Julie sat in the nursery rocking David. Stephanie was in the other room, feeding Bee, and both babies were almost ready for bed. Julie smiled as David sucked on his fingers as he lay on her, fitting over her stomach perfectly.
“That’s my big boy,” Julie said softly. “Always so sweet and sensitive, just like your daddy.” Julie tried to quell her fear as she and Stephanie waited for word on baby Naomi. “You know, just because you’re growing up and walking, doesn’t mean that you won’t always be mommy’s little boy. You are my greatest blessing little man. You have been with me through so much and you remind me every day how wonderfully blessed I am.” She kissed his head as she heard him snoring.
“You snore like your daddy,” she smiled. “You know, when I watch how you are with Bee, it makes me so happy. I know Uncle Jack doesn’t like it, but when I see you play with her, my heart grows with love for you. You already know how important it is to make those we love happy. Your Uncle Jack did that for mommy and now you will do that for little Bee. You have already made me and your daddy so proud,” she felt her tears prick her eyes.
“I don’t know if I ever told you this, but your daddy is the best husband and father in the whole world. I don’t mean because he is a soldier, although I adore that part of his heart. I mean he looks at me and it’s like there is no one else he would rather be looking at. I know that probably doesn’t make sense to you, but you should know that your mommy isn’t perfect.”
David made a noise in his sleep and Julie laughed. “I know, but it’s true. I had so many issues when I met your daddy. I didn’t trust people very easily and I was afraid to get close to anyone. When I lost your grandpa and grandma, it did a lot to shake my faith in the world. Uncle Tommy and Uncle Jack did so much to help me, but when it came to giving my heart to someone, I was afraid that wouldn’t happen.” She exhaled as the babies moved in her stomach. “It was a scary thought for me. I didn’t want to love someone so much that if something happened, and they had to leave me, I wouldn’t make it. I thought it would be best if I stayed alone. But then I met your daddy, and I realized it was out of my hands.” She wiped her eyes and rubbed his back. “When your daddy came to see if I was okay, my whole world changed. I don’t think there has been a moment since then that I haven’t thought of him and loved him. My fears of being left behind had to be dealt with pretty quickly because he had to leave for a long time.” She moved slightly and readjusted her son.
“It was so hard, little boy, having your daddy gone for a whole year. I struggled, but I know it was so much harder for him. He was so far away and he didn’t have anyone to help him. I had my family and my job, but your daddy was alone in a very dangerous place. I can never comprehend what it must have been like for him, but when he came home, he only worried about me. He is unselfish like that. I don’t mean to make him out like a perfect person, because he hates that, but to me he is the best. I love him so much and you are so blessed to have him as your daddy. When you grow up and start to become a man, you will have the best role model. Your daddy will teach you everything you need to know and you will have the kind of relationship he always wanted with his own daddy.” She stood up and placed her sleeping son in his crib. She stood there and watched him for a minute before she turned and saw Stephanie standing in the doorway.
Tommy sat there in a daze while the doctor stitched his head. He refused a CAT scan and was waiting to join his wife. “You sure I can’t convince you to have the scan?” The doctor asked him.
“I’m fine. Are we done?”
The doctor nodded and Tommy looked at him. “Thanks,” he walked out.
“You okay?” Mike asked as Tommy walked out.
“Fine, Where’s my wife?”
“In there,” Mike said and motioned to the room. Tommy nodded and squeezed Mike’s arm before he walked in.
Brittany stood with the doctor as they examined Naomi. She saw Tommy come in and she ran to him, inspecting his head. “Are you okay?”
He nodded. “Five stitches, no problem. How is she?”
“She is perfect. They are running some blood tests to make sure there are no kidney problems, but she seems fine.” She turned to look at the door. “If Bill didn’t catch the bag, she would be dead,” she sobbed into her hands and Tommy pulled her to him.
“I know,” he said softly, his own tears falling.
Jack stood in the surgical theater and pulled his gown off. He turned and kicked the chair over before he sank to the floor, his head in his hands.
(Six years ago)]
Jack finished a long surgery and walked to his office to finish some paperwork before he crashed for the night. He approached his door and saw Bill standing there.
“Hey man, what’s going on? I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Bill smiled and shrugged. “I was hoping I could talk to you for a minute if that’s okay.”
Jack grinned. “Of course. Come on in,” he opened the door and they walked in. “Did Tommy do something that I need to fix?”
The tall solder smiled. “Not this time, but I reserve the right to ask for help in that area again.”
Jack laughed. “The offer is always open.” He sat down after taking a bottle of water out of his fridge and he handed one to Bill. “What’s on your mind?”
“You know I have to leave soon,” Bill said as he looked at his hands.
“I do. Is there something I can do to help you?” He asked Bill, knowing how much the young couple was struggling with this.
“Actually, I was hoping you could do something for when I get back,” Bill smiled and Jack waited. “I know how important you are to Julie and I hope you know I feel the same way. You are a man of integrity and you have been nothing but straight with me since day one. The way you stepped in and became a brother to Julie and Tommy is really something. You have become a great friend to me and I am truly honored to know you.” He stood up and paced a little. “I fully expect to come home from this deployment and my first order of business will be to marry Julie. I know it’s selfish of me to ask her to wait and I still can’t believe Tommy gave me his blessing, but he did and she agreed to be my wife, so all that’s left is me getting through this year away.”
Jack was quiet as he listened to Bill get everything off his chest. He didn’t know what he could possible do, but he was enjoying watching Bill try to get it out.
“I don’t mean to ramble,” Bill sat back down. “I just wanted to know if you would be my best man.”
Jack was stunned. “Me? Are you sure?”
Bill laughed. “I’m kind of a straight shooter, Jack. I don’t mince words or thoughts and I consider you to be a great friend. I already feel like we’re family and it would be my honor if you would stand next to me while I marry Julie.”
Jack smiled. “It would be my honor.”
Bill exhaled. “Good, now about reigning Tommy in,” he began and they both laughed.
Jack sat on the floor with his head in his hands and sobbed.
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