She smiles happily up at him and he kisses her forehead as they exit the airport.
He holds Chasity all night trying to not fall asleep. He knew he had to hold on to this night for two more months. He did not want to miss a moment. As morning arrives, he wakes Chasity up by softly kissing her lips and snuggling her. “My plane leaves in 3 hours.”
She gives him a pout face. “I haven’t had enough sex yet.”
He laughs and tickles her until she is screeching and begging him to stop. “I love you. I always have.” He straddles her body as her hand begins to run along his chest.
“I love you too.”
“Then please tell me bye this time?” He remembers how much it hurt him she did not say goodbye all those years ago.
“I am sorry. I just was crying and I did not want you to remember me crying. I wanted you to remember being happy with me.”
“I thought it was because you were mad at me.”
She looks surprised at his confession. “No!”
She pushes him gently so that they roll and she is now straddling him. “I will make this goodbye a lot better.” She smiles as she kisses his chest moving slowly down his body.