After two more grueling years the day he had not looked forward too for a year was now upon them. He looked at her standing before him. “Four years and you still look the same.” He laughed. “Maybe if you grew some more you would be taken a little more seriously.”
“Maverick I stopped growing a year ago.” Dawn said as he teased her. “This is the last one for me.”
“How you managed to graduate four times already including two masters degrees and I still have only one to my name.” Maverick said with a laugh. “It is okay though. I don’t mind being the dumb one in this relationship.”
“Well I am a certifiable genus.” She said. “Wait I meant certified.”
“You had it right the first time.” He chuckled. “So are your parents coming?”
“They said they had too. Since the press got a hold of it and want to do a few news articles on me and what ever my mother was ready to jump on and be the best parent ever.” Dawn said sarcastically.
“And your father?” He asked.
“Well since we aren’t exactly speaking at the moment I guess he is coming too. The farm could always use the press.” Dawn said.
“You still aren’t holding it against him that he wouldn’t hire me last year are you?” he asked.
“Maverick because of that you had to find other ways of making money and you signed a six year contract with the military of all things!” Dawn said.
“I was planning on joining anyway. At least this way they paid for most of college.” He said as she looked at him. “I know it isn’t exactly what I wanted to do but I am okay with it. I promise I will call and write and we can do skype every chance I get. The time will fly by until you are some super genius and you won’t want to talk to me.”
“Like that is going to happen.” She said as she made a face at him.
“Two years overseas might be nice.” He said as she smiled at her. “I mean I will come home to a sixteen year old waiting for me I hope.”
“Why does my age have to do anything with this?” She asked.
“You will figure it out.” He said as he moved her to get into the line that was forming to move to the stage so they could get their degrees for this major. She smiled at the cameras as she was muttering under her breath about things he couldn’t hear. Soon the cameras were all around them. Maverick was again blocking her from danger as he was always doing it seemed.
The arena went wild when her name was called right before his. She turned and watched him walk across the stage from the stairs hoping that someone would get the photo of the two of them together as she looked on with the same pride he had a week before when she received the first of her degrees. The two were smiling as the walked down together and he slipped his hand into hers as they went down the stairs. When she was being interviewed he was standing right behind her walking over as he was always doing. Her family had been there but had left after they had their photos taken. Maverick just stood there at attention behind her ready to step in if anyone got to be too much with their questions.
He knew she wasn;t the eleven year old girl he had met four years ago. She was now fourteen and had grown a lot in those four years. She could handle anyone pretty much on her own with words if she had too. However he wouldn’t leave her to the wolves like her family had done. She turned and smiled at him as she saw him there. She nodded that it was time for them to go and he put out his arm for her to take and they turned and walked out to the awaiting crowd. “Are your parents here?” She asked as she looked at him.
“Probably not.” He said as he chuckled. “Much like your parents they didn’t understand my need to go to college or the military. I guess I was supposed to be like my brothers and just do what I was told to do at my dad’s company for the rest of my life.”
“Well at least you are free of all that now.” She said as she could feel her smile dim a bit. Every time the military was brought up now that it was time for him to go off to Europe she could feel the pain in her chest again. She knew it was what he wanted and needed to do. It was also noble and she understood that but she could only think that the next three and a half years couldn’t go by fast enough. Their fire had a huge glacier next to it that was threatening to melt at any moment.
“Dawn.” He said as he looked at her. “I will be back you know.”
“I know.” She said. “I just wish it was different.”
“I wish a lot of things were different but there is still time.” Maverick chuckled. “Now is a good night. Don’t get all sappy on me. I don’t know when I will get to see you again.”
“You are really leaving in a day?” She asked.
“Yes.” He said as he led her to the spot in the middle of the campus. It was far enough away from the crowd that no one would even bother looking for them or would see them unless they were being hunted. “You knew this. But don’t get mad. I told you we will have time to talk. You have medical school now. That is going to take up a lot of your time. Sweetheart I promise that I will come back for the important things.”
“Like what?” She asked as she looked at him.
“A promise.” He said as he brushed her hair of her face. Thoguh she normally wore her hair up now and pulled back for this graduation she had it down. He brushed his fingers through it for a second, “I will be there for your sisxteenth birthday, Your medical school graduation, and your eighteenth birthday.”
“And if you can’t be there?” She asked.
“I will find a way to make it up to you.” He said. He bent down too look into her eyes. “We will talk as much as we can. We can text and whatever, okay?”
“I told you my mother stopped with the cell phone for me.” She said with a sigh.
“I know.” He said as he pulled out a box. “I never gave you your graduation present.”
“Maverick what is this? “she asked as he handed it to her. She opened it carefully and when she was done with the wrapping paper she saw what it was.
“Open it.” He said with a grin. She continued to open it and there was a new phone and some gift cards for the app store.
“Mav.” She said as she looked at him.
“Now your parents can’t control you the way they think they can.” He said. “Dawn this is only temporary. Everything will work out the way it is supposed too. I promise. I will never be that far away from you with this.”
He took the phone out and then opened it. She saw he was taking pictures of the two of them. He finally settled on one and set it as the home screen. He sent it to his phone as well. And repeated the process. “This way we are always together.”